A question of conscience… and printing


The question was raised by a Unionist MP in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions. The answer of British Prime Minister, David Cameron was that tolerance towards people of a different sexuality is an important part of being British. Now, remember, this question was raised by a Unionist MP, someone who fundamentally believes that Northern Ireland must be part of the United Kingdom…

The case of the refusal to provide a service to bake a cake by Ashers Baking Company was drawn to my attention early yesterday. I read with great interest the comments of Gregory Campbell MP MLA following today’s Prime Minister’s Questions,

“This latest case locally has seen a family-owned bakery threatened by legal action because they would not print a political slogan onto a cake. Such a message ran contrary to the company’s Christian values.

“It is disappointing that the prime minister would not comment on the need for religious freedom to be protected through the introduction of a conscience clause. ”

He added: “Tolerance needs to be a two-way street, but this case highlights that currently those who cannot support a particular political campaign may find themselves forced before the courts. That is totally unacceptable.”—BBC News online

His comments made me wonder if when he, as a political representative, or as a candidate in an election, is getting promotional material printed to distribute and to put forward his political view, searches out for a printer who agrees wholeheartedly with every word of the leaflet, or does he look for the best price? Given that some of the leaflets may be paid for by the public purse, I should hope that he does look for the best price so that his expenses can be kept down.

Another Northern Irish MP, Naomi Long who used to be my MP when I lived in Belfast, told me this morning

The people who print my election literature aren’t bound to agree with the content or assumed to do so.”

I have, in the past, had to design leaflets with which I did not agree, I have had to print leaflets with which I did not agree, but it was a service that I was providing to clients. As far as I can see, there is no difference between printing a leaflet and printing on edible paper to go on a cake. I have written to Mr Campbell to seek his views on the matter. If I get a response, I will post it here.

Some may be interested in what the bakery’s manager has to say, if you are, please watch the video below.

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