You are viewing blog items for February 2010.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 28 February 2010, 08:52
At least 45 people took to the streets of Stoke-on-Trent yesterday in what was our first major activity of the year in the city. Almost 8,000 copies of a HOPE not hate newspaper were delivered in the two key wards of Bentilee and Townsend and Weston & Meir North, which between them have five BNP councillors.
The event, which was supported by the local anti-BNP group NorSCARF, was our largest in the city for two years. What was most encouraging was that virtually all the people out were from Stoke-on-Trent itself, including over 20 who had never done any campaigning with us before. I'm told that the atmosphere was really good and everyone promised to come out again.
Stoke-on-Trent is a major battleground in the forthcoming elections, with the BNP threatening to become the largest single party on the council and Simon Darby, the party’s deputy leader, with a chance of taking the Stoke Central parliamentary seat.
Posted: 28 Feb 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 26 February 2010, 08:37
On Wednesday night over 50 people attended aHOPE not hate campaign reception at the RSA. Hosted by Lord David Shutt, Chairman of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, it was an opportunity to introduce our campaign to a new audience. David and I both gave very short speeches and there was a six-minute video but, to me anyway, the highlight of the evening was Sandra Vincent. A local HnH activist from Barking, she told the crowd how the BNP was spreading its poison amongst children and made an impassioned appeal for the audience to help HOPE not hate to help her to help the children of the borough.
Among those in the crowd was Floella Benjamin, a veteran TV star and educationalist but best known as a presenter of Play School and Play Away.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 26 February 2010, 07:31
Earlier this week we held a team meeting in our new Dagenham campaign office. It is from here that we will run our local and general election campaign effort, nationally as well as locally. We had 15 people at the meeting, with another five giving their apologies. The meeting consisted of core staff, people hired in to work until the election on specific elements of the campaign and a team of full-time volunteers.
The campaign centre is fantastic. Virtually built from scratch, it has desk space for 15 people, a telephone canvassing suite, a print room, kitchen and even a chill out area.
After months of preparation, fundraising and building, we are now really moving. Finally, it does seem the campaign is under way.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 17 February 2010, 22:50
Yesterday I had a really productive meeting with the PCS trade union and together we agreed a number of joint initiatives for the forthcoming election campaign. There will be a PCS version of our tabloid newspaper, support for our 17 April National Day of Action and the sponsorship of a booklet for young people.
The PCS also agreed to support our Union Day, when union activists talk to other union members, which this year will be on Monday 26 April. Unison has already committed its support to the day and it is hoped that several other unions will soon follow suit.
I am particularly pleased to be working with PCS. They have a really active membership, with branch meetings regularly attended by hundreds of people, and in their Make Your Vote Campaign they have an excellent electoral operation.
Posted: 17 Feb 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 15 February 2010, 16:22
Nick Griffin had the cheek to say yesterday, following the change to the BNP constitution which will now allow non-white people to join the party, that no-one could now call the BNP racist.
Well, I for one am.
I've always been slightly uneasy with the media's slightly unhealthy fascination with the BNP membership rules, often to the exclusion of their other policies and rules. I was always afraid that the media would really believe something had fundamentally changed when they altered the party rulebook. Nothing has changed and it is vital for everyone to realise that. Quite apart from the thuggery which saw a Times journalist assaulted because he had written something unfavourable to the BNP, the rules were changed only because a court had demanded it.
The Times, in its editorial, summed it up perfectly: “The BNP is racist. Racism is an attitude, not a legalistic nicety. Mr Griffin made clear that the vote was merely an acknowledgement of “legal reality”. The party does not throw off a history of ideological conviction by acquiescing in what the law demands.”
While the BNP will want everyone to focus on its rulebook change as proof of its new non-racist view, I would like people to concentrate on another part of the BNP constitution - which remains unchanged.“The British National Party stands for the preservation of the national and ethnic character of the British people and is wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples. It is therefore committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent, the overwhelmingly white makeup of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948.”
Now, tell me that the BNP is not racist.
Posted: 15 Feb 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 9 February 2010, 08:26
The London region of the NUT threw its weight behind the HOPE not hate campaign yesterday when they backed our 17 April mobilisation for Barking & Dagenham. During a speech where I outlined exactly what the borough's education policy could look like under the BNP, I suggested that they find 25 people to leaflet one ward on the day. Several delegates, however, thought that they could at least double that, including the union's new Deputy General Secretary who promised to be there.
With the BNP battling to take control of the council, and so the area's educational services, the support of the NUT is both welcome and vital.
Posted: 9 Feb 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 4 February 2010, 08:48
Durham University Debating Society has invited Andrew Brons, a BNP MEP for Yorkshire & Humber, to debate Multicultural Britain on Friday 12 February. The HOPE not hate campaign is opposing this move and we’ve launched a petition calling on the invitation to be withdrawn.
Some people believe that by debating with Brons we can defeat the BNP’s arguments. A few people have even emailed me overnight pointing to Griffin’s humiliation on Question Time.
I can understand some people’s unease about a policy of No Platform but I disagree. Andrew Brons is not a normal politician. He has a long history as a hardline Nazi with a conviction for his racist behaviour. He even once wrote a letter defending the bombing of Jewish synagogues.
For more on Brons go to: http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/the-real-bnp/Andrew-Brons.php
I also totally disagree with the Question Time line. Many of us might have been delighted with Griffin’s appalling performance but this view was not shared by everyone. Many people, particularly in those areas where the BNP is strong, took a very different view. They attacked what they saw as the one-sided nature of the debate and identified with Griffin’s victim status.
However, there is a more important point here. By inviting Brons to ‘debate’ multiculturalism Durham University Debating Society is giving the fascist party legitimacy that it does not deserve and will only encourage it in its extremism. The BNP is a fascist party that wants to create an apartheid society, where one racial group is deemed superior to another. It says that some people who were born here can never be British and is linked with some of the most hardline Nazis and racists across the world. The BNP is not a normal political party and we should not treat it as such.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 4 February 2010, 07:40
Billy Bragg’s HOPE not hate concert on 6 March is now, so I’m led to believe, totally sold out. About 1,000 tickets have been sold for what will be a fantastic evening with Billy playing a full 90-minute set.
This is even more incredible given that the gig received no proper advertising beyond facebook and word of mouth. More importantly, the event will raise valuable money for our campaign, particularly in Barking & Dagenham, Billy’s home borough.