Tuesday May 21, 2024

Not Angles, but Angels

Ben spoke at the launch of SEEN (Sex Equality and Equity Network) in Parliament last week and made the point that the FSU has handled over 700 cases relating to gender critical beliefs. It’s perhaps not surprising, therefore, that sex and gender feature in our first main item. The Telegraph reports how civil servant and FSU member Eleanor Frances is crowdfunding to pay for an employment tribunal against two government departments on several grounds, including indirect discrimination based on her philosophical beliefs. Jill Levene, FSU legal counsel, is quoted in the article, “Eleanor’s treatment is a clear example of a civil service that has been captured by radical progressive ideology”. This week, the FSU also helped out in the academic world. Senior administrators at Cardiff University decided a panel discussion on ‘Academic Freedom in the UK’ wasn’t an ‘internal’ event, leaving organisers scrambling to find £1,500 to pay for security and venue hire. We were able to step in via our Mactaggart Programme and stump up the cash so the event can go ahead. Next up, an article by Ed West in The Spectator caught our eye. It exposes the ongoing attempts to erase the Anglo-Saxons, which includes, for example, the renaming of the “International Society of Anglo-Saxonists” to the rather less evocative, “International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England”. Such tactics will be familiar to anyone au fait with the ambition of the ideologues to interpret our history through the dismal prism of “whiteness”, “privilege” and “decolonisation”. We end with the case of Professor Nana Sato-Rossberg and the refreshing news that we are allowed to make enthusiastic comments about a person’s country of origin. In reaching its conclusion, the Employment Tribunal panel said that it had “reminded itself” of the following passage from Justice Underhill’s ruling in Richmond Pharmacology Ltd v Dhaliwal [2009] IRLR 336: “Dignity is not necessarily violated by things said or done which are trivial or transitory, particularly if it should have been clear that any offence was unintended. Whilst it is very important that employers and tribunals are sensitive to the hurt that can be caused by offensive comments or conduct (which are related to protected characteristics)… it is also important not to encourage a culture of hypersensitivity or the imposition of legal liability in respect of every unfortunate phrase.”

‘That's Debatable!’ is edited by Jason Clift.

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