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Update: EDL chaos in trying to avoid Help for Heroes ban


8:15 am - May 30th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


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See updates at the end

News this week that Help for Heroes would reject donations by the English Defence League came as a big blow to the far-right group.

Its leader ‘Tommy Robinson’ was crestfallen. JustGiving.com also shut down his donations page after the media coverage.

A Help for Heroes spokesperson told reporters: ‘He’s the only one that’s come to our attention but tonight we’ll be doing a cross-count to make sure that anyone else that’s saying they’re EDL will not be allowed to fundraise for us.

But now Tommy Robinson is trying to get around the ban by having another EDL member do the fundraising in the EDL’s name.

It’s also likely that the money will go to the EDL’s own coffers rather than than of Help For Heroes, since the latter has rejected English Defence League money.

In a series of tweets, screenshots below, Tommy Robinson passes the baton on to ‘Sgt Glen Hughes’ – who is also an EDL supporter.

Hughes plans to fundraise with Tommy Robinson and solicit money… though it’s not clear where it will go to.

It’s not clear if Help For Heroes will accept money from the far-right group under a different name.

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via EDL News and this FB page of screenshots.

UPDATE: The Independent follows up our story, as the soldier and Tommy Robinson try and delete their tweets. Hah!

Plus…

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: News ,Race relations

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Reader comments


1. Chaise Guevara

The EDL must be castigated for their evil plot to, um, give money to charity.

That bit about them planning to keep the money for themselves is pure conjecture on your part, by the way. Seriously, criticise the EDL when their members do stupid, violent and bigoted things (which isn’t exactly rare), but “EDL plan to sneakily help war veterans” must be the worst attempt at a smear story ever.

Honestly? I’d rather see Help for Heroes get the money than all this petty, “we don’t want your money because you’re racist” rubbish.

Even if they earn a few thousand, that could be enough to pay for a prosthetic leg. Is winning a moral victory over an irrelevant group of racists really more important than that?

3. Shatterface

The EDL must be castigated for their evil plot to, um, give money to charity.

It’s about attaching their name to a good cause – like the Kray’s or KKK and their work for ‘charity’.

Still, Hope for Heroes now get good publicity for rejecting tainted money, the EDL get to line their pockets and Sunny has yet another EDL post with screenshots of Twitter so everybody wins.

I agree with John, plus if your fear is that this money might now go toward funding the EDL activities (rather than Yaxley Lennon’s coke habit), then surely you could argue that by graciously accepting the money, Help for Heroes would have been actively defunding a far-right organisation…

Shatterface has it @3. Bang on.

You don’t want to see the EDL duping people with their Help for Heroes walk.
It’s a bit like those people collecting for Muslim charities outside mosques etc. Shaking the buckets.
Good people put their hands in their pockets the way they do to all kinds of appeals for some ‘good cause’.

Btw, I also can’t stand the Help for Heroes charity either. There’s something really missing in its analysis. It seems to be too easily ”pro-war”, or lets that side of things go by unchallenged anyway.

Another Liberal Conspiracy EDL thread. Where’s Jai?

@1

How is this a “smear story”? What if the BNP had offered to do the same thing? Would you feel differently about that?

By the way, the EDL are pretty good at hoisting themselves by their own petard. They’ve done it here. Help for Heroes wants nothing to do with them. Well done, I say.

“Such bigotry should not go unpunished in a free society.” Think about this comment.

Personally, not being an EDL supporter or anything like I will never give to any “Charity” organisation that helps the war mongers in their acts of evil.

What part of “pecunia non olet” is so difficult for people to understand?

9. Chaise Guevara

@ 6 buddyhell

“How is this a “smear story”?”

In that Sunny’s only printing it in the hopes of making the EDL look bad. If you’re defining a smear story as needing to be untrue or twisted, I reckon that arse-pull suggestion that the EDL will pocket the money is probably justified.

“What if the BNP had offered to do the same thing? Would you feel differently about that? ”

Nope, why would I? Bit of a weird analogy, that: why would I change my stance because you’ve swapped one objectionable right-wing group for another?

I really think there’s a bit of an “EDL bad, therefore this bad” reaction going on here.

10. Chaise Guevara

@ Shatterface

“It’s about attaching their name to a good cause – like the Kray’s or KKK and their work for ‘charity’.”

I’m really not too bothered if an unpleasant organisation can make a rather obvious attempt to whitewash its reputation by giving lots of money to charity. It’s a net win.

“Still, Hope for Heroes now get good publicity for rejecting tainted money, the EDL get to line their pockets and Sunny has yet another EDL post with screenshots of Twitter so everybody wins.”

