Driving home very late last night I finally gave up on the CD and switched on the radio and tuned in to Radio Five Live - which turned out to be a big mistake.
The radio show playing at the time was a "debate" about whether is is right to ban BNP members from being teachers. I put debate in quotes because it was nothing of the sort - anyone who dared to oppose the idea of banning BNP members from teaching was shouted down by various participants while anyone supporting the ban was given ample opportunity to rant and rave no matter how ridiculous their proposition.
For example, one idiot kept ranting about whether we'd allow paedophiles to teach. Well, judging by the frequent and numerous incidents of teachers having sexual relations with their underage pupils I'd say it is pretty apparent that we already do - but what the hell is this equating being a member of a legitimate political party with kiddy fiddling?
The moderator - or whatever he was - allowed this on the basis that the BNP is "openly racist". Racism, apparently, is actually a crime according to the people on the show. I actually thought the crime was racial discrimination, racial harassment or incitement to racial hatred rather than just expressing or thinking racist views or thoughts - but what do I know. After all Ron Atkinson was sacked for casting aspersions on a black footballers commitment, but he wasn't actually convicted of any crime - I guess things have moved on from those days.
Anyway, the assertion was that anyone who is a member of the BNP must be racist - a sweeping generalisation which wouldn't be allowed in any other situation. For that reason, the panel decided that it was right to ban BNP members from being teachers as they would treat non-white children as inferior.
But hang on a second - if that is the assumption then we should also ban members of the Labour Party from being teachers as you could equally claim that they are just as likely to treat children of bankers, accountants, company directors etc as inferior. And you should ban Conservatives from teaching as they would be inclined to treat children of miners (if we had any), factory workers (ditto) and union activists as inferior.
Likewise you should ban Green Party members from teaching as they would treat meat eating children, those that arrive at school in 4x4s and just about any kid who isn't a tree hugging nut nibbler as inferior. Actually, we ought to just ban Green Party members. And what about Moslems - particularly those who go for the full Moslem garb? There you have a radical Moslem teacher who may be treating non-Moslem children as inferior - and may even be putting pressure on moderate Moslem children and their families to adopt the full regalia! Why don't we ban Moslems from teaching, then?
And as someone pointed out - to universal silence - we should ban feminists and gays from teaching as they may be inclined to treat boys or straight children (huh?) as inferior. If you take the proposition to its natural conclusion - nobody should be allowed to teach.
But of course that is ridiculous. The fact is that teachers have to obey stringent rules in the way they treat children - both national laws and local school rules - no matter what their political affiliation or particular world view is. If any teacher breaks those rules they can be disciplined and even sacked - whether they are BNP members or members of the NUT (and the vast majority who have been disciplined or sacked have been members of the latter rather than the former).
What is being suggested here is that different rules should be made for BNP members purely on the basis that those who make the rules don't like them. That is bigotry, discrimination and intolerance on a grand scale.