You are viewing blog items for February 2017.
posted by: Joe Mulhall | on: Sunday, 26 February 2017, 14:24
HOPE not hate/EXPO exclusive
A new international 'Alt-Right' movement has been formed, bringing together far-right groups from across the US and Europe. Simply called Altright, it merges the three main alt-right operations in the world and will have a major influence on the far right across North America and Europe.
News of this new organisation emerged at a far-right conference held yesterday in the Swedish capital Stockholm.
The event, called Identitarian Ideas IX and organised by leading alt-right figure Daniel Friberg, saw over 300 people attend from the UK, Sweden, America, Canada, Australia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands.
In a joint research operation, HOPE not hate and the Swedish anti-racist magazine EXPO sent researchers into the conference and also photographed it from outside.
The Alternative Right
The Alternative Right is an international set of groups and individuals whose core belief is that "white identity" is under attack by so-called "social justice warriors" (SJW) and pro-multicultural and liberal elites using "political correctness" to undermine western civilization and the rights of white males. Its roots lie in the so-called "Reactosphere" or "Dark Enlightenment" which was a community of bloggers active since the 2000s.
In the UK, the Alt-Right overlaps with the 'New Right', a broad alliance of new and more traditional far-right activists, and a contingent from the UK-based London Forum attended the conference. They were joined by members of Swedish far-right groups including Nordic Youth, Motgift and the Nordic Resistance Movement.
Also present was leading “counter-jihadist” Ingrid Carlqvist, who co-runs Dispatch International and until recently was a prolific writer for the US-based Gatestone Institute, which has close links to Donald Trump's administration. Her presence, in a room full on unrepentant nazis, will severely embarrass and damage claims by the international counter-jihad networks that it is not extreme.
Speakers at the event included Henrik Palmgren from the alt-right platform Red Ice, Magnus Söderman, the former chief ideologue of the openly Nazi Swedish Resistance Movement and Rueben Kaalep who leads the youth movement of the Estonian Blue Awakening.
Jason Reza Jorjani, the editor-in-chief of Arktos books, an alt-right publishing house founded by the Swedish ex-skinhead Daniel Friberg and the American John B. Morgan in November 2009, and now based in Budapest, opened the event by outlining the recent merger of three of the movement's leading organisations; Arktos Books, Red Ice and the infamous National Policy Institute (NPI) led by Richard Spencer. The new group, Altright, has a single board and an office in downtown Washington D.C.
The Board of Directors for the new organisation includes Daniel Friberg, Jason Jorjani, Henrik Palmgren, William Regnery, Richard Spencer and Tor Westman.
The American editor will be Richard Spencer, while Daniel Friberg is European editor. The Culture editor will be Jason Jordan.
Also speaking at the event was the Scottish blogger Millennial Woes, recently identified as Colin Robertson from Linlithgow. His short but extreme speech left the audience under no illusions about his belief in racial nationalism. He even quoted the infamous ”14 Words”, a popular white supremacist slogan that states: We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.
Conspicuous by their absence were leading US alt-right figures Richard Spencer and Greg Johnson. It was announced at the conference that Spencer had been banned from entering the EU, while Johnson had been due to speak but pulled out at the last minute.
During a period when the Alt-Right has been experiencing infighting and schisms, the amalgamation of the three most substantial and influential groups is highly significant. Importantly, the merger unites a number of previously-linked but separate schools of far-right thought; New Right (Nouvelle Droite), Archeofuturism, the Fourth Political Theory (Alexander Dugin) and the Identitarian movement.
As Jorjani put it at the conference, the merger “represents nothing less than the integration of all of the aforementioned European right-wing schools of thought with the North American vanguard movement most responsible for the electoral victory of President Trump.”
While he dramatically over-estimated their influence as a movement, this merger remains an important development of the Alt-Right and the growing internationalization of far-right politics.
* A full report on the conference, including a detailed list of the individuals and organisations present, will follow shortly.
