Wednesday, 19 June 2013

HnH cancel meeting to avoid democratic opposition

Hope not Hate's public meeting in Basildon yesterday evening descended into farce when they failed to turn up for their own party. In fact, such was the willingness of Hope not Hate to indulge in democratic debate that before cancelling they called the police who sent a van along. This is hardly what could be called 'Standing up for HOPE'.

The George Hurd Centre, Basildon
Roughly a dozen people opposed to Lowles views turned up to take part in his public 'consultation' meeting about how to deal with UKIP only to hear from staff at the George Hurd Centre that the meeting had been cancelled. They waited for 30 minutes or so after the meeting was due to start, but no other members of the public turned up. As with the Warrington meeting last week, apathy for Lowles party political stance seemed to be the order of the day amongst the residents of Essex, who stayed away in their droves.

To our knowledge, there was no threat of violence to Lowles or his associates at the meeting. The problem was not the threat of violence, but the threat of opposition to the pre-determined outcome of Lowles consultation exercise which brought about the cancellation.

Just so we are crystal clear on this, we believe that Nick Lowles and Hope not Hate have every right to hold public meetings. They have every right to exercise their right to freedom of speech, without fear for their safety or that of anybody attending, and we have always urged that anyone attending to oppose his organisation should be polite, respectful and calm. Perhaps Lowles could take a lesson from our stance and ask the same of his 'anti-fascist' allies? If there were threats, then we deplore them, just as we deplore the threats of his allies in the UAF and Anti-Fascist Alliance.
The cancellation of the meeting saved Lowles from having to
justify his anti-democratic position in front of a
disapproving audience. So much for having the courage of
his convictions.

With that said, we would also remind Lowles and Hope not Hate that democracy means that people will disagree with you. We would remind them that if they want to involve themselves not in fighting fascism and racism but in playing at party politics at the behest of their Labour paymasters, they can not expect a free ride. They can not expect their usual hand picked audiences who agree politely (but with true revolutionary fervour) to what has already been decided by Lowles, who after all owns Hope not Hate Ltd.

In case the contrast should be missed, Nigel Farage returned to Scotland yesterday ahead of the Aberdeen Donside by-election. There, Hope not Hate allies the 'Anti-Fascist Alliance' ensured the cancellation of UKIP events by telephoned threats of violent protest to police and venues. Despite this, Farage was keen to proceed with his scheduled events, and was more than happy to take on protesters in debate. One protester was arrested for assault on a UKIP official after losing a debate with Farage. Such is the power of their arguments and their belief in democracy.

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