Australian speaker at Scottish National Party (SNP) conference criticised for reference to Nazi Germany

October 26, 2016 by Sophie Deutsch
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At the SNP’s conference last week, Australian national Gregg Brain took to the podium wearing a yellow badge with the letter ‘F’ on it.

Dennis Brian at the SNP conference [Facebook]

Dennis Brian at the SNP conference [Facebook]

As reported in the Sunday Express, Brain was invited to speak about his immigration status in Scotland – he and his wife moved to Dingwall from Brisbane in 2011. After Mrs Brain received a job offer with Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, the couple was granted a visa.

But after his appearance at the SNP event last week, Brain has been the subject of public outcry. His badge has been compared to the Nazi identification system used to identify Jews during The Third Reich.

Nazi prisoner badges - Wikipedia

Nazi prisoner badges – Wikipedia

The Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, stated, “it beggars belief that a delegate at a major party conference should use such symbols. Mr Brain should apologise to Holocaust survivors and their families who will be rightly shocked at such an insensitive use of a horrific symbol of genocide”.

Ukip Bill Etheridge MEP commented, “this kind of stunt is ill-founded, badly thought through and has no place in British society and Nicole Sturgeon should stop this rhetoric”.

In response to these allegations, Mr Brain admitted that he wore the badge as a reference to The Third Reich. But he said that the badge alluded to the Nazi occupation of Poland, not the persecution of Jews: “The badge was a facsimile of an Auslander Arbeiten (“Foreign Worker”) registration badge, familiar to any Poles who were allowed the privilege of working for the Third Reich for longer hours, and at half-pay – and eventually, as forced labour”.

Mr Brain and his family continue to reside in Scotland. The SNP has not commented on their decision to allow Mr Brain to wear the badge whilst addressing the conference.

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