The editor of Hope Not Hate, Nick Lowles, has an article on the Huffington Post website this morning concerning UKIP - "Challenging the Politics of Fear".
My comments in reply to this are below:
Is the author of this piece the same Nick Lowles who approached the European Movement as far back as 1996, when part of Searchlight magazine, offering to do research into anti-EU groups in the UK?
In that letter, Nick Lowles offered to use informants in such organisations to "provide your organisation with invaluable ammunition to your cause". (The letter was leaked and appeared in Notes From the Borderland magazine in 2001)
Far from being someone newly concerned about UKIP due to some of its members silly comments, Nick Lowles needs to be seen for what he is - a long term player in the arguments over Britain's role in the EU. And as principled as his stance may be against racism, on the EU question, he is on the wrong side.
One of the reasons blogs like this are important (and the main reason, despite lack of time that I maintain it) is that they remain a vital tool against the censorship of ideas by established voices. The Huffington Post and The Guardian's Comment is Free have both declined to publish comments I have made in recent months, an experience I know that has been shared, in the CIF case, by Sarah AB of the blog Harry's Place.
Thus far, my comment on the Lowles piece has not appeared, even though one submitted later has been published. In this instance, it may be the Huffington Post does not want a rounded discussion about both UKIP and Hope Not Hate. The Guardian's censorship (and that is what it is) experienced by both Sarah and myself, appears to centre around a desire to protect Islamist voices from reasoned critique. If people are not obviously racists and still questionning elements within British Islam, they are to be silenced.
As I commented on Harry's Place:
I twice tried to post criticisms of what I saw as Salma Yaqoob's grievance based approach to the schooling controversy under her comment is free article. Both times The Guardian's moderator removed my comments.
Last month I tried to post a similar, critical comment on the Huffington Post, where the academic Imran Awan had written that Muslims in Birmingham felt like a suspect community. Perhaps so I argued, but there had been two major terrorist trials involving Birmingham jihadists in the past twelve months, with parents from the city having to go out to Pakistan to bring their sons back from terrorist training camps. My comments were not published.
It seems that as problems appear pertaining to parts of British Islam, not only do Islamists attempt to avoid debate by playing the 'Islamophobia' card, but their position is now being backed up by others, who seek to prevent any challenge to Islamist apologias.
Perhaps not the McCarthyism the hammy Ms Yaqoob complains of, but this is hardly a sign of healthy, democratic debate.