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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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?

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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

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