Billy Bragg slams BNP for hijacking St George's Day

John Phillips BILLY Bragg today (Thursday) blasted the BNP for hijacking St George s Day and trying to turn his home town into the racist capital of Britain . The Barking-born musician condemned the party s exclusive patriotism, saying it was at odds with the area s h

John Phillips

BILLY Bragg today (Thursday) blasted the BNP for hijacking St George's Day and trying to turn his home town into the "racist capital of Britain".

The Barking-born musician condemned the party's exclusive patriotism, saying it was at odds with the area's history that saw migrants flock to the 27,000-home Becontree Estate in Dagenham to work for car giant Ford before World War Two.

Bragg, 51, was speaking at a St George's Day community cohesion conference at Harmony House community centre, Baden Powell Close, Dagenham.


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"They're trying to make Barking into a place which is the racist capital of Britain," he added.

"It is not any more or less racist than anywhere else. I object to them coming in here and stirring up fear and division when the story of our town is one of change, of people coming from elsewhere and coming to the borough. It's something we need to concentrate on more."

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The BNP group, which has the largest representation in England with 12 out of 51 councillors, branded Bragg a "left-wing Labour puppet" who now lived in Dorset and failed to represent the working class.

Their leader Cllr Bob Bailey said: "Billy Bragg is no patriot, he's no friend of England. He hates the English, he hates Britain and what it stands for.

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