Something struck me about the latest jeremiad for free speech. The Archbishop Cranmer blog does an excellent job recounting the persecution of those who are open about their Christian beliefs, and I know it is difficult to say “persecution” when elsewhere in the world that word takes on its full horror, but in the genteel malevolence of the woke class there is a relentless attack which is aimed squarely at driving dissentient voices out of public life and Christians in particular.
Still, there was something that struck home in today’s post, “If a Christian doctor can be forced to deny biology, there is no hope for theology”.
– but also an opportunity to strike to resist
It was not the involvement of the egregious Piers Morgan – anyone who appears on his show must expect to be shouted at and insulted as that is his only approach. No, it is the ability to locate the enemy position.
In brief, Dr David Mackereth worked as a benefits assessor in the Department for Work and Pensions, and in the course of his employment he was required to attend a diversity training course. Most of us in the course even of a long career have no occasion to encounter these courses but somehow Government departments have been persuaded that they are a requirement. On the course the trainer asked Dr Mackereth ‘If you have a man, 6ft tall with a beard, who says he wants to be addressed as “she” and “Mrs”, would you do that?’, and he replied in all honesty “No”. We has sacked at once. He had not actually encountered a six-foot bearded man insisting on being called ‘Miss’, but the hypothetical approach was a sacking offence. Never mind that Dr Mackereth is a doctor who presumably knows more about biology that the whole DWP personnel department put together.
There is no Act of Parliament that refuses employment to those who disagree with a set of doctrinal formulae, not since the repeal of the Test Acts in 1828. Someone though is exercising power over the livelihoods of a great many men and women as if they had authority to impose such a statute.
Dr Mackereth’s case may be a rare example someone in a position to find out who is exercising the power. The diversity trainer exercised this pretended power, except that she or he did not effect the sacking as her formal authority does not go that far. Presumably she, or he reported the incident to a diversity officer, who used his or her influence. The personnel department actually issued the dismissal – either they agreed with the diversity officer or they were terrified of her: we ought to know. We can be pretty sure that such actions were not authorised by the Secretary of State, notwithstanding that he takes ultimate responsibility for his department.
It has got more murky though: first the Department seem to be saying that he was not sacked at all and simply disappeared from work, while in the middle is an agency, also being sued for discrimination. Getting any truth out of these cases is well nigh impossible, it seems. Somewhere though, in some corner there are names, names of those forcing their own opinions into the powers of the state, and someone with less integrity or intelligence than an experienced, Christian doctor.
Therefore who is in the frame: a diversity trainer and a diversity officer, a terrified agency clerk, but terrified of whom? It would be useful to hear their testimony. The personnel department too: did they make a decision, or do what they were told and by whom? Names are needed: names.
Next: if this goes to court someone will have to advise the Government legal service to pursue it, when they could easy say “Our mistake, welcome back, Doctor.” so who makes that decision?