You are viewing blog items for May 2012.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 31 May 2012, 07:32
We are offering our supporters the chance to win a fortnight at a private beachfront villa in one of the most unspoilt natural islands in the Grenadines - and in the process help HOPE not hate.
Since we launched the raffle yesterday, over 150 tickets have been sold.
The villa, which sleeps 9 people, enjoys around 100ft of beachfront with coconut palms and thick powder soft sand and whilst the main house will be your base, it also comes with a beach hut and a large BBQ and beach terrace area. In the grounds there are banana, mango, pineapple and coconut trees.
This once in a life time holiday provides a private tropical paradise, terraced gardens, a private sun garden and direct access to the Caribbean Sea, as well as a team of staff based at the villa who will make this a perfect and unique getaway.
A ticket for our raffle costs just £20 and the draw will be made on Friday 8 June.
Snap up a ticket
Terms and conditions apply. These can be found on the sign up page
Posted: 31 May 2012 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 31 May 2012, 07:22
A woman emailed me a couple of days ago and asked why we had not published the results of our survey into dealing with the news that Stephen Lennnon had become joint vice-chairman of the British Freedom Party.
Well, in fact we had published it. Not on the website but it the latest issue of the HOPE not hate magazine. I'm re-producing it here (though it sat alongside an analysis of the BFP), so to read the full feature I would suggest that people subscribe to our magazine.
So here is the article about our survey. Thanks to the 1,138 people who took part:
Facing the new threat
In response to the news that Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) was to become deputy leader of the British Freedom Party (BFP), HOPE not hate asked its supporters how it should respond. A total of 1,138 people did just that.
Almost everyone believed that we should take on the BFP, with over 85% believing that this new party could potentially pose an equal or even greater threat than the British National Party (BNP).
Our supporters were fairly evenly split about which was the best strategy to defeating the BFP. 82% of respondents believed that we needed to focus on the violent extremism of the EDL supporters within the BFP and the threats they posed to community cohesion. This chimed with our own Fear and HOPE report, published last year, which found that the British public were overwhelmingly put off by violent extremism, including those who sympathise with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric.
However, there was also an appetite for a broader approach to tackling the BFP/EDL alliance. Many people also believed it was important to challenge the myths and lies around immigration and Islam as well as positively highlighting role models and the mainstream moderate voices within the Muslim community.
Both approaches are clearly necessary. We need to expose the violent extremism of the EDL within the BFP but we must also challenge myths and help give moderate Muslims a greater voice.
Almost everyone, however, believed that it was important for us to speak out against Islamist extremists. Only 4% believed that we should not.
This opinion was in line with two previous survey’s we have conducted over the past 18 months. Over the next few months we will be developing a much bigger and vocal campaign against Islamist extremists. This will seek to develop partnerships with mainstream Muslim voices and organisations and work with them to clearly define where the ‘red lines’ of acceptable and unacceptable views are.
Some of those who believed we should not tackle Islamist extremism were worried that we would be playing into the hands of Islamophobes. While we have to be careful in the use of language and clearly differentiate ourselves from those who use anti-Islamist rhetoric to spread wider anti-Muslim views it is also clear that staying silent on clearly unacceptable intolerance and extremism is even more dangerous.
We also asked if people agreed with our current position of not promoting anti-EDL demonstrations. While 82% agreed with our alternative approach of developing more positive community approaches, some were slightly confused with the question.
Over the coming months we will be developing a new range of material to counter the BFP and EDL, both in elections and more generally in the community. This will be backed up by an updated community toolkit which will help develop more positive community approaches to EDL activity and marches. This will accommodate many of the views and opinions sent in by our supporters.
Posted: 31 May 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 30 May 2012, 17:53
HOPE not hate is giving its supporters the chance to win a holiday of a lifetime and in the process support the work of HOPE not hate.
We are offering a fortnight at a private beachfront villa in one of the most unspoilt natural islands in the Grenadines. The villa, which sleeps 9 people, enjoys around 100ft of beachfront with coconut palms and thick powder soft sand and whilst the main house will be your base, it also comes with a beach hut and a large BBQ and beach terrace area. In the grounds there are banana, mango, pineapple and coconut trees.
This once in a life time holiday provides a private tropical paradise, terraced gardens, a private sun garden and direct access to the Caribbean Sea, as well as a team of staff based at the villa who will make this a perfect and unique getaway.
A ticket for our raffle costs just £20 and the draw will be made on Friday 8 June.
Snap up a ticket
The winner of the raffle will be able to take up to eight friends with them. Or they might prefer to go alone or with just one other person. It is the ideal location for a family holiday of a lifetime or the most romantic getaway for a couple. It will be your choice.
Just as importantly, you will be helping the work of HOPE not hate and in particular its charitable wing. The money raised will enable us to continue to help bring communities together and go toward our Britain Tastes Great initiative, which seeks to use food to diversity of our society and as a way to bring people together.
See more photos of this amazing holiday villa
The holiday draw will be made on Friday 8 June by one of our HOPE not hate patrons. Terms and conditions apply and are stated on the sign up page.
