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Really, The Guardian should cancel itself


The Guardian has long prided itself on being one of the most “anti-racist” newspapers around, says Ashley Rindsberg in UnHerd. Over the years, its writers have denounced as racist everything from post-Brexit Britain to dog walkers, chicken, and cricket. And don’t even think about asking someone to explain why any of those are racist – that, in itself, is apparently “extremely racist”. So imagine the newspaper’s embarrassment when three black podcast producers it had hired to investigate its historic links to slavery suddenly resigned, claiming they’d been victims of “institutional racism”, “editorial whiteness”, and other horrors. How could this possibly be so?

Quite easily, it turns out. The company’s top executives are “strikingly white”. Just 12% of the paper’s editorial team come from BAME backgrounds, much less than the 18% in the wider population. Its median ethnic pay gap is around 15%, meaning non-white Guardian employees earn 15p less on the pound than their white colleagues. As for the company’s links to slavery, the results of the investigation haven’t yet been made public. But we already know that The Manchester Guardian, as it was then, was founded in 1821 by rich cotton merchants. And while it’s unlikely they were directly engaged in slavery, the cotton that generated their wealth was wholly dependent on the slave trade. For most right-minded people, this wouldn’t be an issue. “But that is not the standard The Guardian has held the world to.” If it were being true to its word, Britain’s pre-eminent left-wing paper would be calling for its own cancellation.