Monday, 11 November 2013

Mock outrage over UKIP wreath, despite it being supplied by the RBL

More outright dishonesty on Hope not Hate's pages this evening as they repost a Plymouth Herald article attacking UKIP for using a remembrance wreath with the party logo in the centre. It reads in part:
The offending UKIP wreath -
as supplied by the RBL

They (UKIP) are seeking to hijack a national day of remembrance for narrow party political ends, said Cllr Ian Bowyer, Conservative group leader on Plymouth City Council.

And council leader Tudor Evans said the wreath was in very bad taste.... We have always made Remembrance Day an apolitical event. We'd be happy to leave the wreath there but the logo has to come off. Propaganda in this way is not at all the right thing in a military city which has seen a lot of war deaths."

But UKIP defended their action, saying the wreath was supplied by the event organisers, the Royal British Legion.

Quite why Hope not Hate should care is beyond me. They began the run-in to Remembrance Sunday by posting their support for the University of London Union, a student body which decided to commemorate those who died for their freedoms by not officially attending any Remembrance event. It was only when the vast majority of subscribers who commented on their article did so negatively that they belatedly added the 'red poppy' icon to the Hope not Hate logo.

Below the word for word repost on Nick Lowles blog is the single comment allowed on the story, a sycophantic rant by someone allegedly called 'Brett Sparkes':

The not offending Labour wreath -
as supplied by the RBL
'That is what was sent to me' Do they take us for idiots? Are they trying to blame the Royal British Legion? This is a party which has put up candidates who were formerly BNP members and now they have the cheek to try to make a political statement from the remembrance of those who fought for freedom, many against those fascists who would fit quite happily with the BNP and its more 'respectable' cousin.

There are several things to say to that.

To deal with the matter at hand first - the wreath. To show you what they look like, I've attached a picture to the left. Oh, sorry, that's the Labour one. Who attacked the UKIP wreath for being in poor taste for having a logo on it.  The Labour party whose local Council leader Tudor Evans said "We have always made Remembrance Day an apolitical event. We'd be happy to leave the wreath there but the logo has to come off. Propaganda in this way is not at all the right thing".

So do the Tories use them too? Of course they do, although I do not know if they used one in Plymouth. In fairness one of their agents had the following to say on the subject:

A not offending either Conservative
wreath - as supplied by RBL
"Over the weekend, the Royal British Legion circulated a form for organisations to order Remembrance Day wreaths. This has prompted a number of enquiries from members asking about the type of wreath they should purchase.

Last year, there was considerable coverage in the national press when UKIP and the BNP laid wreaths with their Party logo printed in the middle. Upon investigation, it transpired that the Royal British Legion at Aylesford, who manufacture the wreaths, offer them for sale with various logos (including political parties) being printed on them. Clearly, therefore, the British Legion find this appropriate or it would not be offered.

Notwithstanding the above, my personal view is that politically branded wreaths for Remembrance Day are inappropriate. Not only does it run the risk of us being accused of politicising Remembrance Day, but I believe the majority of people simply do not want to see political logos emblazoned across wreaths laid at memorials."

span style="font-family: Times, "Times New Roman", serif;">This from a blog by
Andrew Kennedy, Conservative Party agent for Tonbridge and Malling, and for once we have a Conservative talking sense.  I wouldn't normally link to the page, and I'm loathe to praise a Tory, but it is well written and I can't disagree with what he says. I'd agree the UKIP logo looks pretty tacky, but its the RBL which makes them like that.

We have dealt with Sparkes' other allegation - that UKIP stand former BNP members - many times before. While UKIP prevents former BNP members from joining, Labour held on to power in several places in informal coalition with the BNP - Burnley springs to mind - and have several ex-BNP defectors sitting as councillors.

So, once again, Hope not Hate has its facts wrong, and its supporters continue to blindly spout slogans more appropriate to their own party than UKIP. Why are we not surprised?

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