Are ministerial manoeuvres more about sending signals than solving problems?

Politics

The Ministry of Defence has been accused of taking its diversity policy to increase recruits from ethnic minorities too far.

As Sky News has reported previously, the RAF admitted to discriminating against white male candidates in a hiring policy aimed at increasing diversity.

And now a leaked MoD document, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, reveals military chiefs considered toning down security checks on overseas applicants to speed up recruitment.

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This has led Defence Secretary Grant Shapps to insist it wouldn’t happen “on my watch”.

It’s a stance that will play well to those on the right of politics, and those who believe the policy has been misinterpreted at best and one that could now threaten the stability and strength of the Armed Forces.

This is bolstered by Mr Shapps moving quickly to say he’s now ordered a “root and branch review”.

None of this, of course, solves the fact that ethnic minorities remain woefully underrepresented.

Because this is as much about sending signals to voters as it is about solving a problem.

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The same can be said for the latest housing announcement by the government.

A plan has been unveiled to create so-called “high street homes” – a strategy to create more housing by converting shops, business premises and even department stores so that people can have a place to live.

Speaking on Sunday Morning With Trevor Philips, Housing Secretary Michael Gove sent his own message, this time to the younger voters.

Since 2000, homeownership among the under-35s has plummeted.

Thousands still find it difficult but either rent or buy.

Mr Gove says the Conservatives have a plan, while Labour says it’s a recycled policy.

Either way, housing is shaping up to be a huge election issue.

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