HOPE not hate

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Statement by the Met Police:

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 22 October 2012, 14:30


Statement from the Met Police:

Stephen Lennon, (29 - 27/11/82), unemployed, of Bedford appeared in custody at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday, 22 October charged with possession of a false identity document with
improper intention (contrary to Section Identity Documents Act 2010).

He was remanded in custody to appear at Southwark Crown Court on a date in January 2013.

I am reminded of a blog done by my colleague Matthew Collins back in July

 Posted: 22 Oct 2012 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A phenomenal day

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 19 October 2012, 18:31


It's been quite a day at the HOPE not hate office. At 9am we asked our supporters to co-sign a letter to the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police. An amazing 7,000 people have done just that.

We have continued to encourage people to leave messages in our Get Well book for Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year-old who was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban for campaigning for girls to be educated. Almost 6,000 people have left messages.

We are also running a campaign in the North East to voice our disappointment over Newcastle United's decision to only give a three-match ban for a fan who repeatedly directed antisemitic abuse at visiting Tottenham fans in August. Almost 500 people in the North East have co-signed our letter.

Away from social networking, we have been hard at work putting the finishing touches to our campaign weekend, to be held on 3 and 4 November. HOPE not hate activists will be out in Bedforshire and Manchester, and possibly also Croydon and Middlesbrough for the pending Police Commissioner elections and parliamentary by-elections.

In between all that we have been putting the final touches towards the next issue of HOPE not hate. It is going to be an absolute corker of an edition. I think the best yet.

I would just like to say thanks for everyone who has helped out today. I don't know many people retweeted our messages on twitter today but it must have been hundreds.

 Posted: 19 Oct 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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It's Campaign Friday!

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 19 October 2012, 10:16


This morning has started with a bang. Our letter to Cambrdigeshire Police has been co-signed by 2,200 people in just one hour.

We are also about to send a letter to Newcastle United over the leniant three-match ban handed out to a fan who gave nazi salutes and gesticulated to turning on gas taps to visiting Spurs fans. Several hundred people from across the north east have co-signed this letter.

We have more to come but in the meantime, please add your name to our letters:

Hold Griffin to account for hate crime:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/nick-griffin-crime

Tell Newcastle United that a three-match ban is not good enough:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/not-good-enough

 Posted: 19 Oct 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Wow, what a response. Let's hold Griffin to account for Hate Crime

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 19 October 2012, 09:32


Over 850 people have co-signed our letter to Cambridgeshire police calling for Nick Griffin to be held accountable for hate crime - and we only sent out the email 15 minutes ago!

This is what our LGBT officer wrote:

"Nick Griffin had his twitter account temporarily suspended last night after he posted the address of a Gay couple who had won their case against discriminating B&B owners. And to make matters worse Griffin called for direct action to be taken on the Gay couple.

I’m angry about this as it’s hate crimes awareness week and the team at HOPE not hate and so many other organisations have been doing our best to explore the issues around hate crime. It angers me that as we prepare to gather on Saturday evening in Trafalgar Square to hold a vigil for victims of hate crime that Nick Griffin goes online to, quite frankly, incite it."

Please help by counter signing my letter to Cambridgeshire Police
http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/nick-griffin-crime

 Posted: 19 Oct 2012 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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I call on Nick Griffin to take responsibility for hate crime

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 19 October 2012, 01:39


Nick Griffin had his twitter account suspended last night after he posted the address of a Gay couple who had won their case against discriminating B&B owners. And to make matters worse Griffin called for direct action to be taken on the Gay couple.

I’m angry about this as it’s hate crimes awareness week and the team at HOPE not hate and so many other organisations have been doing our best to explore the issues around hate crime. It angers me that as we prepare to gather on Saturday evening in Trafalgar Square to hold a vigil for victims of hate crime that Nick Griffin goes online to, quite frankly, incite it.

Please help by counter signing my letter to Cambridgeshire Police
http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/nick-griffin-crime

The BNP is a breeding ground for hate. Those who think the party is simply racist don't know the half of it. Griffin's party's hate is indiscriminate, it knows no bounds and it has no sympathy. That’s why, at 12pm today, I’m sending the letter to the police.

In 1999 David Copeland planted the nail bomb in the Admiral Duncan pub that killed three people dead and injured many many more. And Copeland would have killed more if his bomb in the heart of London’s black and Asian communities had detonated to plan. Copeland, a former BNP member, told police that he wanted to start a race war so white people would vote in a BNP Government.

