Play Amongst Yourselves Nicely

I'm busy over the next couple of days (a combination of Christmas parties, night shifts and *thankfully* a chance to see Laura).

As you know I love reading your comments and have learnt a lot from the discussions that go on here.

So I thought I would leave you with an ethical dilemma to chew over for the next couple of days – this situation is purely made up and hasn't happened to anyone I know. It also has nothing to do with me – it's all a fantasy to spark discussion.

You are due to work with a new crewmate on a permanent basis. The person you are to work with has been in the job for two years. While idly flicking through some websites you discover that your new crewmate is a fully paid up member of the BNP party (a UK far right political party, 'throw out immigrants, British people come first and throw out all immigrants' would be a fair summing up of their policies), It appears that management do not know this and the LAS has a strong anti-racist stance.

What would do, and could you work with them?

Talk to you all on Monday.

67 thoughts on “Play Amongst Yourselves Nicely”

  1. I think you have to separate out the issues here. If the person is able to do the job, and follow the LAS' policy on racial equality, then Iwould be able to work with them, altough I wouldn't necessarily be very comfortable with it.This kind of thing happens at work all the time- unless you are running your own business, you can't choose your colleagues.

    However, if the person in question were to discriminate against ethnic minorities, say, in the course of giving treatment, then I would have no qualms about raisng the isssue through the appropriate channels, whatever they may be.

    It is essentially a matter of resolving conflicts of moral duty. Both of us, as members of LAS, would have a moral duty to deliver care, which in this case would override any personal issues I might have with their stance.

  2. Two issues in my case:1 – How would he feel about working with an openly gay man?

    2 – How would I fee about working with a group who had me on a hit list not that long ago?

    On the whole, I think I would speak to my supervisor for guidance.

    David

  3. I think you'd just have to grin and bear it. Had to work with a BNP idiot a while back, he didn't make himself very popular here.

  4. BNP (im not a supporter btw) doesnt only have the one policy it has a number of them, not all relating to race, some people may support them for they policy on say the NHS, but dont agree with their policy on immigration. Im pretty sure a lot of labour voters dont agree with all labours policies, but will however support the party. But as other's have said, it all depends on how they do the job in the end.

  5. Oooh…what an issue.I think that as long as the member of staff does not show any discrimination e.g. racial, homophobia, then it should not matter to you. If they can do their job properly without a problem then is there an issue? Once they display some form of discrimination then it becomes a problem. It is then that you have a duty to report to your managers.

    It's things like this coupled with gossip that combine to create problems for new members of staff in any business. As Tom said above you can't pick and choose who you work with. This has the same principles to it as someone who holds different religious beliefs to yourself.

    Gossip and preconcieved ideas are something i suffered from when i first started in the NHS, the gossip had no foundation and i found that people treated me completely differently than when they knew me. The issue above is one between you and your crewmate and not for discussion with others as hard as it may be.

    Maybe i have too simplistic a view, but as long as the person can do their job properly and you have no personal problem with them (due to their political views and your problems with those views, are you discriminating?!) then it is no-ones business but your and theirs. If you do have a personal problem with that person it again is between you and them.

    In the war, careless talk cost lives, in todays world careless talk costs careers, families and in the severest cases lives.

  6. I think it also depends on where you found out that they were a BNP supporter – were they saying “I'm an LAS employee and I think this” or did you happen to work out the connection in a way that Joe Public couldn't? If they were a paramedic, there could be grounds for HPC disciplinary action in the former case.Scientist.

  7. Personally I couldn't work with them. I do not see how they would be able to leave their personal views completely out of the job, and I would find myself always wondering what was behind any decisions they made regarding any patients belonging to other ethnic groups.If someone holds blatant racist/homophobic views etc, then I personally think that makes them incompatible with certain jobs where they will be dealing with the public.

  8. If you refuse to work with them, aren't you being (although in a lesser way prehaps) just like them? ie, im not working with him because he's black, as apposed to im not working with him because he hates black people. Tough choice!

