Sunday, 6 March 2011

Prejudice and the ECJ

Do we really want decisions on what our laws should be to be taken by officials who cannot distinguish discrimination from prejudice, or actuaries from Nazis? asks Alastair Palmer in today's Sunday Telegraph. He is talking of course about this weeks ruling by the European Court of Justice that insurers are not entitled to take into account the differences between men and women when charging for policies because it 'discriminates' against one group.

The judges made an elementary mistake about the meaning of the word “discrimination”, confusing the unacceptable practice of manifesting prejudice against groups of people with the perfectly legitimate process of drawing distinctions between them on the basis of well‑attested evidence.

No sane person thinks that by charging them more to insure their cars, companies are treating young men in the way Germany treated the Jews in the Thirties. Faultless logic, perfectly argued.