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2010 National Women's Conference
21 October 2009

Conference expresses concern at the rise of the BNP and other far-right groups, such as the English Defence League, who are organising throughout the UK, claiming to be the voice of British people.

Conference affirms that we will not sit back and allow far-right organisations to enter mainstream politics as has happened in some other parts of Europe. We condemn the UK visit of Geert Wilders who was invited by the UKIP peer, Lord Pearson, to show his anti-Islamic film in the House of Lords.

Conference believes that the BNP are fascists and with their racist, homophobic, sexist, disablist and anti-trade union agenda, they present a threat to us all. Whilst the fight against the BNP is the fight of all our members, women members – as mothers, daughters and sisters – have a crucial role to play.

Conference notes that Nicholas Eriksen, who was originally one of the BNP’s candidates for the London Assembly, was exposed by the media as being the author of a blog entry which stated:

Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible ordeal. To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting that force-feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence. A woman would be more inconvenienced by having her handbag snatched.

Jim Dowson, the BNP’s senior administrator, has been the public face of the LifeLeague, the militant anti-abortion group. He has regularly appeared on television to pronounce terminations a sin and has published the names of abortion clinic staff, placing many in fear for their personal safety.

Lee Barnes, the BNP’s Legal Director, commenting on a photograph of a female anti-fascist demonstrator, unleashed his misogyny with: Here we see the very incarnation of the Modern Woman. A self loathing, sexless androgynous monstrosity and her breastless chest mocking the female nourishing form that gave her and gives our race its life. She is a monster, a sexless polymorphous perversion of nature. These are the inheritors of White Guilt, the spiritually polluted children of multi-culturalism.

BNP policies on a wide range of issues, not just the ones that get media attention, have far ranging implications for us all. For example, they back the reintroduction of the married man’s allowance, reform of the tax credits system to make women financially dependant on men, automatic joint custody of children in divorce cases, support the introduction of fault-based divorce, which they state will remove the current gender bias towards women they claim exists, and the restriction of IVF to married heterosexual couples. On top of this, they seek to repeal all legislation related to equality including civil partnership, positive action, anti-discrimination and human rights.

Conference therefore calls on the National Women’s Committee, working, where appropriate, with other structures of the union, to develop an anti-far right campaigning strategy which should cover the following:

1)Set out realistic campaigning objectives and milestones for mainstreaming anti-far right campaigning within the work of the National Women’s Committee

2)Provide guidance for regional women’s groups and committees to become active in vigorously campaigning (in solidarity with other self organised groups and anti-fascist organisations such as Searchlight and Unite Against Fascism) against the BNP in every part of the UK

3)Urges members to become individual members of anti-fascist organisations such as Unite Against Fascism and Searchlight.

4)Work with the other national self organised committees on joint campaigning work against the BNP and far-right

5)Develop materials targeting women members and why the campaign against the BNP is a women’s campaign.