UK Spies Reportedly Urged to Consider 'White Privilege', Avoid Terms Like 'Manpower' in New Guide

CC BY-SA 2.0 / Laurie Nevay / The SIS Building (or MI6 Building) at Vauxhall Cross, London, houses the headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, MI6)
The SIS Building (or MI6 Building) at Vauxhall Cross, London, houses the headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, MI6) - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.02.2022
The guide for British security agents was reportedly published for internal use in early December, in the midst of escalating tensions around Ukraine. At the time, Western countries accused Russia of planning to invade Ukraine, allegations that Moscow denied, calling them a pretext for NATO to justify the alliance's eastward expansion.
MI5 and MI6 officers have been told to consider their "white privilege" and avoid gendered terms such as "manpower" in a guide to improve diversity and inclusion in the security services, the Daily Mail has reported referring to a leaked copy of the document.
The newspaper claimed that the leaked guide for UK spies also advises them not to use words such as "strong" and "grip" because they can "reinforce dominant cultural patterns".

In a foreword to the guide, UK National Security Adviser Stephen Lovegrove, who allegedly wrote it, reportedly said that "this toolkit is called Mission Critical because a diverse and inclusive culture is critical to succeeding in our national security missions".

The toolkit calls on UK national security staff to declare their pronouns in order to make transgender colleagues feel more included, according to the leaked document.

"Sharing your pronouns, if you are comfortable doing this, helps to create an environment in which this is normal. You can do this by: adding your pronouns to your email signature or sharing them at the start of a slidepack", the guide purportedly reads.

The document also contains a section on inclusive language, which points out that "in national security, look out for words and phrases, such as 'strong' or 'grip', that reinforce the dominant cultural patterns. Avoid jargon, hierarchy, or gender biases".
Another section urges British agents to "consider the impact of phrases that can have negative connotations or dehumanise others".

"Try not to define an individual or group by what makes them different. If you need to talk about an individual or group, choose adjectives over nouns. […] Use gender neutral language to reflect people's diversity and reduce stereotypes and assumptions, for example, about job roles and functions which need not be gender defined", the toolkit reportedly notes.

Publishing the extracts from the leaked document, the Daily Mail also quoted an unnamed government source as commenting on the toolkit, saying that "there will be times where our security services have to kill the enemies who wish us ill".
The source claimed that "a culture where 'manpower' is offensive and where pronouns and 'privilege' are promulgated is far removed from the deadly decisions spooks often need to take".
According to the Daily Mail, the Mission Critical toolkit was written by UK National Security Adviser Stephen Lovegrove in October 2021 and published internally on 6 December 2021, amid an escalation of tensions around Ukraine and unsubstantiated allegations by the West about Russia's planned "invasion" of its neighbour.
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