Monday, April 16, 2012
Muslim taxi driver dumps British family out of his cab after spotting an unopened bottle of wine -- saying it was against his religion
A Muslim cab driver has been fired after he threw out a family carrying an unopened bottle of wine because he said 'it's against my religion.'
Adrian Cartwright, 46, had hired the taxi to take his family out for dinner at an Indian restaurant near Oldham, Greater Manchester. But before they could make the five-minute journey the driver, in his 20s, spotted the bottle of white wine and promptly refused to take them. The family was turfed out onto the pavement and he drove off.
On his Facebook page a furious Mr Cartwright wrote: 'We all got inside the car and the driver said: "Is that alcohol?’"When I said ‘yes’ he replied: ‘I am sorry but I can’t allow it in my cab – it’s against my religion’. 'I knew it wasn’t worth arguing so we had to get out.'
He added: 'The meal I had that evening was a Halal meal, whose methods I don’t agree with, but tolerate out of respect. 'I expect anyone offering a public service to do the same, and will be contacting the licensing department to suggest that the driver is politely asked to do so, or hand his badge back.'
He also complained to the driver's employer Borough Taxis, who have around 70 Muslim drivers, and within half an hour he was sacked. The company's former chairman, Fazal Rahim, who has also driven for them for almost a quarter of a century, said the driver's attitude was unprofessional.
'I am a practising Muslim, like a lot of the drivers. This was not a decision based on race or religion, however, but about being a professional taxi driver,' Mr Rahim said. 'As taxi drivers, we cannot be moral policemen. If I picked a customer up from a pub, should I ask him if he has been drinking? Of course not.
'We need to provide a great service to our customers and as a company we have prided ourselves on that for many years. I don’t know the lad in question but I can only put this down to youthful ignorance. 'We take people wherever they need to go, whether to a pub, church, mosque or synagogue.'
The family had booked the cab so they could go out and celebrate Easter Sunday together.
The taxi company has apologised to Mr Cartwright and his family and explained why the cabbie must be sacked.
'We would like to apologise to Mr. Cartwright and his family for any upset or offence caused. Borough taxis would also like to inform customers past and present that we do not agree with the actions of the driver,' they said in a statement.
'As soon as the directors heard of the incident an emergency meeting was held and the driver was dismissed with immediate effect only 30 minutes after the incident occurred.'
Fightback against Britain's daft 'elf and safety rules as myth busting panels brought in
Ministers have set up a new myth-busting panel to help the public fight council health and safety jobsworths.
From today, people will be able to contact the panel if they feel they have been stopped from doing something on spurious 'health and safety' grounds.
The 'Myth Busters Challenge Panel' will then provide advice on whether regulations have been misused - allowing the victim to challenge their council over 'daft' decisions.
To mark the announcement, the Health and Safety Executive published a list of decisions the new panel would challenge, including office workers banned from putting up decorations, trapeze artists ordered to wear hard hats and graduates warned not to throw their mortar board hats in the air.
Top of the 'ten worst myths' were children being banned from playing conkers unless they are wearing goggles.
The panel, chaired by HSE chairman Judith Hackitt, will offer advice to anyone affected by such 'ridiculous' decisions. Ministers hope adverse publicity from the panel's findings will lead to bad decisions being reversed.
The idea is to separate legitimate decisions to protect people from real risks from those not required in health and safety law. This will allow decisions by insurance companies, local authorities and employers among others to be contested.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said: 'All too often jobsworths are the real reason for daft health and safety decisions. We want people who are told they cannot put up bunting or they cannot play conkers to know that there is no basis in law for such rulings.
'Common sense is the key to successful health and safety. The Myth Busters Challenge Panel will advise people where they think local authorities, insurance companies or schools have got it wrong.'
The HSE 'top ten' list includes occasions where health and safety legislation has been invoked wrongly by overzealous council officials.
They include 'pin the tail on the donkey' games being deemed a health and safety risk; and candy floss on a stick being banned in case people trip and impale themselves.
According to the HSE, some councils have banned hanging baskets in case someone bangs their heads on them, and schoolchildren have been ordered to wear clip-on ties in case they are choked by traditional neckwear.
In other cases, flip flops have been banned from the workplace for being a trip hazard; and park benches have been replaced because they are three inches too low.
Ms Hackitt said: 'Over the years we've seen health and safety invoked - wrongly - in defence of some pretty absurd decisions.
'When people hear about children being ordered to wear goggles to play conkers or the dangers of candy floss on a stick it undermines public confidence in the true task of health and safety, which is to manage serious risks to life and limb in Britain's workplaces.
'I am determined that the panel will help to put the spotlight on the worst health and safety myths and ensure that people give an honest account for their decisions.' Issues can be raised through the HSE website's complaints page.
Freedom of association, even for Augusta National
by Jeff Jacoby
NOW THAT the 2012 Masters Tournament is over, the hounds of political correctness have stopped baying at Augusta National Golf Club over its membership policies. The gender-grievance industry is moving on, looking for a new target to harangue.
