Another Hateful Decision by the European Court of So-Called Human Rights - Spectator Blogs

8 November 2012

12:18 PM

8 November 2012

12:18 PM

How much longer must we put up with this kind of thing?

A bus driver who was fired for being a member of the BNP has won a long legal battle claiming his dismissal was a breach of his human rights.

Arthur Redfearn, 56, was sacked from his job in Bradford, West Yorkshire, where he drove mainly Asian adults and children with disabilities.

Judges at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled today his employer Serco Ltd dismissed him only because of his membership of a political party.

This breaks Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the Freedom of Assembly and Association, the chamber of the court ruled. 

The seven judges came to this conclusion on a 4-3 majority.

The court said neither passengers or colleagues had complained about Mr Redfearn, who was considered a ‘first-class employee’ before his BNP membership became public knowledge.

‘The Court was struck by the fact that he had been summarily dismissed following complaints about problems which had never actually occurred, without any apparent consideration being given to the possibility of transferring him to a non-customer facing role,’ it added.

The court ruled that right to freedom of association must apply to everyone, not just those whose views are considered favourable or inoffensive, but also ‘those whose views offend, shock or disturb’.

Don’t these judges – unelected, naturally – appreciate that protecting fundamental rights of conscience and association is the sort of thing that hurtles us along the road to hell in some kind of eurocart?


Thank god we have a judicial system in this country that recognises this kind of fashionable, metropolitan, politically-correct, liberal nonsense for the tripe it is.

We should be proud of our judges and their willingness to make arbitrary, jackbooted judgements. It is intolerable to think that faceless euro-ninnines believe they have the right to interfere in these matters.

If our present Prime Minister had an ounce of bulldog courage in him he would march us out of this trumped-up, tin-pot, so-called court and pledge a glorious new era of traditional restrictions on liberty. It’s only common-sense.

Mercifully, advances in medical research suggest we are nearing the point at which boffins will discover that the European Court of Human Rights also causes cancer.

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Show comments
  • Gareth Connors

    Massie! Another bearded leftwing marxist wanker. If the driver had been a known supporter of ‘Hookey Hamsa’ you would find that Ok wouldnt you? ya goose.

  • Baz4545

    The same judges that allow convicted rapists, and genocidal murders ,under cover of asylum, the comfort of our benifit deporting them would infringe their human rights. The spectator need specsavers. or closing down, as ir clearly supports the genocide of us English.

  • Simon Morgan

    Well, I have to agree with the few views that I’ve read thus far – I’m startled that you should hold the European Courts to account for actually doing something right, Mr. Massie. It is unforgivable for Serco to have fired this man because of his association with the BNP -that’s all there is to it.

    It’s a rarity for the EU as a whole to get anything right -lets give credit where it’s due.

    • Simon Morgan

      d’oh. Didn’t catch the irony or satire or whatever it was. Sorry!

  • Nigel Warner

    “unelected naturally”. The judges of the European Court of Human Rights ARE ELECTED by delegates from the parliaments of the 47 Council of Europe member states.

  • Nick

    I can hardly believe it…………The HR court actually made a sensible decision.What next?…The eviction of illegal immigrants,the reduction of fuel prices & the reintroduction of the death penalty.Ahhhhh……heaven.

  • barbie

    What if UKIP won in this country and then banned anyone from a job if they belonged to the Labour party or Conservative, there would be outrage. This man has his beliefs, which he is entitled to as a citizen of the UK, he should not have been sacked for his politcal beliefs. Hitler used to do that, is that the sort of society we want? The BNP have rights just as every one else, they have been defiled within this country for far to long, by the press and journalists alike, it as to stop. With the Leverson inquiry going along we’ve seen they are not so pure themselves. The BBC did the same thing when they invited Mr Griffin on QT, they treated him terribly and it back fired. Why can’t we hear what they gave to say, listening to them may weaken them more than a blanket ban by the press and media. Its time they all grew up. The courts decision was right, and the man would not have got a fair hearing here at all, such is the system, in the pockets of the elite. I wouldn’t vote for them but I believe in fairness.

  • Dogsnob

    But, forgive me, you are playing trickie dickies with the reader here are you not Doctor Massie?

  • Cumberland

    3/7th of the judges say the driver was guilty of offences which never took place, it’s time to leave.

