Freedom of Expression

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Although some people hold extreme and in some cases overtly offensive views in my opinion I still believe they should be able to hold these views. Freedom of expression, in the UK at least however, is seen very much as a fundamental human right.

But is it?

Well, No it isn’t in my opinion.

In a recent tribunal a Primary School Teacher in the UK was dismissed for pushing and shouting at a child (a sacking offence in itself I would have thought), making sexist and racist comments about other teachers in letters to the National Union of Teachers (again a sacking offence in itself I would have thought), and finally directing anti-Semitic abuse at a colleague in a text and email (also a sacking offence in itself).

What I really struggle to understand here is; how on earth did he get away for so long with these offences mounting-up?  Honestly, any one of the above and he should have been dismissed from his job and his CRB Record marked accordingly.  But the story suggests that he made several offenses before dismissal.

The authorities really do need to get a grip!

His explanation:   He was discriminated against by the London Borough of Waltham Forest for his view that “the Jewish religion’s professed belief in Jews being ‘God’s chosen people’ is at odds with a meritocratic and multicultural society, and was a philosophical belief, protected under the Equality Act.”  He explained further that he held the view that Jews could send telepathic messages back in time.

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The tribunal concluded that the anti-Jewish belief was a serious belief “going back to his childhood” and was “genuinely held”, it did not meet the rest of the criteria for a philosophical belief. It was not “worthy of respect in a democratic society and not compatible with human dignity and/or conflict with the fundamental rights of others”.

I say he’s mad! Telepathic messages? Really? Should this man ever be left alone with children? No, never!

Simply put I say he can hold these views (mad though they be) but open expression of such views would be discriminatory toward others.  To my mind he must be limited in order to not infringe upon others, outrageous and offensive views should not fall under the protection of the Equality Act.

The lesson has got to be if you are going to hold opinions that are discriminatory towards any section of society (it doesn’t have to be Jews, it could be any one or group) then keep them to yourself.  Personally I would suggest finding a country where the people generally speaking think like you do and get yourself-off over there.  Leave the rest of us to be happy with our differences, it makes life interesting you know.

My advice to anybody holding a particularly obnoxious view; try (just a little bit) to engage that tiny mind of yours and see if you can actually get along with those people you profess to hate for no apparent reason.  Most , but I agree that not all, people are generally speaking okay, if a little different in appearance, outlook, religious and cultural background.

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