You must have done some serious linguistic gymnastics to get from “give money to charity” to “line your own pockets”.

The army should discharge members of the EDL and BNP from the army. There is no place for racist in the military

12. Matthew Blott

@ Chaise Guevara

First post, spot on.

13. Chaise Guevara

@ Matthew

Ta!

@ Tim W

Quite – and thanks for adding another Latin phrase to my lexicon that I can feel smug about knowing.

14. the a&e charge nurse

[11] ‘There is no place for racist in the military’.

That’s wrong – racism has always been an essential device used to rationalise one kind of war or another.
Remember how the germans and japanese were characterised, or the VC during the ‘Nam war – and now the Iraqis.

The neocons must have pulled the wool over your eyes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akm3nYN8aG8

15. Sam Barnett-Cormack

Well, money raised through JustGiving will go to Help for Heroes. The difference is that the JustGiving page doesn’t associate it with the EDL, so it’s no longer associated with anything political. Though if the connection becomes widely known, that may not be good enough for Help for Heroes to accept it.

16. Richard Carey

Chaise is correct on this.

Agree with Shatterface, comment no 3. Everyone’s a winner

In that Sunny’s only printing it in the hopes of making the EDL look bad.

Gosh Chaise, you have found out my cunning editorial bias!

19. Patrick James

I think the Help for Heroes charity is totally correct to reject donations from the EDL.

Any possible association with the EDL would, I suspect, lose Help for Heroes far more money than they are likely to gain from the EDL.

The EDL wish to be seen as a beneficiary of Help for Heroes because it is good press for them and it gives them a role. As a racist organisation they seek normalisation in our society because they wish to normalise their racism.

EDLs attempts be be “normal” must be rejected and I congratulate Help for Heroes in turning away this money from the EDL.

20. Chaise Guevara

Okay, kept getting a weird failure page when trying to post this, so if it turns up like four times my sincere apologies:

@ 18 Sunny

“Gosh Chaise, you have found out my cunning editorial bias!”

Oh, don’t worry, I don’t think I’ve cleverly unearthed a subtly buried editorial slant! You’re perfectly open about how you feel about the EDL, and for the most part you’re right.

This is a silly way to go about it, though. Aside from that unsubstantiated allegation of yours, the article could just as easily be called EDL Undeterred From Attempt to Help Injured Veterans.

The worst thing about this is that they are trying to get around a decision that was made. Help for heroes decided that they didn’t want money and this is a deliberate attempt to manipulate their wishes.

How can anyone with such extreme views be in the army and be dispatched to a Muslim country ? How is that even possible ?

People will try and say it’s wrong to discriminate but how could an EDL police officer impartially deal with a dispute between a white man and a Muslim ? I’d feel exactly the same way if any members of Anjen Choudary’s group were in the forces or police force.

Anything linking help for heroes to the EDL will cost them so much money in the long haul. The EDL leader (whatever he’s calling himself today) raised about £3,500 and H4H received £600,000 in the two days following the Woolwich attack. If they accept this guys donation. They will lose out in the long run. I certainly wouldn’t give any more to them.

How can anyone with such extreme views be in the army and be dispatched to a Muslim country ? How is that even possible ?

Mainly because kind-hearted liberals aren’t usually the first in line down the recruitment office. You work with what you get.

23. Shatterface

I’m really not too bothered if an unpleasant organisation can make a rather obvious attempt to whitewash its reputation by giving lots of money to charity. It’s a net win.

It’s not the whitewash of the EDL that concerns me, it’s the damage to Hope for Heroes reputation by being associated with the EDL.

If you think charities don’t lose out by associating with the wrong people you should tell that to those who previously associated with Jimmy Saville.

You must have done some serious linguistic gymnastics to get from “give money to charity” to “line your own pockets”.

I don’t know how else to interpret Sunny’s comment that It’s also likely that the money will go to the EDL’s own coffers rather than than of Help For Heroes, since the latter has rejected English Defence League money.

Coffers, pockets – who gives a shit?

24. Chaise Guevara

@ 23 Shatterface

“It’s not the whitewash of the EDL that concerns me, it’s the damage to Hope for Heroes reputation by being associated with the EDL.”

Fair, but in this case I think Help for Heroes has more than saved its own bacon by publicly rejecting the EDL.

“I don’t know how else to interpret Sunny’s comment that It’s also likely that the money will go to the EDL’s own coffers rather than than of Help For Heroes, since the latter has rejected English Defence League money.”

So pure conjecture by Sunny Hundal, based entirely on whether or not he likes the people he’s talking about, is gospel?

Noted.

25. Northern Star

I agree with Chaise on this – claiming the EDL will probably be pocketing the money is pure unsubstantiated conjecture and reads a bit of a dirty trick…There obviously are racists in the EDL, and they often unfairly stereotype, but I don’t know if it’s right to say they are a ‘racist organisation’ – religions are not races. The EDL has an LGBT division, a Hindu division, a Jewish division etc. As much as we may find the EDL with their squawking distasteful, they exist because a substantial proportion of working class Brits feel alienated by everything that’s going on…fine for the intelligentsia to sit in ivory towers and talk about tolerance, but working class people who live in Muslim areas often have a different subjective experience…plus there IS a tension between liberal democracy and the fundamental tenets of Islam and the EDL is saying that and no one is prepared to admit it…least of all liberals (of which I consider myself one) who shout the loudest about women’s rights and LGBT rights (how do the tenets of fundamentalist Islam fit into that exactly)? Maybe the EDL is full of bigoted dickheads but their existence is an, often unwelcome, reminder of the latent contradictions and tensions that do exist in our society, whether we like it or not.

26. John Reid

I think any group who have a few members who’ve got drunk and done a few stupid things like brown a bottle at ac and swore, or over the years have had someone joined with a criminal record, that group then shouldn’t be able to. Give to charity, because there are lots of organisation who don’t have the occasional law breaker in their group, NOT…

14 any proof the EDL are racist?

This is a silly way to go about it, though.

Chaise – no one asks you to read every article and offer an opinion on whether it passes your editorial standards.
But thanks 🙂

Are serving soldiers allowed to publically express their support for the EDL and raise money in it’s name?

26. Mainly the things they say and do.

@9
“In that Sunny’s only printing it in the hopes of making the EDL look bad. If you’re defining a smear story as needing to be untrue or twisted, I reckon that arse-pull suggestion that the EDL will pocket the money is probably justified”.

Please, pull the other one. Anything that is written about the EDL that isn’t flattering is going to be labelled by you and the EDL as a “smear story”.

“Nope, why would I? Bit of a weird analogy, that: why would I change my stance because you’ve swapped one objectionable right-wing group for another”?

Nothing “weird” about it, dude. The BNP are as bad as the EDL. What’s the problem?

“I really think there’s a bit of an “EDL bad, therefore this bad” reaction going on here”.

Feeble.

@26

“any proof the EDL are racist”?

The prize for the dumbest question goes to you.

@25

“I agree with Chaise on this – claiming the EDL will probably be pocketing the money is pure unsubstantiated conjecture and reads a bit of a dirty trick…”

Aw diddums.

“There obviously are racists in the EDL, and they often unfairly stereotype, but I don’t know if it’s right to say they are a ‘racist organisation’ – religions are not races. The EDL has an LGBT division, a Hindu division, a Jewish division etc”.

And how many members do they have in their “Jewish Division” for example? I’ll tell you: it’s one (if that) and there’s some doubt as to his Jewishness. You’re too willing to accept the EDL at its word. Why is that I wonder? I’d like to see this “Hindu Division” but something tells me that’s a fabrication too like their LGBT Division.

The EDL is racist and their hatred for Islam is exercised against anyone with brown skin and who looks, in their eyes, like a Muslim.

33. Chaise Guevara

@ 27 Sunny

“Chaise – no one asks you to read every article and offer an opinion on whether it passes your editorial standards.”

Oh, for god’s sake. “Don’t like it, don’t read it”? You’re a political bloody journalist, Sunny. Political journalists need to be able to respond to criticism with something more relevant than a playground comeback.

Political journalists need to be able to respond to criticism with something more relevant than a playground comeback.

Nah dude – that wasn’t criticism. That was just your boilerplate ‘I don’t like what you’re saying here‘ complaint. The national media followed up the story, the soldier in question backtracked and the EDL tried to cover up their tracks. That alone makes it worthwhile that we ran the story.

Whether you like it or not is irrelevant to me. I started ignoring complaints from commenters about the sort of articles we run years ago. Sorry to disappoint you 🙁

35. Chaise Guevara

@ buddyhell

“Please, pull the other one. Anything that is written about the EDL that isn’t flattering is going to be labelled by you and the EDL as a “smear story”.”

Yeah, right. Because I, like most liberal leftists, am such a massive fan of the EDL. FFS, I’m one of those people that gets accused of being a “cultural Marxist” and an “Islamophile” all the damn time.

Are you seriously incapable of comprehending the idea that an organisation might be bad overall, but that doesn’t mean that every single thing done in association with it must be terrible? Are you really reduced to accusing card-carrying lefties of being EDL supporters rather than addressing that possibility?

