HOPE not hate


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Taking delivery

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 30 April 2014, 10:17

Just been taking delivery of some of the almost one million newspapers we have produced for this campaign. We have 38 editions in total, each customised for a particular area or audience. In addition to the newspapers, we also had 300,000 new leaflets being delivered yesterday, so now we are all set up for almost 100 events across the country.

 Posted: 30 Apr 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The threat we face

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 29 April 2014, 06:51

The HOPE not hate research team have been busy collating the names of far right and right wing candidates across the country. From my cursory reckoning, I think we have about 2,100 UKIP candidates, 110 BNP candidates and a tiny splattering of National Front, British Democrats and English Democrats. We even have a couple of candidates for the ill-named Patriotic Socialists.

There are only two local authorities in the country where the BNP is standing more candidates than UKIP, and that is Bexley and Coventry. Everywhere else they are only standing a few candidates, if any at all.

The BNP's poor showing is mirrored by the almost non-existence of BDP candidates and reflects the party's near defunct status.

Obviously, these elections will all be about UKIP and while most people will be focusing on the European Elections we should not forgot the local elections too. I'm particularly concerned about some of the outer London boroughs where, because of the all-out nature of the elections, we could see UKIP win substantial number of seats. This is likely to be the case in Havering, Barking & Dagenham and possibly even Bromley, Croydon and Merton.

However, for all the talk of UKIP attracting white working class voters, it is clear that they have struggled to find candidates in many former BNP strongholds. It'll be interesting to see their vote in these areas compared to the BNP at its height of strength.

We will be putting a full list of all this candidates, and the wards they are contesting, on our website in the next day or two.

In the meantime, we continue to build for all our events across the country. The scale of UKIP candidates and their strong showing in the latest opinion polls, is leading to more people to contact us all the time. We have now decided to expand our Weekend of Action into a second weekend, over the 10th and 11th May, to cope with the demand for more events.

Among the new Days of Action being organised are Lambeth, Islington, Tower Hamlets, Peterborough, and Wandsworth.

Some of the biggest events happening this weekend will be in West Yorkshire, where my colleague Paul is confident of getting out all 100,000 leaflets in Bradford, Kirklees and Leeds. Other big actions will be taking place in Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff, Brighton and Camden.

 Posted: 29 Apr 2014 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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It is racist to stereotype a community and pick on its nationality?

posted by: Guest Blog by Elisabeth Pop | on: Sunday, 27 April 2014, 13:44

It is racist to stereotype a community and pick on its nationality? Photo: Jennifer Jane Mills

It is racist to stereotype a community and pick on its nationality? Photo: Jennifer Jane Mills

Nigel Farage is adamant he holds the truth about the actual Romanian invasion to Britain ("I think we don't know the true figures yet.") and the dodgy make-up of the community already settled here ("There's also the quality debate. If you look at the Met crime figures for Romanian arrests, there have been 28,000 in London in the last five years. Is there a problem? Yeah. There is a problem.").

In an interview with the Guardian, this Friday, Farage went on to say that there is a culture of criminality among Romanians: "Bound to be. You have to go and see it to understand it. I've visited camps in Romania and Bulgaria, I've got a pretty good understanding." So should British people be wary of Romanian families moving into their street? "Well, of course, yeah", he added in one the most vile statements made to date about Romanian nationals.

The fact that fear over immigration from Central and Eastern Europe will be at the heart of UKIP's campaign for the European and Local elections is no news. UKIP and its leader have been warning of an invasion of 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians for almost a year. Let us not focus again on the fact that there was no evidence in the first place that 27 million Romanians and Bulgarians, currently in existence, and the 2 million due to be born to make up Farage’s figure, had no plans to abandon their countries over night for the British Isles.

Let us concentrate on the question of is it racist to stereotype a community and pick on a group of people solely because of their nationality? Alisdair McIntosh, Director of Business for New Europe, on behalf of British business leaders, has condemned the statement precisely for these reasons: "These comments show us what Nigel Farage is really thinking: not that EU migrants are bad for Britain's economy as he sometimes claims, but that he doesn't like them, branding them 'criminals' and discriminating on the basis of their nationality. There are thousands of Romanian migrants in the UK working hard and supporting our economy, as entrepreneurs, doctors, nurses and all kinds of other professions. Now we can see why UKIP don't mind taking votes that used to go to the BNP as there seem to be many similarities in their views."

HOPE not hate has spoken again and again about the economic and cultural contribution of the Romanian community in Britain, from the fact than 75% of them are aged 18-34, majority working full-time in skilled jobs or setting up their own businesses, the fact that Romanian doctors, nurses, professors, engineers and many other highly skilled professionals make an invaluable contribution to their British communities, to the fact that more than 90% of Romanians living in the UK are employed, and almost 40% have a university degree.

