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Should Your Political Views Be a Sackable Offence?

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I might still be curled up asleep when you read this, but at the time of writing, the leaked British National Party list hasn’t gone public yet; there are just a few Wikileaks teases and a lot of speculation on Twitter. Now, I don’t know if anyone who joined and voted for the party is worried about their job, but I do know that there were several people who were very nervous the last time this happened, and with good reason. Police officers, prison officers, teachers, members of the armed forces, and doctors are all banned from being active members of the BNP.

Now, on the one hand, this can seem like employment mission creep, where the company or business you work for exerts a greater and greater influence on your life. Employees aren’t allowed to smoke. Employees aren’t allowed to eat meat on the premises. Attendance at the company picnic is mandatory. Employees are encouraged to use company-branded luggage when travelling on business. Employees are to consider themselves as “brand ambassadors at all times.”

It could feel as though you have signed up not for a regular wage, but for a cult. I’d find such a workplace thoroughly oppressive and claustrophobic, but I know other people who thrive in such environments and appreciate the sense of camaderie and shared purpose. Nevertheless, I do wonder where you draw the line in such a business: at what stage is your life your own and no longer the concern of your employers? Would it get to the point where your boss is telling you how to vote?

Sadly, from the BNP’s point of view, they are not an ordinary political party. They have had to be dragged to court and forced to admit non-white members, though I don’t know anyone who would actually want to join. They are unashamedly racist, and no amount of PR spin can hide that. I’m not even going to go into the problems with their manifesto once you get beyond the “send them all back!” rhetoric. High-profile members of the party have convictions for assault and stirring up racial hatred. These are not things that you need in the police, the prison service, or in the caring professions. Hell, they’re barely tolerated in unions, and they’ll accept just about anybody.

And it’s not as though people have their bosses peering over their shoulder when they’re in the sanctity of the voting booth; nobody need ever know that you’ve voted for the BNP, nobody need ever know that you have given them money, or helped out with leafleting. You are just not allowed to be a card-carrying member if you work in a field where keeping harmonious race relations is important. And yes, that even includes prisons. Openly supporting the BNP at your place of work advertises the fact that you don’t believe in treating people equally. In effect, you are trumpeting your unwillingness to do your job properly. As such, it’s probably better for you to leave and focus on your political interests. I don’t know what the leaked list contains yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see another round of resignations and sackings once the contents have been analysed.

[Image by Fire Monkey Fish]



  1. MsLuffa says:

    Judging by Nick Griffin’s appearance at last night’s Question Time, it appears the BNP are happy to shift and change their position on various issues as it pleases them.

    It’s probably a wasted effort to hope that non-racist people who voted in protest against mainstream politicians would have seen Nick’s inconsistency and deception last night, and perhaps put their issues with mainstream parties aside.

  2. Stephanie Migot says:

    Sadly, on the news today was a woman who said she had been swayed in favour of the BNP because she thought Nick Griffin had been bullied. The mainstream parties are seen as morally bankrupt by the populace, I’m afraid, which leaves room for parties that have previously been on the fringe.

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