Posted: 26 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 23 February 2017, 08:54
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has tried to distance himself from any wrongdoing in the election expenses scandal engulfing UKIP. Yesterday, HOPE not hate revealed that UKIP had not declared a minimum of £26,305 in the returns to the electoral commission for the South Thanet seat which Farage contested. We said the true figure could have actually been over £35,000.
Pressed for a comment from the BBC, which ran the story yesterday, Farage tried to absolve himself of any blame. "I didn't do the returns myself, but I was deeply conscious the whole way through that we had to be desperately careful."
He added: "I have no reason to think anything's wrong."
"I must have asked the question ten times 'are we absolutely sure we've got this right?' and I was absolutely assured that we had done this as thoroughly and as professionally as we could."
Some would suggest that his response indicates that he is worried that there is truth to our allegations. Rather than dismiss our claims out of hand, he prioritised extracting himself from any responsibility.
Whether his agent, Chris Bruni-Lowe, will be so happy to be thrown under the bus by his former boss remains to be seen.
HOPE not hate is pressing Kent Police to widen its current investigation into the alleged over-spending in South Thanet by the Conservative Party to include Nigel Farage's campaign too.
Read our investigation here: UKIP flout election law in campaign overspend
Posted: 23 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 22 February 2017, 19:34
HOPE not hate is writing to the Electoral Commission and Kent Police to demand that they investigate the flouting of electoral law by UKIP during Nigel Farage's unsuccessful campaign to become an MP in 2015 in South Thanet.
A two-month investigation by HOPE not hate's new investigations team has found UKIP failed to declare significant election expenditure, misallocated spending and ignored electoral convention by dividing costs evenly between general election and local council candidates. We have calculated that Nigel Farage's campaign failed to appropriately declare at least £26,302 in its electoral returns and possibly well over £35,000.
While candidates were allowed to spend £15,087.30 in the 'short' campaign, the period from 9 April 2015 until polling day on 7 May 2015, our investigation has found UKIP spent at least £26,000 - almost twice as much as they were allowed to spend.
Our investigation found campaign staff, billboards and mobile advans omitted from the South Thanet electoral returns. We found thousands of pounds of campaign expenditure in the party's long returns (where it is allowed to spend more) even though the labour and materials were used in the short campaign.
And we found Farage's team ignoring Electoral Commission guidelines by equally dividing his campaign expenditure amongst 65 district and parish candidates. This led to the ridiculous situation where his taxi fares were divided 65 ways!
Kent Police is already investigating claims that the Conservative Party candidate hid campaign expenditure during the South Thanet. Now, we are writing to Kent Police to demand that it widens the investigation to include Nigel Farage's campaign.
UKIP has clearly benefited by the breakdown in trust people have in politicians and the political system. Now we can reveal that it is UKIP that has flagrantly flouted the rules.
Posted: 22 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 14 February 2017, 20:52
In a year dominated by the UK’s vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump, there were mixed fortunes for Britain’s far right. For them it was a year of further marginalisation, convictions and bans punctuated only by extreme acts of violence – such as the horrific murder of Jo Cox.
2016 was also a year where a new far-right threat became more evident, one that was at the heart of the ‘fake news’ phenomenon played out largely on social media and to an international audience.
That’s according to our new 76-page report, State of Hate 2017, the most comprehensive look at far-right extremism in the UK and across Europe.
Violence in 2017
The year started with a violent confrontation in Dover, where fascists and anti-fascists clashed at a National Front march, which led to the jailing of over 50 far-right activists. It ended with the leader of the anti-Muslim outfit, Britain First, being sent to prison and the nazi grouplet National Action (NA) banned as a terrorist organisation by the British government.
While some dismissed the banning of NA as a PR stunt - the first time a far-right movement had been proscribed since World War Two - the truth is that the authorities felt compelled to act as a result of NA’s increasingly violent rhetoric and emerging evidence that some activists were trying to encourage younger recruits to carry out acts of terrorism.
However, while the ban has effectively shut down the organisation, the people within it and the networks in which they operate continue.
Far-right and radical-right parties
UKIP continued to marginalise traditional far-right parties, with groups like the British National Party (BNP) struggling to maintain any significant presence.
