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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Another Briton Persecuted For Masonic Membership

The hits just keep on coming in England against Freemasons. Of all things, Building Design-the Architects' Website, trumpets the Masonic membership of Roger Shrimplin, who is running for president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London. It seems that an internal investigation was recently conducted to confirm allegations that Freemasons were manipulating its London chapter. As in all of these types of investigations across Britain, there is absolutely not a shred of proof that Freemasons are doing favors for each other in their professional capacity. Even Jack Straw's 12 year old witch hunt against Masons in government, law enforcement and the judiciary came to an end this year. But it seems the English will leave no Masonic boogeyman un-exorcised.

From "Mason allegation as three stand for RIBA president" by Will Hurst and Elizabeth Hopkirk:

Shrimplin himself has informed RIBA Council that he is a freemason, but strongly rejects the notion that it is a secret society handing out favours to its members.

Reed told BD that a yet-to-be-published report into London region carried out by RIBA vice president for membership John Devlin includes masonic influence as an “area of concern”.

She added: “As far as I’m aware, it’s an issue of a historic nature.”

Reed added that Shrimplin, already a trustee on RIBA’s governing board, had been open about his status and had served RIBA in a “very thoughtful and constructive way”.

However, critics pointed out that he had not declared himself a mason in the institute’s register of interests, which was specifically introduced to cover membership of the freemasons as well as political allegiances.

RIBA Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of strengthening the rule last year, stating that any member who failed to sign the declaration of interests form — even if they have no interest to declare — “will be excluded”. Despite this, as many as 22 councillors have still to comply.

Former honorary secretary Ian Salisbury said: “The RIBA needs to be very cautious that it doesn’t fall into the trap of allowing self-interested groups to advance themselves.”

Former councillor Sam Webb claimed the missing declarations of interest could leave all council decisions since September open to legal challenge.

“You can’t make the rules up as you go along,” he said. “If you have masons who have not declared they are masons sitting on a key committee then the RIBA is sunk.”

Shrimplin said he objected to having to list his membership of the freemasons because it did not affect his professionalism.

“It will be in my [election] statement and if people are prejudiced against it, they will have to vote on that basis,” he said. “I’m emphatic about integrity, honesty and tolerance. Those are integral to a liberal society and also basic principles of freemasonry.”

The only thing that's missing from this story is the mention of rolled-up trouser legs, and dodgy handshakes. If this wasn't so ridiculous, I'd think someone was intentionally recreating the Monty Python "Architect's sketch."

Someone needs to remind the nervous powers that be at RIBA that the European Union Court of Human Rights struck down similar rules against Masons in Italy. And the UGLE is in a suing mood against organizations that single out Freemasons for discrimination.

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