Well, not that he had any choice in the matter. He stepped forward reaching for his clipboard holster, but it was no longer there.
Times had changed.
He was an old-timer now.
There was a time, he remembered, back in the glory days of the old government when being a diversity office meant something. It was a time when he could stand tall and proud as he bought diversity law to the wild frontier towns here right on the edge of the West Midlands.
Now though, he no longer had a clipboard and he felt its demise was more than symbolic of his loss of prestige. No longer did the women drag their children inside as he rode his bicycle down their street. No longer did the pubs pretend to be shut. Nor did the men on the street pretend they were off to the council offices for a diversity-awareness training course when he questioned them out on the street.
These days, it broke his heart to acknowledge it, but it seemed that no-one thought that diversity awareness was the vital matter he believed – knew – it to be.
There was talk, whispered in the corridors of the council offices, that some of the public had even begun to question the most holy writ of their five-a-day fruit and vegetable requirements. There was talk of heretics out in the badlands of Tipton, who decreed that the BMI index and the devil worship that was obesity were not as bad as the official figures complained.
He looked down at his official council diversity-monitoring device. It connected wirelessly to the council own computers back at the offices. As usual, it was updating itself. That was the problem with shifting targets and changing definitions of what constituted his remit. Every time someone made a claim about a newly discovered or invented subset of the excluded, the deprived or the victims of this world’s callous impartiality to all and sundry, the diversity criteria needed updating.
He’d lost count of the times he’d strode into some workplace, shop, or even household, furious with righteous indignation on behalf of some group of the excluded. Only to find that the privelidged group he was complaining about had their own unmet diversity quota too. Often, the competing claims meant his hand-held device either froze or crashed, as it tried to resolve who – out of all those with competing claims – was the most deserving of his attentions.
Now, these days, as he strode the streets he was aware of the cold hostility ion the eyes of those he passed. He wondered if he was the heretic, after all, not them.