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Sick of low pay, university top-up fees and not having anywhere to go?

Angry at fat-cat pay rises, privatisation and crumbling public services?

The BNP have no solutions!

 

Don't support the BNP –

Unite to fight for jobs, homes & services

fact sheet:

how to answer the arguments of the BNP

produced by:

Youth against Racism in Europe

&

www.anticapitalism.org.uk www.yre.org.uk

The BNP have no solutions!

 

Council tax & local services

The BNP said that they would fight against cuts in local services and oppose above-inflation rises in council tax.

Then why did BNP councillors in Burnley allow the council to push through over £1 million of cuts in services in March 2003 without opposition, at the same time as council tax bills were rising by 4.9% (almost double inflation)? The BNP had three councillors in Burnley at the time, but not one of them turned up at the council meeting to vote against the proposals!

 

In March 2004 in Stoke-on-Trent the BNP's two councillors voted with New Labour, the Tories, Liberal Democrats and independent councillors to raise council tax by 4.9 percent - almost double inflation, which is around 2.8%.

 

Then why did the three BNP councillors in Halifax fail to vote against the closure of the only primary school left in Mixenden, the ward which BNP councillor Adrian Marsden represents? The BNP says that it supports the campaign to keep Mixenden Primary School open, but all its three councillors abstained on the vote, allowing the closure to go through without any opposition from councillors.

 

Workers' rights & trade unions

The BNP say that they support workers' rights and the trade unions.

The right to strike is the last resort for workers to defend themselves from bosses who won’t listen or negotiate. But during the firefighters' strikes, when the government was out to smash the Fire Brigades' Union, the BNP said that firefighters:

‘must forego their ambiguous position of using strike action as a means of leverage in pay negotiations.’ (BNP website, 13 Nov 2002).

 

The BNP have no solutions!

The leaders of the BNP have been encouraging their members to join the trade unions. However, their motive is not to build the trade union movement. Instead it appears that this is an attempt to cripple trade unions who tried to expel BNP members by landing them with huge legal bills and possibly compensation payments.

In their members' bulletin in January 2003 BNP members were told: 'If you are not a member of a... union, then join.' The BNP members were advised to hide their politics in the workplace, but to tell other union members that they were in the BNP and to 'delight in getting chucked out of the union'. They were urged to try to get large amounts of compensation for being expelled, but to do it quickly as they 'haven't got long to get on that particular gravy train'.

 

Pensioners

The BNP say that 'our pensioners should come first'

But in Broxbourne, BNP councillor Ramon Johns voted with the Tory majority on the council to oppose free bus passes for pensioners. Perhaps he had changed his mind, since before he had told voters that he believed 'pensioners should get free bus passes'.

 

Racism

The BNP say they aren't racist; that they just want to represent white people who have been neglected and abandoned by the establishment.

Working-class people of all ethnic backgrounds and cultures have been neglected and abandoned by the establishment. We are left with low pay, job insecurity, crumbling public services, social disintegration and crime. These problems are serious. But they come from the fact that we live in a class society, where the rich and powerful (big business, and their friends the career politicians) exploit the rest of us.

The only way to solve these problems is for working-class people of all backgrounds to unite and fight together for a better life. The BNP's policy of trying to bring everything down to race increases racial tensions and divisions and makes it harder to build united campaigns to improve our lives.

Where racism or racial tensions are a problem the BNP seeks to exploit them and make them worse, rather than looking for ways to overcome the existing problems. For example, after the Oldham riots in 2001 Nick Griffin's 'solution' was to call for a 'peace wall' to be built between the white community and the Asian community, like the one that divides Catholic and Protestant communities in Belfast. This is a recipe for more division, tension and violence, not less.

In Halifax, for example, where the BNP now have three councillors, the number of racist incidents has increased by 21% in one year according to West Yorkshire Police Authority.

The BNP have no solutions!

The BNP's public position is that all races are equal but different. But that is not what its leaders really think. They believe in the 'superiority' of white (or 'Aryan') people to all other races - the theory that Hitler used to scapegoat Jews for Germany's economic problems, and to justify the brutal enslavement of Slavs in Eastern Europe and Russia during World War II.

The BNP don't allow non-white members - after Jim Cowell, a BNP member in Burnley, called for BNP membership to be open to all including 'people of mixed race and other immigrants who are clearly part of this country's future, just as there should be no discrimination against our own indigenous population’, the BNP's national press officer wrote in to the local paper to explain that if non-white people wanted to support the BNP they were not allowed to join but had to do it through the BNP's 'Ethnic Liaison Committee'.

 

Prejudice

The BNP say that 'homosexuality is wrong and unhealthy' and call for the banning of 'the public display and promotion of homosexuality' in schools and the media (Frequently Asked Questions, BNP website).

