Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Bigotry on the rates

There's a sad story over on the Daily Telegraph about a homophobic fire officer who has just been given the freedom to continue his sick prejudice.
He was one of nine officers given a written warning and ordered to undergo diversity training for refusing to give out safety leaflets at a gay pride event in Glasgow. Being a godbothering throwback he refused, then took his employers to an employment tribunal with the help of the Christian Institute, that notorious gang of well funded fundamentalist freaks. Disgustingly the fire service caved in, and not only apologised but gave the bigot hard cash to go away and stop whining. You can read about it at
I couldn't help wondering; if this sad, spookchasing excuse for a human being's superstitious objections had taken other forms, would he have been as successful?
For example, what if he'd refused to work on Friday 13th or walk under a ladder?
Then I mused, could it happen over here?
But something very like it has - though in that case even a government service headed by a notorious fundamentalist said enough is enough.
The case revolved around a six foot four, 18 stone copper - also a judo black belt. Just the type to have around on a dark night with villains about, so you'd think.
Problem was, in addition to the acceptable prejudices for coppers during Robin Oake's watch as Chief Constable (racism, sexism, homophobia, sectarianism............) this one had other irrational views. He believed in ghosts, so strongly in fact that he refused point blank to patrol on dark nights around old buildings, churchyards and other places where popular fiction and folk tales have it that the dead kick their heels while waiting for Judgement Day.
This was apparently too much hocus pocus even for James Anderton's favourite son. But knowing Oake's twisted views on gays, which led him to replicate on the island with equally sad results illegal entrapment techniques which he (and not Anderton) introduced to Manchester, I suspect he would have approved the cretinous superstitions of the Glasgow fire officer if ever spouted by a Manx police employee. In fact, as he was a prominent member of the Christian police group which objected to advertising produced by the Gay Police Association, I know he would.

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