    • JanCosgrove1945

      Next time we get a 4-3 decision in the SC about a case in Hampshire, say, is it time for Hampshire County Council to leave England?

      • Cumberland

        Is it a legal offence in Hampshire to be a member of legal political party?

        • JanCosgrove1945

          Not to my knowledge, and it was the ECourtHR which said that it was not lawful for a man to be dismissed from his job in the UK for belonging to such a party when the UK courts didn’t.

          One wonders what tolerance there would be for other parties if the BNP were ever in Government. Not much if you take on board what Griffin has said.

  • patharrington

    A great piece of satire (I hope). Serco sacked Arthur Redfearn on spurious health and safety grounds. In fact they had no complaint with his conduct but his political affiliations were made an issue when he stood for public office. Both the GMB and Unison, to their shame, joined in the witch-hunt against him. The British Court system failed Mr Redfearn and Nationalists and Eurosceptics should consider the effect on public perception that the European Court is often making fairer decisions and that social directives from Europe appear to give better rights and conditions to workers here than ‘our’ government is ever prepared to offer. As General Secretary of a small, libertarian, Trade Union (Solidarity) I congratulate Mr Redfearn for his determination and perserverance.

    • JanCosgrove1945

      Then shame on those unions, I am socialist by belief through-and-through, and such a decision by the SC etc was wrong. No one can argue for justice and do such things at the same time.

  • Eddie

    We have to separate the PROFESSIONAL and the PERSONAL here: it is perfectly possible for someone with the weirdest and most offensive views to be a good employee and to serve the public well in their professional role.

    The BNP are buffoons but they’re a legal political party, and rather mild in comparison to many European fascist parties and indeed the Republican right wing in the USA.

    There was a terrible case a few years ago when an academic was fired because he had written an article about how he believed that average IQ levels varied between the peoples of the world which correlated to skin colour and ethnicity. (Supposedly universities are places of free-thinking and ideas, but in reality they are just bloated degree-factories staffed and manages by pompous mediocrities and bearded weirdos who enjoy thei £50k a year for their waffling skills and are due a massive pension when theyr retire at 60 or earlier – all socialists of coursem and as greedy and selfish as they come!).

    The point here is that no student compained about this lecturer and the ethnic minority students defended him too. His views in no way were 1) promoting racial discrimination or offence; 2) offensive to any student he taught.

    Thankfully he was approaching retirement anyway, but what if a young lecturer had the same treatment? The PC gestapo that marches through such institutions can and does ruin people’s lives.

    This bus driver should not have been sacked, of course.

    If holding offensive discriminatory views is grounds for sacking, then we should go right ahead and sack most black and Asian people, all Muslims and probably all Hindus and Sikhs too, and quite possibly all Americans who work in London as well: all have views which some would say are extreme. Muslims think all non-Muslims are worse than dogs and should be killed, for example. Indians hate Pakistanis and vice versa; African tribes hate each others; the Chinese see black people as the same as monkeys.

    Let’s just sack everyone then eh? Starting with the managers who sacked this BNP bloke – but then, they are only doing what they were told to do on diversity courses paid for with millions of pounds of public money!

    • Eddie

      And is there any difference between sacking a bus driver for his political opinions and sacking him because he is a jew or black or follows a certain religion or political ideology?

      What amazes me is that the pompous self-reighteous storm-troopers of political correctness (usually bimbos in HR departments) are just too thick to see the parallels of what they are doing – the reignf of terror and silence that they police – is just a modernised version of what the nazis and communists did: making the lives of those who do not worship at the same political altar as them as difficult as possible.
      It is time to rethink the whole worship of diversity – and closely examine just how much public money is wasted on the diversity and equality industry, which achieves nothing at all, but which encourages everyone to crave victimhood, become obsessed by race and even to spy on their colleagues like informers in 1930s Germany.
      I have worked with Asians and black people who are (like most) very socially conservative, anti-gay, anti-white sometimes, anti-atheist and anti-freedom of thought and speech whenever they disagree with the opinion! They have effectively been told that people are not allowed ever to criticise Islam or African Christianity or any foreign culture in our ‘multicultural society’, and who has told them? The usual suspects from the diversity industry on diversity training courses!

