Old sins, as they say, cast long shadows – and even though the pandemic was abandoned a year or so ago, the way it was handled, and the impact it has had and still has on people’s lives continues to haunt the authorities in those countries that are considered to be democratic.
One of those who refuses to let the often shocking behavior against critics go, is a former UK headmaster, Mike Fairclough, who has decided to pursue legal action.
Announcing the proceedings that are to unfold before the Employment Tribunal, Fairclough explains that his opposition to lockdowns, vaccinating children and forcing them to wear masks – and at the time, he stood alone among his 20,000+ headmaster peers in the UK – caused him countless problems.
Because of his social media posts, Fairclough was even investigated by counter-terrorism agencies. And his employer launched numerous probes.
In 2015, Fairclough’s innovative educational methods helped his school win the Times Educational Supplement Primary School of the Year award. But only a few years later, as the pandemic hit, he became to all effects a persecuted man – simply for using his legal right to express opinion, skeptical or otherwise, about the unprecedented restrictions, particularly those affecting young children.
Today, some of Fairclough’s points are considered to be accurate, but in 2020 they caused him a world of trouble. And that was despite his moderate tone, and making these comments as a private citizen.
But at the time, the East Sussex County Council, his employer, had him investigated as many as three times. From their on, Fairclough was to all intents and purposes treated as a potential serious criminal: provisions from counter-terrorism schemes, Department for Education’ Counter Extremism Division – those were all used to probe if there was a way to accuse him – of something.
Even though he was eventually cleared in these instances – “my employer said that I could be repeatedly investigated in the future if the same complaint was raised. This was clearly a deliberate attempt to silence ‘disapproved of views’ using the complaints procedure,” writes Fairclough.
Hence the court case – via which Fairclough seeks to do some “countering” of his own – essentially of policies that have given rise to, as he phrased it, “Chinese Communist-style censorship and self-censorship by vast numbers of the population.”
“Lawful free speech is the foundation of a healthy democracy. We should encourage debate and lawful free speech on all matters. Particularly when it comes to safeguarding children against harm (…) My court case is therefore one which I am fighting for everyone within the workplace, regardless of their background, belief or views. Employers should not be emboldened to silence the lawful opinions of those they disagree with,” Fairclough announced.
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