Retired Anglican archbishop blasts British PM for going back on his promise as UK lawyers fight for a ban on crosses at work
A former Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday accused David Cameron of going back on his promise to support the rights of Christians to wear a cross in the workplace.
Just five months ago the Prime Minister insisted that Christians should be allowed to display a token of their faith, yet his Government lawyers are now preparing to tell European human rights judges the opposite.
They will call on the European Court of Human Rights to reject the arguments of former British Airways check-in clerk Nadia Eweida and NHS hospital nurse Shirley Chaplin, who have asked the court to rule that they should have been allowed to wear a cross with their uniforms.
Lord Carey, who stepped down from Lambeth Palace in 2002, said yesterday: ‘Sadly, the Government has passed up its opportunity to support the right of Christians to express their faith and have a reasonable accommodation in the law for freedom of conscience.
‘It is now down to the European Court. In these cases, Christians are not seeking special rights but merely trying to overturn unfair verdicts which create a hierarchy of rights in which Christians are at the bottom of the pile.’
Mr Cameron told a gathering of Christian leaders in April that ‘the values of Christianity are the values that we need’ and Downing Street added that ‘the Prime Minister has made it clear that his view is that people should be able to wear crosses.’
Lawyers briefed by the Government’s Equality Minister Lynne Featherstone are to speak against the right to wear the cross in this week’s Strasbourg test case which concerns the rights of four Christians to follow their faith at work.
Alongside the cases of Miss Eweida and Mrs Chaplin, the European judges will also hear the cases of Lilian Ladele, who was sacked from her job as a registrar because she declined to conduct civil partnership ceremonies, and Gary McFarlane, who was sacked as a Relate counsellor because he declined to give sex therapy to gay couples.
Both say that to help gay couples would run against their beliefs. All four have lost their pleas in British courts and tribunals.
British Airways suspended Miss Eweida, 61, of Twickenham, in 2006 for breaching its uniform code by wearing a cross.
Mrs Chaplin, 56, of Exeter, left her job with the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation NHS Trust in 2009 after it ruled that her cross breached health and safety guidelines.
Government lawyers have deposited papers with the court, indicating they will say that wearing a cross is not something which Christian worship or faith demands but is a choice of the individual concerned.
Similarly, the lawyers will say that it is not necessary for Christians to demonstrate disapproval of gay relationships in order to maintain their faith.
They will also say that Christians who are told not to wear a cross at work can always find another job.
Utter bitch given only one year in jail by British judge
A "childminder" and thief who went very close to killing two children
A childminder has been jailed for locking two young children in a baking hot car while she went on a shoplifting spree.
When she was arrested for stealing from a supermarket, Anne Harries deliberately failed to mention the two-year-old girl and one-year-old boy to the police – condemning them to four hours alone in the sweltering vehicle.
The pair were only rescued after Harries’ husband arrived to collect her from the police station and asked her: ‘What have you done with the kids?’
On learning of the emergency, officers scrambled to find the youngsters. When they finally found Harries’ Vauxhall Vectra in the car park of the Co-Op supermarket in Wildwood, Stafford, the car’s windows were so steamed up with condensation it was impossible to see inside.
The police put a hole in one of the windows to allow the hot air to escape and to get inside. They found the two children drenched in sweat and red-faced from overheating. Paramedics immediately gave them fluid to rehydrate them before taking them to hospital. The little girl’s body temperature was almost three degrees above normal.
Harries, 51, an Ofsted-registered childminder of Cannock, Staffordshire, was jailed for one year after admitting two charges of child neglect and one of theft. Judge Simon Tonking also banned her from working with children indefinitely and described her act as a ‘gross breach of trust’.
He told her the offences were so grave he would be failing in his public duty not to impose an immediate prison sentence.
He said: ‘I accept your intention was to leave them for no more than a few minutes. ‘As it was, you didn’t return and minutes turned to hours and during that time, because there was no ventilation, that car became intolerably hot, so by the time they were rescued over four hours later, they were sweating profusely and dehydrated. The little girl’s temperature was abnormally high.
‘The effects were, fortunately, not lasting – the effect on their mothers was devastating.
‘Whilst you were at the police station, these mothers came to collect their children. Neither they nor you were there. ‘One mother described being sick with worry and they were shocked when told their children had been taken to hospital.’
Paul Farrow, prosecuting, told the court that Harries was arrested at the Co-Op on May 2 this year after being spotted stealing £13 worth of fruit and meat.
A constable asked her how she had travelled to the store and she said she had got a lift from a friend and would get the bus back.
She was taken to the police station, where a set of car keys was found on her and she said they were for a Vauxhall which she had left in the car park.
The custody sergeant spoke to her husband, expressing his concern and was told she was suffering from depression.
Only when her husband asked her what she had done with the children did Harries admit that she had left them in the car, but added: ‘It’s all right – they were asleep.’
When questioned, Harries said that when she got to the Co-Op, both children were fast asleep and she decided to ‘nip in’. She admitted stealing the items from the store, but thought she would be dealt with quickly.
Her mind went blank and she panicked and thought about the trouble she was in, finally apologising for what she did.
Mr Steven Bailey, defending, said Harries had written letters of apology to both sets of parents. ‘She knows it is not going to put things right,’ he said.
A medical report on Harries found that she was suffering from moderate to severe depression.
Deserted British husband snookers money-hungry ex-wife
After Scott Brown held his nerve to win £50,000 on Deal Or No Deal, he was determined that his estranged wife should not get a penny. But with only four months before the TV gameshow was screened and she found out about his windfall, the father-of-two knew he had to spend it fast.
The 33-year-old sign manufacturer and fitter said he used £15,000 to clear all the debts he and his wife Rachel, 29, had from credit card bills, loans and bank overdrafts.
After setting aside almost £2,000 to cover legal fees for his divorce, he bought clothing, toys and household items for their two young children.
Mr Brown also used some cash to ‘live off’, having being signed off from work because of ‘depression’. But he admits he spent most of the rest on ‘having a good time’, including an iPad, a holiday in Mexico and the outlay of £4,000 on a second-hand X-type Jaguar estate car.
The final part of his winnings went days before his own August 21 deadline to pay for an electrician’s course, so he could start a new career.
As it turned out, Mr Brown was right to suspect that his wife, who he says asked him for a divorce on Christmas Day last year when he allegedly found she had been having an affair with a truck driver she met over the internet, would want to cash in on his lucky break. As soon as the Channel 4 programme was broadcast, she went to court in a belated bid to ensure she received a share.
The case went before a district judge at Doncaster County Court last Thursday, when Mr Brown was ordered to detail in writing how the money was spent; an injunction imposed days earlier ordering him not to spend his winnings – if any remained – was kept in place; and the case was adjourned.
The couple, who are in the process of getting divorced, neither looked at or spoke to each other throughout the brief hearing.
Outside court, Mr Brown told the Daily Mail how the show, presented by Noel Edmonds, changed his life when he was at his lowest ebb, saying: ‘I was over the moon to have won that amount. I was told Rachel could lay claim to it so I decided, “She is not getting a penny”.’
Mr Brown married customer services adviser Rachel in the Dominican Republic in September 2009. The couple already had one child, now aged six, and decided to have another baby, now 22 months old.
The family moved to rent a bigger house near Doncaster but their debts began to mount.
Mr Brown said his wife told him late last year she ‘didn’t love him any more’ and by the time he found out he was going on the gameshow in April, Mr Brown had moved out and was sleeping on the floor of his cramped parents’ house.
He said he was ‘absolutely disgusted’ by his wife, saying: ‘How does she have the right to this money? My life has broken apart, I can’t see my kids every day any more and I have lost everything I have worked for over 11 years.’
Mrs Brown refused to comment.
DOJ Settles With Public Library Over E-Readers That ‘Exclude’ the Blind
The Justice Department recently targeted a Sacramento, California public library over a trial program that let patrons borrow Barnes and Noble “Nook” e-book readers, CNS News reported.
According to the Justice Department, the program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and was discriminating against the blind, because they cannot always use the devices. CNS News explains:
A DOJ official told CNSNews.com it interviewed a woman who could not participate in the library’s e-reader program due to her disability and concluded that the program had violated the ADA.
Amy Calhoun, an Electronic Resources Librarian at the Sacramento Public Library who helped launch the ebook reader project, said she was unaware of any objections from a blind person regarding the program. “I have not heard of a specific complaint directly from a patron,” she told CNSNews.com. “But I do know that patrons who are part of the statewide Braille and talking-book program do get in touch with us for audio books.” ....
As part of the settlement agreement, the Justice Department directed the library system to purchase at least 18 e-readers that are accessible to the blind, something that comes in the midst of budget cuts that have forced Sacramento libraries to implement one employee furlough day each month for two years.
The library says it will add iPod touch and iPad devices, which read e-books aloud with a computerized voice. [Emphasis added]
CNS News estimates the mandatory purchase will cost anywhere from roughly $3,500 to $15,000, depending on whether the library opts for the most basic or high-tech version of the devices.
But that’s not all.
The settlement agreement also directed the library not to buy any additional e-readers that “exclude” the blind or disabled, and required the library to train its staff on the requirements of the ADA.
“Emerging technologies like e-readers are changing the way we interact with the world around us and we need to ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded from the programs where these devices are used,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez in a news release.
The Department of Justice has come under heavy fire in recent years for, among other things, failing to investigate the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation, and for allowing guns to be trafficked into Mexico in Operation Fast and Furious.
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.