HOPE not hate

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Why we do what we do

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 27 February 2012, 20:32


Matthew at the launch of his book last summer

Matthew at the launch of his book last summer

I've just watched my colleague and friend Matthew Collins talk about his racist past on 4Thought and how a particularly nasty attack he was involved in made him change his ways.

In the first in a series of 4Thought slots on the theme of racism in Britain, Matthew explained how he felt ashamed of his violent past. "I have to live with that," he said.

But rather than walk away he felt he wanted to make amends.

"I made the decision that I wasn't going to just walk away from racism but I wanted to change my ways, change people, and have some impact on people's lives so we didn't have another Matthew Collins running around with a shaven head and a swastika beating people up because of their colour.

"When I fight racism, fight fascism, I do it because I don't want any more white kids going down that stupid path."

This is why Matthew does what he does and a whole load of people owe him a debt of gratitude for turning them away from such a similar path.

You can watch his comment here:

http://www.4thought.tv/themes/how-racist-are-we/matthew-collins?autoplay=true

 Posted: 27 Feb 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Labour MEPs hit out at EU funding of BNP

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 21 February 2012, 17:57


Glenis Willmott MEP, Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party, has written to the President of the European Parliament expressing her unhappiness at the decision to award Nick Griffin and two other fascist MEPs €289,266 of EU taxpayers' money after the Alliance of European Nationalist Movements (AENM) was recognised as a pan-European political group.

In her letter, written on behalf of all Labour MEPs, Glenis Willmott described the BNP as "an extremist nationalist and xenophobic group that thrives on division and fear."

She asked how the AENM had met the criteria for funding this year when they had been refused in the past. She add: "And how can a group whose programme is in contradiction of the anti-discrimination articles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and of those contained in the Treaties, be eligible for funding from the European Parliament?

"Indeed, the European Parliament regulations governing political parties states that they should uphold "the founding principles of the European Union, namely the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law". Is it the Bureau's assessment that the parties within this group now meet these criteria?"

She concluded: "it is very difficult to explain the Parliament's action to our voters and supporters. Such decisions do nothing to promote how Parliament is perceived in the UK."

We welcome this letter and await the President's response with interest.

 Posted: 21 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Reporting anti-Muslim attacks

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 21 February 2012, 15:47


This afternoon I attended the launch of the MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), a long overdue initiative that seeks to both record the true level of attacks on Muslims and to offer a safe environment in which to report them.

MAMA is the brainchild of Faith Matters, but is being supported by a host of other organisations, including Victim Support and the Metropolitan Police. It seeks to provide a service similar to that offered to the Jewish community by the Community Security Trust.

HOPE not hate is backing the MAMA initiative and we will soon be putting up links to their service on our website.

For more information, visit www.tellmamauk.org

 Posted: 21 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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You couldn't make it up

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 16 February 2012, 15:59


After dipping his hand in the EU moneybags yesterday, Griffin, and his two fascist mates in their new pan-European party, have just voted in favour of scrapping all funding for European political parties.

Perhaps they will stand by their principles and refuse to take the taxpayers money they've just been awarded ...

....or perhaps they won't!

 Posted: 16 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The anger grows over EU cash

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 16 February 2012, 15:27


Yesterday we reported that BNP leader Nick Griffin had just been award a slice of €289,266 of EU taxpayers' money after he and two other fascist MEPs had formed a new alliance within the European Parliament.

Together with the Front National and Jobbik, the BNP have also set up a Nationalist Foundation and this too could entitle them to even more money.

Several MEPs are now speaking out against the decision to award the money, with Labour MEP Claude Moraes calling for a boycott of the new goup.


"It's a shameful week for democracy in Europe," he told The Parliament. "Let's hope this also will be a rallying cry for anti-fascists throughout the EU to work harder together to stop the pan-European far right."

"I hope that none of the other parties work with this alliance of racists and neo-fascists.

"There are very strict rules about how this political funding can be spent. These include respect for democracy and human rights. We will keep a very close eye to make sure this new grouping stick to the rules.

