By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Calls to ban 'nasty, racist' BNP members from nursing

Members of the BNP should be banned from being nurses, according to a motion passed at Unison’s Health Care Service Group Conference today.

Delegates voted unanimously in favour of the motion, submitted by the National Nursing Sector, which calls for a law to prevent BNP members becoming nurses.

It also calls for support from the NMC, which states that nurses should not discriminate against patients on the basis of race, but does not ban BNP membership outright.

Proposing the motion, Mick McKeown, nursing sector committee member, said that the racist views of the BNP were incompatible with the public service ethos of nursing.

He said: ‘The main thrust of this motion is to say that membership of the BNP is completely incompatible with public service, particularly as a nurse within the NHS.

‘Despite how they try and portray themselves, the BNP is a nasty, racist, Nazi party.’

He added that the BNP would discriminate against patients on the basis of skin colour if it ran the health service.

‘They say on their website they would like to give nurses a pay rise - but the other thing they say is that the healthcare should be for the white majority. What they say is British healthcare for British people.’

Mr McKeown added that the NHS was founded on immigrant labour and that one of its major strengths has been the diversity of its workforce.

‘The NHS could not have happened without immigration and the contribution of overseas nurses,’ he added.

UNISON will now raise the issue with the Department of Health to establish legal powers barring members of the BNP and other racist groups from being members of Unison.

It will also ask the NMC to support its stance and issue interim advice for nurses on the standards expected of them regarding anti-discriminatory practice.

Readers' comments (65)

  • I find the contents of this article both deeply disturbing and distasteful. I am sure there were those in Nazi Germany who put forward a similarly hateful case for the removal of Jews from that country's heath care and nursing professions in the 1930s.

    Perhaps the question should be whether there is a place in nursing and health care for people, such as those in Unison’s Health Care Service Group, who clearly want to discriminate and persecute others for no other reason than they object to their political views?

    As an aside, I note that UNISON is affiliated to the Labour Party, an organisation that, in my opinion, has done a lot of damage to both the NHS and health care in the country in recent years.

    Nursing is about caring - not hating - a lesson these UNISON/Labour people clearly need to learn.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Political discrimination such as this is completely unacceptable.

    Common sense would suggest that all professional staff would leave their politics at the door, and only a lack of professionalism should warrant a dismissal.

    This is Britain, and as such we follow a policy of 'Innocent until proven guilty' (although perhaps Labour have forgotten this).
    It is outrageous that UNISON feel it is acceptable to condemn what are likely hard working, professional nursing staff before they have had the chance to do anything wrong.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • I am not surprised by the 2 comments above. BNP is an "political party" that tries and fails to look and sound legitimate. A member of the Labour party could be racist too - but it is not part of the manifesto or the primary incentive for being a part of that political Party. I don't believe that a racist switches their views off when they enter the work place. It's not the same as having conflicting views on council tax is it? Any sort of racism affects treatment of patients. Whilst on placement the tired, ridiculous phrase "they all look the same" was actually used. This was apparently accepted behaviour in the work place. I don't believe this person was a member of the BNP, however if one of the main criteria on the manifesto is this "british" crap then obviously it will creep into the work place, even if it is just discussing it with other members of staff. In work place law, nobody has to put up with third party racism, or direct racism. I'm sick of hearing it - so this move is most welcome by me.

    with regards to comparing members of the BNP to Jews during the war - it is this comment which is deeply disturbing and disgusting, not the move to rid the NHS of discrimination. While I do not support UNISON's affiliation to a Labour - it is not in anyway the same as banning BNP members.

    The NHS is about caring not hating - so why would you want BNP nurses?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Like it or not the BNP is not an illeagal party and we are supposedly a country where we are still allowed free speach. As the previous writer pointed out professional staff would leave their politics at home. You don't have to be a member of a party to agree with their ideaolgy and over the years I come across many co-workers who agree with the BNP.
    I don't agree with their policies but by giving them headlines like this they are just getting free publicity.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • I think this is a proposterous idea. The UK used to be a country where free speech was allowed. It seems to me that if you are a radical muslim preaching hatred and death to British soldiers, that is OK, but if you are a bona fida political party which may have strong views, but does not preach hatred or death, you can be banned from left wing extremist unions!

