HOPE not hate


You are viewing blog items for January 2010.

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New faces, old supporters

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 29 January 2010, 19:32

Just back in from a day of meetings. It’s been a really productive day and certainly, in regards to Barking & Dagenham, our campaign plans are taking shape. This morning I had a meeting with Richard Wallace, the editor of the Daily Mirror. Together with Ros Wynne-Jones, who joined our campaign team this week, we laid out our plans for the coming campaign. Richard not only listened but made several suggestions which we will be implementing. The Mirror has been an integral part of the HOPE not hate campaign in recent years and it remains so this year.

After that, Ros and I met Jo, another journalist who has also joined us this week. We discussed the local editions of the HOPE not hate newspaper and divided up the work between us. We are producing something like 20 different versions of our newspaper, each customised to a key area of the country. It’s going to be a lot of hard work but with three of us writing I’m hoping that it will be all doable. We’ll see ….

Jo and I then made our way over to Dagenham where we linked up with Sam, our local HnH co-ordinator, who had himself just returned from interviewing the latest two people to apply to join us as interns. Both seemed great and I hope they will be joining our team in the next few days.

Local council leader Liam Smith popped in to have a chat about the forthcoming campaign. He had a lot to say about the behaviour of Bob Bailey, the leader of the local BNP group, who turned up at a recent council event in quite a drunken state. Having been sidelined in the forthcoming local election campaign in favour of Richard Barnbrook, who is leading the BNP assault on the council, and now ignored for the Dagenham & Rainham seat in the general election, perhaps Bailey is beginning to crack?

 Posted: 29 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Holocaust Memorial Day

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 09:24

27th January  Holocaust Memorial Day

27th January Holocaust Memorial Day

27th January is Holocaust Memorial Day.

Never Again to Auschwitz. Never Again to genocide. Never Again Rwanda, Srebrenica. No more to Darfur, no more to anyone anywhere having to die becuse of their colour, their race, their sexuality or their religion.

Never Again to the intolerance of racism and fascism. Never Again to their supporters or their apologists.


 Posted: 27 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Fantastic start in Barking and Dagenham

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 23 January 2010, 22:10

We had a truly fantastic start to our campaign in Barking and Dagenham today, with 84 people coming out to deliver about 20,000 leaflets. We covered Eastbury, Heath and most of Becontree wards, with teams also going out in Goresbrook and Village.

The turnout was even more impressive given that we only advertised the day to our supporters in Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Newham.

I'll blog more about this tomorrow, especially about the 35 new people who came from the borough.

 Posted: 23 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Day of Action in Barking & Dagenham

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 23 January 2010, 12:25

We have had 64 people attend our Day of Action in Barking & Dagenham so far and another 15 are on the way. We are expecting to put out 15,000 leaflets today.

What is particularly pleasing is that we've had about 35 local people turn up who have never done any campaigning before. Several are keen to become local organisers.

 Posted: 23 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Getting ready

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 23 January 2010, 07:17

All systems go!!!

All systems go!!!

I'm up early this morning as I get ready for our first Day of Action of the New Year in Barking & Dagenham. The weather looks likely to be ok and we're hoping for a good turn out despite only advertising the event to our supporters in the borough and immediate surrounding areas.

It has been all systems go this week as preparations continue to fall into place for the election campaign. David, our new Local Group Development organiser, started last Monday and is already having an impact. Over 1,200 people have indicated their willingness in becoming a local HnH organiser in our recent and following an email sent out yesterday afternoon over 100 have already signed up to attend a number of training sessions we are holding around the country over the next fortnight.

Unite and the NUT voted to support the campaign in the past few days and we've had separate meetings with representatives of NAPO and the UCU. I've got meetings with the PCS and GMB in the coming week so if those prove positive then I think all the unions are signed up.
Sam's been busy literally building our new office in Dagenham. It was an empty shell when we first moved in there - no electricity, no ceiling, no water - but over the last few weeks staff and volunteers and have hard at work turning the place around.

Anyway, it's time for me to leave for Dagenham.

 Posted: 23 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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BNP beaten back in west Yorkshire by-election

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 22 January 2010, 14:35

The BNP had a disappointing result in the Airedale & Ferry Fryston by-election yesterday.

The battle in this ward in Castleford proved symbolic, with Labour trying to maintain control of Wakefield council and the BNP hoping to gain its first seat in the district.

