Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/363/5970
Don't Trust Government To Stop BNP
THE HOME Office is floating the idea of legally banning members of the far-right British National Party (BNP) from working for the civil service. This is yet another ill-judged attempt by the government to try to look like it's "doing something" against the BNP, who won a councillor in Barking, East London on 16 September.
The socialist opposes the idea of neo-Nazis (who make up the majority of the BNP's key activists) working in jobs where they are in a position of trust and could have access to personal or confidential information about, for example, people from the black, Asian, Muslim and Jewish communities; or anti-racists, trade unionists and socialists etc.
So is a government ban necessary? Not at all. It's the worst way to deal with the BNP. Trade unions in the civil service have a long tradition of campaigning to ensure that members of the BNP and other far-right groups should not be allowed to work as civil servants.
Government bans against the far-right often end up being used against the left as well. This is worrying for socialists and trade unionists, particularly when the government is planning such a huge attack on civil service jobs.
The main message the government is trying to send is: trust us to halt the growth of the BNP. But why should we trust them?
Home Secretary David Blunkett has done more than most to increase the BNP's support. BNP leader Nick Griffin praised him as the BNP's "best recruiting sergeant" for his assault against asylum-seekers, blaming them (rather than Labour's Tory policies) for everything from the housing crisis to the under-funding of the health service.
The only way to reverse the growth in the BNP's influence is by uniting local communities in campaigns for better services for all, and building a new party that genuinely represents the interests of working-class people.
In The Socialist 25 September 2004:
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis