Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Clumsy and Thoughtless

Vic B-W, a regular commenter, has sent me this link to the story of a very senior magistrate who has made a bit of a fool of himself. Some of us think he was lucky not to be out on his ear, but in all the circumstances, with his length of service and the fact that he must soon retire (when he is 70) a lenient view was taken.
Every judge and magistrate is allowed his own opinions of course, but the cardinal rule is not to say anything in public that could give the appearance of bias. It may have been all right to refer to ethnic minorities as foreigners when my colleague was sworn in, but these days we realise that we have to be more sensitive as well as more accurate, since many of the people he was referring to hold British passports.
Some will inevitably cry 'Political Correctness' - an intellectually lazy and near-meaningless gibe. To me it's just good manners.

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