Unions take on the far right in Wales

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Mark Rees

We’ve all felt it. We’ve all seen it, even if only on Facebook. And sometimes, we feel ourselves powerless to stop it.

I’m talking about the rise of the far right in Wales.

As many predicted, hate crime has been on the rise since the Brexit referendum. In north Wales alone, reported hate crimes more than doubled from 416 in 2014 to 858 in 2018.

The Wales I know and love is an open, tolerant, peaceful country. It pains me to read statistics like this and it angers me to hear about the reported rise in levels of hate crime.

Sometimes it feels as though hate and racism will never end, especially when you see the rhetoric of some politicians in the UK, Europe and across the pond. When a US President thinks it’s OK to tell citizens of his own country to “go home” it’s no wonder the far-right feel emboldened.


In Wales today we see far-right groups like System Resistance Network and Combat 18 mobilising in our streets and online. They seek recruits in communities that have suffered years of neglect, under-funding and unemployment and they try to divide us by blaming minorities for problems like low pay and unstable work.

Hope for the future

But, in the darkness, there are more than a few glimmers of hope.

I work for Wales TUC which represents the voices of 49 affiliated trade unions and 400,000 Welsh workers. The trade union movement has a strong history of standing up to the far right and we feel it’s our duty today to challenge the presence of the far right in the workplace and beyond.

For the last few months I’ve been working with colleagues in Cardiff and London on a new online training module called ‘Tackling the far right’ which is being launched today, 19 August.

It’s designed for anyone keen to learn how to identify and confront the far-right in their workplace and community.

The module takes about 20 minutes to complete and by doing it you will learn:

  • The history of the far-right in Wales and the United Kingdom
  • Which far-right groups are active in Wales
  • How to challenge your friends and colleagues’ opinions without accusing and excluding them
  • How to start community campaigns against the far-right

Take a look at the module at www.tuc.org.uk/farright

Bilingual training

I’m very pleased that, for the first time, this training module is available in Welsh as well as in English. At Wales TUC we are determined to become a bilingual organisation – we recognise that many Welsh workers want to read our toolkits and use our online training in Welsh. This is the first online module we’ve created in Welsh but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

I think this training module will make a big difference to the presence of the far right in Welsh workplaces and I hope workers around the country find it useful.

Mark Rees, is a Union Learning and Support Officer at the Wales TUC.

Try the “Tackling the far right” training here.

 

Articles via Email

Get instant updates to your inbox

We do not moderate comments before they appear. The views expressed in the comments are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of Nation. Cymru. Please read our community standards and participation guidelines before contributing.

19
Leave a Reply

avatar
10 Comment threads
9 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
Huw DaviesPaul ColamRogerNormJoseph Ap Hywel Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Annwyn Lewis
Guest
Annwyn Lewis

I am thankful that I haven’t encountered it. I work in a rights respecting school in Ystradgynlais and we have Syrian refugees who have integrated very well. I detest racism as it has no place in Wales. How on earth can you be racist against Welsh-learning foreigners who want to support the language and the country that has supported them? I am also Senior Vice President of NASUWT Cymru and I was a TUC delegate last year. I hope that we can all do not only what we can, but what we MUST, to stamp this out. Evil persists when… Read more »

Simon Gruffydd
Guest
Simon Gruffydd

There is no far-right in Wales, other than in the paranoid fantasy of the Loony Left. “Hate speech” is anything that questions their ideological (and highly intolerant) worldview.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

You jumped in there without thinking. There is a far right presence here. It may be fairly small and containable at the moment but it does influence some thinking in our communities, especially those that would by most yardsticks be regarded as disadvantaged/deprived. Here the “hate messages” of AngloBrit supremacists get spouted in their various forms, mostly parroting that which “goes down well ” in the English metropolitan areas. Right now I guess that Moslems of every shade in the book are flavour of the month but Brexit has also been hijacked as a means of resurrecting some good old… Read more »

Paul Colam
Guest
Paul Colam

I agree Simon, in fact there has been no ‘far right’ across the UK for decades beyond lone activists. The way the Loony left are pushing things they will end up inciting a response to their madness, then we possibly will see again an organised right wing response to the communist left lunacy.