"This is why we believe this decision is wrong, and we will closely monitor how this neo-fascist grouping spends their money."

HOPE not hate understands from one EU expert that one of the stipulations of the funding is that groups respect the fundamental principles of liberty, democracy and human rights. The racists of the BNP, the FN and Jobbik clearly don't. Perhaps an MEP should think about challenging their right to this money?

 Posted: 16 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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FBI look to EDL backers for guidance on Islam

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 15 February 2012, 08:21


It appears that the FBI has been drawing guidance on Islam from Robert Spencer, a prominent anti-Muslim figure who co-founded the group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA).

Spencer runs the SIOA group with Pam Geller, and together they led the protest against the planned Islamic Centre near the Ground Zero site in New York. He has also backed the violent English Defence League, saying in March 2010: "The EDL is standing up to violent thugs from both the Left and the increasingly assertive Islamic communities in Britain, and they deserve the support of all free people."

The story first broke in Wired magazine, last September, when it reported that FBI instructional materials included claims that mainstream Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers, that Muhammad was a “cult leader,” and that the more “devout” a Muslim is, the more likely he is to be “violent.”

Mike German, a former FBI agent who once infiltrated American radical-right groups but now works for the American Civil Liberties Union, told Wired: “Seeing the materials the FBI agents are being trained with certainly helps explain why we’ve seen so many inappropriate FBI surveillance operations broadly targeting the Muslim-American community. … Biased police training can only result in biased policing.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, "Spencer has written a dozen books on the topics of Islam and the Koran. The FBI recommended The Truth about Muhammadand The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam — both of which hinge on Spencer’s skewed interpretation of Islam as a violent religion inseparable from the actions of its most radicalized adherents."

For more on the story visit: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2011/winter/fbi-used-training-materials-from-anti

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

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Holocaust denier feted in Tehran

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 13 February 2012, 19:36


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad greeting Robert Faurisson

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad greeting Robert Faurisson

Veteran French Holocaust Denier Robert Faurisson has been feted by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the 2nd international conference on Hollywoodism and Cinema, held earlier this month in Terhan.

Faurisson is believed to have been one of up to 48 foreign visitors at the conference which claimed to prove that a US/Zionist agenda was being pursued by Hollywood films. Also in attendance were Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad Hosseini, and his deputy in cinematic affairs, Javad Shamaghdari.

According to the Iranian Government TV channel, Press TV, the event discussed "five principle topics namely 'Narration in Hollywood,' 'Role of Cinema in the World Awakening,' 'The Role of Hollywoodism and Human Decadence,' 'Portrait of Future in Hollywood' and 'Hollywoodism and Zionism.'"

Also in attendance at the conference were Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, the French antisemitic “comedian” and supporters of Neturei Karta, an Orthodox Jewish anti-Israeli group.

Faurisson is one of the world’s most infamous Holocaust deniers. He gained notoriety in 1978 following the publication of an article in Le Monde entitled “Problem of the Gas-Chambers”. His forthright denial of the Holocaust and his claim that Anne Frank’s diary is a fake has earned him a level of infamy above and beyond that enjoyed by many other Holocaust deniers. He has appeared as a witness at the trials of Holocaust deniers like Ernst Zündel in Canada and Nick Griffin in Britain.

In 2006 Iran hosted a conference on the Holocaust, which was attended by many of the world's leading Holocaust deniers.


 Posted: 13 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Gavin deserves better

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 12 February 2012, 10:21


It is ten years ago this week that 19 year-old Gavin Hopley was murdered on the streets on Oldham. He and two friend were in search of a taxi back to their home town of Rochdale when they were chased and attacked by a group of men. Gavin's friends managed to get away, but he was less fortunate. He was kicked and punched to death in what the court was told was a "very frightening and completely unjustified attack."

Six Asian men were subsequently convicted and jailed for the attack.

