Fascist BNP attempts to recruit among protesting lorry drivers
Sunday 25 April 1999
The BNP leadership has instructed members to recruit "as many people as possible" at protest rallies where thousands of drivers have brought Britain's roads to a standstill.
The move, designed to capitalise on dissent about foreign drivers working in Britain, has been condemned as "sinister" by the Labour Party and mainstream truckers' groups.
"It's time those lorry drivers paused and looked at just who is trying to hitch a ride on their protests," said a Labour spokesman.
The neo-Nazi party, which has overtly racist views, has printed campaign literature aimed at drivers worried about foreign truckers undercutting them.
The BNP had an active presence at the protests earlier this month and says it recruited "on the spot" when nine British cities had roads blocked by protesting drivers. The party will step up its presence at drivers' protests planned next month.
"This tax is positive discrimination for foreign workers," said Michael Newland, spokesman for the BNP. "It is squeezing our lorry drivers. The foreign drivers come over as part of the process of internationalism."
Steven Norris, head of the Road Haulage Association, described the BNP's new emphasis on exploiting domestic political grievances as cynical opportunism: "They claim they are the friend of drivers, but I cannot say I welcome this development because what they stand for is loathsome."
The leader of the splinter drivers' group Transaction, which co-ordinated the recent truckers' demonstrations, has refused to condemn BNP's actions.
"They can approach any lorry driver they like," said Frank Stears, a Kent-based haulier. "I don't care. I am not politically minded. I am fighting for the survival of my business."
Truckers believe the hike in diesel cost by 6p a litre means they cannot compete with the continental, paying pounds 644 to fill a 1,000-litre lorry tank in Britain, compared with pounds 340 in Belgium and pounds 369 in France.
The neo-Nazi propaganda leaflet, called "Stopping Labour's Highway Robbery", says: "Demonstrations by lorry drivers and cabbies, like earlier protests by farmers and fishermen, are a welcome sign that the long-suffering taxpayers of Middle Britain have had enough. Independent hauliers ... and ordinary motorists have become the latest victims of the broken promises of the Labour Government."
Tony Blair is to examine introducing a levy on foreign truckers coming to work in Britain.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...