Sarah Hewitt, CWU rep Doncaster delivery office
‘Hearing that the BNP had won a big vote in Doncaster and an MEP in my region left me feeling shocked and betrayed.
Shocked because I could not believe that people in what was a mining area would ever vote for the Nazis.
And betrayed because I think it was New Labour that allowed it to happen.
I know lots of people at work who have always voted Labour but refused to go to the polls this time.
Most are angry about the expenses scandal but the government’s plans to privatise the mail made it worse.
So long as people are scared about their futures some will be persuaded that migrants are to blame.
If we want to stop the BNP and undercut their racism then Labour has got to return to its roots.
We need good policies to defend public services. We need to start providing affordable housing. And we need to protect jobs.’
Frances O’Grady, TUC deputy general secretary
‘We represent six million workers from all national origins.
Our activists were telling us that the expenses row played a very big part in the fall off in the vote for Labour.
People are without doubt feeling under pressure when they see jobs go.
They feel insecure and are worried about pensions but the BNP answer to blame immigration is clearly no solution.’
Richard Isdell, CWU area processing rep, Sheffield mail centre
‘I’m gutted and disgusted by the BNP’s Euro election victory here.
To my mind it is the result of the complete failure of the three mainstream parties, and the fact that there is no unified left alternative.
The BNP are exploiting the immigration issue, but it was David Blunkett, one of our local Labour MPs, who opened the door to them.
When he spoke out against immigration the BNP was overjoyed.
What he said had legitimised it.
Blunkett gave ground to the Nazis and now we’re all paying the price.
Unite Against Fascism is organising protests in Sheffield.
I hope that our union will put maximum effort into making them a success.’
Laura, activist from Unite Against Fascism in the North West
‘The results are saddening. It is obvious that the fascists are not the majority in the North West, but apathy stopped people from voting.
The scandal over MPs’ expenses didn’t help.
Lots of us protested against Nick Griffin at the count in Manchester. We really made an impact. I’m sure that Griffin will show his true colours over the next few years.
We need to keep doing what we are doing – and getting more people involved, especially young people as they are the future.’
Aine Macguire, student at Manchester Metropolitan University
‘We’re all sick to the stomach about the BNP getting a seat. We really hoped it wouldn’t happen, but it has.
So we’ll be protesting against Nick Griffin wherever he goes.
There is no question to which the BNP is the answer.’