David Copeland wasn't born with hate inside him, it was fed to him and nurtured to manifest. Organisations like the BNP who create and incite hate need to start taking responsibility for what they create and who they harm.

So I call on Nick Griffin to be legally accountable to any hate crime that Michael Black and John Morgan face in light of his twitter comments.

Let’s hold Griffin to account for inciting hatred
http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/nick-griffin-crime

I’m sending the letter at 1pm so please co-sign it by then

Thanks

David Braniff-Herbert
LGBT Officer for HOPE not hate

 Posted: 19 Oct 2012 | There are 10 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Eddie Moore, South Carolina County Councilman, Admits Past KKK Membership

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 17 October 2012, 11:14


A Republican county official in South Carolina admitted in a sworn affidavit that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan when he was younger.

Read the full article on Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/16/eddie-moore-south-carolina-kkk_n_1971440.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

 Posted: 17 Oct 2012 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Get well Malala

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 17 October 2012, 10:38


Two days ago I sent out an appeal to our supporters to sign a Get Well book for Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl who is in a Birmingham hospital recovering an assassintation attempt by the Taliban. Her crime was to campaign for education for girls.

We felt that Malala should be a symbol of our resistance to hatred and that is why we want to let her know that we all want her to recover. One copy of the Get Well book was to be delivered to the Birmingham hospital where she was being treated and another to the Pakistan High Commission.

3,814 people have now signed our Get Well book and there have been some really inspiring messages written.

We will be closing the book on Friday so it'll be great if we can add as many names as possible by then.

Please do send a Get Well message to Malala. If you have done so then please encourage your friends to do likewise.

You can do so here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/malala-yousafzai

 Posted: 17 Oct 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Is this the end for the BNP?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 17 October 2012, 10:20


Ian Dunt, writing on Politics.co.uk certainly seems to think so.

http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2012/10/17/bnp-on-its-last-legs-as-mep-quits

 Posted: 17 Oct 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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And the bloodletting begins

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 17:59


Going it alone

Going it alone

It seems that Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons are squaring up for a right old battle for supremacy of the British far right.

A few hours ago Brons announced on his website that he was leaving the BNP. Now we hear news that one person, considered loyal to Brons, has been removed from Griffin's European staff. We also understand that Griffin is huddled with his few remaining supporters trying to figure out who is still loyal to him and who will be feeding information to the Brons camp.

Meanwhile, the four Parliamentary by-elections coming up in the next few weeks offer Brons' camp a chance to flex their muscles. The BNP has already announced candidates for Manchester Central and Corby and East Northants, both of which will be contested on 15 November. The two other parliamentary by-elections will be in Croydon North and Middlesbrough but neither of these have been called, though the Croydon election is also likely to be in mid-November.

Croydon and Middlesbrough will almost certainly be contested by Brons' new party, as they have supporters in both areas, but it remains to be seen if they can act quickly enough to find candidates and start campaigns in Manchester and Corby.

HOPE not hate will be campaigning in each of these areas.

 Posted: 16 Oct 2012 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Inspiring messages for Malala

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 11:09


Yesterday we opened a Get Well book for Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old from Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban for daring to campaign for girls to be educated.

To us at HOPE not hate she symbolised HOPE over hate and the struggle against hatred and organised intolerance.

And it seems as if many of our supporters agree. So far just over 3,000 people have signed our Get Well book, a copy of which we will deliver to the hospital where she is staying and another to the Pakistan High Commission.

Among the messages in the book are the following:

"Hello Malala, I am so sorry that they did this to you but you are an inspiration. They have though scored an own goal as now the whole world knows about you and your fight for education for women and girls.

"Get well and we are here for you"

Ghada (London)

"You are a brave young lady. We are all praying for you to recover. Remember that the you have given hope to all the youth of Pakistan. Hurry up and get better xx"

Carol, Birmingham

"I hope that your dreadful experience will have one good result - the mobilisation of the population in your country against the Taliban and its inhuman, hatef-filled suppression of women, and a realisation in the rest of the world of what you and others are doing for women's emancipation."

Barbara, Chelmsford

"Hope you get better soon. You are a brave and strong young woman who is an inspiration to others. Never forget the power you can show by resisting unfair treatment.

"I am a teacher and my form class wish you all the best as well."

Debbie Jordan and 8East class

You can send your message to Malala here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/malala-yousafzai

 Posted: 16 Oct 2012 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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1,500 milestone passed

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 15 October 2012, 16:07


Over 1,500 people have already signed our Get Well book for 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai.

