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How to stop the BNP ... Build a political alternative
ON 29 March 100 trade unionists and anti-racist activists gathered for a midday demonstration in Liverpool city centre. This was part of Anti-Fascist Fortnight - the "Hope Not Hate" tour of the country - sponsored by Searchlight magazine and the Daily Mirror newspaper.
Lynne Wild, Merseyside Socialist Party
Socialist Party member Roy Farrar addressed the crowd on behalf of Merseyside Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP). He agreed that the aim of the tour was clear in exposing the likes of the far-right BNP regarding their racist politics and thuggish methods.
However, Roy questioned the limitations of only 'moral' objections to the BNP, explaining that the Tour's vague slogan - "Vote Hope Not Hate" - in the local elections could be read as saying it was OK to vote Labour, Lib-Dem, or Tory!
"The BNP tries to pose as a party for workers. But, when elected onto local councils, they have shown they have no intention of actually doing anything for working people. They either fail to turn up to Council meetings, and when they do attend they vote for cuts along with the Tories, Lib-Dems and Labour, said Roy.
He continued: "Many, horrified by the real policies of the far-right, may have voted for one of the 'mainstream' parties to keep the BNP out. But these politicians offer no long-term solution. They just wheel out the same, old, unpopular policies that opened the door to the BNP in the first place.
"New Labour, Tories, and Lib-Dems ignore working-class people - they just help the rich get richer. These parties claim to oppose the racists but it's their policies - their grovelling to big business interests - that allow the racists to grow.
"The far right can attract votes by playing on the disillusionment in politics felt by many working people. This very fact, along with low voter turn-out, demonstrates that many could be won to a real political alternative to the failures of the mainstream parties.
"The importance of the CNWP lies in its potential to inspire those fed up with the current political situation to start fighting back. To rally all who want to stop the constant attacks on jobs and services.
"The CNWP aims to bring together trade unionists, community campaigns, anti-war groups, etc, to increase the confidence of people to fight in their workplaces and communities to improve the lives of themselves and others.
"The CNWP works towards establishing a new mass working class party, fighting against cuts, closures, privatisation and war, that will genuinely represent workers and fight in their interests."
Our Socialist Party stall along with others, the various speakers, plus bands playing, attracted workers on their dinner-break. Sales of the socialist included one copy sold for £10.
Campaign for a New Workers' Party
Saturday 12 May 12pm-5pm
University College London, Cruciform Building, Gower Street, London WC1. (nearest Tubes: Euston Square, Euston)
To register and more info visit: www.cnwp.org.uk
In The Socialist 5 April 2007:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reviews
PCS takes industrial action
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Workplace news and analysis