Stagecoach run a network of buses and trains across the UK. Their headquarters is in Oxford, but Stagecoach also runs lucrative transport contracts in and around the London area. Millions of people travel on Stagecoach transport every year and yet the Stagecoach management have recently agreed to accept advertisement from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), despite the fact that as a distinct political party it has been judged to have followed a clearly ‘racist’ political line, and pursued an anti-Disabled agenda in its rhetoric. In the Torbay area, for instance, a notoriously rightwing borough on the Devon’s south coast, Stagecoach buses are openly displaying UKIP advertisements throughout the area, clear for all to see. This decision obviously demonstrates that the management of Stagecoach endorses UKIP – a racist political party – despite official denials toward the opposite. In Torbay, a certain section of the population comprising of hoteliers, prominent landowners, and other bigoted members of the local population, (aided and abetted by an apathetic police force), actively espouse xenophobic rhetoric, and with the notoriously rightwing local newspaper, the Herald Express (which has in the past openly supported the racist British National Party [BNP]), the message to people with Disabilities, or to those possessing differing ethnicities – is that you are not welcome! It must be born in-mind that the political rightwing has always pursued dishonesty as a legitimate political weapon. They actively propagate racism whilst denying that is exactly what they are doing. Innocent people fall victim to this vicious policy of discrimination, whilst laughably being told that they are to blame for their plight. I suspect that in multicultural London, Stagecoach would not dare to advertise a racist political party on their buses, as this would obviously adversely affect their profits. I wrote to Stagecoach’s head office about their policy of UKIP support, and this is the emailed answer I received (on the 16.4.15) which is replete with contradictions and attempts at distancing Stagecoach from its own chosen policy:
‘Many thanks for your email and I am sorry to hear of your concerns over this matter. Stagecoach is a politically neutral organisation. We do not endorse or support any political party. During the run-up to an election all political parties are able to enquire about advertising on our buses and we take the same approach with them all.
We carry advertising campaigns placed by a range of organisations. However, acceptance of an advert is not an endorsement by Stagecoach of the products, services or campaign messages involved in the advert. Advertising on our buses is managed by an external agency which is bound by the British Code of Advertising Practice. Adverts must comply with the Advertising Standards Authority guidelines. We appreciate that our customers and local people have differing views on a range of issues, however we understand that the advert in this particular case complies with the necessary guidelines.
I hope this clarifies our position on this. Thank you once again for your correspondence.
Stagecoach South West
Belgrave Road, Exeter, EX1 2LB
T: 01392 889 721
M: 07500 447 608
F: 01392 889 727’
This is of course a well-rehearsed public relations exercise designed to limit any potential and wide-spread economic damage Stagecoach’s policy of support of the racist UKIP, as well as divert any threat to the apparent prestige of the company. This is my reply (16.4.15):
‘Thank you for your reply.
Obviously Stagecoach has discretion in this matter and does not have to accept advertisements (even those inaccordance with current UK advertising law) from a racist UK political party. As I am sure you appreciate, with this being the case, there is no reason why the victims of UKIP’s racialised political rhetoric should continue to spend their money on any Stagecoach Services in the UK. Whilst on holiday in Torquay, I have witnessed Stagecoach buses advertising UKIP (but no other political party), and when I return to my home in South London shortly, I will pursue this matter further.
Thank you for your time in this matter.
Dr Adrian Wyles’
There is a disease running through the heart of the UK, and that disease is racism. It permeates unseen into the very essence of British culture and it must be weeded-out of any modern , civilised society. Public service providers, such as Stagecoach, have a duty not to endanger the personal safety of all people who ride on their transport, and not only those the UKIP ideologues declare to be racially pure, or free of disabilities. In these matters it is best to hit Stagecoach where it hurts the most, and that is in their pocket. The answer is simple – BOYCOTT Stagecoach until they withdraw their support for the racist UKIP. Only then can it be safe to ride on the public transport they provide.