HOPE not hate

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BNP Crazy idea 2: Marching to war

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 30 April 2010, 07:00


The BNP propose forcing young people into the army through National Service. That's all very well for them to say, given none of their leaders have ever had to go to war!

 Posted: 30 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Stupid

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 29 April 2010, 10:34


Nick Griffin is trying to take the moral high ground over Brown’s ‘bigot’ comment. However, a few years ago he described white people still living in London as ‘stupid’.

This is what he told an undercover TV reporter:

“The people who have the brains and ability got out [of London] years ago, one way or another. The people who are left are either the 15 per cent of the population who are happy to put up with it, they’re so decadent they actually like it, or they are too stupid to do anything about it. They will vote BNP, but you can’t build a movement on those people.”

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

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BNP Crazy idea 1: Creating unemployment

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 29 April 2010, 07:36


BNP leader Nick Griffin admitted that if the BNP came to power in an area, businesses would stop investing there, which would cause massive unemployment. He also admitted that BNP economic policy would make everyday imported items much more expensive.

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

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We are over halfway there

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 28 April 2010, 08:27


Yesterday afternoon I sent out an email asking for 149 people to join me on Bank Holiday Monday in Barking & Dagenham to help deliver leaflets in our six target wards.

I’ve had a really fantastic response, with 82 people already signing up. With many others promising to come offline I’m confident that we will, at the very least, hit our target, if not greatly exceed it. And don’t worry, we’ve learnt our lesson from last time when we ran out of newspapers for people to deliver. While we are hoping for 150 people we’ll have materials for a lot more than that in case our numbers swell again.

Our Day of Action in Stoke-on-Trent also looks as though it is going to be a well-attended event. So far we have 25 people signed up, with more expected to join them from several of our local anti-BNP groups from across the North West and Midlands. In total we are looking to have 100 people out and deliver 20,000 newspapers. If we achieve this then it will easily be our biggest mobilisation in the city.

Barking & Dagenham and Stoke-on-Trent are our two national priorities so I would really urge you to make the effort to attend one of these events. You can sign up here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/event/search_simple

 Posted: 28 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The real BNP

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 26 April 2010, 13:43


The BNP just can’t help themselves. Given that they are trying to present themselves as a normal political party you would think that they could keep their vile racism under wraps for the election campaign. Nick Griffin even announced at their press launch that they were not obsessed about race.

Strange then that he and Richard Edmonds, a member of the party’s Advisory Council, had little else to talk about when they were out canvassing in Barking & Dagenham.

You can listen to their racist rantings here:

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Politics/BNPs-Nick-Griffin-And-Richard-Edmonds-Secretly-Filmed-On-Campaign-Trail-In-Barking-And-Dagenham/Article/201004415619409

 Posted: 26 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Round two

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 23 April 2010, 18:04


Billy Bragg and Richard Barnbrook

Billy Bragg and Richard Barnbrook

It seems that Billy Bragg has had another showdown with Richard Barnbrook in Barking. From the account I've heard Billy was wandering through Barking town centre when he was literally approached by Barnbrook ... on his horse.

London Tonight caught it all so it should be interesting viewing.

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

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Trumka calls for HOPE not hate

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 23 April 2010, 14:49


Just had a message from my friend Liz from Philadelphia to say that Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, has just given a speech in Florida where he spoke against racism, homophobia and the politics of hate. He concluded by saying “we’re fighting for hope not hate.”

Our message is spreading…!

 Posted: 23 Apr 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Come campaigning with Eddie Izzard

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 23 April 2010, 08:49


Eddie Izzard performs for HOPE not hate

Eddie Izzard performs for HOPE not hate

On Monday 3 May we are taking to the streets of Barking and Dagenham again and this time we will be joined by Eddie Izzard.

Eddie is a longtime supporter of the HOPE not hate campaign and he is giving us his Bank Holiday Monday to help prevent the BNP from taking control of the council.

We are now in the short campaign period and that means we will just be working in our key target wards – those that the BNP need to win if it hopes to take control of the council. Each ward will have a different leaflet.