  9. I wouldn't wish to discriminate against a crewmate who was a member of the BNP any more than I would wish to discriminate against a crewmate who was Catholic, or gay, or ginger-haired, or a member of a BDSM swinger's club. So on that basis, of course I would be willing to work with them.And in the same vein as I wouldn't tell any bosses/colleagues if I had stumbled upon the information that Crewmate X had appeared in an adult magazine, or that he called himself Flora on the weekends… I also wouldn't run to anyone I worked with and say “You know Crewmate X? They're a member of the BNP!” Some things belong in a person's private individual home life and don't need to be spread around by workplace gossip unless they are the ones who choose to make it so. And who wants to get themselves a reputation as a snitch?However.I probably wouldn't be keen to see them outside of work and if it caused too much tension while working I might try to gently and informally suggest to whoever organises these things that we had “a bit of a personality clash”.I'd also be keeping my eyes open to make sure they didn't behave less professionally with patients who weren't white British.

  10. Spot on. The BNP only want to help immigrants leave this country if they want to leave. However their leadership do come across as a bunch of racists, but then you could argue that Labour leadership are warmongers. The leadership of the party doesn't mean that their supporters are the same.Go to the BNP website and read their manifesto. Yes, they are fairly right wing and I am not a supporter. But, I don't like the way they are constantly demonised in the press without giving them (and other minority parties) a platform on which to air their views. In the course of free speech people will be offended. We have to accept that. If at times we are not offended then it is likely that some speakers are censored.

  11. Would you refuse to work with a member of the Labour party because of their actions in Iraq?Would you refuse to work with a member of the Conservative party because of the closure of the coal mines?

    Would you refuse to work with the Liberal Democrats because they oppose ASBOs and ID cards?

    If you do, then surely you are being a partyist (just made that up). Basically you are discriminating against them because of the actions of the leadership of the party to which they belong. It does not mean that they are the same. The BNP is not a single issue party. Race, thanks to the media has become their defining issue.

    Maybe the crew mate doesn't agree with taking qualified medical staff from poorer nations, who can't afford to lose them. The BNP are against this.

    I, am not a member of the BNP.

  12. yes I would work with them. What they beleive in is their business, as long as they behave in a proffessional maner. If it started to infringe on work then that is the time to do something about it like have a word in their shell like.Dylan

  13. So everyone stays in their own ghettos?re 1. How a coworker feels about working with you should be irrelevant in a professional context, so long as he acts appropriately toward you. And being required to work with an openly gay man might well change how he feels about it, sooner or later.

    re 2: Unless the LAS lets it's workers bring their entire political party/church/nation of origin along with them to work (which would make for some mighty crowded ambulances)–you would be working with an individual, not a group. Treat him as such. Tolerance cuts both ways.

  14. “I'm an LAS employee and I think I may vote for the BNP” shouldn't really have any more weight than “I may vote for the Conservative Party/Labour Party/Legalise Cannabis Alliance/Monster Raving Loony Party.” I mean, the BNP is a perfectly legal political party. The LAS may have rules about declaring one's political leanings while wearing the uniform (so to speak) but I don't believe an employer could actually say “while working for us, you may openly support A, B or C political party but NOT Party D or Party E.”The problem would be if they said “I'm an LAS employee and I wish I didn't have to treat those black bastards, I try not to take them to hospital, after all they don't have any right to the NHS…”

  15. If they were a fully paid-up member of the Communist party, would it be an issue? Yet the communists of old have killed more people than even Hitler.Personal beliefs have a place, and that place must not affect serving the public in a job like this – so the MOMENT yer person steps over the LAS's policies and discriminates, IF they ever do, then you really might be obliged to get involved, because with that belief system it's unlikely to be a one-off – but until then, no, absolutely not.

    IMO anyway, for what it's worth! And by the way, I'm delighted at the mature responses on here – I do not like/support the BNP but this is so refreshing compared to the knee-jerk responses on places like the BBC news forums.

  16. PS LOL bY “you” I mean the hypothetical “you”, or me, or erm anyone.I'll give you another – imagine you're a devoted Catholic and a surgeon's collapsed while performing an abortion – ethical dilemmas are just too readily available, that's why anyone doing any medical work needs to leave their fondly held beliefs at home.

