The Equality Bill is not about fairness or simplicity, but about “ideological coercion”, a prominent political commentator has said.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore compared the Equality Bill to the legislative structure which underpinned the South African apartheid regime.
Mr Moore, a former editor of The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator, warned his readers that the agenda behind the Bill is “a gigantic, bureaucratic organisation of ideological coercion, promoting grievance, imposing cost and attacking businesses, charities, schools.”
It is this bureaucratic entrenchment of ideology which Mr Moore compares to apartheid.
He wrote: “This Bill is seen by its authors as the culmination of decades of struggle.
“Just as Hendrik Verwoerd, the South African prime minister 50 years ago, built up a vast edifice of legislation about residence, work and education to create the architecture of apartheid, so the ideologues of ‘Equality’ have sought to spin a single web to bind the entire structure of society.”
According to Mr Moore, “The Equality Bill does the weaving.”
Although the Bill unifies existing equality laws, Mr Moore says its purpose is “not to simplify, but to make everything indivisible.”
“Each ‘equality’ relates to every other,” he wrote. “If you are in favour of, say, maternity leave, you must also support the legal recognition of trans-sexuals. You want better wheelchair access? Then you must be in favour of gay marriage.”
Mr Moore also criticised specific features of the Bill, such as the proposed Public Sector Equality Duty which would require public bodies to have “due regard to equality when buying goods and services”.
He said these demonstrate that “‘Equality’ is an all-embracing faith, and its doctrines will be enforced.”
In a final appeal for political and public opposition to the Bill, Mr Moore said: “I hope I have shown enough of the ‘Equality’ agenda to prove that this is not a matter of fairness.
“It is a gigantic, bureaucratic organisation of ideological coercion, promoting grievance, imposing cost and attacking businesses, charities, schools.
“It is the long march of activists who, frustrated that they could no longer nationalise businesses, have made it their task to nationalise people.”