No to Fascism
Saturday May 16, 2009 14:11 by CW
Resist the fascist menace
May 22nd 7pm Bath Royal Scientific & Literary Institute (BRSLI) Queens Square Bath allows the BNP to spew out their rascist & divisive filth but thats only if we let them!
Organisers of a political meeting have been forced to change its format after the threat of a mass walkout over the presence of a BNP candidate.
Representatives of all 17 parties standing in the South West in the European elections were invited to sit on a panel at the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution in Queen Square next week. The event was jointly organised by the BRLSI and pressure group Unlocked Democracy.
However, Labour's Glyn Ford, Liberal Democrat Graham Watson and Green Party hopeful Ricky Knight refused to share a stage with British National Party candidate Jeremy Wotherspoon.
After hearing this, Conservative Dan Collier said he would not take part.
Convener of the BRLSI economics group Rodney Tye has now reorganised the meeting so that each candidate will be on stage separately.
Mr Tye said: "I was annoyed at the decision, as we do not pick and choose who we invite along to speak. Everyone should get a chance.
"We have now changed the format of the meeting in order to try to accommodate everyone. The candidates will not all be on the stage together any more but will go up separately."
Liberal Democrat Mr Watson has now agreed to take part. He said: "I only said I wouldn't share a platform with a BNP representative.
"Now that this has changed I won't have to, and because of this I am more than happy to take part. I think that the way the organisers have gone about it is very intelligent."
Mr Ford said he was still not prepared to attend the meeting. He said: "The people of Bath can be reassured, my refusal to debate the BNP is not due to cowardice but principle.
"The BNP are not a normal party, and I am not prepared to share a platform with them."
Mr Knight said he was undecided. He said: "It seams a very surreal compromise, and I am not really sure what action we will be taking."
A Conservative spokesman said: "We are considering our options in light of the changing circumstances."
The BNP's regional organiser, Peter Mullins, said: "We are not surprised by this at all, as we have experienced these problems before."
The meeting will be held at the BRLSI on Friday, May 22, with doors opening at 7pm.