Ruth Dudley Edwards: A free society is always going to be unfair, so stop whingeing
The obsession with rights and equality is just an excuse for selfishness, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
Published 17/10/2010 | 05:00
INJUSTICE makes me livid. Unfairness I can live with. I am my parents' daughter in believing that power should be exercised justly, but that life is intrinsically unfair and the best one can do is play well the cards one was dealt.
My mother taught the poor and the handicapped and lost no opportunity to point out that, compared to them, I had few grievances worth taking seriously. It was a source of great merriment that my aunt stopped providing her young boys with peas -- which they loved -- because they would count them to see if one portion was bigger than another. That, my mother pointed out, is where harping on about fairness gets you: everyone loses out.
Then I emigrated to a country obsessed with fairness. My first big laugh about it came with a well-meaning document from the Conservative Party, tackling discrimination against women. It was called Fair Share For The Fair Sex. It was no wonder that Margaret Thatcher was so riled about being patronised that she beat up her male colleagues.