I love the Sikhs. Of all the troubles we read about in today’s religion-obsessed world, none of them are caused by Sikhs. To my knowledge they stand for principles, loyalty, honour, family values and service to the community, plus whatever other qualities you can think to name. They have also served the British Crown loyally and valiantly for more than a century. You would think the Ministry of Defence would be delighted to be approached by leaders of the Sikh community with the suggestion of forming a Sikh regiment and the assurance they would have no trouble finding 700 willing volunteers. And the MoD were delighted. Delighted that is, until they spoke to the Commission for Racial Equality who vetoed the idea.
The CRE, which itself has a dreadfully racist record of employment, has a vested interest in perpetuating the race relations industry and saddling this country with insane policies. It is also highly selective in its approach. Saying “the creation of a separate regiment according to ethnicity would be segregation, which amounts to discrimination under the Race Relations Act” is to defy common sense. The British Army has for centuries formed regiments along ethnic lines, and why? Because they work. Society is entirely happy with the idea of the Irish Guards, the Scots Guards and the Welsh Guards. They take recruits on ethnic grounds from all across the UK. There is no conceivable reason why the Sikhs cannot do the same.
I hope common sense will prevail and Sikh leaders and the Ministry of Defence will decide to ignore the CRE and go ahead with this inspiring proposal.