We were quite clear at the time that this was an outrageous and unprovoked attack and we condemned it immediately in the campaign material we put out in Oldham. Under the banner, 'No to violence, no to racism', we warned of a growing cycle of violence and racism that mirrored the months leading up to the Oldham riots a year before.

Ten years on, a group of Nazis, racists and thugs gathered outside Oldham police station to commemorate his death. Among them were Jock Shearer, Kevin Bryan and Ade Brooks, three of the most notorious extremists in the area. Fortunately, there appeared less than a dozen of them and this hopefully reflects the lack of support these extremists have locally.

Any anniversary must be difficult for the Hopley family. Their son's name being exploited by this small band of racist thugs only adds insult to injury.

 Posted: 12 Feb 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Reducing tensions in Hyde

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 11 February 2012, 08:49


The awful assault on Daniel Stringer-Prince and Kavan Brown in Hyde, Greater Manchester, last week has ignited a wave of anger that is quickly being exploited by the far right. Unchallanged, their actions will undoubtedly add to the tensions of an already worried community.

Daniel Stringer-Prince and Kavan Brown, both 17, were attacked by a group of eight Asian men last weekend. Stringer-Prince suffered a fractured skull and two fractured eye sockets. Kavan Brown suffered a broken nose. The picture of Daniel's badly beaten face has been shared over 20,000 times on Facebook and has led to many people calling for violent revenge.

The police initially described the attack as a racially-motivated hate crime but now they are not convinced. Several people have already been arrested, with more likely to follow soon.

Whatever the true motive for the assault, it was both horrific and needs to be condemned. However, far right agitation will only make things worse. First the EDL announced a march on Saturday 25 February and then, a couple of days later, so did the BNP. There is also the real risk of tit-for-tit violence amongst local gangs.

HOPE not hate is working closely with local activists and community leaders to reduce tensions and ensure that the far right groups are not able to whip up trouble and further divide communities. We are looking into the possibility of producing cross-community material, stressing the need for communities to come together against hate, and we are calling on the police to be left alone to carry out their investigation.

At this stage we will not be supporting demonstrations to counter the planned EDL/BNP events - as this will only add to the tension in the local community and they unlikely to receive the support of local people - but rather we are looking at local initiatives that can reduce tensions and bring people together around a message of peace and HOPE.

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

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Uninvited

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 10 February 2012, 11:18


A couple of days ago I blogged about the London School of Economics Students’ Union cancelling a meeting that was to addressed by the radical Islamist preacher, Haitham Al Haddad. I also mentioned that he was due to address an event at East London Mosque on 18 March organised by the Lewisham Islamic Centre.

I now understand that Haitham Al Haddad will no longer be attending this event as it appears his invitation to speak has been withdrawn.

I blogged about Haitham Al Haddad because his views are simply outrageous. He is reported to have branded Jews “the enemies of God, and the descendants of apes and pigs” and has quoted the notorious antisemitic forgery, theProtocols of the Elders of Zion. He has also cited the declaration that “Jews and Christians to be kuffer, and the necessity of hating them, and avoiding them”.

He believes women are not equal and he heads a Sharia “court” that advises women who have been raped as children that if they don’t have sex with their husband on demand, the “angels will curse” them.

 Posted: 10 Feb 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The risk in France

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 8 February 2012, 11:21


I've just been sent this interesting essay about Marine Le Pen from my friends up at Nottingham University. With a little over two months to go until the French Presidential elections there is a real danger that the Front National will do well enough to get through into the second round.

However, as this essay clearly illustrates, attempts to rebrand the party in a more moderate image have been merely cosmetic.

http://nottspolitics.org/2012/02/08/marine-le-pens-big-gamble/

 Posted: 8 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A hate preacher gets silenced

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 8 February 2012, 00:20


There was good news yesterday when it emerged that London School of Economics Students’ Union had cancelled a planned meeting that was to addressed by the radical Islamist preacher, Haitham Al Haddad.

Haitham Al Haddad is reported to have branded Jews “the enemies of God, and the descendants of apes and pigs” and has quoted the notorious antisemitic forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He has also cited the declaration that “Jews and Christians to be kuffer, and the necessity of hating them, and avoiding them”.

