Deaf diplomat denied foreign posting appeals

15 06 2011

I met Jane Cordell last week and we had an interesting chat. The Telegraph updates us on her story. I think it’s totally unfair that she has been denied communication support on the grounds of expense when other diplomats have their children shipped off to expensive boarding schools without any argument. I  know how expensive they are – been there, got the T-shirt. They aren’t worth the money.

So when and where do our equality laws come into force? Is it selective  discrimination now? What happens when someone who is already employed by the FCO acquires deafness and requires communication support – will they be dismissed? I’m keeping a close eye on this one. It’s sure to have ramifications on the employability of people with a hearing loss.

NRCPD : Lipspeakers



One response

17 06 2011

I’m going to be blunt here but honestly while I admire her aspirations and ability I don’t have any sympathy like in boo-hoo, so unfair sympathy. . If you look at the figures in cold light of taxypayers day ,
by the FCO reckoning it would be 300K per year, but by Ms. Cordells reckoning it would be closer to 175K to hire rotating support.. Figures aside, it’s all academic. Lets look at the actual work she would be doing. First, it’s a support role. It’s a DEPUTY, yup not even top dog. If it was top dog job it would be an entirely different preposition.Never mind that, it’s a supporting role in a place where, lets be honest, nobody really cares about…Astana, Kazakstan. I’m not being cruel. People are not exactly clamouring for diplomatic postings in Astana. Certainly not more than 10% of UK GCSE students could even point the place out on a map, never mind their American counterparts… None of them would know where it is. So all told, that is bucketloads of money that would be better spent , note I said better spent, on more practical things like training up more deaf FCO’ staffers or opening up more opportunities for career advancement in places where things actually happen.
Yes I feel sad for Ms. Cordell but I m sure she can find a MUCH better posting that won’t cost the UK taxpayer quite as much, and would be even more prestigious. In fact I propose to her superiors that she be appointed Head Of Mission in Cape Town because the FCO career old guard down here need to be swept out with a broom.

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