Don’t Make Us Carry The Can For Your Party’s Racism, Nigel
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 11 May 2014, 16:59
This morning UKIP leader Nigel Farage tried to pass the buck for the increasing focus upon his party’s policies of racism and anti-immigrant hatred by blaming us for inciting violence.
On the BBC Sunday Politics Show, Farage told Andrew Neil that:
"Sadly we have a a couple of organisations out there headed up by senior Labour Party figures, who purport to be against fascism and extremism, who receive funding from the Department of Communities, who receive funding from the trade unions, who have acted in a violent way more than once."
This is an utterly ridiculous claim, as anyone who has ever dealt with HOPE not hate could tell you. We’re a mainstream organisation which fights against racism and extremism. We are not aligned to any political party and will work with anyone to defeat racism and intolerance. Our supporters are made up of the young and old, faith and non-faith, Left and Right, drawn from all corners of society.
These supporters have not attacked or disrupted any UKIP meeting, nor have we encouraged anyone to hold protests outside such meetings. This is simply a lie by Nigel Farage, designed to detract from the growing number of extremists being exposed within his party.
Over the past two weeks our supporters have been delivering over one million community newspapers and leaflets explaining why UKIP does not have the answers to the problems facing ordinary people in this country.
UKIP’s simplistic, populist message may appeal in times of austerity, but it can – and does – cloak some very unpalatable racist and intolerant views, which are being used to whip up hatred. HOPE not hate has simply exposed these views to scrutiny, which has clearly riled the UKIP leadership.
So what’s the real background here?
Last year we began to identify racists and extremists within UKIP. We initially tried to form a constructive relationship with the party leadership but it became quickly evident that they had no interest in working together to root out these racists. (The then-chief executive even failed to turn up to a meeting with us in their own building.)
Then in Autumn, the UKIP conference voted to proscribe HOPE not hate, so putting us on a par with the BNP. More recently, Nigel Farage has claimed – in an article in The Independent – that I'm a member of the Communist Party with close links to the Socialist Workers Party: claims which are utterly untrue.
Now Farage is peddling a fantasy that we have received Government money to take him on. This is a lie. Three years ago our charitable arm (our organisation consists of a charitable wing, and a separate non-charitable campaigning arm*), received a grant for £60,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to undertake anti-racist community work in four areas of the country. This was a one-year project which ended in 2012, long before we started scrutinising UKIP. Since then we have received no public money.
UKIP and Nigel Farage are resorting to smearing us and telling lies because they are upset at the scrutiny we have been putting them under. Rather than deal with the racists and extremists we identify, UKIP would prefer to attack us. That says more about them than it does us.
We believe that UKIP is deliberately stoking up a hatred of foreigners for political gain. We recognise that not all UKIP supporters are racist and that they are supporting the party for a number of reasons. But when a political party deliberately whips up an anti-immigrant frenzy by using provocative imagery and false claims, generating a climate of fear, then they must be challenged.
*The accounts for both HOPE not hate’s charitable and campaigning arms are independently audited and registered with the Charities Commission and Companies House.
Posted: 11 May 2014 | There are 6 comments
Comment 1 | From: Bellezza Solocle | Date: 11 May 2014, 17:31
To be honest I would rather links with an !!authoritarian!! communist party than having 1/3 of the fascist BNP's voters voting for me!! And modern socialist parties are mostly democratic!
Comment 2 | From: Della Anverali | Date: 11 May 2014, 19:05
I think that it is a sign of your success that Farage feels the need to try and smear your name
Comment 3 | From: Pat | Date: 11 May 2014, 19:26
Farage claims that Nick Lowles has close links to the SWP ?!?! Just shows that Farage is clueless about the British Left and conflates all groups opposing him....just like the fascists do. I recall that during the big struggle against the EDL, senior SWP members like Martin Smith (who were also leading lights in the UAF) had nothing but negative things to say about Mr. Lowles and HopenotHate. It's suspected that Mr. Smith did not like the competition and felt threatened by the common-sense, inclusive and non-violent approach of HopenotHate. Farage's smearing of HopenotHate is an almost word-for-word copy of the BNP's arguments against HnH. That's a sure sign we are getting to them.
Comment 4 | From: B31 Antifascist | Date: 11 May 2014, 19:43
We've heard these tall stories all before from Nick Griffin and Simon Darby. If he was really as non-racist as he claims to be, he would be campaigning with, not against us. He really is riled because we've identified something he and his organisation have a major problem with, along with attracting the anti-Griffin racists.
Comment 5 | From: Nick | Date: 12 May 2014, 13:55
I have attended meetings of Hope not Hate and I was personally surprised by the range of political and social groups represented there, although it was dominated by what I would call the traditional left..old school labour and trade unionists. One of the things we discussed was that there is no reason why centre right condem's should not belong to Hopenothate, or indeed people who believe in exiting the EU,, provided that the motivation for doing so is not racism or xenophobia.
Comment 6 | From: Chris Hewitson | Date: 13 May 2014, 06:22
Lying, making exaggerated claims and twisting facts is the way Faragecand Ukip operate. It's how they have managed to build their political base.they propose soundbite answers (which they call common sense) to complex issues, and blame minorities for the ills of the country and our society. Farage keeps bleating 'we are a non-racist party' as a cover for the reality of their bigotry (a word they seek to neutralise). He has declined approaches for an alliance with Marine Le Pen and the French National Front, an alliance he knows would give his detractors plenty of ammunition, but there's no denying that Marine Le Pennrecognisesva fellow traveller of the far right.
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