I hope you will enter the draw of a lifetime and in the process help us do our work
Posted: 30 May 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 29 May 2012, 12:23
I'm really pleased to see that the Football Association has decided to take the England team to Auschwitz on a trip organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.
As the FA report, this is the start of what will be a lasting relationship.
Well done Karen and the rest of the HET team. They really are a fantastic organisation
Posted: 29 May 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 29 May 2012, 12:20
EDL leader Stephen Lennon has suggested a way to deal with the racists and antisemitics in Ukraine. Writing on twitter, he says: "Take the 3000 plus lads football bans of [sic] and let them go Ukraine and see what these nazi mugs have to say."
Hmmm, well that's ok then!
Posted: 29 May 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 28 May 2012, 22:48
Tonight I've obviously been very critical of the football authorities but I should make a positive mention about the Polish anti-racist organisation, Never Again.
With the support of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), they are doing some tremendous work trying to tackle racism and antisemitism in Polish football. Over the past six months they have trained 7,000 football stewards and spoken to thousands of young people.
While there is clearly a lot of work to do - as we saw so graphically tonight on Panorama - Never Again are doing a great job in sometimes very hostile conditions.
To read about the work of Never Again and for our report into racism and antisemitism in Polish football, read HOPE not hate
Posted: 28 May 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 28 May 2012, 22:18
A UEFA official has told the BBC tonight that they are now just crossing their fingers and hoping all will be ok in the Ukraine.
Not good enough I'm afraid. Tonight's Panorama was just simply shocking. Racism and antisemitism openly displayed in Polish and Ukrainian football.
This is a huge organisation who clearly hadn't thought about the consequences - or risks - of holding the tournament in the Ukraine. A poor transport system, lack of accommodation and a risk to foreign fans.
I just feel sorry for the many good people trying to do something about it in Poland and the Ukraine. There have been improvements in Poland over the past year but there is still a long way to go.
Get the HOPE not hate special report into racism and antisemitism in Poland and Ukraine:
Posted: 28 May 2012 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 28 May 2012, 21:37
Tonight Panorama produced a fantastic programme on the state of racism and antisemitism in Polish and Ukrainian football.
It was truly shocking.
HOPE not hate has produced a special report into the problems of racism and antisemitism in Polish and Ukrainian football. It contains an eyewitness account of trouble inside a Polish stadium and a full report into racist and antisemitic incidents in both countries in 2011.
You can get a copy here:
Posted: 28 May 2012 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 28 May 2012, 21:29
Here is the bloke giving a nazi salute from the press box. No-one did a thing
Posted: 28 May 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 28 May 2012, 21:03
So what did you think?
Posted: 28 May 2012 | There are 11 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 28 May 2012, 20:28
BBC Panorama goes undercover in Poland and the Ukraine.
About to start now on BBC1
Posted: 28 May 2012 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 28 May 2012, 11:13
Sol Campbell has the support of the Professional Footballers' Association after warning of the danger of racist abuse and violence at Euro 2012.
The former England defender said that UEFA was wrong to choose Poland and Ukraine to host this summer's tournament as it put supporters in danger. The ex-Arsenal and Tottenham man told BBC Panorama: "Stay at home, watch it on TV. Don't even risk it... because you could end up coming back in a coffin."
PFA deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes, who will be at the tournament with UEFA, told BBC Radio Five Live: "I think he's being a little bit cautious but fans are obviously going to be at risk and it's a case of how the authorities actually impose the force that they are going to need to."
He added: "As Sol said, we've seen the footage and there have been problems, not just from these countries but around eastern Europe over a number of years now.
"It probably gives a little bit of concern over the fact they were actually awarded these particular games but they have been and indeed you look at Russia 2018 coming up, where there are known, documented problems there as well.
"What you hope is that the countries will take this opportunity, with the eyes of the world on them, to try and present a much better face and make sure that the things they're being criticised for, they do their damnedest to make sure they don't happen."
It is away from the stadiums - and so the TV cameras and armies of police - that I believe any real problems will emerge. I'm not trying to play down the impact of racist chanting inside the ground but I'm more concerned about Enlgish fans being attacked down side streets and in bars. I made this point to the Panorama team when they interviewed me in Poland last month.
I would, however, stress that there has been a lot of great work from groups such as Never Again in order to make the championships as peaceful and freindly as possible. Never Again, backed by FARE, have been doing some great work to rid the game of racism and this has led to an improvement inside grounds over the last few months.
Posted: 28 May 2012 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 28 May 2012, 08:05
Tonight's BBC Panorama reports on racism and antisemitism within Polish and Ukrainian football. With the European championships less than a fortnight away the BBC team investigates the level of violence and extremism within Polish and Ukrainian football, asks whether English fans will be safe and questions whether UEFA were right to award the tournament to these countries.
I've seen myself quoted in a couple of newspaper articles about the programme and apparently some of my words have been used on Radio Five this morning. Perhaps I'm even going to make an appearance in the programme, who knows.