He believes women are not equal and he heads a Sharia “court” that advises women who have been raped as children that if they don’t have sex with their husband on demand, the “angels will curse” them.

Haitham Al Haddad was supposed to be speaking at an event organised by the Islamic Society, but after the intervention of the Union of Jewish Students and then the Students’ Union itself, the meeting was cancelled.

While common sense has prevailed at the LSE, it seems that Haitham Al Haddad is in demand elsewhere. He is spoken at several other Universities and is one of the headlined speakers at the London Muslim Centre on 18th March.

Al Haddad's teachings has even been cited by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 24-year-old Nigerian man who pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a transatlantic flight on Christmas Day 2009.

The Union of Jewish Students applauded the LSE decision but also expressed their annoyance that it had got to this stage. “There’s something deeply flawed in the LSE’s procedures on speaker events when someone like Al Haddad is approved without due consideration.” said Jay Stoll, President of LSE Jewish Society. “We are thankful to LSE Students’ Union for their strong stance against antisemitism and all forms of discrimination.”

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

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Englishness - my case in point

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 7 February 2012, 10:12


A few days ago I wrote a blog entitled 'The Rise of the English' in which I referred to some new research by the IPPR on Englishness. Entitled: The Dog That Finally Barked, their new report revealed the growth of English consciousness over the last ten years and how it was becoming increasingly politicised.

I simply made the point that left unchallenged, Englishness could emerge as a reactionary identity. I pointed out that our own Fear and HOPE research, which was based on interviews with 5,000 people, found that those who identified themselves as English tended to have more negative attitudes towards immigration and multiculturalism than those who defined themselves as British.

Of course, Englishness does not have to become reactionary but there is a danger that it will. The IPPR report noted that almost a quarter of people did not believe that there was a political party which defended the English and that the rise of English consciousness had occurred without any political motivation.

Some of these points were raised at a roundtable discussion I attended last Friday morning, which had been brought together by Jon Cruddas. Like some of the people who wrote to me after my blog, the IPPR argued that gradually an increasing proportion of the population would define themselves as English and so it would become an uncontentious identity.

I disagree and I'm worried about complacency. At the moment English in perceived as exclusive and does carry negative connotations - and this is only likely to get worse, as the debate of Scottish Independence grows, the economy bites and the call to leave the EU gets drawn into both. On top of that we have an increasingly pro-English stance by some on the Conservative right and in the media. Left uncontested, the trajectory of whole English debate will shift to the right.

We will explore the whole issue of identity at some future date, and this will include allowing people of different opinions to voice their views. In the meantime, I will end by drawing attention to a blog attacking my anti-Englishness by the miniscule English People's Party. In the blog they criticise my original post claiming that I want to deny an identity for the English whilst supporting it for everyone else.

But of course here is my point. For the EPP, Englishness is white. In their own mission statement that seek to want a "sympathetic ear for the long suffering and constantly ignored English community" and "to ensure that they are on a level playing field with all other communities in England."

If Englishness was inclusive then there would be just one community in England, but of course, for many on the right, including the EPP, it is exclusive and so just one of the many communities in England.

I'm not anti-English, far from it. I'm just worried that a rise of Englishness will lead to a rise in intolerance and potentially racism. It is precisely for this reason that we need to engage in the Identity debate by offering a modern and realistic positive story of who we and one that can accommodate all the citizens of this country.

 Posted: 7 Feb 2012 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Marching to nowhere?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 4 February 2012, 08:18


The EDL return to Leicester today in what is likely to be a key test for the organisation. In 2011, 1,500 EDL supporters held a static rally which then turned violent. Today's event is going to be much smaller. In fact, anything less than 750 - half the amount of last year's demo - will be a disaster.

EDL demos have become smaller over the past 12 months as boredom sets in and arrests and convictions bite. I know the EDL is pinning a lot on a forthcoming C4 Dispatches programme but even some of their own hardcore supporters appear to have become bored of marching, especially when they are deprived of alcohol.

