Saturday, 12 October 2013

Hope not Hate's actions define them as more fascist than their opponents

A comment by Andy Lovie on my Facebook recently set me to thinking more widely about Hope not Hate's tactics with respect to UKIP.

For those of you who don't recall, Mr Lovie was 'outed' by Hope not Hate in cleverly written piece which implied far more than it actually said in order to avoid libel action. Mr Lovie's supposed crime was that he appeared on the BNP's leaked membership list from 2009.
Andy Lovie - dared to speak to a
former BNP activist

Now, I don't know Mr Lovie personally - he is a Facebook friend whose posts I view occasionally, but that is it. I can't say that I've ever seen him post anything which could be considered either racist or fascist: I've only ever seen from him the sort of thing one would expect a middle-ranking UKIP activist and sometime branch officer to post. His interests are wide-ranging, and he shows a genuine concern for the world.

I don't know if Mr Lovie was ever a member of the BNP. Yes, his name appears on their list and is marked 'activist'. And yet Lancaster Unity, in a commentary on the lists at the time they first appeared, clearly stated that

"Some of the additions to the list are as recent as September of this year, indicating that some of the members listed - though how many is anyone's guess - are not in fact members at all."

While even Wikileaks, who first published it stated

"It should not be assumed that every person with a BNP membership number is a current member of the BNP," the site says. "For instance, journalists and opponents have sometimes joined the BNP to obtain information about it."
This is certainly true, not least because there are at least 6 names which are not real people at all, and whose addresses are fronts for either the UAF (2) or Hope not Hate/Searchlight (4). There are probably more whom we are not familiar with. Mr Lovie categorically denies having been a member of the BNP, and does not know how his name came to appear on their list. He would not be the only person caught in such a situation.

Hope not Hate did allow Mr Lovie a 'right of reply', but then heavily annotated his response to ensure
Carl Morphett - regularly associates with
former BNP activists
that it lacked continuity and that their point of view would prevail. As if to prove their case, they accuse Mr Lovie of discussing the matter online with a former BNP activist, Steve Thompson. The fact that the author Simon Cressy (more properly Carl Morphett) regularly speaks to former far-right thug and HnH employee Matthew Collins is an irony not mentioned, and is hardly proof that Cressy/Morphett is himself of the far-right.

Sadly for Mr Lovie, he is just the latest victim in a long line of UKIP personnel subjected to these intimidatory tactics. We recently saw a UKIP councillor paraded across Hope not Hate's pages: his crime? He was in hospital and missed a council tax payment by 4 days - the council subsequently summonsed him for non-payment. We have seen a prospective UKIP candidate's wife's career threatened by a local union official if her husband dared to stand for UKIP.

We can also add to this mix the hacking of UKIP member's social media and e-mail accounts, the photoshopping of screen grabs and the repeated jumping on out of context or poorly phrased quotes from largely elderly UKIP members.

The point? It is quite straightforward. It is using the tactics of Nazi Germany to intimidate people into not sticking their heads above the parapet and supporting or standing for UKIP. As thriller writer John Lescroarts said, “The essence of fascism is to make laws forbidding everything and then enforce them selectively against your enemies.” - which seems to fit Hope not Hate rather well.

Thus we see nothing about Labour racism, so ably demonstrated by the formerly ruling group on Harrow council, and yet god help an aged UKIP councillor who - respectfully but mistakenly - uses the word 'coloured'. We see Mr Lovie crucified because his name appears on a list which even their allies deem inaccurate in an article written by a close associate of a former NF thug. We see a UKIP councillor who was mistakenly summoned smeared, while there is no mention of the hundreds of Labour councillors who don't just miss a payment but refuse to pay their council tax at all - see our Facebook page for details.

If anyone can imagine a closer fit for Lescroarts quote than Hope not Hate, we have yet to see it.

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