Bus drivers union takes a stand against EU election candidate Gemma O’Doherty
Yesterday, a letter from the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) was sent to the CEO of Dublin Bus, highlighting the concerns that the union holds with Dublin Bus carrying an advertising campaign for investigative journalist turned right-wing conspiracy theorist Gemma O’Doherty, who is running in the upcoming European elections. The letter, written by NBRU General Secretary Dermot O’Leary, claims that the candidate holds “questionable opinions on the multicultural makeup of Irish society.”
O’Doherty, who has made a name for herself in recent times for touting anti-LGBT, anti-choice, anti-vaccination and anti-migrant rhetoric, announced her candidacy for the Dublin constituency in the European elections last month. Additionally, in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, a mosque shooting carried out in New Zealand by a white supremacist which left 51 people dead, the ex-Irish Independent journalist claimed that the attack was in fact a false flag operation and not driven by far-right extremism.
The NBRU letter claimed that the advertisement campaign was in “direct contradiction between the views/principles of the candidate and the indisputable fact that Dublin Bus is a multicultural employer.”
The letter acts as reassurance that the NBRU will not be drafted into such divisive and scaremongering politics, seemingly a necessary statement to make as far-right populism continues to increase worldwide. O’Leary has said that his union will fully support any driver who refuses to drive buses bearing the advertisement on the grounds of conscientious objection.
The left and trade union movement must not only voice its opposition to racism, fascism and bigotry, but offer an explicitly class-based alternative to working class people who may otherwise buy into far-right propaganda.