Oldham political groups mentioned in the charity’s State of Hate report
A CHARITY mentioned two Oldham political groups in a report which analyzes ‘the state of far-right extremism’ in Britain today.
The charity Hope Not Hate mentions both the Failsworth Independent Party (FIP) and the hyperlocal party Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth (POS) in its State of Hate 2022 report, published earlier this month.
According to the charity, which works to expose and oppose far-right extremism, the ‘national far right’ is ‘actively mobilising’ in Britain and ‘exploiting the uncertainties created by economic difficulties.
The charity’s report adds that at “worst case” hyperlocal politicians can exploit “historical tensions” and contribute to the “poisoning of political discourse” by dominating local community Facebook groups and “fuelling a strong anti-council sentiment” which can degenerate into aggression towards elected and local elected officials.
In the report, the Failsworth Independent Party (FIP) is accused of benefiting from a ‘bitter online campaign’ against Labor figures, including former Oldham council leader Sean Fielding, accused of ‘corruption, fraud and for allowing “Asian cartels” and “street grooming groups to operate in the city without challenge”.
The online campaign, the report adds, was “led” by figures linked to the hyperlocal Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth (POAS) party.
In response to the mention of the Failsworth Independent Party (FIP) in the report, FIP leader Cllr Brian Hobin said: “We have always maintained and been praised for our professional and clean campaigns.
“Our electoral victories are the result of hard work and belonging to our community.
“From the beginning, we were subjected to the most despicable abuse on social media, which sadly continues to this day.”
He added: “We will strive to continue to represent our constituents in the best possible way, despite how some would like to portray us.
“Our community knows us as individuals, they have trusted us. We believe that is worth more than the writings or rantings of people who know nothing about us personally, Failsworth or its people.”
In response to Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth (POAS) featuring, Chief Paul Errock, said any hate speech, racism, offensive, malicious or homophobic comments are “removed immediately upon identification” from POAS social media accounts and that POAS attempts to ‘raise the bar’ on ‘conduct’ and ‘how the group approaches issues’, as opposed to ‘vilification and hate speech’.
He added, “Since its inception in November 2019, bullying, intimidation, hate and malicious communications directed at POAS and its members have been rampant.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate the vitriolic and toxic nature of local politics, or the type and venom that we were the recipients of and furthermore the failure of the authorities to address this issue.”