  • JanCosgrove1945

    Good old ECHR, doing what our courts failed to do so shabbily! And I hate all the BNP stands for but I love the Rule of Law, even in Strasbourg in lieu of London. Ask the gent who won his case is he glad? There’s something for the BNP to ponder…

  • Daniel Maris

    Is this meant to be humorous?

  • MaxSceptic

    A poorly conceived article, badly executed.

    The fact that the ECHR made a judgement of which you (and I) approve – when our own judges failed to uphold what you (and I) consider the ‘fundamental rights of conscience and association’, does not confer the ECHR with any further legitimacy or value.

    We should not be ceding any legal authority beyond the bounds of this realm.

    • JanCosgrove1945

      But we have ceded it.

  • anyfool

    Mr Massie your attempt at irony is not quite up to the mark, your writing suggests you do not appreciate that true irony is not about making a personal point it is to skewer some with what is probably a wrong view on some matters.
    Your last paragraph would have a hint of irony if it was directed at Africans who believe having sex with young children cures Aids but i doubt you have the guts to go there, but that also is too serious to make snide comments, sorry about doing so sometimes you just cannot help yourself can you.

    • JanCosgrove1945

      The thing is such sex doesn’t and they wouldn’t get to ECHR if our courts did their job, and I am quite sure that the ECHR would have a better than 4-3 decision that it is not true and is a crime.

  • Kevin

    I think there is a codicil to Macmillan’s “Wind of Change” speech that reads:
    “But apply your own law in your own courts? I should coco!”

  • davejon

    Look here, Massie, if you think it’s OK to sack an innocent man because of his political beliefs, then you are little more than a fascist, along the lines of people like Lenin and Stalin. The facts are that no BNP individual would dream of being unpleasant to any individual of whatever race, but the BNP opposes the conversion of the UK into a multiracial country without an electoral mandate or at least a decent in-depth debate before the flood gates opened. We have been stuffed by the crypto Commies who run the country (including the hacks who infest the mass media).

    • JanCosgrove1945

      Or Hitler???

      • davejon


    • Whyshouldihavetoregister

      The first idiot who doesn’t understand irony appears even sooner than I thought he would.

      • davejon

        Missed the “irony” because I didn’t even bother to read the article!

  • The Elderking

    At last some sense from the EU – but only by 4-3 majority.

    There are many opinions I find objectionable – mostly emanating from the Left. Would that give me the right to sack all Labour Party members in my employ?

    Or Left Wing councils to sack Tory or UKIP members?

    The BNP is legally constituted, fights in elections and even has Euro MP’s.

    Banning, persecuting or sacking people because of their politics leads us down the road to totalitarianism.

  • s_o_b

    Leaving aside the irony for a moment:

    1) Why should such an obviously correct decision need to be escalated to ECHR in the first place?

    2) Interesting that 3 of the judges thought it entirely reasonable that “he had been summarily dismissed following complaints about problems which had never actually occurred” and that they also disagreed with the sentiment “that right to freedom of association must apply to everyone, not just those whose views are considered favourable or inoffensive, but also ‘those whose views offend, shock or disturb’ “

    • Hugh

      1) Because the Court of Appeal after an unbelievably stupid decision was arrogant enough to refuse leave to appeal to the HoL.
      2) Exactly. Sorting out our own moronic judges is near impossible. Sorting the ECHR’s defnitely is.

    • JanCosgrove1945

      Because it hadn’t been reached here ….? The irony may be that someone in the BNP used the ECHR in this way …. but I like it because, though I hate the BNP, this was a mark-up for the Rule of Law, whoever delivered it. The fact that people do have this final recourse to a Court based on a Convention we are told was largely drafted by UK lawyers shouldn’t be lost on people. Might we not better celebrate that this same mechanism, which expects exhaustion of domestic remedy first, also now extends to so many other European nations? Oh no, of course, it has foreigners in it, unelected, like our judges.

      • Hugh

        And if the ECHR gets the decision wrong as well? Should we then conceive another supranational court? The Global Court of Human Rights, perhaps?

        There has to eventually be a final court after which no further appeal is possible. The question is whether you want that court to be more or less remote and accountable to the population it serves.

