The following is from Unite Against Fascism, on BNP leader Nick Griffin’s announcement that he is to stand against Margaret Hodge for the Barking constituency in East London at the General Election.
It makes the Friendly Lefty wince to say it, but we need to get out the vote for Hodge in a serious way. Stained by the failures of the present government she is; complicit in the government’s pandering to racism and Islamophobic sentiment, certainly; but a fascist not at all – in fact a committed anti-fascist. The choice in that election will be between her and Griffin and therefore is no choice for progressives.
There is also a demo at 6pm tonight that has been called by the RMT union.
We’ll make sure Griffin’s MP bid for Barking is a failure, anti-fascists vow
Anti-fascist campaigners and trade unionists in east London have vowed to ensure that Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, fails in his bid for a Westminster seat in Barking. Griffin announced his intention to stand in the seat at a BNP conference last weekend.
Unite Against Fascism believes Griffin’s candidacy is an insult to the people of Barking. Barking is a multi-racial and working class area. Griffin, in contrast, is a convicted racist and lifelong Nazi. He will do nothing to address the constituency’s needs in terms of public services and housing. The BNP’s only interest is in whipping up race hatred and falsely blaming the constituency’s problems on immigrants and Muslims.
Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking, said: “We have been fighting the BNP for the last three years, so we have been expecting a BNP candidate to stand against me – and it now turns out to be Nick Griffin. We want to expose the BNP for what they really are, not what they pretend to be. The more people see the BNP the less they like them. The BNP have no place in democratic politics and Labour will campaign against them across the country.”
Steve Hart, London and Eastern regional secretary of Unite the Union, said: “Barking and Dagenham have a proud history of multi-racial trade unionism. It’s vital that we take that tradition forward and fight together against the BNP. We will be working to support Barking residents as they fight for a better Barking and a better London – one that respects all our citizens.
“Only last month Griffin described London as ‘ethnically cleansed’ and ‘a city that is no longer British’. This shows he is out to divide and destroy rather than unite. Where the BNP goes, racial violence follows. That is why Griffin and the BNP must be stopped.”
Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, said: “Griffin is coming to Barking to peddle his racist poison in order to divide and weaken the community. We bring people together in a campaign to expose him as a Nazi. The vast majority of people in Barking hate Griffin and the BNP. We want to mobilise that majority to drive Griffin’s vote down – and drive the BNP out of town.”