Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Freedom of speech again

I posted recently on the readiness with which employers will trample self righteously over human rights legislation. This is just such an example. Mr David Forster, who works for Yorkshire Ambulance Trust, said a number of things on a facebook discussion that his employers took exception to, and he has apparently been disciplined according to the Trust’s internal procedures.

There are five David Forsters on Facebook none of whom has an open profile. It is therefore arguable that his comments constituted a private communication and the Trust had no business acquiring it, let alone taking action against him. Their action probably breaches article 8, (right to private life and privacy of correspondence) of the human rights act.

Secondly his comments were not specific to any individual, made in a private setting and represented expression of opinion, which he has every right to do. If disciplinary action really has been carried out then this is nothing short of bullying and it is a shame that Mr Forster has taken the easy course of meekly submitting to this bullying.

What Mr Forster said was “The NHS has no shame in employing too many who are lazy, unproductive, obstinate, militant, aggressive at every turn and who couldn't secure a job anywhere outside the bloated public sector where mediocrity is shielded by weak and unprincipled HR policies.

I have to say that in my view Mr Forster’s comments are not without a degree of accuracy and I can certainly think of a few individuals who this could easily apply to.

The (acting) chief executive of the Trust is one Simon Worthington. It is he who must, by virtue of his position, be considered responsible for interference with Mr Forster’s convention rights, which is unlawful as well as bullying behaviour.

Shame on you Mr Worthington.

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