Being an avid news browser, my attention was caught by a group called “Stand up to UKIP.” After a little browsing, it seemed that they were just about everywhere with quite a presence (especially since they were officially launched on facebook on April 24th, 2014).
In a very short space of time, they have managed to attract such exulted persons as:
Diane Abbott MP
Len McCluskey, Unite the Union General Secretary
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London – 2000-2008
Owen Jones, Writer and Journalist
Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary
Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary
Ava Vidal, Comedian
Gerry Gable, Editor/ Publisher Searchlight Magazine
Hugh Lanning, Unite Against Fascism vice chair
Lindsey German, Convenor Stop the War Coalition
Leon Silver, president of the East London Central synagogue and steering group member, Tower Hamlets interfaith forum
Jo Cardwell, We Are Waltham Forest
Denis Fernando, Rainbow coalition against racism
Sean Hoyle, President Wessex Region RMT
Lisa Fletcher, Branch Chair Unite Community Portsmouth and District
Jon Woods, President Portsmouth TUC and Chair of Unison Portsmouth City Branch
This seems to be a well organized group with little or no history prior to the European Elections, 2014. A brief look on the internet will steer you towards any number of events that are being organized with more high profile speakers.
So who are they?
They clearly are not one person. They are an organization that has resources (fiscal), connections (see the speakers list above) and a thorough dislike of UKIP.
In terms of statements, there appears to be only one…copied and pasted all over the web.
I am certainly not an expert computer user, but I have found it immensely difficult to find any true background on this group. Aside from announcements of upcoming events appearing in a wide range of online resources (the socialist worker, UAF, and oddly enough many local online newspapers) the only other trace I can find is their online petition, which is actually worth a closer look.
675 signatures (from 497 different IP addresses).
The signers are a heady mix of UCU and UNITE with a fair smattering of Labour council chairs. A brief flick through will give you some idea of the coordination that is behind this group:
On 12th of June between 16:54 and 17:12, thirteen Senior UNITE Reps (Finance sector) managed to go online from nine vastly different UK locations to sign the petition. The next four pages are chock full of UNITE people over the following two hours.
This is a coordinated and concerted campaign against UKIP that has vast financial (they offer transport to rallies from anywhere in the country) resources and political clout. What a surprise that it appeared just when UKIP started to storm the EU election polls.
As to who really runs this organization, I have some thoughts. What about you?