        • JanCosgrove1945

          No one forced the UK to to join. Wasn’t it when Churchill was PM after the 1950 GE? You see, the Convention, under A13, guarantees redress of rights before national tribunals. The problem for us is that we did not bother to allow it to be part of domestic law until 1998 when the HRAct incorporated A1-12 and 14, but not 13. Making resort to the ECHR for ‘final resort’ all the more certain. The ECHR has subsidiarity written through it, the ECHR is not meant to be used that often. When national tribunals are set up, that’s where redress is supposed to happen. We don’t bother to follow that bit. If Camiknicks wants it to be more local, just sort out signing up to A13, get those tribunals constituted, either by way of new institutions or by amending the current ones specifically to act in that mode when called upon. Viz

          A v Regina, High Court ECHR A13 mode. Then short of some legal failing by such tribunal, it is unlikely that many cases will go further because the ECHR system would say “sorry you’ve had your go, no can do”.

          Ceding from the ECHR will not be easy, nor should it be, and given the penchant form our Court system to reflect an acute calss bias the worse the nearer the top, I’d rather stick with something that, wherever it is located, gives people like the BNP guy a fair deal. Fact is our Supreme Court failed badly, ECHR didn’t.

          It is a real challenge to get a fair judgement of the worth of the ECHR if you tend you object to it coming down in favour of people or ideas of which one does not approve. That is the basis of much of the RightWing antipathy to the ECHR.

          • Hugh

            “Ceding from the ECHR will not be easy, nor should it be,”

            I’m not sure why it should be terribly complicated. What do you imagine will happen? As for the first part, the Court of Appeal explicitly considered his claim to rights under articles 10 and 11 – it just reached a different conclusion to the ECHR.

            “I’d rather stick with something that, wherever it is located, gives people like the BNP guy a fair deal. Fact is our Supreme Court failed badly, ECHR didn’t. ”

            That’s an odd observation from someone who criticises right wing antipathy for being based on its tendency to give rulings they object to. It’s also clearly not a very sound basis, given the slender majority.

            My antipathy is down to the fact that – whatever the decision – justice is more transparent and accountable handled locally.

            • JanCosgrove1945

              1. The ECHR is given the status of appeal. A lower court in the UK may reach a different conclusion to the Supreme Court. That’s why it went to the SC. That’s the rules, Rule of Law style.

              2. The minority decision in a case is just that, wherever it is sited. There is no merit either way in law re size of majority.

              3. You might as well argue that a decision made in Leeds is better than one made in London if the case relates to Leeds. No case if you argue that it’s a matter of jurisdiction – that precisely is what the ECourtHR as, it was agreed by HMG as much as HMG regulates all other judicial machinery which has force re the UK.

              4. My statement re the failure of our SC is not based in any way on political belief – a man whose party, BNP, is anathema to me, was poorly treated by his employer and, as it did not give him justice, by the SC, irrespective of his political beliefs.

              5. I’d rather see him obtain justice by the Rule of Law than not, and if it is the ECourtHR that gave him that, that is the proper thing and I’m glad it existed for his sake. You should be too, or he wouldn’t have got justice because the SC failed to deliver on its duty.

              • Hugh

                1 I know they are the rules. I would welcome them being changed
                2 Again, that simply points out the obvious. A one member majority does however make it clear that there’s little assurance the court will consistently – or any more consistently than our courts – reach sensible decisions.
                3 Why yes, more generally I may even suggest setting up a series of local and regional courts to handle smaller cases where they can do so practically as facilitating open justice.
                4 And my point was that your criticism of right wingers was that they objected to the ECHR simply because they didn’t like its decisions, while arguing that this decision was a reason to support it because you did like this decision. I wasn’t accusing you of supporting the bnp.
                5 I’m not sure what the rule of law has to do with it. We could cede from the ECHR and any decision would still operate under the rule of law. If he hadn’t appealed from the CoA, the decision would have been made under the rule of law. I welcome this decision too, but as I’ve said that doesn’t mean the ECHR is a good thing for the uk.

                • JanCosgrove1945

                  3. Why do that when the ECHR has such a provision – it’s our fault we haven’t implemented that under A13 even in the HRA 1998. Maxwell Fyfe obviously thought that a good idea. And not for smaller cases but for all where a breach of rights is involved. The ECHR is a minimum standard document so if we felt our tribunals could deal with other rights not in the ECHR as well, so much the better.

                  5. But what would there be in its place? A UK document? Which would do for the individual just what, what better than the ECHR framework?