Hope Not Hate Yorkshire ran a community-based campaign, working with local residents and organisations. Despite significant economic and social problems in the ward, which the BNP will always try to exploit, community networks are helping to build trust and collectively solve problems. Local church leaders were keen to condemn the BNP, and two community activists were prominent in a Hope Not Hate leaflet that was delivered in the ward. Our activist base in Wakefield district has grown through this campaign.

Having come second in the last two local elections in Airedale & Ferry Fryston, this time the BNP was beaten back into third place and the number of votes it received almost halved. The BNP candidate came in 977 votes behind the newly elected Labour councillor Les Shaw.

Thanks go to all the activists and unions that supported this campaign, and particularly the residents and workers of Airedale & Ferry Fryston who came together to reject the BNP.

Labour 1,330
Liberal Democrat 603
BNP 353
Conservative 275
Independent 102

 Posted: 22 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Building capacity

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 19 January 2010, 13:44

It’s been another busy few days getting everything for our 2010 campaign. We’ve been raising money, sorting out schedules with the printers and frantically putting the finishing touches to our new campaign office, which should open later this week. We’ve taken on two new members of staff, one dedicated to developing and supporting local HOPE not hate groups and the other to work exclusively with faith communities.

We’ve also been building capacity for our offline activism. An incredible 7,200 people have signed up for our 2010 campaign, with almost 4,600 committing themselves to be active in their local area. Over the next few weeks we expect to launch dozens of new HOPE not hate groups as we begin to organise the 1,245 people who have said that they are willing to become local organisers. Obviously our focus has to be prioritising the areas at the greatest risk so it is fantastic that 2,166 people have indicated their willingness to travel to our key priority areas.

We are building something really special. Even the BNP appear to be getting rattled. In their latest leaflet, distributed in Barking & Dagenham over the weekend, they began to warn voters about outsiders ringing them up. The fact that most of the 60 BNP supporters who were out came from outside the borough obviously is completely different!

 Posted: 19 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 17 January 2010, 22:45

EDL using Nottingham Castle as a toilet

EDL using Nottingham Castle as a toilet

It seems that we have the English Defence League rattled. They've just issued a statement this evening about an article in the latest issue of Searchlight in which we revealed some of the divisions that are beginning to tear the organisation apart.

My only response to the EDL is, if you are bothered now just wait until the next issue!!

Anyway, here is the EDL statement:

In immediate response to HOPE NOT HATE, SEARCHLIGHT, NICK LOWLES, GERRY GABLE, and anyone that helps this organization print and spout the lies that you produce!

As it says on your website Searchlight was founded in 1962, does this mean that you have been spouting lies for a total of 48 years now?

In reaction to your feature “English Defence League cracks begin to show”: You have on numerous occasions accused us for looking for trouble and looking to cause trouble, but in this feature you release the hometowns, places of education, names and pictures. That in its self is trying to stir and cause violence. Hypocritical we would say.

“Kaplan revealed that Brookes and her colleagues threatened to attack him if he turned up at the Nottingham EDL event on 5 December.” Brookes had no colleagues to attack him with, so there are more lies coming from a supposedly “Anti-Fascist” group.

“Brookes has declared that she doesn’t trust him and accused him of working for the police.” Well that would not matter anyway as we are open and full co-operative with the police. So no detailed work has been put into finding the truth on this one from Nick, Gerry and his cronies working down at Searchlight.

Ladies and gentlemen working down at the old Searchlight office, is there much point spending all that money on publishing lies and stories that must of the time have not been researched or even looked at?


 Posted: 17 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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BNP in disarray in Stoke

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 15 January 2010, 11:27

Who’s smiling now? Alby Walker and Nick Griffin

Who’s smiling now? Alby Walker and Nick Griffin

Over the past few days we have had to redraw our election plans in light of Simon Darby's decision to contest the Stoke Central seat in the general election. Suddenly, it appeared, the BNP could seriously challenge for a second parliamentary seat. While we had always kneown Stoke-on-Trent would be a vital battleground, we had largely been looking at the threat on the council where the BNP could become the largest single party after May. Darby's decision, with the support of Alby Walker, a popular local BNP councillor who until recently led the party's group on the council, was a game changer. With internal problems hampering the local Labour Party there was a real chance of a BNP gain.

However, Darby's plans have been thrown into chaos with the announcement, this morning, that Walker might well stand against him as an independent. This is a bitter blow to Darby and one that he certainly wasn't expecting. It is all the more embarrassing for the BNP as they were launching their campaign in the city today.