    Free speech means free speech.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Oh my here we go!

    Freedom of speech.....erm.... I seem to remember that being one of the nice parts of the British democracy!

    What on earth is happening here? You can't believe in this, you can't support that! Do you nurse within the guidelines as set out by the NMC? Well, if you do and do not bring nursing in to disrepute (although I think there are too many fuddy duddies amongst us) then believe in, practice, support whomever, whatever you wish. As us witches say, 'An ye harm none, do what ye will'.
    Unison should take a long hard look at themselves and feel utterly ashamed of the prejudice their proposal is creating.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • john warwick

    What made britian the great country is freedom of speech. if we are to make laws that ban nurses from exercising their legal rights. Unision DOES NOT speak for all nurses.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Phil Dup

    I presume many of the Unison delegates who voted for this motion are Nurses. What would they do if they had to treat a sick or injured BNP member - would they discriminate in their care - in which case should we be banning Nurses from joining Unison.
    The whole ethos of being a 'Professional' is that one can do the job regardless of whether you like your client or not. Many Defence Lawyers do not like the murderers / rapists / robbers etc they represent but still do their job professionally. Unison are themselves making a 'Fascist' decision by discriminating against people joining a lawful political organisation. A total disgrace.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • It is a national disgrace and contemptible that in a democratic modern country ! a person can be denied a job because they have a difference of opinion! The BNP are not racist that is a fact!This is just a political witch hunt!Any ! the comment above a person doesn't switch his views off or Her's as well I may add! then all the rasict in other parties must be banned ! how stupid does this get! racism cuts more than one way!! unison is a corrupt union with its leaders being corrupt!

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • people do not have to join the BNP all they have to do is vote for them! does that mean they will be shot!

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • I think you will find that the present nasty, nazi party is the the present government, Nu-Labour! They are the ones who spread their nasty bile about other political parties.

    Why stop at the British National Party, why not ban members of the Welsh National Party and the Scottish National Party? They have the word "Nationalist" in the title so they MUST be Nazis also.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Nursing is one of the most repected professions in this country and would rate miles higher than any politician. As inteligent people we do not need dictating to as to what political views we may or may not hold whether they are far left, right or central. It seems to me that as members of Unison we should not pay a political levy to ANY party. Politics should be kept OUT of the workplace.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • It is quite evident from the poll here that (at the time of writing) FOUR OUT OF FIVE of your readship believes that the motion passed at Unison’s Health Care Service Group Conference is complete nonsense.

    Which political party would they choose to ban next? It certainly won't be Labour, as Unison and Labour have most interesting ties, both financial and with regards to Communist Party roots many of the senior figures in both organisations share. This information is publicly available to find, although something they never mention publicly.

    I am a senior manager of HR at a large PCT hospital, and I will never, ever reject an application from a qualified professional because of any ties to any political parties.

    Professionals leave their politics at the door - simple as.

    Regardless of what rules, proscriptions, bans and "guidelines" the elite liberal champagne drenched ubermaster pass down to me, I will willfully turn a blind eye to them all. If such a thing ever happens, it is my intention to give such applicants the information and help they need to get around this nonsense and continue their professional work without being detected.

    Banning people for their political persuasion not only goes against their human rights, but it plain WRONG. I will have no part of it.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • I can’t believe that this kind of tyrannical behaviour is going on in a supposedly liberated Western society! The BNP are being victimised for speaking their truth. As a British person I have to say that the majority of people in Britain agree with the BNP, and organisations such as New labour, and Unison, need to get over it. What is the point of exercising the right to vote if you are only allowed to use it to vote for Labour or Conservative? It’s nothing short of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe!

    What if patients were to decide against certain nurses and doctors looking after them for fear of their political and religious beliefs? What then? Wasn’t it a radical Muslim DOCTOR that was involved with the bombs left inside cars outside London Nightclubs and the plot to blow up Glasgow Airport?

    Unison, the police, the church, should all be ashamed of themselves for carrying out this modern day witch-hunt. This is the epitome of facism, bigotory, and discrimination.

    Nurses would be better suited to paying their dues to Solidarity, a union that really is interested in fair play.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • I am outraged at this story. Evidently, the British National Party is a legitimate, democratic political party and its members should not be subjected to this kind of political persecution. We live, supposedly, in a free and democratic society and persecution on political grounds should not be tolerated in whatever form. Millions of our brave war heroes in two World Wars gave their lives fighting against this kind of totalitarianism.

