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Be careful what you blog about when you work for Orange, the telecom company in the UK. This is an email I received about a guy at Orange who got busted for blogging. Because I’m running to twelve different meetings this morning, I’m posting this as I got it.
In a nutshell, an Orange employee posted about how “if you object to your transport being blown up on the way to work, then you’re Islamophobic.”
A few people complained to Orange, and they originally stood by their employee, saying that Orange employees have the right to free speech.
Then more people complained, and Orange suspended the employee while they investigate.
Not being 100% familiar with British Government, I won’t comment either way, I’ll just post what I received from someone close to the incident. I’d love some of my British readers to add any comments they might have…
Read from the bottom up.
#BLOG LINK: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2006/08/inigo_wilson_a_.html
From: Press, Office [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 15 August 2006 18:46
Subject: RE: Complaint against Orange PR person has made irresponsible comments.
Orange has received a number of complaints regarding the content of an article written by an Orange employee and published on an independent website which has offended some of our customers.
We take the opinions of our customers very seriously and believe that this matter warrants further investigation. We have therefore suspended an employee while this investigation takes place.
Sent: 15 August 2006 13:34
To: JACKSON, Stuart; Press, Office
Cc: Executive, Office
Subject: RE: Inigo Wilson
Thank you for your response to the complaint about Mr Inigio Wilson who has made racist and islamaphobic comments in an article which begins with a description of his employer (yourselves).
Before I communicate your response more widely I would like to give you opportunity to clarify your statement.
Please confirm your response is:
(1) you respect the right of your employees to hold racist and islamaphobic views;
(2) you will be taking no action whatsoever against your employee and will allow your employees to make racist and islamaphobic comments without question even where they reference their employer as a preface to such comments;
(3) your response has been fully approved by Orange UK Executive Office on behalf of Orange SA.
From: JACKSON, Stuart [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: 15 August 2006 11:16
To: Press, Office
Subject: Ref: Inigo Wilson
Ref: Inigo Wilson
Thank you for sharing your comments with Orange.
Though we respect the right of our employees to do so, Orange does not hold or express opinions on such matters, therefore the article you referenced does not in any way represent the views of our organisation.
Sent: 12 August 2006 17:22
To: ‘[email protected]’; ‘[email protected]’; ‘[email protected]’; ‘[email protected]’; ‘[email protected]’
Subject: Complaint against Orange PR person has made irresponsible comments.
I am writing to register an official complaint about public comments from a member of your team. Mr. Inigio Wilson is a “community affairs” PR man for Orange and I was dismayed to see that he has written islamaphobic and racist comments which were they anti-semitic as opposed to against muslims would result in immediate condemnation from you. I trust you will deal with this complaint fairly and condemn such comments which have been indirectly linked to Orange at the beginning of the article. He says:
(1) “Islamophobic – anyone who objects to having their transport blown up on the way to work.”
This is islamaphobic in the sense that it obfuscates the fact that Islamaphobia exists and it suggests that all victims of terrorism are islamaphobic (which is an offence to all innocent victims of 7/7 including muslim victims). Islamaphobia is the irrational fear of Islam and is a phrase which is used to describe prejudice against Islam which is especially important since such prejudice does not fall into the definition of racism. Further this comment is clearly trying to falsely polarise the problem of Islamist terrorism by saying that all muslims are terrorists – as a muslim I condemn having my transport blown up but clearly I do not consider myself islamaphobic.
(2) “Palestinians – archetype ‘victims’ no matter how many teenagers they murder in bars and fast food outlets. Never responsible for anything they do – or done in their name – because of ‘root causes’ or ‘legitimate grievances'”
This comment is clear racism against Palestinians and suggests all Palestinians are responsible for terrorsim which is clearly untrue.
This is published on the internet with indirect reference to Orange in the article. The article is live at http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2006/08/inigo_wilson_a_.html and a printout is attached.
As a very longstanding Orange customer who has enjoyed otherwise good customer service from orange, I think Orange need to find a more appropriate “community” PR representative who does not hold such islamaphobic and racist views. I would also urge you to reconsider instructing a PR firm which allows its staff to comment in such an inappropriate way.
Please tell me how you intend to deal with this matter and please inform me of what action you will be taking against your islamaphobic and racist PR representative. I would appreciate a response from Orange Executive office and would request an apology and retraction from Mr Wilson. My address and main Orange phone number appears below.
Orange phone number:
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