Thursday, 25 September 2014

The biggest lie of them all - Jihadi threatens Hope not Hate apologists

Anjem Choudhary in the days when he was chasing virgins
in the UK, rather hoping for them in heaven

We're used to seeing lies being published on Hope not Hate. Almost every post concerning UKIP if it doesn't contain an outright lie contains the truth stretched almost to breaking point. We make no secret of our support for UKIP, but even when it comes to organisations we don't support such as the EDL or BNP, we see Hope not Hate publishing rubbish which leaves credibility behind.

And then we have Hope not Hate's apologism for radical Islam. Their deliberate evasion of criticism of some of the most dangerous men to visit these shores. Mohammed al-Arefe. Yasser al-Habib. Not a word about the arrival in the UK of these two as Nick Lowles lead his crusade to keep Pam Geller and Robert Spencer out of the UK.

And then there is Anjem Choudhary, who is pretty much the only Muslim extremist Hope not Hate mention, and only then to keep up the pretence that they are against extremism rather than against UKIP. Even when it transpired that the killers of Lee Rigby in Woolwich were closely associated with Choudhary's al-Muhajiroun group their condemnations were muted and hedged with caveats.

Despite all this, today Nick Lowles had the gall to post the following:

Today's newspapers are full of the story of Choudhary's arrest. Its on the BBC, ITN, Sky and networks ranging from Al-Jazeera to Russia Today. The blogosphere is full of it. Twitter is full of it. Politicians across the UK have been quoted on it. And yet of all of these outlets, Lowles expects us to believe that somebody would waste their time by making threats against an organisation which has come to symbolise Labour's appeasement of radical Islam?

Pull the other one, its got bells on.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Scottish Labour MP campaigned with National Front leader

Clearly a Labour Party event for the
'no' campaign in Aberdeen
Following earlier revelations regarding the links between Labour's Liz McInnes (their candidate for Heywood and Middleton) and former BNP councillor Trevor Maxfield, news reaches us of a rather more shocking collaboration.

9 days ago, Dame Anne Begg, Labour MP for Aberdeen South, was out campaigning for a 'no' vote. Some of her campaign team looked a little rough around the edges, but they were clearly welcome there: the picture shows them taking part in the Labour 'action day'.

Labour MP Dame Anne Begg and Scottish NF
leader Dave McDonald share a laugh and a joke
The bloke on the right seemed to get on particularly well with Ms Begg, as the next picture shows: they seem to be sharing a laugh and a joke. All of which is slightly surprising, as his name is Dave McDonald. Not a household name perhaps, but one she should have been aware of: McDonald is the leader of the Scottish National Front.

So, did Ms Begg not know who he is? Unlikely. He was the NF's candidate for the Aberdeen Donside by-election, and has apparently been active in Aberdeen politics for the Scottish National Front since at least 2003. As our source says, it is inconceivable that she would not know who he was.

Now the NF does have its share of troubles just at the moment, with about 3 different groups of people arguing about who is and who isn't the official National Front. At least one of these groups claims that McDonald isn't a member of their version of the 'official NF'. They need to get the message through to Dave then, because earlier the same day - before he linked up with the local Labour MP - he was out spreading his own message, complete with National Front banner. We wonder why Hope not Hate haven't been spreading this one all over their pages? You can see McDonald's interview with STV here from the Donside by-election

Dave McDonald earlier the same day, before joining
the local Labour MP and Labour Party
We can only imagine what Nick Lowles and his motley crew would be saying if a UKIP MEP had ben photographed campaigning with an NF activist. But Anne Begg is Labour, so associating with the far right is ok. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Lowles attempt to evade Lobbying Act breaks electoral funding law as 30% of website users non-UK resident

Website campaign accepts donations from impermissible donors

Things are set to go from bad to worse for Nick Lowles following his latest attempt to get around the reporting requirements for electoral expenditure to the Electoral Commission.

The new lobbying act (more formerly the Transparency of Lobbying, non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014) has caused problems for his personal cash cow and influence machine.

