Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 19 September 2004

Home Office contemplates ban on BNP members as civil servants

It seems the Home Office is considering whether to bar civil servants from BNP membership.

I loathe the BNP and what it stands for. Anyone who has ever read my blog can be in no doubt about that. However, it is a legal political organisation. Whether it should remain so is a separate question and I personally would not weep bitter tears (or indeed, tears of any kind) were it to be made illegal, although there is the danger that were this to happen it would drive the movement underground. In any case, for good or ill it is a legal organisation.

I wrote recently about the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) having decided to ban BNP members from the police and that I was deeply opposed to this.

Of course I have a great deal of sympathy with both the ACPO and the Home Office in their desire to try and ensure that people who have highly undesirable political ideas are not allowed to occupy positions where they may allow these beliefs to affect the way they behave toward members of the public.

Either we are a free country or we are not. Membership of a legal organisation should not, in and of itself, be grounds for barring employment as a public servant. If an organisation is considered extremely dangerous to the state then it should be made illegal - let the concerned organisation sue the government if it seeks to have the ban reversed.

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