Wednesday, January 27, 2010

When Security Goes Mad...

Today I was out in the freezing cold in central London, making a video for a client’s Website.
As a member of the NUJ, I know photographers and TV cameramen have been questioned by police while going about their legitimate business, on the grounds they may be planning a terrorist attack and are engaged in covert surveillance of public buildings, and joked we’d better be careful but in all honesty didn’t think the three of us involved, being middle-aged, middle class people clearly engaged in genuine work would have any problems.

In fact, we were questioned three times while filming on the Embankment. On the first occasion, three police constables approached us, one female WPC giving me a particularly hard and suspicious look. One of her colleagues asked whether we had permission to film? I have to confess I immediately saw red and replied that as it was a public place we didn’t need permission to film. They still insisted on ID nonetheless, although when my colleague had produced his NUJ card, they didn’t push for mine. The two subsequent approaches were rather more informal and friendly, but the fact is I see no reason why we should have been challenged at all.

Big Brother is not only ubiquitous, he is also sometimes very stupid and prejudiced. On the last flight I took, I was asked at security to remove my long shirt. I refused very politely on the grounds I was wearing very little underneath. This got me a jolly good frisking and the third degree. Yet as I was held up for what seemed to me a sufficient length of time to make me think twice about refusing requests to publically expose my underwear in future, a woman in a burkha sailed through completely unquestioned. Why? Well you can reach your own conclusions just as I have reached mine...

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christian Crucifix Case Not Worth Enormous Legal Fees, Lawyer Warns

Darren Sherborne, head of employment and partner at Rickerbys law firm, told Personnel Today the case - whereby devout Christian Nadia Eweida is claiming BA discriminated against her when she refused to remove her cross necklace at work - highlights employers' ability to "lose track of what's important." Absolutely right, BA were completely idiotic to try and stop her wearing it in the first place. But Ms Ewida is now being equally stubborn, pursuing her Employment Tribunal for religious discrimination in the Court of Appeal today. It's about time she stopped this legal gravy train and let it go; after all, she's had huge public and political support, was reinstated at work, saw BA change their policy, and has been wearing her Christian badge for three years now.

But I can't let this one go - please, headline writers, it's a CROSS, not a CRUCIFIX!! There is a difference...!

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Social Justice - The Need to Create a Global Movement

Next CEMVO seminar, Thursday 28th January at 3.30pm: ‘Social Justice: the need to create a Global movement,’ with Dr. Krishna Sarda, Chief Executive of Ethnic Minority Foundation, an independent organisation seeking to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice present in society.

Venue: - The Dining Room, The Civil Service Club, 13-15 Great Scotland Yard, Westminster, London SW1A 2HJ. Nearest tubes: Charing Cross and Embankment. See for more details

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