I am very pleased to report the following letter has been published in the Morning Star today. I’d like to thank all of the signatories and extend an open invitation to all anti-racist political parties considering standing in the NW to engage in dialogue with us before nominations close this year.
In particular, I’d like to thank Alec McFadden. We have campaigned together and worked within Merseyside Coalition Against Racism and Fascism (MCARF) when the BNP were on the ascendancy and conceivably threatened a breakthrough at council level on Merseyside.
Alec and the others are Trade Unionists, with far more prominent roles than my own (I’m a Branch Membership Secretary and Green Rep in my college for UCU). Last time the BNP sneaked in. Many good anti-racist votes were wasted. We need to get it right and consign them to history this time and this letter is a big step in that direction.
The news that Nick Griffin, Chairman of the BNP, has been declared
financially bankrupt is an insult to all the people struggling
financially in the North West region he represents.
As a Euro MP, Griffin earns a salary equivalent to £80,000 a year. In
addition he can claim for travel, living expenses and other costs. On
the other hand, the average wage in Britain is just £26,000 and
households are being hit with the bedroom tax, privatised rail fare
increases, rising privatised energy company bills and privatised water
Griffin's views on non-white British residents, his denial of the
holocaust and his hateful comments about asylum seekers and immigrants
have appalled decent people for four and half years. Now his financial
incompetence is added to the picture.
In 2009 the BNP beat the Green Party to the final MEP seat in the
North West by less than 5,000 votes out of over 5 million registered
voters. On May 22nd, in the European elections, voters have the chance
to make the North West a region with no BNP elected representatives by
voting him out.
The biggest barrier to removing Griffin is that 3 out of 4 people
simply didn't bother to vote in the last European elections. However
it is also true that if just 1 out of 10 voters for the Socialist
Labour Party and NO2EU had instead backed the Greens at the last
election, we could have avoided Griffin being elected in the first
place. Let's avoid making this mistake again.
We need green activists, trade unionists, anti-fascists, socialists
and anti-cuts campaigners united in our focus to remove racism and
fascism. We need to combat the victimisation of refugees and economic
migrants, and minority religious communities while continuing to
oppose the destruction of our public services under this government.
Peter Cranie, UCU and North West Green Party European elections lead candidate
Alec McFadden, President Merseyside County TUC (in personal capacity)
Clara Paillard, PCS Culture Sector President (in personal capacity)
Mark Hattersley, Secretary, St Helens TUC (in personal capacity)
Liz Epps, Secretary, Merseyside TUC (in personal capacity)
Sue Lloyd, PCS North West Regional Green Officer (in personal capacity)
Peter Billington, Secretary Lancashire County TUC (in personal capacity)
Steve Hall, President, Greater Manchester TUC (in personal capacity)
Don Naylor, Environmental Rep, Stockport UNISON (in personal capacity)
Paul Filby, Secretary, National Construction Safety Campaign (in personal capacity)
Ross Quinn, President, Wirral TUC (in personal capacity)
Angela Grant, Vice President, Wirral TUC (in personal capacity)