Why the PC Brigade is making Britain less tolerant

The Rotherham Council/UKIP case is just another symptom of the intolerance and contempt displayed by the politically correct towards ordinary people

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Rotherham: In the headlines for all the wrong reasons
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Alistair Thompson
On 28 November 2012 12:49

On Saturday we learnt that two foster carers from Rotherham had the three children they were looking after removed – their crime, membership of the UK Independence Party.

But as our political leaders scrambled to denounce this latest incident as a "one off" the sad truth is that it is anything but. Indeed these cases are occurring with an alarming regularity and show that Britain has become a less tolerant country. What is more, the fingerprints of Messers Cameron, Clegg, and Miliband are clearly visible.

Less than two years ago the PM branded UKIP members “fruitcakes, loonies, and closet racists”. The clear implication is that UKIP is no better than far-right groups like the British National Party (BNP), or English Defence League (EDL).

Is it any wonder that social workers, who have had years of state-backed equality training and indoctrination, think they can act with impunity against UKIP supporters, since, just like the PM, they see them as swivel-eyed head bangers, not fit to be parents?

But this is just the latest example of the establishment's increasing intolerance.

Just a fortnight ago former housing manager Adrian Smith, from Trafford, had to take his employers, the Trafford Housing Trust, to the High Court for breach of contract. Mr. Smith, who had been demoted and had his wages docked by 40 percent for posting a comment on his private Facebook about the government's plans – saying he thought gay marriage in churches was an "equality too far" – won his case. Despite winning, and being awarded ‘token’ damages, the Trust has made clear that they will not reinstate Mr. Smith to his former role.

Despite Mr. Smith’s legal victory, the Trafford Housing Trust feels that his demotion on the basis of what he describes as “his Christian faith and views” is and was justified. 

Where was the political outcry over this case? Has the PM issued a statement on Mr. Smith’s case? No.

So what does the sad case of Adrian Smith have to do with the party leaders and Rotherham?

A couple of months ago, as Nick Clegg planned to host a taxpayer-funded event for those campaigning to redefine marriage, a draft speech was sent to the press in which opponents of the plans were labelled "bigots". The word, although removed from the final version, revealed what the Deputy PM really thinks of those who disagree with him.

Meanwhile those close to Mr Clegg have tried to dismiss the opponents of his plans as a handful of Christians – as if this means that we should treat their opinion as somehow less valid. And again, this attack underscores the contempt that the party leaders increasingly display to those who have a contrary to view to their own.

There are similar examples of intolerant language used by Labour. Gordon Brown famously branded Gillian Duffy a bigot for asking him about immigration. Under the new regime wealth creators are constantly attacked and vilified for their excesses and tax avoidance schemes. This position might be justifiable were it not for the fact that at the same time Mr. Miliband was accepting donations from those...avoiding tax on their earnings.

Far from making this country more equal and tolerant, our political leaders have made matters worse. In part this is due to their willingness to junk the traditional views of their party to garner some sort of electoral advantage from a few voters in the crowded centre. But it is also due to a constant drive to define, in the tightest possible way, what are acceptable views, thoughts, deeds, or actions.  

It is this Orwellian approach that is making a repeat of a Rotherham-type case much more likely. Coupled with this, the three party leaders have actively perpetuated the view that everybody who has contrary views to their own must be NIMBYs, racists, bigots, extremists, plain bonkers, or a mix of the lot.

So while they constantly appeal for rational and mature debate, peel back the veneer of grown-up politics and you expose the politics of the school yard, where these cheap insults are seen as the trump cards. Rather than win on the substantive issue, far better to smear people and shut down debate.

But the counter-productive strategy of silencing debate merely drives the disaffected and disillusioned into the arms of those they despise, hence the recent polling figures of UKIP – now consistently running at around 10 percent.

A recent poll by the European Commission across all member states found the UK was now more likely to discriminate against those with a “religion or belief” than the EU average. By a clear 11 percent, half of those polled said discrimination on the grounds of religion and belief was widespread. And this figure has increased over recent years.  At the same time the poll found discrimination on grounds of sex, sexuality, age, and disability were the same, or less than the EU average.

So all the time the party leaders continue to preach intolerance, branding their opponent with cheap insults, serious debate will continue to be limited and more people will be persecuted for their beliefs – religious or otherwise. 

Alistair Thompson is the Managing Director of Media Intelligence Partners

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