Artillery Row

Stop pampering the left’s attack dog

Hope not Hate are not a reliable judge of what constitutes dangerous extremism

Following last week’s local elections, Twitter was awash with speculation about the most important election, that of London Mayor. Turnout in the leafy anti-ULEZ suburbs was up but down in the Labour strongholds. Sadiq Khan was out, Susan Hall was in. 

A bright new dawn for London; a bright new dawn for Britain. Right-wing pro-market headbanging populism was in, left-wing anti-market postliberal populism was out — exemplified by the loss of Keane Duncan, the Tory candidate who promised to buy Scarborough’s Grand Hotel and turn it into North Yorkshire’s Ryugyong. Scarborough would never see thousands of high-value Chinese tourists taking flights from Hainan into the state-owned Teesside Airport, taking a luxury coach to Scarborough to stay at the state-owned Grand Hotel before eating lunch every day at a state-owned fish & chip restaurant. So much for bucket-and-spade socialism.

But of course, it was not to be; with the clinical efficiency of an inner-city NHS dentist (to say none at all) Khan managed to stumble over the line. Despite the fact that the national momentum and local demographics alone should promise Labour levels of majority not seen since the days of Saddam Hussain, Khan still required base campaigning techniques; the out-and-out bribe of universal free school meals for a city with a ¼ of a million millionaires on the vague grounds of “communiteh cohension”, the pausing of English language requirement tests for cabbies (despite having taken Uber to the High Court to ensure these standards were met, on the grounds of passenger safety) and promising to buy 10,000 homes on the private market to turn into social housing, which will predominantly be allocated to BAME residents.

A particularly base and well-worn trick was the smearing of his opponent as racist. This has two advantages; first of all, it wards off the danger of people voting in their own self-interest rather than along communitarian lines. Secondly, after Brexit nothing motivates London’s strong Remainer caucus more than proving their credentials as citizens of anywhere. It’s quite enough to show a well-beaten dog a whip. 

These smears were based on the research of Hope not Hate. According to a webpage celebrating their roll in Hall’s downfall, “HNH researchers painstakingly pieced together a dossier on Susan Hall”, which consisted mostly of tweets she’d liked, to build the narrative that she had “supported Donald Trump, shared anti-Muslim statements about Sadiq Khan and expressed anti-Black racism”. This became a central plank to Khan’s campaign

But Hope not Hate’s role didn’t end there. They then mounted what looks suspiciously like a conventional political campaign to prevent Hall becoming Mayor of London, including a petition to request the Conservative Party deselect her as a candidate, social media posts, polling and over “100 volunteers” helping to hand out “20,000 leaflets across London”.

So far, so just another radical-chic charity. But all is not as it first seems. 

Hope not Hate constitutes two organisations — a charitable trust and a Ltd Company. As a registered charity, Hope Not Hate is subject to strict regulations regarding political campaigning and must adhere to the election guidance outlined by the Charity Commission, which is rather clear; “Charities must not support or oppose a political party or candidate.”

Hope not Hate’s anti-Hall activism clearly contravenes these guidelines. But they were conducted not by Hope not Hate the charity, but Hope not Hate Limited (Reg. No. 08188502). 

The distinction between the two is legally important, but in practice irrelevant. Hope not Hate Charitable Trust doesn’t even have its own website; rather, a sub-section on the Hope not Hate website. In fact, Hope not Hate Charitable Trust has no staff whatsoever. According to their last report, Hope not Hate Ltd is the only beneficiary of Hope not Hate Charitable Trust, who provide 80 per cent of their running costs, alongside “the costs of a full-time fundraiser and associated fundraising costs, the cost of servicing the charity and its finances.” Their immense generosity also includes support for their Research Team, who produced the initial report on Susan Hall.

Hope not Hate Charitable Trust is little more than a brass plaque, a work-around intended to comply with the letter, but not the spirit, of Charity Commision guidelines. Given the interconnectedness between the two, it is possible to argue that Hope not Hate Ltd is an agent acting for and on behalf of Hope not Hate Charitable Trust; as such, Hope not Hate Ltd ‘s actions are Hope not Hate Charitable Trust’s actions.

no tale of The Blob is complete without evidence that the government is wasting taxpayer’s money to fight its stated objectives

 Charlotte Gill has already researched Hope not Hate Charitable Trust’s funding, which includes many of the trusts behind many of the most prominent radical chic charities. And, of course, the Home Office; no tale of The Blob is complete without evidence that the government is wasting taxpayer’s money to fight its stated objectives. Gill notes that, given the Paul Hamlyn Trust has also given over half a million pounds in funding, “the taxpayer under a ‘Conservative’ government, is a joint-funder with a Foundation that supports open borders.”

Flushed with success, Hope not Hate Ltd are now planning to roll out this model at the next General Election, promising to “against any candidates who cross our Red Lines”. These Red Lines include; Direct and persistent comments intended to stigmatise entire groups, comments that stigmatise an individual based on their identity, comments that are part of a pattern or coded but offensive comments that stigmatise groups using visual, spoken or written subtext. That these are entirely subjective and incredibly broad will, I’m sure, cause absolutely no problems whatsoever. 

Hope not Hate Ltd inform us that these “will apply to candidates regardless of party or their role within it.” They also inform us they have already “identified 10 top target MPs from the Radical Right of the Conservative Party… standing in marginal constituencies where we have a real opportunity to get them out.” I’m sure their failure to select even a single MP from any other party was a simple oversight; doubtless, come the election, they will also include George Galloway as a sop to prove they are not just anti-Conservative whilst removing another problem for Labour. 

It will be poetic justice if my party colleagues are turfed out by an organisation they allow to receive taxpayer’s money. It will be a fitting metaphor for a party that, despite being offered vast amounts of evidence, has failed to show the willingness or intellectual capacity necessary to grasp the problem of the political influence of the Blob. Hope not Hate could be stopped tomorrow, with a letter to the Charity Commission or a discreet word with the Home Secretary. 

To the MPs named; Craig MacKinlay, Marco Longhi, Mark Jenkinson, Miriam Cates, Sally-Ann Hart, Steve Baker, Tom Hunt, Karl McCartney, Andrea Jenkyns and Lee Anderson, I say this; it’s you or them. To all the other Conservatives out there, I say; it’s you next. Strike first. 

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