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February 04, 2013

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Duncan

Searchlight have published a short blog post that curiously neglects to mention their suspicions that the 1993 attack was carried out by anarchists:

http://searchlightmagazine.com/blogs/searchlight-blog/anarchist-bookshop-bombed

It's also worth noting that the Kebele social centre in Bristol had all its windows bricked in a couple of weeks ago. Again, no-one claimed responsibility.

freedom

Brian Whelan has no connections to Hope Not Hate.

Choccy

As Freedom has said, Whelan has no connection with Hope Not Hate, and I suggest you correct that assertion quick as you can.
Paul, can you please get in touch with me ASAP.

Paul Stott

I first became aware of Brian Whelan when I posted on twitter on 20 June 2012 promoting the current issue of Notes From the Borderland, and its exclusives on Gareth Williams, plus the falling out between Searchlight and Hope Not Hate.
Brian, who I had not previously heard of, replied with a snidey little dig at how awful NFB was.

Following him on Twitter, his friendship with key people in HnH was evident, as was his contact with them on the day of certain EDL demonstrations. This is reinforced by his article for HnH on their website:

http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/news/article/2366/return-of-anti-irish-prejudice-in-britain

and their use of Brian's work here;

http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/news/article/1594/bnp-candidate-revels-in-burqa-shame

Why does this matter? Well on one level Brian is free to write for however he likes. But he will be judged by who he writes for. The historical problems between Searchlight and Anarchists are well known, and should not need re-hashing for those who comment above. The issue is the extent to which Hope Not Hate are any different from their Searchlight parent.

This time last year I was scheduled to speak for South London Anti-Fascists at their annual meeting. An enormous backroom row broke out after Hope Not Hate requested my invitation be withdrawn. It was not, but HnH appear to wish to have a veto on what is acceptable anti-fascism and what is not.

If Brian Whelan now wishes to distance himself from HnH, he can do so. But to say he has had no connection with them is incorrect.

Choccy

It is equally incorrect to say he is 'closely associated'.
Basing that on twitter friends (he has thousands) and a solitary article shows poor faith.

Larry O'Hara

Poor faith? I'd suggest that would apply to any anti-fascist who associates with Hope Not Hate. Methinks Mr Whelan has had ample time to consider in detail his position on Searchlight and Hope Not Hate/Nazi thug & misogynist/police informant Matthew Collins. After all out of the blue he asked me about the latter two things 3/8/12. I referred him to Notes From the Borderland issue 10, which carried the most (and so far only) detailed account of the HNH:Searchlight split. If he has read it, assimilated it, and now wants to politically distance himself from either/both factions, with reasons, this is the ideal forum to do it.

If he does not do so, then we can all draw our own conclusions. Getting others to demand censorship of this blog on his behalf is the type of tactic HNH resort to, albeit in their case more usually with lawyer's letters than using proxies.

Mr Whelan, your move.

Brian Whelan

Hi Paul,

To clarify I have never met anyone from Hope Not Hate, I have replied to tweets from them, as I have replied to tweets from you and thousands of people, this doesn't mean we share a 'friendship'. I did however recently write a report about the far right using quotes from Hope Not Hate's Matt Collins for Channel 4 News, where I freelance. I quote scores of people in articles every month, it doesn't imply anything more than a need to fill up the page and contextualise a story.

I'm a journalist first and foremost and protection of the information I gather is a basic principle, I would never pass it on to any third party, which seems to be implied here. If you ask Freedom they can confirm that when threatened with legal action by a certain NUJ activist to reveal the names of the authors of Beating The Fascists (I had interviewed them to promote the book) I chose to pay out of my own pocket rather than compromise the authors. I also offered support to Freedom and the authors when my situation was resolved.

The two articles credited to me on the Hope Not Hate website are quite literally scraped from other sources - one is a piece I wrote for the Irish Times, the other a piece from my blog, I was never contacted for permission but was never precious about my work being reproduced but my articles are regularly reproduced on anti-fascists sites and blogs in this manner. I'm not sure this merits being called 'closely associated' with Hope Not Hate.

You've made a mistake here, that's something that happens from time to time when trying to uncover people's true motives. The supporting material you've gathered shows only that I've had the most superficial contact with HNH. I would appreciate if you rectified the situation.

Choccy

A 'proxy'? I've known Paul and Brian for best part of a decade, I'm merely pointing out Paul has made a mistake.

Larry O'Hara

I notice with interest, Mr Whelan, that you have not answered my question.

Brian Whelan

Hi Larry, I am not a supporter of Hope Not Hate or Searchlight.

Larry O'Hara

that doesn't quite cover it, does it? You could be a collaborator with same: after all, why would somebody in the know quote a misogynist Nazi thug like Matthew Collins. By quoting him, you give HNH, a set of despicable individuals in the pay of the DCLG (ie this government) credibility they do not deserve. Now you have either read this never contested fact in NFB and chose to ignore it, or not read it, despite asking for such evidence.

More pertinently, the last time Freedom was attacked, Searchlight, for whom Lowles was then working, disgracefully alleged ex-Class War member Tim Scargill was somehow involved.

Not to be a supporter does not make you an opponent: eg I am not an Arsenal supporter, but not as such an opponent. Should you care to contact HNH and ask them to remove your articles and never to reproduce them, that would help.

I fully concede you were on the side of the angels when a low-life creature tried to sue them: that is to your credit. However, like Searchlight from whence they sprung, HNH are a vile cancer that needs to be excised from anti-fascism, not given credibility.

Paul Stott

Choccy: just a comment on the Irish Times point.

I first began to look at Brian Whelan's work on 20 June 2012 when Brian slagged a tweet I posted promoting the current issue of Notes from the Borderland, and its content (on Gareth Williams, Hope not Hate and Searchlight)

Random journalists from the Irish Times do not tend to critique the work Notes from the Borderland has done on HnH. Supporters, members or associates of HnH do.

What I can't get my head around is how Brian Whelan reached the political position he did. Either he had not read what we wrote, and just repeated something Matthew Collins or Joe Mulhall said about us, or he had, and decided Hope Not Hate deserved to be defended from our criticism?

Brian Whelan

Paul, I'm not a 'random Irish Times journalist" - for a start I'm not an Irish Times journalists and it's been clearly established I am a former contributor to Freedom.

Larry, I'm happy to get my work removed from the HNH website if that will start the process of satisfying you as to my independence. As a journalist I take quotes from all sorts of organisations, it never means I am a supporter. I maintain a healthy objective distance. I think you're mistaking the day to day practicalities of newsgathering for a political decision.

Paul Stott

Brian - as I said above:

What I can't get my head around is how Brian Whelan reached the political position he did. Either he had not read what we wrote, and just repeated something Matthew Collins or Joe Mulhall said about us, or he had, and decided Hope Not Hate deserved to be defended from our criticism?

Dr Llarregub

It seems a little premature to point a clearly directional finger at the alleged perpetrators.

Larry O'Hara

Paul has not pointed a "clear directional finger", merely listed a few possibilities, along the way recalling some past events.

I hope you aren't saying we should place all our confidence inn the police are you?

Dr Llarregub

Larry, I am not accusing anyone of anything, and not suggesting we leave it to the police. But a list of suspects were mentioned and I was simply suggesting that it might be too early to focus on any one.

Jason Taverner

Sorry Mr Whelan, but your denial of "supporter" status re SL-HNH does not you a credible anti-fascist activist make. Are you opposed to the HNH's state-collaboration or not? As it is, you appear to be narrowing your options down to being either 1) a journalistic whore, or 2) a state-friendly (though 'independent') journocop. Which is it?

romanticanarchist

When you read conversations on right wing blogs, you begin to realise that THEY all hate each other almost as much as WE all hate each other. Its quite funny really. And the 'left' seems to do an impeccable job of showing the general public that a society built upon mutual trust or co-operation would be paralysed almost immediately by paranoids, egoists and their ineffable squabbles. There's no need for people who support the status quo to even offer counter arguments against socialism anymore. They just point at us and say 'look'...

Jason Taverner

Interesting that HNH haven't seen fit to cover the arson attack on Freedom Press. Unsurprising perhaps, as they obviously HATE anarchists. An HNH article on the Spanish Civil War says:
"the Anarchist CNT were as anti the Republic as the fascists, viewing it as a bourgeoisie government. Their continual attempts to destabilise the Republic played right into the hands of the right wing."

Dr Llarregub

It seems that the matter is settled: the attack was from fascists - 'an extreme right wing minority party'. I assume that will be recorded in history. End of speculation.
http://spitalfieldslife.com/2013/02/08/fire-attack-at-the-freedom-press/

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