Unite leader attacks “dangerous dog whistle politics”

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Unite, Racism

FarageUnite’s general secretary has branded Nigel Farage’s call to scrap equality laws as ‘dangerous crude dog whistle politics’ that displayed a ‘breathtaking ignorance about the Britain we live in today.’

The UKIP leader said he wanted to get rid of laws governing who employers can hire, claiming discrimination is no longer an issue in Britain, saying: If an employer wishes to choose, or you can use the word ‘discriminate’ if you want to, but wishes to choose to employ a British-born person, they should be allowed to do so.”

But Len McCluskey hit back, saying: “Nigel Farage’s wish to decriminalise discrimination by scrapping equality laws is dangerous crude dog whistle politics that strikes at the heart of British values of tolerance and respect.

“It also makes absolutely no sense. If he genuinely wants to protect jobs, then his party ought to abandon its position of attacking hard-won rights for workers.

“His assertion that racism is no longer a problem in the UK employment market is naive and conflicts with shocking figures from the House of Commons library showing the number of young people from ethnic minority backgrounds who have been jobless for more than a year has risen by a staggering 49 per cent since the Tory led government came to power.

“If he was truly concerned about the employment prospects for our young workers he would be talking about how we strengthen the weakest employment laws in Europe, create a society where everyone can fulfil their potential and be promoting tolerance and respect in the workplace.

“In stockbroker Nigel’s world, there would be no floor in our labour market, with worker pitted against worker and their unions prevented from stopping attacks on their jobs and wages.

“Rather than addressing the real problem of employers exploiting migrant workers to drive down wages Mr Farage would prefer to remove responsibility from employers.

“Working people need politicians that will act to halt any race to the bottom and create decent secure jobs, not indulge in the politics of fear and division.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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