Free P tub-thumper David McIlveen and DUPe gospel singer and occasional MP, David Simpson, have called on Translink to ‘respect the feeling of Christian bus drivers’ by allowing them not to drive buses with humanist adverts on the side. I wonder do they wish to establish a new principle whereby employees can vet all the advertising carried on the side of public transport?
Perhaps conscientious objectors should have been exempt from driving buses with those noxiously disingenuous ‘that’s why we need a Bill of Rights’ adverts resplendent on the side. Maybe temperance advocates should be allowed to opt out from promoting Harp lager by means of 12 feet high pints on the back of double-deckers. There’s no reason Christians should get special treatment after all!
My feeling is that whilst drivers are entitled to their convictions equally the company is entitled to carry legal advertising without consulting each employee. If the rigours of someone’s conscience are incompatible with free speech on the side of a bus, naturally they have a decision to make. If they feel they can’t do their job then the company must look for another employee.