The Socialist 24 February 2009 |
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BNP bigots retreat under pressure
THE ORIGINAL Merseyside police decision to postpone Everton's home game on 14 March and disrupt the arrangements of thousands of football supporters to accommodate the poisonous activities of the racist BNP, beggars belief. It's difficult to draw any other conclusion than it was a clear political decision by the police to endorse the BNP's bid for political influence in Liverpool in preparation for the European elections this June.
The outrage this provoked from decent people, the surrounding media publicity, and the total condemnation by the Campaign for a New Workers' Party and anti-fascist organisations, produced a hasty retreat by the BNP that abandoned its intention to march and distribute its poisonous literature.
The airwaves were alive with callers expressing their indignation at the compliance of the police.
Not only was the sanctioning of the BNP's activities subject to outraged condemnation but also the police's indication to Everton FC that they would have to shift their game with Stoke to the following day on the grounds they could not protect the BNP as well as provide the normal policing of the match. The immediate response by those who engaged in the various phone-ins was 'why didn't the police tell the BNP where to go?', or words to that effect.
A clear class explanation of the character of the BNP by one caller received approval from many others who regarded it as 'spot on.'
There were also those, not necessarily sympathetic to the BNP, who defended their right to march and distribute literature on the grounds of 'free speech.'
This attitude of some people underlines the importance of raising the level of awareness of the working class to the real poisonous, destructive, anti-labour movement, anti-democratic character of these neo-fascists.
The BNP is a party dedicated to racial bigotry, to seeking scapegoats for the problems created by capitalism. Where they've secured council seats they have, in many cases, supported cuts and redundancies for workers of all colours and creeds.
The 'free speech' argument doesn't hold water. Do we support the right of thugs to cause conflict between different sections of the community? Do we support the right to deny the existence of Nazi concentration camps and support the crazed racial policies of the Nazis? Do we defend the right of bigots to target innocent people because they don't like their religion, colour or country of origin? The answer is a resounding no!
There can be no doubt that mostdecent citizens of Liverpool condemned the decision to allow the BNP to poison the atmosphere of a city celebrated for its labour movement solidarity and its multiculturalism.
A repeat attempt by the BNP to invade the city will be met with a call for thousands of Liverpool citizens to gather in the city centre to underline their contempt and opposition to the BNP and its poisonous policies.
NEW LABOUR'S right-wing home secretary Jacqui Smith has been accused of illegally claiming £116,000 in parliamentary allowances on her constituency home. It seems she claimed that a spare room in her sister's home in London was her main residence.
This allowed her to claim at least £116,000 parliamentary 'second home' allowance for her constituency home in Redditch in the West Midlands, since her election in 1997. Smith claims that she has done nothing wrong in filling in her expenses claim and could have claimed more, though press reports suggest only £58 more.
But at a time when people in her area are facing the prospect of job losses and long-term unemployment, she has been able to claim in expenses what amounts to almost an average salary on top of her large ministerial income.
Smith wants to bring in draconian laws for ordinary mortals, but she will most likely get total inaction by the toothless parliamentary commissioner for standards for MPs for her own deeds.