Friday, 29 August 2014

Lowles edges closer to admitting HnH culpability in child grooming scandal

A revealing blog post by Hope not Hate director Nick Lowles has edged closer to admitting his
organisation's culpability in driving the culture of fear over being labelled a racist which helped sexual offenders hide their crimes.

In an article posted this afternoon (Friday) entitled 'Whose side are we on?', he argues that Hope not Hate activists should not oppose a march allegedly organised by the EDL to protest against child grooming, and goes on to explain how his own organisation's approach to past grooming scandals lead to the perpetrators of such crimes escaping justice.

"There will be some who will be tempted to organise a counter-protest, which will amount to little more than standing behind a line of police chanting 'Nazi scum off our street'.
While I understand the desire to show opposition to the EDL, I believe that this approach is futile and counter-productive.
In the autumn of 2012, an EDL demo against grooming attracted a coach load of people (mainly men) from the former pit village of Maltby. These people weren't fascists and most weren't racist; in fact many were decent union men who had stood loyally with their union during the year-long miners’ strike and, more recently, had even leafleted with us against the BNP.
What they were, however, was angry.
They were angry because some of their daughters had been sexually abused and they were angry because the Labour Party - for so long their party – had, at best, ignored the problem or, at worst, connived to keep it under wraps. The EDL, on the other hand, gave them an outlet for their anger.
But as they filed through Rotherham town centre that day they were genuinely horrified to be called racists and fascists by those protesting against the march and rather than dissuade them against joining up with the EDL this name-calling only pushed them closer into the pack."

Which is all very well, but fails to address the wider issue: that there are some crimes which have a cultural or ethnic bias, and yet the motivation behind organisations such as Hope not Hate and UAF is to ignore this in the broader interests suppressing opposition to multi-cultural harmony through fear. In fact, Lowles goes on to admit that the combined actions of his organisation, their trades union financers and the Labour Party prevented an earlier investigation of similar offences in Keighley and Bradford by dismissing the claims of victims as 'BNP propaganda':

"We found this out, to our cost, in Bradford and Keighley in 2004, when there was a consensus to dismiss BNP claims of grooming in Keighley as racist propaganda. The BNP won four council seats and just missed out in several more.
Grooming was occurring in Keighley and everyone there knew it. In fact, nine Muslim men were sent to prison and as many as 65 young girls were believed to have been abused."

To 'our' cost? It didn't cost the left anything - that price was paid not by Lowles and his fellow travellers, but by 65 young girls. We already know that Hope not Hate is far from being a grass-roots organisation, and has few if any feet on the ground in terms of genuine activists. But still, we find it amazing that none of their Labour Party or trades union supporters on the ground in Keighley thought it worth mentioning if 'everyone there knew it'. It demonstrates one of two things: either the distance between their supporters and the genuine working class which Labour used to pretend to represent is so vast that they genuinely weren't aware that this was going on, or more worryingly - not to mention cynically - they were perfectly well aware of it, but after it was raised as an issue by their political opponents there was a conscious decision to conceal its existence and to use their media muscle to shovel it all under the carpet simply to prevent the BNP from using it as an issue. We tend to agree here that the latter is more likely, and there is something deeply, deeply sinister about it if that is the case.

Part of the reason for this wilful ignorance - which Lowles describes as 'a consensus' - is the entire modus operandi of HnH - it doesn't matter how obvious a problem is, if their political enemies annunciate it then it must be rubbished. This is particularly true of any issues which touch on immigration: we need only look at their denial of recent crime figures which show the scale of Romanian organised crime in the capital and elsewhere. The problem for Lowles is that if they cease doing this, then what is the point of their organisation? This is something which Lowles acknowledges without providing any solutions when he says,

"We need to have something tangible and meaningful to say about Grooming; we need to be genuine in our condemnation of this evil and, fundamentally, we need to have some answers to prevent it happening again."

Quite what those answers would be is difficult to guess. The fundamental problem with this type of grooming is that it is committed by groups of men who are immigrants and who are Muslim. It would also appear to be relatively widespread, and to affect significant numbers of victims. The nature of such offences leads inevitably to wider questions about certain types of Islam, and immigration from certain countries. While Hope not Hate have been happy to pay lip service to supporting sexual equality and gay rights, they have always shied away from tackling the difficult questions that certain strains of Islam raise and which spring from fundamental cultural differences which are diametrically opposed to the values of a secular western democracy: homophobia, misogyny, vote rigging and electoral violence spring to mind. Far from having Lowles 'answers to prevent it happening again', Hope not Hate has so far offered a mechanism to ensure it is kept out of sight by condemning all who raise any of these issues as 'racist'. Does anybody outside of Lowles closed circle really believe that all of a sudden his organisation will welcome free and open debate on issues relating to race and religion, particularly Islam?

"The people of Rotherham have every right to be angry about what has happened but unless we intervene in a constructive way then we become complicit – through our actions or our silence – in pushing them into the hands of right wing groups"

The problem with Lowles self-righteous sentiments is that there are 1,400 young girls in Rotherham, 65 in Keighley and God only knows how many across the rest of the country who are already paying the price in suffering for his attempts to stifle genuine, legitimate concerns. Lowles has nothing constructive to say - if he did, he would have said it already. He is already complicit, because his organisation is largely responsible for the conspiracy of silence which has infected mainly Labour authorities and which was brought about by a fear of being labelled 'racist', something the left views as worse even than the rape of a child.

So how sorry is Lowles? Apart from his failure to openly acknowledge his own responsibility, there is also the lack of any concrete suggestions as to how to proceed. His caution against calling people who are genuinely concerned about the issue 'racists' and 'fascists' has all the hallmarks of a stopgap measure designed to last until the heat is off: after all, how will they campaign on behalf of Labour against UKIP if they can't return to the tried and trusted (if discredited) tactic of calling any mention of immigration, race, culture, ethnicity or religion as 'neo-nazism'. If he was serious in his intentions to deal with the issue, he'd forget the Labour antipathy towards Respect and sing from the rooftops the details of Imam Alyas Kharmani's 'Together Against Grooming' campaign, which is based in Bradford - precisely where Lowles let down 65 young girls in the interests of political gamesmanship. Instead, his silence about this excellent campaign demonstrates that his statement - apart from being an unintentional admission of culpability - is nothing more than cynical, self-serving temporising designed to ensure that Hope not Hate continues to be a hobby horse for his own ambitions.

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