We even dispelled the myth of "Romanian criminality" (http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/nick/the-romanian-and-bulgarian-invasion-one-week-on-3329 ). But this latest claim must not be left unchallenged.

The claim that 28,000 “Romanian arrests” made in London in the five years running up to December 2012 is proof of “Romanian criminality” is disingenuous and misleading. First of all, "arrested" is very much different from "charged" or "convicted", because a simple ID check can become an "arrest" in statistics if the person is asked to go to a police station for further checks to be properly carried out. Secondly, it doesn't mean that 28,000 Romanian individuals were "arrested", because in many cases the same person is arrested several times for the same type of crime. And finally, this figure is for a five years period. To compare, the police recorded 3.7 million crimes in the year ending December 2012 (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/period-ending-december-2012/stb-crime-in-england-and-wales--year-ending-december-2012.html ). If multiplied by five years, one could reach the conclusion that 18.5million Britons have committed crimes. That is non-sense, as it is a non-sense to say that more than a third of the Romanians living in London have been arrested and that Romanians are criminals!

Moreover, Don Flynn, director of Migrants Rights Network, told Huffington Post UK: "If we take into account an increase in the size of the Bulgarian and Romanian populations in the UK during the course of 2013, then this suggests that crime rates are actually falling rather than growing."

Farage’s statement is further disingenuous and misleading because the “camps” he visited in Romania and Bulgaria were actually very poor communities inhabited mainly by Roma ethnics. While the conditions in which Roma were living were unacceptable and put to shame the Romanian and Bulgarian authorities, they are not the proof that all Romanians (and Bulgarians) are Roma, or that Roma (irrespective of their nationality) are somehow prawned to criminal acts or set to invade Britain for a better life!

A person’s social status, ethnicity or nationality does not make him or her good or bad, worthy or unworthy of living in a community, and it should never be used as a tool to gain short terms, populist votes. It does however make those who speak about poverty almost like a disease (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kV93cc4tik ), those who stereotype a whole community for the deeds of a few or pick on a group of people solely because of their nationality opened to criticism of bigotry, xenophobia and racism and even comparison with established far right political parties."

 Posted: 27 Apr 2014 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments

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They seek them here, they seek them there

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 25 April 2014, 09:27

As more councils release lists of candidates standing in the local elections, the true extent of the BNP decline is becoming increasingly obvious. Last night we reported that the BNP was only standing four in Barking & Dagenham, one in Bolton and none in Sunderland.

Today it is clear they are standing very few anywhere. In Tameside, where they stood 15 in 2010, they are standing just two this year. In Liverpool, Wirral, Lincoln and Hart - where they have stood in previous years - there are no BNP candidates.

Even in Burnley, where they were once the second largest party on the council, they are only standing two.

At this rate, I'll be surprised if they cobble together 50 candidates across the country.

 Posted: 25 Apr 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Where have they gone?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 22:38

Four years ago the BNP stood 737 candidates in the local elections, this year they will struggle to reach a tenth of that. News on those standing is beginning to trickle in and it is grim reading for the moral of the few BNP members left.

In Barking & Dagenham, where the BNP once had designs on the council, the party is standing just four candidates. In Bolton they are standing just one, but that is still one more than in Sunderland.

The big news, however, is that the UK Independence Party risk losing valuable votes to the rival anti-EU group. An Independence From Europe was formed by former UKIP members and is clearly designed as a spoiler to take votes away from Farage's party. The 'An' in the name ensures that they are at the top of the ballot paper and the strap line 'UK Independence Now' seems a deliberate attempt to confuse voters.

Nigel Farage is hopping mad, and one complaint has already gone in to the electoral commission - and that was before the fully expent of An Independence From Europe actions were.

 Posted: 24 Apr 2014 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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More leaflets as close of nominations approaches

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 12:09

With just four hours until nominations for the 2014 elections close, we are ramping up our campaign. We are continuing to be swamped with enquiries about available materials, especially our anti-UKIP leaflets.

We are now going into our third print run, taking the current total being produced up to 500,000.

In addition, just over one million newspapers are being produced ahead of our big campaign weekend on 3 and 4 May. There are 91 events happening across the country, with more expected to be announced by the end of the week.

UKIP is clearly not the BNP, but its increasingly anti-immigrant rhetoric and deliberate scaremongering appears to polarising the public. They are clearly winning support off the back of it but opposition to them is growing too, as is evident by the number of people volunteering to get active in our campaign.

After 4pm today we will see what we are up against. I think it is clear that UKIP will be pushing hard to come first in the European elections, but we shouldn't ignore the local elections. It is quite possible that they will win several hundred seats and - left unchecked - could have sizeable groups on Havering and Barking & Dagenham councils.

