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09/05/2009 - Unison condemned for McCarthyite policies

 
The healthcare trade union UNISON recently called for nurses, midwives and health visitors who join the BNP to be sacked. Britain's largest union say nursing workers should be banned from signing up to the controversial anti-establishment Party, just as police officers are.
 
Their argument is that since NHS workers must abide by the Nursing and Midwifery Council code which says nurses should neThe ver discriminate against people under their care this should include membership of the British National Party (BNP).
 
Solidarity agrees with the code. No citizen should be denied treatment or receive a second class service for any reason. However Unison's argument rests on the assumption that BNP members would discriminate. Anyone who did discriminate at work would undoubtedly face disciplinary charges (and rightly so). But if a worker was abiding by all the rules what does it matter what his/her personal political views are? If someone is to be excluded from a profession or disciplined surely that should be on the basis of actual wrongdoing rather than on assumptions as to how they might behave constructed from subjective perceptions of political viewpoint? Whilst Unison cite the Police as an example of a profession where this McCarthyite principle has been established this is far from the Truth. The Police ban is yet to be fully tested and when it is Solidarity is confident that it will be quashed.
 
To throw someone out of their profession which they have been attracted to, trained and qualified for  on the basis that they might discriminate is in itself a form of unjust discimination. It is a Stasi-style mentality.
 
Of course the real reason why Unison is pushing this demand is political bias. They support the BNP 's main rivals the Labour Party. They hope to intimidate actual or potential members of their political rivals.
 
The establishment Trade Unions have forgotten why they came into existence - to protect the individual and collective rights of workers. Freeedom of expression and association is fundamental. They have been on the 'other side'  (the ruler rather than ruled) for so long  that they have forgotten their past and now prefer to take away rather than protect rights. They have become part of the political class they once despised and opposed.
 
Solidarity Trade Union, however,  goes back to the  Unions early days where rights were sacrosanct. We stand against collusion and for a genuinely independent Trade Union Movement. Neither the Bosses or the Party bureaucrats are our Masters. We stand for our members and the Workers against all.