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ELECTIONS 2004: UNION LAUNCHES PRE-ELECTION ASSAULT ON BNP

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Unison tomorrow will publish advertisements in national newspapers warning voters of the dangers of electing Britis...
Unison tomorrow will publish advertisements in national newspapers warning voters of the dangers of electing British National Party candidates in the forthcoming European and local elections. The union is using the majority of its 'third party spending' to launch the pre-election assault. The advertisements featuring a bottle of poison, entitled British National Poison*, will also be run in local and regional newspapers where the BNP is fielding candidates.

General secretary Dave Prentis has also taken the unprecedented step of writing to all members of the union in constituencies with BNP candidates, urging them to not vote for the BNP. He said:

'If we don't act together now we run the risk of allowing racists to hijack our elections and win seats. Since the 1950s, black workers have played an important part in providing public services. Today, for example, we welcome the overseas nurses that are coming to the UK to cover for the chronic shortage of nurses, without them our health service would collapse.

'We see the valuable contribution they make, yet the BNP would have us believe there is no place for these workers, preferring instead their culture of violence, intimidation and division. The BNP has tried to repackage itself as a respectable political party, but beneath the veneer of suits and so called policiees on social issues are deep set values of racial superiority. It is right we expose and challenge them for what they are.

'Let's stand up to the racists - let's stand up for respect, dignity, diversity and the right of everyone of us to be free from pain, fear, humiliation and poverty. Don't vote BNP. Vote for a fairer future for all'.

The union will be spending up to£250,000 (the amount it is allowed under electoral law) in the run-up to the elections.

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