                  Your final sentence is indicative – what is good for the UK. The ECHR, common law rights, human rights are not about the state, they are about individual people. For years before the adoption of ECHR here in 1998, there was case after case where that UK law denied people their rights, their recourse ended here, and poor UK law was able to deny them. The HRA 1998 meant that our judges at last were able to take into account the ECHR as had been intended by our Government when we acceded almost 50 years later. The question has to be what is good for protecting the rights of the individual, and a body that is guided by a standing set of principles is, for my money, a better bet than the vagaries of politicians in individual countries.

                  The ECHR came about because of the destruction of the Rule of Law throughout Europe, and there were those here who supported that also. Its message is “don’t ever think that in any state you are immune to that risk”.

                  One might as well argue, if you say we can do all that here, that we should leave NATO. Decisions made elsewhere, sovereignty pooled …..

                • Hugh

                  “A UK document?”

                  Yes, we could call it an “Act of Parliament”, perhaps. And, no, it’ s not the same as leaving Nato is it, really?

                • JanCosgrove1945

                  Yes, U K human rights act, saying the same as the ECHR but applicable only in the UK but to anyone living here.

                  The argument seems to be, on your side, we don’t need the ECHR, we can do that here just as well for ourselves. Surely the same might be claimed re NATO, we could do that on our own…

                • JanCosgrove1945

                  For what? The same rules. Judges to interpret them. Wow, big difference. “Oh but it would be British Judges voting 4-3” Big Deal. I am really convinced it would be better for the individual. Not.

              • davejon

                “…a man whose party, BNP, is anathema to me…” – so you don’t like a party which campaigns for the rights of the indigenous folk of the UK, but rather one which gives it away to the foreigner? Do you want us to end up like Ozzie Abbos or American Indians?

                • JanCosgrove1945

                  Racist drivel. Holocaust deniers. It doesn’t campaign for my rights and I’m white, brought up CofE and was born here. Indeed its kind have threatened me (death) and attempted child kidnap(my kid). It’s about them we need to say ‘eternal vigilance’. Anyway, they’ve got a case of divisive TB one hears. Are you the British National Party. No, we’re the National British Party. True Brits. He’s over there. .Splitters!

                • davejon

                  Where in BNP literature or web site is there reference to the Holocaust, and why is one not allowed to question the actual facts of this event? Enquiry is a right in a free and open society (or is that the point…?)

  • George Igler

    A supreme judicial entity of review, with no democratic legitimacy, is still a supreme judicial entity of review with no democratic legitimacy. Even a stopped clock…

    • JanCosgrove1945

      Its legitimacy lies in the fact that sovereign powers with elected governments set up the Council of Europe, also adopted the ECHR which set up the ECourtHR, and to which such sovereign nations nominate all the judges under their democratic powers. The UK and others gave it the power of last resort after exhaustion of domestic remedy. And citizens in european nations such as ours have found remedy against both over-weening governments and defective judicial arrangements in their own countries. None of the rights in the Convention are incompatible with the rights we have fought for over centuries, including the War Against Fascism in whose wake of human rights crimes this body was established. I thank you. [What I get all the time is that there are those who use a masquerade of nationalism to disguise their antipathy to the “wrong” people having rights. I hate all the BNP stands for, but the man has his legitimate rights. What I wonder if his people of his thinking want those rights extended tom lefties like me …. But there you go.

  • andagain

    “The seven judges came to this conclusion on a 4-3 majority.”

    If one of those four judges had voted the other way, would the ECHR still be a good thing?

    • JanCosgrove1945

      Depends on their reasoning doesn’t it? You ask the same of our Supreme Court or any similar judicial body….

  • Adam Nixon

    You could be sacked from any job for being gay, until Blair’s reforms in 2002.

    • JanCosgrove1945

      And that decision, unlike so many about gays in the UK before, had the principles of the ECHR behind it. Now I wonder what the ECHR might make of the gay marriage debate based on the relevant article about “men and women” being entitled to get married and found a family? So far, I think they’re sticking to the traditional interpretation meaning “a man and a woman”. Wow, here’s the irony. If that remains the case (as supported by many on the Right, and Left, for decades or more) then what will Mr Cameron do if Gay Marriage which he supports (and I do as a friend wants to marry his gay police MAN next year) is challenged at the ECHR after a law change here …..? Oo-er missus

      • Just Bob

        The ECHR has been perverted out of all recognition from its oruginal intentions. I’m sure its chief architect, Maxwell Fyfe, would be spinning in his grave to see it being used to defend gay rights. He was vehmently opposed to the legalisation of homsexuality, opposed immigration to the UK and was in favour of the death penalty. ” I am not going down in history as the man who made sodomy legal!” he told the corrupt Lord Boothby.

