Search

Opinion: Why punish my staff for my political views?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:15 12 January 2018

CARMEN VALINO ALL RIGHTS - on shift

During the Brexit campaign, having been active on the Leave side, doing radio and TV interviews, I must have received about twenty messages from customers, or those purporting to be customers, saying they will never buy Forman’s smoked salmon again.

Now you may be thinking, wouldn’t it have been better for my business, if I’d stayed quiet.

And maybe so, but I felt that this is one of the most important decisions our country is making and with small businesses between them being the largest employers in the country, if as business owners we don’t make our views known, the debate would be worse for it.

I spoke to many other small business owners, asking whether they would take an interview in my place, and they all said ‘no’, fearful of upsetting half their customers.

For the Forman’s boycotters, I made a point of personally phoning each and everyone one of them to explain my views.

I wanted to reassure them that I have no problem with immigration whatsoever and that my concerns with the EU are purely economic, stemming from what I believe is a dysfunctional currency, the Euro, which will ultimately bring Europe down.

I also explained that my decision to support Leave was nothing to do with my business whatsoever, and indeed it may be disadvantageous to me short term, so why punish my staff because of my personal views on economic matters. Following those conversations, most agreed they would continue to buy Forman’s smoked salmon, and I reckon about 75 per cent even switched to the Leave side of the argument!

I also made the point that I wouldn’t boycott Virgin trains, just because Richard Branson, was an arch-Remainer.

So what of his decision to ban the sale of the Daily Mail on his trains, because “it is not compatible with our beliefs”. This is a step too far in my view.

What does he mean by “our beliefs”? The beliefs of all Virgin shareholders, or all their staff? Has he surveyed them?

This is nothing to do with their beliefs; it’s a typical publicity stunt by Branson, of which he is master. He has gained massive publicity, worth millions in advertising revenue for making a commercial decision which costs the business nothing. Genius.

At the same time he is exacting some revenge on a newspaper has been attempting to draw him in on sex scandals in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations. It will be interesting to see how the Mail reacts.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham News Stories

Yesterday, 14:51

A call for more drastic measures to stop acid attacks than the government is prepared to undertake has been made in a joint campaign by both East Ham’s MP and the mayor of neighbouring Tower Hamlets.

Stephen Timms
Yesterday, 14:11

Shocking video footage showing a tumble dryer on fire has been released by a plumber in Beckton in a safety alert.

Yesterday, 10:22

The governor of an East Ham primary school which banned the hijab for girls under eight has resigned and the restriction has been lifted.

Yesterday, 07:00

A new community centre offering joh, health, legal and housing advice is set to open in Stratford.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now