The Scottish politics website A Thousand Flowers revealed information in regards Andy Kleek, the organiser of ”Comic Con Scotland’‘ to be held this November in Edinburgh. Essentially, Kleek is a supporter of the EDL, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon AKA ‘Tommy Robinson’ (who is such a wussie he blocked me on Twitter for this) and all they stand for.
To quote the site;
In August 2017, the anti-racist campaign group Hope Not Hate exposed Kleek as having attended a rally organised by Robinson last June to stir up division in the wake of the Manchester attacks. The event saw hundreds of far-right thugs descend on Manchester city centre, clashing with police and forcing a Sikh group running their regular stall providing food to homeless people to flee in the face of racist abuse.
The full story, along with screenshots is here and I advise you to go there and read it if you plan to attend, or exhibit at the show in November, or if you plan to attend the Harry Potter themed event he’s organising in Edinburgh. I should also make it clear that this event is not the Edinburgh Comic Con held in April. I’ve got nothing but praise and support for that show, and I’m disappointed that people have vandalised posters advertising one of the better shows of this type in the UK.
There are several issues here. First one up is whether you as a consumer want to give money to an event that may fund the activities of an alleged neo-Nazi. I tend to trust what the guys at Hope Not Hate do, and if they’ve provide proof then the word of Nick Lowles and his team (and in the spirit of full disclosure I should say I’ve fed them information in regards a case in the past) then that’s enough for me. Your money, your choice. I’ll keep mine in my bank account.
It is your moral decision what to do here.
Next issue is this, again quoted from A Thousand Flowers;
Comic cons have emerged as a cash cow for events organisers over the last few years with huge public interest in sci-fi, fantasy and comic books, fuelled by recent on-screen hits. Unlicensed Harry Potter themed merchandise and events have also – as anyone who has visited Edinburgh’s Old Town over the last year can testify – become a magnet for those looking to cash in.
Over the year in the UK there’s literally hundreds of comic conventions. I can remember when there was only one big one, and a handful of smaller marts. At one point 20 years ago it looked for a while that the unbroken run of large comic conventions that started in the UK in Birmingham in 1968 was to end. Then Iron Man came out in 2008, and the rest as they say is history.
We’re in a bubble right now. I don’t think it’ll ever return to the days where a handful of us sat in a hotel bar in Manchester considering how to keep the British convention going, but at some point things will go ‘pop’ and a lot of the dodgy show organisers will head off back to whence they came as will some of those selling stuff to cash in on the ‘geek’ boom. Again, it is your choice to do with your money as you will but if I was Kleek I’d perhaps make my logo less reminiscent of this one.
So to sum up. It seems the organiser of a comic con in Edinburgh has a less than pleasant set of political beliefs, which I disagree with but it is his right to hold. However I can choose not to support his events, and I can also make it so folk who read this blog make the same choice.
Again, you are the consumer. Choose wisely.