 Posted: 24 Apr 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Campaign phase

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 23 April 2014, 07:50

With just four weeks to go until Election Day, HOPE not hate has moved into its campaign phase. Today we launch our new website and begin building our weekend of action in earnest.

We hope that people like the new website. We believe it is brighter, positive and more campaign-focused than the old site. It contains all the elements of the old site but in a more user-friendly way.

We will be building on the site over the next few weeks, with more features, investigations, videos and election information going up.

Most of our attention now is being focused on our big Weekend of Action, on 3 and 4 May. We have put up details of 86 events on our website, but there are also several others where we are organising offline. These include Barking & Dagenham, Thurrock, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

To find the nearest event to you, click here

Other events will be added in the next couple of days, bringing the total number of actions to about 100.

Over seven hundred people have so far signed up for these events online, with many more being mobilised offline.

If there is not an event near you but you are prepared to help organise one then drop me a line at nick@hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 23 Apr 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HAPPY EASTER and HOPE from Boston

posted by: Guest Blog by Elisabeth Pop | on: Tuesday, 22 April 2014, 11:38

It has been dubbed the “town that had enough” (Daily Mail), “little Poland” (The Telegraph) and the “most Eastern European town in Britain” (The Guardian), because according to Oxford's Migration Observatory this town’s non-UK born population rose from 1,727 in 2001 to 9,790 in 2011.

This Good Friday, HOPE not hate was in Boston, Lincolnshire, itself the district that has the largest number of non-British EU passport holders outside of London. Both the town and the district have been at the heart of the UKIP and BNP rhetoric of the British Isles being full, turning into a foreign looking and sounding land and about to explode due to a mass invasion of immigrants taking British jobs. The scene is further populated by EDL Lincolnshire, who organised its most recent march in Grantham this February.

In this atmosphere of hate, HOPE not hate organised a fun day that brought together British community members with their Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish and Romanian neighbours, in the celebration of Easter.

Rachel, a British national and one of the local HOPE not hate supporters, told us the idea to organise the “Boston Easter Together” event came naturally: “Whether you are religious or not, Easter is a time of Peace and HOPE. So what better time to bring everyone together, to have music, traditional Eastern European Easter games and food, children’s arts and crafts. What we showed today is that Boston is coming together, that we care about community cohesion, that our neighbours are our friends, and that through generosity and sharing we are stronger.”

Ziedonis, the leader of the Latvian community in Boston, stressed this is just the first step: “It is so nice to see children from so many countries happy, dancing and painting eggs. Across Eastern Europe we have so many traditions in common at Easter, so it was great to be able to share them with our British friends and family. This is Boston at its best, coming together, in shared values, as a big local community, showing those who want to come between us that we are strong and united. Next year’s event, in the town centre, will be even bigger.”

The idea of shared values and identities and the need to stand up to the hatters resonated both with the settled community and the European citizens, proud British residents. But so did their other joint struggles to address social and economic issues in Boston, irrespective of the residents’ ethnic or racial background, for better wages, against exploitation and against landlords who charge some of the highest rents in the country.

The HOPE not hate team is in the process of putting together a video from the “Boston Easter Together” event, which will go live this week, but, more importantly, will continue to work closely, in the months and years to come, with the wider community in Boston for Peace and HOPE.

 Posted: 22 Apr 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Partnership working

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 18 April 2014, 11:14

One of the really exciting developments in our 2014 is working with other organisations. For too long anti-fascists have operated independently of other organisations, especially anti-racist organisations, but this year we are making a determined effort to rectify this. Not only is it the correct thing to do, but, given how the political threat is anti-migrant rhetoric rather than fascist parties as in the past, it is even more important now.

This year HOPE not hate is working closely with a wide range of organisations to challenge racist myths, present a positive case for immigration and a multicultural society and bring new and old communities together. Today, in Boston, Lincolnshire, HOPE not hate is organising a fun day in the town centre that seeks to bring Eastern European and settled communities together to celebrate Easter. On a longer term level, we are working closely with the TUC on a campaign for better wages for both migrant workers and local people.

Another example of our partnership working is with London Citizens with whom, yesterday, we dropped off the first 150 of our Faith Packs, to be used in a Voter Registration and Voter turnout campaign across London. Hundreds of these packs are being delivered to churches across the capital as part of a pilot to engage with faith communities ahead of the elections. Almost 100,000 leaflets aimed at the Muslim community are being produced to be distributed across Yorkshire and the North West.

It is hoped that successful partnerships forged this year can be delivered and strengthened in the future, both so we are able to build community resilience against racism and extremism but also to start winning on issues that are important to local people.

