Deborah Orr: She should not be sacked for these political beliefs

Click to follow
The Independent Online

I love it that the people who bandy around the word "fascist" as an insult to others, also want to see people fired from their jobs for believing things that they find unpalatable. The BNP has a right to exist, though to me this is an ugly and dangerous part of British culture. If Clarke wants to align herself, that's her look-out. And if ballet lovers don't want to see a BNP member dance, they can stay away if they wish to.

There's a rather unsettling stridency to much debate in Britain at the moment. Some anti-royalists relish the idea of Kate Middleton's life being made a misery, because the Royal Family represent a set of values they dislike. Christians, Muslims and Jews are all decried as homophobes because a small number of them cling on the ancient bigotry of their religious scriptures. They're pitiful, and that's all one really needs to say.

Liberal democracy ought to have a little more confidence in the inherent fairness and truth of its values. I'm all for people being free to shout their beliefs, however cranky, from the rooftops. Taking any action against them, beyond calm explanation of exactly why their views are wrong and repellent, should be avoided in all but the most extreme of situations. Dancing is hardly such a situation.

Comments