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  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    You have no evidence against it either. However, I fail to see how someone who would make such comments in writing will not have made other - probably worse - comments verbally. And with their response being to sue TSA makes me feel rather glad they're gone, personally.
    Without further speculating on what this guy was like.... Here is someone who has lost his main hobby from decades, something he loved and felt he was providing significant value to the young people. There is real reputational damage from a suspension or expulsion (locally I've known children of suspended leaders be severely bullied "your dad's a paedo" etc). There is not one person who have been involved in the disciplinary process (and I have extensive experience from administering it) who believes it it fair, objective, supportive, or allows a proper defence to be mounted. And that disquiet is as much in those who have been reinstated as those finally dismissed.

    Against that background of course he sued. He has no other recourse to address what he sees as a massive injustice. And the outcome, however pyrrhic is still something he can point to say he was right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Without further speculating on what this guy was like.... Here is someone who has lost his main hobby from decades, something he loved and felt he was providing significant value to the young people. There is real reputational damage from a suspension or expulsion (locally I've known children of suspended leaders be severely bullied "your dad's a paedo" etc). There is not one person who have been involved in the disciplinary process (and I have extensive experience from administering it) who believes it it fair, objective, supportive, or allows a proper defence to be mounted. And that disquiet is as much in those who have been reinstated as those finally dismissed.

    Against that background of course he sued. He has no other recourse to address what he sees as a massive injustice. And the outcome, however pyrrhic is still something he can point to say he was right.
    i believe that reputational damage is handled by the safeguarding department which leads to further confusion about reasons for leaving.

    i'd love to be proved wrong in that regard

  4. #108
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Without further speculating on what this guy was like.... Here is someone who has lost his main hobby from decades, something he loved and felt he was providing significant value to the young people. There is real reputational damage from a suspension or expulsion (locally I've known children of suspended leaders be severely bullied "your dad's a paedo" etc). There is not one person who have been involved in the disciplinary process (and I have extensive experience from administering it) who believes it it fair, objective, supportive, or allows a proper defence to be mounted. And that disquiet is as much in those who have been reinstated as those finally dismissed.

    Against that background of course he sued. He has no other recourse to address what he sees as a massive injustice. And the outcome, however pyrrhic is still something he can point to say he was right.
    Whilst not generally disagreeing with your post, he did have the option of telling people his side of the story without taking TSA to court.

    When Fiona resigned, and I followed (what choice did I really have?) I knew there would be dancing in certain quarters. Had I been employed rather than a volunteer, I could have sued for constructive dismissal. In fact, I would have had no choice as having resigned a paid post there would be no benefits, no insurance, litigation would be my only course of action. However, as a volunteer I considered the situation, I knew that there would be gossip and I thought, stuff it, it isn't worth the trouble of going through the complaints procedure. Even if I won, would I want to go back to that same situation, with the same bureaucracy and hierarchy in place? What would I really gain?

    Few Scout Leaders have the impeccable reputation that they think they have. We cannot see ourselves as others see us. So maybe we put too much faith in our reputation.

    BTW - virtually any kid whose father is a Scout Leader is prone to the daddy is a paedo bullying. Instagram is a huge bullying weapon. One local shopkeeper here has been labelled a paedo, I don't think he actually is, he has been around since my kids were teenagers and they used to work for him and he never showed any signs of anything other than being sociable to everyone. They have set up a Paedo *** group on instagram ...
    Ewan Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Looking back over the posts in this thread, it is interesting to consider this in light of what I have witnessed.

    1/ Brian Walker has voiced an opinion that I have heard spoken several times by Leaders, who have gone uncensured by others.
    I think the way he expressed that opinion, was as much a problem as the opinion itself. If he'd calmly questioned whether the magazine was giving too much space to Muslim scouting, and should also highlight Christian scouting, I don't think there'd be much fuss. The few quotes from the letter appear to be fairly offensive, and I think that's where the problem lies.