    Further, it is a disgrace that any organisation in Britain should even consider persecuting people on political grounds, especially when such organisations are the first to hurl the almighty political epithet "fascist" against all those who oppose their own brand of fascism.

    Every British citizen of any political persuasion and none should enjoy the same fundamental civil rights and should never be subjected to political harassment or persecution. If this cardinal principle did not apply, trade unions such as Unison would not exist. Indeed, most British trade unions pride themselves on have played a leading role in fighting for this principle both during and since the birth of trade unionism in our country. Clearly, Unison has not only rejected the historic role played by trade unions in this matter, but manifestly and shamefully opposes the very principle shared by most other British trade unions.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Our Union brotherhood is adamantly opposed to discrimination on grounds of political affiliation as we are on grounds of sexuality, ethnic and faith background, disability and age. We are currently involved in cases which may lead to challenges on the Police service ban on BNP membership. We feel that Human Rights are being denied where this is neither proportionate or necessary for any legitimate goal.

    If someone behaves badly in employment adequate sanctions are available. Additionally many safeguards are in place to protect the public and staff. Our Brotherhood would resist any attempt by an employer to punish someone or discriminate against them on account of their political views.

    Shame on Unison for proposing such a reactionary policy. I suggest that Unison members vote with their feet and cancel their membership subscription. We will welcome them. Those who value freedom and diversity must stand against the McCarthy-style witch-hunts. Together we are strong!

    Pat Harrington
    Solidarity Trade Union

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • If we start banning people for their 'apparent' beliefs, then we may have to consider banning people for all sorts of beliefs. In nursing, for example, we might have to ban people who do not 'believe' in abortion, assisted suicide, female equality in law, 'gay' equality in law...etc.

    Also, I am concerned that, given the rise in BNP membership in a lot of areas that the label 'racist' for all members of that party cannot be proved. Having read a lot of the material on the BNP website, I am not convinced that it is a racist party as such - it seems to me that it is a very nationalist party, and no more racist than the SNP, in fact probably less racist than the SNP. Are you proposing to ban all extreme nationlists from nursing? Such a proposal seems to me to be itself something of a fascist stance.

    Surely it is better to propose that any rascist behaviour by a nurse should lead to disciplinary action and possible ban.

    Also, I am concerned that the profession seems much more concerned about this issue than it is about the issue of 'whistleblowers' getting banned from the profession. The British public needs to feel that health professionals can and will speak out about maladministration, neglect etc., rather than about a fellow professional's political views.

    Any 'banning' actions by the nursing profession will only increase the public's distrust of the whole healthcare apparatus, in my view.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • I am finding it hard to stay in Britain.

    It is not just the health service that has been ruined by red tape and political correctness. Everywhere in the UK has much brainwashing.

    I thought Britain was free like the USA - I was wrong.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • As voters we are expected to believe the pledges and stated policies of the established, legally constituted political parties and so far nobody can accuse the British National Party of lying. Their freely available policies are open, apparently very honest, straightforward and actually quite popular! I'm a middle-aged professional with a lifetime history of Labour voting but I shan't be voting 'mainstream' next time; I have been around long enough to see the 'bigger picture' and, like many, I don't like it! All the time those people who profess to value 'free speech' denounce others with opposing views the opportunity for real democracy diminishes. So, who are the real fascists?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • I find this motion by UNISON completely distasteful but not surprising in left wing Britain, the commissars must be loving this. I am a BNP member and I find it arrogant, untruthful and insulting that I am labelled a racist. According to UNISON I should never be in charge of nursing or caring for people because I am a BNP member yet I have worked at my local Adult Learning Disabilities Unit for years before I quit for another job, I still go back there regularly to do Disco's for the customers and would say that I am always welcomed back even though they and the staff know of my political leanings. I also have a disabled child and a step sister (who i would die for) who is of West indian origin. This must make me very weird in the eyes of the politically correct who in my opinion are the real racists and the sooner this country wakes up to that fact the better

    Unsuitable or offensive?

View results 10 per page | 20 per page | 50 per page |

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!