        We’re in Year Zero territory with this bunch of chancers.

        • JanCosgrove1945

          Maxwell Fyfe did what he did in the social climate of the time, no one anywhere thought as Mr Cameron now espouses, and people may now regard his antipathy as wholly evident prejudice on his part. He would have found a lot of public favour then for such views, but not nearly as much now, and i would wager that it is on the gay issue that public opinion has shifted the most, and very quickly in fact.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Devil’s advocate here but the public favour for current gay emancipation has never been tested and even if it were the results are unlikely to be honest simply because the debate has been subject, as with immigration, to the intimidation of any opposition. Even you, when faced with disagreement above, immediately shrieked “Racist drivel. Holocaust deniers.” You do not distinguish between the views expressed (or not expressed) because of that reaction and honest views, however “unacceptable”. Many people feel that they can no longer express an honest opinion because of the opprobrium it will attract from very vociferous minorities and their supporters determined that their views – and only their views – must hold sway.

            • JanCosgrove1945

              When you say ‘intimidation’ do you mean, for example, shit posted through your letter box, petrol poured through your letter box, death threats, attempted kidnapping, creepy phone calls. Or do you mean you find a lot of decent people tell you they don’t want to hear racist drivel. I wrote that because that is what it was. Holocaust Deniers exist, they deny the Holocaust, because it suits their beliefs and anti-semitism. Flat earthers used to be more common than they are now, probably.

              If people don’t want ‘gay emancipation’ let them vote for candidates who will vote that way in Parliament, although, do you feel the changes that have occurred should now be undone, that it should be illegal for men again, but that if the Queen like her predecessor, Queen Victoria, doesn’t believe lesbians exist, they should escape. Maybe back to hard labour for brilliant authors who are outed by Lords as ‘sodomites’?

              “Honest” opinion. Yes, a bigoted person can say it honestly meaning it, and I don’t see much distinction when one examines motive.

              It’s amazing isn’t it, such people were so content to leave things as they were when racist sentiment could be expressed directly in front of people whom it was meant to offend, when queers could be locked up with lots of criminal men for being queer. No word from them as to how unfair it was when people objected, none of the understanding they now bleat is their due. “We are the new victims” just because they have had to stop oppressing other people and be able get away with it. With insulting others with impunity, with seeing the Rule of Law perverted to serve their nasty prejudices.

              I distinguish such things only too well, and I know one masquerading as the other when I come across it. For example, those who ignore Matthew 3-12 when talking about the types of relationship they say people can have, or not. Now I will not argue this as approving gay marriage, it doesn’t, but in identifying 3 types of eunuch for whom marriage is not viable, we perhaps need to understand what was meant by the first type, those “which were so born from their mother’s womb”. I understand that the expression he used meant not only those born with a physical problem but also effeminate (gay) men. (I am sure this is contested) But in any case he uses this expression as an example of types of people for whom marriage (man and woman) is not an option. So did he condemn such people. He said otherwise, he did not come to condemn. Yet those who abuse religion to mask their own prejudices just seem to overlook the fact that Jesus recognised that there are people who are not going to follow ‘the norm’ (as beloved of the bigots who of course are part of that) but whom he said he did not come to condemn.

              Just because it has been traditional to be an arsehole to others doesn’t mean we always have that it’s ok to continue being so. Those who insist it’s their right can expect to be told, no actually it’s not. An honest opinion may also be a wholly objectionable one and if one has the right to express it, then expect the right of others to seek redress.

              Such whingers, you had your way for nearly 2000 years of probably ignoring Jesus’ meaning hook line and sinker because it suited your prejudice, and wouldn’t such folk like to turn back the clock if that were an option.

              Such folk may well now be the minority. You won’t be hung, imprisoned. reviled for something you can’t help, which is part of what you are (unless bigotry is genetic, and even if it were, you’ll find the mirror held up to you when you’re told God expects you to resist your nature which after all is what gays were told?)

              Stop moaning we’re plumb out of violins.

    • Eddie

      You can still be sacked or not offered a job because you are openly gay – from certain ‘exceptions’ to the law (catholic schools, for example, who hilariously – with their record of paedo-peddling – say they want to protect children and promote family values; ditto for Muslim schools etc).

      Hardly progress, is it?

      These days, you can be sacked from a job for indulging in free thought and being a member of a minority political party. Most Asian and black people hold views way more bigoted and offensive than this bus driver – how many blacks and Asians are really tolerant of gay people or other religions and races huh?
      It is wrong for the diversity industry to solely focus on white people, ignoring the bigotry and promotion of hatred inherent in so much black and Asian culture. But it’s OK to be a bigot, a racist, a gayhater and someone who wants to force men for have beards and force women to wear one-woman tents – so long as you’re brown of skin and you can claim it’s your culture and religion what makes you do it! This attitude is, of course, racist because it judges people differently depending on their race and culture and religion.

      UTTER hypocrisy as usual from the pompous pc lobby. These self-righteous bullies do NOT promote real tolerance at all; in fact they are against real tolerance of a diversity of opinion, for example. Enforcing politically correct dogma is the opposite of tolerance.

  • Trish

    Is this satire? Judges making arbirary decisions isn’t something to aspire to. A BNP member working in that situation may not be the most appropriate but he was a first class worker before hand. He’s not acting on his (assumed) prejudices why should he have been fired?
    If ‘protecting fundamental rights of conscience and association is the sort of thing that hurtles us along the road to hell in some kind of eurocart?’ are you advocating censorship? Restrictions on political and religious freedoms? That was tried before and it didn’t work. And who decides on what is the fundamental right of conscience?

    We don’t deal with the BNP or any of the extreme parties by banishing them, we deal with them outright. Bringing them into the national discussion and engaging with them, arguing with them about their ideologies. It’s hard word yes, but that’s democracy.

    • davejon

      “Bringing them into the national discussion and engaging with them, arguing with them about their ideologies” – is that why the unions have a “no platform” policy, the media don’t interview them propery with searching questions, BNP candidates banned from pre election hustings and why BNP reps are banned from taking part in BBC programmes? Some “engagement” – don’t make me laugh!

    • Eddie

      The article indulges in irony, dear. Like goldy, but cheaper.
      You use a word ‘appropriate’ that sends shivers up my spine: the way for some PC bigot to target people she doesn’t like is to call their views/behaviour ‘inappropriate’.
      The man was a bus driver. His job is to drive a bus. It is irrelevant then what his opinions are, so long as he keeps any offensive ones to himself. Ditto for all those Muslims bus drivers who hate white people and infidels; and for the Sikh bus drivers who hate the Muslims and Hindus; and the Hindus who hate the Muslims and Sikhs too – and Christians, but then the Christians hate non-Christians and different Christians (eg Catholicsa and Prods). But happily, they all hate atheists and jews, so there is human unity and goodness in the world’s religions after all…
      Maybe everyone should be sacked except atheists and jews then? Or perhaps we should only employ blind people who cannot see the skin colour of those people they are serving. I am sure there is a local council disability drive document stating how diversity could be improved by employing visually impaired bus drivers!

      • Ruben

        Why are you calling her, dear?

        • Eddie

          I was trying to be facetious, like you.
          It’s sort of meant to be funny – like the advert: calm down dear.

          Oh never mind…

      • br14

        “a local council disability drive document stating how diversity could be improved by employing visually impaired bus drivers!”

        That is actually very funny.

        But the article from Mr Massie was so over the top it went far beyond mere irony.

        • Eddie

          Funnily enough, it is based loosely on truth. Some years ago I did a business course which had one day a week on Personnel (Human Resources). The politically correct college lecturer who taught us that assured us that all employers should make allowances for all disabled people and be prepared to adapt.

          A fellow studentt’s family owned a firm that made top-end bespoke furniture and wooden panels, so he made the point that their workshop, with lathes and circular saws, was really not the best place for someone in a wheelchair or someone who was blind.

          ‘Oh no!’ said the horrified politically correct woman (who of course had never run a business but had spent her whole career teaching in further education colleges), ‘you could adapt the workplace for differently-abled workers’ and thus, the subtext went, if you disagree with that you are a disabled-hating cripple-belittling savage and bigot!

