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Anti-Rootless Cosmopolitan Campaigner Paul Embery Wins Employment Tribunal Case. Triumph for the Red-Brown Front.

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Embery faced criticism for tweeting on Sunday: “I fear this encapsulates the divide in our society – between a rootless, cosmopolitan, bohemian middle-class […] and a rooted, communitarian, patriotic working-class.”


A trade union official has been instructed to cease all social media activity for the moment, after he referred to “rootless cosmopolitans” in a tweet. 

Fire Brigades Union official Paul Embery will be meeting with the union’s executive council to discuss his social media activity, but a date has not been confirmed

This comes after Embery faced criticism for tweeting on Sunday: “I fear this encapsulates the divide in our society – between a rootless, cosmopolitan, bohemian middle-class […] and a rooted, communitarian, patriotic working-class.” 

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A spokesperson for the Fire Brigades Union said: “Racism in all its forms weakens and undermines trade unionism. The FBU has a longstanding history of standing up to and challenging racism.

“These traditions are not reflected in the recent comments made by someone who is an official of the FBU, whether this was done knowingly or not.

“We sincerely regret the use of this phrase (“rootless, cosmopolitan”) by an FBU official, and have requested that the person in question ceases all activity on social media until our executive council is able to meet to discuss.

“The FBU will deal with any potential abuse of policy in accordance with our organisational rules.”

Jewish News.

Paul Embery: Pro-Brexit fire union official unfairly sacked, tribunal finds

A firefighter was unfairly dismissed from his union job after speaking at a pro-Brexit rally in Westminster, an employment tribunal has found.

Paul Embery was also barred from being a Fire Brigades Union (FBU) official for two years after appearing at the Leave Means Leave rally in March 2019.

Norwich Employment Tribunal ruled he was unfairly dismissed after a “witch hunt” with a pre-determined outcome.

But it found Mr Embery was not dismissed for supporting Brexit itself.

The FBU said it was disappointed with the findings and that it was assessing its options.

Mr Embery, a prominent “left-leaning” sure, red-browner as some say) political activist and writer, was employed by the London Fire Brigade but released to conduct union duties as a full-time regional official in the capital between 2008 and 2019.

Over a three-day hearing in February the union argued Mr Embery displayed gross misconduct in his role.

This was because, it claimed, he did not exempt FBU officials from criticism during his speech at the rally and went against the union’s anti-Brexit policy.

Mr Embery called for Brexit to go ahead, without a deal if necessary, during the 29 March event, which was held on the day the UK was due to leave the European Union.

The tribunal heard there had been regular disagreements between Mr Embery and FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack over the issue of Brexit. Mr Embery was warned of reprisals and at one point accused of siding with the far right.

The conflict appeared to come to a head as Mr Embery planned to attend the Leave Means Leave rally in Parliament Square.

Before the rally, the tribunal heard Mr Embery was told by FBU President Ian Murray that he should not attend as a speaker and that to do so could breach the union’s policy against Brexit, which passed in 2016.

Mr Murray was also said to have suggested it could contravene a statement prohibiting FBU officials from campaigning with political opponents during the referendum campaign.

Mr Embery believed Mr Murray was wrong, and that the policy had lapsed once the referendum was held, the tribunal was told.

The activist was introduced at the rally as an organiser of Trade Unions Against the European Union (backed by the Socialist Party and funded by the far-right millionaire Aron Banks) and used a speech to describe a battle to defend the principle of democracy, after a majority voted to leave the EU in June 2016.

Mr Embery said in the speech that the “message to the leaders of my movement is, if you want to stay relevant, then it’s about time you put yourself on the side of the people over the establishment and big business, and you better do that damn quickly”.

Other speakers at the rally included Nigel Farage, Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice and then Labour MP Kate Hoey.

The Red-Brown Front, Spiked, comments,

A particularly sorry episode in the Brexit wars has come to a just end. Paul Embery – firefighter, trade unionist, writer and good friend of spiked – has won his claim for unfair dismissal from the Fire Brigades Union.

Those who went after Embery have only proved him right. Congratulations to Paul on a hard-fought, but no doubt bittersweet, victory.

Tom Slater is deputy editor of spiked. Follow him on Twitter.

Members of the Communist Party of Britain/Morning Star have also supported Embery. Their reaction has yet to be published.

Honte à Norwich Tribunal Honte, Honte, Honte!

Written by Andrew Coates

August 5, 2021 at 6:35 pm

2 Responses

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  1. And, providing back up to the likes of Mr Embery, news of yet another strange ‘anti-cosmopolitan’ think tank tendril with the seemingly obligatory links to Spiked, the Spectator, RT and Kent Uni – CIEO, a new one to me. Celebrated in the Daily Express, one Joanna Williams, director of Cieo; See Express story https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1472488/keir-starmer-news-branded-coward-labour-party-westminster-woke-spt and a profile of Middlesbrough born (alas) Ms Williams….https://www.cieo.org.uk/people/joanna-williams/

    David Walsh

    August 5, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    • We have seen it with Spiked – and she is, as you say, on their network…

      This has so many international parallels. I write of one I know in some detail.

      La grande confusion: Comment l’extrême-droite gagne la bataille des idées? by Philippe Corcuff, gives exhaustive details (not to say exhausting (670 plus pages!) on the same process in France. There is even a review called Le Front Populaire (The Popular Front) named after the 1936 government that us lot love and revere (like one of the places we used to meet in the 17th was named after of their ministers, Léo Lagrange). Le Front Populaire publishes ‘anti-woke; stuff from the New Right (Alain de Benoist) to the nationalist left, oh and by the way the man behind it Onfray, used to call himself an anarchist (not gesturally, he was serious) Front Populaire, la revue de tous les souverainistes. https://frontpopulaire.fr/

      Andrew Coates

      August 5, 2021 at 7:45 pm

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