We will be campaigning in the morning from 10.30am-1pm and then we are holding a HOPE not hate summer party in one of our key target wards. There will be food from across the globe and children’s entertainment.

Over 70 people have already signed up for the day … and we haven’t even properly advertised it yet. Following last Saturday’s massive turnout we are hoping to get all six wards leafleted by 1pm. For that we need 150 people. We are once again putting on a bus from Camden and Hackney, a minibus from Bermondsey and encouraging people to get on the 10.10am train from London Fenchurch Street to Dagenham Dock.

Will you come out campaigning with Eddie Izzard on Monday 3 May? Sign in here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/event/detail/maybankholidayweekendfinalpush/wbt

 Posted: 23 Apr 2010 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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BNP admits it is the hate party

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 23 April 2010, 08:02


Yesterday I watched with amusement as Marmite-gate unfolded and the whole BNP election campaign descended into ridicule. On Wednesday evening our research team previewed the BNP election broadcast and saw the now infamous marmite jar over Griffin’s shoulder. At 7.15pm we sent a message to Unilever, the makers of Marmite, about the BNP video. At 8am yesterday morning our press officer was on the phone to PA and other media outlets.

Even BNP were gobsmacked by the whole affair. Dozens questioned the use of the jar on the party’s own website.

When confronted by the media, the BNP simply could not get their story straight. At first it was just a “spoof” video (oh, how we laughed!). Next, as Unilever announced legal action against the party, they claimed that someone had tampered with the video and had put the jar on the screen without their permission. By the end of the day Griffin had changed his story for a third time and announced that the BNP was simply taking revenge on Marmite for a commercial which he claimed portrayed the BNP as the “hate party”.

However ridiculous the BNP position at least they finally got one thing right. Griffin and his bunch of cranks identified themselves as the “hate party”.

But the BNP stupidity doesn’t end there. Griffin is now threatening to – wait for it – eat some Marmite on his next TV broadcast!! Yes, and this fool wants to run this country. Whatever next …. Oh, I forgot, Richard Barnbrook is getting on a horse this morning.

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

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A horse ban?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 21 April 2010, 20:39


I’ve picked up news that the BNP is planning some sort of St George’s Day parade in Barking on Friday morning. It fact, it may well turn out to be their election launch despite them telling the press that it will be in Stoke-on-Trent. Perhaps they are having two launches.

In previous years local BNP leader Richard Barnbrook has ridden through the East London borough on a white horse. Griffin it appears is not impressed and is telling those around him that in no circumstances must Barnbrook ride the horse.

With Griffin being criticised over the poor election campaign it’ll be interesting to know who carries the day.

 Posted: 21 Apr 2010 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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More messages of support

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 21 April 2010, 14:31


I'm still getting a lot of emails and messages about our events on Saturday. Here are just three that have come through to me:

“I am a PCS branch officer in Northumberland and Durham and I can't tell u how proud I was to help in a small way on Saturday. Have taken this to my Branch and I can promise support in future work. Thanks to Miriam and Scott for their support, sorry we missed you later.”

“Very proud to have been part of this today. The atmosphere was positive right from the start, we met some brilliant people working together for what we all believe in. The curry and lunchtime entertainment (courtesy of Billy Bragg) were hard earned and enjoyed with relish! Looking forward to the next event!!! Keep it up – All you Fascists? You're Bound to Lose!!”

“The day was absolutely fantastic. You lot are so brilliant to have organised us all. The leafleting was fun, the food was gorgeous, Billy Bragg was inspirational as always, and the whole atmosphere of the event was uplifting. Thank you for helping us contribute to something so important.”

 Posted: 21 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A daunting task

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 21 April 2010, 14:03


The weekend’s mobilisation seems a long time ago now as we turn our focus to the final fortnight of the campaign. Much of our work from now on is going to be targeted, speaking to specific voters in our target wards. We’ve telephone canvassed thousands of voters in Barking & Dagenham and now we are turning our attention to Stoke-on-Trent.

These two areas are the focus of our campaign now and we have a major mobilisation in each over the May bank holiday weekend.

Following the success of last Saturday’s event, making the next Barking & Dagenham mobilisation a success is going to be a bit daunting. We are once again organising transport from across London – our job now is just to fill it!

 Posted: 21 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Thanks

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 19 April 2010, 22:37


I've been inundated with messages of thanks following Saturday's amazing Day of Action. Among them are two from trade unions who both mobilised their members:

"Just to say from our HnH staff group a big thanks to you and everyone who helped organise such a successful day on Saturday. I understand 530 people turned up and 70,000 newspapers were delivered. It was really uplifting to see so many people there. Billy Bragg was good AND the curry was delicious!" – Unison HQ.

"Just want to say well done to everyone for organising such a fantastic and uplifting day.

"There was a good turnout from NUT colleagues around London and those I spoke to said they felt proud to part of something so big and well organised.

"I am in no doubt that the residents of Barking and Dagenham have got the message that vote for the BNP is a vote for hatred and division.

"Keep up the good work."

Alex Kenny (NUT Executive member for inner London)

 Posted: 19 Apr 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A day to remember

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 18 April 2010, 10:26


HnH supporters sign in

HnH supporters sign in

I’ve finally been able to reflect on what was a fantastic day’s campaigning, not just in Barking & Dagenham but across the country. The weather was great, numbers exceeded expectations and over 180,000 newspapers and leaflets were delivered.

Our mobilisation in Barking & Dagenham was obviously the highlight of the day. An amazing 541 people attended and we delivered 91,000 newspapers. In fact, we actually ran out of newspapers by 12.30pm – just two hours after we started – and over lunch we had to frantically knock up walks for another two wards in neighbouring Havering just so we could give those arriving late something to do.

We could have quite easily got at least 200 of those attending out again in the afternoon, if we had had the material.

I have to give a big thank you to the HOPE not hate team who helped the day run so effectively. We’ve been working long hours all week to make it a success and everyone played their part. I’ve been inundated with messages from people saying what a great event it was and how smoothly it all ran. At one point we had a queue winding down three flights of stairs and out the front door. This was repeated at lunchtime as people waited to be served a great curry.

We had great turnouts across the country too. There were 94 people out in Morley, south Leeds, again most out with us for the first time. 25,000 newspapers were delivered and several dozen people offered to get involved again during the campaign. There were over 50 out in Stoke and two wards were covered, while in Burnley we had 35 out and 14,000 newspapers were delivered. Despite intimidation and threats from the BNP there were over 30 out in Bishop Auckland and the entire Spennymoor area was covered.

We’ll shortly be releasing a video and gallery of photos of the Barking & Dagenham day but I would just like to add my appreciation to everyone who came. However, there is no room for complacency as the BNP still pose a serious threat to the council. As a result the campaign continues so if anyone has any spare time we’ll be out every afternoon and evening until polling day.

There will also be two key campaign activities before the elections. On Saturday 1 May we will be having a national mobilisation for Stoke-on-Trent while on the following Monday, the Bank Holiday, we will be out campaigning in Barking & Dagenham followed by a HOPE not hate barbecue and social.

Yesterday saw the biggest mobilisation of this general election. I really think everyone should be proud of what we achieved and I hope people can find an hour or two to help again before the election is over.

 Posted: 18 Apr 2010 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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And still they come

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 17 April 2010, 12:47


More people are arriving. We've run out of newspapers and we are now knocking up maps for another three wards in Havering.

 Posted: 17 Apr 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Almost done

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 17 April 2010, 12:28


It's just gone midday and we've virtually finished. Over 500 people have come out and we've cleared 82,000 newspapers from our HQ.

We've actually had so many people we are now creating maps for another couple of wards in Havering to do for people who are still arriving.

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

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Over half way there

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 17 April 2010, 10:56


Over 40,000 newspapers have already left our HQ and still people are pouring in. A train carrying over 50 people will be arriving in a few minutes. This is a really great start.

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

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A mistake. There's more

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 17 April 2010, 10:12


I've just blogged to say that 50 people are on the bus from Hackney. I was wrong. There's actually 100 people and a Spanish TV crew. So many that some are having to come over on public transport. Totally amazing.

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

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Goresbrook's gone

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 17 April 2010, 10:03


We've now got 25 people already out, including 15 people from Unite who have taken the newspapers for Goresbrook ward.

Over 50 have boarded the coach in Hackney.

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

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They are on their way

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 17 April 2010, 09:43


Our double decker bus has just left Kentish Town with 14 people on board. It is now on its way to Hackney where it is due to pick up over 50 people.

A supporter has just arrived from Eastbourne and a couple are on their way down from Leicester. The cancellation of flights has meant that one of our supporters from Essex who was meant to be flying out of the country today is now stranded and so is coming out with us after all.

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

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The sign

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 17 April 2010, 09:11


Our huge HOPE not hate letters are getting put up. Eleven people here already

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

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Here we go

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 17 April 2010, 08:09


It's 7.30am and I'm just arriving at our Dagenham HQ. The mist is lifting and it's going to be a beautiful day. I have to say that I woke this morning with a feeling of nervous excitement. Are we going to get enough people? Will any of it make a difference.

I just want to say a few words about our crew in our Dagenham office. They have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks on the campaign without complaining. They have worked long hours, often seven days a week, and without them none of this would have been possible.

Four more people have signed up from South West London. The sun is shining brightly. It's going to be a fantastic day. I'm really confident of it.

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

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We're ready

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 16 April 2010, 20:51


Sam and I put the finishing touches to our campaign plans

Sam and I put the finishing touches to our campaign plans

It's now just gone 8.30pm and we are putting the final touches to our campaign centre in preparation for our Day of Action tomorrow. An incredible 82,000 newspapers have been bagged up in anticipation for what we hope will be several hundred activists coming out in Barking & Dagenham tomorrow. That includes 67 who have signed up for the double decker bus from Hackney and the 50-60 people who are likely to catch the 10.35am train from Fenchurch Street to Dagenham Dock.

I've no idea about idea about numbers but I'm hoping that we will easily beat the 221 we managed in Sandwell in 2007. This time, however, we've had to rely on networks outside the political parties as they are obviously quite busy with their own work at the moment.

We've organised a sweepstake in the office about the turnout. I'm the most optimistic with a prediction of 340 people. Ben is the most pessimistic with just 240. The others are in between.

I'm hearing good reports about turnouts in other areas of the country. The Yorkshire HOPE not hate team are hoping for 50 people in Morley, while in Burnley and Stoke we hope to get out 40 in each.

Tomorrow is going to be an early start but we're all up for it. The weather forecast is good and I'm obviously hoping that I'll be the winner of the sweepstake.

 Posted: 16 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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We're getting ready

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 15 April 2010, 18:19


82,000 newspapers have been counted out and divided into 350 walks in preparation for Saturday's huge Day of Action in Barking and Dagenham.

With the weather expected to be good we are expecting well over 350 people to attend, which, if that's the case, will mean we can deliver a newspaper to every door in the borough. We will also be hoping to cover two large wards in neighbouring Havering.

 Posted: 15 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Kenneth Riley's revenge

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 15 April 2010, 10:52


D-day veteran Kenneth Riley was furious when he was told that the BNP had taken his own words – literally word for word – and used them in a fundraising email.

Ken fought the Nazis. He lost close friends fighting the Nazis. He continues to fight the Nazis, in the guise of the BNP, today.

Ken agreed to us expressing his anger in an email to supporters last night. He said that the best way for people to show their disgust at the BNP was to donate to HOPE not hate.

Ken will be pleased to know that we have received almost £9,000 from his appeal. Once again the BNP's actions backfire on them.

 Posted: 15 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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I fought the Nazis. Will you?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 14 April 2010, 07:42


Kenneth Riley

Kenneth Riley

When I enlisted in the army 66 years ago, I did it for Britain.

Now I need you to do something for me.

The BNP is trying to strangle our great nation with the same extremist and fascist agenda that Hitler's Nazis threatened us with decades ago. Today, the war isn't being fought on the battlefield - but in the ballot box.

Hope Not Hate is on the front lines of our fight. They're organising to make sure modern-day Nazis aren't elected on 6 May and to preserve the Britain for which I fought so hard. If I had my health I would be out there with them. But I can't - so I'm writing to ask you to volunteer for me.

Please join Hope Not Hate's Day of Action this weekend - the campaign has laid on transport to help you get to the areas in which you are needed the most:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/fightthenazis

I was barely in my twenties when I went to fight for Britain. I left home with friends - all young lads like myself - and many never returned.

Today, the BNP salute and say "Heil Hitler" - and they support the same all-white Britain. They're proud of what the Nazis did to my friends, and what they did to millions of innocent people throughout Europe.

We didn't fight with our lives on the line years ago just to be right back here today.

We need to do everything we can to stop the BNP from being elected to local councils and to Parliament. Those boys lost to the war would proudly go door-to-door with Hope Not Hate to fight against the fascist BNP today.

There are no tanks and no guns in this fight - but we still need your courage to speak out.

Attend a Hope Not Hate event this weekend and join the fight against fascism:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/fightthenazis

The elections on 6 May are personal to me - and I hope they will be to you. I'd like to thank you in advance for your service.

Yours,

Kenneth Riley
Normandy Veteran - Tank Division

 Posted: 14 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The big one

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 12 April 2010, 21:30


My focus this week is on building our Barking & Dagenham day of action on Saturday. I've no idea how many people will come but I'm really confident that we will easily surpass the Sandwell turnout of 221 back in 2007. The question is whether we will get enough people to cover every property in the borough – that's 70,000 letterboxes.

That would be no mean feat but it will take 350-400 people to achieve it.

However, I guess that anything over 200 people will make this the largest street mobilisation of the election campaign – of any political party or organisation.

All our Dagenham office staff are working flat out on Saturday's event. We have made up almost 200 walks to cover the 17 wards of the boroughs, people are ringing round their contacts all across London and 50 team leaders are being tasked up to take our volunteers out. A coach is bringing people in from Hackney, minibuses are coming from Stockwell, Newham and Southwark and the 10.35am from Fenchurch Street is being renamed the HOPE express as it brings a few dozen people out to Dagenham.

In between all that we've had to deal with several media enquiries. The Economist, the Mirror and the Dutch equivalent of The Guardian came over to interview us about the BNP threat and our campaign.

Anyway, I guess I'm basically saying that Saturday is going to be a brilliant event so, if you haven't already done so, I would urge you to donate one day to the campaign against the BNP and sign up.

 Posted: 12 Apr 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The Super 48 draws to an end

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 April 2010, 20:06


Just finished in Stoke-on-Trent. Today I was out with Jason from Burnley and between us we did over 800 newspapers in three hours, which wasn't bad because the drives were long and the terrain was hilly. He carried on with a few others but I had to call it a day.

It's turning into a long journey back to London but I have to say the trip to the Midlands was well worth doing. We delivered about 14,000 newspapers in Stoke but just as importantly we solidified some contacts and made several new ones. It was also a great bonding experience for our young team and with just over three and a half weeks still to go we're going to be spending a lot of time together.

Those in the minibus went on to Amber Valley for their Day of Action. By all accounts this was a great success, with 35 people out and a good chunk of Heanor covered.

Tomorrow the focus returns to Barking and Dagenham and I have to admit that after a few days away I'm quite looking forward to getting back there. We are doing a bit of leafleting in the afternoon and then we've organised a HOPE not hate concert in one of the local churches. Caroline, our faith worker, has been organising this and by all accounts it's going to be a real success. She's been on various Christian radio stations over the past few days as well as touring around the churches in the borough.

