Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TUC calls for Christian to be sacked from Equality and Human Right Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission was established by the Equality Act 2006, bringing together the three existing UK equality commissions - the Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Disability Rights Commission. During this process of rationalisation, the Government placed three new strands of human rights under the aegis of the EHRC - age, sexual orientation and religious belief.

According to the Trades Union Congress, no Christian (apart from he nominal variety) could possibly defend the rights of the oppressed, and they have therefore called for Joel Edwards, director of the Evangelical Alliance, to be removed as an Equality and Human Rights Commissioner.

The motion was moved by one Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah, who was ‘appalled’ by his appointment, and even moreso that he retains the support of the EHRC chairman, Trevor Phillips. She said: ‘Joel Edwards has clearly stated that same sex relationships are morally wrong and sinful. How on earth is he going to look at gay and lesbian issues when he has made a career out of opposing equality for LGBT people?’

She asked how people would respond ‘if he was to say the same thing about disabled people, Muslims, or older people, saying it would not be tolerated’.

And she is firmly of the view that ‘his appointment has distorted the concept of human rights’, and the Conference, which represents 6.5 million members in the UK, agreed to campaign for the immediate removal of Mr Edwards from his position.

The curious dimension of Ms Opoku-Gyimah’s perspective is that she presents Mr Edwards and the EA s being stridently ‘anti-gay’, ‘anti-equality’ and therefore ‘anti-justice’. Certainly, the organisation gave evidence to a House of Commons committee opposing the new crime of ‘incitement to violence on the grounds of sexual orientation’. But this was concerned with issues of religious liberty and freedom of expression. And certainly they also opposed the Sexual Orientation Regulations - which ensure equality of gay, lesbian and bisexual people when accessing goods and services- but, again, on the grounds of religious and civil liberties.

There appears to be an insistence by the TUC that all Equality Commissioners must share the same outlook and the same beliefs. This Marxist strategy is designed eradicate the expression of a range of views and opinions, and to silence debate, especially that which may relate to an expression of Christian orthodoxy.

According to her biography, Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah is proud of being ‘a black woman, a mother, a partner, a daughter, a friend, a sister, a full-time civil servant, a dog owner, an events coordinator / part of an executive committee for a voluntary organisation and not forgetting a Black Member Rep for PCS Proud’.

Apparently, she is a civil servant. One wonders which sorts of civilians she would be incapable of serving. After all, she could not possibly assist or represent the views of heterosexual white males, fathers, married couples, sons, brothers or cat owners.

Cranmer thinks she ought to be sacked from the civil service for failing to uphold its principles of anti-discrimination and tolerance of religious minorities, and for her manifest prejudice towards Mr Edwards for daring to be a Christian.

And, finally, why did she not propose a motion at the 2006 TUC Conference to demand the sacking of Ruth Kelly after Tony Blair appointed her as Equalities Minister? Is it because Mrs Kelly is a woman, a mother, a sister... and Labour?


Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

Any struggle for rights of any kind has been one of the people against the tyranny and oppression of the powers that be.

These commissions are meaningless because they are run by the tyrants and oppressors we have struggled against in the first place and they take the laws that are meant to keep Governing bodies in check and turn those laws into a tool of Government used to keep the people in check.

10 September 2008 at 15:45  
Anonymous narcissa said...

The whole ridiculous Equality edifice should be demolished.

Not entirely unrelatedly, did Your Grace happen to see Peter Tatchell on Newsnight, accusing Rome of being homophobic for wishing to disinter the earthly remains of Cardinal Newman and rebury them somewhere more accessible as part of the canonisation procedure?

Some people just go round looking for things to complain about.

10 September 2008 at 15:50  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mrs/Miss/Ms Narcissa,

His Grace did not see Newsnight, but is preparing to comment on the event when the Cardinal is beatified.

10 September 2008 at 15:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,
as a retired, white, British, male, cat-loving Christian, I would like Joel Edwards to continue to represent MY views to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, if and when the necessity should arise.

Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah is the one who is being intolerant, and should be castigated by the Commission for her views.

10 September 2008 at 16:29  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

it just goes to show how fascism works , they claim equality , but then denounce what isnt in there book of equality .

they perscribe but do not debate or understand the issue .

all are equal before god even Phylis Opoku-Gyimah if she cared but study the creed

10 September 2008 at 17:16  
Blogger Frugal Dougal said...

Your Grace,

I agree heartily with your comparison of Ms Opoku-Gyimah’s opposition against Joel Edwards with her silence about Ruth Kelly.

And I would like to add that, as a married, heterosexual, cat-loving, Christian cyber-reactionary, I can't wait for the day when eejits like this are put against the wall and we hire civil servants who recognise the difference between reality and the Scotch mist in their heads.

Yours obediently,

Frugal Dougal

10 September 2008 at 17:17  
Anonymous len said...

Phyllis opok-Gyimah has made a mockery of the whole human rights issue.
The bizzare thing is she can`t see she is doing the very thing she is critisising!.

