Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Should you be barred from a job for being a member of a legal party?

Having been listening to radio in the car for quite a while this morning, I see that a list has appeared online of the entire membership of the BNP (albeit out of date apparently). There are of course a couple of issues that arise from this.

The first is that the list is comprehensive and falls into the definition of "personal data" under the DPA which states that it "relate to a living individual who can be identified from those data". Having seen the list it includes, names, addresses, phone numbers and email address.

Had it just contained, for example, email addresses (assuming they were things like "") it would still be a story but the legal data protection issues wouldn't be there in the same way. The same would be true if it was just a list of phone numbers as there would be no means of identifying who the number belonged to from the number alone so it wouldn't represent "personal data".

However, the fact that this was "personal data" under the law, it means that someone, somewhere is probably going to get into a lot of trouble about it if the BNP and/or Police can prove that the person they suspect did in fact do it. There has also been suggestions that the BNP may have implied violence toward the guilty party, although their leader Nick Griffin, on Radio 4, said this was not the case.

Having said all this though, the second issue is of more concern I think - and I hate to say it's an issue upon which I actually agree with what Nick Griffin said on Radio 4 - is that membership of the BNP bars people from certain jobs and people may lose their jobs now.

It should not be the case that being a member of the BNP stops someone being a civil servant when being a member of the Workers Revolutionary Party does not. Or, as Griffin pointed out, you are not barred if you're associated with a known jihadist type-organisation.

Those sort of "thought crimes" are worrying. Whether one finds the odious white power socialism of the BNP repulsive, or if they support Trotskyte revolution, they should not find themselves barred from working in particular jobs, if they're the best person for the job. I realise some might say it is politicall incompatible for a BNP member to be a Policeman. However, the same is true for a WRP member but we don't bar them.

Of course, it's worth noting that Griffin seems rather pleased that it has happened because the publicity of the BNP having a wide ranging membership and not just skinheads is positive for their image. I also notice that the members being spoken to by Radio 5, whilst annoyed, were not that bothered really.

Update: Croydonian has a post on the Economic League which used to maintain a list to stop leftists getting jobs. It was killed off by Labour quite rightly. Banning people from jobs for political ideas is wrong, howevre odious the ideas might be,


Anonymous said...

And another thing why is Labour so scared of union members being members of another politicval party and banning them from joining if they are a member of the BNP. I'm a member of a union do not pay the political levey. Does that mean that green party members should also be banned from joining the union as they have fascist policies?

T England. Raised from the dead. said...

This could make the BNP a stronger party!
As a work college said today "if I had been a member & had been outed I'd put up posters & go out dropping leaflets, it would make me an active member, it would be my way of sticking two fingers up to those who outed me".
He added, "he wouldn't want anyone to know what party he beloged to even if it was a main stream one".

As for those who may want to do malicious or nasty things to ANY BNP member, well! they are no better than those they dislike & deserve the police knocking on their door.

As for Mr griffin, he is right in what he says about the membership!
People will see that there are many "normal" people who are members & may well think it's ok for them to join too & why not? They are a legal polictical party are they not?

I get a funny feeling this could be good for the BNP & not at all what the sad lefties was hoping for, LOL!

J J said...

It obviously depends on which legal political party you belong to.

Big brother is alive and well and living in England!!

Barnacle Bill said...

How many of the present Cabinet might be members of the KGB , or whatever it has morfed into nowadays?

Surreptitious Evil said...

I think that given that the list lets you have some idea what people's political opinions are, it probably even counts as "sensitive personal data" under s2b DPA, therefore you need to satisfy Schedule 3 conditions for processing to be lawful.

Old Holborn said...

Watch out, a new LIST has appeared on the Internet

Anonymous said...

Was it Robspierre or Molierre or another froggy chappie who said something like "Je disaggree avec tous que vous a dit, mais je defend vu a la morte votre gauche de dire comme sa" (I disagree entirely with what you say but I defend to the death your right to say it)?

See, even the Froggies can get things right on occasion.

(Will this do Griff?)

AloneMan said...

It is fundamentally wrong that anyone shold be barred from doing a job simply because of their membership of certain political parties.

Fitness to do a job should be measured by experience, qualifications and, once in the role, performance. Privateld held political experience is neither here nor there.

The ban on BNP members from the Prison Service or the Police is an act which is typical of ZaNu Labour and their intolerance of opposition.

Ant it's only going to get worse. If ZNL win the next election this ban will spread either to other areas of the public sector, or to other political parties, or both.

Who was it who said "The only difference between socialism and totalitarianism is time" ?

Anonymous said...

Voltaire's much used quote comes to mind.

Old Holborn said...

"Who was it who said "The only difference between socialism and totalitarianism is time" ?"

Well, I said

"The difference between a Welfare State and a Totalitarian State is a matter of time"

Pretty much the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Much as I absolutely loathe the views of the BNP, I'm afraid Voltaire was right - I may dislike what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.

I would no more dismiss somebody for being a member of the BNP than I would Sinn Fein, the Socialst Workers or New Labour. Unless it is proven that the BNP are systemically organising and/or inciting violence, their existence must be tolerated and they must be beaten in open debate.

Anonymous said...

The BNP is reported to be extremely embarrassed at the revelation that some of its members belong to the teaching profession - a group which has conspired to produce thousands of illiterate and innumerate children.

Should the BNP have the right to expel these members?

Anonymous said...

Its all very dull and boring. A list of people who belong to the BNP. They have an elected member on the GLA? Are we really this pathetic?