  17. No feucking way. These gimboids wear suits when handing out leaflets but they're still neo-nazis. Their leaders don't 'come across as a bunch of racists', they *are* a bunch of racists. Nick Griffin, current alpha headcase and original posh-boy bigot, has a decades-long career in practically every loony-right organisation numbering more than five people. Back when he was running the 'political soldier' wing of the National Front, Islamic extremists were his friends; he praised the government of Iran and visited Libya seeking funding.In more recent years he's been convicted of inciting racial hatred by denying the Holocaust.

    I'd be on at my union rep to organise service-wide refusal to work with any member of this fascist organisation, and pressing for their expulsion from the service. Quite apart from the likelihood that he would fail to treat all patients professionally, thus bringing the service into disrepute, he'd probably be a boring, ignorant bastard with at most three topics of conversation: 'immigration', women and 'gays'.

  18. So, the leadership of the BNP are racists. How does that automatically make all of their members racists?Have you got any links to more information about the BNP seeking funding from Libya?

    What you expressed is your opinion. What makes you think that the BNP shouldn't express their opinion? Do you agree that it is OK for people to have different political views? Do you think that we should all follow the centre ground that is dominated by Labour, Conservatives and LibDems?

  19. Fair enough. We now have:”I might vote for the BNP” is OK in 'uniform';

    “I wish I didn't have to treat those black bastards” is not.

    What about “I think the BNP has the right idea sending back those black bastards, but I know I have to treat them anyway”?

    (whether or not that is a true representation of BNP poicy, before anyone chastises me!)

    Where is the line? Who decides?

    (Declaration of interest: I am married to a non-white person. The most offensive things I have ever heard have been people shouting things along the lines of 'why aren't you with a nice white boy?' but with more swearing. So 'BNP' are letters that make my blood boil.)

    Scientist

  20. well I may a bit naive here, but, I would give this persona chance (can't help wondering how the mentioned

    colleague to be found information) as we live in a *free*

    country.

    If that “hook” fella can get away with his hatred stuff, then

    we should all be entitled to our own opinions.

    Personally, I couldn't give a stuff about colour/creed/sex or

    whatever so as long as its not forced on me.

    As long as is does not afect work performance, then why not get along the best you can, after all you don't have to be

    best buddies out of hours.

    Good debate Tom,

    Have a good weekend.

    best wishes

    sarah

    x

  21. So, the leadership of the BNP are racists. How does that automatically make all of their members racists?

    If you can find me a BNP member who thinks white Americans or Australians, for example, should be 'repatriated', I'll buy you a drink.

    Have you got any links to more information about the BNP seeking funding from Libya?

    I wrote that Nick Griffin did that, not the BNP. My point was that he is a hypocritical demagogue: the only consistent element in his political ideas is racism. Learn to read, and then learn to do your own homework: search engines are remarkably easy to use these days.

    Here's an interesting exercise: use a search engine to look up the words “Burnley” + “chemicals” + “rocket launcher” + “BNP”.

  22. Hi Tom. Interesting hypothetical scenario, or is it a real one? I think you would have to accept that an individual has to be allowed his own opinions or beliefs regardless of how different from yours they may be. But if this person was to bring these views into a work scenario, be it to a patient, NHS employee or other agency person then the full weight of the LAS disciplinary procedure must be brought to bear.Sadly, these people would then go running to Union reps and demand that they get them legal representation to get them off any charges.

  23. Wouldn't that be a bit like refusing to work with a Muslim on the grounds some Muslims are fanatical? And ditto, holding an American responsible for the civilian deaths in Iraq, or a German for Hitler?Isn't the problem not the belief – racism, religion, Arsenal footie club – but the fact that a significant proportion of people want to have an excuse to destroy the lives of others?

    I've heard lots of fanatics in my life – left, right, patriotic, globalists, religious, atheist etc – and they all sounded exactly alike to me – a bunch of thugs looking for an excuse for their own excesses of hatred.

