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Human Rights Victory for BNP Worker - Third Way

Human Rights Victory for BNP Worker - Third Way | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

Arthur Redfearn was dismissed in 2004 from his job as a bus driver for Serco after winning a seat on Bradford Council for the British National Party. Mr Redfearn drove people with disabilities around Bradford. He fought a long campaign for Justice with numerous set-backs. This week, however, his perseverance paid off. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in Mr Redfearn’s favour.

He had been working for West Yorkshire Transport Service for seven months, driving vulnerable adults and children to schools and day centres.

He was sacked by his employer Serco on the grounds that his views presented a health and safety risk as many of his passengers were Asian. To their shame the GMB and Unison Trade Unions joined in calls for his dismissal.

But after a long-running legal battle, the Strasbourg court said last Tuesday that dismissing Mr Redfearn from his job breached his right to freedom of association under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Disabled Mr Redfearn, who was 56 at the time of his dismissal and has an artificial leg, initially claimed race discrimination, but an employment tribunal dismissed this finding instead saying that it was on health and safety grounds as his “continued employment could cause considerable anxiety among Serco’s passengers and their carers and there was a risk that Serco’s vehicles could come under attack from opponents of the BNP”. This ridiculous ‘blame the victim’ ruling was later overruled by an appeals panel in 2005.

The following year the Court of Appeal allowed Serco’s appeal finding that Mr Redfearn’s complaint was of discrimination on political grounds and not racial grounds, which fell outside current anti-discrimination laws.

Mr Redfearn could not claim unfair dismissal as he had not completed one year’s service with the company said the Court. He was also refused leave to appeal to the House of Lords, but vowed to take his case to the European courts, with an appeal on the BNP website helping to fund his legal bills.

In its judgment the European Court states: “The court was struck by the fact that he had been summarily dismissed following complaints about problems which had never actually occurred, without any apparent consideration being given to the possibility of transferring him to a non-customer facing role.
“In fact, prior to his political affiliation becoming public knowledge, neither service users nor colleagues had complained about Mr Redfearn, who was considered a ‘first-class employee’.”

It added: “In a healthy democratic and pluralistic society, the right to freedom of association under Article 11 must apply not only to people or associations whose views are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive, but also to those whose views offend, shock or disturb.”
“It was therefore the United Kingdom’s responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate measures to protect employees, including those with less than one year’s service, from dismissal on grounds of political opinion or affiliation.”

A spokesman for Serco said: “We are aware of the initial ruling that has been made by the European Court of Human Rights concerning the case of Arthur Redfearn and we will now review and digest the findings.”


Patrick Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity, commented:

 

“Mr Redfearn has fought a long, hard battle not only for his rights but for the rights of all those who might be discriminated against on political grounds. Serco behaved disgracefully as did two Unions. Both the GMB and Unison sadly campaigned for his dismissal putting their hatred of the BNP above principles of democracy and human rights.

Our Union is unequivocal on this subject – everyone is entitled to have their human rights upheld. We are a libertarian Union. Mr Redfearn is to be congratulated for his determination and resolve. Like him, we will not rest in fighting politically inspired discrimination against workers.

The Court is not an institution of the European Union and Nationalists should reflect on the fact that Redfearn didn’t get Justice in the courts of our country. In fact he was denied leave to even appeal at the later stage.”

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The quality of history teaching in our schools is a national disgrace

The quality of history teaching in our schools is a national disgrace | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it
A poll asking secondary school pupils reveals that less than half of students know where the Battle of Britain took place, only 62 per cent recognise Winston Churchill and one in five thinks there has been a WWIII.

 

It was a turning point in the war, when only the bravery of The Few who took to the skies to defend their country stood between Britain and the might of Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe.
But less than half of today’s secondary school pupils know the Battle of Britain was fought in the air, a poll has revealed.
Only 62 per cent could correctly identify a photograph of Sir Winston Churchill, it found – but 92 per cent recognised a picture of Churchill the insurance dog.

More could identify Jedward, Wayne Rooney and Katie Price than their country’s wartime leader.
Only a third of 11 to 18-year-olds know the Second World War began in 1939, according to a poll by former Conservative Party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft, while only one in five knows what happened on D-Day.

The survey of 1,000 children at secondary schools across Britain was commissioned to mark the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in London later this week.
Its results will heighten concern about the quality of history teaching in our schools.
It found that only 34 per cent of pupils – including 45 per cent of those aged 17 and 18 – knew the Second World War began in 1939. Only 39 per cent knew it ended in 1945, again including only 45 per cent of 17 and 18-year-olds.

Forty-three per cent knew the Battle of Britain was fought in the air, 29 per cent believed it was fought on land, and 8 per cent at sea. Twenty per cent admitted they did not know.
Just 34 per cent correctly said the Battle of Britain took place in the 1940s, and only 11 per cent of these – about one in 27 of the whole sample – knew it happened in 1940.
Only a fifth of children had any idea of what happened on D-Day, with the most frequent answer being the day the war ended.
Eighty-six per cent correctly said there had been two world wars – but one in 20 thought there had been three.
Nearly a third were unable to give any unprompted explanation of why Britain fought in the Second World War
And while 89 per cent identified Germany as an adversary during the conflict, only 15 per cent could name Japan unprompted.
Nearly a quarter thought Britain’s enemies had included Russia, France, China, the USA, Australia or New Zealand.
Only 61 per cent correctly named the USA as an ally of Britain’s in the Second World War. One in ten thought our allies had included Italy, Germany or Japan.

When the children were offered four different explanations for what Bomber Command is or was, only 36 per cent correctly said it had been part of the RAF.
There was some encouraging news, however - 95 per cent correctly identified the Royal British Legion’s poppy, and 84 per cent knew what it signified.
Lord Ashcroft, who made a £1 million donation towards the new Bomber Command Memorial, which is being unveiled on Thursday, said: 'It is sobering to find that so many children of secondary school age simply do not know important facts about crucial events in Britain’s recent history.
'My own father fought in D-Day, and I was keen to discover how much today’s young people know of what happened just 70 years ago.
'I don’t mean to criticise the children. We must all take responsibility for ensuring that what we know is passed to the next generation. These findings show we can never be complacent about our duty to remember.
'One of the ways we can do this is to build lasting memorials to those who have sacrificed so much to serve our country. That is the purpose of the Bomber Command Memorial, which I am proud to support.
'The Memorial is long overdue. Those who flew on countless missions over Nazi Germany and occupied Europe, many of whom were barely out of their teenage years, knew the odds were stacked against them, and many did not return.
'All of us should be thankful for the sacrifice they made to ensure that we can all live in a free society.'

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