Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Lowles' mis-firing report - the 'some of my best friends are black' defence

Following Breitbart's expose of Hope not Hate's anti-Muslim bias in their latest report, it is good to see the heat has been turned up under their director Nick Lowles sufficiently to goad him into one of the self-justifying blog posts he is known for.

Breitbart pointed out that Lowles and his student co-author Joe Mulhall had singled out among others Muslim anti-Shariah campaigner Raquel Saraswati and lumped her in with assorted members of the hard-right. In a surprising volte-face, her name was hurriedly removed.

Also targeted were other reform-minded Muslims such as Auhdi Jasser and former extremist turned reformer Tewfik Hamed.

Lowles was quick to go on the attack when criticised by Quilliam Foundation director Maajid Nawaz, although that was more a continuation of the long running feud between the pair following Nawaz's success - and Hope not Hate's implied failure - over Tommy Robinson and the effective demise of the EDL. Lowles - after an amusing diversion attacking Nawaz for destroying the EDL - then resorts to playing the race card to try and save his own (apparently not quite white) skin:

Lowles - of mixed
parentage? Would he
"There are several aspects of Mr Nawaz’s attack piece on our report that are demonstrably untrue, including his peculiar attempt to undermine it by explaining that it was written by ‘two white men’. One of us is of mixed parentage and the other is of Indian descent."

Readers may recognise this as the hard-left equivalent of the 'some of my best friends are black' defence which Hope not Hate regularly ridicules. Lowles leaves it open as to which of the two white men is of mixed parentage - if it's Lowles, we're surprised he can be so certain - and which is of Indian descent, although looking at the pair of them and assuming them to be a couple of white, comfortably middle-class champagne socialists would be an easy mistake to make.

Mulhall - clearly of
Indian descent
Lowles continues his self-justifying monologue by claiming credit for 'raising awareness of child grooming/exploitation' while failing to mention it was the attack-dog mentality of his organisation which prevented decent staff members of all religions from speaking out for fear of being labelled a racist in Rotherham, Bradford, Rochdale and myriad other cities (all Labour controlled, of course). After all, being a devout Muslim committed to reform of your religion has not saved many people from being called a 'counter-Jihadist' in this report. How many children suffered because his organisation acted as a persistent threat to the careers of any who dared speak out?

This defence of radical Islam from those who speak out against Islamic-extremism is not a new course for Hope not Hate, but rather a continuation of one plotted long ago. We blogged several years ago how Hope not Hate campaigned to bar Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from the UK, while at the same time turning a blind eye to the admittance to the UK of two extremist Muslim preachers (Mohammed al-Arefe and Yasser al-Habib) whose preached their usual blend of homophobia, sexism and violence to congregations across North London.

The rest of Lowles posting is little more than a continued attack on Nawaz, which really shows how much pressure Lowles has come under over his report. Citing a list of other groups, it would appear that Hope not Hate's 'The Counter-Jihad Movement' report is nothing more than a cobbling together of internet sourced second- and third-hand reports about people the authors have little if any knowledge of. As 'dodgy dossiers' go, it is second only to the Progress inspired Iraq War dossier.

The real interest here is the squeeze Lowles is coming under within the Labour movement. Having relied for several years on the financial support of the Mandelson lead, Blairite 'Progress' wing, he now finds the Corbynistas in the ascendant and Progress viewed as a pariah organisation by most of the Shadow Cabinet. As Breitbart reported earlier this week, Lowles' organisation gets significant funding from outside the UK (there is more to come on this story!), but it still relies on the Unions here to provide the bulk of his political funds. With the Unions moving to support Corbyn's 'old-Labour-lite' approach, Lowles is feeling the squeeze and his ready access to the movers and shakers has been diminished.

Even within Hope not Hate, there are finally rumours of discontent. With many long-term staffers little more than barely tolerant of Progress - come on down, Carl Morphett, David Braniff-Herbert and others - there are rumblings about the whole political positioning of Hope not Hate and its declining influence in the Labour Party. With the acrimony over the split from the more honestly left wing Searchlight organisation still ringing through the halls of Hope not Hate towers - an office let to them by another charity - there could yet be blood on the carpet if Lowles handles the negative publicity from his mis-firing report badly.