...free to think freely


24th May 2023

Exclusion in the name of “Balance”

According to the BBC, nerve agent specialist Dan Kaszeta was removed from being a keynote speaker at the 25th Chemical Weapons Demilitarisation Conference because he tweeted opposition to Government policies. Those policies were general ones on which any free citizen might be expected to have a legitimate opinion, and not related to his area of expertise or the content of the conference.

It matters not whether I agree with his views on immigration. Nor should it matter to the Government. After all, it’s not a conference about immigration or Home Affairs, but about an area on which Mr Kaszeta is a respected expert, and on which he had been invited to address the conference. Cancelling his contribution on the basis of his general political views is infringing his ability to act as an independent citizen of a free democracy, and it illustrates exactly why Diverse Diversity is needed. For this is nothing less than a person being sanctioned for holding an opinion someone else doesn’t like, and is thus contrary to everything the Campaign stands for, since the opinion is not relevant to the purpose of the invitation.

This shows how an Equality Act based on Identity Politics cannot deliver justice. It is surely unjust to discriminate arbitrarily against someone because we don’t like his politics when they are not relevant to his duties. There is nothing equal about such discrimination. A free society needs people to be free to say what they think and criticise positions they don’t like without fear of sanction. Of course, not without fear of refutation, but refutation is a relevant response if the position taken is open to criticism. It is by mutual criticism knowledge advances and agreement is found, but discrimination harming a person’s ability to contribute to society as a whole, or someone’s income or reputation in an irrelevant area is nothing less than persecution, and cannot be in the Public Interest as it threatens the full range of public discourse and information.

A new Equality Act based on Diverse Diversity would protect everyone from unfair treatment, irrespective of who they might be, and enable proper debate in society’s best interest. That would be a double win for us all.