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That's democracy for you

Posted by Richard Thursday, May 03, 2007

It is a measure of the deterioration of the democratic system in this country that the largest public service union in the country, Unison, feels entitled to interfere with the electoral process.

In a letter to all members in his region (illustrated – click to enlarge) regional secretary Cliff Williams writes to tell them that BNP "may be in a position to win the seat". This, writes Williams, "would be an intolerable situation". In Unison's view, "the BNP are a profoundly racist organisation…".

Williams then tells his members:

Unison believes that there should be no place for such a party in British politics. This being the case, Unison urges you … to use your vote, voting for the party most likely to keep BNP out of this seat.
Thus, in a situation where voters, disillusioned with the three main parties, are in some districts flocking to the BNP. Instead of tackling head on the issues brought into focus by the BNP, the response of the main parties has been an attempt to rig the elections, letting the strongest candidate from their number go forward and soft-peddling the others so as not to split the vote.

Then we have organisations like unions, and the so-called "anti-fascist" organisation "Searchlight", sending out letters and leaflets (one illustrated), with instructions on voting.

Effectively, the main parties and their allies are reducing the electoral contest to one of BNP versus the rest, reinforcing the growing perception that there is nothing to chose between the main parties.

In those circumstances, there is probably only one appropriate response.

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