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

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More of the same

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 April 2010, 10:12


Another day, another leafleting session. I'm still in Stoke for the second half of our Super 48. Yesterday 19 of us delivered about 11,000 newspapers, which was brilliant given that the London contingent didn't arrive until lunchtime.

Our numbers are depleted today. In fact there are only four or five of us to deliver the remaining 4,000 papers. Another nine have taken the minibus and headed over to Amber Valley to help with the Day of Action over there.

In between the leafleting yesterday we literally wrote and designed the next HOPE not hate newspaper for Barking and Dagenham in one day, which will be delivered next Saturday. I have to say that the front cover is an absolute corker and will drive the BNP crazy.

Next Saturday's mobilisation for Barking and Dagenham is going to be big. Over 100 people have already signed up for the day, which, given that it's a week away and we usually get more turning up than have signed up, is really good news. However, to fulfil our aim of delivering a newspaper through every door in the borough we still need more people. Our target is for at least 300 people.

I sense some panic in the BNP camp and they are beginning to write off a lot of areas, including wards where they have councillors, to concentrate in B&D. Of course, there is an element of truth in their claim that the results in the rest of the country will pale into insignificance if they win the council.

And we are totally aware of that. Over the weekend of the 17th we will be out in our regional priority areas but once that is out of the way our campaign will concentrate on our two national priorities, Stoke-on-Trent and Barking & Dagenham.

There is a lot to do but I'm feeling chipper about it all. Perhaps it's just that the sun is shining but we are really starting to motor. I'm encouraged by the number of people who are beginning to get involved and in our team of young volunteers we have a fantastic and dedicated core of super activists.

Anyway, it's Stoke and that means more leafleting.

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

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A day of surprises

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 9 April 2010, 19:02


I've done for the day, at least in terms of leafleting. We've had a fantastic day with 21 HOPE not hate volunteers travelling in from different parts of the country to help our Sarah, our intrepid Stoke organiser. A minibus of activists came up from London, three people travelled over from Birmingham and Paul and Lorraine made the trip from Bradford.

And of course there is Jason from Burnley. I haven't actually seen him yet as he got here before I did and has been out in one part of the city since 10am - 8 hours ago - and he still hasn't finished.

So I went out with Paul and Lorraine, which gave me a chance to catch up with events in Yorkshire. I think we were all a bit surprised with the 10 candidates in Bradford and particularly with Paul Cromie's decision to stick with the BNP. Clearly his private chats with the Conservatives over several months had come to nothing.

My running total of BNP candidates is now 595, from 73 local authority areas. Now I'm sure I've missed some of the emails and voice messages that have been sent to me during the day. I've literally had a notebook in my back pocket as I've been leafleting.

While there are still many councils yet to announce, I guess that we are now looking at 700-800 BNP candidates.

The total has been seriously undermined by some real surprises. Not least here in Stoke-on-Trent, where a deeply divided BNP could only find six candidates to stand, and two of these are existing councillors up for re-election. I bet they really wish they had adopted the approach of Barking and Dagenham BNP of simply moving people in to stand.

Other surprises include Epping Forest where all three BNP councillors up for re-election have decided to throw in the towel and are not standing again. There also appear to be no BNP candidates in Three Rivers, where the BNP has one councillor and came within a whisker of getting a second in another ward.

And I couldn't end this blog without mentioning Oldham. I spent the best part of a year fighting the BNP here in 2001/02, in the aftermath of the riots. Working closely with Oldham United Against Racism we destroyed the BNP and they never recovered. This year there is a humiliating one BNP candidate.

Tonight we are all meeting up for a well-earned curry and social before getting back on the streets tomorrow.

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

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Taking a break

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 9 April 2010, 11:31


Just taking a break from the campaign trail in Stoke. A few us have been out already and our London minibus and a carload from Bradford should both be with us in less than an hour.

I've now got a list of 501 BNP candidates in 54 local authority areas. Still some big councils yet to announce, such as Stoke, Coventry, Tameside, Thurrock and Bexley, but it is looking as though the BNP might fall slightly short of the 1,000 figure. Here's hoping!

