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April/May 2007 No 66

Stopping the BNP during the elections

by Kevin O'Neil Information Development Officer

On Thursday 3 May, you will have the chance to exercise your democratic right to vote for the candidates and the party you want to run your area.

UNISON wants to make clear to members and the public the dangers posed by the British National Party (BNP) who have announced for the first time that they will contest every regional list in the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections.

They will put up 32 candidates and seven local government candidates. The BNP masquerade as a mainstream political party, but they hide their true colours.

They are only too keen to exploit fears, frustrations and people's desire for a better Scotland, in order to further their extreme views. They say that they are a proper political party.

The evidence against them says they are not. They divide communities and when this happens, jobs are lost and businesses close.

They want black people, refugees and even migrant workers from Europe to leave Britain. They would even stop mixed-race relationships if they were given the chance.

The list system provides an opportunity for election with a fairly low threshold and uses the freepost system, provided by public money, to promote their message of hate cost effectively. Whilst fascist parties like the BNP have a minimal footprint in Scotland, we must continue to campaign to ensure that this position remains. Know the facts Racism flourishes when it is unchallenged and it has no place in our workplaces and communities.

The lies spread by the BNP must and will be answered. The Policy and Information Team has produced a range of materials for members, activists and branches to use in stopping the BNP.

On Saturday 28 April, UNISON Scotland will be holding an anti BNP Day of Action across Scotland. This will take place from 12:00 to 2:00pm in the form of street stalls and distributing leaflets at various locations across Scotland.

If you are able to assist with this day of action or require materials for your own activity, please contact Kevin O'Neil (k.oneil@unison.co.uk 0870 777 006) Information Development Officer at UNISON House who is co-ordinating the Day of Action.

As UNISON members and public service workers, we care for the whole community. Don't let the racists ruin Scotland. Use your vote to Stop the BNP and their message of hate.

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