10 September 2008 at 18:02  
Anonymous Katy said...

"some people just go round looking for things to complain about"

Well quite. And only this month there was an article in Activate, the magazine for PCS reps, which explained succinctly what religious discrimination was. I'm surprised that Ms Opok-Gyimah clearly hasn't read it. There can be no clearer definition of prejudice than this woman's actions in deciding, in advance of any evidence to the contrary, that he must be bad at his job simply because of his faith.

I feel a letter to Activate's editorial team coming on.....

10 September 2008 at 18:55  
Anonymous Katy said...

Sorry - red mist descended. That should read 'in advance of any evidence,'

10 September 2008 at 18:57  
Blogger Jomo said...

I doubt if any honest person would serve on this rididulous quangoe.

I'll vote for anyone who proposes to sack all of these commissars no matter their race,religion, gender,or sexual orientation.

They are all grievance hustlers dedicated to biting the hands that feed them.For a prime example look at the current farce at New Scotland Yard.

In any case Your Grace, I don't think anyone sensible still takes the dinosaurs at the TUC seriously.

10 September 2008 at 19:02  
Anonymous Gladiatrix said...

If Your Grace really wishes to pursue this matter, the correct approach is a formal letter of complaint to Sir Gus O'Donnell the current Head of the Civil Service.

10 September 2008 at 21:43  
Blogger John M Ward said...

Like Frugal Dougal, I too am a cat-loving cyber-geek, white, middle-aged, and asexual. I don't think anyone in Britain's officialdom would be interested in any kind of 'equality' for me, but I cope nonetheless...

We really do need far less of this so-called equality agenda, and perhaps none of it at all. It is all very silly, expensive, and almost certainly does far more harm than good.

Meanwhile, if we must have this particular outfit, then I am all in favour of Joel Edwards staying in post. So there!

10 September 2008 at 23:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading Ms Opoku-Gyimah’s resume, on her web page, verifies that she is a total waste of space holding down a non-job.

Why such a non entity figures in any public debate is beyond me.

11 September 2008 at 00:20  
Anonymous Voyager said...


11 September 2008 at 06:10  
Blogger Jomo said...


Obviously her CV makes her a perfect candidate to replace Mr Edwards when the campaign succeeds, or am I being cynical?

11 September 2008 at 08:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look forward to reading, in due course, of the massive payout Ms Opoku-Gyimah is awarded to compensate her for the "stress" she has had to endure as a result of the "persecution" that followed her comments.

11 September 2008 at 10:02  
Anonymous Torymory said...

Does the Commision employ Muslims? I am sure it does.

I don't recall Islam being happy about homosexuality (in Muslim theocracies like Iran they hang them from cranes).

I trust therefore, in the interests of equality and fairness Muslim employees will also be hounded out of the organisation.

And while we are at it, don't a lot of Hindus believe in the Cast system - no equality there - so let's get rid of Hindus as well as Muslims and Christians!

11 September 2008 at 13:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always I can see both sides of the argument. Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah, stated that "Joel Edwards has clearly stated that same sex relationships are morally wrong and sinful." If this is true I would be worried about his prejudices affecting some situations. Of course I would also like to hear Joel Edwards defend his position in his own words.

I understand that we have a rich mixture of opinions in this world, but when personal religious beliefs start to interfere with the law of the land, there could be a slight conflict of interest. If a Muslim held this position (whether it is a ridiculous quangoe or not) and made public comments about his personal beliefs that women should not be employed or be allowed to show their faces in public, there would undoubtedly be a public out-cry.

Although it is true that Ms Opoku-Gyimah does not perhaps fully represent the views of - let's say - retired, white, British, male, cat-loving Christians, I am not aware that she has made any public statements that would suggest she holds any personal or religious beliefs that show prejudice against the aforementioned. The mere fact that she says she is "a black woman, a mother, a partner, a daughter, a friend, a sister, a full-time civil servant and a dog owner" does not immediately imply that she belongs to a religious sect which denounces the rights of any particular group of people not listed. If of course she had publicly claimed that all cat owners were morally wrong and sinful, then I might feel inclined to protest that she be removed from the civil service.

15 September 2008 at 19:55  
Anonymous Thismachine said...

It is depressing, though perhaps unsurprising, that a person's superstitious "beliefs" can so infect their ability to understand plain language and logic.

I don't see anything in what Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah said that even comes close to being discriminatory against Christians.

What she does do is comment on the discriminatory language of someone who identifies himself as a Christian - and whose discriminatory practices stem from his Christianity.

And, for record, it's not a Marxist approach to close down debate. That would be fascist, or Stalinist. Marxist theory thrives on debate because it's based on dialectical materialism: the process of development (knowledge and progress) through the collision of opposites.

17 September 2008 at 12:43  

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