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It mostly covers my work as UNISON Scotland's Head of Policy and Public Affairs although views are my own. For full coverage of UNISON Scotland's policy and campaigns please visit our web site. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Clydebank Remembers

Yesterday, survivors and relatives joined dignitaries, MSPs, councillors and church leaders, at a service to remember the 70th anniversary of the Clydebank Blitz in an act of remembrance and forgiveness. The town was flattened on 13/14 March 1941 by the Luftwaffe as they targeted shipyards and munitions factories leaving 528 dead, 617 seriously injured and more than 35,000 homeless. Only seven houses remained untouched. There will also be a minute’s silence today in Clydebank shopping centre.

One of the guests at the service was the Consul General of Germany, Wolfgang Moessinger. This reflects the fact that the Luftwaffe was directed by the fascist regime of Adolf Hitler. A regime that also murdered many thousands of Germans, most appallingly in the concentration camps.

This is not just a history lesson. We have modern day fascists in the form of the BNP and EDL whose members have been easily identified with Nazism through its extreme and provocative activities, associations and publications as well as its active denial of the facts of the Holocaust.

John Tyndall (left) poses with fellow Spearhead members in the Notting Hill HQ of Colin Jordan's National Socialist Movement in 1962
BNP founder John Tyndall showing his true colours

The BNP today likes to portray itself as a simple nationalist party. However, while the BNP has attempted to distance itself from its past it remains a racist party in the European fascist tradition. I can’t recommend it as a good read, but this is clear in the ramblings of the Scottish BNP ‘leader’ Gary Raikes. Recent divisions and expulsions have clearly taken their toll on what always was a tiny organisation. Most of their activity is obviously organised from outside Scotland. For example, the BNP Scotland blog seeks donations for their ‘Assembly’ election campaign. Message to the Fuhrer bunker – that’s Wales not Scotland!

They will no doubt stand candidates in the Scottish elections, not because they expect to be elected, but rather as an opportunity to spread their message of hate through the election free post. This is important because Scotland is not exempt from racism. In a report published just yesterday the EHRCS said there were "record levels" of racially motivated crime recorded in Scotland, with more than 6,200 incidents recorded between 2009 and 2010.

So whilst we remember the tragedy of the Clydebank blitz, let’s make sure that the perverted ideology that caused it doesn’t take root in Scotland.

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