You can add your name here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/malala-yousafzai

 Posted: 15 Oct 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Target 2,500

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 15 October 2012, 14:02


In just one hour 878 people have so far signed our Get Well book for Malala Yousafzai, who is currently on her way to Birmingham where she will receive medical treatment after being shot in the face by the Taliban. Her crime - to want an equal education to boys.

HOPE not hate is organising a Get Well book, in which we are asking our supporters to send their best wishes to Malala. One copy of the book will got to the hospital and a second copy will go to the Pakistan High Commission in London.

Malala should be a symbol of our resistance to hatred. That is why we want to let her know that we all want her to recover.

It is seems that many of you agree. Almost 900 people have already signed the Get Well book within just one hour of the email going out. Our target is to reach 2,500 by the end of the day.

Can you help us reach it? Please sign up and send your best wishes to Malala or if you have already have done so then please encourage your friends and family to do likewise.

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/malala-yousafzai

 Posted: 15 Oct 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Get well Malala Yousafzai

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 15 October 2012, 13:05


As I write this email Malala Yousafzai is on her way to the UK for emergency medical attention. This brave 14-year-old from Pakistan is fighting for her life after being shot in the head by the Taliban for daring to campaign for girls to be educated.

The shooting has shocked Pakistan and tens of thousands have taken to the streets to condemn the shooting and support her calls for greater rights for girls and women.

Meanwhile Malala is on her way to the UK and we want to send her our best wishes
http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/ malala-yousafzai

The attempted assassination of Malala highlights the worldwide struggle between HOPE and hate. From the persecution and harassment of minorities in the UK to the genocidal killing fields of East Africa; from Governments trying to outlaw homosexuality in several countries to the religious extremists who are trying to impose their worldview on believers and non-believers alike – there is just too much hate in this world.

Malala should be a symbol of our resistance to hatred. That is why we want to let her know that we all want her to recover. We will deliver one copy of the Get Well book to the hospital and another to the Pakistan High Commission.

Tell Malala we are thinking of her
http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/malala-yousafzai

This week has been designated Hate Crimes Awareness week and HOPE not hate has created a special website to look at hate crime. Each day this week we will put up a number of articles by organisations helping victims and trying to reduce hatred in our society. There will be a daily discussion point and people will be invited to give us their thoughts. Today we ask why victims of hate crime appear so reluctant to report the incident to the police.

Tomorrow, two leading British Paralympic stars give their views on whether this summer’s Paralympics has changed attitudes towards disability.

You can visit our website here: http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/hate-crime/

Malala stood up to hatred and now needs our help. Please send her your best wishes and visit our Hate Crime Awareness Week website

 Posted: 15 Oct 2012 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments

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BNP will not contest Police Commissioner elections

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 14 October 2012, 13:03


Just 36 hours after sending out an email to supporters asking for their opinion as to whether the British National Party should contest the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, Nick Griffin has announced on twitter that the BNP will be boycotting them.

Of course Griffin's decision comes as little surprise as HOPE not hate understand the decision to not contest the elections was actually made several weeks ago. His email on Friday evening was just a cover to reduce some of the flak the decision will inevitably get from members.

All the same, their decision says a lot about the state of the BNP today. Griffin uses low turnout as an excuse but of course this should actually benefit hardline law and order [sic] parties like themselves.

Griffin also claims that it would cost £100,000 to contest just half of the 41 Police and Crime Commissioner elections. But who says they would have had to stand in 20? They could have just stood in a few high profile areas such as Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and the West Midlands to create headlines. But it seems that even the deposit for a just a few contests seemed beyond their control.

Despite what Griffin says, the BNP is not currently able to contest national elections.

That leaves UKIP, the English Democrats and British Freedom Party as the right wing parties contesting these elections.

 Posted: 14 Oct 2012 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Please support HOPE not hateís autumn campaign

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 14 October 2012, 08:11


A few days ago I set out HOPE not hate’s campaigning activities for the next month. These included the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in Bedfordshire, a number of parliamentary by-elections and the start of our campaign in Doncaster to remove the English Democrat Mayor.

We are looking to produce tabloid newspapers in Bedfordshire, where the deputy leader of the EDL, Kevin Carroll, is standing for the British Freedom Party, and the Manchester Central by-election. We also want to produce leaflets for the two other parliamentary by-elections in Croydon and Corby and an introductory leaflet in Doncaster.

