82. BNP Myths Briefing
The purpose of this briefing is to refute the myths
the BNP are spreading through out Scotland in the run up to the
European Elections on Thursday 10th June 2004.
Throughout this year, UNISON Scotland will be producing
more materials for branches and members to combat racism.
BNP European Election Candidates
The BNP have now nominated seven candidates to contest
the Scotland Constituency in this years European Elections.
The BNP's candidates are Steve Blake, Scott McLean,
David Kerr, Stephen Burns, Bryan Dickson, Craig McComb and John
Bean. Briefing number No 79 specifically focussed on Steve Blake,
Scott McLean, David Kerr and Stephen Burns.
No 5: Bryan Dickson
Dickson is 34 years old and is the assistant Borders
organiser. " Native of the Borders, he is currently in further
education and involved with rural land management". Dickson
joined the BNP because "they are the only political party
actively defending the rural way of life".
No: 6 Craig McComb
McComb is the Assistant Ayrshire Organiser for the
BNP and his claim to fame within the BNP is that he was the election
agent last year for BNP No4 candidate Stephen Burns for the Auchinleck
ward during the 2003 elections to East Ayrshire Council.
McComb is married with a young family; he also runs
his own business in Ayrshire.
No: 7 John Bean
"John Bean has been campaigning for British
Nationalism since the 1960s". Bean now lives in semi-retirement
and he his very proud of his paternal Scottish origins. He is
the editor of 'Identity' the BNPs monthly magazine. Information
gathered from the BNP web site and Aryan Unity's reveal Bean's
past as more fascist than merely nationalist. Bean was in Moseley's
Union Movement in the 1950s, the first British National Party
(of which he was the national organiser) and the National Front,
of which he was one of the three founders. He is also the author
of Many Shades of Black; Inside Britain's far right. This is quoted
on just about every nationalist and Nazi web site.
Briefing No 79 briefly focussed on Fife based candidate
Alastair Harper. He with drew his candidacy and also with drew
his membership from the BNP. Alastair Harper now spends his time
by writing to the letters pages of numerous Scottish Newspapers.
For a short time the BNPs No 5 candidate was Peter
Appleby. Peter Appleby stood last year as the BNPs Glasgow list
candidate in the Scottish Parliament elections. The reason he
gave to the Daily record last year on why he was standing as a
candidate,"One reason I'm standing is I've experienced the
effects of asylum seekers coming here." The BNP web site
said of Appleby recently, " he is a staunch nationalist who
believes that 'charity begins at home' and that the BNP is the
only party that speaks for the British people. Appleby was born
in Northumbria and during last year's elections was working as
a historical researcher specialising in medieval armour. He left
Britain for a 20-year period and during that time he was working
in British Columbia providing security for the logging industry.
During his time in Vancouver he set up the populist Reform Party,
whose patriotic policies are similar to those of the BNP. He was
a regional director of the Reform Party.
The BNP and their Message of Hate
As part of the Election Campaign, the BNP has been
sending out a communication entitled "Asylum is making Britain
explode". The leaflet, which is being distributed to every
household in Scotland, is a compilation of half-truths, mistruth
and groundless assertions. The BNP is abusing the valuable Election
Material distribution system by circulating a leaflet that portrays
asylum seekers in such a negative and derogatory fashion that
it may incite racial hatred. The BNP's leaflet has five key themes
to it, which are:
Terrorist Time Bomb, Asylum Time Bomb, EU Time Bomb,
Financial Time Bomb and Housing Time Bomb.
The following is a detailed refutation of the lies
and myths of the BNP.
A terrorist time bomb?
. The Association of Chief Police Officers
(ACPO) confirmed that there is no evidence for a higher rate of
criminality amongst asylum seekers. In fact, they revealed that
asylum seekers are far more likely to become victims of crime,
than to be perpetrators.
. All asylum seekers are in direct contact with
the Home Office, who have the right to detain anyone they consider
to be a security risk: applying for asylum is therefore a poor
strategy for anyone seeking to break the law. Many Muslim asylum
seekers are in the UK seeking protection from the fundamental
Islamic groups that co-ordinate terrorist attacks.
. Despite the fear of masses of terrorists living
and planning attacks in Britain only 529 people have been arrested
under the Terrorism Act, and only 5 of those were charged. Only
17 foreign nationals were held under the emergency powers brought
in after September 11th. (The Observer; www.cageprisoner.com)
An asylum time bomb?