 Posted: 18 Apr 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The funding of far right parties is being debated today

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 16 April 2014, 15:39

Today the European Parliament is taking an important step forward in the campaign to make sure that extremist parties, like the BNP, cannot exploit the European Union to fund their politics of hate, both in the UK and across Europe.

Last year, with your help, HOPE not hate launched a campaign to restrict the BNP’s access to European funds for their political operation in the UK. The European Parliament has now responded and a report on EU funding of political groups along with their recommendations is being voted on today.

This vote will change the legal status of international coalitions of political parties represented in the Parliament (the BNP is a member of the Alliance of European Nationalist Movements, along with sister extremist parties like Jobbik).

These groupings will have to apply for the legal status to be treated as a single political group and as such will subject to oversight of a new independent authority. If they secure the legal status of a political group, their activities will have to be seen to uphold the values of the European Union, which includes the respect and inclusion of minority groups. There will also be greater scrutiny over their finances.

This is a good step forward in the fight for more transparency and less political hate in the system, but it’s not an ideal solution. The best solution is to make sure that extremists aren’t representing us in the European Parliament in the first place, so do your bit and get involved the HOPE not hate campaign to oust Nick Griffin from Brussels in 36 days.

UPDATE - The European Parliament voted to support this change in legal status. In terms of UK parties, the Conservative Party, UKIP and the BNP voted against the changes. The Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru voted in favour.

 Posted: 16 Apr 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The anti-UKIP vote

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 15 April 2014, 12:17

There has been a lot made of UKIP's appeal to working class Labour voters in the last few weeks but today's Independent gives food for thought about how Labour should approach the UKIP threat.

While UKIP might appeal to some traditional Labour voting communities, (though many of these voters have broken with Labour a long time ago), the party also scares many other Labour voters.

According to the Independent, 55% of Labour voters viewed UKIP as a far right party, compared to 28% who did not. And only 26% of Labour voters believed that UKIP offered people a “realistic alternative political vision of Britain”.

It appears that the Labour Party nationally is worried to take on UKIP for fear of alienating their voters. However, as this research shows, far more of the voters will be relaxed with a more combative stance and - as we saw in the past with the BNP - such an approach could even be a vote winner.

 Posted: 15 Apr 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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More literature needed

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 11 April 2014, 09:19

The debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg appears to have shaken many people into action as orders are now pouring in for our anti-UKIP leaflet. In the last ten days we have sent out 200,000 of these leaflets to local anti-racist groups and trade union branches across the country.

Among the latest orders are Calder Valley, Colchester, Chelmsford, Redcar and Portsmouth.

In addition, we have already dispatched 100,000 of a new anti-BNP leaflet for the North West, where we are campaigning to boot Nick Griffin out of the European Parliament. Among those ordering the leaflets are activists in Halton, Burnley, Pendle and Manchester.

So many leaflets have gone out that today we are ordering another 200,000 anti-UKIP leaflets and 75,000 more anti-BNP leaflets.

To order the anti-UKIP leaflet, http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/shop/ukip-leaflet

To order the anti-BNP leaflet http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/shop/bnp-leaflet

Nationally, we are focusing on our big weekend of action, on 3 and 4 May, where we hope to distribute at least 1,000,000 newspapers and leaflets. We currently have 67 events organised but this is expected to grow to over 100 by the weekend itself. Many of our events will be in areas where we have not campaigned before.

We will begin advertising these next week, but in the meantime we have launched an appeal to raise £10,000 to fund all the extra newspapers and leaflets we are wanting to distribute.

So, if you are worried about the prospect of UKIP winning the forthcoming European Elections and want to defend and promote our multiracial society, then please make a donation:


 Posted: 11 Apr 2014 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Happy anniversary everybody.

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 2 April 2014, 23:08

Today marks the tenth birthday of HOPE not hate -- that's ten years we have been working together to build a better Britain. To celebrate, I'm sharing my hope for the Britain we'll build over the next ten years.

Join me -- take a picture of yourself holding up your message of hope for Britain and share it with the hashtag #HopeForBritain

We've achieved a lot together over the past ten years. We've driven the BNP from Barking & Dagenham and out of council chambers across the country, united communities against the EDL, stopped anti-Muslim activists Pam Geller and Robert Spencer from entering Britain and even persuaded the Daily Star to drop its supportive coverage of the EDL.

And we're not stopping. We will keep campaigning for a simple reason: we believe in a fairer, better, more inclusive future for Britain.

Share your hope for Britain now:


If you're camera shy, you can simply tell me your hope for the future in words here:


And thank you.

Eddie Izzard x

 Posted: 2 Apr 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments