Faith communities, trades unions, political parties and ethnic minority organizations unite to oppose the BNP.
The tour of the West Midlands by the Unite Against Fascism AdVan began in Birmingham on Wednesday April 26th with a reception for the van in Newtown, Birmingham.
The reception was attended by, amongst others, Tony Rabaiotti of UNISON, Roger McKenzie of the TUC, John Tyrrell on behalf of Birmingham Labour Group, Salma Yaqoob of Respect, Mohini Howard of Birmingham Race Action Partnership and the Rev John Breadon of the Church of England.
The van is touring England with the message that voters should use their vote positively and vote against the politics of hate and division promoted by the BNP. The BNP can only succeed if the majority of voters who are opposed to the politics of racial hatred stay at home on May 4th.
Ruth Jacobs, chair of the Representative Council Birmingham and West Midlands Jewry commented ‘The Birmingham Jewish Community supports the UAF campaign to stop the rise of the BNP both nationally and locally and has been pleased to have had the opportunity to be associated with the local UAF efforts.“
A view of the Danube in Budapest with Margaret Island in the centre distance and the Parliament Building on the right
Dal Singh Dhesy and I decided to take a break and so we flew out to Budapest for a few days. This was my fourth visit, the last time bring in 1986 when Hungary was still part of the Soviet Bloc. We found a vibrant city with a variety of shops with their attractive futuristic designs so beloved by Hungarians.
Dal Singh Dhesy at the Chain Bridge with Pest in the background
My old friend Dr Egon Svastics met us at the airport on a rather miserable wet afternoon. We had first met over forty years ago in a tourist office in one of the Lake Balaton resorts when I had wanted to go to a concert at Kesthely at the south end of the lake. Egon stepped in and said that he would be able to find a room for the night with a family in the village. Since then we have met up many times in various places across Europe.
We had planned an excursion to the Danube Bend, but we found that the river had reached a record level and that the Budapest embankment was flooded. Walking across the Chain Bridge from the commercial Pest to the historic and residential Buda hills the Danube was vaste. We took the rail lift up the hill and looked across the river to the parliament building and down to the flooded Margaret Island.
The flooded tramway on the Pest embankment of the Danube
On Saturday we visited the parliament building with Egon and his wife Kinga. Hungary was preparing for a general election the following day with a close result predicted for the major parties. The building was designed to take two houses, but today there is only one house since the upper house was abolished.