Yesterday saw him asking for donations of £1 from each of the people who visit Hope not Hate's website in order to demonstrate - falsely - that they're a grass roots organisation and not a professional Labour Party front financed by the Unions. This overlooks the reality that in the 2010 general election, 83% of their funding came from the Unions or organisations such as the Joseph Rowntree Trust, and only 17% from donations from the general public even if we stretch the term 'general public' to its limits. Desperation has driven him to repeat that call this morning: while the normal fare of internet memes with bland platitudes gain many hundreds of shares, yesterday and today's call for £1 donations have generated just 2 shares. One from a self-professed UAF/SWP supporter linked to AntiFa, and the other from someone who claims not to have enough money to afford a quid.

Just one small problem though. Although the £1 donations may help him pretend he has grass roots 

HnH's 'traffic sources' according to internet
traffic and ranking company Alexa.
20% of HnH''s web traffic is from Belgium.
support, they are likely to raise another problem. If you look at the analytics for Hope not Hate's website, you will notice that only 70% of the website's traffic is from the UK. Almost 20% is from Belgium - what organisations could be based there which have a vested interest in an anti-UKIP group, we wonder? - and 7% from the United States: HnH's consultants, Blue State Digital, are based there. Lets not forget that Blue State Digital 'accidentally' forgot to bill Hope not Hate VAT back in 2010 either, thereby evading at least £70,000 of tax.

In case its not clear, the big red button
says 'Donate' on it
As you can see from the infographic, this causes something of a problem for Nick. Why? Because at the bottom of the page where he is advertising for people to become an HnH supporter for only £1, it doesn't say 'Pay', it says 'Donate'. And, in fact, a donation it is, because you don't actually get anything for your money apart from a thank you e-mail: in case Nick has it changed, we've screen-grabbed it for posterity.

So what is the problem? Hope not Hate is planning to use these funds to campaign against UKIP. Lowles wrote a long, self-congratulatory article praising himself on the 10th anniversary of Hope not Hate and setting out how UKIP is now the target, while the donation advert itself specifically states "All the money raised will go directly to our 2015 campaign fund." There's only one problem with that. He is touting for donations amongst a pool of internet users of which barely 70% are UK resident. The other 30% don't live in the UK and therefore, according to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (Schedule 11, part I, to be precise) these people are impermissible donors from whom Hope not Hate can not accept even a penny.

Despite this, nowhere on the donation form does it ask whether people are permissible donors, and in fact it gives a pull down list of countries and asks for 'Region/State/Province' almost as if they expect impermissible donors to use the site.

Needless to say, we will be drawing this to the attention of the Electoral Commission. We have had a couple of people who are impermissible donors make a contribution to their campaign funds, and each time, it was accepted with the following message:

Nick and the HnH team thanking us for our impermissible donation to their
anti-UKIP general election fund. Made by a non resident, non-UK national.

UPDATE - 14:30hrs

Nick Lowles has just posted on his blog that to date they have received contributions from 'over 2000' people, and he is upping their target to 3,000 by Friday. Which means by Friday, he will have taken donations from around 900 impermissible donors for their political campaign against UKIP.

Heywood & Middleton Labour candidate and her BNP colleague

Labour Heywood & Middleton candidate Liz McInnes -
remember her association with the far-right when she
starts shouting 'racist' at UKIP
Spare a thought for Labour candidate for Heywood & Middleton, Liz McInnes. There she was, all set to call UKIP 'racist', 'fascist' and 'nazis', and she seems to have forgotten one of her colleagues.

For Liz is a councillor in Rossendale. The neighbouring Borough is Blackburn with Darwen. Both are covered by the same constituency Labour Party, known as Rossendale and Darwen after the parliamentary constituency.

Former Nazi turned Labour Mayor -
and colleague of Heywood & Middleton
Labour candidate Liz McInnes
Blackburn with Darwen's current councillor for the Earcroft ward is Trevor Maxfield. Maxfield  was originally elected as a BNP councillor for the ward, before defecting to the Labour Party, which rapidly changed its mind about him being a 'racist', 'fascist' and 'nazi' - so much so that they made him Mayor of Darwen.

Maxfield had a long history with the BNP. He was appointed local organiser by no less a person than
then BNP leader Nick Griffin back in 2004 when he was described by his predecessor as being one of the 'drug dealers and football hooligans' who made up the local branch of the BNP. He didn't defect straight to Labour though - first he joined the white supremacist 'England First Party'. Of course, had he been a member of UKIP, we'd have read about all this on the front page of the Mirror and the Guardian, and Hope not Hate and UAF would have been picketing his house. But, since he eventually joined Labour, that's alright then. As a fellow Labour councillor said when he was made cabinet member for culture, "To be fair to Trevor, he’s quite a good bloke. I think his BNP stuff is in the past". Not that far in the past, as he is pictured at a 'Heritage & Destiny' meeting in Bradford in 2006 with various other luminaries of the far right, including Eddy Morrison and Dave Smith. Its a strange world indeed where Maxfield is not just accepted but promoted within the Labour Party despite his far right links, while he would not even qualify for membership of UKIP because of his past associations. And they call us racist!

Still, things work a bit differently in Rossendale & Darwen. The local Labour candidate - they lost the seat to the Tories in 2010 - is none other than William Straw, son of former Home Secretary Jack. Readers may recall that back in 1998, he was cautioned by police for selling cannabis, something which would have stopped anyone less propelled by nepotism from being selected. Local Labour councillors have rallied around him since his selection, with Liz McInnes saying how wonderful he is just above a similar endorsement from Trevor Maxfield.

Will himself did plenty for race relations, which is probably why a former BNP councillor speaks so highly of him. After all, Will caused no little controversy shortly after his selection when he was attacked and decried as a racist after being pictured with two fancy dress goers who had 'blacked up'.

So when Labour start slinging the usual slurs at John Bickley, the UKIP candidate, it is worth recalling that their own local party has quite a lot to answer for itself.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Lowles desperate plea to cover up electoral fraud

After Nick Lowles self-congratulatory - not to mention revisionist and distorted - missive about how effective Hope not Hate has been over the last ten years, he follows it up with the following message:

One of the consequences of the Lobbying Act is that the Electoral Commission will only accept that HOPE not hate has a supporter network if it can prove a financial transaction, otherwise any email, telephone call or meeting we hold will have to go down as an election expense.
As a consequence, we are asking people who back our campaign to officially become a HOPE not hate supporter for just £1.
All the money raised will go directly to our 2015 campaign fund.
If you like what we do, think we make a difference and want to help us going forward, then please become a HOPE not hate supporter for just £1.

What this is in reality is a massive attempt to hoodwink the Electoral Commission into believing that they are a grassroots organisation when they are not: the message is little more than an admission that they are perpetrating an electoral fraud, and they are now asking for members of the public to become an accessory to that fraud to save Nick's bacon.

We'd be interested in seeing any e-mails that readers might come across from the Labour Party, trade unions or any other organisation encouraging their members to cough up a quid to help Hope not Hate pretend they have mass support outside their own offices. As we have discussed previously, only 17% of their funds came from the general public at the last election, with a massive 83% coming from trades unions and political charities such as the Joseph Rowntree Trust.

It must be terrible to have to try and account for the cost of every e-mail, telephone call and meeting they have. It may be worth sending him an e-mail or giving them a call to commiserate. Its such a shame they'd have to account for them. Apart from giving Nick and his friends a call, it may be worth passing on to likely supporters details of how he was so happy that UKIP didn't gain one particular seat in Bradford, that he tweeted his support for the narrow victor, a former BNP councillor who remains a close friend of Nick Griffin. We're pretty sure this is not the sort of thing their supporters would sanctions.

There is of course no 'boots on the ground' Hope not Hate network of activists. As we saw repeatedly in the run up to the European Elections with the failure of repeated Hope not Hate leafleting campaigns - Transport Tuesday, various 'days of action' - there were no stand-alone HnH events. All relied on Labour and Green Party members, who took the opportunity to deliver leaflets their own parties would never have sanctioned because even for them the lies were too extravagant.

UPDATE - please see our latest post - their £1 donation system is deliberately soliciting donations from donors who are impermissible under UK electoral law. We know, because we've already made a series of donations from impermissible donors!