  24. Depends what you mean by 'fully paid up member'. As you can tell by looking at the HPC website, out of uniform actions can result in being struck off the register…which would presumably include if anyone had reported him for (e.g.) racist verbal abuse (doesn't fit with the code of conduct – and I've seen people struck off for street brawling…although with paramedics it seems to be entonox mostly 😉 ).

  25. OK. After reading around, Nick Griffin is a racist. However, I don't think it necessarily makes all members of the BNP racist. Some people believe that Tony Blair should be charged with war crimes. Does that make all members of the Labour party war criminals?I haven't met any BNP members so I can't comment about individual member views on repatriation.

  26. In this hypothetical situation am I black or Jewish or of otherwise ethnic origin? If so I, maybe they would refuse to work with me? Problem solved.Umm otherwise if we're talking about me being me, I can't really say for certain as I've never been in a situation quite like that myself – I regularly encounter ignorant opinionated morons and while it's all just opinion I let them have their opinions. I (naively I expect) believe in live and let live, that applies to people's radical political beliefs too. However, if push came to shove and the BNP crew member was being offensive to myself or a colleague or a patient then I would confront them and bring it to the attention of a supervisor and follow the chain of command with an official complaint. In other words I would see how the situation played out before making any decision.

  27. I've had a similar problem when teaching. The Republicans in the US used to be a political party. I never agreed with them much, but that's okay. Now that they support torture and have become a shakedown organization disguised as a party, I have, shall we say, “issues” with them. So what do I do, as a teacher, when I find out that a student is spouting brainless Republican nonsense? What I did in actual fact was try very hard not to know. If I did know, despite my best efforts, it became really difficult to evaluate their work objectively. I mean, if you're convinced that someone's a bleeding idiot, it's very hard not to approach their work with a more critical eye. Then I'd have to put in all kinds of extra effort to make sure I wasn't being unfair. And that would annoy me even more, because I was spending all that effort on someone who wouldn't know justice if it bit them in the behind. Then I'd have to work even harder at staying objective. Then … and so on. There weren't any good options except not to know in the first place. Not for me, at least.

  28. Wouldn't that be a bit like refusing to work with a Muslim on the grounds some Muslims are fanatical? Isn't the problem not the belief – racism, religion, Arsenal footie club – but the fact that a significant proportion of people want to have an excuse to destroy the lives of others?

    No. The belief – racism – is exactly the problem here because it's incompatible with public service. The BNP is not a jolly group of reasonable people saddled with a few rotten apples who happen to have a thing for rocket launchers. The whole stinking barrel is full of people who want an excuse to destroy the lives of others, or have the state do it for them while they cheer: that is the only reason for the BNP's existence. I hear your plea for tolerance, but when fascists are tolerated, people get killed.

  29. therefore you must hate all americans, because 'some' of them supported (money) the IRA, who bombed london far more than the 7/7 bombers and have killed far more soldiers than the iraq's? swings and round-a-bouts

  30. Funnily enough, in 'equality' training on my new job, we were asked to discuss this problem.The scenario was that there is a BNP member on your team who works with absolute professionalism, and keeps his politics apart. A black guy on your team finds out, and refuses to work with the guy, even though the BNP member treats him the same as everyone else (this is hypothetical of course!). If push comes to shove, who do you fire?

    We worried about the moral issues, the legal question of firing someone for their political beliefs, and considered the likely realities of such a situation. The correct answer though was apparently to just fire the BNP member. If it goes to a tribunal, unfair dismissal compensation would be capped at a few thousand pounds. If you fire the black guy and he succeeds in bringing a charge of racism, the compensation is unlimited. This interesting solution was apparently recommended by an HR magazine.

  31. I'd ask my line manager what he / she thought about such a hypothetical situation.I suppose I could work with the person, but they'd have to get used to me trying to get them to see the other side, and mentioning the anti-racist policy of LAS if necessary.

  32. I lived in the most conservative state in the States, and the whitest, and the most Mormon. Worked with card carrying NRA (gun toters) folks. Avoid talking religion and politics, be on guard for inappropriate behaviour, and good luck.

  33. it wouldnt matter as long as his veiws did not affect his work, if he is in the bnp it is somthing that he would probaly openly talk about if prompted on a 1 on 1 basis.

