Ken Livingstone, Labour candidate for London mayor, pulled out of a radio hustings last week after the BBC insisted on including the British National Party (BNP) candidate.
Livingstone said, “I have long held to the belief in no platform for the far right. The far right want to destroy our democracy and stand for the elimination of our basic rights.
“They cannot be treated as a legitimate part of politics. I will not share a platform with the BNP and it is a point of principle to me that I never will do.”
His refusal to appear prompted other mayoral candidates to pull out too—first the Greens’ Jenny Jones, then Tory Boris Johnson and then Liberal Democrats’ Brian Paddick.
Livingstone’s stance demonstrates how effective the “no platform” policy can be. By refusing to appear with the Nazis he scuppered the BBC’s plans to give the BNP a platform.
Unite Against Fascism launched its London campaign against the BNP on Tuesday of last week.
Trade union activists from the NUT, PCS and RMT gathered outside King’s Cross station to hand out leaflets urging a vote against the fascists.
Candidates for the London Assembly need to pass a 5 percent threshold before they have a chance of winning a seat.
In 2008 the BNP polled 5.3 percent and took one seat on the assembly.
Every vote against the BNP in London helps keep the Nazis out.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT teachers’ union, was one of those handing out the anti‑BNP leaflets—which were produced jointly by UAF and NUT.
She told Socialist Worker, “The NUT has a political fund exactly because it lets us campaign against racist and fascist parties.
“NUT members will be on the streets in large numbers during these elections to say we cannot have fascists in our town halls.”