    2/ He sees Scouting as a Christian organisation, which we know ios the case with a great many leaders in the movement.
    TSA has changed (along with our society), and he needs to accept that. I think a good parallel is when Scouts stopped being male-only. Yes, you can debate it, but at some point you just have to accept it and move on. We wouldn't tolerate a leader being dismissive of girls just because it used to be a male-only organisation, so I don't feel we should accept leaders being openly dismissive of other religions in Scouting.

    3/ He has baulked at the portrayal of his Christian Scouting Association as something that endorses aspects of life that he and his beliefs do not agree with, something again that I have seen many times.
    I'm not sure how the article 'endorses aspects of life that he and his beliefs do not agree with'. If he doesn't accept that people of other faiths should be able to join TSA and express their faith, then I think that would be a bar to membership.

    4/ He voiced those concerns in a legitimate letter to Scouting magazine, and was, as a result, dismissed. - If every leader who voiced such concerns around a late night campfire, or at the pub, were to be dismissed there would be a lot fewer leaders and the shortages of help would escalate.
    Indeed. Just as I can say fairly rude things about my boss down the pub with my mates, but would be sacked fairly quickly if I emailed them to my employer. It's not like he wrote a private letter which was then exposed. Even if the letter wasn't intended for publication, it was written to the official magazine of TSA. If an organisation has written proof of someone being offensive, it would be negligent for them to ignore it. If this man does not realise that being offensive in a letter to the organisation is inappropriate, you've got to question how appropriate his comments are in other contexts.

    In return he has been ridiculed, without consideration of HIS beliefs - so it has become fair game to stick the boot in to those whose beliefs we do not agree with. (I don't agree with them, but I don't agree with a lot of stuff)
    Our tolerance of everything has become an intolerance of the beliefs of those who take a "fundamentalist" line of thinking.
    Again, I don't really see what his beliefs have to do with this. I think his comments would be treated the same if he were an atheist with strong views against certain Islamic practices. Most Christians I know are very tolerant of people expressing other faiths, so I don't see how it's intolerant of his beliefs to punish him for these comments. While he and the Christian Legal Centre were very keen to say he was dismissed for his beliefs, it seems more like he was dismissed for his offensive comments.

    Whether immediate dismissal was an appropriate response I'm not sure, but I can't say I'm sorry that someone openly expressing those views in no longer a leader.

    Going back to the original Scouting magazine article, in some ways I feel it was a shame that the one Muslim leader in the article was so unrepresentative of British Muslims, in wearing a Niqab. The Niqab is worn by so few British Muslims, yet seems to dominate public discussion. There aren't any reliable figures for how many people wear it in the UK, but in France they tried to estimate how many people would be affected by the ban on wearing it in public. Their best guess was just 367 out of a female Muslim population of 1.5-2 million covered their faces*. I can see that the article demonstrated how inclusive Scouting is, but it may also have helped to perpetuate an impression that large numbers of Muslims wear the Niqab.


    * It seemed so crazy to have introduced a law affecting so few people, that they were told to count again and came up with an estimate of 1900. But there's no reason to think the second estimate is any more accurate than the first, and even what is probably a large overestimate still only represents 0.1% of female Muslims.

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    To be honest having stood beside someone going through the disciplinary process I can see how it easily pushes the "defendant" towards wanting to get even via legal action. As above at no stage does it feel like you are in a fair process. I know my mate consulted a solicitor in the midst of it but ultimately didn't pursue it - mostly because TSA just flatly blanked any request for information on what the allegation was. Ultimately those involved came to a similar conclusion to Ewan "Fine - stuff the lot of them, I'll give my time etc elsewhere" - both still do a lot of community work - they are and were good people who made mistakes.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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  10. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Against that background of course he sued. He has no other recourse to address what he sees as a massive injustice. And the outcome, however pyrrhic is still something he can point to say he was right.
    I'm not sure. The outcome was that he accepted a pretty small payout to shut up and go away. TSA didn't accept they'd done anything wrong and he didn't get reinstated. I suspect the Christian Legal Service were after the publicity so initially funded the challenge, but were probably keen to settle once it'd got into the papers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingstonCubber View Post
    I'm not sure. The outcome was that he accepted a pretty small payout to shut up and go away. TSA didn't accept they'd done anything wrong and he didn't get reinstated. I suspect the Christian Legal Service were after the publicity so initially funded the challenge, but were probably keen to settle once it'd got into the papers.
    Indeed I agree with that. In his shoes I would ahve insisted on a gagging clause on TSA to stop their response being so negative and a lot more than £1500. I'd also be shouting that TSA were too afraid of losing.

