Monday, January 29, 2007

BNP trade union slithers to the surface


The British National Party is set to formally launch its scab union, Solidarity, on the 24 February at an undisclosed venue in central London. It is the latest attempt by the BNP to attract working class voters away from Labour. ‘Solidarity, The British Workers Union’ was registered with the certification in December 2005 but it has yet to hold a formal public event. This will change this month when it holds its first Annual Meeting.

Solidarity claims that it will be a normal trade union defending the interests of any British worker, but in reality it will be simply a front for the BNP. Given the BNP’s views on trade unionism and industrial relations, Solidarity will be little more than a scab union.
According to documents lodged with the Certification Office, which regulates matters concerning trade unions, Solidarity aims to “improve the relations between employers and employees throughout all industries served by the union”.

The BNP has been at pains to pretend that Solidarity is an “independent” union, not linked to any political party. It even installed former National Front leader, Patrick Harrington, who now runs Third Way, as its President. It even wrote a letter to the Communication Workers Union denouncing an article in its union journal claiming that Solidarity was a scab fascist union.
“We are not as a 'front' group for anyone,” the scab union wrote in it letter. “Solidarity calls for the unity of all workers on a progressive platform.”

The BNP has attempted to hide its involvement in Solidarity. The documents submitted to the certification office made no mention of the BNP, however it did state its intention to set up a Political Fund and “print, publish, issue and circulate” literature that “may seem conducive to the … objects of Solidarity”.

But let there be no mistake about it, this is a BNP front. The President of Solidarity is Patrick Harrington but the project is coordinated by Clive Potter, a long-time BNP activist from Leicester, who was expelled from Unison for improper conduct. The Solidarity address traces back to Potter’s home. Other BNP activists involved in the project include Jay Lee, who was recently booted out of Aslef, and John Walker, the BNP’s national treasurer, who has had his own troubles with the T&G.

The establishment of Solidarity appears to be a natural continuation of the party’s turn to working-class politics which began in 2000 and quickened over the past two years. The second edition of the Solidarity bulletin focuses extensively on the issue of migrant workers.
Solidarity is unlikely to ever take off. To operate formally as a union it needs to agreements with employers and a proven record of activity, neither of which it is likely to achieve.

Searchlight will posting any more details of the Solidarity AGM on www.stopthebnp.org.uk

13 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Sentinel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Sentinel said...

I suppose this opinion will have to be destroyed too...

AN said...

sentinel,

The issue here is that a trade union cannot represent workers against their employers unless it seeks to represent all workers equally.

BTW, are you a copper? I ask only out of interest, but the links here mention the police several times.

I am not going to delete this post from you as I think your question about the purpose of black or gay groups within the unions is a legitimate one, and hopefully someone will give you a sensible answer.

AN said...

BTW - I changed my mind Sentinel, afer consukting with Louise, and we decided that your questioon was asked in bad faith, so I have deleted it.

We won't debate with racists.

Anonymous said...

The left don't debate with anyone who has a different opinion than their own.

The Sentinel said...

You want to play under handed games? Fine.

I am just going to keep posting now, you remove it, I repost it.

You may as well enable 'comment moderation' now and show everyone what a hypocritical shallow bunch of deluded fools you really are: censorship and 'fascism' is all your about.

Duncan Money said...

sentinel,

You seem to operate on a very odd definition of fascism.

As far as I can tell from the many comments you have left on my blog and blogs that I read you seem to think fascists are anyone who moderates comments or exercises any sort of editorial control over their own websites while the BNP are merely enthusiastic nationalists despite massive evidence to the contrary.

Interestingly Nick Griffin used to delete comments from his blog and now does not allow them at all. So by your own definition he would be a fascist. However, I seem to have missed your denounciation of Griffin as a fascist.

Anonymous said...

Harrington says he got involved in Solidarity because he was expelled from the RMT where he was a Company Council Rep at GNER. He seems to have a personal revenge motive. I'm not convinced that this is going to be a BNP front as other elements are involved. The Third Way (though small) is highly motivated and organised.

I think that given the positioning of the Union they are likely to react violently to attempts to disrupt their agm. If you are going be prepared for this.

AN said...

Oh my anonymous, we are sooooh scared of the threat of fascist violence.

i ask you one question, did the hammer and sickle end up flying over the reichstag, or did the swastika fly over the Kremlin??

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen anything about their AGM venue. Maybe they will alter the location or date at the last minute?

If anyone hears anything they should post it here.

BTW didn't understand comments re. flags - what is flying over the Kremlin these days, not the hammer and sickle! Also is the poster a Stalinist? Hitler or Stalin - a great choice! Ask the Poles!

Anonymous said...

Why is Solidarity being described as a "scab union". Does anyone have any details of its members crossing picket lines or breaking strikes? If so they should post them. If not I think we should not use this term as it will discredit our arguments against them in the eyes of ordinary workers if misapplied.

AN said...

Anonymous - when Solidarity says its aims are to “improve the relations between employers and employees throughout all industries served by the union”.
"

That si why it is a scanb union - organising in a common interst with bosses, abased upon race.

And no "ordinary workers" are ever going to be atracted to this bunch of weirdos and nazis anyway.