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As a Community Affairs Manager for an international telecoms group with a presence around the globe, Mr. Wilson is extremely naÃ¯ve to believe that posting such comments on a prominent website would not invoke a hostile response.
Having considered the facts, Mr. Wilson must be dismissed by his employer for the following reasons:
(1) Whilst we should all uphold freedom of speech, that freedom must be exercised responsibly. Following the official definition of racism, Mr. Wilsonâ€™s comments can clearly be defined as racist. They may also be an incitement to racial hatred. As such, there may be grounds for a criminal prosecution.
(2) His comments may be regarded as offensive to a variety of communities including followers of Islam, Palestinians, South Africans and Roman Catholics. As such, in addition to being considered racist in the former (presumably a breach of his terms of employment), he will be unable to effectively carry out his duties in fostering good relations with such groups, thus further breaching his terms of employment.
(3) His comments may be regarded as offensive to other groups such as teachers, social workers, employees of NGOâ€™s, those who would describe themselves as socialists and so forth. Indeed his views are not exclusively offensive to these groups, and may be considered offensive to all those who espouse tolerance and respect â€“ from all communities and all walks of life. This further enforces the breach of terms of employment raised above.
(4) The author appears to condone racism by asserting to be a racist is deemed as being â€œmuch worse than being violent, thoughtless or unkindâ€ – placing him at odds with his employer and contract of employment.
(5) This is added to by his comments on hate crime.
(6) Wilsonâ€™s comments in relation to equality, diversity and gender issues will likewise be at odds with his employer and breach his contract of employment.
(7) Responsible, I read, for consultation with communities, Mr. Wilson describes same as â€œa formal system for ignoring public views while patronising them at the same time.â€ This statement places him at odds with his employer and his duties, thus again breaching his contract of employment.
(8) Comments relating to the BBC and media ensure relationships in this area are likewise compromised, thus breaching terms of employment.
The above, combined, ensure Mr. Wilson will be unable to continue to perform the duties of his role. By HIS actions, (many of which will counter his employersâ€™ policies) HE ALONE has made himself unable to fulfil his role and thus contract of employment with Orange.
Remember, it was Mr. Wilson who indirectly referenced his employer by his introduction: â€œInigo Wilson manages community affairs for a large telecoms company.â€ He also made comments in relation to both a colleague and a discussion within his organisation.
Again, whilst we all should seek to uphold freedom of expression, such expression must be exercised responsibly and within the legal framework of the UK. What is remarkable is that such a prominent and educated figure did not recognise the above, and how his comments would be interpreted by others (the key legal factor), regardless of the context in which they were intended.
It is also regrettable that because of his action, his employer, Orange, is now at the centre of a debate on which it has no desire to enter. Here Orange cannot win. Its actions will be no different to any other organisation caught in the same position â€“ Vodafone, 02 or others. To think otherwise is foolhardy.
What is certain is that the reputation of his employer, its brand, customer relations and commercial activity will be damaged regardless of the outcome â€“ further strengthening the requirement to dismiss Mr. Wilson.
Sadly the future looks bleak for not only Mr. Wilson, but for his employer, good community relations and all those who recognise greater understanding, mutual respect and humanity is the only future for our world.
@ Stuart –
'"Consultation – a formal system for ignoring public views while patronising them at the same time." Even if you are charitable enough to ignore his racist comments, then this one alone highlights his unsuitability for doing the job he is employed to.'
Some people might agree with your analysis, except that you seem to have left out the end of the "definition" which reads:
"London's Congestion Charge for instance."
Which makes this
definition of "Consultation"
into an arguably true statement.
@ Anonymous – the article may have been ill advised
for an Orange "community affairs" person to have published under his own name, but your claims that this is any way illegal are wrong.
Your claim about Roman Catholics is also a little bit insulting.
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