Last November there were tentative plans to bring the EDL into the British Freedom Party, and so into ordinary politics. Some EDL activists have done just this but many more are not interested. The EDL leadership appear undecided. Obviously they like the idea of being courted by politicians (albeit by completely unknown politicians) but it is clear that Stephen Yaxley-Lennon and Kevin Carroll quite enjoy being big fish in a very small pond. Why would they want to become answerable to others, to say nothing of giving up the merchandising money?

Twelve months ago Leciester mobilised to reject the EDL's message of hate and let's hope that they are suitably shunned again. HOPE not hate will be following today so keep tuned for updates and photos.

 Posted: 4 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HOPE not hate it is

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 February 2012, 14:28


The voting has closed and I'm pleased to say that we have a name for our new publication. It will

It will be called 'HOPE not hate', which is obviously fitting because that's who we are as well as being what we are all about.

An incredible 2,054 people voted and 'HOPE not hate' was the clear winner. Next came 'HOPE', which of course was pretty similar, and the two combined attracted the support of 71% of voters. Together was third, Antidote fourth and Expose some way back in fifth.

The new magazine will be out in a few weeks and to make this magazine a success we need to ensure a healthy readership. We are looking to raise £3,000 to help promote and market the first edition. This will pay for some promotional literature, a couple of adverts and some general marketing.

If you can spare some money to make the new magazine a success, please donate here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/ensure-a-healthy-readership

 Posted: 3 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Closing soon....

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 February 2012, 08:58


Our supporters have just four hours to vote for the name of our new magazine. An amazing 2,012 people have so far voted.

You can vote here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/give-us-a-name

 Posted: 3 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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About time

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 February 2012, 08:48


The BBC is reporting that the Football Association is planning to strip the England captaincy from John Terry, following the charges of racial abusive he is alleged to have made against QPR's Anton Ferdinand.

This is about time. Last December I wrote a blog calling for Terry to be removed as captain, at least until his trail. (http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/article/1518/remove-the-england-captaincy-from-john-terry)

Racism appears to be on the increase in football at the moment and it is important that the FA send a clear message out to players, clubs and the fans. Terry should have been stripped of his captaincy as soon as the charges were issued but at least they are acting now.

 Posted: 3 Feb 2012 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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It's neck and neck...

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 2 February 2012, 12:32


O'ver 1,800 people have now given us their preference for the name of our new magazine. 'HOPE' and 'HOPE not hate' are virtually neck and neck with 'Antidote' running a strong third. I'm afraid 'Expose' is lagging some way off the pace.

We close the voting at lunchtime tomorrow. You can vote here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/give-us-a-name

 Posted: 2 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Terrorists linked to Al-Muhajiroun

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 1 February 2012, 18:22


Four men who have admitted to planning to detonate a bomb at the London Stock Exchange at the Old Bailey today had links to Al-Muhajiroun or one of its successor groups. It is just more proof that Al-Muhajiroun, and their successor groups, acts as a conveyor belt for terrorism.

This is a picture of Mohammed Chowdhury holding a Islam4UK placard.

You can read more about it here http://blog.thecst.org.uk/?p=3397

 Posted: 1 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The field is narrowing

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 1 February 2012, 14:11


Over 1,000 people have now given us their choice of name for our new publication. This is pretty impressive given we only sent out the email at 10.30am this morning. Several people have also emailed me offering to help on the magazine, with skills ranging from proof-reading to a magazine illustrator.

I'm not going to say at this stage which name is favoured but three of the five options have got the majority of the votes, with the other two lagging some way behind.

We will close the voting at 1pm on Friday, so if you haven't made your choice for the name of our new publication then please do know.

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/give-us-a-name

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

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You are giving us a name

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 1 February 2012, 11:39


We have had 545 responses to our appeal for a name for our new publication in one hour. It is an absolutely fantastic. What is even more incredible is that almost 10% of those who opened the email have voted.