  34. During the last election, at the round of door to door baby kissing we had a visit from the BNP. My wife answered the door to which she ended the conversation by saying she can't vote because she is American. The man from the BNP said, “Why don't you go back where you came from” and walked off. (For the note my wife is white American). I then had to tell her about the BNP, but found I was struggling, so we looked at there website and few things surprised me in a good way. Still would not vote for them, but isn't that what democracy is about?In saying that, though work I have connection with a BNP supporter and she never lets her views affect her work.

  35. An interesting scenario, and I hope you don't mind if I pikey it for an equality training session I do from time to time.I agree with many other commentators. If he/she is able to put his/her political views to one side while at work, and show no signs of discriminatory behaviour in his/her words, actions, or attitude there should be no problem with his/her being a successful and dependable colleague. If his/her behaviour does give you cause for concern, then you should report it – irrespective of his/her political allegiance. (But that would be the same for any behaviour that gives you cause for concern, not just discrimination: bullying, violence, unsafe clinical practice…).

    And. if the person has been a member of the ambulance service for some time, we can probably (or at least, hopefully) assume that any unacceptable attitudes would have been spotted by now.

    But can I turn the debate on its head? We're suggesting that this person could be a good colleague to you. But can you be a good colleague to him/her? Or would you be analysing his/her every word, action and clinical decision, to see if they are motivated by his/her political views. Or, to put it another way, to see if he/she does live up to your prejudice.

    That last sentence not meant in an accusatory way btw. “Prejudice” comes from “Prejudge” and its how we form opinions of others. We do it all the time – both favourable and unfavourably. Take a note of your thoughts as you walk down the street, and assess your opinions of the people you meet. Prejudice isn't necessarily “wrong”. What can be wrong is when we allow this prejudice to affect our actions – that can be discrimination.

  36. I would give it a go and take things as they come.As long as they kept their views to themselves and it didn't show with colleagues and service users/patients.

    I think their extreme views would prevent a close working relationship developing.

    Working for the LAS in London and a BNP membership are probably incompatable.

  37. Im ginger and theres nothing wrong with me… part from being a little mad 😛 i still do all work properly and professionally whenever i need tocurse my hair colour

  38. “they'd have to get used to me trying to get them to see the other side”By “have to” do you mean that you would present your views while they were a captive audience, eg while the two of you were at work together?

    Is it somehow appropriate for you to try and persuade them to come round to your way of thinking, but not for them to try and persuade you round to their way of thinking?

    (I apologise for the structure of that sentence).

    If they are professional enough to leave their politics at home, which they must be if they've worked in the service for two years, then you have to also be professional and leave your politics at home.

    If they don't leave theirs at home, then it will be affecting how they do their job and rather than trying to “convert” them you need to report them. If you argue yours it'll create difficulties for the working relationship which isn't what you need in emergency situations.

  39. Good point. If I was a member of the BNP with all the right-wing, racist, back-where-you-came-from stances and so on that go with it, I wouldn't want to work helping people in a place like London, where (according to the 2001 Home Office census) 29% of the population is made up of “ethnic minorities”.

  40. I've worked with a lot of people who thought differently to me, as long as they are doing their job correctly, no problem. Mind you I would be keeping a very close eye on how they treated different people.

  41. from the manifesto:”Furthermore, when we speak of British democracy' we do so in an ethnic as well as a civic sense. We do not accept the absurd superstition propagated for different though sometimes overlapping reasons by capitalists, liberals, Marxists and theologians – of human equality. Whether the now totally discredited feminist argument that men and women are innately the same, to the partly refuted egalitarian claim that everyone within a given population is born as a blank slate with the same innate potential, or to the still dominant Politically Correct denial of the existence of differences on average between members of different races we reject all these irrational myths.”

  42. The one thing that I find most amusing/worrying about this debate is the number of people who have posted:”So long as they did their job properly I would be OK with working with them – BUT I AM NOT A MEMBER OF THE BNP”

    Soooooo, we will work with them, we will watch them, but we are SO QUICK to point out that we are so far removed from them… interesting.

    My views can best be summed up thus:

    First they came for the Jews

    and I did not speak out

    because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for the Communists

    and I did not speak out

    because I was not a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists

    and I did not speak out

    because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me

    and there was no one left

    to speak out for me.

    Pastor Martin Niemller

  43. Your boss/organisation has some say in what you do and say but absolutely no right to tell you what to think.If this person keeps comments that would be offensive out of the workplace and does his job professionally then he should be worked with.

    However I will think that I need to watch him like a hawk but I wouldn't shout (say)this around.

  44. If they do their job to the right standard with the right attitude, there isn't a problem. If they don't . . . then there is – and it has nothing to do with what colour rosette they wear, whether they shag sheep or anything else.I know it isn't PC to say so, but what people do in their own time is their business. You don't have to like people to work with them – although it's obviously better all round if you get on well.

    Please come back – I'd much rather read your blog than get into fights in the playground with some bossy milk monitor.

  45. I've lost track of how often I've heard that quote… including as a reason why “we should not allow ethnic minorities to trample all over our country”. The basis of the argument seems to go “you don't mind [the BNP/immigrants/teenage mums/Bob next door] getting/doing X? How about Y? How about when it affects This group? How about when it affects That group? How about when it affects a group you're part of?”We're not talking about tolerating everything the BNP do and turning the other way because they're not “after” us. We are discussing the situation as it relates to being AT WORK, during working hours only.

    Not just any work either, but a work that involves saving people's lives. There's no space for messing about or posturing or making a political point like there might be in a desk job. It is in the interests of a human life, not just a contract or a sales target, that LAS workers leave things like religion and politics at home.

    Our hypothetical LAS worker (who is against the BNP) who has been asked to work with another LAS worker (who is for the BNP), may well go out every weekend doing all sorts of things to combat the BNP – campaign for an opposing political party, do voluntary work with ethnic minority groups in their community, etc – but work is work, and in this particular line of work, one has to concentrate on the job and sod everything else.

    As for everyone saying “I'm not a member of the BNP”, that's hardly surprising. This is the internet. There will always be someone who takes a statement the wrong way. (Often it's me.) It doesn't hurt to clarify where you are coming from.

  46. Good point. Also should point out that the BNP want to scrap the Race Relations act, effectively allowing racism to go on.Of course I do not agree with the BNP, but I believe that those who agree with them and do not go around acting out any racist beliefs they may hold should be allowed to do so without discrimination.

  47. I work on the fringe of London for one of the ambulance services and I know more people that are right wing i.e. anti asylum seekers, homophobic etc than I do that aren't. Even among some management the same kind of attitude dominates.It's very hard changing attitudes. My current crew mate holds several right wing attitudes, but it doesn't affect his work.

    It's a very hard judgement to make. We are all flawed in our own little ways. My crew mate is cinically better than I am and I try to work on his character. Sometimes it's better the Devil you know.

    Martyn

  48. Although we in the NHS have to be broad minded enough to accept all corners of society, we do not have to accept racism from either side. If you are a member of the public services you need to make sure that your work persona depicts the standards of the service. if the aformentioned colleague works without mentioning his racial beleifs then under equality and diversity we have to accept him. But . . . . if he works differently with the ethnic communities in the standard of care then I would have no problem in shopping him to the top brass because I don't want to work with anyone that can't accept that we are a racially diverse country

  49. I guess one of the key issues is perhaps whether someone who is judgemental outside of the profession and be non-judgemental whilst in the profession?Can someone who states that gay men shouldn't have any rights (whilst out of uniform) be trusted to deal with a situation like the Admiral Duncan bombings?

    Can someone who locks his wife in the house because she doesn't deserve any better be trusted to give a good quality of care to a woman in the community?

    Can someone who advocates black people going home promote equality of access to care for ethnic minority groups?

    Can someone who thinks that depression is imagined attention seeking be trusted to provide quality care for someone with diagnosed mental health problems?

    Could you trust your crewmate to cover your back when he wants to outlaw your relationships?

    Any form of -ism has the potential to negatively impact the quality of your work in this job, which is why all ambulance staff have a duty to challenge racism, sexism, sectarianism, homophobia (etc…) wherever they find it.