    I actually have considerable sympathy with him and think the handling of this was poor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Indeed I agree with that. In his shoes I would ahve insisted on a gagging clause on TSA to stop their response being so negative and a lot more than £1500. I'd also be shouting that TSA were too afraid of losing.

    I actually have considerable sympathy with him and think the handling of this was poor.
    I think the outcome was probably as good for him as was realistically likely. There was a supreme court ruling in 2012 that volunteers aren't protected against discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. I'm not sure the details of this case, but I doubt there was much chance of winning, hence the very low level of payout. I think he was probably hoping to get publicity, and the 'Scouts pay out' headlines probably provided a good enough spin on the story.

    On a general point, I think it's a real shame that volunteers don't have better protection against unfair dismissal. In this specific case, I'm not sure it was that unfair.

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  15. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Without further speculating on what this guy was like.... Here is someone who has lost his main hobby from decades, something he loved and felt he was providing significant value to the young people. There is real reputational damage from a suspension or expulsion (locally I've known children of suspended leaders be severely bullied "your dad's a paedo" etc). There is not one person who have been involved in the disciplinary process (and I have extensive experience from administering it) who believes it it fair, objective, supportive, or allows a proper defence to be mounted. And that disquiet is as much in those who have been reinstated as those finally dismissed.

    Against that background of course he sued. He has no other recourse to address what he sees as a massive injustice. And the outcome, however pyrrhic is still something he can point to say he was right.
    That's absolute bull. There was no need for him to sue - he should have just walked away. AFAICS he deserved expulsion. What else did he expect when he wrote that letter???

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Indeed I agree with that. In his shoes I would ahve insisted on a gagging clause on TSA to stop their response being so negative and a lot more than £1500. I'd also be shouting that TSA were too afraid of losing.

    I actually have considerable sympathy with him and think the handling of this was poor.

    I have absolutely no sympathy for him, and his behaviour since proves he should not have been a leader.
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  16. #115
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    You don't write a letter like that unless you want to cause a reaction. He stirred the s**t and TSA reacted. He said nasty things and made unwarranted personal comments as well as showing himself unfit to be part of an organisation that should we welcoming to all.

    They slung him out and gave him 1.5k to ****** off and not come back. Cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingstonCubber View Post
    I think the way he expressed that opinion, was as much a problem as the opinion itself. If he'd calmly questioned whether the magazine was giving too much space to Muslim scouting, and should also highlight Christian scouting, I don't think there'd be much fuss. The few quotes from the letter appear to be fairly offensive, and I think that's where the problem lies.
    Not really the point I was making. His views are actually more commonplace thanwe would like to imagine. Similar ofensive quotes have been said in my presence by long serving, and sometimes ranked Scouters. That is where the real problem lies. They get away with it. This chap put his head above the parapet and got shot. He is a scapegoat.


    TSA has changed (along with our society), and he needs to accept that. I think a good parallel is when Scouts stopped being male-only. Yes, you can debate it, but at some point you just have to accept it and move on. We wouldn't tolerate a leader being dismissive of girls just because it used to be a male-only organisation, so I don't feel we should accept leaders being openly dismissive of other religions in Scouting.
    Again, not quite the point. Society has changed, but does that mean that disregarding someone's beliefs because they are old fashioned, outdated, lie squarely with tolerance?


    I'm not sure how the article 'endorses aspects of life that he and his beliefs do not agree with'. If he doesn't accept that people of other faiths should be able to join TSA and express their faith, then I think that would be a bar to membership.
    Scouting has for some years now overstated its equal opportunities, he has questioned the emphasis, and indeed the validity of some promotions. From what has been said in the article, he was expressing his concerns, albeit in poorly chosen phraseology. If Scouting can no longer discuss the validity of actually promoting, say "Pride", then it has ignored a large number of its own adult membership.