What I do know is that many viewers will find some of the images quite disturbing, and I know from our own research into extremism into Polish football it remains a very real problem.
I would encourage everyone to watch the programme tonight and also to buy our latest issue of HOPE not hate, which includes a special eight-page report into racism and antisemitism in Polish and Ukrainian football.
You can get it here: http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/subscribe/
Posted: 28 May 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 13:53
HOPE not hate and Searchlight Educational Trust (SET) continue to work with communities across Barking & Dagenham. In 2009 and 2010 we ran the HOPE cup with local young people and this year we are supporting 2 schools from within the borough to participate in the Schools Linking Network, Model United Nations for London. Yesterday was the culmination of the project as 13 & 14 year olds from 5 schools across the capital came together at Waltham Forest Town Hall to debate the international refugee crisis.
It was a privilege to see such positive teamwork from the 19 international delegations, who were in character to represent countries as diverse as Australia and Yemen as they tried to work together to solve a bug international issue. The feedback from the young people was great and we hope that the schools will continue this great initiative.
A special thanks must go to the Dinam foundation who have supported SET's work in this area.
Posted: 23 May 2012 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 21 May 2012, 15:57
The Commission set up to look at the state of Anders Breivik's mind have accepted the second psychiatric report which declared the Norwegian killer as "of sound mind".
Posted: 21 May 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 17 May 2012, 20:09
The US elections are less than six months away and while much of the UK media reports are focused on the Presidential race, the other contests, for Congress, the Senate and local State races are often more interesting and fiercely contested. And it is here that the Tea Party have much more influence.
The recent victory of Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock over six-term Senator Richard Lugar in the Indiana Republican primary resurrected the Tea Party movement as a potent force in much of the public discourse.
Here's a really interesting account of the Tea Party role in Mourdock's election victory by the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights:
While some commentators have claimed Mourdock's success was a victory for big money, the IREHR's analysis looks at the role played by the various Tea Parties, including "the Tea Parties' unanimous choice to support Mourdock; a decision by the Tea Party to begin campaigning more than twelve months before the election date; and the movement's choice of a ground game rather than an air war significantly impacted the low-turnout election.
"In short, a year of coordinated efforts between national and local Tea Party groups organizing around a set of Tea Party ideas led to a primary victory and put them back into the center of the national conversation," the IREHR conclude.
Posted: 17 May 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 17 May 2012, 18:12
The family of England soccer international Theo Walcott has decided not to travel to Euro 2012 after voicing fears they may be targeted for racist abuse by hooligans in Ukraine.
Walcott's brother Ashley tweeted that he and his father Don would attended the England group matches in Kiev and Donetsk because of concerns for their safety.
"Unfortunately my dad and I have taken the decision not to travel to the Ukraine because of the fear of possible racist attacks confrontations (sic)..."
"Somethings aren't worth risking, but begs the question why hold a competition of this magnitude in a place that can not police itself for foreigners of any creed to feel safe, but I'll be watching every minute.
"Racism has no place in the modern world."
The latest HOPE not hate magazine carries an extensive report on racism and antisemitism in Ukraine and Poland. It catalogues all known incidents in both countries during 2011, making it the most extensive study to date.
You can obtain a copy here http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/
Posted: 17 May 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 15 May 2012, 14:09
The heroic stories of the French Resistance during the Second World War have entered the public consciousness through well-known books and films. Yet the remarkable story of their counterparts in Nazi Germany, which operated directly under the watchful eye of the Third Reich’s secret police, the Gestapo, has not received the same recognition.
Following two evenings in the company of Hans Coppi Jr., a German historian and leading member of the VVN-BdA (Society of People Persecuted by the Nazi Regime -League of Anti-Fascists), it became clear how important it is to remember the German Resistance. His parents were part of the Red Orchestra and were killed on the orders of Adolf Hitler.
Read the latest HOPE not hate magazine for the amazing story of the Red Orchestra. http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/
Posted: 15 May 2012 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 14 May 2012, 11:44
Next month Poland and the Ukraine co-host the 2012 European Championship finals. It is Europe's premier football competition and UEFA is hoping that it will act as a catalyst to develop football in Eastern Europe. In a exclusive report into racism and antisemitism in Polish and Ukrainian football, HOPE not hate asks if the competition will be overshadowed by racism or whether the tournament can be used by anti-racists to rid the game of this problem? This is explored in the new edition of HOPE not hate magazine.
Issue Two of HOPE not hate is now out.
HOPE not hate is the bi-monthly magazine of the HOPE not hate campaign. 48 pages in full colour, it investigates, reports and discusses the key issues facing anti-extremists both in the UK and beyond. This issue analyses the recent local election results, discusses the EDL leader's decision to join the British Freedom Party and investigates how junk science is used to justify homophobia in the United States.
Get your copy here http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/
Sara Khan, from Inspire, writes on the growing number of Muslim women willing to speak out against inequality and for womens rights. French political scientist Jean-Yves Camus analyses the French Presidential elections and the future for Marine Le Pen. And German historian Hans Coppi Jr tells the story of the Red Orchestra and how Hitler ordered the death of his parents.
HOPE not hate reports on hate but also promotes more positive stories about people bringing communities together. Get your copy here http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/
Over the last few months HOPE not hate has expanded its remit from beyond the far right to tackle elements of Islamist extremism, Christian evangelicals, the 'Counter-Jihadist' movement and, in the recent elections, more moderate nationalist groups like the English Democrats. In Drawing The Red Lines, we begin a discussion about where acceptable behaviour and legitimate criticism cross over into hatred and discrimination.
HOPE not hate has all this and a lot more. I hope you will get a copy, subscribe or even becoming a Friend of HOPE not hate. By doing the latter you will be helping us with our ongoing work.
Posted: 14 May 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 10 May 2012, 17:57
There is an interesting article in today's London Evening Standard about the fears of British police about the risk of racism in the Ukraine during Euro 2012.
Asst Ch Const Andy Holt told the Evening Standard, “If there is a substantial amount of racist abuse that could prompt retaliation. It may be a flashpoint for some sort of disorder if fans feel they are being unfairly treated.”
He added:”I think football hooliganism is more of a problem in the Ukraine than perhaps it is at home.”
“I don’t think they are as advanced in dealing with racism.”
Having just finished a report into racism and antisemitism in Polish and Ukrainian football for the next issue of the HOPE not hate magazine I can wholeheartedly agree with that view. There are certainly attempts to stop open nazi and antisemtic banners in Poland, and there is some great work being down by Never Again, our sister organisation out there, but the Ukraine is a real problem.
Not only is there quite open displays of racism, ultra-nationalism and antisemitism with football stadiums but the authorities are failing to recognise it is a problem.
Posted: 10 May 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 10 May 2012, 14:38
US 'Counter-Jihadist' and Islamophobe Pamela Geller has jumped on the Rochdale grooming convictions as proof of the real danger of Islam. In a clearly bonkers blog, she has today written:
"Not a day goes by in the UK where islamization is much further along, that these monstrous news stories sexpolitation of non-Muslims by Islamic supremacists. The Brits have 20 years on us but Obama is working hard to catch up. Expect a lot more of these cases to start popping up in the US."
She asserts that grooming is the result of Sharia.
Oh, yes. Rochdale, the home of Sharia. You learn something everyday. That and Obama is involved in a plot to bring "sexpolitation of non-Muslims by Islamic suremacists."
Next she will be saying that Obama is a Muslim. Oh, I forgot, she does. She also says that he birth certificate is forged.
Here are some interesting links to Geller's views on Obama's background
Posted: 10 May 2012 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 9 May 2012, 21:58
It is with great sadness that we heard the news this evening that Vidal Sassoon has died, at the age of 84. Sassoon is regarded as one of the best-known hairdressers of his generation.
He is credited with revolutionising haircuts in the 1960s, and developed a popular line of hair products under his name.
Vidal was obviously best known as celebrity hairdresser, but what is less known is his early life as an anti-fascist. At the age of 17 he became active with the 43 group, an anti-fascist group established by Jewish ex-servicemen at the end of World War II.
A few years ago HOPE not hate ran a fantastic article about Vidal Sassoon and his street fighting days, you can read it here.
Posted: 9 May 2012 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 9 May 2012, 15:42
Yesterday afternoon a court in Liverpool convicted nine Asian men for grooming young white girls in Rochdale. During the 11 week trial, the court heard harrowing and sickening stories of how these vulnerable young women were systematically abused, raped and trafficked by this gang.
The court was told how very young and vulnerable young women were let down by social services, the police and the law.
As a progressive organisation that seeks to bring communities together we cannot shy away from talking about difficult issues, especially when a racial element is being exploited by the far right.
Maybe the word ‘grooming’ is too good for this crime. Perhaps it sanitises it slightly. What we are talking about here is orchestrated paedophilia of young women and even girls. And we wholeheartedly condemn the perpetrators and we criticise all those who have let these women down.
By the same respect, we also condemn the BNP and their ilk, who have sought to further exploit this terrible situation. A failure to tackle head on both the BNP and the issue of grooming would be to allow the BNP carte blanche on these issues. This has become sadly, a race issue.
The statement by The Ramadhan Foundation and its spokesman Mohammed Shafiq is a most welcome and brave statement about what has happened in Rochdale and elsewhere. Shafiq says that “there should be no silence in addressing the issue of race as this is central to the actions of these criminals.
“They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought”.
He went on: “In the early days the Asian community thought the exploitation was all made up, just BNP propaganda. Then they realised that it was actually going on and they found it abhorrent.
“But they’ve still tended to ignore it in the hope that it would go away. I hope now that they’re beginning to realise that they have to engage and there has to be more education about the whole issue.
“I think the case at Liverpool could be a catalyst.”
I hope he is right.
The Rochdale case is the latest in a series of court cases involving grooming involving Asian men.
Paedophilia and sex abuse reaches across all communities and involves men from all ethnic backgrounds. Indeed, we have repeatedly highlighted BNP and EDL supporters who have recently been convicted for child abuse. However, no-one can deny that a significant number of recent ‘grooming’ trials do involve men of Pakistani origin and young white women. Rather than pretend this is not the case we must confront this issue, understand why it is going on and then do something about it. If we don’t then the far right will have a field day and more importantly we will be letting the young women down.
In 2004 we were faced with a similar problem in Keighley, West Yorkshire. The BNP won four council seats across Bradford on the back of the grooming issue largely because they were the only political party making it an issue. Of course they distorted it and racialised it but they filled the vacuum left by others who preferred to stay silent.
A year later we took the issue head on when we made it central to our 2005 General Election campaign in Keighley, where Nick Griffin was standing. We got the mother of one of the abused girls to speak out on the issue, both to throw some light on the issue of grooming but also to accuse the BNP of exploiting the issue for their own racial ends. She denounced Griffin for exploiting her daughter, who was 12 when she was groomed and later abused by 29 men, in a similar way that she did condemn the actual perpetrators.
Confronting the issue head on had an immediate impact. Suddenly there were others talking about it and some of the BNP lies and myths could be challenged. Nick Griffin ended up with just 9% of the vote, quite appalling given that they had been polling four times higher a year before.
It was an uncomfortable and difficult campaign, but it was the right thing to do. Together with the local MP Ann Cryer we were speaking up for the whole community, including the Muslim community who were being attacked and vilified by the BNP. Ann’s work, backed up by our campaign, also helped give confidence to those in the Muslim community who knew it was wrong but had been too slow to speak out themselves.
We were vilified from some quarters for addressing the issue of grooming. I was even publicly accused of being a racist for taking this stand but we did what was morally right. My only regret was not speaking out publicly about grooming earlier.
It was to be a watershed for the way that HOPE Not Hate would go onto campaign and defeat the BNP. It was about confronting difficult issues and being willing to speak out against wrong doing – from wherever it came from.
I want to end by addressing the alleged racial aspect of this crime. The BNP and the EDL would like us to believe that Muslim men commit grooming precisely because they are Muslims and that's what Muslims do. This is just racist nonsense. Of course there is a culture factor to all this in that these paedophiles pick on vulnerable white girls because they think they can get away with this behaviour as it is being perpetrated against people who are outside their community. In this I believe that Mohammed Shafiq is absolutely correct. However, the very fact that it is happening ‘outside’ their community proves that they knew it is wrong.
Let us hope that everyone – from whatever community they come from – are quicker to speak out in in their condemnation and encourage people to shop paedophiles and child abusers.
But let us remember that grooming is criminality and the perpetrators have simply exploited a vulnerable group in society. While other groups of paedophiles might gravitate towards certain jobs or public spaces where potential victims will be found, these people have used their family and community networks to their own advantage.
This must stop and we, as anti-fascists and progressives, should not be afraid to speak out.
Posted: 9 May 2012 | There are 12 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 9 May 2012, 12:10
News is coming through that BNP members are being arrested outside of Liverpool Crown Court where nine men are to be sentenced for grooming.
The BNP are there to further exploit the grooming scandal that has been ongoing in the north west of the country. It is important to point out that the BNP are only there to protest against Muslims and not the many, many other people in the area and up and down the country who are also facing sentencing for crimes against young people or women.
This is further exploitation of the victims, a sickening exercise by the BNP to create division among all decent people of all faiths, who are appalled by what they will have already read in the newspapers today about Rochdale. It is further exploitation, plain and simply.
The BNP are being arrested for refusing to move to a designated protest spot. They are instead trying to make themselves martyrs by breaking the law.
The BNP leader Nick Griffin was himself almost responsible for the Rochdale case being thrown out of court after his gloating on twitter.
It is not justice that the BNP seeks; it is hatred and it is exploitive.
Posted: 9 May 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 8 May 2012, 16:17
This morning we finished the second issue of our HOPE not hate magazine and I would like to think it is even better than the first.
We delayed sending it to the printers so we could incorporate the results of last Thursday's local and London elections. As a consequence we have also been able to cover the elections in France and Greece and Saturday's EDL march in Luton.
We lead with a special report into racism and antisemitism in Polish and Ukrainian football.
Posted: 8 May 2012 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 5 May 2012, 19:23
“Almost 950 people have so far sent in messages for our HOPE wall - and more are coming in all the time.
Here are a few of those sent in:
“It makes me prouder than ever to be British, especially as a one-time Kindertransport German Jewish refugee. And proud to be a part of Hope not Hate.
“Good on you for energising us all, for there is no room for complacency in any society.”
Kate, South East London
“My family is so happy the BNP are beaten and we can live in peace. Thank you all so much for your work in making the future better for all.”
The Bright family, Bournemouth.
“Brilliant! We can make a difference and halt the hate within our communities. We can go forward in hope.”
Margaret, North Yorkshire
“I am very pleased to see the back of the BNP in mainstream politics. Hopefully their policies and style will be discredited forever. Here in Hackney we have strongly opposed them through Hackney Unites which I hope will continue to strengthen the alliance within our diverse community and build new alliances and friendships to reflect the beautifully diverse and multi-cultural world we now live in.”
“I think it's fantastic that the People of Hope not Hate work so tirelessly to ensure BNP defeat. None of this success would have been achieved without Hope not Hate. This country can continue to be the best country in the world without the negative influence of the BNP. Well done!!!!!!”
You can add your comment here:
Posted: 5 May 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 5 May 2012, 09:31
Shortly before midnight the news we had been expecting was confirmed. The British National Party had failed to regain its seat on the London Assembly. In failed, their vote had declined from 130,714 in 2008 to just 47,024 now.
In fact, the BNP polled just 2.1% of the London vote.
It rounded off an appalling night for the BNP as they lost all 136 council wards it was contesting. This included six wards where the BNP were defending and another six where they won in 2008, the last time these seats were contested.
This leaves the BNP with just two borough councillors and one county councillor. A far cry from its high of 57 councillors in 2009.
HOPE not hate can be proud of our contribution to the defeat of the BNP. In total, we delivered over 750,000 newspapers, leaflets and direct mail letters in these elections. Hundreds of people got involved in our campaigning, often in fairly miserable weather.
Other anti-fascist organisations, including local anti-fascist groups, also played their role.
We have set up a HOPE Wall for our supporters to tell us what the BNP electoral demise means for them. A staggering 721 people have already posted up messages. We will be putting them up on this site shortly, but in the meantime, if you want to tell us what the BNP's demise means to you then you can do so here:
Posted: 5 May 2012 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 19:39
Local members of the Bengali community gathered in Tower Hamlets this evening to remember Altab Ali, a young Bengali man murdered by racists in 1978.
The commemoration happens every year but had a special moment when our own Matthew Collins was invited on to the platform to announce that London was now BNP free.
Speaking along side Trade Unionists, local campaigners and the local MP. Matthew told the crowd to loud cheers "we are free at last" which was received with loud cheers and applause.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 18:57
Just heard from someone in the London count and they are confidently predicting a BNP vote of around just 2%. If that is proved correct then the BNP will not regain the seat on the Assembly four years ago.
The results that have been announced so far seemed to agree with our source in city hall. The BNP vote in City & East, the London region that covers Tower Hamlets and Barking & Dagenham, is just half of what they polled four years ago.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 18:02
Over 500 people have already sent in messages for our HOPE Wall, which we have created to allow you to tell us about what the BNP defeat means to you.
I'll be putting up these messages over the next few days but here is a flavour of some of the comments that have been sent in.
"Thank you all. How powerful our voice can be. Lets keep that hope and not hate feeling."
"This week has, possibly, been the worst of my life. A cancer diagnosis has put a cloud over most things.
"But this news is brilliant. The week is ending with big, big smiles in our house!
"HOPE NOT HATE!!"
"Great news and reward for all the hard work put in by anti-racist campaigners everywhere. No room for complacency though with other far-right groups preparing to re-assert themselves."
"This is brilliant news! Well done to everyone who helped make it happen (well, not everyone, as part of the reason for it happening was down to Griffin & his cretinous cronies themselves)."
"Incredible news; I'm wearing a big grin. Let's not become complacent though..."
Every single BNP candidate lost yesterday. They now only have three councillors left, down from a high of 57 in 2009. Please let us know what this means to you:
Posted: 4 May 2012 | There are 13 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 15:59
I'm delighted to say that every BNP candidate who stood in yesterday's elections has lost. This includes those BNP councillors up for re-election. This is a fantastic rejection of their racist politics.
We have created a HOPE Wall for you to tell us what you think of this news?
The BNP defeat means that there is no BNP councillor in Burnley for the first time in ten years. Other previous BNP strongholds like Calderdale, Rotherham, Amber Valley, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Three Rivers and Epping Forest are also now BNP free zones. This leaves the BNP with just three councillors, down from a high of 57.
Tell us how that makes you feel?
A special thanks must go to the hundreds of people who got involved in our campaign this year and also the unions and individuals whose donations made this campaign happen.
In total, we delivered over 750,000 newspapers, leaflets and direct mail letters in these elections and none of this would have been possible without you - our supporters - who have made this campaign what it is.
In these difficult economic times it is only a matter of time before the racists - in the guise of the BNP or some other party - once again pose a threat. But today is one to celebrate. HOPE has defeated hate and voters have waved Bye Bye to the BNP.
Please leave your message on our HOPE Wall
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 12:50
Great news from Epping Forest, Pat Richardson, the last remaining BNP councillor has lost her seat in Loughton Broadway.
The BNP was pushed all the way back into 4th place with just 94 votes.
Nick Griffin is posting on Twitter about hearing his first cuckoo, Is this a cryptic message we wonder ?
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 11:08
I've just spoken to our friends in Burnley and I can now confirm that the last BNP councillor, Sharon Wilkinson, has lost her seat. I don't have the exact score but it seems that Labour got over 50% of the vote.
This is really fantastic news and massive congratulations should go to Jason and his team who have worked tirelessly during many difficult years.
This means that for the first time in ten years there are no BNP councillors on Burnley council. Really brilliant news.
Posted: 4 May 2012 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 07:53
It's now 07.45 and we begin the second day of our election coverage. So here is a round up:
It is been a disastrous night for the BNP. They have lost councillors, failed to regain seats they won in 2008 and generally their vote is well down on previous elections.
In some of their strongest wards the BNP vote is down almost 50% from 2008, the last time these seats were contested.
More results will come in today, with the key councils to watch being Burnley, Epping Forest and Pendle - the three councils where the BNP is defending seats.
The BNP put all their effort into London but even here it looks like they have fallen short.
The big winners on the night, for the right wing vote at least, is UKIP, which appeared to be averaging between 13-15% in the seats it contested. It appears that UKIP did well in traditionally strong Conservative areas.
We will be blogging throughout the day, with the key council wards expected to announce during the middle of the day and London declaring early evening.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 03:20
The first result for a British Freedom candidate has been announced.
Tony Harms who stood in the Laindon Park ward of Basildon Council received 87 votes which equates to 4% of the vote.
The result placed him in 4th place, pushing the Lib Dem candidate down into 5th & last place
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 02:19
I think I made a mistake at the end of my last blog. It seems that it was the Conservative leader in Bradford who is predicting Labour winning overall control of the council, not the Labour leader.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 02:15
I'm following the Bradford results with growing confusion. One minute Respect are saying that they "have it in the bag". Then the Guardian report Labour fear they will lose seven seats to Respect, including that of the council leader. Then we hear there is a recount in the Council leader's ward and then we hear that the results will be some way off because they haven't actually started counting.
Finally, when I'm more than confused, there is a tweet saying that Labour's council leader is predicting Labour winning an overall majority.
Guess time will tell!
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 02:05
Heanor East: 19.1% (2012) 36.5% (2008)
Heanor West: 18.2% (2012) 29.5% (2008)
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 02:02
The BNP has lost two seats on Amber Valley council.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 01:49
Looks like Lab beat BNP in Heanor East. Great result and well done for everyone who was involved in the campaign there.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 01:41
The BNP vote continues to drop, this time in their key East Midlands council of Amber Valley. In Heanor & Loscoe the BNP polled 17.8% yesterday compared to 35.4% in 2008.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 01:36
The BNP came last in six of the seven seats it contested in Stockport. I thought it was going to be a clean sweep they beat the Liberal Democrats in Reddish North.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 01:29
For so many years Dudley was one of their strongest areas of the country. No longer.
In fact, the BNP only stood two candidates this year and both polled poorly. In Halesowen North the BNP polled 3.4% (compared the 10.4% in 2008). The others ward contested was Hayley Green & Cradley South where they polled 4%.
By contrast the National Front polled 7% in Coseley East and 4.5% in Upper Gornal & Woodsetton. UKIP beat both very easily.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 01:13
Some of these BNP results are a throwback to the late 1990s. In the Birkenhead & Tranmere ward on Wirral council the BNP has polled just 2.1% of the vote. Poor!
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 01:06
The Conservative leader in Plymouth has told the BBC that there has been a huge vote for UKIP across the city. He says that they came within a whisker of winning several seats.
UKIP appear to be the clear winners for the right wing vote this evening.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 00:58
Poor old Steve Nice, the Liberal Democrat candidate in Lee Chapel North in Basildon. He polled just 4% of the vote, even below the National Front candidate who polled 6%.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 00:50
Been comparing the BNP vote in Rotherham this year to 2008 and again it is bad reading for Nick Griffin.
Valley 28% (2008) 15.5% (2012)
Maltby 23% (2008) 16.9% (2012)
Brinsworth & Catcliffe 40.7% (2008) 29.6% (2012)
Wingfield 29.2% (2008) 28.5% (2012)
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 00:37
In 2008 the BNP won two seats in Rotherham. Tonight they failed to hold either.
More misery for the BNP.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 00:33
I'm hearing that the BNP has failed to win the two seats it won in 2008. Yet more bad news for Nick Griffin.
Talking of whem, does anyone know where he is tonight?
Posted: 4 May 2012 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 00:30
The BNP have lost its seat on Rotherham council after losing Maltby ward.
This wasn't too much of a surprise as they only won in 2008 when two former Labour members stood as Independents and split the vote.
But it is still a defeat and I think it's the beginning of a bad night for the BNP.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 00:23
The National Front polled 5% in the Stockbridge ward in Knowsley. They hardly affected the overall result as Labour won with 92% of the vote.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 00:20
I've been looking at some comparative BNP results from recent years and it is clear that their vote is well down on the last time these wards were contested in 2008.
Just look at South Tyneside:
Primrose 32.9%(2008) 13.3% (2012)
Biddick & All Saints 8.7% (2008) 6.1% (2012)
Boldon Colliery 9.3% (2008) 4.6% (2012)
Hebden North 17% (2008) 9.3% (2012)
Simonside and Rekendyke 12.3% (2008) 7.1% (2012)
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 May 2012, 00:08
The BBC's Nick Robinson has just said that in the six wards declared in which UKIP is standing, the anti-EU party has averaged 21% of the vote.
Is this an indication that they will take over the mantle of the main right wing party in Britain? It is looking like that though of course there is a long way to go.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 23:57
Liberal Party 33
That's 3.8% for the BNP. Slightly higher than 2011.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 23:53
British National Party 227
A bad result for the BNP. A couple of years ago the BNP polled 30% in this ward. From my reckoning the BNP have polled just 13.3% this year.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 23:49
UKIP are getting excited over in Thurrock, with claims that they have taken their first seat on the council. If true they does not bode well for the BNP who once saw this Essex town as a key heartland.
Does this indicate that the BNP vote is switching everywhere?
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 23:47
It seems that the counting has been stopped in Rochdale after a power cut...
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 23:44
There is a real chance of the BNP losing their last councillor in Burnley. While the votes will not be counted until tomorrow I'm hearing good things from the campaign team in Burnley.
The BNP won its first councillor in Burnley in 2002 and the following year it became the second largest party on the council.
Their last remaining councillor, Sharon Wilkinson, is probably the best they've had in Burnley. And the Padiham ward in which she is standing, has returned a BNP councillor for eight of the last ten elections.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 23:43
Lib Dem 888
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 23:14
Ok, here we are at the HOPE not hate election blog. It's been a strange election. For the first time in many years we are fairly relaxed about the elections, at least in regards to the BNP.
I will stick my neck on the line and say that the BNP will do badly this year. The question is just how badly.
I think the BNP will fail in its attempts to regain their seat on the London Assembly. I think they will lose all, or almost all, of the council seats they are defending.
The one ward which I am worried about is Marsden ward in Pendle. The BNP councillor is defending the seat but it's a three-way split between them, Labour and the Conservatives.
I really can't see the BNP winning any new seats.
It'll also be interesting to see how the English Democrats do. Many are former BNP members and some are standing in wards where the BNP have polled very well in the past. The National Front will do pitifully poor as usual.
Anyway, all will be revealed soon.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 22:14
The polls have closed so now we move into results mode.
We will be running a live election blog throughout the night and tomorrow to bring you all the results as they come in.
As we wait for results to come in I will try to bring you some of the best (and most amusing) stories of the campaign.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 21:08
The polls are open for just another hour. I've just finished campaigning out in Barking and Dagenham and I'm now heading home to run our election night coverage.
I was accompanied by fourteen Swedish trade unionists and three people from our sister organisation Expo. They are over for a couple of days to learn a bit more about HOPE not hate and what we do. Earlier today we went to Unison, where they had a presentation about their work with us.
The first results are due at midnight.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 12:46
There are just over nine hours to go until polls close today. Let's wave 'Bye Bye to the BNP':
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 11:37
1. We could be waving goodbye to the BNP.
2. Anjem Choudary is encouraging people not to vote.
Let's make today a miserable one for the BNP and Anjem Choundary
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 09:44
Some councils are counting tonight, while others are counting tomorrow. Here is a rough timetable of when some of the key councils will be declaring:
Midnight: Nuneaton & Bedworth, Southend, South Tyneside
2am: Amber Valley, Barnsley, Rochdale, Rotherham
3am: Bradford, Thurrock
Midday: Epping Forest
1pm: Burnley, Leeds
2pm: Three Rivers
London is counting tomorrow and the results are likely early evening
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 May 2012, 08:52
It's election day and all across the country people will be going to the polls to choose their local councillors, Mayors or Assembly members. Politicians generally get a rough time, sometimes deservedly so, but it is on days like this that we can make a difference.
But today is also a day to wave goodbye to the BNP. If we are successful in preventing the BNP from retaining its seat on the London Assembly and defeating them in the nine council seats they are defending around the country then we will take another major step in driving them into oblivion.
I would like to send my thanks to everyone who has done their bit to challenge hatred and racism. From delivering leaflets to donating, from speaking to their friends to sending in their photo for the Our Britain, not theirs poster - you have all done your bit.
I will be out doing a last bit of campaigning today but we will be running a live election blog so everyone can follow the results as they come in.
Please vote and make sure that everyone you know gets out and vote. Let's wave goodbye to the BNP.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 2 May 2012, 08:19
I spent Monday night in Krakow for the local football derby between Wisla Krakow and Cracovia. There is such rivalry between these two teams that this fixture is also known as 'The Holy War'.
The intensity and hostility between the two sets of fans lived up to what I had heard. The photo here is of the Cracovia ultras/hooligans, known as the Anty Wisla, marching to their neighbour's ground. Many were involved in fierce fighting with police in the stand and the very liberal use of tear gas in response.
I'm writing a piece for the forthcoming issue of HOPE not hate on racism and antisemitism in Polish and Ukrainian football.
Posted: 2 May 2012 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments