Socialist Worker

Unions and activists beat back the BNP

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 2130

Troubles are piling up for the fascist British National Party (BNP) in the wake of last month’s leak of a list of the organisation’s members and supporters.

Some 12,800 names and addresses were posted online on 18 November. Now trade unionists and anti-fascist activists are combing the list to reveal BNP members in their workplaces.

In Lisburn, Northern Ireland, a branch secretary for the Nipsa union was outed as a member of the party. Like many trade unions, Nipsa wants to expel ­fascists from its organisation.

A ruling last year at the European Court of Human Rights upheld the rights of the Aslef train drivers’ union to kick BNP members out.

One Nipsa official commented, “If you’re a member of a racist party such as the BNP, you clearly have no right to be a member of Nipsa and you shouldn’t be employed by the civil service.”

Education

The UCU and NUT education unions issued a joint statement last week outlining their view that “espousal of BNP policies” was “incompatible with membership of our organisations”.

The statement read, “Racism and fascism are the antithesis of the aims of education which strives for the liberation of every learner’s potential.”

It called on the government to “give consideration to making membership of the BNP incompatible with registration as a qualified teacher or lecturer”.

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) has produced a model motion for trade unionists calling on their unions “to campaign for the removal of BNP members in public services”.

Despite its recent setbacks the BNP remains intent on capitalising on the economic crisis by stirring up race hatred against Muslims, refugees and migrant workers.

BNP leader Nick Griffin has announced his intention to stand in the North West England constituency in next May’s European elections.

In 2004 the fascists won 6.1 percent of the vote in this seat, while the UK Independence Party (UKIP) won 11.7 percent.

Dynamic

Many campaigners warn that the collapse in support for UKIP could see some of its vote hardening up and transferring to the fascist BNP. This dynamic helped the BNP gain a seat on the London Assembly earlier this year.

Trade unionists and anti-fascists around the country need to act now to make sure their unions are signed up to Unite Against Fascism’s campaign to kick Nazis out of public services and block the BNP’s plans to grab a European parliament seat.

To download the model motion against the BNP go to » www.uaf.org.uk


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.