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Caithness News Bulletins March 2007

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2007 Election    
17 March 07

The BNP are set to spread hatred of new Eastern European migrants in the coming election and must be opposed, says north Labour MSPs Peter Peacock and Maureen Macmillan.

Their warning and call to action by all right minded people, follows both MSPs receiving anonymous, unsigned mail from the BNP North Scotland. The letters each had articles pinned to them, which the MSPs had written for the first Polish language newspaper in Scotland. The letters contained sardonic thanks for making Polish immigration an election issue.


Peter Peacock said, "This is a scary insight into the warped mindset of the BNP who evidently plan to use arrival of Eastern Europeans into our community as an election issue. Wherever they operate the BNP try to spread fear, prey on ignorance and promote hate.

The people of the Highlands and Islands need to show they will have none of it by using the power of the ballot box to reject their utterly distasteful approach to politics.

Almost 70 years ago my father and millions of his generation gave years of their lives, or their lives, fighting fascism and Nazism following
the invasion of Poland. It is truly appalling to now see, in our own community, the Poles and other Eastern Europeans, our forebears helped free, being the subject of race based politics.

Maureen Macmillan said, "Highlanders have emigrated across the globe and have helped build new communities wherever they settled. After centuries of population decline, the Highlands need new population with skills to help our community grow. Our new friends from Eastern Europe are a very welcome part of our increasingly successful community.

Highlanders are decent minded people who will not entertain fascist or race base politics and the coming election gives us the opportunity to see the BNP off."

The note to the MSPs follows the BNP revealing they were going to use the Scottish election rules to run party political broadcasts to get their message out. The move was widely condemned at the time.

The MSPs were supported by Zosia Wierzbowicz-Fraser of the local Polish Association. She said, "It is a truly appalling thought that the BNP might seek to use my nationality and that of my friends and family as a political weapon. I have lived here for years and been made very welcome. Any thought that race based politics might enter the Highlands should be rejected by all of us.

I welcome the support my colleagues and I are getting from Peter Peacock and Maureen Macmillan and I am very glad they are taking this issue head on and making it clear decent people need to reject the BNP."

Local Trade Union UNISON, who have made fighting racism and fascism a priority for their union, also weighed in behind the MSPs attack on the BNP, Senior Regional Officer Dave Watson, said, "We have made it very clear as a Union that we will fight any racist or fascist organisation and their evil intent. It is repugnant that the BNP should be shaping up to use our new population in the Highlands as a basis for spreading hate. We need to reject them absolutely."