Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/537/6137
Racist BNP have no solutions!
Build a working- class alternative
Fight for decent jobs, homes & services
Protest against the BNP after the Greater London Assembly elections, photo Sarah Mayo
'How can such a party have won seats in local councils and one on the Greater London Assembly?' This is a common question encountered by Socialist Party members when campaigning against the racist British National Party.
The BNP rely on the anger felt by ordinary people at the conditions they face. They rely on people not knowing what their real politics and actions in office are. And they rely on the absence of a genuine political alternative to the parties responsible for cuts and privatisation. But the BNP have no solutions.
Things to be angry about are not hard to find. The number of children living in poverty has risen again. A government report has confirmed what we already know, based on the evidence of rising utility bills, food bills, tax increases for the poorest and below inflation pay rises.
In 2006-2007 child poverty grew by 100,000 to 2.9 million, or 3.9 million after housing costs. Pensioner poverty increased for the first time since 1998, rising by 300,000 to a total of 2.5 million. Apparently the government is 'disappointed'. Not as much as the rest of us whose lives are affected!
Shocking as these figures are, few will be surprised. You would be hard pushed to find a remedy from the three main parties. Instead, our new 'cuddly' Conservative London mayor has announced the end of a deal with Venezuela's state-owned oil company which allowed income support recipients to benefit from half-price transport fares.
In Waltham Forest, for example, Labour and the Liberals share power. They also share a seemingly endless enthusiasm for cutting and privatising. Trade unionists and community campaigners are engaged in a battle to defend local library staff and services.
All of us who want and need decent services need a political voice on our side. The British National Party (BNP) claim to be it. But they lie. Ex-prime minister Tony Blair was known to tell a tale or two. Gordon Brown was with him all the way - promising not to bring in university fees, then doing it; claiming weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq, etc.
And the BNP are up there with the best of them. This year the BNP put forward a minority party budget in Barking and Dagenham where they are the main opposition. They claim to be the working-class alternative to New Labour.
But this budget gives the lie to that. It proposed millions of pounds of cuts to council services, targeted mainly at old people and children. So what can they offer to all those suffering from poverty? Absolutely nothing!
Worse than that the BNP sets out to divide us. In 2006, while posing as a BNP member, Guardian reporter Ian Cobain heard a recording of a speech Nick Griffin gave to a closed conference of white supremacists in New Orleans. The BNP's racist ideas aim to divide us, only weakening our ability to unite and fight back effectively.
Instead we need a new party capable of bringing together all working-class people to fight to defend all our jobs, our homes and our services. After all we face three parties whose main reason for existence appears to be standing up for the rich and big business.
If you agree with us, join the demonstration against the racist BNP on Saturday 21 June and come to the Campaign for a New Workers' Party on Sunday 29 June.
National demo against racist BNP
Saturday 21 June 2008
Assemble: 12 noon, Tooley Street, London SE1 (behind Greater London Assembly building, near Tower Bridge)
Contact ISR on firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.anticapitalism.org.uk
In The Socialist 11 June 2008:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party campaigns
Defend Tommy Sheridan
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news