Yet as the Augusta National brouhaha recedes, there are some things I wonder about.
To begin with, why would a Republican candidate for president weigh in on an issue as insignificant as whether a private Georgia golf club offers membership to women?
No one was surprised that President Obama wanted the world to know he disapproves of Augusta National's policy. This is a president, after all, who has made a point of rebuking everyone from Cambridge police to "millionaires and billionaires" to Supreme Court justices.
But why did Mitt Romney offer an opinion? "If I could run Augusta," he told reporters in Pennsylvania, "which isn't likely to happen, of course I'd have women into Augusta." What he should have said is that it isn't the job of the president -- or a would-be president -- to pass judgment on the lawful choices made by private individuals and organizations. When Romney is asked about the Mormon Church's policies, he firmly declines to comment. "You're going to have to go talk to the Church and ask what they think about that," he recently told an interviewer. He should have given a similar response when asked about Augusta National. It isn't necessary to turn everything in American life into a political issue. How refreshing it would have been to hear the GOP frontrunner say so.
Then there is the clanging double standard that treats Augusta National's no-women membership policy as an egregious offense against common decency, while serenely overlooking -- or even embracing -- institutions that exclude men.
At a pre-tournament press conference last week, reporters hectored Augusta National's chairman, Billy Payne, about the message his club's rules supposedly convey. "Don't you think it would send a wonderful message to young girls around the world," wondered Lawrence Donegan of The Guardian, "if they knew that one day they could join this very famous golf club?" Karen Crouse of The New York Times demanded to know what Payne would tell his own granddaughters. "How would you explain leading a club that does not include female membership?"
Unlike the reporters, Payne resisted the temptation to grandstand. Perhaps he figured it would be futile, amid so much PC sanctimony, to observe that the existence of a men's golf club -- like the existence of the Ladies Professional Golf Association -- is not something that has to be "explained." Still, the point cannot be made often enough: If we wish to live in a free and diverse society, freedom of association is indispensable.
Not all discrimination is invidious. Coed golf clubs -- like coed gyms, coed colleges, coed business networks, and coed summer camps -- are great for those who value them. And all-male or all-female venues are great for those who value them. Augusta National should no more be pressured to admit women as members than Wellesley College or the Daughters of the American Revolution or the Junior League should be pressured to admit men. In athletics, education, and recreation, such a multiplicity of options makes America richer, not poorer. Billy Payne's granddaughters are far better off growing up in a country that has room for them all.
In the commotion over Augusta National's membership policy, much was made of the fact that IBM, a sponsor of the Master's Tournament, is now headed by a woman, Virginia Rometty. Previous IBM CEOs had been offered club membership, the critics said; how could Augusta National do any less for Rometty?
In reality, the elevation of a woman to the helm of IBM is just more evidence of how inconsequential this whole ginned-up flap really is. It used to be said that without access to elite social clubs like Augusta National, women could never penetrate the "old boys' network" and its monopoly on power. Tell that to Ginni Rometty and the countless other women who wield influence in America. We live in an era when women are senators, governors, and Supreme Court justices; when they lead giant corporations and are awarded Nobel prizes; when they are space-shuttle commanders and Ivy League presidents. Unlike their mothers and grandmothers, American women today can succeed at virtually anything. Why would any serious person fret over what a golf club does?
South Australia: Churches and religious schools fight to maintain homosexual ban
CHURCHES are battling to keep their right to refuse to employ gay, lesbian and transgender people.
The Federal Government has thrown open for debate the laws which exempt religious organisations from court action if they refuse to employ or have as volunteers gay, lesbian and transgender people - if this conflicts with the organisation's religious beliefs, reported The Advertiser.
Many religious groups no longer discriminate when they employ people but some have bans, most commonly in the employment of teachers.
South Australian Equal Opportunity Commissioner Anne Burgess said if the exemption to discriminate was continued, it should be limited to jobs directly involving spiritual or religious activities.
"A number of people are saying the ability of religious groups to discriminate should be reduced to a minimum, so it should only be appropriate if it is a person teaching religion or carrying out some religious duty," she said. "When it comes to whether the cleaner or the librarian (is gay, lesbian or transgender) why should it matter?"
The Labor Party made a 2010 election promise to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in a consolidation of anti-discrimination laws.
The religious exemption is the most contentious of the 30 questions proposed by the Federal Government in public consultation.
Question 22 states: "How might religious exemptions apply in relation to discrimination and gender identity?"
Many church groups have defended the need to discriminate including the Australian Catholics Bishop Conference, which has told the Federal Government: "The right to freedom of conscience and religion should be upheld as there is scope for the attributes of sexual orientation and gender identity to undermine the freedom of Catholic bodies to have the right to employ or admit those who are committed to Catholic teachings and beliefs".
Uniting Care Wesley Adelaide spokesman Mark Henley said the organisation did not believe the right to discriminate was needed.
The South Australian Bar Association, in its submission by president Mark Livesey QC, says: "A religious organisation which is contracted by the government to provide a welfare service should not be permitted to discriminate by refusing to employ homosexual or lesbian staff."
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.