I am delighted to say that we have so far raised £2,622.69 towards our campaign costs. This is a tremendous achievement and has been made by 161 people donating an average of £16.29.

However, there is more to go. Our targets are £5,000 for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections; £2,000 for Manchester Central and £1,000 in Doncaster. Every penny raised will go towards our campaigns costs so please do try to make a donation:

Police and Crime Commissioner elections

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/prevent-bedfordshire-disaster

Manchester Central

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/remove-nick-griffin

Doncaster

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/all-eyes-on-doncaster

 Posted: 14 Oct 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Should they or shouldn't they?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 14 October 2012, 07:08


BNP leader Nick Griffin has just sent out an email for supporters asking them for their views about whether the party should contest the Police and Crime Commissioner elections. The email gives a list of reasons why they should and then a similar number of reasons why they shouldn't.

One could say that this is a fair way to come to a decision. The only problem is that with nominations closing in a few days it is a little bit too late to start having this discussion.

I understand that the BNP leadership has already decided against standing but as it has come under pressure from some of its supporters it is having to find a way of claiming that no standing is the popular choice.

 Posted: 14 Oct 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Not good enough

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 11 October 2012, 11:02


We've just put up an open letter to the Chief Executive of Newcastle United and the Chief Constable of Northumberland Police expressing our disappointment over the weak action taken against a fan who direct disgusting antisemitic abuse at visiting Spurs fans on 18 August. We are calling on our supporters to co-sign the letter and encourage their friends to do likewise.

Football has made huge strides in recent years to eradicate racism from the game but, as recent incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez prove, it has not gone away completely. While campaigns such as Kick it Out, Show Racism the Red Card and the Holocaust Educational Trust do a great job in using football to teach anti-racism to young people we expect clubs to be robust in tackling racism inside the ground.

That is what we are so disappointed with the failure of Newcastle United to deal severely with a fan who directed antisemitic abuse at visiting Tottenham Hotspur fans on 18 August. This fan decided to abuse visiting fans be repeatedly giving a Nazi salute and motioning with his hands as though he was turning on the gas, a sick reference to Hitler's gas chambers.

This man obviously thought that his antisemitic abuse was funny. Fans around him did not and to their great credit they made a complaint and later identified the culprit to the police. The man was arrested and immediately admitted to his actions. The police and the club's head of security promised though action.

Job done, or so we thought.

So you can imagine the anger of the fans who complained when they learnt that the antisemitic bigot received a caution from the police and has only been banned for the next three games. Sorry, this is not good enough and we are writing to the Chief Constable and Newcastle United's Chief Executive Derek Lambias to say as much.

Please add your name to our letter http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/not-good-enough

We accept that we will never totally eradicate racism from football or indeed society. But what we do expect is that where it surfaces the relevant authorities deal with it properly. A three match ban does not send out the right message.

Recently Newcastle banned two teenagers for three seasons for sending racist tweets, so why the leniency in this case? I actually think this is worse. For someone to pretend to turn on taps to signify the gassing of Jews demonstrates a deeper political understanding and hatred.

A three match ban is not good enough http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/not-good-enough

We might not be able to extent this antisemite's ban but we hope that our letter will send a clear message to the police and the club that we expect more from them in the future.

 Posted: 11 Oct 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The Islamophobes are at it again

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 11 October 2012, 07:56


The US right just can't help themselves. With just a few weeks to go until the Presidential elections the Tea Party are once again peddling the lie that Obama is a Muslim.

The latest offering comes from Judson Phillips, a leading figure in Tea Party Nation. In a blog posted overnight he pretends to have had an open mind on the issue - until now. Citing a blog by Jerome Corsi, who wrote the politically incendiary “Unfit for Command” about John Kerry in 2004, Judson reviews the evidence.

According to Corsi, Obama's wedding ring carries Arabic script for the first phrase of the Islamic Declaration of faith which beings, “There is no God but Allah.” Corsi goes on to quote experts who said that kind of jewellery would be worn by someone with a close connection to Islam.

That's all the evidence Phillips needs. And he concludes by asking whether it all matters:

"It actually does.

"All Muslims may not be our enemies but all of our enemies are Muslims. We live in an era of an aggressive Islamic resurgence. There are calls for a world wide caliphate and even calls that American rights that offend Muslims be curtailed, lest we offend them.

"Americans are entitled to have a President who has his undivided loyalty to the United States of America. Some Muslims believe it is their duty to work to establish an Islamic state. Some believe in the strict applications of Sharia law.

