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Are you in the 85%?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 21 November 2014, 07:49

UKIP has just won another parliamentary by-election and they are clearly on a roll. Meanwhile, the other political parties are in a panic, trying to “out-UKIP” UKIP and the media is scurrying around looking for the next defections.

What a mistake.

Opinion polls give UKIP the support of just 15% of the population. Where are the other 85%? The problem is we are quiet – even silent.

That can change, right now if we make a stand.

UKIP’s backward-looking populism doesn't represent me or the Britain I want to live in. If you agree then please stand with me and let's mobilise the 85%.

HOPE not hate will shortly be unveiling its 2015 campaign strategy. We’ve consulted widely, studied what works and what doesn't and have formulated a clear plan which I will shortly share with you. I promise it will be exciting, nuanced, targeted and effective.

But today my ask is simple. I want you to join me in saying proudly that we are part of the 85% and that we refuse to dance to the “UKIP tune”.

By signing the pledge, you’ll be making a commitment to help defeat the politics of fear and hate..

Make the pledge now

We need to find our voice before the political debate gets even more poisoned. Trying to “out-UKIP” UKIP is a recipe for disaster as it only gives them added legitimacy. Instead, we need politicians to tackle the underlying economic pessimism that’s driving support for UKIP by offering voters an achievable vision of a better tomorrow.

UKIP offers one vision of Britain, HOPE not hate another. We know many people have lost all hope, but UKIP’s fear-mongering and scapegoating is not the answer. As YouGov president Peter Kellner wrote in yesterday's Times: “The wrong way to fight UKIP is to accept its agenda and fight on its ground”.(1)

We are the 85%.

We are sleepwalking into a UKIP disaster unless we act now. Make the pledge and let’s get to work.

 Posted: 21 Nov 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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On the run

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 12 November 2014, 11:53

One of Anjem Choudary's closest confidants has skipped the country for Syria despite being on police bail and having been in custody less than 24 hours before. Abu Rumaysah left the country on 27 September on a coach to Paris with his wife and children, before making his way to Syria to live in the Islamic State.

Abu Rumaysah, whose real name is Siddhartha Dhar, was one of the nine people arrested by police in a crackdown on the al Muhajiroun network. He was released from police custody on Friday 26 September but instead of surrendering his passport he boarded a coach to France with his family.

He was a leading light in Choudary’s UK network following his conversion from Hinduism some 13 years ago. He fronted up the Sharia4UK group and more recently Need4Khilafah, both of which were proscribed by the British Government, and over the summer had been doing more and more television and radio interviews for the group.

This news of his departure will be deeply embarrassing for the authorities, especially as he had made no secret of his desire to live in the Islamic state. On 14 August, in an interview with Channel 4 News, he said that only the security services stood in the way of him going to Syria.

He also used twitter to demand the right to go and live in the Islamic State and in several messages to me and others claimed that he had no intention of fighting but merely living out there with his family. He even re-stated his desire to travel to Syria on the evening of Friday 26 September, shortly after being released from police custody. In one exchange he even stated that it would be to everyone’s benefit if he left the country.

Later that evening, obviously with his mind made up, he stopped using twitter and began packing his bags.

Rumaysah’s departure will be a huge embarrassment for the police and security services and raises all sorts of questions about their ability to monitor extremists, especially given that this man had been in their custody less than 24 hours before he absconded.

 Posted: 12 Nov 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HOPE not hate & STUC 'Our Future Free from Racism' Programme

posted by: Glasgow HOPE not hate | on: Monday, 10 November 2014, 11:20

HOPE not Hate groups across Scotland are proud to be included in events forming part of this year’s STUC 'Our Future Free from Racism' Programme, the annual St Andrew’s Day Anti-Racism March & Rally on 29th November being the focal point.

All those opposed to racism and the far right are welcome to come along and take part in one of the many free events running from 13th November to 6th December and help make Scotland a 'Future Free from Racism'.

Greater Glasgow HOPE not hate was established in September 2012, mainly in response to an upsurge in “street activity” by the far right BNP and Scottish Defence League which saw them touting their politics of hate to members of the public.

Over the last two years, local people in Ayrshire, Dumfries and Edinburgh have joined the initiative to set up their own local groups and stand up to racism within their own communities.

The new groups campaign regularly against the far right and discriminatory policies in a variety of ways, ranging from public meetings, street stalls, film nights, community partnerships and working in close association with the trade union and labour movements.

Full programme can be found at: &

 Posted: 10 Nov 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HOPE not hate debates

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 7 November 2014, 17:52

In a new departure, HOPE not hate is starting what we hope will be the first in a series of debates on key issues around dealing with extremism and hatred.

Following a lively exchange on a closed Facebook page, political activist David Toube and author and communications advisor Nick Ryan agreed to debate the nature of the Islamist threat in an open exchange of letters.

Next week, David and Nick will reply to one another's letter but in the meantime we would welcome your contributions to the debate

HOPE not hate debates.

 Posted: 7 Nov 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Putting our MPs on the spot

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 7 November 2014, 07:57

We've had an amazing response to our call for our supporters to ask their own MPs where they stand on the Government's decision to withdraw funding from rescue operations in the Mediterranean. 486 of Britain’s 650 MPs have already been contacted, some of whom have already responded.

We will be collating the replies as they come in and producing a leaflet for distribution in constituencies where the MPs strongly support the Government decision.

Today we will be compiling a list of those MPs who have not yet been contacted so we can ensure that everyone gets asked.

