As the British National Party teeters on the brink of financial collapse, it is a good time for us to look at where the HOPE not hate campaign is going. Have we succeeded in what we set out to do, or is there still more to be done? I’ve written a short essay on what I think the HOPE not hate campaign should do now, but I want to hear your views.
The HOPE not hate campaign was set up in 2004 to provide a positive antidote to the BNP’s politics of hate – and I think we have achieved our goal. The BNP is now down to just a handful of councillors, it is deeply divided between warring factions and it has such crippling debts that it is hard to see how it can continue.
Against that we have developed one of the most successful political action campaigns in this country. Over 165,000 people have supported our campaigns. We have over 50,000 supporters on facebook and 8,000 followers on twitter. Thousands of you have taken to the streets, campaigning in the very communities which the BNP once viewed as their own. It is our political victories that have led the BNP to its current crisis.
Where now for HOPE not hate? http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/beyond-the-bnp/
The BNP might be in trouble but the conditions for racism continue to exist and will grow as the economic crisis really starts to bite. Our Fear and HOPE survey showed that there is a correlation between negative attitudes towards immigrants and economic insecurity and pessimism and there is plenty of both going around at the moment. Religious extremism and intolerance is growing and a Scottish vote for independence could lead to an explosion in aggressive English nationalism.
Should HOPE not hate meet these new challenges? http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/beyond-the-bnp/
I think the HOPE not hate campaign should be about more than just dealing with the consequences of hate. Bringing communities together against the EDL shows what positive work we can do and we should expand this. Next summer’s Olympics gives us a perfect opportunity to celebrate our modern society and develop shared local identities.
We have achieved so much because of your support. Now I want to hear what you think of our plans for HOPE not hate. Over the coming weeks we will give you the chance to choose the name of a new HOPE not hate publication, get involved in online debates and become more involved in HOPE not hate.
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