Tag Archives: Equality Act

Edinburgh ‘a secular city’–councillor

Rejecting a plea by some city churches to abandon plans for car parking charges on Sundays Cllr Adam McVey, Deputy Convenor of Edinburgh City Council’s Transport Committee, stated that Edinburgh was a ‘secular city’. He continued that ‘the concerns of just one faith could not be allowed to influence city policy’.

Abandoning plans for Sunday parking charges on behalf of churches would probably offend equalities legislation since similar privileges might be required for mosques on Fridays and the synagogue on Saturdays.

For more information visit http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/churches-can-t-get-special-treatment-on-parking-1-3660425

Worrying words from the Lord High Commissioner to the Church of Scotland

At the opening of the Annual Assembly of the Church of Scotland on Saturday 17 May 2014 the Lord High Commissioner, Prince Edward gave an address on the theme of community, contrasting "the assertion of legalistic rights" with the Christian teaching of responsibility.

Could this possibly be a reference to the persistence of the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Government refusing to consider that the decades long arrangements whereby three church voting representatives are added to each local authority education committee in Scotland might actually not be inconformity with the Equality and Human Rights Act 0f 2010?. Does he mean that religious concepts of ‘responsibility’ should allow churches and the Scottish Government not to follow the law?

The Church and Scottish Government are in dangerous constitutional territory if this unlawfulness continues. Scotland should be subject to the rule of law, not the interests of powerful groups and interests.

See the letter by ESS Honorary President, Professor Norman Bonney, in the Scotsman Monday 19 May 2014

http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/kirk-s-stance-smacks-of-arrogance-1-3414898

1700 petitioners spurned by the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government

Iranian mullahs guide the state in Iran. Some analogies in Scotland?

On Tuesday 6 May 2014 the Education and Culture Committee of the Scottish Parliament ended consideration of a petition led by Edinburgh Secular Society and supported by 1700 signatories urging that legislation be brought forward to end the practice of three religious voting nominees being added to Scottish local council education committees.

The brief discussion included no reference to a letter from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission that stated that the existing laws needed review in the light of the UK Equality Act 2010 which offers equal protection for religious people and for the non-religious. Members of the Committee with its SNP majority meekly acceded to the inaction on the matter by the Scottish Government with the Convenor, Stewart Maxwell, SNP MSP, saying there was no point in taking action because the Scottish Government had decided not to act.

What a weak apology for a legislature! The Committee did not entertain any discussion of Equality and Human Rights Commission’s letter which challenges the legal basis of the current arrangements and did not even consider summoning and interrogating  the responsible Scottish Government minister, Mike Russell, to investigate his reasons for not following the suggestions in the letter,

Scotland and the petitioners need better practice than this if representative democracy is to thrive under the present constitutional arrangements or any future ones.

END rule by Scotland’s mullahs!

ESS will continue to pursue this campaign by other democratic means. Scotland’s education committees do not need mullahs to check on the work of their elected council members.