3 posts • joined 19 Nov 2008
Threats to Employment and Human Rights
There have been a number of threats made to the employment of those on the list. Leaving aside Employment Law this seems to me to amount to interference with the exercise of their right to freedom of association under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Further it would be difficult to argue that in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 2 of Article 11, the interference had been prescribed by law and had pursued a legitimate aim. Any member of our Union who is also in the BNP will be vigorously protected should they come under pressure from bullying employers in the same way we would a member of any other Party.
Currently only the Police and Prison Service ban members of the BNP. Such bans have yet to be properly tested by the Courts. Our Union takes the view that there are people of all political persuasions in those services yet only one viewpoint is deemed unacceptable. This is discriminatory. Only if there is actual evidence of wrongdoing should someone be subject to disciplinary procedures. Clearly there was nothing wrong with the behaviour of those listed as working as Prison Officers, policemen etc as there membership came as a shock.
As a Trade Union we will uphold our member's employment rights and work to ensure that no-one in this country loses their livelihood due to this new McCarthyism.
Solidarity Union warns bosses
Our Union, Solidarity (www.solidaritytradeunion.net) , will take immediate action if any member of our Brotherhood is discriminated against on poltical grounds. The right to belong to a political party which is legally recognised is fundamental in a democracy. The right not to be discriminated against on grounds of political opinion is a Human Right and employment law also recognises that "religious or other belief" should not be used as a basis for discrimination. Rights to freedom of expression and association are enshrined in our law and Treaty obligations.
Additionally anyone joining our Union now will be extended immediate protection without any qualifying period. We welcome members of the BNP alongside people from other parties and none.
Our Union will also trace any publisher using material which results in the victimisation or harassment of any Union member and take appropriate civil and criminal action
Why do people support the BNP?
I have commented elsewhere in my role as an official of the Trade Union Solidarity. I've made it clear that we will take action to defend the rights of any of our members bullied by Bosses as a result of being on this list. There is no justification for employers converting this list into a blacklist. In a purely personal capacity, however, I would personally like to a few points.
Much media comment has focused on knee-jerk denunciation and vilification of the B.N.P. as racist without attempting to even ASK (let alone attempt to ANSWER) the question of WHY some people support it. Some of this, at least, is the work of politicians trying to deflect attention away from their own inadequacies. Some of it is journalistic laziness. I think that maximum emphasis should be placed on encouraging a debate about people`s MOTIVES for joining/supporting. There is evidence that this is already happening, but it requires as wide an audience as possible - and constant repetition.
One reason why many people sympathise with the B.N.P. in the textile towns of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire is simple hostility to change. They don`t like whole neighbourhoods where they grew up being transformed out of all recognition, pubs and churches closed, the de facto segregation of schools, local butchers dealing only in halal meat etc. The middle classes object to change as well, but they are allowed to defend their own environments in the name of conservation etc. But when the working classes try to do the same they are denounced as racists. It should be stressed too that such towns are mostly bi-cultural not multi-cultural – more like Belfast and Londonderry than Birmingham or London.
I hope that the publicity surrounding the publication of this list will lead to a much wider debate within our civic society between all those (of all political affilations) who are sincerely interested in harmony.
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