Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 26 April 2024

The Micromanagement of Speech in the Workplace is Out of Control

As readers will likely be aware, a flurry of ‘hate speech’ laws have recently been passed, or are in the process of being passed, around the English-speaking world – most notably in Ireland, Scotland and Canada. It has rightly been pointed out that this represents a dangerous escalation in the extent to which freedom of expression is being squeezed in the purportedly ‘free’ West.

But what is less frequently pointed out is that ordinary people are already subject to an extremely pervasive and intrusive form of speech regulation which – indefensibly – has been introduced largely through using private or civil law claims to achieve regulatory ends. This has happened in a manner which is frequently totally opaque to those who are subject to the rules, and which gives judges (generally sitting in tribunals) unforgivably wide discretion in determining whether something permissible, or impermissible, has been said. The ultimate effect is a kind of quasi-criminalisation of certain forms of speech through the civil law, which forces ordinary people to be very watchful over what they say, lest they be made subject to the discipline of the state apparatus imposed via tribunal judgments awarding meaty awards of damages (i.e., compensation) to ‘victims’.

This has important philosophical implications, which I will come to in due course. But first let me illustrate with an entirely ordinary – these sorts of cases are decided by the bucketload – illustration of this phenomenon, with the case of Miss N Nolan v C Fairfield and J Fairfield T/a Appletree Guest House, a U.K. Employment Tribunal decision from March 2024.

“Do I need to give you an instruction manual?”

Miss Nolan (N) was an employee of the Fairfields – owners of a hotel or guesthouse in the Lake District of England. N did the cleaning, served breakfast and performed other ad hoc duties. She started working at the hotel in 2019, and was apparently comfortable there until March 2022, when she suddenly fell out with the Fairfields. She had previously been very friendly with Catherine Fairfield (C), but on March 16th, it is alleged, she found herself working alone with Jason Fairfield (J), the husband of C. And, on this day, it seems, something happened:

We [i.e., the Tribunal] find that the claimant [N] said something to [J], suggesting that he should have made or stripped the bed that he and C had slept in the previous night, and he replied by making a comment that it was a woman’s job.

This seems to have been followed by an incident later that day in which N, having had trouble with cleaning some newly-installed toilet seats, mentioned this several times to J. Here, the tribunal found that J had responded with something to the effect of, “Do I need to give you an instruction manual on how to clean a toilet seat?” And this, the tribunal heard, was in N’s opinion said in an “insulting and aggressive manner”, and was “patronising”.

Read More: The Micromanagement of Speech in the Workplace is Out of Control

The Dream

From our advertisers