However, a note of caution is appropriate. While a Walker candidature will certainly damage Darby there is no certainty that Walker will stand. I can imagine Walker's phone glowing red hot this morning with Darby and Griffin begging him to change his mind. It is also clear that the profile Darby's campaign is likely to attain will help the BNP across the city and there remains a real danger that the BNP will still end up the largest single party on the council after May.

While we can enjoy the fallout within Stoke-on-Trent BNP, we will continue to build our campaign in the city regardless.

 Posted: 15 Jan 2010 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The response

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 12 January 2010, 07:44

Yesterday lunchtime we sent out an email to our supporters asking them to sign up for the 2010 HOPE not hate campaign. We instantly had an amazing response. Within 12 hours of the email going out over 4,850 people had replied.

Three thousand people said that they were willing to get active in their local area, with 1,375 saying that they were prepared to travel to one of our regional priorities (Barking & Dagenham, Stoke-on-Trent, Amber Valley, South Leeds, Burnley and Bishop Auckland). In a positive sign for the campaign, 738 people indicated that they would be willing to become HnH organisers if there is no local group.

I was particularly amazed that 970 people said that they were happy to make calls from home to voters in our key target areas. This was stunning, especially because we haven't even explained our telephone canvassing operation properly yet.

And these figures will only grow as more of our supporters sign into the 2010 campaign.

 Posted: 12 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The end of a bad week for the BNP

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 10 January 2010, 08:03

2010 has started badly for the BNP. At the beginning of the week The Times reported that the BNP faced prosecution for misleading accounts submitted to the Electoral Commission. Then in the middle of the week the BNP accounts were leaked online. And today, in the Sunday Times, we read that Griffin could be imprisoned and the party heavily fined if, as seems likely, it fails to change its whites-only membership rules by the end of the month.

No wonder Griffin is spending so much time in his new Brussels flat!

 Posted: 10 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Putting down a marker

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 9 January 2010, 12:08

For the last two months the HOPE not hate team has been working on its 2010 strategy. Obviously without knowing the exact date of the General Election it has not been easy to make definite plans but I would like to think that we are prepared for every eventuality. On Monday we will roll out the first phase of our campaign when we ask our existing supporters to sign into the 2010 campaign. With the BNP set to stand in hundreds of parliamentary seats and as many as 1,000 council wards there will be work for everyone to do but given the importance of Barking & Dagenham and Stoke-on-Trent we simply have to prioritise.

Yesterday we sent out tests for the new email. As usual we have a few different titles and we see which works best before we send out the bulk of the emails. However, even with the few we sent out several hundred people have filled out an activist survey, with most indicating they would be willing to travel to one of our regional priority areas during the campaign. If the same proportion of people say the same when we send out the 120,000 emails on Monday then we will have thousands of people wanting to campaign for us.

We have drawn up detailed campaign strategies for all our key areas and this includes three national Days of Action. They are Saturday 6 March, Saturday/Sunday 17/18 April and Saturday 1 May. Of course there will be plenty to do in-between these dates but I’m telling people now to put down a marker. If we can mobilise the thousands of people who are likely to register their interest in the 2010 HOPE not hate campaign over the next few days then we are going to have a massive army of activists.

We have a tough year ahead but I’m quite excited by it.

 Posted: 9 Jan 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Business as usual

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 7 January 2010, 05:51

Amidst ankle deep snow it has been busy as normal for me and my colleagues this week. After a short break for Christmas and the New Year we are back at work and focusing our minds on the pending local and General elections.

We will shortly being opening a base in Barking & Dagenham, Billy Bragg has agreed to perform a full set at a fundraising gig we are holding on Saturday 6 March and a HOPE not hate campaign plan has been agreed with the Daily Mirror.

It is a busy period but it needs to be as we have a long battle ahead. The BNP is likely to contest over 200 parliamentary seats in the General Election and up to 1,000 council seats. The main threat is in Barking & Dagenham, where they could take overall control of the council, and Stoke-on-Trent, where they could become the largest single party. There is even a chance that Nick Griffin could win the parliamentary seat in Barking. Across the country we have identified 102 council wards at risk to the BNP.

It is not going to be easy but with your help, your continued involvement, we can win. Without the hard work of HOPE not hate activists the BNP would have won more MEPs last year. More recently, we have proved in successive council by-elections that we can beat the BNP in their strongest areas. The 2010 HOPE not hate campaign will be our biggest yet. For it to be successful we need everyone to get involved. I’m excited about the coming months. I’m sure we are going to have our ups and downs but I’m really confident that we can drive the BNP back in the gutter where they belong.

 Posted: 7 Jan 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments