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Network Rail, Ramadan and the acceptability of lying

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 21 March 2024

A few days ago, on the electronic trains departure board at King’s Cross there appeared a Hadith, a message from the prophet Mohammed posted to mark Ramadan. The message, posted by an employee of Network Rail, said more such Hadiths would follow. Cue outrage.

Some were outraged as they, irrationally, do not like Muslims. Most were outraged as railway departure boards are meant to be secular and if you were going to have a religious message there, well how about one for Easter, after all this is a nominally Christian country although we are now told that we must now talk about Happy Holidays lest we offend folks not sharing our own national faith. We can argue about whether such outrage was justified until the cows come home but it is what happened next that tells you so much about this country.

Network Rail insisted that it often put up religious messages to mark religious festivals but when challenged could not provide any hard evidence of this at all, not even one photo of, say, the 20 verses from Luke 2 put up during Advent.

It appears to have tried to get out of trouble by telling porkies.  And thus, with an employee boasting of what appears to be an action taken without management instruction, now identified on social media, Network Rail is launching an enquiry. Of course, the rogue employee will not be fired as that would be an act of Islamophobia.  

But someone should be fired and that is the person at Network Rail who tried to silence criticism by telling lies.  But that person will not be fired either. Fifty years ago lying, whether in politics or in business or on the sports field, was a serious matter. Now it is just accepted, you play for the foul whatever you engage in, you lie, you cheat and if you do all of that in spades then you, like Boris Johnson, can become PM.

Such is another sign of a civilisation in terminal decline

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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