CARD-CARRYING fascists must be banned from the country’s classrooms, Scotland’s biggest teaching union declared on Saturday following a landmark vote.
Cheers rang out across Perth’s concert hall on Saturday as EIS delegates passed a new measure urging that members of fascist political parties be barred from the profession, with the motion scraping through with just six votes to spare.
Glasgow delegate Charlie McKinnon warned that the BNP and similar parties remained influential in many parts of Britain despite dismal performances in last month’s European elections.
Those who fell in with fascist groups could not be relied on to uphold their duties under race relations and equality legislation, he said: “These kinds of people can’t simply dump their baggage at the school gate.”
Already police and prison officers and even Church of England clergy were banned from joining the BNP, he added.
“How then can it ever be responsible to allow them to be responsible for the education of our children?”
Fellow Glaswegian Nicola Fisher agreed, noting that the BNP’s explicit policies included state-sanctioned beatings and execution, mass deportation and chain gangs.
Ms Fisher said she had seen friends and neighbours’ fear when the Scottish Defence League and others showed up on their streets.
She said: “These fascists would scream at them — in their own houses — ‘go home’.
Fascist teachers “have to be looking at their children and thinking that they want them to go home; they must be looking at our colleagues and wanting them to go home.
“We cannot allow this to continue.”
But North Lanarkshire’s Keith Edwards would not be swayed even though he “absolutely” opposed fascism.
There was already a system for reporting offensive behaviour in the workplace, he said, while an outright ban represented a slippery slope.
“We start with the BNP, then Ukip — where will it end?”
The motion, which passed by 121 votes to 115, described membership of the BNP or any other fascist organisation as “incompatible” with the profession’s aims and duties.
It also ordered the union’s leadership to lobby the Scottish government “with the aim of ensuring that no such individuals be allowed to teach in any Scottish school or college.”