2007 union comments
Brendan Barber , TUC General Secretary said:
“It looks like the BNP has failed to make the breakthrough that was feared and this is down in part to all the hard work undertaken by trade union members and anti-far right campaigners over the past few months. But one BNP councillor is a BNP councillor too many. We must continue to campaign against parties of the far right who seek to spread fear and intimidation and disrupt our many diverse communities across the UK .“
Richard Archer, Lead Singer of Hard-Fi said:
“The BNP have once again tried to use misinformation and distortion in an attempt to deceive the British public. Hard-Fi wish to state our continued opposition to the BNP and continued support for Love Music Hate Racism and the fight against racism and fascism.“
Glyn Ford MEP said:
We have won this battle against the fascist BNP. The war against the poison of the BNP will to continue.
Dr. Abdul Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said:
The BNP is a racist, fascist organisation, which openly tries to whip up dangerous hostility towards Muslims for electoral gain. The MCB is proud to
have worked with a diverse range of organisations in order to mobilise Muslim and non-Muslim voters across the country to vote against the BNP`s
policies of hatred and division. We pledge to redouble our efforts with Unite Against Fascism, and all fellow British people who value democracy,
to ensure that fascism is defeated.
Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the Scottish TUC said:
“The people of Scotland have given a clear message today that they reject racism and fascism. The BNP and their vile politics of hatred, lies and misinformation, has not been allowed to infect Scottish politics“.
Felicity Williams, Wales TUC General Secretary said:
“The Welsh electorate have sent a clear message to fascist groups and have resoundingly voted to keep the BNP out of national politics in Wales. It is a victory for democracy over extremists who peddle fear and suspicion and demonstrates that there is no place for them in Wales. The Wales TUC has been working with Assembly candidates across Wales to ensure that campaigning is free of any racial or religious prejudice, inviting them to commit to the development of Wales as a thriving, multi-faith, multi-cultural and multi-racial society.
Weyman Bennett, Joint National Secretary Unite Against Fascism said:
The BNP was halted by the thousands of anti fascist activist, trade unionists, and faith groups who fought against the lies of the Nazis. We cannot be complacent or rest on our laurels of victory. The fascist BNP stood on such a large geographical area to establish themselves in preparation for the euro elections. We now need a huge national campaign backed by local activity to make sure we continue to prevent the fascists from making a breakthrough.
Denis Fernando, Joint National Secretary of Unite Against Fascism said:
`This result shows that when the BNP is strongly opposed in a united broad campaign, it can be stopped. It has failed to make the breakthrough it craved in these elections, but along the way it has whipped up racism and division. It is no surprise that its largest vote in Wales was in Wrexham, where it ran a campaign attacking refugees and migrants, off the back of the riots of 2003 when asylum seekers were assaulted and racists were convicted for violence. The BNP`s electoral failure this May must be used by all those who oppose fascism as a springboard to drive the fascist party back in the 2008 elections.“
1) Unite Against Fascism
Unite Against Fascism is a national campaign challenging the electoral rise of the fascist British National Party (BNP). It is a broad coalition of those opposed to fascism, chaired by Ken Livingstone, supported by the major national trade unions and bringing together Black, Jewish, Muslim and other faith communities, lesbian and gay activists, MPs and MEPs.
2) BNP fielded a record number of candidates
The BNP fielded an unprecedented 750 candidates in the local elections – more than double its previous number. In just seven years the BNP has advanced from standing just 17 candidates in the year 2000, to 363 in 2006 and now 750. In addition stood 75 candidates for parish and town councils. It stood 20 candidates for the Wales Assembly and 32 for the Scottish Parliament in the regional lists.
3) BNP target seats
The highest number of seats the BNP is targeted is in Yorkshire and the Humber with 181, followed by West Midlands 126, then North West 117, North East 96, East Midlands 84, Eastern 65, South East 39, South West 35, and 7 in the Scottish local elections. It targetted all 40 seats in Birmingham and all 33 in Leeds, as well as 22 in Kirklees and 17 in Bradford.
4) BNP electoral rise
Before these elections, the BNP currently had 49 council seats around the country. In the last few years, the BNP has been receiving the highest votes for a fascist party in British history in the European Parliamentary election in 2004, the general election in 2005 and last year`s local government elections. Its vote has increased by more than 75 fold in just six years – from just over 3,000 votes in 2000 to over 238,000 in 2006.
5) The BNP a dangerous fascist party – not a normal political party
The BNP was founded following a split form the openly Nazi organisation the National Front. The BNP`s aim is an all-white Britain, which could only be achieved through violence and an end to democratic freedoms.
The BNP leader Nick Griffin was given a two-year suspended sentence for distributing material likely to incite racial hatred, following his denial of the reality of the Holocaust.