STUC Youth Conference to call for Boycott of the Scottish Youth Parliament in BNP challenge

June 26th 2009

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Youth Conference meeting in Dundee (27/28 June 2009) will call on members of the Scottish Youth Parliament to reject toleration of political extremism by refusing to take their seats until candidates who hold membership of the British National Party (BNP) are subjected to open, inclusive and contested elections in which their political affiliation is made known to those eligible to vote.

The debate follows reports in the media that members of the BNP had infiltrated the Youth Parliament.

STUC Youth Committee Chair, Drew Smith, speaking prior to the debate said

“It is time for the Scottish Youth Parliament to stand up and be counted amongst those who reject the racist and fascist politics of hate, ignorance and fear espoused by the BNP.

“The emergency motion will also call on the Scottish Government, and the other funders of the Youth Parliament to urgently review their funding and support of this organisation if its members and officers continue in their failure to reject political extremism in favour of a more inclusive, open and tolerant Scotland”

ENDS

For further information contact

Ian Tasker or Drew Smith 0141 337 8100

Emergency Motion

Young Scots United Against Racism and Fascism

“That this STUC Youth Conference expresses its alarm and concern at recent newspaper reports which suggest that members of the racist and fascist British National Party have been allowed to infiltrate the Scottish Youth Parliament.

“Conference notes that these revelations follow the recent election of two BNP Members of the European Parliament in other parts of the United Kingdom, but reiterates the ongoing concern of the STUC Youth Committee about the stance of the Scottish Youth Parliament on the political affiliations of its supposedly non-political members. Conference believes that this misguided and complacent attitude has now been brought into very thorough disrepute, and calls for MSYPs to reject toleration of political extremism which seeks the promotion of hatred and ignorance amongst Scotland’s young people, and seriously questions whether the Scottish Youth Parliament can be said to be operating a democratic structure which is robust in safeguarding minority communities or representative of majority youth opinion in Scotland.

“Conference asserts and believes that the vast majority of young Scots reject the hatred and ignorance of neo-Nazi parties and calls for Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament to join the trades union movement in supporting a no-platform policy against racists and fascists by refusing to take their seats in the Scottish Youth Parliament until members of the BNP are subjected to open, inclusive and contested elections in which their political affiliation is made known to those eligible to vote.

“Conference this year invites those Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament who stand for tolerance, diversity and respect to join the STUC’s Annual St Andrew’s Day March and Rally Against Racism and Fascism and requests that the Scottish Government, along with local authorities, urgently review their funding and support of this organisation if its Members and Officers continue in their failure to reject political extremism in favour of a more inclusive, open and tolerant Scotland. In the interim, Conference calls upon other mainstream and representative organisations in Scotland to suspend their engagement with the Scottish Youth Parliament until such time as it has acted to reform itself and ensures fair and transparent democratic structures.

“Conference instructs the STUC Youth Committee to bring this matter to the urgent attention of the STUC General Council, affiliates, Government and other social partners, and calls for a renewed youth campaign to be established, along with other organisations, such as the National Union of Students in Scotland, against the BNP and their racist and fascist politics of hate, ignorance and fear.”

      Mover       -        STUC Youth Committee

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