Monday, 1 December 2014

Hope not Hate apparently supported by witchcraft as electoral return shows no donations at all in first 5 months of 2014

Ruth Smeeth, Labour PPC and
witch-in-chief for Hope not Hate's
campaign donations
Hope not Hate Ltd's owner and director Nick Lowles was today praised by transparency campaigners for funding his organisation's 2014 anti-UKIP European elections campaign entirely by witchcraft.

The revelation of the supernatural source of Hope not Hate's funds came after their donation report for the period January to May 2014 showed that the organisation had received no reportable donations whatsoever to fund the campaign. This was despite the organisation running a number of high profile fundraising campaigns during this period. Electoral legislation requires that all donations in excess of £500 be reported to the Electoral Commission, although there is currently no reporting regime for magical acts, witchcraft or the work of wizards, a loophole through which Hope not Hate appear to have slipped.

Lowles spoke about cash, without realising his organisation would instead rely
upon witchcraft, which does not need reporting to the Electoral Commission

Campaigners for open democracy further praised the organisation for not having received any reportable donations since  trade union UNISON handed over £70,000 on the 12th March 2010, after which date the chequebooks of the trades unions apparently remained closed despite UNISON continuing to advertise the ongoing funding of Hope not Hate on their own website. The success of raising magical, non-reportable donations was attributed to HnH charity president and witch-in-chief Ruth Smeeth, although earlier statements by Lowles suggested he was prepared to resort to more traditional means of financing the organisation. In fact, in his 'Campaign Plan' for the European elections, he spoke of how the Euro campaign would be his organisation's 'most ambitious to date' and appeared to rely upon cold, hard cash rather than the magical powers his organisation was forced to fall back on, as can be seen from the attached commentary from their website. Lowles has subsequently denied that there is anything about Ms Smeeth which is 'like a wizard's pocket or a wizard's sleeve'.

No mention was made of the plan to replace donations with magic in the period just after the
The largest campaign to date, and yet not a single person or organisation
donated over the reporting limit. Magic!
elections either, during which Hope not Hate spectacularly failed to halt the advance of UKIP having apparently lost the Paul Daniels touch. In fact, on the 26th May, Lowles was proclaiming the HnH campaign to be 'it's largest... to date' despite having no reportable funding at all. This was particularly strange, as on the 21st May, Lowles was blogging about the 8 page insert in the Daily Mirror which was made possible 'by donations from over 650 of our supporters'. Nowhere in any of these reports or blog posts was the use of magic mentioned by Lowles.

Lowles himself said that 650 supporters had donated
to make this possible. A wave of the magic wand though
and 'poof!', the donors are gone! A single page
ad in the Mirror costs £45,000 according to their rate card
The magical touch does not finish there, however. We shall look at their campaign expenditure in detail in a later blog posting, but the total expenditure for their campaign in 2014 - which featured 2.5 million leaflets, an 8 page full colour supplement in the Daily Mirror, and all sorts of events around the country - was all achieved for a truly magical £129,000 of declared expenditure! Whatever you might say about Nick Lowles and his crew, they certainly know how to shop around to get the best bargains! Did they order it all on Black Friday last year?

Of course, there are some who might suggest that their donation - and their expenditure - reports owe more to Hans Christian Andersen than they do to witchcraft. This is a subject to which we will return over coming days.

We did ask the Electoral Commission for comment, but according to a spokesman their entire staff was busy combing Nigel Farage's expanse claims for offices declared on his register of member's interests to the European Parliament, but not specifically declared to them. "We can fine him £200 for this outrageous circumvention of the rules", they said, continuing, "In future, he should rely on witchcraft".

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