Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 27 November 2006

"You're best just to do the sensible thing, know what I mean?"

The title of this post is a quote of our pusillanimous charlatan of a Prime Minister side-stepping a very pertinent question posed to him today at a CBI conference by the Chairman of BA, Mr Martin Broughton. Of course I think, like most people it would seem, that BA has been really silly in its initial efforts to stop a female employee from wearing a visible and very tiny cross as a symbol of her Christian faith, before commencing a full review of its policy in the light of the furore its actions caused. Now I am not a Christian, but it certainly does not offend me to see someone wearing a cross, or indeed when I see a Moslem or a Jew wearing a scull-cap or when I used to see saffron-clad Hare Krishna adherents on occasion when I lived in London.

But none of the present controversy can be completely separated from the mess of red-tape, legislation and attempts at moral blackmail indulged in by our beloved Prime Minister and various of his headline-grabbing ministerial associates and Cabinet colleagues. A few of Mr Blair's political 'comrades' have sought to take a more measured and sensible position - as expressed here by DPM John Prescott and Scottish Communites Minister Malcolm Chisholm.

So I have to say, Mr Blair, that my response is 'No' to your question "Know what I mean?". The truth is that you and your Party have got yourselves and many in our country into a terrible state of confusion about what is and what is not 'legal', far less what is 'acceptable'. It is simply no good you attempting to swerve away from a direct response to a pretty simple question such as you were asked today by Mr Broughton of BA. Personally I think you and Mr Straw were very foolish in your recent comments about veil-wearing Moslem women; really it is no business of an MP to question the perfectly respectable attire of a constituent who comes to her constituency MP for information or advice; the MP is merely the constituent's employee, not her 'Seigneur', just as you, Mr Prime Minister, are merely the employee of all the citizens of this country. It is time you and your interfering colleagues recalled who pays your salary! And give a proper answer to Mr Broughton's question! Just what is the 'sensible' decision, compliant with the laws you have put in place, which you want Mr Broughton and his colleagues at BA to take?

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