    Indeed. Just as I can say fairly rude things about my boss down the pub with my mates, but would be sacked fairly quickly if I emailed them to my employer. It's not like he wrote a private letter which was then exposed. Even if the letter wasn't intended for publication, it was written to the official magazine of TSA. If an organisation has written proof of someone being offensive, it would be negligent for them to ignore it. If this man does not realise that being offensive in a letter to the organisation is inappropriate, you've got to question how appropriate his comments are in other contexts.
    What he says in other contexts is irrelevant. If you make it relevant, then a clean sweep of every leader who has made a homophobic or racist remark is overdue. And yes, I would question his appropriateness. I would almost certainly not want him involved with my Group if that is an example of his thinking, but then again, that is why there were a lot of people whom I didn't want to work with in Scouting anyway.


    Again, I don't really see what his beliefs have to do with this. I think his comments would be treated the same if he were an atheist with strong views against certain Islamic practices. Most Christians I know are very tolerant of people expressing other faiths, so I don't see how it's intolerant of his beliefs to punish him for these comments. While he and the Christian Legal Centre were very keen to say he was dismissed for his beliefs, it seems more like he was dismissed for his offensive comments.
    Different reading, his comments were directly related to his beliefs, therefore he was dismissd for holding those beliefs, or rather. for voicing them in the way that he did.

    Whether immediate dismissal was an appropriate response I'm not sure, but I can't say I'm sorry that someone openly expressing those views in no longer a leader.
    Quite, but not the point. They have made an example of him. So, now others who think similarly will keep those thoughts to themselves and their like-minded peers. Scouting will remain populated with people like this because nothing actually gets done about them. Make a complaint and you soon find out where the reality lies. When I made a complaint, at the time, to the individual concerned, and then followed up oficially, I was told that I was wrong and should not have raised the issue.

    [quote]

    I don't agree with what he is stated to have said, but I'm wary of how the whole issue is handled. Glad that I am out of it when things like this happen.
    Ewan Scott

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    I get the impression, the leader sued for different reasons to why he got chucked out.

    I also suspect, as things progressed, his motivations may have changed - the involvement of the Christian Legal Centre thing and how ever that came about...

    It's probable that his attitudes weren't for changing, but in the first instance - if you're going to take drastic action, you need to at least make the effort. How different would this story be if the DC had sat down with the guy and explained the situation - and after that, with no change in attitude, he turfed him out.

    I've also heard chitchat from adult volunteers that would get them chucked out - really ill-informed stuff. We say firstly, your wrong and why - then say if the wrong person hears you say that, you could find yourself out of the organisation with the concomitant damage to your reputation that febrile gossip often brings.

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    This chap’s biggest mistake was sending a missive to Scouting magazine, thinking that they still had a proper letters page.

    The ‘Ask Team UK/the Commissioners’ pages seem to me to be populated with ‘planted’ questions covering the Topic of the month - ‘why do we do disclosure checks’ ‘how can I get involved in Youshape’ ‘what will be the key challenges in the coming years'; Just three examples plucked from a couple of back issues.

    Perhaps way back in the olden days when there was a letters page worth writing to, the editorial team would have just edited inappropriate letters or binned them, as opposed to running upstairs to the boss.
    Last edited by bigcheese; 14-09-2018 at 02:09 PM.

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  22. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcheese View Post
    This chapís biggest mistake was sending a missive to Scouting magazine, thinking that they still had a proper letters page.
    Must have been a "proper leader" then - doesn't read scouting mag.
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    I was dismissed for seeking another role in another group, put the DCs nose out of joint and was chucked out in 48hrs, fought the decision for 11 months before giving up before I went mad. now joined an independent group and loving the freedom of no association, no hierarchy hovering over me like a sword of damocles, and the freedom for making our program, badges and activities.

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