It’s official – the judiciary wants us to die.
Company fights climate change ruling by employment tribunal
• Judge ruled views were philosophical belief
• Discrimination law 'may bring flood of litigation'
A controversial tribunal decision that some company practices can discriminate against employees with strongly held views on climate change will be challenged in the courts.
Senior executive Tim Nicholson claimed he was unfairly dismissed by a property investment company because his views on the environment conflicted with other managers' "contempt for the need to cut carbon emissions".
In the first case of its kind, an employment tribunal decided that Nicholson, 41, had views amounting to a "philosophical belief in climate change", allowing him the same legal protection against discrimination as religious beliefs.
Just checking, but if a person who had to work with other folk five days a week and who had to listen to those folk crowing over violent assaults on elected officials (however unpopular) or cheerfully anticipating the deaths of other retired elected officials (however unpopular), and who believed that a bit of courtesy and respect for the beliefs of others was a necessary part of working life, would that belief be more than opinion? Might the requirement for good manners be a “philosophical belief?”
You know, I’m betting that if you asked the judge that, he might think, if not actually say,”Well, you know, it depends on the manners, and it depends on the elected officials.”
And you know what? If Neslon Mandela was the retired public official, I’m prepared to bet Peter Mandelson’s perfectly legal mortgage loan that you’d get a ‘yes’ to that one.
But Mrs. Thatcher? Hmm. I’ll get back to you on that one.
Nicholson, the former head of sustainability…
…at Newcastle-based Grainger plc, says he was dismissed after disagreeing with practices including an instance where an IT worker was flown from London to Ireland to collect his BlackBerry, and another where Nicholson's attempts to obtain data to develop a carbon management strategy were blocked.
Despite having written policies on the environment, Grainger executives attended meetings in "some of the most highly polluting cars on the road", Nicholson claimed.
He’s just dying to mix in well with his mates, this boy, isn’t he?
"[My belief] affects how I live my life including my choice of home, how I travel, what I buy, what I eat and drink, what I do with my waste,..
Oh dear Lord, somebody flush it, just to see what happens to his face!
… and my hopes and fears," he said. "For example, I no longer travel by plane, I have eco-renovated my home, I compost my food waste and encourage others to reduce their carbon emissions."
To paraphrase a friend, for those who are keeping score, that’s My, I, my, my, I, I, I, I, my, I, I, my, I,my in two medium-sized sentences.
Who says that the watermelons are collectivists (apart from me sometimes, I mean) when clearly they’re hyper-individualists?
Close examination by government scientists have yet to reveal this person’s deep respect for the beliefs and feeling of any other organism, real or imagined.
Judge David Sneath said at the employment tribunal: "[Nicholson] has certain views about climate change and acts upon those views in the way in which he leads his life. In my judgment his belief goes beyond a mere opinion."
So if, like, you thought God had made women defective, and that they’re so damned sexy and distracting that they’re prone to tempt men away from prayer and other goodly activities, you’d support, oh, I don’t know, putting a great big bag over their entire bodies?
Now I’m being facetious. Nobody’d expect that kind of thing to be enforced in a court of law any time soon.
What year is it, by the way?
The decision, which is being challenged by the company, comes two years after the law on religious discrimination was changed so that beliefs no longer had to be "similar" to religious faith to receive protection in the workplace.
I certainly don’t worship small government, grown institutions, the habits of generations, the nation state and widely held and various property but as conservatives go I’m pretty keen on that kind of thing. So are you expecting that if this judgment is upheld and then my dim-bulb, out of the 1970’s, elect-a-letter-box-as-long-as-it’s-red Labour colleagues make it difficult for me to introduce a proper dress code and rules that we all use surnames and titles in the office and really, really check if our customers are A) unable to work in the literal sense B) seriously considering supporting themselves, or C) declaring all their incomes truthfully, I’ll get my way out of my employer’s respect for my deeply held beliefs?
How are they going to judge what is a "philosophical belief" anyway? For day-to-day use, I mean. What criteria are they going to use, should this join the common law?
I really believes that this spliff put me in touch with, like, Gaia and all, as I go through the pre-flight checklist
Semtex? Dangerous? Loud noises keep our minds supple and free of convention.
I can’t work with Jews whose Zionist beliefs offend my deeply-held secular humanism.
Oh, I get it, it’s just a judge articulating (Hayek-style) what is already pretty much the law of the land in academe, the public sector, broadcasting, and newspapers.
Under the new law "philosophical belief" is protected by the law alongside religious belief if it passes a legal test requiring it to be cogent, serious and "worthy of respect in a democratic society".
Cogent, serious, and worthy of respect in a democratic society probably isn’t going to be judged by people who embrace Burke, or Hayek, Oakeshott or Adam Smith. I rather think that we’re going to see, if we’re not too careful, the rise of workplace ideological seriousness testing officers.
The case has attracted criticism from some, however, who argue that the removal of the requirement that beliefs are "similar" to religious faith will create a potential minefield for employers.
Fear not: our wise and scrupulous rulers would never do such a thing.
Caroline Doran, employment partner at London solicitors Sprecher Grier Halberstam, said: "The removal of the word similar has [also] led to a range of employment litigation to determine whether patriotism or loyalty to a flag or support for the British National party are covered as suitable beliefs.
I’ll bet my new second-hand copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel and my ancient brand-new copy of Atlas Shrugged say ‘No’ to your Das Kapital, Koran, and Mein Kampf.
But small wonders do happen; even today.
"This … may create an abundance of litigation in the future as the tribunals will have to weigh an individual's belief against the yardstick of current popular thinking."
See where this is going? An insane law against ‘discrimination’ in race that only goes one way, segues into an insane law against ‘discrimination’ in religion which also mysteriously leaves some groups out as potential villain groups and others need never apply as victims, segues into philosophical beliefs.
It’s the Marxist’s dream – the politicization of the human mind and soul at work.
Nicholson's lawyer said that the case reflected a necessary clarification of the law that would affect large numbers of employees.
"This is a case that will clarify the law for the ever-increasing numbers of people who take a philosophical stance on the environment and climate change, and who lead their lives according to those principles", said Shah Qureshi, head of employment law at solicitors Bindmans.
Interesting name. Got any other agenda in mind, dude?
"These are often deeply held views based on the premise that without change humanity will suffer … people should be able to express such views without fear of retribution or discrimination."
Or how about:
“These are often deeply held views based on decades of experience and mountains of rubble and oceans of blood and trenches of corpses and drifts of ashes that if you have too much coercive change, then humanity will suffer scores of millions of political deaths in a single century … people should be able to express such views without fear of retribution or discrimination"?