While some within far-right circles hoped that the EU Referendum result would lead to the collapse of UKIP and open a space for a racial nationalist party, this has failed to materialise.
However, all is not well for UKIP either. Former leader Nigel Farage and millionaire backer Arron Banks are increasingly operating parallel to the party. Meanwhile, the Brexit vote result has seen a drop in UKIP’s electoral support as some of its voters obviously feel “the job is done”, while others believe that Theresa May’s government has assumed much of UKIP’s agenda.
More significantly, UKIP is in a financial mess, struggling to raise funds and facing EU demands to pay back misused funds.
With UKIP likely to struggle to defend the 121 wards – achieved during the party’s first electoral breakthrough in 2013 – in the 2017 county council elections, success in the forthcoming Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election has become vital for both new leader Paul Nuttall and his party.
It is abundantly clear that there will be compromises over Brexit and this, coupled with rising economic anxiety and probable inability of the government to reduce immigration substantially, could lead to mounting disenchantment and anger. With the Labour Party currently in turmoil, it will be a UKIP-type party that benefits.
Whether that party is actually UKIP remains to be seen.
2016 saw the emergence and increasing impact of British alt-right and far right bloggers and vloggers.
Among these is Milo Yiannopoulos, who is heavily involved in the far-right-friendly Breitbart News network, and Battersea-based vlogger Paul Watson, who is enmeshed in the conspiracy website InfoWars. Watson, with 451,000 Twitter followers and 717,722 subscribers on YouTube, was one of the main figures behind fake news/conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton having debilitating health issues in the run up to the US election, including the disgusting “Is Hillary Dying?” hoax. His videos were viewed millions of times and were even taken up by Fox News.
While the Alt-Right is generally a US phenomenon, a similar trend has been growing in the UK under the name New Right. One of its expressions, The London Forum, is now regularly attended by over 100 people and new groups have formed in the South West, Yorkshire and Scotland. Last year, saw expansion of the Forum network into America.
Also intervening in the US elections was former Britain First leader Jim Dowson. From his new Hungarian office, in the centre of Budapest, Dowson set up a series of US-focused websites with the sole intent of denigrating Hillary Clinton and promoting Donald Trump. He also developed ties with Russians who had connections to people in the Kremlin.
Dowson, with former BNP leader Nick Griffin, spent much of 2016 building an international network of far-right parties, militia groups and religious extremists. Most worrying have been his growing links with people and organisations with links to the Russian state.
Similarly, the presence of Polish far-right groups – such as National Rebirth of Poland and Polish C18 and pro-Ukrainian paramilitaries in the UK such as the leaders of the Misanthropic Division – brings a new level of extremism and experience to British far-right activists.
Assault on liberal democracy
The Trump administration’s mainstreaming of anti-muslim hatred, the increased political impetus of far-right parties in parts of western Europe, the activities of alt-right activists spreading prejudice and fake news online and authoritarian regimes becoming more confident in central and Eastern Europe, all show we are living in very dangerous and uncertain times.
These right-wing forces, coupled with Russia’s continued attempts at interference in world politics, are challenging the foundations of the liberal democracy that was largely created as a result of the horrors of WWII.
Human rights, equality legislation and the collective will to intervene to stop genocides and human suffering around the globe are all now being challenged.
The British far right is still a bit part player in this wider picture but, in its many guises, it is still dangerous. The threats lie in increased far-right violence and terrorism, to the vloggers and social media networkers of the Alt-Right who will have an increasingly influential role on the shape of events.
2016 was the year of Brexit and Trump’s election. 2017 could turn out even more tumultuous.
Posted: 14 Feb 2017 | There are 12 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Joe Mulhall | on: Sunday, 5 February 2017, 10:11
Far-right vlogger Colin Robertson, better known as Millennial Woes, has said he may leave the UK due to increasing opposition and scrutiny. In a recent YouTube video he explicitly named HOPE not hate as a cause of his anxiety saying:
‘I think I should leave Britain […] I know that I am going to be watched a lot more closely because HOPE not hate, which is also part funded by George Soros, have said they are going to scrutinize the Alt-Right.’
