Hampshire skinhead group hits out at ‘racist’ EU poster campaign

The controversial Operation Black Vote poster

The controversial Operation Black Vote poster

Lee Spencer

Former Royal Marine and champion fundraiser given honour

A GROUP dedicated to skinhead culture has hit out at a new EU poster they say portrays them as racist.

Operation Black Vote has released an image of an aggressive-looking white skinhead pointing his finger aggressively at an elderly Asian woman about Europe.

But skinheads are not racist thugs. Our ethos is, no politics, there’s no racism, there’s no football, there’s no homophobia – nothing that goes against the grain.

Hampshire Skinhead Association founding member, Keith Thripp

Hampshire Skinhead Association say it completely gives out the wrong impression – as they are against racism and prejudice in all forms.

And they fear the latest EU propaganda in the run-up to the referendum over Britain’s future on June 23 will lead to members having ‘trouble at their front door’.

Hampshire Skinhead Association founding member, Keith Thripp, said: ‘It’s encouraging ethnic minorities to vote, but it’s using skinheads as racist thugs to push people to go out and vote.

‘But skinheads are not racist thugs.

‘Our ethos is, no politics, there’s no racism, there’s no football, there’s no homophobia – nothing that goes against the grain. As a group, we have over 1,000 members on Facebook and a core membership of around 150.

‘I am deeply offended by this poster. What it portrays is that we are all terrible racists, and that could bring trouble to our front door.’

EU Leave campaigners have also condemned the Saatchi & Saatchi-devised image of a sari-clad Asian woman exactly balanced on a see-saw with a shaven-headed ‘thug’ produced for the Operation Black Vote drive.

It is due to be displayed on 37 digital billboards in London and Manchester with the tag line: ‘A vote is a vote’.

In a statement on their website, Operation Black Vote say: ‘Many people feel that this debate, whether it’s the Remain or the Leave camps, has been characterised by anger, not much objective information, and at times the demonisation of foreigners and in particular people of colour. Our campaign poster illustrates that.’

HAMPSHIRE Skinhead Association are committed to helping the community and worthy causes.

The group hold monthly meetings at The Froddington Arms, in Fratton Road, Portsmouth.

They’re holding a fundraiser on Saturday, November 12 at the Fratton pub for Lennon’s goal, a charity dedicated to helping a two-year-old boy, who has meningitis.

There will be an auction and a raffle.

And there will also be special appearances on the night from Pompey compere and fundraiser ‘Touchline’ Tony Male, Soulpatch, DJ Paul Knight, actress Lorraine Stanley and actor George Newton.

The evening will be called Chopvember, as skinhead association members will have been sponsored to grow out their sideburns.

There’s a prize for the best kept chops and the most money raised.

Last year’s event saw guest appearances from former Pompey goalkeeper Alan Knight, John Westwood and Touchline Tony.

In total, £2,225 was raised for Lennon’s goal.

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