Anyway, back to it …

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

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Update on council candidates

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 8 April 2010, 23:59


With several big West Midlands and Essex councils still to release candidates' lists, our running total of BNP local election candidates now stands at 413 in around 42 authorities.

 Posted: 8 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Theyre trickling in

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 8 April 2010, 17:09


With most councils not releasing details of council candidates until Monday accurate information is hard to come by.

However I have details of 157 candidates from just ten local authorities.

My prediction of 1,000 candidates might be an underestimate.

I'll keep you informed as I hear more throughout the evening and during tomorrow.

 Posted: 8 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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And here we go

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 8 April 2010, 12:39


A few minutes ago nominations closed for the local council elections. In most cases local authorities are not going to release the list of candidates standing until Monday but it is clear that we are going to see a record number of BNP candidates.

A while ago I estimated as many as 1,000 candidates. I'm sticking with this estimate but obviously I could be way off the mark – in either direction.

If you get to hear about BNP candidates then please let me know by emailing me at nick@hopenothate.org.uk.

 Posted: 8 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The Super 48

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 8 April 2010, 10:36


I'm on my way to Stoke-on-Trent today in preparation for the Super 48. Over a two-day period a core group of HOPE not hate activists are going into the city to join local activists with the aim of delivering 15,000 newspapers across three wards.

Our team includes some of our finest leafleters, from our Dagenham office volunteers to Jason Hunter, our one-man leafleting machine from Burnley. We have a few activists coming from Birmingham and even my old mate Paul, from Bradford, might put in an appearance.

I think there'll be about 16 of us so that's almost 1,000 newspapers each. Not too difficult.

In fact, I'm hopeful that with an early start tomorrow we could even finish it in one day, which means we'll then head over to Amber Valley to join their Day of Action on Saturday.

We'll be having another Super 48 in Stoke on Friday 30 April and Saturday 1 May so if there is anyone in the Midlands and North of England reading this who has a bit of time on their hands please drop me a line at nick@hopenothate.org.uk.

Food and accommodation will be provided.

 Posted: 8 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Neck and neck? I don't think so

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 7 April 2010, 17:38


Just back from an hour’s leafleting. Not the best weather but needs must. Just had a call from Sam who has been out with a team of volunteers in Tilbury, Essex, where they’ve managed to cover about 70% of the two wards already today. A few are still out leafleting as I write so hopefully by the end of play the rest of Tilbury will be done.

The team found a few BNP leaflets littered around the streets. According to it, polling shows it’s neck and neck between Labour and the BNP, with the Conservatives giving up the race. Hmmm, wishful thinking on the BNP’s part I think.

I’m getting reports from around the country of more activity. Our Tameside group, supported by an activist from Stockport, have just finished off delivering a HOPE not hate newspaper in Newton, and are set to start on another ward, while the Blackburn and Pendle groups have just put in orders for 30,000 newspapers and Blackpool have asked for 8,000 leaflets. Our Coventry and Nuneaton groups are joining forces to help distribute the HnH newspaper in a couple of key wards in Nuneaton and we’ve a new group of activists getting material out in Bedfordshire.

With nominations for the local elections closing tomorrow I’m expecting the next couple of days to be really busy as lists of BNP candidates come in and orders for leaflets made. I fear that some people are going to be shocked by the number of BNP candidates standing and of course while it is understandable that our supporters will want to campaign against the BNP in their local areas it is important they remain focused on the real priority areas.

 Posted: 7 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Making the commitment

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 7 April 2010, 10:37


The plans for our 17 April mobilisation are building quite nicely. Just had an email from one of our activists in Greenwich saying that he is bringing three car loads of activists over. Unite the union are finding 30 people to cover one ward and our Basildon and Thurrock organiser has a target of 15 activists to cover another ward during the day. Philosophy Football has agreed to send out an email to its supporters’ list advertising our events and we’ve just uploaded a video appeal from Billy Bragg urging his supporters to come out to defend his home town.

