Combating the English Defence League


by Rumbold
21st March, 2010 at 2:20 pm    

The English Defence League (EDL), which is a far-right group that claims to be anti-extremist but not anti-Muslim, has seen a dozen of its members arrested yet again after a street brawl involving UAF (Unite Against Fascism). UAF are right to oppose the EDL, but too often they just seem to end up in street battles with them, which just hands more ammunition to the EDL and their ilk.

The EDL has tried to cover its tracks in the past by only taking about Islamist extremists in order to garner wider public support, but their imagery and some of their language (including from their leadership) betrays their true feelings, as ordinary Muslims and Asians in general are targeted and insulted.

The EDL seems to be a different beast from the BNP. It is less outwardly hostile to non-whites (and probably is in reality as well, though that is not saying much), and is defined by its Islamaphobia more than anything else. It has no noticeable political ambitions, and would probably struggle to pick off votes that would normally go to the BNP of the National Front.

How best to combat it? Firstly, we need to continue the excellent work done by Richard Bartholomew and others in order to expose their unsavoury links and views: the EDL must not be allowed to become seen as a genuinely anti-extremist group. Their inconsistencies and bigotry needs to be publicised so they can’t get away with their public pronouncements of only being anti-extremist, not anti-Muslim/Asian.

Secondly, continue the protests against it, but don’t under any circumstances get involved in a conflict. Innocent people get hurt and it just makes UAF protestors look like a bunch of thugs to the general public, thus undermining any anti-EDL campaign.


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  1. C Field

    @pickledpolitics http://bit.ly/cFVRja how blind. dozens? of EDL arrests and no mention of the 55 UAF thugs.


  2. pickles

    Blog post:: Combating the English Defence League http://bit.ly/cFVRja


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  5. UAF blamed for turning up… « A History of the Universe

    [...] I’d just like to say how fucking disgusted I am at some of the so-called anti-racists bloggers who have recently been posting shit about the anti-fascist demonstrations in Bolton on Saturday 20th March 2010. Naming no names, but it’s the usual sedentary, rent-a-quote crowd, always a little too keen to side with the mainstream media and the police in order to further their media reputations. You’ll rarely see these effete twats getting off their arses to face fascists on the street, no sir.  Rather than take their word, which has been garnered entirely from the totally unbiased media, check out the accounts of seasoned anti-Nazi protesters who were actually there, and this excellent deconstruction of the media coverage of the event. I’m sure the UAF demonstrators are really sorry for throwing their heads against police batons, thus helping to further the EDL’s cause. [...]


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  1. cjcjc — on 21st March, 2010 at 2:47 pm  

    The UAF are a bunch of thugs.
    How many of them were arrested?
    Clue: 5 times the number of EDL idiots.

    Within two years the EDL will have disappeared.

  2. Tom Johnson — on 21st March, 2010 at 6:36 pm  

    Rumbold you need to read the police reports to get an understanding of who the real thugs are. Arch Communist Bennett charged with conspiracy to commit violent disorder and as has been pointed out the vast majority arrested are Labour party/TUC sponsored louts.

    I must say that I’ve never met a Muslim who wasn’t an unpatriotic extremist when his surface was scratched. The aim of the EDL seems quite valid to me: to shine a light, not only, on the terrorist Muslim minority but the tacit approval of their behaviour by the Muslim majority and the white metropolitan elite who despise working class whites whilst falling over themselves ingratiating on Eastern exotica.

    Rumbold, you and your ilk need to practice what you purport to believe: freedom of speech, that’s freedom of speech without qualification, equivocation or dissembling.

  3. lo — on 21st March, 2010 at 6:40 pm  

    The EDL won’t be gone in a couple of years. Oh no…

    As for the UAF they behaved like they had rabies in Bolton while the EDL were well behaved while being provoked.

  4. douglas clark — on 21st March, 2010 at 7:04 pm  

    Tom Johnson @ 2,

    What opinion piece do you think you are replying to? It certainly isn’t the one Rumbold wrote above. He has categorically asserted that he is against UAF getting involved in conflict and has pointed out how counter-productive that is.

    ————————–

    And in amongst all the rest of your misdirected diatribe you drop this venomous little sentence into your comment:

    I must say that I’ve never met a Muslim who wasn’t an unpatriotic extremist when his surface was scratched.

    I leave it to others to wonder quite how that might have come about.

    douglas clark

    (a.k.a. someone else of Rumbold’s ilk)

  5. Ali — on 21st March, 2010 at 7:27 pm  

    The UAF and EDL thugs deserve each other.

    Can’t we arm them both then lock them in room and let them get on with it.

  6. notmarvin — on 21st March, 2010 at 7:56 pm  

    UAF make the EDL look like wise and learned.

  7. Tom Johnson/highfield oval — on 21st March, 2010 at 8:06 pm  

    douglas clarke@4

    My missive is wholly relevant to the above opinion.

    His piece is sympathetic to the UAF and an unthinking barb against the EDL.

    And it might not be politic in your universe but my point about Muslims stands the test: their first loyalty is always to fellow Muslims never to compatriots. In fact I’d go further and state that South Asians in general view the U.K as little more than for consular protection and education/economic opportunity. And yes I know that there are exceptions but they are not the rule.

  8. Rumbold — on 21st March, 2010 at 8:08 pm  

    Tom Johnson:

    And it might not be politic in your universe but my point about Muslims stands the test: their first loyalty is always to fellow Muslims never to compatriots. In fact I’d go further and state that South Asians in general view the U.K as little more than for consular protection and education/economic opportunity. And yes I know that there are exceptions but the generalisation applies.

    What nonsense. Might I ask what proof you have that your generalisation applies?