    I would find it difficult to work with such a person, but I would also ensure that I “do the right thing” and follow policy to the letter to cover my arse.

    David

  50. Take this example: 'John is cheating on his wife, so I don't believe anything he says about the stock market'. Who's to say John isn't a brilliant and ethical share dealer?This is an example of what philosophers call the 'ad hominem fallacy'. It's an invalid argument based on premises about the person's character to deduce a conclusion that is unrelated to those premises.

    Concluding that the BNP EMT would have to be reported/sacked/''watched'' on the basis of his/her membership of the BNP seems to be an example of the ad hominem fallacy.

    I think if you were to have a strong and valid case, you'd need to base it on something else.

    For example, if you caught him/her refusing to treat someone on the basis of their race.

    Of course, I'm implictly assuming that it would be the race issue that came up, which shows an element of bias on my part.

    It could just as well be that he/she wasn't following safety procedures properly.

    Either way, these examples could apply to anyone, not just BNP members, which shows that the real issue at stake here is one of performing duty, which is something we can apply equally and fairly to everyone.

  51. I'd work with them, but I'd probably tell them that I only look white, genetically I'm black african then proceed to lear at hunky young men out of the window of the ambulance, before mentioning that I'm only Susan at weekends. You don't have to be a psychiatrist to mess with people's heads.

  52. Fraid Id have to report it to management. Infact I definately would. If your going to be working with vunerable people, racism is probably not a good charactoristic. For instance if this person were to attend say an RTC, In the car is a white person and a black person. Offcourse you would use Triage. But say our BNP loving collegue were to deprioritise someone because of the Color, Race, Religion of the casualty. Its not on, I would probably have a quiet word with management and raise the issues.

  53. I'm in the civil service and I work with people who hold a wide range of personal political views. I (and everyone else) sometimes work on policies I don't agree with, it doesn't mean I don't do my best at those because being impartial is an essential part of my job. I would avoid taking a post in an area where I knew that would be happening all the time because it wouldn't make me very happy! So I certainly don't think it's out of the question that this person could put a work head on and do the right thing at work. However, attitudes do tend to have a behavioural component which may not even be conscious, so I still think it would be right to be vigilant when lives are potentially at stake!

  54. Just because s/he is a BNP member doesn't necessarily imply that s/he is a racist (though evidence may suggest a high(er) chance of that being the case).Even if s/he is a racist, there are many ways that racism may manifest itself. Perhaps they believe that ethnic minorities shouldn't have highly paid jobs, for example. But they might still believe that they have the right to medical treatment.If the person in question has joined the ambulance service, presumably s/he has passed the necessary training and is capable of doing the job.You would only have grounds to report him/her if you had reason to believe that s/he was not doing the job.

  55. Hiya,respectfully, I still don't agree – not with tolerating fascists, but your other points – but I have no stomach for defending someone (even one who doesn't exist!) who is in the BNP. So I'll bow outta this one, on the basis I really don't give a flying jump about this hypothetical person, and cannot pretend otherwise. To take the debate on from there is not something I've signed up for in life, as I have better uses for my energy than argue people's right to believe utter cr4p, such as racism and national destiny.

  56. Hi Tom & everyone,two comments:

    FIRST: Wow! I am immensly happy that so many posters refuse to judge an induvidual by his membership in any group. The days when people were condemned simply for being Black Communist, Right wing, etc… seem far away. We should, I think, try to deal with each induvidual on their own, juging them by their own acts and opinions. So, I would not report this to LAS (what exactly could they do anyway?).

    Of course, voluntary membership of a group is an act the induvidual may be at fault for. Why join the BNP? There may be many reasons the induvidual joined the BNP besides racism. Personally, I would typically think less of anyone who voluntarily supported a racist group, even if they didn't go along with the racism themselves.

    SECOND, I'm disappointed that so many people underestimate the horror of the BNP. It has a new image, but it was set up explicitly as a racist group, with racism as its primary policy. “We are 100 per cent racist, yes” said the deputy leader in 1993. “Mein Kampf is my bible” said the founder. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/programmes/2001/bnp_special/default.stm or the simialr channel 4 documentary for more. This group is nasty.

    So I might not want to work with someone from the BNP, though I would tolerate them (and have had to). It doesn't help that BNP policy would be that my wife and I would be deported and my “mixed race children” would be considered “the most tragic victims of enforced multi-racism” according to Nick Griffin. For the BNP, I am not welcome in this country, my home. IF this induvidual supported such views, then I would probably not be comfortable spending much of my time with them. Would you?

  57. Well, one of the candidates for the RIBA presidency (Royal Institute of British Architects) was 'outed' as a BNP member before the election, and it was splashed all over the press. However, his manifesto (for the presidency) was very appealing, especially to sole practicioners or very small practices, which I understand make up 80% of the RIBA membership. Unfortunately, all this was eclipsed by the fact he was a member of the BNP. If he had stuck to his manifesto, he would have made an excellent president. Who knows? He didn't win (although 20% of the votes were for him).Now we're stuck with a London-centric, big practice favouring bloke who is a career politician first and an architect second.

    My point is that you cannot take someone's beliefs at face value – who knows, they may do an excellent job, given the chance.

  58. Yes, good plan. Let's ostracise others on the basis of their beliefs.We should start with St John's Ambulance. Many of these people are fully paid up members of extremist religious organisations, such as Christianity.

    These people, who deny equality on the basis of sexuality and gender, should clearly not be permitted to … blah blah.

    …except, that's all total bollocks isn't it? Just as you can't tar the SJA lot with the same brush as fundamentalist Christians, so you can't generalise about someone who votes for a certain political party.

    On the other hand, anyone, whether Christian (catholic/protestant), Atheist, BNP, Green party, Sunderland supporter or whatever, who allowed his personal beliefs to get in the way of saving lives, quite clearly deserves to be roasted over the coals.

    But so long as they do their jobs right, you ABSOLUTELY CANNOT take action against someone on the basis of their internal or expressed beliefs.

    Imagine the outcry if a PETA member refused to help the head of a large multinational conglomerate, or refused to give out any drugs tested on animals (that is, all of them).

    But, imagine the outcry if that possibility caused anyone who voted green to be prevented from getting the job.

    “It appears that management do not know this” to me, says that his work is professional enough that it has never been questioned. That's good enough. In which case, what business is it of theirs what party he votes for? If someone reported it, without any basis for saying that it detracted from his work, then should management have the right to record that fact on his personnel file? I think not.

    I found the assumptions in the question worrying. Should we put cameras into voting booths and publicly report and record everyone's votes, so that those who vote for extremist parties can be prevented from getting improper jobs?

  59. I have read the entire BNP manifesto,while they are for a “Britain for the British people” and do have a “Throw the imigrants out” stance,the do state that they are NOT racist.I can certainly agree with allot of their views,we are a tiny island and our government resources cannot supply us with services we need aswell as for XXX thousand imigrants who have come over for a free house,teeth,glasses,hearing aid and medical care for free,without putting a single penny in the coffers.Or even european imigrants from poor countries who come here get a back hander job,use all the services while there here,not pay a penny in tax and then take a few thousands quid back home with them after a year or so,in their country the pound is worth about 100 times what it is here,it ruins our economy.Everyone is open to their own views and opinions,if the bloke I worked with did his job well and treated people in the correct manner then no problems,but if he started bringing his issues to work,then it would be straight upstairs to the management.Unfortunately I have worked with many weird people who used to come into work and bring all their issues with them instead of leaving them at home.

    One bloke I worked with,a machinist,used to come in on a Monday and hated being at work so much,and had issues at home that he would start shouting and throwing things around and intimidating other staff,management just used to watch him do it,they were too scared to say or do anything,it took 5 years to get rid of him in the end.

    SO LEAVE YOUR ISSUES AT HOMe AND EVERYONE WILL GET ON FINE

    I used to get idiots at work having arguments over the local town football teams,there is no need for it,and we're no interested.

    If people can act properly and proffesionally they should be sacked IMMEDIATELY,it just ruins the working environment,some job I dreaded going to,not because the job was but,but because of the headcases I had to work with.

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