To the public at large Robertson remains an online irrelevance but he has received a level of infamy in some circles after his involvement with America’s leading ‘alt-right’ organization, the National Policy Institute (NPI), was made public. Robertson attended and spoke at NPI's ‘Becoming Who We Are’ conference at the Reagan Building in Washington, DC in November 2016. The event garnered international media attention after footage emerged of supporters giving Nazi salutes and shouting ‘Hail Trump’.
Having long operated in the shadows as Millenial Woes his real identity was recently exposed and it emerged he makes his racist YouTube videos from his parents’ home in Linlithgow, Scotland.
It is likely his comments about HNH were sparked by our recent announcement of a new investigative unit designed to monitor, challenge, probe and analyse the growing threat posed by the radical and populist right which will include the so-called ‘Alt-Right’ and its propagandists like Robertson.
Whether he actually intends to leave the UK or whether this is just another attempt to manufacture his image as a martyr is unclear but the fact that he left a link to a funding website under the video perhaps gives an indication of his real motivations.
Posted: 5 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Jemma Levene | on: Thursday, 2 February 2017, 12:20
Today the Community Security Trust, the Jewish charity monitoring antisemitism and protecting the Jewish community, released its Antisemitic Incidents Report 2016, which reveals a record number of antisemitic hate crime incidents recorded by them. The report lays out that 21% of British Jews had suffered antisemitic harassment in the past 12 months. Other antisemitic incidents include violent assault, damage and desecration of property abusive behaviour, threats, and mass-produced antisemitic literature.
The report states: ‘It is likely that there is significant under-reporting of antisemitic incidents to both CST and the Police. And that the number of antisemitic incidents that took place is significantly higher than the number recorded in this report’. This underreporting is reflected in the Crime Survey of England and Wales, which suggests under 20% of incidents are reported to the police.
I recently had a conversation with a close friend, let’s call her Sarah. Sarah is a professional, and has worked within the Jewish community for many years. Her three children go to Jewish schools, and travel by bus to school. She recounted a recent Friday night dinner where her eldest son laughingly told the family that while he was standing at the bus stop with a bunch of friends, all in their school uniform, which includes a kippah (skull cap), a man driving a lorry slowed right down and made obscene gestures at the boys. They were the only people at the bus stop, and they were all visibly Jewish.
Sarah was a bit taken aback by this. She told me she had not really thought about her children having to confront street antisemitism up until that point. But the next part of the conversation really shocked her. Her 12-year-old joined the conversation:
“You think that’s bad? You should have heard what happened to me last week!”
He recounted that he and friends his age had been playing football in the backyard of a synagogue when a group of much older boys came up to the fence and shouted to them, telling them that Harry Potter was better than the Jews because he survived the Chambers. Shocked, Sarah asked her son what happened next, had they told an adult, maybe involved the CST guard on the front gate of the synagogue? He shrugged, and said they just ignored them and carried on playing.
The wakeup call for Sarah was that her children have had Streetwise training from the CST, and know about antisemitism. When she asked them, they were able to verbalise what they should have done, and even understood that it would be important for the CST and police to know about the incident at the synagogue. Whether it just wasn’t ‘cool’ to be seen to react, or whether this kind of verbal abuse is the norm for Jewish children, they chose not to report it or even to tell anyone about it.
The other reason that antisemitic sentiment in Britain can never be accurately measured is that the vast majority of Jewish people are not visible targets. There are small parts of the Jewish community who choose to follow a very visible dress code, such as the Charedi communities in north and northwest London and north Manchester. In addition, boys attending Jewish schools may choose to continue wearing their kippot outside of school grounds.
Other than that, the vast majority of Jews are not visible targets for street antisemitism and therefore we can never know whether racist opportunists would commit more verbal and physical abuse to Jews if they were only able to identify them!
The CST report is a timely reminder that unfortunately antisemitism is growing, and like all forms of hate, must be acknowledged and challenged.
The full report can be found here.
Posted: 2 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments