January 17, 2011

Recession politics: The HOPE not hate campaign in 2011

The coming year will be dominated by economic hardship as the austerity measures begin to bite. Job losses, increased taxes and rising living costs will put everyone under strain and, as history has taught us, when people feel under pressure so resentment, fear and hate rise.

Against this background the HOPE not hate campaign is more important than ever.

May's local elections will once again be the main focus of our campaigning year as we ensure that the British National Party is unable to make any political breakthrough. Despite its current problems the BNP will be looking to exploit economic hardship and growing pessimism.

All-out elections will take place in Stoke-on-Trent and across much of the East Midlands, areas where the BNP has previously done well. Other key areas include Greater Manchester and South and West Yorkshire. There are also signs that the BNP vote is recovering in places where the fascist party made its initial breakthroughs during the 2002 to 2006 period but was subsequently beaten back.

We are also likely to see an improvement in the BNP vote in areas where the Liberal Democrats have performed well in recent years, often on an anti-BNP ticket. These include wards in Burnley, Pendle, Bradford and Kirklees.

The Welsh Assembly, contested under proportional representation, offers an opportunity for the BNP, especially in the North Wales constituency where it missed out only narrowly in 2007.

Much of our work will consist of providing support and guidance to broader campaigns. We have to ensure that those fighting the cuts and trying to keep communities together are equipped with effective tools to fend off racists and allay people's fears. We must be prepared to join with other groups to defend local communities. This is not about politicising the HOPE not hate campaign, but about recognising that divided and weakened communities open the door for extremists.

The BNP enters 2011 in a dreadful state but we must guard against complacency. Politics can change very quickly and as people really start to struggle suddenly we could be faced with a resurgent BNP. Its success in recent years has been achieved in a relatively benign economic climate. If it can somehow overcome its present problems then we could be in trouble.

Violent incidents sparked by the English Defence League would be another potential trigger for a resurgent right. While the EDL has no political outlet, its brand of provocative marches and violence whips up tensions and trouble in communities and can quickly lead to communities becoming polarised and so susceptible to a racist message.

Over the past six months the EDL has emerged as the principal far-right threat in the UK today. Its anti-Muslim message has given it a wider appeal as it taps into a general and growing Islamophobia, which is both widespread and acceptable in a way that the BNP's hardline racism is not.

The threat of the EDL poses new challenges. The EDL is not a fascist organisation and we have to deal with the EDL differently from how we deal with the BNP. Our campaigning needs to be peaceful and non-confrontational, and involve longer term work in communities to break down division and suspicions. We also need to be clear that we oppose all extremism that tears communities apart. We will be launching a new national campaign on this theme later this year.

Last year was one of amazing achievements for anti-fascism. The current demise of the BNP stems from its humiliation in Barking and Dagenham, which was itself a product of the most intensive anti-fascist campaign to date. Over 1,500 people got involved on the ground and almost 7,000 donated online.

This year the challenges will be different but they are certainly there. As people struggle in these difficult economic times there is an even greater need for anti-fascists to be active and involved.

Have your say

Do you agree with our strategy? Do you have any ideas about what we should be campaigning on in 2011? How can we bring divided communities together?

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Hope not hate


Anonymous said...

Although the BNP are in a dip at the moment i think people should be aware that this could change dramtically in a short period of time.
When the economy disintegrates, and it will, their will be a vacuum to be filled, and im sure the BNP will do their best to take advantage of the situation.People will be at their wits end when they are losing jobs and their homes. All it takes is a few good results for them and they could spring back. There is a strong possibility that they can win a seat on the Welsh assembly, and even in Scotland too

Anti-Fascist said...

"The EDL is not a fascist organisation and we have to deal with the EDL differently from how we deal with the BNP"...

Contains a lot of hardcore neo-Nazis not to be a facsist organisation. Even Rotherham Minger-Mistress-In-Chief, "Marlene Guest is a regular attender, plus British Freedom Fighters, BNP nationaliust rebels, Combat 18, Welsh Combat 18 (with beer bellies), BPP thugs, and so so.

Anonymous said...

Fascist Golding has put out a statement today slagging off his party leadership.

Anonymous said...

To claim the EDL is not a Fascist organisation would have been plausible 6 months ago, but since the EDL's been exposed for knowingly using Combat 18 members as organisers, and since EDL leader Stephen Lennon was photographed at a BNP meeting with Holocaust denier Richard Edmonds and a member of the neo-nazi Nov 9th Soc, this comment comes across as a bad joke. The EDL may not be a conventional Fascist organisation, but a Fascist organisation it still is, because of (not despite) the fact that (like all successful Fascist groups) they manage to attract a degree of collaboration from a few relative moderates.

redblack said...

The EDL conduct Mosley-like incursions into multicultural areas, and Alan Lake recently published a blueprint for the enforced Hitler-like ghettoisation of British Muslims and expressed a wish to force liberals, anti-racists and even Conservatives including David Cameron, plus church leaders who speak out against racism such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, threatening to shoot anybody who would try to escape the concentration camp: -


It was even picked up by Lionheart, who also exposed Stephen Yaxley Lennon as being Tommy Robinson.

Searchlight do some good things, but fuck me, did they not read this article?

Also, the EDL's key mod on their zetaboards is called Wodin.

Wodin=Neo-Nazi pagan!

Don't go soft on the fash, even if the government says so!

Anonymous said...

The EDL copy Oswald Mosley, Britain's most famous fascist.

Hope Not Hate are out of touch!!!!!!

conspiracy theorist said...

Are the EDLs fascistic credentials being played down cos the EDL are a state set-up?

Makes you wander.

Stockport Red said...

Some of the comments on here are bizarre, and I think it is some of the people here who are out of touch.

As most of them probably only spend their time waving flags at the EDL and shouting "Smash the BNP" I don't think Lowles needs to be too concerned about people who only read stuff on the internet.

Standard policy, when you do not understand or like what you're seeing, scream fascist at it.

Tamesider said...

"Some of the comments on here are bizarre"

Which ones and how are they bizarre? Is it just because they have a different viewpoint to HnH?

Anonymous said...

The EDL behave like fascists thus are fascists.

It is true about EDL funder and and supremo string-puller Alan Lake. He has planned a "Final Solution" for British Muslims and humanitarian campaigners that mirrors what Nazis did to Jews pre-Holocaust.

This is something that even Nick Griffin hasn't done.

And yet people still do not see the significance.

If it barks and bites like a facsist pit-bull terrier, it's a fuckin' fascist group!

scaz said...

"Also, the EDL's key mod on their zetaboards is called Wodin.

Wodin=Neo-Nazi pagan!"

Pretty damning evidence that the EDL are not just fascists but hardcore neo-Nazis.

robtherookie said...

Alan Lake must have copied his ideas from reading Mein Kampf. Hope his supposed 'Jewish friends' read this.

Also, I discovered this week that Roberta Moore who leads the non-existant 'EDL Jewish division' is not actually Jewish but an Odinist Pagan.

The EDL is majority fascist, and they are getting more fundamental racist by the week.

Anonymous said...

As most of them probably only spend their time waving flags at the EDL and shouting "Smash the BNP"

Instead, hey-ho, we allow violent pogroms to happen unapposed, while staying in bed all day, wanking.

Anonymous said...

To dismiss the EDL as not being fascist is dangerous when there are so-many well known nutzis attending thei protests.

Anonymous said...

Have you read Alan Lake's Final Solution, Mr Lowles??????

unplugged from the matrix said...


I see Clive Jefferson is whining about unfair treatment at the hands of his parish council.
Yes he has broken protocol .you can not politicise a parish council by signing a personal letter as Cllr. this man is so thick

Buoy said...

"There is a strong possibility that they can win a seat on the Welsh assembly, and even in Scotland too"????

Pull the other one!!!

Scots hate English fash scum be the BNP or the EDL!

Anonymous said...

The whole EDL strategy is about threats and the use of force. Fight the police, pull down barriers,everyone against them is a 'Red,' threaten councils. You can't get more fascistic than that.

Anonymous said...

While the EDL certainly have fascist individuals within it, they, as an organisation, are not fascist. Besides their extremely rabid Islamophobia, their general politics are incredibly wooly. They are a media-driven populist reaction to Islamophobia in society using the methods and tactics of the Football Hooligan sub-culture. That's not to say that they aren't nasty, divisive and don't need to be opposed.

Of course, they could change. They could formally link at with the BNP, intervene in electoral politics, attack picket lines and left wing demos and take a more general fascistic turn but at the moment they haven't.

NewsHound said...



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"their general politics are incredibly wooly"...

Not if you read "Joe Casuals" (AKA Jeff Marsh, and his leftie-baiting hardcore racist Casuals United blog, and the English Defence League Extra, where lots of articles are not just attacking extreme Islam but Asians in general, and other minorities including African refugees and Roma gypsies.

This is all the evidence you need of a afscist political agenda.

huck said...

Has anybody seen the kind of racist anti-immigrant shit the EDL facebook admins now post themselves on facebook, and the hard neonazi stuff they are now lettin through?

If that's not fascist, I'm a bloody kangaroo!

Anonymous said...

There are going to be a lot of people disillusioned with the big parties no matter what, therefore we need to offer to these people a small-party alternative to the BNP. The Respect Party is a good option. Everything the BNP claims to do (e.g. oppose the war in Afghanistan) the Respect Party ACTUALLY DOES.


chad said...

"The whole EDL strategy is about threats and the use of force. Fight the police, pull down barriers,everyone against them is a 'Red,' threaten councils. You can't get more fascistic than that".

Indeed! they call opponents "reds" even if they are tories, and they call Searchlight "searchlies". Not just that, but Alan Lake fantasises about arranging a Hitler "final solution" for British Muslims, anarchists and leftwingers to irradicate them from the planet. If that's not fascist, what the bugger is?

Anonymous said...

alan lakes masterplan could have been penned by hitler himself replacing the words jews with muslims.

lakes the head honcho at the edl

hes far worse than nick griffin

Anonymous said...

Lake wrote his final solution on his very own blog.

Anonymous said...

this appears to be getting more widely talked about now