“Nothing “weird” about it, dude. The BNP are as bad as the EDL. What’s the problem?”

There’s no problem. I just told you that I don’t object to the BNP raising money for charity any more than I do the EDL. What I don’t understand is, as both you and I have stated, the EDL and BNP are in roughly the same ballpark. I don’t get why you’d expect me to have a different stance for the latter.

“Feeble.”

Thank you for that well-thought-out, mature and insightful critique. My argument lies in tatters. Oh woeful day.

36. Golam Murtaza

Ah yes, the EDL’s fabled ‘Hindu’ and ‘Sikh’ divisions. In the military (and the EDL increasingly likes to think of itself in military terms as it tries to cosy up to the real thing) a division is a pretty substantial force – at least 10,000 personnel.

So even if the EDL are being very creative with their terminology, surely their Sikh and Hindu ‘divisions’ should AT LEAST each consist of several hundred members? Enough for a decent march/protest in front of the cameras. But for the three years the EDL has been around, we’ve yet to be treated to such a visible demonstration of enthusiastic Sikh/Hindu involvement. Funny that…

@34

“Yeah, right. Because I, like most liberal leftists, am such a massive fan of the EDL. FFS, I’m one of those people that gets accused of being a “cultural Marxist” and an “Islamophile” all the damn time”.

You’re confused. But what gets me is your bizarre defence of the EDL. Is that a “liberal left” position? If it is, then I’m glad I’m a Marxist (young Marx, of course).

“Are you seriously incapable of comprehending the idea that an organisation might be bad overall, but that doesn’t mean that every single thing done in association with it must be terrible? Are you really reduced to accusing card-carrying lefties of being EDL supporters rather than addressing that possibility”?

Are you seriously suggesting that the EDL has “good elements” to it? If you are, then you’re more naive than I first thought. The EDL was using Help for Heroes to gain maximum publicity. They don’t care about Lee Rigby, they care about advancing their cause. What’s so hard to understand about that? And yes, I do suspect they’d pocket a lot of the money. Is that so unreasonable?

“Thank you for that well-thought-out, mature and insightful critique. My argument lies in tatters”

It was the best possible response that I could give to a woolly-headed liberal position. Yeah, “woe is you”.

@36

Exactly.

39. Robin Levett

@Northern Star #25:

There obviously are racists in the EDL, and they often unfairly stereotype, but I don’t know if it’s right to say they are a ‘racist organisation’ – religions are not races

True enough for those of a thinking persuasion; but then we have those such as Rod Liddle who used “black savages” of the Woolwich (alleged) murderers because “men of Muslim appearance” was too wordy.

Since the murder, EDL are enjoying the much needed publicity to keep them afloat. Since football season has finished, these hooligans needs to keep occupied, so why not exploit the murder. After all, so what if the family of the murdered victims reject EDL or attacks on other societies/communities in the victims name, so what if charities don’t want the money raised from racist twats, for EDL it’s just a few most ‘follows’ on leaders twitter account.

A drunken man can hallucinate about running the country, but first thing first – sober up.

41. Quest of the Blatant Beast

Sunny is obviously very concerned that Help for Heroes should only take money from acceptable sources.

I wonder if he can tell us how much he has donated personally to Help for Heroes in the past year?

42. So Much For Subtlety

39. Robin Levett

True enough for those of a thinking persuasion; but then we have those such as Rod Liddle who used “black savages” of the Woolwich (alleged) murderers because “men of Muslim appearance” was too wordy.

MoMA is also inaccurate. Most people would think that someone who was a MoMA was South Asian or Middle Eastern. The murderers this time appear to have been of Sub-Saharan African origin. And in fact one of them was a convert from Christianity. So was not a MoMA. Unless that is a euphemism for being non-White.

What he is is Black. And normally you could describe him as such without anyone giving a damn. But putting that word too close to the word “savage” was a mistake given that the Left would be, naturally, seeking to divert attention from what they don’t want to talk about to what they do – White racism.

Even though savage is a perfectly literal descriptive of what happened and Black is what he is.

The British Asian Blog

Since the murder, EDL are enjoying the much needed publicity to keep them afloat.

They must be taking lessons from Obama’s gun control push that likewise exploited the massacre at Sandy Hook for political gain.

Although oddly I don’t recall anyone here condemning him or the Left for that.

There seems something wrong with the fact H4H needs to exist in the first place, aside from the obvious horrible fact humans are still warring with one other.

If we must send people into combat on our behalf, then it should be our duty, not our prerogative, to pay for any aid our wounded combatants need when they return home.

Also as we can see here, all too often charity is used as a tool for PR.

Sorry that should say “all too often charity is used BY tools for PR.”


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