Friday, 31 January 2014

Hope not Hate and the £70k VAT fraud

As promised yesterday on our Facebook page, news reaches us that senior Hope not Hate staff face having their collars felt as research indicates they misused the VAT exemption certificate for their charitable arm - Hope not Hate Educational Ltd - to evade VAT on services relating to their anti-UKIP political campaigning.

An in-depth report by former UKIP staffer Mark Croucher - available in full on his own blog - suggests that campaigning work carried out in the 2010 General Election by political strategy company Blue State Digital was invoiced without VAT being included. On publicly available invoices this amounts to a little over £12,000 they fraudulently evaded, but as Blue State Digital still work for Hope not Hate, this could amount to a total of over £ 70,000 over the past 4 years. In this time, Hope not Hate have received over £150,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government towards their charitable aims.

The question must now be what will Hope not Hate's financial backers think of such tax avoidance? The Daily Mirror wrote 3 months ago that

"Tax avoidance is now running at £35billion a year – £3billion more than when Labour was in power....Because think how many nurses, police officers and teachers could be employed with that £35billion. Think how many vital services could have been saved from the cuts and how many jobs protected."

Nick Lowles - owner of Hope not Hate
who sanctioned VAT fraud
While trade union UNISON wrote

"UNISON supports the introduction of a general anti-avoidance principle in the tax code that would allow for HMRC to take action against any tax avoidance and placing an obligation on individuals and corporations operating within the UK to pay their fair share of taxes"
UNITE has had plenty to say about tax evasion, but as a tax evader itself, it will probably applaud Hope not Hate's fraudulent use of their exemption certificate.

Quite what other unions with a more traditional bent will think remains to be seen: PCS, CWU, GMB, NUT, TUC, AMICUS and the FBU remains to be seen.

Ruth Smeeth - Hope not Hate
Educational Ltd's general
secretary: did she know of
VAT fraud?
We understand that the matter has been reported to the Charity Commission - who censured HnH a decade ago for mixing its political activities with its charitable ones - HM Customs & Excise, the police, and the Electoral Commission as their 2010 return was fraudulent and not a true reflection of their financial affairs. It can only be a matter of time before Nick Lowles and Ruth Smeeth have their collars felt.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Greens select SWP watermelon for Wythenshawe & Sale East

The Green Party have selected a typical watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) as their candidate for the Wythenshawe & Sale East by-election. Further education lecturer (what else) Nigel Woodcock is their man of choice who wrote this letter to Socialist Worker, in which he said:

Nigel Woodcock, Green Party
watermelon candidate
In Marxist terms, society is divided into two basic classes. Most of us are forced to sell our labour, so we are working class. The distance between the working class and the “middle class” is tiny when compared to that between the broad mass of people and the ruling elite.....We have a critique of capitalism and elite power. The Green Party is one where socialists can operate. It is misleading to say that we believe in “individualistic solutions” to the problems we face. Solutions must be collective and must start with global economic justice....This is not instead of collective solutions based on mass movements and redistribution of wealth, but as well as. We do not believe that the SWP advocates wastefulness or other unethical behaviour from its members....We have a bright future ahead of us and hope to be key players in creating a society with a redistributive agenda. We’d like to be alongside you in this struggle.

Quite apart from his support for the rape apologists at the SWP, he also administers an anti-Sun newspaper Facebook group. Other interesting Facebook groups he belongs to include a whole host of vegan and vegetarian groups - no wonder he looks like he needs a decent steak - and the Morning Star reader's group: the Morning Star being the UK's communist daily newspaper. Interestingly, he also belongs to the EDL group, but I dare say we won't see Hope not Hate attacking him for that.

On Twitter, he follows (of course) the SWP, UAF, Socialist Resistance, Green Left and a host of other extreme left wing causes.

What could local resident expect if they were to defy common sense and elect a true working class hero from, erm, Maidenhead in Berkshire? There's a group on Facebook called 'We want a congestion charge in Manchester'. Woodcock is the sole member.

We can only suppose that the Green Party had little choice but to choose Woodcock. He's the only Green Party member north of Watford with a job, and those deposits are hard to come by for elections!

HnH incites violence against immigrants

It was instructive to watch the Hope not Hate Twitter feed earlier on today. With Jobbik set to hold a meeting in London - originally in Holborn, but moved to Speaker's Corner at Hyde Park - Hope not Hate were busy providing a blow by blow account of how many people were present, exactly where they were, what the police presence was like, and how and where they were moving.

It is difficult to guess what the point of this is if it is not to cause - or at least enable - violent opposition. There is a certain irony here given that most of those attending were Hungarian immigrants to the UK: Jobbik leader Gabor Vona's visit is ostensibly to speak to the large Hungarian population in the UK ahead of forthcoming elections in Hungary.

So what else could be the point of this and other such detailed tweets? Hope not Hate are not a rolling news provider, and the precise location of far-right activists on a minute by minute basis is hardly news in any case: these are demonstrations and meetings which would draw a limited audience at best. As we have seen previously in Woolwich and elsewhere, the object of the exercise is solely to draw 'anti-fascist' activists onto those Hope not Hate decides to be far right while being able to decry responsibility for the resulting violence.

In the past, this has not made a huge difference. It is fair to say that a significant proportion of the 'far-right' were nearly identical to their anti-fascist enemies: thugs spoiling for a fight. The question must be at what point does this spill over into mainstream politics?

We have already seen Green Party councillor Ian Driver taking part in a violent protest against UKIP in Margate earlier this month. That Driver has close links to the Socialist Workers Party, Unite Against Fascism and Hope not Hate is indisputable. We also reported on our Facebook page about moves by the SWP, UAF, HnH and the Labour Party to actively campaign against UKIP in this year's European Elections, not under a party banner, but anonymously with placards designed in UKIPs colours. Given the links between these self-proclaimed anti-fascists and their use of fascist tactics, how long will it be before we see a repeat of Margate's violence, but directed specifically against the demographically older UKIP membership and activist base?

That it is coming is almost beyond argument. We have seen situations bordering on violence at several other events, including Hove. These intimidatory actions make a poor substitute for reasoned argument or debate, but Hope not Hate are not without form in this: their own 'director of intelligence' Matthew Collins is a former NF thug with a record by his own admission of beating up elderly ladies.

Hope not Hate's guiding ethos according to their website is their opposition to racism and fascism. With UKIP's membership increasingly comprising settled immigrants to the UK from many former British colonies, their continued targeting of UKIP appears increasingly absurd: how long before their braying band of supporters finds itself chanting 'UKIP scum off our streets' to a primarily Asian or Caribbean UKIP meeting?

As for the fascism, the idea of destroying political meetings with violence is nothing new. It happened in Soviet Russia. It happened in Nazi Germany. It happens around the world now, in Ukraine, in Turkey, in North Africa, in Zimbabwe. The common thread is the fascism not of the meetings, but those who would break them up.

It hardly needs saying that UKIP is not the far right. UKIP is a moderate, democratic party. Do people who belong to UKIP say stupid things from time to time? Yes, of course they do. The difference is that while UKIP removes them immediately, there are plenty of instances of homophobia, mocking of the mentally ill, threats of violence and even racism on Hope not Hate's own Facebook page as detailed on this blog many times. Hope not Hate regularly censor their own page: in a recent debate about Nigel Farage's comments about gun control, they carefully removed comments which pointed out that they had nothing to do with racism or fascism and that Hope not Hate was exceeding its stated remit in attacking on straight political grounds. It left behind multiple comments from people encouraging others to use a gun on Mr Farage.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Andrew Scott, the man charged with hitting Nigel Farage with a placard: picture

Following the news that a man has been charged with assaulting Nigel Farage at yesterday's meeting in Margate, we had a bit of a dig around to see if we could find out anything about him. A profile in the name of Andrew Michael Scott was rapidly found, although it contained little of interest. His main occupation appeared to be entering contests online and posting the results. There was nothing political on it, and we would have moved on, except..... while we were having a look, the profile disappeared - we can only assume that he got home from court and either removed it or locked it down despite it not being entirely clear whether it was or was not the profile of the correct Andrew Scott.

We were not downhearted. His profile stated that he was in a relationship and gave his partner's name. Her profile was not locked down, and again was full of little apart from online competition entries. The sole clue was a notice for The Mass Sleep Out in Folkestone last August, an anti-austerity protest organised by the People's Alliance. On going to their page and looking at the attendees, there was another 'Andy Scott' listed, and their profile was full of the usual anarchist and SWP slogans, although it listed them as living in London and there were few connections to Margate. But was this Andy Scott the same person as the Andrew Michael Scott whose profile had disappeared?

The answer was in the cats. The Andy Scott profile was quite heavily locked down as well, with no visible photographs except some anodyne cover pictures. One of these featured a picture of two cats sitting on a fence which had been posted to the group "Group for anarchists to post pictures of their cats in" - no, really! Now, where had we seen those cats before? On Andrew Michael Scott's girlfriends profile! We checked back, and there they were, with her explaining how they were her cats.

And so, we give you a picture of Andrew Michael Conway Scott, the man charged with assaulting Nigel Farage in Margate. Although the profile we looked at first is gone, his second, is here although we suspect it won't last for long. We have removed his girlfriend's face from the photograph, as she is charged with nothing, and have not - and will not - release her name.

Interestingly, Scott was a supporter of Councillor Ian Driver's bid for election to Kent County Council - at which he failed - and was one of 79 members of the group Vote Ian Driver for Kent County Council. Driver is the Thanet District Council Green (former Labour) councillor who attended the demonstration. Interestingly, in the group is an article by Driver calling for the UK to leave the European Union. Naturally, when Driver calls for it, it's not racist, only when UKIP does!

*Note - the man charged is the one wearing the black hoodie in the video, not the fat one with the green shirt!

A round-up of Labour activists caught so far

As news breaks in the Guardian that the Labour Party is set to specifically attack UKIP in the upcoming by-election in Sale & Wythenshawe on the 13th February we thought it was worth rounding up the culprits behind the rather more literal attack on UKIP leader Nigel Farage at a meeting in Margate, Kent yesterday.

In the Guardian article, Labour MP John Healey said:

"Ukip's strategy is not just appealing to people from the right of the Tories; they are making the case to traditional Labour voters. Step one for Labour is to take the threat seriously. Step two in selected areas is to step up what we are doing to counter them. Step three, we have to show we understand their concerns and Ed Miliband has made a good start on this with his 'cost of living' campaign"

Another senior Labour MP (un-named in the article) said: "Ukip are eroding our base in coastal towns and the north. It is a judgement whether Labour welcomes Ukip taking Tory votes or worry about what is happening long term to our own vote".

On Planet Thanet however, local Labour activists seem to have taken the message too literally. So far, we have two councillors - one a senior Labour councillor, another a former Labour councillor who now sits as a Green but with continuing close links to Labour - plus a number of Labour activists determined to prevent UKIP holding meetings, by violence if necessary. We are still going through the footage to see if we can identify any others - we believe there are at least 2 more Labour councillors present, plus another high profile Green Party activist. Can assaulting the UKIP leader and shouting obscenities really be their best tactics? You will note that several of these people have been photographed with senior Labour shadow cabinet members, including Yvette Cooper (shadow Home Secretary) and Harriet Harman (Shadow leader of the Commons). We have yet to see any condemnation from Hope not Hate, who of course tacitly approve of such action.

Anyway, here are the pictures - all brought together in the same place for ease of reference. If any readers have further information on the people in the online videos of the incident, please message us and let us know - through Facebook is best.

It looks like Cllr Clark to us


We have been informed these may not be the same person - we shall
remove it if further investigation proves this to be the case.




Is this Labour councillor Douglas Clark in the Margate mob?

Here's another one - are these the same person, Labour councillor Douglas Clark of Thanet District Council?

If it is, is this really the behaviour expected of Labour councillors?

More Labour links to the Margate demo....

Here's another few to keep you going. Are they the same people? There's more than a passing resemblance.


Green Party and former Labour Cllr Ian Driver - revolutionary socialist - at Margate demo

In Margate, it wasn't just Labour.

Meet Thanet Green Party councillor - and prospective parliamentary candidate - Ian Driver.

Driver is a what many Greens turn out to be: a watermelon. Green on the outside, red on the inside. Previously the publisher of a blog called 'Red Thanet'. Naturally, he also has close links to the Labour Party, having been elected originally as a Labour councillor. A supporter of Revolutionary Socialism, he is a close associate of Bunny la Roche who is pictured next to him: she is a member of the SWP, CPGB, UAF and supports the rapist lead Love Music, Hate Racism campaign. She was a speaker at a UAF meeting organised in Margate, heading the bill with Labour councillor Will Scobie.

Here's what a Thanet local by the name of Tom Clarke had to say about Ian Driver on a blog:

"Quite incredibly, Ian Driver, on his own Red Thanet blog, talks of snouts in troughs because councillors may hold office at severalk levels. Well, if we just discount the value of progressive experience for the moment, let us examine Driver's own record.

He stands for Ramsgate Town and Thanet District councils for Labour, thus becoming a double hatter in his terminology and securing himself some £4,000 a year in the process. He then turns his back on Labour, having used their machine to get the seat and allowance, but promptly sells his soul and his vote at TDC back to them again in return for a chairmanship carrying another £8,000 per year. That secured, he then turns his back on Labour yet again and decides to run against them in the KCC elections.

Is this really a man the electorate can trust and is his snout not equally in the trough. Think about it and his grand jesture to resign his Ramsgate and Thanet seats, costing us further elections in the process, why not resign now? Why didn't he resign either the Ramsgate Town or Thanet Dist5ict seats earlier if he feels so righteous about double hatters. Then, and this is the big one, what is his chance of taking the Ramsgate KCC seat or will he just split the Labour vote, he is. after all, unlikely to take any from the Tories. Hence his grand jesture is just the usual posturing or have we already forgotten what he was going to do as Kent's Police Commissioner and then could not even raise the deposit.

Since many of the anonymous commentators mark me down as a Tory, you would think I would be happy to see Driver splitting the Labour support in Ramsgate. Wrong, I would be much happier to see clowns and chancers like this one totally out of local politics.

Labour Party involved in Margate anti-UKIP hate mob

A little game of 'spot the difference' - or even spot the similarity - for you this morning.

Do you think that....

Yes? Well, here she is in full size: she's just behind Thanet Labour leader Cllr Clive Hart's shoulder in this picture of the Thanet Labour Party on the day Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper came to visit.

There were several more Labour Party members involved - more details later if we find the time!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Dealing with Hope not Hate on Facebook in 3 easy steps

You may well find that like several of us here, daring to disagree with Hope not Hate's propaganda on Facebook leads to you being unable to comment on their posts. Such is the way with fascists - they run a campaign against 'government gagging', and then censor those who dare to disagree with them.

There is still a way you can take action which will affect them on Facebook though. Firstly, you should go to their page and 'Like' it if you have not already done so.

When you have 'Liked' the page, go to the 'Like' button again, and place the mouse cursor over it without clicking. This will give you a manu. Make sure you check 'Get Notifications' and 'Appear in news feed'. That way you won't miss any of their posts.

So, what does this achieve? Facebook changed the way posts by groups such as the 'Hope not Hate' page are seen by those who 'Like' the page. Only a small percentage get to see them automatically, unless they have done what I have just suggested. Typically for a page like HnH's with 60,000 'supporters', probably 8,000 to 10,000 get to see them. To reach the rest, HnH have to pay.

Crucially, how many get to see it free depends upon a number of factors. Chief among these is how relevant their posts are, and Facebook gauge this by the number of complaints their posts receive: the more complaints, the lower the free circulation of their posts. You can make a difference to this by following the steps below. As an example, I have used their post from this morning regarding Peter Adams and UKIP Scotland.

1/. Go to the post on your Facebook wall and place your mouse cursor over it without clicking. You will see a 'V' appear in the top right corner of the post. Click on that, and it will bring down a menu:


2/. Click on 'I don't want to see this' and it will give you the following menu:
3/. The choice is yours as to what to click - 'It's spam' or 'I think it shouldn't be on Facebook'. That brings up one of the following windows. Be careful to not unlike Hope not Hate by mistake!

And that's it. Congratulations. You have just played your part in ensuring that Hope not Hate Ltd have to pay more to get their partisan, party-political lies and distorted truths across to the gullible fools who still believe them to be an anti-racist organisation. Remember to do it to every Hope not Hate post that you see.