Wednesday 18 September 2013

Shame on Selfridges

Voltaire: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Another nail in the coffin for freedom of expression as department store Selfridges shamefully backs down in face of pressure from the usual suspects, and reinstates the sales assistant who refused to serve a friend of Tommy Robinson, leader of the notorious and revolting English Defence League (EDL).

By all accounts, Robinson is a thoroughly unpleasant person. He is a convicted criminal who has led anti-Islam protests which often result in violent clashes. For all we know, his friend may share Robinson’s odious political views. But this is irrelevant. There is no suggestion that the friend had abused the sales assistant, and he was therefore entitled to be served, as would any other customer.

Selfridges have stated that it is not their policy to discriminate on the grounds of political opinion. The sales assistant had no right whatsoever to usurp his employer’s policy in favour of his own prejudices. He should have been sacked.

In a truly free society, we tolerate the views of people we can’t stand. We fight them by the power of argument, not by violence or petulant behaviour. If the sales assistant had been a member of the EDL and had refused to serve a Muslim customer, he would, quite rightly, have been dismissed on the spot. These double standards simply serve to prove why the fascist left are as bad as the fascist right and must never have access to political power.

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