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ireland, irish, ulster, ireland, irish, ulster, Sinn Féin, Irish America

BNP attacks local politicians over cultural diversity

(Suzanne Breen, Sunday World)

The BNP has sent a chilling message to immigrant families in East Belfast – 'hands off our nursery school places, you foreign parasites'.

And the party's Northern Ireland branch has launched a stinging attack on local politicians for encouraging multi-culturalism.

The BNP is claiming that dozens of local children are being turned away from the school gates because priority is being given to immigrants.

The BNP said it's despicable that the children of "foreigners on benefit" who barely speak English are being accepted into nursery schools while Belfast-born kids have been refused places for the start of term next month.

The nursery school system is in crisis with around 1,500 children across Northern Ireland refused places due to a lack of resources.

A BNP spokesman condemned a string of other 'injustices'. "It's not just our nursery school places being snapped up by these unwelcome spongers. It's all our services – from housing to hospital appointments and treatment – the list is endless," he said.

"Our country is being flooded day and daily by the over-spill from the bursting mainland by every undesirable who can make their way here to claim benefits and services which we can't get for our own people."

And the BNP rounded on East Belfast's two newly elected Alliance MLAs, Judith Cochrane and Chris Lyttle, whom they alleged were turning the once staunchly white, Protestant area into "a multi-cultural hell-hole".

The extreme right-wing party accused Cochrane of "promoting the invasion of immigrants into our country" and rounded on Lyttle for campaigning to have loyalist paramilitary murals removed.

"These MLAS are not the friends of the East Belfast native. If they were, they would be campaigning to make sure local people get priority in their own areas and not campaigning for foreigners," the BNP said.

Both Alliance politicians vowed that they wouldn't be intimidated. "It's disgusting that the BNP is using young children and the scarcity of nursery places as a means of promoting its negative agenda," Cochrane said.

"Immigration enriches our society – many of our key services couldn't be provided without it. Immigrants working in our hospitals and old people's homes do jobs many local people don't want to do."

Cochrane said that while Alliance secured over 8,500 votes in East Belfast in May's Assembly election, the BNP managed only 327. Lyttle stated that the BNP agenda had been "resoundingly rejected" in East Belfast and the days of "fear and intimidation" were over.

BNP members and supporters are raging about the influx of immigrants in other parts of Northern Ireland. "There's a similar situation in the 'Polish province' of Craigavon," one said.

"Nursery places full of foreign national kids, maternity wards full of pregnant foreigners, Polish drunks and vagabonds hanging around the 'bru'. Welcome to Warsaw!"

August 15, 2011
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This article appeared in the August 14, 2011 edition of the Sunday World.

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