And all this in just one hour.

I'm really excited about our new magazine project. We've been working on articles for it for a few weeks now and it is really great that it is finally coming together.

What our magazine needs is a name. Can you help choose one?

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/give-us-a-name

 Posted: 1 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Give us a name

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 1 February 2012, 10:45


I've just sent out an email asking people to choose the name of a new HOPE not hate publication.

We have given people five options and even mocked up some mastheads to help people make up their mind.

You can vote here: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/give-us-a-name

Our new magazine will incorporate all the best features of the HOPE not hate campaign. It will carry investigations and reports from inside hate groups, but it will also include uplifting and positive stories of people coming together to make local communities better. It will explore issues in more detail than you will find in the mainstream media, but it will also be accessible and interesting.

We want our new magazine to be the journal of the HOPE not hate campaign. We want it to reflect our work and our core values. We want it to report on those who peddle hate but also articulate the positivity of our message.

To make it truly to be the magazine of the HOPE not hate campaign I think it only right that you choose the name.

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/give-us-a-name

 Posted: 1 Feb 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The rise of the English

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 1 February 2012, 07:46


I've just been reading 'The Dog That Finally Barked', the new IPPR report on Englishness. It charts the emergence of an English identity against the backdrop of Devolution and constitutional change.

It is very interesting reading and the report is the latest to conclude that Englishness is on the rise and that there is a growing backlash amongst the English against Scotland and the current constitutional arrangement.

I will be writing more on the topic of English soon but in the meantime it is worth highlighting a few of the report's findings.

* The English increasingly believe that they get a raw-deal from the devolution settlement, with 45% saying that Scotland gets 'more than its fair share of public spending'. This has doubled since 2000.

* Englishness is becoming increasingly politicised.

* Over a third of people that an English Parliament should have most influence over the way England is run, more than any other public institution. 'UK Government' only receives 24%.

* 17% of people identify themselves as English and not British. A further 23% consider themselves more English than British. Only 16% consider themselves to be British over English or more British than English.

The report concludes that not only is the "English electorate is dissatisfied - increasingly so - with current arrangements for the territorial government of the UK in general, and England in particular," but it is unlikely to be satisfied with further Scottish devolution but wants a new settlement for the English, that includes an English Parliament.

Does any of this matter to anti-fascists? Yes, and we should be worried. Englishness is growing though at the moment it lacks a political voice. The IPPR report found that when asked which political party best stands up for the interests of England, only 4% stated the BNP, 2% the English Democrats and the Greens, 4% Liberal Democrats, 9% UKIP, 20% Conservatives and 21% Labour. A larger group, 23%, did not think that any party stood up for the interests of the English.


That the politicisation of Englishness is growing without any formal political mobilisation and so many do not believe that there is a political party standing up for the English should be a major cause for concern. Added to this is the fact that the one group who overwhelmingly do not feel English are black and minority ethnic people. As Englishness grows there is a real danger of a chasm opening up in many of our towns and cities along racial lines. This can only be made worse by the findings of our own Fear & HOPE report which found that many of those who identified with England rather than Britain saw exclusivity within it. These people were more hostile to immigration and multiculturalism while also viewing religions other than Christianity as hostile.

While I believe that there are some shortcomings in the IPPR report, such as it fails to measure the impact of economic security and insecurity on people’s identity and how it can be a driver – positively or negatively - I think the report adds value to a growing seam of work which highlight the rising sense of Englishness within the country. While most political commentators are fixated on a possible vote for Scottish Independence, perhaps more significant changes will happen south of the border.

My big concern, which is backed up in this report, is that there is space for a new English nationalist party, one that is anti-Scottish, anti-EU and against new immigration. Without the fascist trappings of the BNP, this party could really tap into the sense of cultural and political alienation that exists up and down the country.

You can read the report here: http://www.ippr.org/publications/55/8542/the-dog-that-finally-barked-england-as-an-emerging-political-community

 Posted: 1 Feb 2012 | There are 14 comments | make a comment/view comments