Pickle\’s Perfection

So while we\’re all talking about whether we should try to leave the EU, reform it, reform the relationship with it, lead from the centre or become the revolutionary vanguard of it, here\’s Eric Pickles showing what the fucking problem is:

Britons should be free to wear religious symbols because “faith galvanises our communities”, Eric Pickles will say before a European Court ruling on wearing crosses.


How interesting
.

The Communities Secretary will say that liberty has been undermined by the “intolerance of aggressive secularism”.

Later, the European Court of Human Rights will rule on whether people should be allowed to wear crosses to work.

So, duly elected MP, duly appointed Minister, in the democratic government of a nominally Christian country, thinks that those who have a specific religious faith should be allowed to wear symbols of that faith while out and about and earning a living.

And will said MP and Minister actually have a say on whether Christian religious symbols might be allowable in a nominally Christian country?

No, actually he won\’t. He has the square root of toss all power to decide or influence the decision one way or another.

That belongs, no, not to the EU, but to the ECHR, which is an offshoot of the Council of Europe. And guess who actually gets to decide this?

Well, actually, it\’s judges from such notable exemplars of civil liberty, human rights and democratic governance as Monaco, Liechtenstein, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, San Marino, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia.

No, really, this is how it works these days. Whether or not a Christian can wear a cross to work in the United Kingdom is decided by one of Putin\’s Placemen.

All Hail human rights, eh?

I\’ll admit that I don\’t particularly have a dog in this particular fight: the only use I\’ve ever had for those little crosses is in identifying the ex-convent girls who would. Very useful they were too.

But the method, the process, by which such a decision is reached does seem to be rather, umm, wrong. Or to be technical about the law, fucking insane.

I would certainly support leaving the Council of Europe. Which, given that you\’ve got to be in it to be in the EU means leaving the EU. In fact, I\’d actually argue that we should just leave the Council of Europe. At which point the EU has to throw us out. And leaving the CoE is, as with the other CofE, really rather easy.

And seriously, how did we end up with an Azerbaijani ruling on civil liberties in England? Isn\’t it about time we told the whole lot of them to go boil their heads?

9 thoughts on “Pickle\’s Perfection”

  1. “And seriously, how did we end up with an Azerbaijani ruling on civil liberties in England? “,
    because its an improvement on having English judges ruling on civil liberties in England.

  2. The question has to be why are we letting any judges pronounce on matters like this? OK. The whole sordid argument goes back to the BA ban on its stews wearing them & similar cases. But that it instituted the ban is a symptom not a cause. People should be unhampered in what they choose to do with their own lives. And yes, that would mean BA having the right to arbitrarily impose a dress code because one could regard a company as ‘people’. Nothing wrong if it required the stews to paint their faces in the company colours. But it choosing to do so against the wishes of its employees, like the cross ban, would show how lightly it takes personal liberty.
    One you accept judges & politicians ruling on liberty you’ve already lost it. You’re only waiting to hear who your masters are.

  3. Further to James V, yes, please clarify. (I’m assuming you would know if they were ex-convent girls whether not they wore crosses, given the modest number of middle class papists.)

    Tim adds: My (sadly now historical) experience was that convent girls who still wore their little gold crucifixes did. Most delightfully in fact.

  4. “the only use I’ve ever had for those little crosses is in identifying the ex-convent girls who would”

    Half of Africa seem to wear em. I 3D printed myself a Samizdata logo and put it on a chain. It scares the crap out of most Christians

  5. People should be unhampered in what they choose to do with their own lives. And yes, that would mean BA having the right to arbitrarily impose a dress code because one could regard a company as ‘people’

    But the problem here that that BA allow the followers of some religions to openly express their religion in variations of or exceptions to their dress code.

    Now, here, I’m actually vaguely on BA’s side (in that specific incident). There is nothing in the Bible and little in historical Christian practice requiring lay adherents to wear crosses. Bishops, of course, are expected to wear a pectoral cross in many denominations. But not, necessarily, in non-ecclesiastical garb. Therefore there is a qualitative difference between a practicing Christian’s desire to wear a cross and a Muslim’s desire to wear a hijab or a Sikh’s Kara.

  6. Philip Scott Thomas

    bis

    But it choosing to do so against the wishes of its employees, like the cross ban, would show how lightly it takes personal liberty.

    Your general point is broadly correct. Yes, BA being a private company should be able to require any damn thing they wish of their employees. But I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that it’s indicative of how lightly they take ‘personal liberty.’ It’s more indicative of how lightly they take employee contentment. Their employees, after all, always have the ‘personal liberty’ to leave and work for a company with a dress code more amenable to their personal preferences.

    One you accept judges & politicians ruling on liberty you’ve already lost it. You’re only waiting to hear who your masters are.

    Sad but true.

  7. So Much for Subtlety

    Surreptitious Evil – “There is nothing in the Bible and little in historical Christian practice requiring lay adherents to wear crosses. …. Therefore there is a qualitative difference between a practicing Christian’s desire to wear a cross and a Muslim’s desire to wear a hijab or a Sikh’s Kara.”

    There is nothing in the Qu’ran or in historical Muslim practice requiring Muslimas to wear the hijab either. In fact we know Muhammed’s wives did not.

    This is a problem with the overly powerful state. Which has taken it upon itself to regulate the crap out of everything including jobs. No longer a private matter between employer and employee, somehow the State has got the idea that the employee has a right to a job. There is a simple solution – the State should shut the f**k up and stay the f**k out of people’s private business like hiring and firing. If BA wants to piss off lots of potential customers, that is fine by me.

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