It’s a bitter blow to see once-trusted organisations fall so low.
This Writer used to think Hope Not Hate was a genuine campaigning group, fighting racism and fascism. Sadly, it now seems to support certain forms of both – especially if they have anything to do with the government of Israel.
Look at the case of left-wing musician Joe Solo, winner of the Hope Heroes award run by Hope Not Hate. The award is said to be intended to “recognise, celebrate and — for the three winners — financially reward those who have helped to unite their communities and build resilience against the far right”.
Joe won for his work forming We Shall Overcome, which Hope Not Hate acknowledges is an artist-led response to growing poverty on the UK’s streets.
His plan for the £5,000 prize money was exemplary:
There were three prizes and six nominees, all of whom were deserving of the award so in keeping with the spirit of WSO I have asked HopeNotHate to take £1500 of the prize money and split it three ways so each of the nominees who narrowly missed out on the vote gets £500 and that way everyone gets a little help to keep their incredible campaigns going.
That leaves £3500 which will be distributed like this:
- £1000 to Pauline Town at WSO Central in Ashton-Under-Lyne to keep the food parcels flowing and the warm clothes on hand for winter.
- £1000 to Rachel Emec at Mesopotamia in Nottingham to make sure she has the resources to carry on without having to sell her car which she was forced to do in order to keep the doors open earlier this year.
- £1000 to Hull Unity Shop in order to keep the solidarity parcels flowing and the community programme expanding.
The remaining £500 will be added to the WSO t-shirt money and distributed around the country in time for the rush around Christmas and January.
That leaves me happily broke again.
Sadly, it was not to be, because somebody got in touch with Hope Not Hate to say that Joe had published “social media posts that we deem unacceptable” in 2018 and 2019. These appear to be posts in support of former Labour MP Chris Williamson, who was hounded out of the party for making the self-evident observation that Labour had been too quick to apologise whenever claims of anti-Semitism were made against the party – before even checking on their accuracy.
The organisation withdrew the prize money, meaning the projects he would have supported will not not receive any cash for their good works. Some may be jeopardised as a result.
All on the basis of a false claim about somebody else.
I met Joe in October. He’s no anti-Semite. He is a committed anti-fascist and anti-racist. Hope Not Hate should be supporting him to the limits of its ability.
But perhaps we should not be surprised. One of Hope Not Hate’s directors is Ruth Smeeth, whose claim to infamy is that she hounded anti-racism campaign Marc Wadsworth out of the Labour Party on the basis of a completely false claim that he was a racist anti-Semite.
These people work on the basis of lies. They spend their entire lives attacking others on the basis of those lies.
And now we see them ruining the lives of a large number of people, and justifying it with their lies.
It is unacceptable.
This Writer will be cutting any connections with Hope Not Hate. I strongly urge everybody else to do the same.
These groups are like cancer. Tolerate them and they will only grow, and cause more damage.
The only solution to their poison is to cut them out of our lives.
There is an upside to this story.
Joe was stripped of his prize on November 17. The next day a fundraising page was opened to replace it.
In a single day it raised nearly £8,500.
That’s the kind of people power that misnamed organisations like Hope Not Hate can never stamp out.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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