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Monday, April 05, 2010

Ian Dale on Chris Grayling

Ian Dale jumped into the Chris Grayling "row" on Saturday.
In his post he makes this rather stupid and uninformed comment-

"I fundamentally disagree with him on the main issue. This is not about property rights. If you open your house to paying guests, it is no longer just your house. You are running a business, just the same as anyone else, and you should be subject to the same laws as anyone else. If you do not wish gay people, black people, Jews or anyone else in your house, don't open it to the public. Simple as that. No one would accept a shopowner refusing to serve a particular type of person, would they?"

And that's where he is wrong. I worked in retail for over twenty years. Shops are private property. So are shopping centres and retail parks. There is no public right of way. The public are invited onto the premises. If I wanted to ask someone to leave, that was within my rights as the company's representative.
Retailers are under no legal obligation to sell. All items are offered at a particular price and can be withdrawn at any time. The customer has no legal right to demand an item at a certain price. If an item is mis-priced it is quite legitimate for the manager to withdraw that item from sale. That is the law. The manager can, at his discretion and in order to foster goodwill, sell a product at a cheaper price if it is damaged. He is under no legal obligation to do so.
So, if a bunch of louts with nothing better to do came into my shop to use it as a playground I could and did ask them to leave.
I could and did eject someone I suspected of trying to steal from my shop. They had no legal recourse. We invite people in. I withdrew the invitation.
If I caught someone stealing from my shop I always called the police, and that person was permanently banned from entering the store. I said this in the presence of the police, and confirmed that if they tried to enter the shop again they would be arrested for tresspass.
Now which part of that don't you understand Iain?


Iain Dale said...

I ran a shop for 7 years and agree with everything you say. However, if you had ejected someone because they were gay or black, you'd be on a very sticky wicket.

Dave said...

Yes but when I ejected a black, it was because he was a thief.

The race and sexual orientation issue is irrelevant and still should be. When you discriminate in favour you ipso facto discriminate against.