The banning of the 'promotion' of homosexuality by local authorities by the Tories in 1988 (section 28) has caused misery for generations of young people by encouraging ignorance about sexuality and homophobic bullying, including in schools. Although section 28 has now been removed (and with it the threat of prosecution for people who broke it) many teachers and school authorities are still not confident to deal with the issue.

Homophobic bullying is a huge problem in schools. Any young person can be branded as 'gay' and suffer homophobic bullying as a punishment for being 'different', although the brunt of this is borne by young people who are gay.

The only reason the BNP stopped calling for a total ban on homosexuality after Nick Griffin became leader in 1999 was because they realised that social attitudes in Britain have changed and it would not be accepted. The BNP admitted this in their magazine, Identity: 'As much as the BNP wants to drive homosexuality back into the closet where it belongs, such a policy is wholly unworkable and totally ridiculous. Worse still, it betrays a totalitarian mindset which is badly at odds with the essentially individualistic and live-and-let-live attitude of most Britons'. This totalitarian mindset is still alive and well amongst the leaders of the BNP.

The abuse and fear created by homophobia is very real; it is the BNP's policy of trying to go back in time to when gay people had to hide that is 'wrong and unhealthy'. Instead schools and the media should be campaigning against the widespread homophobic prejudices, bullying and abuse that exist.

The BNP have no solutions!

Terrorism

The BNP say that they oppose terrorism

But leading members of the BNP have supported it. Tony 'bomber' Lecomber, the Director of Group Development, of the BNP got his nickname in 1985 when he was convicted of five offences including possession of home-made hand grenades and electronic detonators, after he set off the nail bomb outside the offices of a left-wing group.

 

Democracy

The BNP say that they are democratic and don't threaten anybody

The numbers stand for the first and the eighth letters of the alphabet: A and H, or Adolf Hitler.

Most long-standing BNP activists are hardened neo-Nazis, who believe in building a mass movement to smash the trade unions, workers' organisations, and the democratic rights we have won through decades of struggle.

The BNP have changed their public image because they were fed up of getting no support. But the leadership and main activists of the BNP still support the same ideas.

 

Why the BNP are a threat

The BNP's influence will make it much harder for working-class communities to campaign to improve things. The BNP leadership are trying to play on prejudices and divisions when what we need to do is unite against big business, the government and local councils who are destroying our communities.

The BNP are trying to confuse the issues in order to divert the enormous anger that exists into channels that won't threaten the rule of big business.

The leaders of the BNP are not campaigning in order to support rights for ordinary working-class people. Many of them don't have a clue about the problems we face. For example Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP, is a wealthy landowner. He inherited hundreds of thousands of pounds from his grandfather and is expected to be left another half million by his father.

At the moment the BNP are trying to distance themselves from the idea of neo-Nazi street-fighting gangs that they have supported in the past. However, if the situation changes and they think they can get away with it, the BNP could turn back to the methods of violence and intimidation that they have used so often before.

 

The BNP have no solutions!

Making a difference

The BNP say that they are 'the only party that will make a difference'.

Where the BNP have been elected they haven't offered an alternative to the main three parties. In Halifax the BNP have even allowed long-standing Tory councillor Geoff Wallace to join them on the council!

Will ex-Tory Geoff Wallace now pledge to oppose Tory policies like privatisation and cuts in public services?

The BNP ignore the fact that in some areas socialist candidates have been elected and are putting up a genuine fight to represent local people.

Socialists elected to local councils and the Scottish Parliament have opposed privatisation - not just in an election leaflet like the BNP but in practice - campaigning day-in and day-out alongside trade unions and local communities; giving working-class people a voice in the council chambers and Scottish Parliament and voting with their principles.

 

Socialist councillors have made a real difference

 

Compare the BNP councillors' shameful record to the achievements of the three Socialist Party councillors in Coventry who have:

 

… helped save the following local services:

They organised a 450 name petition and argued in the council chamber for full consultation before any decision was made to close it.  The Day Centre was kept open and funding has now been found to keep it that way.

Together with the local community, they helped to stop the closure of this primary school.

The police wanted to charge local community groups £1000s to run them; Socialist Party councillors ensured this was rejected.

The BNP have no solutions!

could have got more but the Liberal Democrats cracked at £1 million and allowed the budget to be agreed by 2 votes). Socialist councillors had consistently opposed any cuts from the summer onwards and had lobbied every consultation meeting calling for a battle with the government for more funds.

… opposed all PFI (private finance initiative) and privatisation schemes:

 

… fought for and won the following improvements:

 

Socialist Party councillors have also:

 

 

 

 

 

  

The BNP have no solutions!

 

Held regular surgeries plus special surgeries. Produced regular bulletins delivered by knocking on every door in the ward plus special area-based newsletters on key local issues often linked to special area surgeries.

More info: www.coventrysocialistparty.org.uk

The Scottish Socialist Party

The Scottish Socialist Party has six Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). Instead of living on the inflated £47,000-a-year that other MSPs get, all six SSP MSPs take the

average wage of a skilled worker (£22,000 a year) out of their parliamentary salary to live on and donate the rest to campaigns to improve the conditions of working-class people.

