Monday, 27 July 2009

‘BNP spells danger for disabled people’

From: Disability Now

The BNP’s success in European elections will be disastrous for disabled people, activists have warned.

BNP leader Nick Griffin was elected to represent the North West region while Andrew Brons won the seat for Yorkshire and Humber in the June 4 elections to the European Parliament.
Activist and campaigner Richard Rieser branded the BNP a fascist party and said that its electoral success was a result of large numbers of disillusioned Labour supporters failing to vote.
He said that disabled people in areas represented by the BNP would be afraid because fascists wanted to kill disabled people.

“The fascist record on dealing with disabled people is to kill us. They’re Holocaust deniers but I haven’t noticed them denying that disabled people were killed en masse in Germany.”

Julie Newman, Acting Chair of the UK’s Disabled People’s Council, said she could only think that a party denying the Holocaust would deny disabled people the right to exist too.
She said: “I think there’s a eugenics agenda because they want to get rid of anybody who taints the bloodline. I think that anybody who’s different from the BNP’s purist agenda is going to have a difficult time.”

Alice Maynard, Chair of disability charity Scope, said that black and ethnic-minority disabled people already endured considerable discrimination which she doubted would improve with the election of BNP politicians.

“One feels that the BNP’s approach to race is the negative bit, but I don’t think that disability is ever far behind. There are serious issues around the genetic agenda.”

All three campaigners said that they hoped the success of the BNP would serve as a rallying call to disabled people to ally with anti-fascist and anti-racist organisations.

In May, the Observer newspaper reported that Jeffrey Marshall, senior organiser for the BNP’s London European election campaign, had posted a message on an internet forum in which he commented on the death of David Cameron’s disabled son Ivan.

According to the Observer, Mr Marshall said: “We live in a country today which is unhealthily dominated by an excess of sentimentality towards the weak and unproductive. No good will come of it.”

The Observer article said that later, in response to comments made by others on the site, Marshall is alleged to have written: “There is not a great deal of point in keeping these people alive after all.”

The Observer added that Mr Marshall said the comments were private and some had been paraphrased and taken out of context. The paper said that he had admitted making the former comment but said he could not recall making the latter one.

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