Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Hope not Hate's response to us - play the man, not the ball

We have noticed a fresh line of attack developing on our work to expose Hope not Hate. Never ones
to push the envelope on originality, Hope not Hate's minions have hit on the entirely unoriginal idea of condemning what we write because Dave Briggs - me! - has as Facebook friends people it claims are from the far-right.

Playing the man and not the ball is an old established favourite of Hope not Hate, so we'd like to be perfectly clear about a few things.

  • We support UKIP, a democratic, non-racist, non-fascist party.
  • We do not support the EDL, the BNP, the NF or any of the other splinter groups from them or any other far-right groups. 
  • We do not support or endorse violence in politics whether from the right or the left.
  • We accept all friend requests on Facebook without endorsing the views held by those making the request. Hope not Hate has no shortage of Facebook 'likes' from far-right activists.
  • We sometimes highlight inaccuracies in Hope not Hate reports on EDL and BNP activities. This does not imply support. The truth is always the truth, and a lie is always a lie no matter who tells it or for what cause.
We endeavour to be accurate in all of our postings. Although we like to have a bit of fun at Hope not Hate's expense - they take themselves ever so seriously - we are not in the business of spreading lies or disinformation. We do speculate on events and their causes, but we attempt to do so honestly. Where reports of Hope not Hate meetings are published, they are reports which we believe to be accurate from people whom we believe were actually present. 'We' are a small team of like minded individuals who work hard to expose the machinations of the far-left - the groups like Hope not Hate and UAF of which Labour MP Simon Danczuk said "The hard right threatens social cohesion and sows ugly seeds of division. The politics of the hard Left does much of the same.

We accept as true the following:

  • Not everybody who supports the EDL is a football hooligan or fascist thug
  • When someone aligned with the far-right says something, it is not necessarily untrue
  • When someone aligned with Hope not Hate says something, it is not necessarily true
Finally, if you believe something we have published is incorrect, please draw it to our attention and if you can prove it wrong, we will correct it. Unlike Hope not Hate, we will not block you from our site and remove the posting as we believe in democratic debate.

We must be doing something right. 21,000 page views in 6 weeks, and a daily reach of between 3,000 and 11,000 people on Facebook. Not bad.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Forgetting Sarah Marshall - a close friend of demo & Sheffield Socialist Party organiser Sam Moorcroft

A pretty young woman dancing carelessly at a demonstration seems to have caused uproar at Hope not Hate and one of their funders, the NUJ.

The woman at the protest - is this Sarah Marshall?
Last week, the Casuals United blog, operated by people you wouldn't want to run into in a dark alleyway, posted what they claimed was the Facebook profile of just that - a young woman dancing carelessly at a demonstration. The young woman - who they allege was called Sarah Marshall - was also seen to be throwing flowers. None of this would have mattered except for several salient points.

Sarah Marshall - if it was she - is also a trainee reporter on the Doncaster Free Press, and was sent there to cover a demonstration and the expected conflict between members of Casuals United and the EDL on one side, and anti-fascist protesters on the other. The demonstration centred on the Cenotaph in Sheffield. It was alleged that Ms Marshall joined the Antifa protesters, and the flowers she was throwing were flowers which had been laid at the Cenotaph in private acts of remembrance not connected with the demonstration. Sadly for the maybe Ms Marshall, she was also caught on video.

Since then, a war of words has erupted. The Casuals United blog outlined the case against her, and asked that people contact her newspaper to see if they approved of their journalists taking part in events they were supposed to report. This appears to have degenerated into a series of threats against someone who is after all young and inexperienced and who may well be the victim of a case of mistaken identity.

Meanwhile, the NUJ has waded into the row, issuing a statement exonerating Ms Marshall and clearing her of any part in the demonstration, while calling for the 'EDL thugs' who are persecuting her to be prosecuted.

For the Doncaster Free Press, it originally tweeted that it was investigating complaints against Ms Marshall. It then apparently cleared her in another tweet, but the link it gave went dead almost immediately and the posting linked to was removed. Since then, the newspaper has refused to comment, and has removed all previous comments.

All of which leaves us no closer to knowing the truth. Was the young lady pictured Sarah Marshall or not?

Ms Marshall's Facebook front page
before access was restricted
Contrary to the squeals of outrage from the NUJ and Hope not Hate, there is more than a passing resemblance between Ms Marshall and the woman at the demonstration. The Casuals United blog also alleges that Ms Marshall acknowledged it was her on her Facebook page before changing the privacy settings to prevent others seeing it, although they offer no proof of this allegation, and no screen captures.

On the other hand, sections of Ms Marshall's Facebook account remain public. While her Facebook front page did show her support for both the NUJ and Unite - both of whom fund Hope not Hate - her 'likes' are equally revealing.
Sarah Marshall 'liking' items on Sam Morecroft's page -
Moorcroft was one of the Sheffield Socialist Party organisers
who sought violent confrontation at the demo
These include 'Socialist Party - Yorkshire',  'Socialist Meme Caucus', 'Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs and Education', 'Sheffield City Council - Bring Back our MMA', 'VI Lenin', 'Socialist', 'Karl Marx', 'Re-elect Dave Nellist', 'Sheffield Socialist Party', 'Occupy Liverpool', 'Occupy Sheffield', 'Occupy Shropshire' and others in a similar vein.

Is this Ms Marshall - centre?
The Sheffield Socialist Party was according to their website responsible for the confrontation with the marchers at the wreath laying on June 8th, and actively sought violent confrontation with what it classed (rightly or wrongly) as the far-right. The Sheffield Socialist Party for Sheffield South is run by someone called Sam Morecroft who, like Ms Marshall, is originally from Shrewsbury. Marshall and Morecroft are friends, both on Facebook and in real life, and would appear to have been since their days in Shrewsbury, as it looks like Ms Marshall in the picture of 'Shrewsbury Socialist Party' which features Mr Morecroft as well. There is another photograph of an inebriated Ms Marshall and Mr Morecroft posted last year which according to a comment by Ms Marshall was 'about 6 years ago'.

None of this proves anything one way or the other, and it is all just speculation and deduction. It does raise a number of questions which the various statements issued - and in some cases subsequently removed - fail to answer. In summary these are
  • Is the woman at the demonstration Ms Marshall?
  • Whether or not Ms Marshall was the person in the photograph, given her closeness with the organiser of the protest, was it wise to assign her to this event?
  • Would Ms Marshall have been sufficiently neutral to abide by the NUJ's own code of conduct for journalists, point 2 of which states that a "journalist strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair"
  • Why has the Doncaster Free Press apparently removed its defence of Ms Marshall, and why is it now refusing to comment?
There are other questions, but these are enough to be going on with for now.