"Barack Obama’s beliefs are fair game. As he said, a President’s life should be an open book. Unfortunately the drive by media shows no interest in asking the hard questions that need to be asked and don’t expect them to be asked anytime in the next month."

The Islamophobes are it again. They just can't help themselves.

 Posted: 11 Oct 2012 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Marginalised but dangerous

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 8 October 2012, 09:16


Toxic and violent

Toxic and violent

Today's YouGov poll into the English Defence League (EDL) (http://extremisproject.org/) tells us little we didn't know yet a lot about what we need to know.

The key findings are interesting. A third of people know what the EDL is all about. Slightly more, 42%, have heard of the EDL but do not know what it stands for. A quarter of the population have never heard of the EDL.

Of those who have heard of the EDL only 11% said they would consider joining while 85% say that would never support the EDL.

Asked if the EDL was racist, an overwhelming 75% agreed while just 17% said it was not.

Even amongst the 23% of people who knew what the EDL stood for and sympathised with their aims many object to its methods. This confirms earlier reports, such as our own Fear and HOPE survey (http://www.fearandhope.org.uk/), which showed that violence contaminated the extremist message.

The poll confirms a lot we already knew, principally that the EDL is considered to be a racist and violent organisation by the vast majority of those people who know of it. It is a toxic brand but far from being a household name.

However, I think we need to caution against complacency. The EDL is just three years old and given it has never contested elections it is only known from newspaper reports of its demonstrations and other violent activities. I actually think that 75% have heard of the EDL, even if not everyone knows of its objectives, is a surprisingly high figure.

While only 11% of the 33% who know of the EDL and its politics would considering joining, that actually equates to 3% of the population - substantially higher than the current polling level of the BNP. And this is people who would consider 'joining' the EDL.

More worryingly, almost a quarter of the 33% have some sympathy with the EDL cause, if not it's objectives, which equates to just over 7% of the population. This is worryingly high but perhaps not surprising given the strength of anti-Muslim prejudice in the country.

So, does this mean that the EDL can ever attract 7% support? Highly unlikely. This is because, as those behind the research point out, it is a toxic brand and its association with violence scares off many people who would perhaps sympathise with their political goals. And given the current state of the EDL this is not only unlikely to change but the move towards a more violent and hardline strategy of an increasing number of EDL supporters is likely to alienate itself even further from its potential supporter base. And so the EDL is caught in a vicious cycle, because as it loses its respectability it becomes even more hardline and violent.

I recently wrote an essay about the state of the far right (http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/where-now-for-far-right/) in which I warn against a rise in racist and political violence, largely because EDL activists have become radicalised through their involvement in the group and so, in the process, are becoming frustrated with the leadership's drive for respectability and desire to get involved in electoral politics.

The YouGov poll confirms much of what we knew about the EDL but it should warn us all that a marginalised, toxic group can become even more aggressive and violent if it believes it has no hope of gaining respectability.

 Posted: 8 Oct 2012 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Partying in Manchester

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 1 October 2012, 09:17


Eddie Izzard speaking at our HOPE not hate curry night

Eddie Izzard speaking at our HOPE not hate curry night

Over 100 people attended the HOPE not hate party in Manchester last night. Backed by the Daily Mirror and Unions Together, Labour Party delegates and trade unionists joined HOPE not hate activists at the fantastic Radjoot restaurant, in Manchester's Albert Square.

The evening was a chance to say thank you to all those who had helped us in the past but also to start the discussion about our future work.

The evening was introduced by the Mirror's Kevin Maguire and heard very short speeches from Mirror editor Peter Willis and comedian and HOPE not hate patron Eddie Izzard.

Eddie was, as usual, in fine form as he thanked HOPE not hate for organising the Olympics and bringing the country together. He spoke about the passion of the Olympic volunteers and how this proved that ordinary people will always come together in hope and not hate.

Eddie is a great supporter of the HOPE not hate campaign but I was also really delighted that we could be joined by two other HNH patrons - writer/broadcaster Fiona Phillips and chef Simon Rimmer.

It was great to see some old friends and make some new ones. Former Labour MP Martin Salter popped in and has offered to help out as a volunteer while Glenys Kinnock, who was there with Neil, agreed to become a patron.

In the five years we have been hosting a party conference 'curry' night I have to say that this was probably the most successful. More importantly, it gave us a platform from which we were able to discuss future joint working with the Labour movement.

 Posted: 1 Oct 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments