Respect where it's not due

Independent: Man sacked for belief in psychics backed by judge (but, of course, he knew that would happen)

A police worker who was sacked because he believed psychics can help solve criminal investigations is to go to court today to defend his right to legal protection from religious discrimination…

In Mr Power's case Judge Peter Russell, sitting at Manchester Employment Tribunal, said: "I am satisfied that the claimant's beliefs that there is life after death and that the dead can be contacted through mediums are worthy of respect in a democratic society and have sufficient cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance to fall into the category of a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 [Employment Equality (Religion or Belief)] Regulations."

Read the judge's words carefully: "beliefs that there is life after death and that the dead can be contacted through mediums are worthy of respect in a democratic society".


While we should respect everyone's right to hold whatever crackpot beliefs they might choose, to say that such beliefs are worthy of respect is utter nonsense. For example, the BNP's Nick Griffin is fully entitled to believe whatever racist horse crap he likes—and I would defend his right to do so—but to say that his beliefs are worthy of respect is, as I said, bollocks.

I find it rather worrying that a judge—or, rather, the English legal system—apparently can't see the difference.

Mr Power, your religious beliefs are nuttier than squirrel shit, but you are perfectly entitled to hold them.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. I have never got this 'respect' thing. In my last few jobs they've always made a big thing about their equality and diversity policies - which is a good thing in theory, BUT in practice, what would have meant instant dismissal for one employer is tolerated for another - not very equal.

    An example - Despite not declaring his religious beliefs upon employment a chap - just after he'd completed the usual 3 month probation period - suddenly remembered he was deeply religious and had to take every Friday off for prayer meetings. When the office secretary happened to meet him in a supermarket at the time he was meant to be there no action was taken apart from a scolding. I've nothing against religion (apart from being stupid and a waste of time that is), but so many companies are having to deal with multicultural issues for the first time that they get the balance and sense of it all wrong. I might insist that I'm gay and need Friday afternoon off so I can nap before a night out clubbing - they daren't refuse...

  2. Capt Beefheart claimed tohave telepathic powers: In an interview, he was asked if he had spoken to John Peel recently. He replied 'yes, I phoned him but he was out'.

  3. Also, it's one thing to make a fuss about wearing a cross or a bed sheet, which in the end only marks you out as an irrational weirdo but this policetwat actually believes something that will be wasting police time. And worse than the time, it may well compromise criminal investigations.

    The god botherers may well have faith in a magic man who lives in the sky but generally they seem to understand that while he listens to and answers every prayer, if you ask him where where the body is, he is surprisingly taciturn.

  4. Nice blog, I'll be back for another read.

    I was sorry to read about your Mum. My family also share some great memories of Anglesey.


    PS. I found your blog by searching for fish names ! Can you believe it ?! It returned this page in case you're interested...

  5. What gets me is use of three words: 'cogency', 'seriousness', and 'cohesion'. Did this judge go to school at all?Does heown a dictionary?

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