A drunken Ms Marshall and Sheffield Socialist Party organiser Sam Morecroft
With all that said, even assuming that Ms Marshall is the person at the demonstration the campaign of harassment against her seems excessive, particularly given her youth and inexperience: she is only a trainee reporter after all, and it is difficult to see what is to be achieved by proving all the worst stereotypes of the far right correct.

So after all that, is the woman at the demonstration Ms Marshall? We don't know, but we suspect that it is. If we had to guess at a sequence of events, they would go something like this:
  • Ms Marshall volunteers to cover demonstration because she knows one of the organisers
  • Ms Marshall gets carried away, possibly after a beer or two, as the AntiFa demonstrators are friends of hers from the Sheffield Socialist Party
  • Ms Marshall finds herself taking part in the demonstration rather than reporting on it.
  • Ms Marshall acknowledges her part on her Facebook, and then hastily removes it and changes her privacy settings when she realises she has been caught out
  • When Casuals United first published their information, she was called in by her editor and flatly denied it was her, knowing that it was unprofessional in the extreme.
  • Her editor defends her and repeats her denial.
  • The NUJ saw an opportunity to make political capital and, forgetting its own code of conduct, accepted her assurance while not caring if it was true or not.
  • Her editor realised that the accusations on the Casuals United blog were actually true and therefore deleted his defence of Ms Marshall and refused to make further comment.
All of which leaves almost nobody looking good. What started as an informative post by Casuals United descended into a series of veiled threats against a young woman. The Doncaster Free Press found itself unwittingly caught in a lie, and couldn't withdraw without risking the wrath of the NUJ. The NUJ knows it is lying, but doesn't care - who will take it on? And it is not a funder of Hope not Hate for nothing, while its leadership belong to assorted far left political parties, and it is depending upon the principle of 'might is right' to force its lie on the world.

This is of course all speculation, but speculation based on fair comment and research which links Ms Marshall to the organiser of the AntiFa demonstration. We do not advocate violence or any further threats against Ms Marshall - there is nothing to be achieved, and which media organisation will print it anyway? What is interesting is the way that apparently all of the groups and individuals involved  are either lying or covering up a lie, but the truth has come a distant second to the opportunity to make political capital.


HnH comply with Data Protection Act after Nope not Hope pressure, but who knows who will get your data?

Good news - sort of - for those who value their privacy in the internet.

After our story last month about Hope not Hate breaching the European Data Protection Directive  and the Data Protection Act, they have finally added a privacy and cookie statement to their website. Never ones to spend money when a cheapskate solution is available - they need the cash for the purposes of champagne socialism - they have opted for a free of charge solution available from the achingly right-on and inclusive 'Civic UK' company.

The option they have chosen ensures that visitors to their site still don't know what information is gathered by their cookies, and there is no option to browse without them - there is a Hobson's Choice of 'take it or leave it'.

Still, it is a start even if only a small one, and an acknowledgement that after a call from the Information Commissioner's office, even Hope not Hate are required to adhere to the law. We may have to wait a while to discover exactly what information HnH are harvesting though, as they have still failed to provide any information on what the multiple cookies they run actually do and what information they store.

Hope not Hate have also finally got around to publishing their privacy policy. It all sounds good - they will not share your information or sell or rent out their mailing list without your prior approval. Sadly, this rather contradicts the tacit permission you give if you do contact them, where the privacy statement says they will not share your personal information with anyone not connected with the Hope not Hate campaign. This rather broad, catch-all statement would allow them to pass your details on to the Daily Mirror (who help fund them), the Labour Party (likewise), Unite, Unison, NUT, NUJ, and a whole host of other trades unions. Who knows, if you live in the right area, you could even find yourself signed up as a Labour Party member by one of the unions.

The end result is that while Hope not Hate are playing lip service to complying with the law, their
broadly worded 'privacy policy' pretty much lets them pass any data you give them on to just about anybody. If you have contacted them, look forward to receiving anti-UKIP e-mails from a whole host of organisations ahead of next year's European elections.

It is worth remembering that Hope not Hate's 'technology consultants' are Blue State Digital, who are also employed by the Labour Party, and whose director is the Labour Party's favoured candidate in the Falkirk selection scandal currently gripping the Labour Party. Who knows what will happen to your information if they get their hands on it?

HnH Leicester meeting - a correction

Because we like to be accurate in our reporting, we felt we should correct an earlier report of Hope not Hate's meeting in Leicester in early June. In our report, we incorrectly stated that it had been attended by 76 people including the organisers. From Leicester's population of 441,213, this represented a 0.017% turnout. Our attention has now been drawn to an article written by a Mr George Gay who attended the meeting. In his report, he states that the meeting was attended by 'around two dozen people, mostly Leicester University students'.

He stated that the options on offer to the meeting were as follows:

  1. Ignore them.
  2. Monitor and expose racism within UKIP but don’t explicitly campaign against the party as such.
  3. Do campaign against the party as such.
  4. Recognising that much of attraction of UKIP is cultural, offer positive alternatives to communities.
  5. Some form of combination from the above four.
And then goes on to say that:

Although there were a few supporters of position 3 above, there was overwhelming support, including from myself, for a combination of 2 and 4 ( an actual vote was taken ).
Finally, the “other” Owen Jones told us that there had also been overwhelming support for 2 and 4 from the meetings which had already taken place, and asked us to consider the best ways of campaigning in the circumstances of Leicester and Leicestershire.
In other words, the outcome of the meeting - despite it being heavily attended by those with a vested interest in campaigning against UKIP - was that it monitor racism in UKIP, and offer a positive alternative.

Nick Lowles must be seething with rage, as his Hope not Hate organisation has already begun acting on its preferred option - to campaign against UKIP - and he was expecting his carefully selected audiences to deliver the correct democratic response to rubber-stamp his decision. This may well account for his decision to further restrict attendances at HnH's 'Stand up for HOPE' and 'Let's talk about UKIP' meetings - it is far easier to obtain the correct democratic result if you hand select those allowed to vote. In this, he appears to have taken lessons from his Unite funders as demonstrated by them in Falkirk, which his organisation has nothing to say about.

Meanwhile, we apologise for our error which lead people to believe that 0.017% of Leicester's population had attended the Hope not Hate meeting when in fact the figure was 0.005%. In actual fact, the meeting ran true to form, and organisers were left speaking to mainly empty seats.

HnH 'Infographic' worst example of deliberately misleading propaganda

Hope not Hate continue to cash in on the death
of Lee Rigby with dishonest infographic
Hope not Hate continue to attempt to cash in on the death of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich with the
launch of their new 'infographic' and its claim that it is a representation of anti-Muslim violence across the UK since May's events.

For some reason, HnH have also seen fit to include on their graphic not just marches by those it classes as 'far-right', but also wreath-laying ceremonies in memory of Rigby accompanied by what it claims are the number of those attending such ceremonies.

We can not see what the supposed link between the two is supposed to be. A quick glance at the map shows that there is no obvious link, with many areas which held wreath laying ceremonies experiencing no anti-Muslim events, and such events happening in areas where there was no wreath laying.

Hope not Hate also appear to have left off inconvenient wreath-laying events, such as the one in Woolwich attended by Labour MPs Stephen Timms, Saddiq Khan and Nick Raynsford. We assume that only events which cash in on Rigby's death in the correct fashion are approved by HnH: that is has ignored Labour organised events is understandable, as it will itself hope to share in the proceeds.

Then there are the 'anti-Muslim' incidents. Of the 31 they list, 13 related to either spray painting of graffiti or the leaving of bacon and pork at mosques. Included among the list is the vandalism at the Newport cemetery, where those who painted 'BNP', 'NF' & 'UKIP' on graves carefully avoided doing any other damage, and thoughtfully used a water soluble paint: we have discussed previously whether these were the actions of a far-right thug or a UAF/HnH supporter, and the same applies to these other incidents - it is in UAF and HnH's best interests to stir up religious strife.

Also featured are the arrests of Kevin Carroll and Tommy Robinson/Stephen Yaxley-Lennon in East London - nowhere near a mosque - and the threats sent to BBC political presenter Andrew Neill following his interview of Robinson/Yaxley-Lennon. The latter are more 'anti-Neill' than 'anti-Muslim'.

There are some outbreaks of honesty in their infographic, although perhaps unintentional. The supposed 'suspect device' left at a Liverpool mosque - which subsequently turned out to be a worshippers laundry - does not feature on the list.

HnH's Nick Lowles uses the opportunity in a blog posting to sell copies of his latest magazine, and he quotes liberally from his own editorial, saying:

"More importantly, ordinary people refused to let the extremists win. Most people understood that the actions of two people do not reflect the views of the British Muslim communities. "

Sadly, he seems to forget that while the actions of the two individuals in Woolwich may not be representative of their community, the actions of those who commit anti-Muslim vandalism or violence are not representative of theirs either. He then goes on to defend the 'Tell MAMA' organisation, despite the withdrawal of its government grant for massaging its own figures:

"It is disappointing then, amidst this hatred, that some journalists have attacked Tell MAMA, an organisation established last year to monitor and encourage reporting anti-Muslim hate crime, and even the very concept of Islamophobia. It is easy, sitting in their comfortable offices, to pick faults with Tell MAMA (an organisation HOPE not hate is proud to support) and downplay the level of violence. It is not they who are greeted by a nail bomb going off as they go to their place of worship or have to be woken from their beds in the middle of the night because someone has maliciously started a fire.
None of the journalists who attacked Tell MAMA and the concept of Islamophobia, have made a comment about Tipton."

Still no mention of
Karmani's positive
In the absence of any arrests or public comment on who the perpetrators of the Tipton event may be, it is difficult to make any informed comment beyond deploring all such violence. That Tipton
occurred does not however make 'Tell MAMA' right, and Lowles and Hope not Hate have consistently failed to deal with accusations that 'Tell MAMA' has deliberately lied over many months, in the process stirring up rather than damping down community divisions. To attempt to tie the two together from his 'comfortable office' is just more hypocrisy from HnH's head.

The article finishes with the usual publicity for groups and initiatives linked to Hope not Hate. Readers will be unsurprised to discover that there is still no mention of Imam Alyas Karmani's anti-grooming campaign nor any other event or initiative which is designed to improve community relations unless it is organised by an associate of Hope not Hate. Remember, only Hope not Hate are allowed to cash in on a soldier's death.

Friday, 12 July 2013

After cashing in on Lee Rigby's death, HnH now attack the late Sir Patrick Moore

Fresh on the heels of using the atrocity in Woolwich to sell copies of their latest magazine, Hope not Hate blogger Carl Morphett (also known as Simon Cressy) has just posted an attack on the late Sir Patrick Moore.

Posting a picture of Moore overlaid with a phrase they have attributed to him, Morphett wrote:

"Patrick Moore was a regular face on British TV for decades and was loved by many. Unfortunately, Moore had a dark side, he was a bigot and also a huge supporter of UKIP, which probably comes as no real surprise.

In the 1970s, Moore was the chairman of the anti-immigration United Country Party and was also a huge fan of the racist MP Enoch Powell.

This interesting little quote was posted to me the other day by one of our supporters.

Funny, but I don't remember UKIP ever condemning Patrick Moore for such blatant racism. But when it comes to racists within their party UKIP have a habit of closing their eyes."

Sir Patrick was quite clearly talking about 'parasites' - ie benefit scroungers - as opposed to all immigrants, even assuming that he actually said the words attributed to him.

The only slight consolation is that at least Sir Patrick is dead and in the ground. Lee Rigby's body was scarcely cold before they started trying to cash in on his death, and they announced the sale of the 'Woolwich Special' magazine just an hour before Rigby's funeral was scheduled to begin.

New Hope not Hate magazine now out - read our round up!

Unlike Hope not Hate, we don't have a magazine - or any other cheap tat produced by slave labour in the Far East - to flog to readers of our blog and Facebook page.

We see that Hope not Hate are busy trying to flog issue 9 of their magazine through their website and their Facebook page. It features such delights as:

  • Woolwich Report - We are the MANY (but not too many, as reflected by HnH meeting attendances). A special feature trying to cash in on the death of a soldier, while linking it to their political aims - exactly what they accuse the EDL and BNP of doing, in fact.
  • Putting Extremists in the Spotlight - featuring a token picture and a sentence condemning Anjem Choudhary, and then focussing on the EDL while ignoring Mohammed al Arefe and Yasser al Habib.
  • International News - where they demonstrate their lack of historical perspective and attack the Baltic states for viewing the Nazis as liberators from Soviet rule
  • Let's talk about UKIP - the results of their 'consulation' on UKIP in which - surprisingly - they decide to attack UKIP despite it being neither racist nor fascist. Still, they've gotta keep the money rolling in somehow from their Union and Labour paymasters.
  • Also Featuring - page after page of turgid, poorly written hypocrisy
  • Not Featuring in this issue - Anything to do with Imam Alyas Karmani's anti-grooming initiative, the 'Together Against Grooming' campaign, any of the Labour politicians accused of racism, Denis McShane and his theft, Unite fiddling Labour selection processes, anything to do with HOPE.
We bring you this round-up as a public service, and to save you the cost of buying it. There's nothing new, nothing which wasn't pre-decided, just 48 pages of hate and no visible sign of hope as they continue their slide into irrelevancy.

Perhaps next time they could print it on soft paper though - maybe two ply - and make it less slippery?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

HnH reduced to publicising case of brain dead moron who once said a racist word in a pizza shop

Reece Elliott - brain-dead halfwit, but not connected
to the far-right. Why would HnH be interested?
Things are obviously very quiet over at Hope not Hate. After the failure of their series of meetings
which was designed to stir up trouble for UKIP there seems to be a large number of people with too much time on their hands.

Take yesterday's stories posted on their Facebook page. While here at Nope, not Hope we were kept busy by numerous stories about corrupt Labour councillors, Unite gerrymandering candidate selections, Tories fighting like weasels in a sack and the odd Lib Dem child molester and drink driver, Hope not Hate were reduced to scraping the barrel.

Of four news links they posted, one - the second most shared - was from the Shields Gazette and concerned internet 'troll' Reece Elliot. Elliot was sentenced to 2 years 4 months for making threats to kill after posting insulting messages on a tribute site set up for a young girl who died in a car accident: when challenged, he pretended he was going to drive to the school and go on a shooting spree.

Elliot is far from an angel. He has 15 previous convictions for robbery, burglary and assault dating back to when he was 16. In all of this, he had one conviction for 'hurling racist abuse at a pizza shop manager', and it was presumably this which lead Hope not Hate to seize on the story. There appears to be no link to any far-right organisation or group.

Labour councillor Bill Jeffrey escaped a mention despite
using the phrase 'nigger in the woodpile' in a council meeting
All of which leads us to wonder what was the point? Are Hope not Hate so underemployed that they are reduced to scouring the web for any stories which involve even the slightest hint of racism? If so, it is strange that they missed another North Eastern story involving Labour councillor Bill Jeffrey, who used the phrase 'nigger in the woodpile' during a planning debate and was hauled before the standards committee, which cleared him of racism. We did post the story on our own Facebook page a couple of weeks ago, but HnH must have missed it. Perhaps they were busy arranging empty chairs for that nights meeting? Or perhaps they felt obliged to carry the Elliot story as it featured in the Daily Mirror, which funds their increasingly idle existence?

In case you wondered, we don't think Cllr Jeffrey should have got a mention: he's a relatively elderly man who used a phrase which while common 30 years ago is now politically incorrect. Even dragging him before the standards board seemed a little pointless when a quiet word in his ear would have had the same result but at far less cost. We don't condemn Cllr Jeffrey, only mention him to show the usual double standards and hypocrisy at Hope not Hate are still there.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Standing room only at Jewish Chronicle sponsored public meeting with Farage

We've been busy with other things for the past few days here at Nope, not Hope, but a picture has come to our attention this evening which we felt we had to share with the hypocrites at Hope not Hate.

According to Hope not Hate, these are xenophobes awaiting
Nigel Farage's speech.......
Tonight, UKIP leader Nigel Farage is addressing a meeting organised by the Jewish Chronicle 'somewhere in NW4' - sadly, the meeting details have had to be kept secret since Hope not Hate started sending along their UAF bully boys to disrupt UKIP events.

Now, we know that Nick Lowles and his colleagues are used to addressing rows of empty chairs, so we feel we should explain that the picture shows guests - who had to apply for tickets in advance - at tonight's meeting. This is what a busy meeting looks like.

.... while these people are closet racists.
This meeting, following as it does Mr Farage's visit to the Ghousia Mosque a couple of weeks ago, would seem to indicate that - far from being the xenophobic little Englander and closet racist which Hope not Hate constantly accuse him (and UKIP as a whole) of being - he is actually rather successful at reaching all sections of our community.

This is why they fear UKIP so much, and why they have given up fighting racism and fascism in favour of playing at party politics:

Friday, 5 July 2013

"You're not singing any more" - Hope not Hate silent on new Daily Mirror poll - UKIP only 1.2% behind Tories

After a number of articles on the Hope not Hate website pointing at a dip in UKIPs polling results in an ICM survey in June, they've been very silent on the latest results of a poll commissioned by their own funders, the Daily Mirror. That said, the Daily Mirror have been very quite on the results too: this is from their NHS Anniversary Poll which is all over their paper today, apart from the voting intentions bit, which their online coverage fails to mention!

As Hope not Hate are 'putting UKIP under a magnifying glass' with their 'Purple Rain' campaign, their failure to mention this result is nothing more than censorship, plain and simple. So much for their claims to stand for free speech and democracy - their approach is more fascist than the NF's!!

In a Survation poll released yesterday the results were as follows:

  • Labour - 36%
  • Conservative - 22.8%
  • UKIP - 21.6%
  • Lib Dem - 9.6%
  • Green 4.3%
  • SNP 3%
  • BNP 1.1%
  • PC - 0.4%
  • Respect - 0.2%
  • TUSC - 0.1%
This may explain the apparent panic at Hope not Hate, and the increasingly threatening behaviour of UNISON and their union allies as they attempt to shut down debate.

These figures were taken from Survation's data tables and can be found on Table 11, described as
"Q8 Voting Intention Tables - Special Table (After Replacing the Undecided/Refused Responses with 2010 Voters responses)

Q8.1. If there was a General Election taking place tomorrow, and there was a candidate from all political parties standing in your constituency, which party do you think you would vote for?

Base : All Respondents Would Vote and Excluding Undecided/Refused"
 These were not the most favourable figures - Table 10, which excludes undecided/refused and does not redistribute their votes, shows UKIP 0.4% ahead of the Tories!!

HnH's UNISON funders threaten UKIP candidate's wife, force withdrawal from election

I was looking through the list of local council by-elections today and was surprised that only one of the by-elections listed for today had a UKIP candidate. I then came across the following post in relation to the Swansea Llamsamlet ward by-election on the English Elections website forum written by the person who would have been the local election agent:

"The reason that there is no UKIP candidate in the Llansamlet election is because the intended candidate pulled out the day before nominations closed .... after his wife mentioned in work .... that her husband was thinking of standing for UKIP.

She claims that she was visited by the workplace UNISON rep who advised her that it would be the end of her career enhancement prospects if he stood."

Unduly influencing an election (or intention of the same) is an offence under S115 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 and is punishable by up to a year imprisonment.

Readers may recall that last night's Bury 'Let's talk about UKIP' Hope not Hate meeting was hosted by a UNISON rep, and that UNISON is a major funder of HnH.

When HnH talk about free speech, democracy and freedom from fascism, this is what they mean.

Follow us on Twitter @nopenothope for updates

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Hope not Hate on receiving end of 'Golden Shower' campaign after democratic consultation

Over on our Facebook page, we have been running a consultation exercise closely modelled on Hope not Hate's "Let's talk about UKIP" & 'Purple Rain' initiatives, and the results are now in. We asked a completely impartial question - exactly like Hope not Hate - and allowed anybody to vote who was interested. The question was:

And the responses - and results - were as follows:

A further 8 people 'liked' the question, indicating that they got the joke. Turnout was 15%, which is rather more than Hope not Hate managed for 'Purple Rain'!!

In true Hope not Hate fashion, all 32 participants agreed with the proposition, or failed to express a preference in this democratic exercise, and we are pleased therefore to announce the launch of our 'Golden Shower - putting Hope not Hate under the magnifying glass' campaign effective immediately.

We have at great expense designed the eye-catching graphic to accompany our campaign, which is reproduced right - you are free to copy and paste it without restriction!

News reports, pictures and information can be sent to our dedicated e-mail address at HNHgoldenshower@yahoo.co.uk or via our Facebook group!


Bury Hope not Hate meeting (attendance 7) - Report by Ian Upton

"We have been asked to make clear that Ian Upton is not associated with the EDL. This occurred while merging two serarate accounts of the meeting we received. We apologise for any inconvenience this misunderstanding may have caused"

Many thanks to Ian Upton who attended last night's Hope not Hate meeting in Bury and provided us with the following report.

Report of Hope not Hate 'Let's talk about UKIP' meeting

The Met, Bury, July 3rd 2013

The meeting was chaired by Jason Hunter, a Unison union rep from Burnley.

The meeting began with the speaker stating that police were in attendance because the EDL were on their way. They were surprised to discover that the EDL was already present and wearing a suit, sitting quietly and respectfully at the back.

I asked if the Hope not Hate organisation had lost its way somehow in defining which type of hate it supported and which type of hate it didn't ? Out of the 7 people who attended the two obvious UAF at the front really couldn't help themselves when talking of fascists and shouted over everyone from the front, quite embarrassing really when you consider myself (and the Bolton EDL Organiser) were very reserved and there to ask questions and challenge the views.

The meeting attempted to stereotype all EDL and UKIP members as fascist or racist. It was quite clear that  the outcome was already decided: UKIP would become a target. They were unable to grasp the notion that because a handful were racist it did not mean that all were, and were unable to answer the contrary point: Stuart Hall was a paedophile and a Labour Party member, did that therefore mean all Labour Party members were paedophile?

One female attendee stated that all Manchester EDL were 'uneducated' because of how they look, before claiming racism because she had a conversation (presumably with an EDL or UKIP member) with a person once who spoke of 'Asians' generally and stereotypically. She did not appear to grasp the irony.

She was followed by a soon to be standing Labour MEP candidate who couldn't help but mention that the only time she had received abuse was when she was knocking on doors on a "council estate" because the family had the audacity to challenge Labour past record and poor performance in government in effect nearly bankrupting the county. It's interesting to see Labour candidates disdain for what used to be their core voters and the very mention of their residence being "council" shows there own inherent stereotyping and class distinction.

I am more certain than ever that the far left and those in these organisations have an embedded interest in ignoring the facts and in being selective in what they see as hatred.

In Hope not Hate's campaign the hatred that comes from "Islamic Terrorists" to put it in the speakers words does not matter, and  nor does it matter that their own colleagues (Union Reps) who are supposed to be representative of all society in the workplace abuse the general public. If they say someone is Racist then it must mean it is true without being challenged or questioned.

The left don't like being challenged and what went down in Bury certainly showed that the inherent vision and determination to label and target without separation certainly clouds the judgment of these organisations
In other words, the meeting was identical to other HnH anti-UKIP meetings: the outcome was predecided, the attendance was laughably low, they attempted to prevent any who disagreed with their views from attending, and it consisted of the far-left repeating the same old stereotypes and platitudes about UKIP.

I'm sure readers will join me in thanking Ian for the excellent report. Similar reports are always welcome from other HnH meetings!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Fake Hawthorne profile now apparently removed - but be careful, there'll be others

The fake profile we warned of this morning in the name of Geoffrey Hawthorne now appears to have
Hawthorne - the profile is gone, but there
is a lesson in it for us all
been removed from Facebook following wide circulation of our blog posting - many thanks to all for spreading the word.

You can be sure however that those who are involved with UKIP and have a significant number of political friends on Facebook who they have never met in real life are likely to have one if not more already buried away. If the Hawthorne attempt had not made some fairly basic errors, it would have been much harder to spot. Even my own Facebook profile - Dave Briggs - has been accepted unquestioningly by almost 400 people, and while I know a handful in real life, I have only just joined Facebook. Hopefully, myself and my blog here have proved their worth and our commitment to the UKIP cause, but to those of you I don't know - particularly those who are standing as UKIP candidates at local, national or European level - even I could have trawled your profiles and screenshotted the odd questionable remark or internet 'meme'.

There seems to have been a spate of fake profiles lately, and this seems to be the new angle of attack both for the Tories who - financed by Ashcroft's millions - compiled a dossier just ahead of the local elections in May, and for Hope not Hate who are likely to step up their attacks on UKIP in order to justify their continued existence now that the far-right are largely defeated. They need a new enemy, and quickly, or they will fade into irrelevance.

I know many of you have separate profiles for personal and political use. Alternatively, you can set up a page to keep people informed of your political activities, while keeping the poor taste jokes, rude pictures and personal banter private on your own profiles. The key is to adjust your privacy settings to be sure that you only let people see what you want them to see. That uproariously funny joke that you shared with your friends after a few drinks last night won't seem quite so funny on the front page of the Daily Mirror accompanied by a serious political commentary attacking you personally as a racist/fascist/homophobe/misogynist. If you accept all requests without question, you must not think that your profile is private. It is not.

I don't mean to preach. You are all adults, and must decide for yourself. Remember though that in the less than 24 hour existence of the Hawthorne profile, it had amassed 142 mutual friends with me out of my total of abour 380, and most of you are UKIPpers. There is a lesson here for us all!

HnH defends Croatia regardless of facts - another 'Purple Rain' fail

Carl Morphett (writing as Simon Cressy) has just posted on Hope not Hate's blog about comments made by UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall regarding the accession of Croatia to the EU, and the possible effects on UK immigration.
Carl Morphett/Simon Cressy -
So eager to write propaganda he forgot
to check the facts

Once again, HnH show an astonishing lack of regard for the facts.

While Croatia is a small country it is getting ever smaller due to the net outflow of people - it is ranked 46th in the world for net migration according to the CIA World Factbook, and this rate of emigration has been accelerating for some time. Youth unemployment ranks 16th in the world, higher than Jamaica, Egypt and Iran, while adult unemployment is 35.6% for males and 36.8% for females.

While Croatian citizens may not in theory be able to work in the UK until 2020, Romanians are also technically unable to work in the UK until next year. This has not prevented a considerable inflow of Romanians, including those who obtain works permits as 'self-employed' sellers of the 'Big Issue' magazine, a route which also allows them full access to the benefits system as reported by the Daily Telegraph two years ago. Romania's youth unemployment rate is a modest 23.7%.

Paul Nuttall - elected to raise concerns
Nuttall also highlighted the issue of organised crime groups in Croatia, which is similar to the situation in Romania. It is clear that Romanian organised crime has extended its operations to the UK using Romanian immigrants, and Croatia remains a key entry point into Western Europe for drugs smuggled from South America. The BBC featured a report on Croatia in 2009 - Croatia cursed by crime and corruption - which outlined some of the problems the Balkan nation faces, while a HUMSEC report - funded by the EU - highlights the problems of crimes such as terrorism, trafficking of women and organised crime in the Western Balkans.

The accession of Croatia to the EU may or may not cause problems for the UK. What is certain is that however well Croatia has done since gaining its independence from the Yugoslav federation, it is not a nation without considerable internal problems of its own, and one could not blame its residents for seeking a better life elsewhere. Whether that is likely to be the UK will only be seen over time, but given the problems caused to date in the London alone by organised crime from Romania - whether that be in the form of trafficked women as in this BBC report or over reports that up to 1/3 of Romanians living in the UK have been arrested - it is not unreasonable to raise concerns.

Rather than attacking Nuttall for raising perfectly reasonable concerns, should HnH not be asking why politicians from the other parties are ignoring them?

HnH attack UKIP health policy - what does this have to do with racism or fascism, and why do Smeeth & Lowles find alcoholism funny?

Hope not Hate have just posted an attack on a statement by UKIP Health Spokesman John Stanley, a surgeon and UKIP candidate, as part of their 'Purple Rain - putting UKIP under the magnifying glass' series.

Nick Lowles - finds alcohol
dependency funny
Stanley had earlier released some thoughts on how to shorten NHS waiting times particularly in A&E departments and this has included the option of patients paying to be seen where they had been triaged by a clinician as 'non-urgent' cases.

HnH have reposted an article which first appeared on the 'Left Foot Forward' blog which simply outlined the policy proposal, although Lowles couldn't help but add several snide digs at UKIP which don't appear in the original article.

We take no position on whether UKIPs suggested approach is right or wrong: that is not our purpose. Equally, interfering in debates on health policy does not appear to be Hope not Hate's purpose either, unless there is some racial dimension we have missed. It seems to us that if HnH wish to enter into a debate on healthcare and the NHS, they should have some proposals of their own to offer.

Ruth Smeeth - doesn't care that 21.8%
of A&E admissions are drug or alcohol
The main purpose of HnH was to rubbish suggestions that people presenting at A&E with alcohol related problems should be made to pay for their own treatment. Although HnH find this uproariously funny and suggest that several UKIP MEPs would end up forking out, had they bothered to think before publishing they would have discovered that according to a report by the NHS Confederation, a 4 month study at St James University Hospital in Leeds showed that 21.8% of admissions via A&E were alcohol related. The report further states that in a trial at St Mary's Hospital, London, a test - the Paddington Alcohol Test - was used on patients believed to be presenting with alcohol related conditions and this resulted in 46% seeking treatment for alcohol addiction problems.

Alcohol and drug additions are serious and growing problems for the NHS. Hope not Hate may find them hilariously funny and useful as nothing more than a political football, but we see precious little sign of HnH offering any positive solutions, only plenty of mockery about a condition which is not funny, and which neither they, their Labour paymasters nor their union bosses are interested in dealing with.

If Nick Lowles, Ruth Smeeth and their friends want to play at serious politics, perhaps they should come up with some alternative policies? At least then they could offer some hope to those who are suffering. Meanwhile, John Stanley - who as a surgeon has first hand experience of these problems - should be applauded for trying to find a workable solution which reduces the misery of those in the iron grip of such addictions.


Lowles fights hypocrisy with hypocrisy in blog post

Nick Lowles - as guilty of hypocrisy
over freedom of speech as Igler
In an article apparently written without any sense of irony, Hope not Hate director Nick Lowles focuses today on the links between Pam Geller, Robert Spencer and Discourse Institute director George Igler. In it, Lowles says,

"it would appear that the Discourse Institute is quite selective in the  (sic) free speech campaigns and from a quick look at the organisation's website it regularly defends the EDL but seems not to offer these same freedoms to Muslims who are being silenced."

This is the same Nick Lowles attacking the Discourse Institute for not defending all free speech who just weeks ago organised the petition to prevent Geller and Spencer from coming to the UK and exercising their right to freedom of speech. At the same time, Lowles' organisation was quite happy to turn a blind eye to other hate speakers visiting the UK, including Mohammed al Arefe and Yasser al Habib. Lowles is also behind the 'no platform' campaign which seeks to deny activists his organisation deems 'far-right' from addressing public meetings, while just yesterday HnH and former NF activist Matthew Collins used the 'Insider' blog to lobby against Tommy Robinson/Stephen Yaxley-Lennon being given a platform a the Oxford Union.

As we have said before, we do not support the views of Geller, Spencer or Robinson/Yaxley-Lennon any more than we support the views of al Arefe or al Habib. The price of freedom of speech however is that even those on the extremes are entitled to it. You can not change peoples minds by victimising them, silencing them, ignoring them or inciting a large mob of UAF bully boys to turn up and beat them, you can only do it by taking on their arguments and defeating them. Lowles needs to get over himself and realise that without freedom of speech, you only have Hate, not Hope.

Warning: Fake Geoffrey Hawthorne profile likely to be Hope not Hate seeking to trawl UKIP profiles

Many UKIP members appear to have received a friend request from a veritable old gentleman by the name of Geoffrey Hawthorne overnight - I see he now has 142 mutual friends with me.

Geoffrey Hawthorne
(aged 12)
Mr Hawthorne was apparently born on the 26th August 1925, and claims to have served with the RAF during the War. He includes a number of pictures of himself in RAF uniform, including this picture of himself (right) which is labelled 'Geoffrey Hawthorne circa 1937'. This is remarkable indeed for a man who was born in 1925, as he was apparently a fully qualified RAF pilot at the age of 12.

Then there is the picture (below) of himself sat on the wing of an RAF Hurricane fighter in 1945. The picture is signed by 'George Westlake' and marked '213 Squadron'. Hawthorne claims it features himself with George Westlake, Jono Hordicke, Bernie Wiggleston, Staneley (sic) Matthews and Harold Shipman Snr(!)

Not Geoffrey Hawthorne, but definitely Gp Cpt George
Westlake DSO DFC and friends
As UKIP Derby spokesman David Gale quickly spotted, the picture actually features Joe Lynch, George Westlake, Hank Hancock, Peter Crowther and Freddie Wilson (RCAF), and is currently for sale on EBay

Finally, Mr Hawthorne lists his RAF rank as 'Captain'. The rank of captain does not exist in the RAF.

It would appear that this is a fake profile, designed to allow whoever is behind it to trawl the profiles of UKIP members as happened in the local elections. It is a great shame that those responsible choose to create a fictional war hero for their Walter Mitty attempt, and drag into it the names of genuine war heroes such as the late Group Captain George Westlake DSO DFC. I would recommend that you delete this contact if you have not already done so as it is likely to be a Hope not Hate creation.

A 'cut out and keep' guide to Danes and Somalis for Hope not Hate

Readers of Hope not Hate's Facebook page who were busy attacking the far right after a suspect package was left at the Al Rahma mosque in Liverpool may be wondering why their comments - and the story - disappeared overnight.

A visit to Hope not Hate's main website provides the answer - for now. Despite Hope not Hate crossing their fingers and wishing that the perpetrator was a far right activist of some sort, police initially stated that the man arrested was actually Danish. This was then corrected yesterday when it was revealed that the man who had been arrested and released with a caution was in fact Somali.

Hope not Hate will no doubt consider it a job well done in any case. While the initial posting appeared on Facebook and allowed their followers to speculate as to who was responsible, the correcting article appears only on their website, and even then with no accompanying explanation. Still, this is what happens when truth and harmonious inter-community relations come a distant second in a race to justify your own existence.

In order to help prevent Hope not Hate from making a similar mistake in the future, we have attached a handy 'cut out and keep' guide to aid them in distinguishing between Danes and Somalis in future.

It would be foolish to believe that the next time a visitor to a mosque forgets to take their laundry with them that Hope not Hate will not use the opportunity to do their best to stir up fear and hatred. Tomorrow, we will include the dictionary definition of 'hope', as they appear to have forgotten what it means.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Does it really take a £1m organisation to combat people saying rude things about Islam on the Internet?

Hope not Hate last night reposted a Channel 4 news article headlined "EDL 'linked to a third' of
Data based on 'Tell MAMA's figures -
but they are losing their grant because
of doubts about their accuracy
online anti-Muslim incidents".

The report, by the Centre for Fascist Studies at Teeside University, runs to 30 pages of analysis, but suffers from a serious drawback: its data is based on information provided to it by the 'Tell MAMA' campaign. Tell MAMA, which was founded by Fiyal Mughal last year and funded by the government, has just lost its central government grant because its figures were unreliable. In an article on June 9th in the Sunday Telegraph, Andrew Gilligan wrote:

"A controversial project claiming to measure anti-Muslim attacks will not have its government grant renewed after police and civil servants raised concerns about its methods.

The project, called Tell Mama, claimed that there had been a “sustained wave of attacks and intimidation” against British Muslims after the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby, with 193 “Islamophobic incidents” reported to it, rising to 212 by last weekend.

 The group’s founder, Fiyaz Mughal, said he saw “no end to this cycle of violence”, describing it as “unprecedented”. The claims were unquestioningly repeated in the media.

Tell Mama and Mr Mughal did not mention, however, that 57 per cent of the 212 reports referred to activity that took place only online, mainly offensive postings on Twitter and Facebook, or that a further 16 per cent of the 212 reports had not been verified. Not all the online abuse even originated in Britain.

Contrary to the group’s claim of a “cycle of violence” and a “sustained wave of attacks”, only 17 of the 212 incidents, 8 per cent, involved the physical targeting of people and there were no attacks on anyone serious enough to require medical treatment."

 The Teeside report focuses on incidents over a longer timescale, but the figures are broadly in line with those since the Woolwich incident. In the period 1st April 2012 to 30th April 2013, Tell MAMA has recorded 584 anti-Muslim hate crimes, of which 434 took place on-line, as opposed to 150 in the real world. Of these real world incidents, only 8% - 12 - involved 'extreme violence', although there is no indication of what extreme violence means. This is not to downplay the seriousness of assaults, but to show that of the 584 incidents recorded by Tell MAMA, only 2% involved anything more than what amounts to name-calling or insults.

HnH would like you to think that this is commonplace -
but even Tell MAMA's figures show this is not so
Of the real world incidents, only 29 out of 150 involved an identifiable link to the far-right, or 19.3% - a figure the report refers to as 'nearly a quarter', when it is actually 'nearly a fifth'. By 'far-right', the report refers to the BNP, NF and EDL and its offshoots: it specifically excludes UKIP (HnH take note).

There are several gaping holes in this data. Most noticeable is the lack of any indication of how many of the real world incidents which resulted in violence also had connections to the far-right, which leads us to believe the figures were pretty evenly spread. This would mean that statistically only 2.4 violent incidents took place with far-right links of the 12 recorded. Online, the situation was clearer, with 300 out of 434 incidents having links to the far-right, although even here the methodology was not clear - was passing on an internet 'meme' which could be considered anti-Muslim sufficient? As EDL membership is self-selecting and not limited to the UK, it is also not clear to what extent the data is valid.

What is interesting is to turn this data around the other way. Hope not Hate and its associated groups
Once again, HnH prove inept at
sorting data which doesn't fit
their agenda
have an annual turnover approaching £1m, and a significant number of staff. For the past year, it has involved itself in opposing hate crimes primarily against Muslims living in the UK. But that really highlights the scale of the problem facing Nick Lowles and Ruth Smeeth. On Tell MAMAs figures since the Woolwich incident, HnH's expensive organisation has essentially spent the last 6 weeks going after 40 EDL members who said rude things online about Muslims, and a further 17 people who shouted rude words at a Muslim in the street. According to the data in the Teeside report - and merging it with that released by Tell MAMA since the Woolwich incident - it means this expensive organisation has been chasing a mere 796 incidents, the vast majority of
Ruth Smeeth - may have
to step off the HnH
gravy train
which - 554 - amounted to Muslims being called rude names in internet postings. Of the real world incidents, only 12 - or 1.5% - involved violence, and only 2.4 - 0.3% -of those involved the far right. This does not seem to justify the scale of resources which Hope not Hate deploy, and explains their desperation to find another target before their own supporters begin to ask the same questions.

Without UAF to hide behind, Weyman
Bennet is just another political thug
The same problem is also facing the other supposedly anti-racist organisations, chief amongst which is Unite Against Fascism and its various offshoots. Many of these groups like UAF are simply front organisations for other political groups such as the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) who use them for spreading their own propaganda. If organised fascism is seen to be defeated, this audience is lost to them and that
they can not afford to happen.

Hope not Hate is not all about the money. It is about the influence and the power that brings: the access to media which unquestioningly accepts what they say. It is a heady brew, rubbing shoulders with sympathetic MPs and Ministers, editors and journalists. By selectively using statistics, they are not combatting the problem of anti-Islamic attacks, they are making it seem worse than it is, and diverting efforts away from the majority of perpetrators of real-world incidents who have no connection to the far-right. If there is a better example of Hope not Hate failing in its primary task, we have yet to see it.

All of this adds to the evidence that many of the supposed racist incidents are orchestrated not by the far right, but by anti-racist groups desperate to hang on to their positions and bands of thoughtless followers. Incidents such as the careful desecration of Islamic graves we reported on yesterday appear increasingly calculated to extend what HnH and UAF define as 'far-right' into the political mainstream. We have seen continually decreasing attendances at EDL marches which the EDL leadership has attempted to combat by ever more desperate political stunts. We have seen the collapse of the BNP, with its own attempts to hijack the Woolwich incident descend into farce. The English Democrats attempts to harvest disillusioned members has resulted in the collapse of the party. Andrew Brons and his new political party have disappeared.

UKIP should be on their guard. Lowles, Smeeth, Bennett and Smith will not let power slip through their fingers, and will resort to almost any means to prevent their followers seeing their own irrelevance to the political debate. They recognise that unless they successfully convince their own followers that UKIP is more than a political threat, their ride on the gravy train is approaching the terminus, and we should be aware from past experience that there are almost no depths to which they will not stoop to avoid having to step off onto the platform.



Monday, 1 July 2013

The respectful desecrators and a history of HnH and UAF disinformation

On our Facebook page this morning we covered the South Wales Argus' story about a racist attack on
Hate slogans carefully daubed while flowers and borders
remain undamaged and unmolested?
A strange sort of hate crime.
Muslim graves in Newport's Christchurch Cemetery overnight on Saturday. Graves in an area set aside for Islamic burials were daubed with 'Lee Rigby Murder', 'BNP', 'NF', 'UKIP', 'Kill the Muslim Pakis' and swastikas.

Our first thought was what a disgraceful thing it was to do.

Our second - who was responsible? - got us to thinking.

The picture shows that while the graves were daubed with paint, flowers, plants and solar lights mounted on the graves were all intact and unmolested, and in the image shown (above) the graffiti artists appear to have painted around the flowers on the headstone rather than apply a hefty kick to free up space. It is a pretty remarkable hate crime indeed where the perpetrators daub violent slogans and yet appear to have set out to do as little damage as possible: surely if you're desecrating a grave and you really mean it, you'd kick it to pieces as well? Nice, well brought up middle class vandals, perhaps? At least - unlike most 'far right' graffiti - it is all spelt correctly.

Then there are the omissions. The graffiti mentions the BNP, NF and UKIP and yet fails to mention either the EDL or its Welsh equivalent, the WDL. Coming just hours after the high profile arrest of Robinson/Yaxley-Lennon and Carroll in London, it struck us as strange that only political parties were mentioned rather than the rather more high profile groups who had been making news headlines all that day. An extension of these thoughts is that UKIP bars anyone associated with the other two groups - or any other far-right group - from membership, while the BNP & NF have a mutual loathing for each other which far outweighs their loathing for Islam. The idea that someone would paint the names of the three organisations as a gesture of support is absurd, given that the BNP and NF regards UKIP as 'race traitors'. A much more likely scenario is that it is an outrage designed to link UKIP and the far-right, which makes it unlikely to have been carried out by anyone on the far-right.

 Richard Purssell (l)
and Dan Cole (r) - both
allegedly UAF activists
There is also the location of the cemetery. Christchurch cemetery is relatively remote, separated from the nearest houses by the M4 motorway and in a relatively rural and difficult to reach location. This was not some midnight drunken prank: carting paint and brushes to such a location required some thought and advance planning rather than a spur of the moment decision, otherwise how would the correct graves be found in the middle of the night out of the many thousands there? How would the slogans be daubed so carefully without torches, and if it was done by torchlight, how come there is no sign of accidental trampling of flowers or other ornaments unless great care was taken?

This brought us back to thinking of several other recent events. On Saturday, we had two UAF supporters dressed as EDL members attacking the EDL leaders on their publicity stunt. Initial reports and tweets from UAF and Hope not Hate indicated that the 'far right were fighting amongst themselves': there has been little reporting of the assailants since. If reports on far-right websites are true the assailants were UAF activists Richard Purssell and Dan Cole dressed in what has become the unofficial uniform of the EDL.

Wood was cleared by a police investigation of making these
statements - they were either made on a duplicate account
or were photoshopped.
This in turn lead us to think about the story of Alex Wood, the UKIP candidate who was splashed across the front page of the Daily Mirror allegedly giving a Nazi salute. With his left hand. He was also alleged to have made comments about Africans living in mud huts, and to have admitted that the picture was of him making a Nazi salute. Hope not Hate devoted considerable time to attacking his claim that his account was hacked, and yet a police investigation subsequently discovered that Wood had not in fact made either statement, and that alleged screenshots in his name appeared to have been created either on a duplicate account created by somebody using his name, or to have been photoshopped. While the original discussion that took place on-line on the Hope not Hate Facebook page appear to have been removed, it is interesting to note that what remains of HnH's participation is hedged by 'allegedly' and 'apparently':

Note the use of the word 'apparently'

We have been unable to find another example where Hope not Hate while condemning the web postings of someone they claim to be far-right hedged their libel bets in such a way. The suggestion must be that 'Simon Cressy' - a pseudonym for HnH staffer Carl Morphett - had some idea that the quotes were not genuine, and yet was prepared to use them anyway. Wood may well prove to be guilty of other offences through his association with failed Tory candidate Joshua Bonehill, but on these, he appears to be innocent, the victim of a 'frame up' which Hope not Hate appeared aware of and yet chose to ignore.

If those who at first glance appear responsible for these actions were not behind them, the question must be 'Cui bono', or who benefits?

It is not difficult to imagine that the pictures of 'UKIP' scrawled on an Islamic grave alongside a swastika will appear in Labour Party election literature, and quite possibly in Lib Dem and Plaid Cymru as well, and even the Tories wouldn't surprise us.

Alex Wood was used by the Daily Mirror (who part fund Hope not Hate along with a number of trades unions) and Hope not Hate just before polling day in the local elections once it became clear that Labour were also suffering badly at the hands of UKIP.

It would appear that the 'beneficiary' of these actions though is primarily Labour. There are undoubtedly ties between senior Labour Party figures and the 'hard left' anti-fascist groups, including HnH and UAF. And as HnH features the Newport story on their webpage, we see the first of the 'dog-whistle' political comments appear:

From Hope not Hate's facebook page
Sarah Evans also operates a blog, just in case you thought this was a random comment from a concerned member of the public - Sarah Evans Labour - and was the Labour Party candidate for North West Hampshire in the 2010 general election. She frequently features Hope not Hate on her blog.

So who is responsible? We suspect we'll never know. There are unlikely to be any arrests, but already we see Labour Party activists using the attack to make political capital. It is not difficult to imagine that whoever was behind the desecration has some ties to the anti-fascist movement. Such fascist tactics are increasingly a part of their repertoire.