Letter: Growing opposition to the BNP among 'islanders'

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Sir: If the British National Party's prospects of taking the Isle of Dogs neighbourhood at the May elections look 'depressingly good' then the Nazis can give some thanks to John Torode. He allowed Derek Beackon to claim that everyone on the Isle of Dogs supports him - 'They're all mine 'ere, son' - and that his 40-50 stormtroopers that paraded around the Barkantine estate mainly come from the island. But last September Mr Beackon won a little more than 1,000 votes, a small minority of the 19,000 people who live on the island. The majority opposes racism. Those who did vote for the BNP did so out of desperation - hit hard by the housing crisis while watching hundreds of flats and offices lie empty in the shadow of Canary Wharf.

They did not vote for the three- fold increase in racist attacks that Mr Beackon's victory brought in its wake. As workers on the island, we are disgusted that the Independent has not reported on the activities carried out by the majority of people who oppose the Nazis.

Why not report that Mr Beackon has been thrown out of a community centre on the island? Or why not report on the marvellous black and white contingent from the Isle of Dogs that joined the magnificent TUC Unity Demonstration through East London?

If there is a lesson to be learnt from last September, it is this: talking the BNP's chances up only increases its chances.

Yours faithfully,

PAT CARMODY (Civil and Public Services Assocation branch assistant secretary); WENDY LAVINGTON (Trades Union Side Equal Opportunities Officer); SARAH CIRCUS (National Union of Civil and Public Servants ethnic minorities advisory committee secretary)

London, E14

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