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Say no to the BNP –
Fight for decent jobs and services
Support the fortnight of action 27 June - 10 July
Joint statement by YRE and Youth Fight for Jobs:
The BNP have won two seats in the European Parliament with 943,000 votes across the country. Many people will be outraged and disgusted that this far right, racist group has another platform to air their views. Despite attempts to appear respectable in front of the media the real nature of the BNP leadership keeps being exposed. Eddy O'Sullivan, a candidate in the North West, was discovered with vile racist comments on his facebook profile. In London a black nurse was subject to a torrent of racist abuse from a BNP activist when she complained about getting a BNP leaflet through her door. The BNP and their views are opposed by the vast majority of people. The election of two BNP MEPs needs to be met with a wave of protest to make our opposition clear.
There is huge anger at all politicians. Thieving MPs from every party have been caught fiddling their expenses and are rightly hated. Is it any wonder no one wants to vote for politicians who rip-off tax payers to deck out their homes with plasma TVs, designer furniture and luxury food? Unsurprisingly there was a record low turnout. Many that did vote voted to punish the mainstream parties and New Labour in particular. The expenses scandal was the final straw for many, coming on top of the bank bailouts and years of cuts to services, privatisation and war.
In the two regions where the BNP got MEPs their vote dropped. It was only because of the huge collapse in Labour's vote that they were able to sneak in. The BNP have attempted to pose as an alternative to the mainstream political parties. But whenever they have won seats on local councils they have pushed their racist views. Despite their posturing the BNP has been quite happy to vote through cuts to services, voting along with Labour and the Tories.
The BNP got most of their votes because of the anger and frustration with the three main parties. None of whom have any policies that really makes a difference to the lives of ordinary people and youth. To defeat the BNP in the long term it is vital to put forward a positive alternative. In the European elections the railway workers' union RMT, with the help of others, took the historic step of standing pro-worker, anti-racist candidates across the country. Steps like this need to be encouraged as the best way of cutting across support for the BNP.
As the recession deepens nearly 1 in 5 under 25s cannot find work. This is twice the rate of unemployment amongst 25-49 year olds and treble the rate for the over 50s. There has been an 80% rise in the number of under 25s claiming Job Seekers' Allowance in the last year which at only £50.95 per week is not enough to live on. In July 600,000 young people will leave school, college and university expecting to use their new qualifications to find work. Most will be disappointed. The economic crisis is having a disproportionate impact on the young, decimating hopes for a decent future. Whether looking for work or applying for education and training, opportunities are drying up everywhere.
Youth Fight for Jobs is working to build a mass fight back against this. The bosses and their backers in parliament created this situation. It is only by building a mass campaign of all workers, young people, students and unemployed that we can fight for our future. The division of ordinary people along racial, ethnic and religious lines that the BNP encourages will guarantee that the bosses and their politicians can continue to attack us. Building campaigns like Youth Fight for Jobs is part of the fightback against the BNP.
Youth Fight for Jobs organised large demonstrations at the G20 earlier in the year. We have the backing of three major trade unions, the RMT, PCS and CWU. We held a launch conference in May attended by hundreds of young people who decided on how we would build the campaign and have staged protests up and down the country. Youth Fight for Jobs and YRE are organising a fortnight of action from the 27th June to the 10th July. Join the protests! Build an alternative to the BNP! See our websiteswww.youthfightforjobs.com (and this website, www.yre.org.uk) for details of what's going on in your area or contact us for help in getting a campaign started where you are.