Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Burnley Racist’s Employer - HARD CHOICES

[Update at end of post]

Those who have difficulty with understanding the Black Lives Matter campaign may be enjoying a sigh of relief this morning after it was announced that no crime had been committed when a light aircraft trailing a banner with the message “WHITE LIVES MATTER BURNLEY” was flown over the Etihad Stadium, not long after this week’s game between Manchester City and Burnley had kicked off.
That, though, does not make matters any easier for the self-proclaimed perpetrator of the stunt, Jake Hepple, who owned up and immediately made it clear that he was not apologising to anyone. Our free and fearless press did not take long to unearth Hepple’s previous closeness to the EDL, and his support for the activities of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson. And then it got worse.

Hepple’s partner Megan Rambadt, who had openly expressed views such as “I love Burnley but I must admit it’s pretty grim, that town centre is like a foreign country. Needs sorting” and “They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin bastards”, was suspended by her employer. They initially decided to send Ms Rambadt for racial sensitivity training, but ultimately decided against it. Megan Rambadt has been sacked.
Jake Hepple

All of which turns the spotlight on to Jake Hepple’s employer, a firm called Paradigm Precision. They are in the specialist engineering sector, manufacturing components for the aerospace industry. They have so far limited their comments toWe are aware of the incident that took place and are currently investigating the conduct of our employee. Once we have completed our enquiries, we will release a full statement”.

That, though, misses the real problem for Paradigm Precision: the firm has serious previous form when it comes to not dealing with bigotry, as Pink News reported only two months ago. The headline, “Gay aerospace engineer wins £175,000 payout after his ‘worst nightmares’ about coming out at work came true” gives a flavour of what happened.
There is more. “An engineer won an employment tribunal case after he suffered harassment and discrimination at work while looking to start a family with his husband … Peter Allen, who has worked in engineering from age 16, joined aerospace component manufacturer Paradigm Precision in 2012 as a quality manager and rose through the company over six years”. But then he came out to his colleagues.

The married 41-year-old explained to PinkNews that he was in line to take over as general manager of the company’s UK site in Burnley - but things went awry when he came out at work in 2018 and made enquiries into adoption leave … After he was passed over for promotion and his marriage to a man became common knowledge, Allen faced a string of homophobic incidents - including derogatory emails and ‘limp-wristed hand gestures’ from colleagues”. And so it all ended up in court.
Allen eventually did leave the company and decided to pursue legal action for harassment and unfair dismissal”. He won his case. “He was awarded a total of £174,645, including £96,645 for breaches of the Equality Act and £23,873 for unfair dismissal”. Paradigm Precision will have had a hefty legal bill on top of that.

So the firm already has a bad reputation on bigotry. Would they care to make it worse?
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at


[UPDATE 1720 hours: Paradigm Precision have now made their hard choice, and as the Mirror has told, that choice was that Jake Hepple was awarded the sack. So now he and his partner have achieved equal status.

The report goes on to say "The Burnley fan behind the White Lives Matter banner that was flown over the Etihad Stadium has been sacked from his job ... Jake Hepple worked as a welder at Paradigm Precision in Lancashire, but has been dismissed for taking responsibility for the stunt ... The company said it 'did not condone or tolerate racism in any form'".

It should be remembered that Hepple had already asserted that he would not apologise. But Hepple wants everyone to know that he's not a racist.

He exercised his freedom of speech and expression. Paradigm Precision exercised their freedom of choice. Actions have consequences]


Simon said...

If no crime has been committed then the phrase White Lives Matter is therefore not racist so by extension, neither is Black Lives Matter (which anyone with a brain already knew). I'm glad that the issue has been put to bed and people can stop pretending to not understand it.

grim northerner said...

Simple Simon says, 'ALL Lives Matter!'

Anonymous said...

No sigh of relief, bloody obvious no crime had been committed. Therefore it would be difficult for his employers to sack him without ending up in the courts again.

If he doesn't take his "bigotry" to work then your analogy is wrong.

Have you emailed your article to the firm concerned?

Andy McDonald said...

"Bringing the firm into disrepute" is a pretty flexible HR tool. Employment rights and protections in the UK have been eroded over the years, thanks largely to right wing governments. Ironic.

Anonymous said...

The real irony is that a man with an opinion who has committed no crime is offered police protection from those who would break the law to voice their opinion

Anonymous said...

@anon 13:05 - being an aggressively provocative racist is not "a man with an opinion", it's "a man who is a twat".

Anonymous said...

I@13.05 ... I beg to offer that he has been offered police protection on account of his being outed as a 24k bigoted knob

Anonymous said...

And that justifies what exactly?

Burlington Bertie from Bow said...

Maybe we need a new 'flying while neo-fascist' offence along the lines of the long-established 'driving while black' one, whose enforcement some elements in the police have traditionally been very vigilant in observing.

Anonymous said...

This was clearly a reaction to the FA's inexplicable decision to push what is essentially a political slogan. Not so long ago the FA prohibited players from showing support for the poppy appeal whereas support for BLM is compulsory? They should revert to their previous policy. Keep politics out of football.

Simon said...


Anonymous said...

24 June 2020 at 22:05

'ere, 'ere

Anonymous said...


Don't think the FA have ever prohibited players wearing poppies.

Anonymous said...

Regarding keeping politics out of sport, the FA actually broke it's own rules on this matter. It also infringed on the human rights of players, were they given a choice regarding the shirt slogan or taking a knee?

grim northerner said...

Simple Simon says 'where?'

knicky said...

Hes a legend. He should have a statue.

Anonymous said...

Jake was unfairly dismissed. Why wasn't the newly promoted Cambridge professor sacked for saying that White lives don't matter? double standards and blatant hypocrisy!