          This is the sort of lunacy that exists in the state sector – at your local council, in schools, colleges and universities, in the police and services, and your taxes go to promp up the diversity training industry which indoctrinates people with this turgid toss-pottery!
          I think the bus company in the article may well be the same one that allowed an Asian Muslim bus driver to get away with not allowing a blind person with a guide dog on his bus (because Muslims think all animals are dirty, you see…)

          • anotherjoeblogs

            gotcha. I once did a course about equal opportunities and one lad mentioned that he had been on a bricklaying course with someone wheelchair bound ( great ! go for it ! ) someone said ‘ i bet he was a great bricklayer ‘ – in my opinion it was patronising and i mentioned my mate has freckles and ginger hair, would that make him a good piano player ? needless to say i was called a bigot.

      • davejon

        As I wrote above, dear, I missed the wonderful “irony” because – having read so many articles like that one in the past, and knowing what they contain – I didn’t bother to waste time reading it. If any “…Muslims bus drivers who hate white people and infidels..” manifested their “hate” against white people you can bet it would be totally ignored by the mass media – wouldn’t have happened. It’s like when a few years a go a fireman was discovered to be a BNP member and sacked – the FBU (commie) rep said that the man would decline “saving a black family” from a potential fire. He didn’t say a Tory party member would decline to save a low class pleb family, or a Jewish fireman would not save a Muslim family or an SWP firewman wouldn’t save a BNP member family….you get what I mean (dear). Similar with police officers..

      • Simon Morgan

        I would have thought atheists would be the least objectionable of the lot – we don’t get involved with any of ‘it’. If you want someone who can hold all sides at bay, surely it has to be us?

  • Hugh

    “We should be proud of our judges and their willingness to make arbitrary, jackbooted judgements”

    Can you explain in what way the ECHR’s judges decisions are less arbitrary? What if they had reached a different conclusion; would that mean the ECHR was a bad idea?

    The fact that our judges sometimes make bad decisions and the ECHR’s sometimes make good decisions is not a very good reason to outsource the function of a supreme court to judges with even less accountability. Likewise, if the decision to fire the bus driver was not illegal under our national law, maybe it should be. I believe it is possible to address such issues under our domestic law as well.

    • cg

      I don’t think you do irony, do you?

      • Hugh

        I don’t think you do comprehension.

        • cg

          Physician, heal thyself

          • Hugh

            Er, right. Perhaps to help me you might explain in what way I’ve missed the irony in the post.

            • Whyshouldihavetoregister

              Does the word ‘every’ help at all?

              • Hugh

                Not really, unless you want to explain how I’ve misunderstood him in every way.

                I took the post’s meaning to be that, in fact, the ECHR had made a wise decision, correcting the profoundly illiberal tendencies of our own courts in this case – and therefore undermining the typical Daily Mail moan about foreign unelected judges that it parodied. In that context, I deduced he wasn’t in fact praising the arbitrariness of our judges’ decision, but in fact criticising it and arguing – as he has before – that the ECHR is actually a rather useful addition to our legal system.

                However, given that the Court of Appeal considered exactly the same legal question and came to a different decision, and that the ECHR only came to its decision on a 4/3 majority (so could as easily have gone the other way were a different panel of judges sitting that day), the implication that the ECHR is somehow less likely to reach arbitrary, and indeed jackbooted, decisions struck me as not very convincing. Hence my comment.

                So, where exactly is it you feel I’ve lost the thread of the piece?

                Missing irony is one thing. Being unable to comprehend plain English is another.

  • Baron

    If we didn’t have the statutes under which the company sacked the guy, we wouldn’t need the ECHR.

    • JanCosgrove1945

      We wouldn’t? No statutes re wrongful dismissal? Hmm

  • Rich v. Poor

    Yes, the irony was missed at first… nearly fell for it.
    Does Alex Massie actually get paid for this nonsense?
    What a strange world…

  • Jangster

    I understand the sentiment and the anger but here is a counterpoint (from an unlikely source):

    • Emperor Joshua

      I think you’ve just proved Rahul’s point…

      • Jangster

        Cough, blush, errr, yes

  • Rahul Kamath

    Alex – I think you have to put in a tag like irony or something similar for these posts. Around here a lot of people are going to take this literally!

    • Trish

      there you go, never follow a retweet with investigating. I’ve been told.