If you’ve not already done so, then ask your MP where they stand:

 Posted: 7 Nov 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Where do our MPs stand?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 November 2014, 19:16

The Government's decision to withdraw funding for rescue boats in the Mediterranean will lead to more deaths while doing nothing to address the underlying causes of migration. Over 20,000 have signed our petition to the Home Office, but now we want to put our individual MPs on the spot.

Are they willing to go on record and defend this decision?

With the General Election only six months away our politicians are vulnerable, especially those in marginal seats. Do they really want to be known locally as MPs who refuse to rescue drowning people?

I have drafted a letter which you can send to your local MP. Just put in your postcode, alter the letter if you want and press send. It's as simple as that.

Migration is the consequence of war, persecution and poverty. We need our politicians to address these issues rather than run after UKIP with a cheap stunt that will only lead to more deaths.

Please send a letter to your MP

 Posted: 5 Nov 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The debate has still to be won

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 November 2014, 15:50

The news that Eastern European migrants have contributed billions more to the British economy than they have taken out is welcome news to all those who have battled against the anti-immigrant scaremongering peddled by some politicians, media and academics.

However, these figures alone will not alter the political debate over immigration, free movement of people and Britain's membership of the European Union.

I'm not surprised by these figures as I recognise that the vast majority of Eastern European migrants work hard and pay their taxes. National statistics don't, however, mean much for those people who feel they are losing out because of globalisation and membership of the EU and currently focusing their anger on immigrants.

What is still required is a robust political and economic strategy that offers people the prospects of a better tomorrow. Until that is done, UKIP will continue to win votes and our ability to push an anti-racist message in these communities will have limited success.

 Posted: 5 Nov 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Don't let them drown

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 30 October 2014, 17:18

The Government’s decision to withdraw support for rescue missions of migrants in the Mediterranean is both inhumane and unacceptable for a modern civilised country. Worse still, it will only lead to more deaths.

Ministers have claimed that rescuing sinking boats acts as a “pull factor” and only encourages further immigration. In truth, this is a desperate attempt to head off support to UKIP. As such it is even more disgraceful.

HOPE not hate is launching a petition calling on the Government to reverse this decision. Please add your name.

The government’s position is reminiscent of former BNP leader Nick Griffin, when he said that the EU should sink boats to stop them getting to the European shores. He too talked about “swamping”. At least Griffin said that the authorities should “throw them a life raft” - the Home Office is not even saying that.

Speaking in the Commons today, Home Office Minister James Brokenshire said that missions to rescue drowning migrants "need to end at the earliest opportunity".

In a modern civilised society, this is totally wrong. It is even more reprehensible given that we are the fourth wealthiest country in the world and the Government is doing this out of fear of UKIP.

Let Brokenshire know what you think

Britain has a long and proud history of helping people in need. Only this week Sir Nicholas Winton was awarded the Czech Republic's highest state honour for saving the lives of 669 children, most of them Jews, from the Nazis. In presenting Sir Nicholas the award, the Czech President said: "I thank the British people for making room for them."

Sir Nicholas, and others like him, did not think about the economic consequences of their action, they simply helped people in need. And this is what we should continue to do.

The Government’s decision to leave people to drown in order to win back support from UKIP is unacceptable and has to be reversed.

Please co-sign my letter

 Posted: 30 Oct 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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South Yorkshire PCC by-elections Vote today

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 30 October 2014, 11:35

It’s Election Day in South Yorkshire for who is to be the next Police and Crime Commissioner and we need you to vote. There is a real danger that because turnout will be so low UKIP’s Jack Clarkson could win and that would be a disaster for everything we stand for.

Here are five reasons why we need you and your friends to vote to stop UKIP winning:

  • UKIP divides communities with its racist scapegoating
  • UKIP is racialising and exploiting the awful grooming scandal for its own political gain
  • UKIP leader Nigel Farage says Margaret Thatcher is his political hero
  • Clarkson posts racist, sexist and pornographic material on his Facebook site
  • Clarkson refuses to support an inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave

The PCC elections might not normally interest you and perhaps you are not impressed with any of the political parties standing, but the stakes are so high we need you to vote today. A UKIP PCC would be an absolute disaster and his party’s racist and divisive policies would bring fear and hate to our communities.

We also need you to urge all of your family and friends to vote. We have created two simple images that we would love you to share on Facebook and Twitter.

Jack Clarkson unfit for office

Jack Clarkson unfit for office

I’m voting HOPE today to stop UKIP intolerance

I’m voting HOPE today to stop UKIP intolerance

Jack Clarkson boasts of being a former South Yorkshire policeman. Let us not forget that during his time in service we had the miners’ strike, the Hillsborough disaster and police failures over child sexual exploitation scandals. He is simply not the man for the job.

With the stakes so high and turnout expected to be under 10%, every vote counts and so your vote could make the difference. Polls close at 10pm tonight.

 Posted: 30 Oct 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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My enemy's enemy is my friend

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 29 October 2014, 09:17

On Monday I wrote a blog condemning the Labour Party leadership for an apparent desire to see UKIP win the Rochester and Strood by-election because of the knock on impact a UKIP victory would have on David Cameron's leadership.

Well, it seems as if Labour is not the only party to be playing with fire. According to reports coming out of South Yorkshire, the Conservative candidate in the Police and Crime Commissioner election has recommended that Tory voters give their second preferences to UKIP.

Given the damage that UKIP is doing to the Conservative Party nationally, and that the Rochester and Strood by-election is only a few weeks away, this seems a particularly bad position to hold. But then, as we are evidently seeing, too many politicians from across the political are viewing ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’.

 Posted: 29 Oct 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments