You are viewing blog items for May 2013.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 31 May 2013, 05:43
Tomorrow there could be as many as 60 English Defence League protests around England - it will be the largest far right mobilisation we have seen for many years.
As soon as we began hearing about them we declared that we would fight hate with HOPE. The first stage in this is a letter we are hoping to get published in the Daily Mirror tomorrow which declares We Are The Many, they are the few.
Please co-sign the letter and let's make a positive stand against hate
To: The Editor, Daily Mirror
From: HOPE not hate
We Are The Many
Today, the violent English Defence League will hold demonstrations in towns and cities across our country, trying to spread their message of hate. By blaming all Muslims for the terrible murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, the EDL will attempt to whip up a climate of fear and violence towards the Muslim community in Britain.
But the EDL will fail. They will fail because we, the British people, reject their ignorance.
The EDL and Islamic extremists are more similar to each other than to us. They share a violent, hate-fuelled desire for conflict and war, and we will not let either group tear our country apart.
We condemn the shameful rise in anti-Muslim violence since Drummer Rigby's killing. The fair-minded majority of Britons understand that a community cannot be blamed for the actions of just two. We know that the EDL does not speak for all Britain, just as we know that Muslim extremists do not speak for all Muslims.
We, the British people, shun the EDL's message of hate today because they do not speak for us. We are confident that HOPE will prevail. It will prevail because they are the few, and we are -- and always will be -- the many.
Posted: 31 May 2013 | There are 16 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 29 May 2013, 14:29
We are aware that the EDL want to turn Saturday into a day of hate with events all over the country. We so far have a list of 31 events in towns and cities across Britain but we are expecting there to be many more.
The EDL will be using these events to stir up trouble and incite violence and in doing this they will be helping to ensure that Michael Adebolajo’s boasts of starting a war in England is proved correct. We need to reject their hatred and ensure that our communities hold firm against this provocation and aggression.
In the meantime, the BNP will be marching in Woolwich. The route they have selected is six miles long and Griffin clearly hopes its length can be used to incite local residents. However, given that the EDL has publicly told the BNP that it will not join up it really does seem as if Griffin will struggle to get numbers out.
HOPE not hate is currently discussing a response to Saturday with our organisers around the country. We will definitely be providing people the chance to oppose them with a message of hope. More on this soon.
Posted: 29 May 2013 | There are 6 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 23 May 2013, 23:13
We were very pleased to recieve this special message from Paloma Faith and her band regarding the Woolwich attack.
"Please support HOPE not hate"
You can watch the video here.
Posted: 23 May 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 22 May 2013, 21:25
Posted: 22 May 2013 | There are 28 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 20 May 2013, 15:27
I have been involved in fighting racism and fascism for over 20 years and in that time we've had Combat 18, the BNP and the EDL. However, apart from a few specific threats and attempted attacks, I have to say I've never experienced the hate campaign being currently waged by the supporters of UKIP.
I've been trolled on twitter and sent numerous abusive and threatening emails.
Here's one lovely one I've just got. What a lovely bloke. I've taken out his email address because I don't want people to send any nasty messages to him
From: liam mcnama <xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 20 May 2013 13:36
Subject: RE: Expel the racist Pain now
fuck of nick...fuck off nickyou evil creep...pain is being dealt with....your parents have a lot to answer for my boy
Posted: 20 May 2013 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 19 May 2013, 09:10
One or two people - generally supporters of UKIP - have questioned why HOPE not hate have taken an interest in UKIP.
Well, today's Sunday Mirror, which lists yet more racist rants from leading members, is reason enough.
According to the Sunday Mirror, Ukip’s leader of Lincs Council Chris Pain, the party’s East Midlands regional chairman, wrote on Facebook: “Have you noticed that if you rearrange the letters in ‘illegal immigrants’, and add just a few more letters, it spells, ‘Go home you free-loading, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, baby-making, non-English-speaking ********* and take those other hairy-faced, sandal-wearing, bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-********, raghead ******** with you.’”
Now, if that was a leading BNP member people will be rightly outraged. That this comment was made by a leading UKIP official is even more disgusting.
You can read the full Mirror article here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ukip-councillors-racist-rants-more-1897414
Later this week we shall reveal the details of over 60 HOPE not hate meetings we are organising around the country to discuss our response to UKIP.
Posted: 19 May 2013 | There are 14 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 18 May 2013, 07:56
Early next week we will publish the details of over 50 HOPE not hate meetings we are planning to hold around the country. From Brighton to Plymouth, Swansea to Newcastle, these meetings will be an opportunity for our supporters to discuss the rise of UKIP and how, if anything, we should respond.
There are still a few towns and cities where we have not arranged anything but where there is interest for a meeting. If you live in one of the following areas and would like to help us build a meeting or even suggest a venue, please do let me know.
The areas where we are still looking to put an event on are: Portsmouth, Southampton, Hastings, Tunbridge Wells, Watford, Worcester, Aylesbury, Peterborough, Hull and Exeter.
You can either reply to this blog or email me directly at email@example.com
Posted: 18 May 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 17 May 2013, 21:12
A couple of days ago we exposed the lies the EDL leadership were telling over the claim that a year 7 student was gang-raped in a school toilet in Luton.
There was no truth in the allegation but that did not stop Stephen Lennon and Kevin Carroll trying to incite hatred and violence with their lies. Quite rightly, people on twitter went to town on it and even several EDL activists blasted their leaders for their lies.
Well, it now seems that Lennon is up to it again. Rather than admitting their lies and apologising, he is continue to peddle the story, though this time in a slightly less sensationalist way.
Asked for news on the rape story, Lennon, under the name Tommy Robinson, simply said that there was an incident involving a young girl at a Luton school and this had been confirmed by the council.
Of course Billy Liar, as Lennon, has become known, was being economical with the truth. By his answer he wanted to give the impression that the council was confirming his initial claim.
They are not and the incident Lennon refers to is quite from his initial claim.
HOPE not hate is fully aware of the incident that took place last year and while we cannot go into any details we can say that there was no rape, allegation of rape or gangs involved. In fact, it has nothing at all in common with the claim Lennon and Carroll originally made.
Lennon probably knows this but he hasn't got the decency to admit when he is wrong. Rather, he would prefer to continue to peddle lies with the hope of inciting more hatred and violence.
He is beneath contempt.
Posted: 17 May 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 17 May 2013, 14:15
As everyone probably knows HOPE not hate is having currently consulting with our supporters, about whether we should respond to UKIP's rise and, if so, how. Over the next six weeks we are holding over 60 meetings across the country.
Our concern about UKIP has been over their increasing anti-immigrant rhetoric which, if anything, has overtaken the European Union as their main campaigning issue.
However, before we have this discussion with our supporters, we need to be clear about what UKIP is and what it is not. And for all its anti-immigrant rhetoric UKIP is not a fascist party and Nigel Farage is certainly not Nick Griffin.
UKIP might be many things our supporters might not agree with, but fascist is not one of them. Even their anti-immigrant stance is quite different from that of the BNP's. UKIP's position stems more from a xenophobic anti-foreigner position than the scientific racism of true fascists.
Many of its supporters look back to a (mythical?) golden past when Britain was white, ruled much of the world and didn't feel the need to have any serious relationship with continental Europe. Study after study has shown that for many UKIP voters, their opposition to the European Union owes more to their rejection of this changing world than the machinations of the European Parliament.
To call UKIP a fascist party is both inaccurate and will prove counter-productive. It also risks us missing the real threat of UKIP, which is what it culturally represents, as much as what it politically stands for. I will be writing much more about this over the next fortnight but in light of events in Edinburgh last night I wanted to put my initial thoughts down.
UKIP is mining the political tradition of Enoch Powell rather than Oswald Mosley.
Posted: 17 May 2013 | There are 27 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 17 May 2013, 11:33
Last night UKIP won a council by-election. Yorkshire HOPE not hate organiser, Paul Meszaros, has written this for us:
The previously safe Labour seat of Rawmarsh in Rotherham was won last night by UKIP. The dramatic collapse of the BNP vote was clearly a contributory factor but is only part of the story.
UKIP are able to tap into the same discontents and fears that once made the BNP a threat, but without the overtly fascist baggage. This makes UKIP potentially far more dangerous as disenchanted voters are not faced with the same moral dilemmas associated with voting BNP.
Some commentators believe that UKIP is mainly a threat to the Tories, a thesis that remains largely untested as this year's elections were in the shires rather than the cities. However we have seen time after time UKIP coming second in Parliamentary by elections and now winning a council seat in Rotherham.
This does suggest that UKIP are a bigger threat to Labour than some imagine.
Notwithstanding some local contention regarding the Labour candidate, this result should be a wake-up call for those who miss the threat posed by UKIP.
Posted: 17 May 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 15 May 2013, 19:46
Over the last couple of days the internet has been alive with rumours, indignation and threats of retribution over the allegation that Year Seven schoolgirl was gang-raped in a school toilet in Luton. The source of these rumours was EDL leaders Stephen Lennon and Kevin Carroll.
Well, HOPE not hate can now say, with some certainty, that no such incident occurred.
The rumour was kicked off by Stephen Lennon on Twitter early yesterday morning, when he wrote: “News coming in of a yr 7 school girl being gang raped in school toilets? By Muslims ! It's all being kept hush hush? School in Luton.”
Questioned about it, he simply said that he had “It's come from a good source . If its defo true Luton needs to brace itself.”
As EDL supporters joined in the outrage, Carroll waded in. “if a moslem child in year 7 was gang raped in a farley hill school toilets by non moslems the newspapers would not have enough ink #luton.”
But fortunately, not everyone was convinced and before long local people were questioning the accuracy of the EDL’s claims. But Lennon was undeterred. What do the facts matter when one spread rumours and stir up hatred?
“Had it confirmed little girl raped in School, more to follow,” he wrote yesterday afternoon.
Lennon then went quiet on the issue but Carroll has been stirring it all day. In between abusing Muslims and the Islamic faith, he’s been bleating on about a media cover-up. Time and again he has claimed that the reason why no-one seems to know anything about this case is simply because there is a deliberate attempt to withhold it from the public.
Well, now it seems that Lennon and Carroll have been, at best, deliberately stirring up hatred on a false rumour, at worst, making the whole thing up.
HOPE not hate has spent the day investigating the claim. We have scoured the local media, spoken to teachers and parents at local schools and rang every contact we could think of – and no-one has any evidence that this alleged incident took place.
In fact, it seems that no such incident has ever been logged by the local police.
Given that, according to the EDL leaders, the incident was to have taken place on school premises there is no way in the world that the police would not have been informed.
So, let’s put an end to these rumours as they are simply not true and let the authorities investigate Lennon and Carroll for deliberately inciting hatred.
Posted: 15 May 2013 | There are 8 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 14 May 2013, 10:47
Mario Borghezio MEP, who sits in UKIP's EFD political group in the European Parliament, has been reported as making racist comments about Italy's first black minister last week.According to the Gazzetta del Sud, Borghezio said: "This is a bonga bonga government, they want to change birthright citizenship laws and Kyenge wants to impose her tribal traditions from the Congo." "The country is what it is, and the laws are made of crap. "You can't say the word 'nigger' in Italy, only think it," Borghezio added. "Pretty soon you won't even be able to say illegal immigrant - you'll have to say 'your excellence'. She seems like a great housekeeper, but not a government minister." "Africans are different. They belong to an ethnicity much different from ours. They haven't produced great genes. Enough consulting these Mickey Mouse encyclopedias. "Kyenge is a doctor. We gave her position in a state-run facility that should have gone to an Italian". In 2011, Borghezio said he agreed with many of Anders Behrings Breivik's ideas:- "Some of the ideas he expressed are good, barring the violence. Some of them are great." Nigel Farage is the co-President of the EFD group but didn't sanction Borghezio in 2011. so far he has said nothing about this latest racist outburst. Gazzetta del Sud article: http://www.gazzettadelsud.it/news/english/44740/Italian-MEP-makes-racist-comments-about-first-black-minister.html BBC coverage of Borghezio Breivik remarks: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14315108
Posted: 14 May 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 13 May 2013, 18:39
Over the next two months we are planning to hold over 50 meetings of our supporters around the country in order to discuss our response, if any, to the rise of UKIP, and our direction and priorities over the coming year.
Among the towns and cities where we are planning to organise meetings are: Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Preston, Manchester, Liverpool, Wigan, Warrington, Stockport, Crewe, Wirral, Bradford, Halifax, Leeds, Doncaster, York, Sheffield, Lincoln, Boston, Nottingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Northampton, Burton, Coventry, Dudley, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Cambridge, Ipswich, Norwich, Luton, Watford, Oxford, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Brighton, Canterbury, Lewisham, Wimbledon, Barking & Dagenham, Camden, Cardiff and Swansea.
More locations will be added tomorrow.
If you would like to be part of our discussion about if, and how, we respond to the rise of UKIP, and the priorities of our work more generally, then sign up here:
Posted: 13 May 2013 | There are 20 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 11 May 2013, 06:45
Over 700 people have registered an interest in joining our debate about if, and then how, HOPE not hate should respond to the dramtic rise of UKIP.
Over the next few days we will be hoping to put together meetings in as many of the areas where these people live so we can actually begin the discussion.
What is really exciting is that most of these people live in areas where there has been little or no HOPE not hate activity before.
When the 723 people who are interested in meeting are combined with the people who responded to our previous two emails about UKIP we now have over 2,500 engaged. That is quite some number.
We have always said that any possible response to UKIP needs proper thought and discussion so we intend to use these meetings to discuss our options with our supporters, listen to what they think and what they would be prepared to do. Once that is completed, we will then develop a paper on where HOPE not hate will go.
In the meantime, if you would like to engage in our debate then please register your interest here:
Posted: 11 May 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 10 May 2013, 20:04
Just arriving back into London from what has been a really successful launch of Community Alliance Against Sexual Exploitaton (CAASE) on Bradford today. Well over 100 people attended, as did five TV crews and numerous journalists.
Speaking at the event was Ralph Berry (lead member for Children's Services on Bradford Council), Chief Superintendent Angela Williams, from Keighley, Alyas Karmani, (Co-Director of STREET), the Bishop of Bradford, Zulfiqar Karim (Bradford Council for Mosques), Angela Sinfield, Paul Meszaros (Yorkshire HOPE not hate) and Javed Khan (CEO of Victim Support).
Introducing CAASE was Julie Siddiqi and myself.
The event pulled no punches as to the scale of the problem and the work we need to do. However, it also highlighted several really excellent initiatives in Bradford that are already making a real difference.
Angela Sinfield's description of the abuse her daughter suffered and the impact that had on her and the rest of the family was one of the most emotional and haunting speeches I have ever heard. It really put the day into context and reminded us so vividly about why we were so keen to launch CASSE in the first place.
A common theme running through the event was the need for partnership working. Child protection is obviously central to all of this but there is a vital role for communities, the media and other outside agencies.
I will write a more reflective blog over the weekend, and upload some video and photos from today, but in the meantime I would just like to say a big thank you to the speakers and everyone who attended.
The launch was a great success but the much more challenging work of building and supporting local coalitions starts now.
Posted: 10 May 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 10 May 2013, 10:54
There are few more awful crimes than the sexual abuse of children. There are certainly fewer crimes that incite so much anger and hatred within our communities. Sexual assaults on young girls have been in the news recently with the unfolding Jimmy Savile scandal, the arrests of several high-profile TV stars and the reports into abuse at a North Wales children’s home and Manchester music school.
Yesterday, the jury at an Old Bailey trial retired to consider a verdict againstnine men from Oxford accused of grooming and sexually exploiting young girls over an eight-year period. This is just the latest in a series of high-profile cases involving British Muslim men, which have then been seized upon and exploited by the Far Right and more general anti-Muslim adherents. In fact, there is little else they are campaigning on at the moment. But if we are to prevent the likes of the British National Party (BNP), English Defence League (EDL), National Front (NF) and their hate-fuelled friends benefiting from these cases, we need to prove to the public that we are concerned about these stories of grooming by both gangs and individuals, and, more importantly, are going to do something about it.
And that’s why HOPE not hate is delighted to be involved in the setting up of the ‘Community Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation’ (CAASE). We are seeking to develop a cross-community initiative that can deal head on with the issue of ‘on-street grooming by gangs’.
Our aims are simple. We want to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation, via education and campaigning across all communities. We want to encourage reporting and promote services to help vulnerable young people. We want to produce training kits and background fact-sheets for faith and community leaders, so they can speak out with knowledge and confidence.
Furthermore, we intend to produce myth-busting materials to counter extremist groups who are tempted to exploit these terrible crimes for their own destructive purposes, in order to divide communities and stir up hatred. And we want to create a space for dialogue and open discussion between – and within – communities, to help break down misconceptions, address issues of real concern and develop more effective cross-community responses.
Fundamentally, we want to help create a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude to child sexual exploitation and develop young leaders to take the campaign into their communities.
Paedophilia and sex abuse reach across all communities. These sickening actions involve men from all ethnic backgrounds – so it is vital we take ‘race’ out of the equation. However, we must also be willing to confront the issue wherever we find it. Staying silent and ignoring the problem is simply not an option.
There are many great initiatives going on already. Police, local authorities and child protection agencies are working hard. But there is more that can be done. We believe that community and faith organisations are often best-placed to reach out to local people and prevent their communities being divided: that is why CAASE is a long overdue initiative and one that we hope will make a real difference.
Led by the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), and HOPE not hate (HNH), CAASE is being supported by faith and civic leaders including the Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Youth Helpline, Muslim Community Helpline, Federation of Muslim Organisations, the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB), Faith Associates, the Christian Muslim Forum, City Sikhs Network, and the Church of England, plus women’s rights networks including Inspire, the Henna Foundation, and Making Herstory.
Professional guidance is being provided by Victim Support, plus STREET, which works with at-risk young people, and NAPAC (the National Association for People Abused in Childhood) which specialises in support for abuse survivors.
Community Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation – CAASE – is a cross-community response to the issue of ‘on-street grooming by gangs’. It launches today, 10 May, in Bradford.
Posted: 10 May 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 9 May 2013, 12:44
In just an hour since we sent out our email, several hundred people have already signed up to be part of our discussion over how we should respond to UKIP.
Interestingly, but I guess not surprisingly, many were from the very areas that UKIP did well last week.
Looking at the sign-up sheets, it is clear that there is interest in us holding eetings in Ipswich, Exeter, Brighton, York, Watford, East Sussex, Portsmouth, Cambridge and Oxford.
To register your interest in being part of our debate, click here:
Posted: 9 May 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 9 May 2013, 11:45
Last Thursday the British political landscape changed. The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) eclipsed the BNP as the principle depository for right wing votes in this country. They polled 25% of all votes cast, gained 139 news councillors and came second in hundreds more.
UKIP is clearly not a fascist party and Nigel Farage is quite clearly not Nick Griffin. However, UKIP does taps into an English nationalism and xenophobia that was once mined by Enoch Powell. While the party is best known for its opposition to the European Union research shows that it is hostility to immigration and even multiculturalism that is driving its supporters.
Their vision of Britain is something quite different from ours, but is that enough for us to oppose them?
How can we really celebrate the decline of the BNP when UKIP run such strong anti-immigrant campaigns? How can we sit by when UKIP candidates are caught giving nazi salutes and blame Jews for the Holocaust? How can we not respond when some local UKIP leaflets which are worse than those put out by the BNP? Should we forget that the EDL leader recommended people vote UKIP?
I'm not sure we can. And I don't think you can either. When we asked you back in March what we should do, an astonishing 1,800 replied, of which almost 70% said we focus more on UKIP.
Whether you live in an area with a UKIP councillor or somewhere they are not currently active, we want to talk to you. Once we see who is interested then we will organise our meetings accordingly.
UKIP is not the BNP and we cannot deal with them in the same way. But they are adopting an increasingly anti-immigrant stance and the party seems to be becoming a home for hardline racists, fascists and antisemites.
Do we take them on or ignore them? Do we just put them under the same scrutiny as we have the BNP or do we simple create a positive anti-racist campaign that challenges their anti-immigrant rhetoric and offers an alternative set of values?If you have any views on this then please register your interest in joining one of our discussions.
Over the next two months we are planning to hold dozens of meetings across the country to discuss our options. Sign up if you are interested in being part of our discussions.
Whether you live in an area with a UKIP councillor or somewhere they are not currently active, we want to talk to you. Once we see who is interested then we will organise our meetings accordingly.
Posted: 9 May 2013 | There are 11 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 8 May 2013, 07:49
The 2013 elections proved to be a new low for the BNP. Not only did they not win a single seat but their vote has continued to decline. The rise of UKIP all but gaurantees that the electoral threat of the BNP, and other far right groups, will be minimal for the forseeable future.
The exception, of course, might be Nick Griffin in next year's European Elections, when he only needs 7% of the vote in the North West to be re-elected. however, even this looks unlikely in the current circumstances.
We have produced a simple infographic on their BNP's 2013 election results.
As you will see, the BNP stood just 104 candidates and they averaged 5.5%. By contrast, the BNP stood 461 candidates in 2009, when the county council elections were last held, and averaged 11.2% of the vote.
Anyway, please have a look
Posted: 8 May 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 7 May 2013, 09:29
I'm delighted to announce that Billy Bragg, one of the original HOPE not hate patrons, will be playing at the Great Escape in Brighton this month in support of HOPE not hate.
As part of Billy's current tour he will be playing a gig at the Dome in Brighton, during the Great Escape festival. It should be a great night and we hope to see you there. The Great Escape is annual music festival that showcases new music from around the world. This year's festival features 350 bands playing across 30 venues.
To buy a ticket and make a donation to HOPE not hate please click here.
Thanks to Billy and the organisers of the Great Escape
Posted: 7 May 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 4 May 2013, 16:24
Several hundred people have already sent in their thoughts about Thursday's county council elections. Many are jubilant about the demise of the BNP, especially in Burnley, but almost all are expressing concern over the growth of UKIP.
These messages have provided me with much food for thought as I begin to discuss with colleagues about what we need to do.
Next year we have the European Elections and we have to decide how we view UKIP if they continue to pursue such an agressive anti-immigrant agenda. We also need to be honest about what we impact a small campaign group can have in a national election. Taking on the BNP is one thing, which of course we will do to ensure Griffin is not re-elected, but taking on a party that could well come first is quite another.
It is a big decision we have to take and we need to be guided by our supporters. So, if you have a view then please let us know.
Posted: 4 May 2013 | There are 6 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 4 May 2013, 13:16
Shortly after midday yesterday, the returning officer in Burnley announced that Labour had gained the Padiham and Burnley West seat on Lancashire Council from the British National Party (BNP). In doing so, Burnley became BNP-free for the first time in 2002.
It is an incredible achievement, and one only made possible by the hard work and dedication of the small team of people in Burnley who have consistently campaigned against them.
The BNP, under Nick Griffin's leadership, made their first breakthrough in Burnley back in 2002. Within a year they were the second largest party on the council. It is fitting that today's result mirrored the electoral collapse of the fascist party.
The BNP's problems began with their heavy defeat in Barking & Dagenham in 2010. Since then they have been consumed with internal strife, huge debt and demoralised activists. In yesterday's elections they only managed just over 100 candidates and only a handful managed to poll above 10%.
We should absolutely celebrate the electoral demise of the BNP because we have played a part in their downfall. However, this joy is tempered by the surge of support for UKIP.
UKIP fought the election on an increasingly hostile position to immigration. While the media became fixated with a few Nazi and overtly racist candidates, we should actually be focusing on the party as a whole, its assault on immigration and multiculturalism and its long term significance.
Just as importantly, we need to assess UKIP's impact on the mainstream parties and ensure that they do not begin an anti-immigration arms race.
Whether you want to celebrate a BNP-free Burnley or express your concern over the rise of UKIP, please get in touch. Your views will help shape what we do nexthttp://action.hopenothate.org.uk/bye-bye-bnp We have already received hundreds of messages, both celebrating the demise of the BNP but also expressing concern over UKIP. You can read some of these messages here http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/bye-bye-bnp
Posted: 4 May 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 16:27
Ok, here's my latest on UKIP victories. I make it 134.
One or two of these councils still have wards to declare and I'm sure I've missed one or two as well.
East Sussex 7
North Yorkshire 2
West Sussex 10
Posted: 3 May 2013 | There are 6 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 13:51
Cathy Duffy, BNP candidate in Syston Fosse, Leicestershire, has walked out of the count even before her result was announced.
Her vote was so low that she obviously didn't want the embarrassment of hearing it being read out.
Next year, Duffy is up for re-election as a borough councillor. Let's hope for a repeat performance.
Posted: 3 May 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 13:36
The BDP went into these elections with one county councillor. They now have none. Graeme Partner won Coalville ward, Leicestershire, in 2009 for the BNP. He then became an independent, before switching back to the BNP. However, he then decided to re-stand for the newly formed British Democratic Party.
He should really not have bothered. He came fourth with just 215 votes
Labour - 1294
UKIP - 825
Tory - 476
Brit Dem - 215
Lib Dem - 84
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 11:45
This is the news we have been waiting for. Burnley is now BNP-free for the first time in 11 years.
And not only has the BNP failed to hold its one remaining county council seat but their candidate appears to have come fourth and last.
This is brilliant news.
Posted: 3 May 2013 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 10:41
Here is a comparison between how the BNP vote in Nuneaton and Bedworth yesterday and in 2009:
Bede 21% (2009) 7.1% (2013)
Camp Hill 30.9% (2009) 9% (2013)
Nuneaton Abbey 13% (2009) 6.6% (2013)
Nuneaton Wem Brook 22.2% (2009) 4.7% (2013)
Arbury & Stockingford 22.4% (2009) 9.8% (2013)
Poplar 17.8% (2009) 11.0% (2013)
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 10:21
The BNP have poll just 3.6% in South Oxhey ward, Three Rivers. They won it in 2009. How times have changed!
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 10:11
The problems for the BNP have been graphically illustrated in Nuneaton Camp Hill, where the BNP polled 9% of the vote. And this is without UKIP standing.
In 2009, the BNP polled 30.9% in this ward.
Just for information, HOPE not hate delivered a campaign newspaper through every door in the ward.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 09:44
Two results have just come in from Staffordshire and the BNP candidates got just 3% in both. One finished last and the other sneaked in ahead of the Liberal Democrats.
The results are further humiliation for the BNP but at least they are consistent.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 09:21
Spare a thought for poor old Robin Tilbrook, leader of the English Democrats. A couple of years ago he genuinely thought that the collapse of the BNP would give his party the opening they needed.
Last night, as he came last in his Essex ward, he must have realised that this dream was over. He gained just 3.2% while UKIP came second with 25.5%.
Tilbrook has pumped a lot of his own personal money into the English Democrats. Perhaps it is now time to find an alternative hobby.
Posted: 3 May 2013 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 07:10
Good morning everyone. After a couple of hours break the live blog is back up and running. The vast majority of councils will count today so we should be in for a busy one.
Here's what happened so far.
The BNP vote has collapsed and they have generally polling at only 20-30% of the vote they achieved in 2009.
The big winners so far are UKIP. They came a strong second in the South Shields by-election and have won 42 council seats. This is likely to increase to well over 100 by the end of today.
This includes 16 gains in Lincolnshire, 10 in Hampshire, 9 in Essex, 3 each in Somerset and Gloucestershire and one in Dorset.
The political landscape is changing and a populist right wing party is squeezing out the traditional far right.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 02:16
This is definately UKIP's election. They have so far won 11 on Lincolnshire council, seven in Hampshire, three in Essex, two in Gloucestershire and one in Somerset.
That's 24, though some are saying 28.
There are still many wards to declare in these councils, while 80% of councils up for election this year are actually counting tomorrow.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 01:44
BNP candidate Christopher Caffin always knew he was not going to win in Bridgemary ward, Hampshire. But surely he must have thought he would have polled above 1%.
But no, even that was too much for him.
Caffin polled just 32 votes (0.92%). How embarrassing!!
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 01:38
In 2009 the BNP polled 20.5% of the vote in Spalding East and Moulton ward in Lincolnshire. This time they polled a pathetic 3.9%.
Everywhere, the BNP is collapsing.
The party has been in decline since 2010 but now it is getting wiped out by the UKIP surge.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 01:28
UKIP have now won Louth Marsh and Mablethorpe, to add to the eight I have already mentioned.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 01:20
UKIP now have won 8 seats in Lincolnshire:
Boston EastBoston Fishtoft
Gainsborough Hill Spalding East & Moulton
Boston North West
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 01:17
UKIP seem to be on a roll in Hampshire as well. They have taken three wards so far - Fareham Crofton, Eastleigh East and Bishopstoke and Fair Oak.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 01:14
I think we should get used to this blog headline...
The BNP came last in Goffs Oak and Bury Green ward, Hertfordshire, with just 52 votes (2.0%). Compare this to the 619 (15.7%) votes the BNP polled in the same ward in 2009.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 01:04
FLACK, John Christopher
The Conservative Party Candidate
GIBBS, Keith Anthony
UK Independence Party
The Labour Party Candidate
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 01:00
UKIP have now won five seats in Lincolnshire:
There are still more to declare
Posted: 3 May 2013 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 00:54
I predicted UKIP would do well in Boston and I've just heard that they have taken Boston Coastal from the Conservatives
Here's the full result
- RANSOME, F.E.E 45.8 % (826)
UK Independence Party Up 20.6% GAIN
- BEDFORD, P 40.4 % (730)
Conservative Down 14.6%
- GLEESON, P.M 13.8 % (249)
Labour Up 4.1%
- Electorate: 5796
Turnout: 1805 (31%)
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 00:41
UKIP gain a seat in Basildon Westley Heights, Essex, from the Conservatives. Winning candidate is Kerry Smith, brother of Barking and Dagenham council leader Liam Smith.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 00:18
The first result involving a BNP candidate has just come in and it shows the BNP vote has plummet. Robert West polled 4% in Holbeach ward, Lincolnshire. this is down from 16.6% in 2009.
UKIP polled 42%, only just behind the Tory candidate
Electoral Division Map - Holbeach
- WORTH, N. 44.8 % (979)
Conservative Down 18.6% HELD
- FOYSTER, P.C 42 % (918)
UK Independence Party Up 42%
- MAYHEW, D. 9.2 % (200)
Labour Up 0.8%
- WEST, R.M.B 4 % (88)
British National Party Down 12.6%
- Electorate: 7610
Turnout: 2185 (28%)
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 00:04
Gainsborough Hill (West Lindsey)
- BEAVER, J.W 36.5 % (428)
UK Independence Party Up 10.1% GAIN
- TINKER, M. 30.1 % (352)
Liberal Democrat Down 11.2%
- WITHERS, M 17 % (199)
Labour Up 7.8%
- BUTROID, R.D 16.4 % (192)
Conservative Down 6.7%
- Electorate: 6830
Turnout: 1171 (17%)
That's the second gain of the night
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 00:02
Scotter Rural (West Lindsey)
- UNDERWOOD-FROST, C. 42 % (717)
Conservative Down 17.3% HELD
- PEARSON, C. 25 % (428)
UK Independence Party Up 25%
- ROLLINGS, L.A 22.9 % (392)
Liberal Democrat Down 9.5%
- INDIAN, J. 10.1 % (172)
Labour Up 1.7%
- Electorate: 6168
Turnout: 1709 (27%)
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 3 May 2013, 00:01
The Conservatives seem to be losing votes to everyone in Lincolnshire. Another result in shows a strong Labour gain in Louth North. The Tory vote is down 22.7%, with UKIP standing for the first time and taking 15.2%.
- DODDS, S.R 46.9 % (857)
Labour Up 32.5% GAIN
- WATSON, P.F 29.2 % (534)
Conservative Down 22.7%
- BEECHAM, M. 15.2 % (278)
UK Independence Party Up 15.2%
- SIMPSON, D.A 6.5 % (118)
Lincolnshire Independents Up 6.5%
- DOBBY, D. 2.3 % (42)
Liberal Democrat Down 18.3%
- Electorate: 5352
Turnout: 1829 (34%)
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 2 May 2013, 23:55
UKIP make first gain of the night. Filton ward, Gloucs: UKIP - 338, Lab - 233, Ind - 185, Cons - 151.
Posted: 2 May 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 2 May 2013, 23:29
The first result has been declared in Hykenham Forum (North Kesteven), Lincolnshire. UKIP polled 26.1%, which is up 11.7% on 2009. They were still third but it's an indication of the strength of their vote tonight.
MARRIOTT, J.R 31.6 % (609)
- Liberal Democrat Down 11.4% HELD
- CAWREY, L. 28.9 % (558)
Conservative Up 1%
- NEWTON, P.A 26.1 % (504)
UK Independence Party Up 11.7%
- GREY, A,J 13.3 % (257)
Labour Up 5.7%
- Electorate: 5780
Turnout: 1928 (33%)
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 2 May 2013, 23:05
In 2009 the BNP stood 23 candidates in Lincolnshire. This year they are standing just four.
Posted: 2 May 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 2 May 2013, 23:02
In 2009 the BNP stood 44 candidates. This year they have just 8.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 2 May 2013, 22:49
Most councils are counting tomorrow, but there are a handful announcing during the night. They include Essex, Somerset, Devon, Lincolnshire, Hampshire and some of Hertfordshire and Staffordshire.
There are eight BNP candidates and one English Democrat candidate in Essex.
Lincolnshire will probably deliver some very high UKIP votes. I guess Devon and Somerset will too.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 2 May 2013, 20:13
Earlier today I identified ten wards and areas to watch in these elections. To add a bit of fun to proceedings, we have turned these key wards into bowling pins.
If the BNP lose these elections we will knock over the corresponding pin.
Will any still be standing by the time the counting has finished tomorrow? We shall see
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 2 May 2013, 07:51
Welcome to our Live election blog. Over the course of the next 36 hours we will be covering the 2013 local elections as they happen. We'll be giving regular updates from around the country, reporting results as they happen and trying to give a quick and immediate analysis as to what it all means.
While we will be particularly focusing on the fate of the xxx far right candidates, we will also, for the first time, be casting an eye on UKIP, both in terms of their impact on the far right parties but also on the political mainstream.
Over the course of today, we will be looking at the electoral campaigns of the British National Party (BNP), the British Democratic Party (BDP), the National Front (NF) and the English Democrats. We will be looking at our own campaign, and reflecting how it has changed from previous elections. And we will be getting reports from the campaign trail across the country.
There are 27 county councils up for election, 8 unitary authorities, two Mayoral contests and one parliamentary election.
Most councils are counting the votes tomorrow, but a few will be announcing through the night.
So, if you are interested in how the far right do in these elections, the strength of the UKIP vote and it's possible impact on the mainstream parties, then keep tuned in to our election coverage.
You can follow us on this blog, on twitter (@hopenothate and @lowles_nick) and on Facebook.
In the meantime, here are ten contests to watch:
1) Padiham and Burnley West. The one County Council seat the BNP is defending. Lose this and the BNP is totally wiped out of Burnley. The omens don't look good for the BNP as sitting councillor Sharon Wilkinson decided not to defend her seat.
2) Coalville, Leicestershire. Graeme Partner is defending this seat for the British Democratic Party. He won it in 2009 for the BNP, went Independent, rejoined the BNP and then decided to stand for the BDP. Weird.
3) Pendle Central. A head to head battle between the BNP and the BDP in a traditional BNP stronghold. The BNP candidate, Brian Parker, is a local borough councillor but this contest has got quite bitter.
4) Doncaster Mayoral elections. The BNP and BDP could not find candidates for this contest, so it is left to the National Front to fly the fascist flag. The English Democrats won this election four years ago but their successful candidate is now running as an Independent.
5) South Shields parliamentary by-election. Will the BNP register a vote in what traditionally has been an area of strength for them and how strong will the support for UKIP be?
6) Leicestershire, Syston Fosse ward. Cathy Duffy is standing for the BNP. She is already a strong local borough councillor so the strength of her vote will be a good indication as to her chances of retaining her council seat next year.
7) Cumbria, Maryport North. With its close proximity to the BNP headquarters, the party has done more work here than in any other area of the country. It is the only area where we know Griffin has campaigned and the candidate is Clive Jefferson.
8) Kent, Swanley. Steve Uncles is contesting this seat for the English Democrats. He has no chance of winning but we'll be seeing just how badly he does and the UKIP impact on the English Democrat vote.
9) Derbyshire, Amber Valley division. For a long time this has been one of the BNP strongholds and in 2009 the party polled 29.8% in Central Heanor and 24.7% in Greater Heanor. Can the BNP vote hold up against UKIP and given that this is a key marginal parliamentary seat, just how will a strong UKIP vote be seen by the main parties.
10) Lincolnshire, Boston division. Last year the English Democrats took two council seats in Boston West and the area has a long history of voting for anti-EU and anti-immigrant parties. In the 2004 European Elections, the combined UKIP/BNP vote in Boston was 44%. In 2009 it was 35.6%. Just how well will UKIP do here?