In the Scottish Parliament the SSP has been campaigning to:

• Introduce free school meals for all schoolchildren in Scotland. This was voted down by New Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Tories, but the campaign is still continuing.

• Abolish the council tax and replace it with a fairer local tax based on ability to pay

• Scrap prescription charges

In the community the SSP is constantly involved in campaigns against poverty, bad housing, privatisation and cuts in services. The SSP has:

• Helped to save Pollok Community Centre, which was closed by Glasgow City Council but is now run by the local community

• Helped thousands of people to be rehoused or get essential housing repairs every year.

The SSP has been extremely active in the Scottish nursery nurses’ dispute, where the nursery nurses have been fighting to keep a national agreement so that their pay & conditions are the same no matter which council they work for.

More info: www.scottishsocialistparty.org

 

Trade union action can win

Over the last few years trade union action has achieved much more for working-class people than all the BNP councillors put together.

Knowsley UNISON, Merseyside - winning a shorter working week

Knowsley Council tried to use a new agreement with the unions (the Single Status Agreement) to increase the hours all council workers had to work to 37 a week. This would have meant over 1500 workers working two extra hours a week without an increase in pay.

The BNP have no solutions!

UNISON had a strike against this in 2001. With the solid support of union members, UNISON not only defeated the council's attempt to increase the working week; they won an agreement to move towards a 35 hour week for all council workers with no loss of pay by 2008. The first stage of this begins in April 2004, when over 1,200 council employees move from a 37 to 36 hour week with no loss of pay.

Kirklees Unison, Yorkshire - better pay for nursery nurses & teaching assistants

After nine days of strike action and a very active public campaign by nursery nurses - who do an extremely important job supporting young children in schools for what is usually poverty pay - Kirklees Council was forced to improve its 'last and final' offer. Nursery nurses in Kirklees are now being paid an average of £2,000 extra a year, backdated to October 2003.

Teaching assistants in Kirklees are now some of the best paid in the country, thanks to a campaign organised by Unison in 2000-1. Strike action was threatened but in the face of the campaign, which involved thousands of teaching assistants, the council eventually increased wages without any strikes taking place.

Whipps Cross Unison, East London - improving wages & conditions

As a result of years of privatisation, staff doing the same jobs were on several different contracts, all with different wages and conditions. After a series of solid strikes UNISON won a wage increase for the lowest paid staff at Whipps Cross hospital in Leyton, as a first step in the campaign to bring wages and conditions for all staff up to the same level.

 

The BNP criticise the problems that exist,

but they don't have any solutions.

Don't support the BNP -

Unite to fight for jobs, homes & services

ISR and YRE call for trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists to stand in elections to put a genuine alternative to the pro-big business policies of the main parties. Together we can build a real alternative.

We need a new party that represents working-class people of all races and cultures. We need an end to the rule of the fat cat bosses and the career politicians. We need a society run for the needs of the millions, not for the profits of the millionaires.

The BNP, with its neo-Nazi leadership and divisive methods, has no solutions to the problems we face. They will only make things worse, increasing divisions and tensions in our communities and making it harder for us to fight back. We need to stop the BNP and unite to build a real alternative.

If you agree with what we are saying, please support our campaign and get involved. We need your help!

The BNP have no solutions!

What is ?

We are an international anti-capitalist organisation, run by and for young people. We campaign on issues affecting young people, and against the rule of big business. We are fighting for a socialist society, where the wealth and resources of the world are democratically planned for the benefit of all.

www.anticapitalism.org.uk againstcapitalism@hotmail.com

020 8558 7947 PO box 858, London E11 1YG

 

 

What is the ?

We are an anti-racist youth organisation. We campaign against racism, prejudice and the far-right. We are working to unite people to fight for a better society: one that is democratically run for the needs of all, not the profits of the few.

www.yre.org.uk yrehq@yahoo.co.uk

020 8558 7947 PO box 858, London E11 1YG

 

 

– increase the minimum wage now

– an end to exemptions and lower rates of pay for young people

– campaign for the money from central government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BNP have no solutions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support our campaign against the BNP

You can:

 

I/we would like to:

o join Youth against Racism in Europe (£5 waged/£1 unwaged for one year)

o make a donation of £____ to the YRE

o affiliate to the YRE

o order ____ leaflets and ____ posters to campaign against the BNP (we will contact you about the cost)

Please make cheques payable to ‘YRE’.

o join International Socialist Resistance (£4 waged/£2 unwaged for one year)

o make a donation of £____ to ISR

o affiliate to ISR

o order ____ leaflets and ____ posters to campaign against the BNP (we will contact you about the cost)

Please make cheques payable to 'ISR'.

Name:………………………………………………………………………. phone:…………………………………………………………………..

Address:……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………… email:………………………………………………………………..

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Please return to: PO box 858, London E11 1YG