Kirpans in court?
BirminghamLive reports that Jatinder Singh, a former secretary general of the Sikh Council (UK), was barred from Birmingham Crown Court, where he was called for jury service, because he was wearing a five-inch kirpan. He said that a security officer refused to allow him back inside the building after a lunch break because, claimed the officer, Mr Singh’s kirpan was too big. He suggested that there seemed to be considerable confusion about the interpretation of the guidelines issued to court staff.
A spokesman for HM Courts and Tribunals Service said: “We have apologised to Mr Singh for any distress caused and have reminded our contracted security officers of the correct steps to take to prevent this incident from happening again.”
Tynwald and the Bishop of Sodor and Man
BBC News carries an interesting interview with the retiring Bishop of Sodor and Man, Peter Eagles, in which he defends the right of the diocesan bishop to sit and vote in the Legislative Council, not least as a voice on some occasions for the minority view. He said that it could be “quite hard for an elected politician to vote against” strong public opinion but the bishop “may do it for a variety of reasons”. “If everyone else is going to say yes, that’s fine. But I think the bishop can say no sometimes.” While spiritual and political interests often ran “along parallel lines” they could diverge at times, which was why the Bishop’s vote was crucial.
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