I’ve even just had an email from our Norfolk supporters to say that while they are unable to make 17 April they are putting on a coach to bring people in for 1 May. Fantastic.

Elsewhere in the country we are also active. I’m about to do a ring round of the HOPE not hate network so hopefully I’ll be able to report on what’s going on in other areas later.

 Posted: 7 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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In the news

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 7 April 2010, 09:28


I was really pleased to see several of our young volunteers in The Guardian today. We hear a lot about the ‘grey vote’ and the ‘youth vote’ but normally it’s from people who don’t fit into either camp.

Joe, Ben and Ellie spoke honestly and frankly to the newspaper. They articulated the frustrations of many with the political system.

You can read the full article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/06/general-election-2010-young-voices.

 Posted: 7 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Day one, only 29 to go

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 6 April 2010, 19:08


Day one of the election campaign has been relentless. This morning, as Brown left the Palace, we launched our most ambitious action to date. On Saturday 17 April to support our days of action in our seven most at risk areas we are organising almost 35 meeting places across the country for our supporters.

By a combination of coaches, minibuses, cars and even trains, we will be helping our HOPE not hate supporters travel into our key areas.

That all seemed fine except we were still uploading the data as the email was being sent. Anyway, it all seems fine and people are signing up.

Our Barking and Dagenham event is going to be our biggest. I'd be disappointed if we didn't pass our previous best turnout of 221 for a day of action, which was in Sandwell in 2007. To help this along, this afternoon I sat down with our East London team and divided up the work we need to do to make this successful.

We've been preparing for this election for a long time but I have to admit there's a slight sense of panic that there are now only 29 days until polling. This, rather than day one of the campaign, is what is really playing on my mind this evening.

 Posted: 6 Apr 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Opening a can of worms

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 6 April 2010, 09:03


The infighting at the heart of the BNP seems set to continue following the party's leadership meeting yesterday. Despite a public declaration of unity the statement released on the internet and the various related blog postings all seemed a little subdued.

And with good reason.

Evidence of alleged fraud and threats to kill by Mark Collett have been supposedly handed over to the police. But is the BNP really keen to have a police investigation into financial irregularities? I really doubt it. And from what I understand Collett has been gathering his own information about financial shenanigans at the very top of the party.

Perhaps this is why the leadership is so subdued on the matter.

 Posted: 6 Apr 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The clock is ticking

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 4 April 2010, 10:37


It’s been a busy weekend on the campaign trail for the HOPE not hate team. I’ve been working on the website and the next set of newspapers for our big day of action on Saturday 17 April.

I’ve been focusing on the Barking & Dagenham action which I really believe is going to be huge. Our previous best turnout was 221 in Sandwell in 2007. I’m confident that we will easily surpass this and by some margin. In fact our target is for over 300, which if we achieve that will give us the chance to deliver our HOPE not hate newspaper to all 70,000 properties in the borough. It’s quite a challenge but we are confident we are going to do it. I think I’m beginning to bore my friends by continually taking about the importance of the day. I personally know about 20 people who have not been out campaigning with us this year but are coming out for this day. With our London organisers tasked up with meeting their own targets I’m pretty confident that we will see good numbers out.

Sam and Caroline have been doing a sterling job over in Barking & Dagenham. They were out for over 12 hours yesterday, both delivering our material but then planning and building for our faith event on Sunday 11th. Jean is in Liverpool at the NUT conference while Cathy is in Birmingham with the NASUWT. Our research team are as usual hard at work and Dan, our press officer, placed two great stories about splits in the BNP in the Sunday Mirror and the Independent on Sunday.

There’s no rest today as we prepare for the General Election to be called on Tuesday. Then the campaign really begins.

 Posted: 4 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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BNP councillor packs it in

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 1 April 2010, 11:26


I've just heard that the sole BNP councillor in Solihull has decided not to stand for re-election.

Cllr Morgan was not the most active of councillors so he has obviously decided not to put his record to the people.

 Posted: 1 Apr 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments