Monday, 29 June 2009

Solidarity opposes the new McCarthyism

The Guardian recently published an article entitled 'Ed Balls considers ban on BNP teachers'. It was written by Polly Curtis, the education editor of the newspaper.
The article stated:-

"The government is investigating a possible ban on British National party members working as teachers in schools in a move that could challenge the legitimacy of the far-right party.

A source close to the schools secretary, Ed Balls, said there had been several meetings on the issue with teaching unions which are lobbying for a change in teachers' contracts to prevent them from working if they are members of far-right groups including the BNP. The issue was being "actively looked at"
, the source said."

Solidarity has always had a clear policy opposing political vetting in employment. We regard this as a New McCarthyism. The motivation is nakedly political - an attempt to intimidate people from exercising their democratic rights of freedom of expression and association. It has nothing to do with how people actually perform their job.

Solidarity is already progressing cases involving the existing political bans in the Police and other professions. We take the view that no improper sanction should be imposed on a person merely because of their membership of an association. Nor should someone be dismissed because of the activities and objectives of any form of association (Vogt v Germany, 1994, ECHR). Solidarity looks forward to overturning the existing bans as they are neither necessary or proportionate and conflict with basic Human Rights. We will also oppose any new bans.

General Secretary Pat Harrington declared: "If Ed Balls is foolish enough to take any action limiting freedom of expression or association in our country he will find resolute, determined and unrelenting opposition."

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