Roger
Guest
Roger

This is great news. But let us not forget there are Far Left Groups as well. We can’t dodge that issue. There are extremes on both sides of the spectrum. No matter what Simon Gruffydd might say. Another thing to not forget is the irony of Labour Left Wing supporters voting with the extreme Right Wing for Brexit.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

There is no irony in “left wing ….. voting with extreme right wing” if you discard the 2D linear model and apply some 3D thinking instead. My big criticism of so-called left groups in Wales is that they can’t entertain any kind of debate and resort immediately to a default “schoolyard” position with its stunted vocabulary. As for those commonly identified as extreme right, alt-right etc the big threat they pose is their classic supremacist stance where everything must conform to the core values and norms of their identity.

Paul Colam
Guest
Paul Colam

Huw to quote you ‘where everything must conform to the core values and norms of their identity’ what religion does this remind you of the most? how is it right wing to want to preserve and be proud of your own identity and the rich history therein, especially if you are welcoming and tolerant of other cultures that feel your history/culture is offensive?

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

I presume that you allude to Islam, if not correct me. While the extreme stances of some segments of modern Islam have to be resisted it does not sanction the increasingly supremacist stances that grow more commonplace among AngloBrits. If you think that you need to resist the negativity of militant Islam then why accept similar characteristics among AngloBrit attitudes towards Welsh culture ? By the way I don’t label any response to an invasive corrosive attack on our identity as “Right-wing”. I dismiss, indeed reject, the left/right linear model as it fails to clearly depict the diversity of political… Read more »

Wyn Davies
Guest
Wyn Davies

Fake news the unions will do anything but work

Wyn Davies
Guest
Wyn Davies

Fake news Unions do anything but work

Norm
Guest
Norm

”FAR RIGHT” Is now being used as a tag for anyone who isn’t a Marxist/ Plaid supporting lefty

Unions should focus on workers terms and conditions and stay out of politics

Sian Galea
Guest
Sian Galea

Diolch Mark. Unfortunately there is a global problem with the far / alt right gaining ground. We thought / hoped this had disappeared after the 2nd world war, but it’s gaining ground. The groups involved in spreading hate e.g. Britain First, Tommy Robinson, EDL etc. often pick on ethnic minorities but also LGBT+ and disabled people too…and all too often women (the latter in particular on social media). The figures speak for themselves. However we need to discuss why this is happening, in forums such as this one as I’m sure most of us want a country that is welcoming… Read more »

Royston Jones
Guest

Mark Rees(e) writes: “I’m very pleased that, for the first time, this training module is available in Welsh as well as in English. At Wales TUC we are determined to become a bilingual organisation – we recognise that many Welsh workers want to read our toolkits and use our online training in Welsh. This is the first online module we’ve created in Welsh but I’m sure it won’t be the last.” Translation: ‘Now that the unionised working class becomes a thing of the past we at the Wales TUC have decided to drop our traditional hostility to all things Welsh… Read more »

Joseph Ap Hywel
Guest
Joseph Ap Hywel

You havent stopped to think that maybe it has something to do with the increase in rapes, enslavement/human traffiking and violence commited by migrants have you? Or the fact that over 60% of rapes in our hospitals are commited by doctors who are not Welsh/British. Swansea has a huge problem with Pakistani and African gangs who come to sell their drugs. Welsh was a tag given to our ancestors by the Anglo-Saxons (coming from their word Welh) we call ourselves Cymro or Cymraeg meaning fellow countryman you cannot become a Cymro or Cymraeg without any native Brythonic blood that would… Read more »

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

…”over 60% of rapes in hospitals committed by doctors not Welsh /British..” Is that 60% of 000’s or of a handful ? If it’s a low figure then the disproportionately high %age of non natives is probably down to our NHS’ increasing dependence on imported talent. Don’t blame immigrants for that but look at the cock eyed UK government that spends money like water on pet projects yet fails after 9 years in office to plan its way out of a manpower crisis. Health is devolved but much as I dislike the Bay crowd they can only seriously address the… Read more »

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

negative score ? Someone can’t cope with some home truths !

Roger
Guest
Roger

A great many of those Welsh sucking up Welsh speakers are a part of the Welsh/British Institutions.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Too true, hanging on like bloody limpets !

Norm
Guest
Norm

This website claims to be ”by the people of wales, for the people of wales” well that includes me but because i’m not in agreement with the partition of Britain my comments are often deleted.

Please change your heading or allow different opinion.