November 14, 2008

BNP's wreath laying branded 'insult to dead'

Members of the BNP party have been accused of 'insulting the war dead' by laying a remembrance wreath in Rugby.

That's the claim of two Labour councillors after the wreath was laid at the memorial gates in Hillmorton Road during last Sunday's remembrance service. Jim Shera, leader of the Rugby Labour party, said: "Given the BNP's fascist policies and the fact that their leader Nick Griffin has criticised Britain for going to war with Germany in World War Two, to lay a wreath with a BNP logo is an insult to so many who have given so much. It is also an insult to the values of human freedom and solidarity that our services have fought for.

"It may be that the individuals who laid a wreath with a BNP logo on were looking to remember people close to them as we all have friends and relatives who have been involved in conflict but party politics is not the way to do it."

Councillor Tom Mahoney, an ex-serviceman who fought in Northern Ireland, added: "Having served alongside people from all backgrounds, all of whom loved this nation and its values equally, the BNP's insensitive actions have left a bad taste. Surely they can't think that people are so stupid not to see the link between the BNP's politics of hatred based on race, ethnicity or background and what brave servicemen and women fought against in World War Two?"

However, Rugby's BNP organiser Ian Donaldson, the man who laid the wreath, said it was not a political decision.

"It was the first time we had laid a wreath in Rugby and it was simply to show our respects," he said. "If they are unhappy they are unhappy but everyone has a right to remember our war dead. People just hear myths about the BNP. They think we are all knuckle-dragging skin heads but that it is not the case."

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