. Asylum seekers and refuges make up 0.3% of NHS
users, and therefore cannot be considered a major drain on resources.
The British Medical Association has found that asylum seekers
do not bring TB to Britain. The millions of Britons who travel
abroad on holiday each year are more likely to bring disease into
. The government fast-tracks asylum seekers
when they believe their claims may be manifestly unfounded. They
do not then become economic migrants – the government decides
whether or not they are entitled to asylum and if they are not
steps are taken to remove them.
An EU time bomb?
. Members of the new European Union countries do
have the right to live and work in the UK, but are barred from
claiming benefits for up to two years, and possibly longer. Therefore
migrants from the EU work to support themselves and do not 'live
here at our expense'.
. According to Glasgow City Council 80% of
the asylum seekers who are dispersed to Scotland are found to
be in need of protection. In addition the experience and qualifications
that refugees bring to Scotland will do much to address the growing
A financial time bomb?
. The amount given to asylum seekers is less than
1% of what is spent on the NHS each year. Individual asylum seekers
receive around 70% (£38.96 per week) of income support, i.e. less
than the supposed minimum amount if they apply as soon as they
arrive in the UK – by the end of 2003 almost 20% of newly arrive
asylum seekers were ineligible for support.
. On the other hand, migrants, including refugees
and asylum seekers, made a net fiscal contribution of around £2.5
billion in 1999 – 2000 to the UK economy. That is the equivalent
to 1 penny saving on income tax.
A housing time bomb?
. Asylum seekers are housed in void housing
stock – in other words housing that the council has been unable
to let. This means that asylum seekers have no effect on housing
BNP Party Election Broadcast (Thursday 27th
Shown on BBC Scotland and STV, this Party Political
Broadcast attempted to portray the BNP as a mainstream political
party. The broadcast made constant referrals to Muslim asylum
seekers and so called 'race related' murders.
Also featured in this broadcast was Scott McLean
No 2 candidate and BNP vice-chair. McLean was recently featured
in an expose in the News of the World. An under cover video by
the News of the World, shows McLean with another member of the
BNP singing and chanting racist songs. The video also shows them
giving Nazi salutes and burning a wooden cross.
At the end this broadcast, Nick Griffin Chairman
of the BNP was portrayed as a patriotic Britain proud of our role
in the Second World War and was shown walking beside a Spitfire.
Maybe he would have been more comfortable and patriotic walking
beside a Messerschmitt!
Reaction to BNP European Election Materials
Police are investigating complaints about election
literature distributed by the BNP across Scotland. Police officers
in Edinburgh have been talking to the Crown Office after receiving
a complaint about one of the leaflets. Similar complaints in Glasgow
have led the Crown Office to ask police to provide "further
information" about the leaflets. Other police forces across
Scotland are also believed to be investigating.
Glasgow based charity Positive Action in Housing
have received numerous complaints from the general public about
the BNPs Election Communication leaflet. and they are actively
encouraging members of the public to report this to the police.
The STUC have also taken a similar stance.
UNISON Scotland and UNISON Anti-BNP Initiatives
On Thursday 27th May 2004, UNISON launched
a pre-election assault on the BNP. This was in the format of adverts
in national newspapers warning voters of the dangers of electing
BNP candidates in all of the various elections taking place across
the UK on 10th June. UNISON Scotland has circulated
to branches a series of leaflets and posters to alert our members
of the dangers of the BNPs policies. We will also be publishing
adverts in various Scottish tabloids between now and June 10th.
UNISON will also be taking part in various anti-BNP and anti-racist
events. UNISON Scotland will be participating in the STUC's Scotland
Shows Racism the Red Card event. Organisations supporting this
include, Scotland's mainstream political parties, STUC, religious
and faith communities, statutory bodies, civic, business and community
organisations. These bodies will all come together to make a clear
statement that Scotland rejects racism.
" Scotland is a vibrant and diverse nation.
There is no place in Scotland for politics that divide communities,
promote hatred and misinformation, and oppose diversity and multiculturalism.
Scotland rejects racism and fascism".
Action for Branches:
Branches should forward any information they have
on BNP candidates or racist activities within their area onto
the Policy and Information Team. Combating racism and racist parties
is a priority for UNISON and we will be continuing to monitor
and campaign against the BNP and other racist organisations not
only at the time of elections but all of the time as they pose
a serious threat to democracy and community cohesion.