  9. Tom Johnson/highfield oval — on 21st March, 2010 at 9:21 pm  

    Rumbold@8

    I think it’s you that should be justifying your piece not me having to justify mine.

    Anyway just do a few google searches for evidences of what I assert there are enough articles that back me up there are also others that suggest South Asian loyalty, but, I know what I believe.

    My observations suggest that South Asians, as a whole, are incapable of breaking the umbilical cord with the ‘homeland’ that is their primary loyalty. The ‘homeland’ will always come before where they have made their home. In 2000 South Asian disloyalty and tribalism precipitated a coup d’etat in Fuji, South Asian disloyalty and tribalism caused political schism in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, South Asian disloyalty and tribalism resulted in mass deportations from Uganda in 1971, South Asian disloyalty and tribalism has ripped through Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya.

    This stuff isn’t hard to find just go and look it up, their behaviour isn’t unique to the U.K it’s universal and entirely predictable. British Asians need to forget about multi culturalism and integration they just need to assimilate and bleach out the Indian-ness.

  10. Rumbold — on 21st March, 2010 at 9:24 pm  

    Tom Johnson:

    South Asian disloyalty and tribalism resulted in mass deportations from Uganda in 1971

    Ah, I see. You are excusing Idi Amin, a mass murderer:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idi_Amin

    Thank you. That was all I needed to know.

  11. Tom Johnson/highfield oval — on 21st March, 2010 at 9:32 pm  

    Rumbold@10

    You’re being simplistic: the question you should be addressing is why was there no native support for Ugandan Asians, I mean, Amin was hardly adored was he?

  12. douglas clark — on 21st March, 2010 at 9:40 pm  

    Tom Johnson/highfield oval (?),

    So, if you google a contentious subject, you can find a range of viewpoints on it? But you, through some superpower can discern which is right and which is wrong? Is that what you are saying?

    The last time I looked at the situation in Fiji it was a bit more complicated than you make it out to be. No doubt your supersense allowed you to see through that complexity and come down on the side of the ethnic Fijians without considering the question of equality under the law? And so on and so forth.

    I also particularily like the idea that Idi Amin was right about Asian Ugandans. There is nothing like a good counterfactual is there?

    If the two cases I have looked at in the past are such arrant tripe, why should I bother to look at any of the rest of them? You sir/street, are a timewaster.

    Though your new association with a place name leaves me nonplussed. Does everyone in highfield oval agree with you?

  13. KB Player — on 21st March, 2010 at 9:44 pm  

    What funny stuff about South Asians still having a feeling for their country of origin. Up until quite recently – probably about 1960 – white Australians and New Zealanders would call Britain “home” but no-one thought they were unpatriotic Australians and New Zealanders. Most people want the country where they live to flourish.

  14. Jon — on 21st March, 2010 at 9:46 pm  

    @Tom Johnson: Let’s flip this around. If someone were to say to you that “my point about Caucasians stands the test: their first loyalty is always to fellow Caucasians never to compatriots”, would you consider it a legitimate point?

  15. douglas clark — on 21st March, 2010 at 9:54 pm  

    Tom Johnson / Highfield Oval @ 11,

    As Idi Amin was a dictator, y’know a hood, it is actually down to him what happens.

    No-one else.

    It is what dictators do.

    They dictate.

    Capiche?

  16. Trofim — on 21st March, 2010 at 9:56 pm  

    Jon @ 14

    Caucasians compatriots? Caucasians have been fighting each other and the Russians for time immemorial. There could hardly be a less fraternal region. Caucasians are notorious for their animosity to each other. Never heard of Nagorno-Karabakh, North and South Ossetia, Ingushetia, for starters?

  17. douglas clark — on 21st March, 2010 at 9:58 pm  

    Jon @ 14,

    I await with some trepidation the replies you are about to get….

  18. masud — on 21st March, 2010 at 10:04 pm  

    Tom Johnson
    “I must say that I’ve never met a Muslim who wasn’t an unpatriotic extremist when his surface was scratched. ”

    Yet surveys (i.e. something based on scientific evidence not personal grudges) suggest British Muslims are the most patriotic in Europe (from the leftie Telegraph) and more so than British non-Muslims:

    More Muslims identify themselves as British than rest of population

    The survey by Gallup has found that 77 per cent of Muslims say they “identified with the UK” compared with only 50 per cent of the public at large.

    Most Muslims – 75 per cent – say they also identify with their religion, according to the poll conducted with the interfaith Coexist Foundation.

    Muslims also outscored the general public for their belief in courts, honest elections, financial institutions and the media.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/5287105/More-Muslims-identify-themselves-as-British-than-rest-of-population.html

    British Muslims most patriotic in Europe

    A report has found that on average 78 per cent of Muslims identify themselves as British, compared with 49 per cent who consider themselves French and 23 per cent who feel German.

    The findings suggest that Muslims may be better integrated in Britain than in other parts of Europe and will reopen the debate about the merits of multiculturalism.

    The study by the Open Society Institute, funded by the financier and philanthropist George Soros, was conducted over two and a half years and involved 2,200 in-depth interviews and 60 focus groups in 11 cities across Europe with large Muslim communities.

    In Britain, researchers focused on Leicester and Waltham Forest, east London, where they found that levels of patriotism were even higher among second-generation Muslims.

    In Leicester, 72 per cent of Muslims born abroad said they felt British but 94 per cent of those born in Britain said the same.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6802960/British-Muslims-most-patriotic-in-Europe.html

    so either:
    1) You’ve met people who are totally unrepresentative
    2) You’re definition of patriotic would be borderline fascist and mean never ever ever criticising anything the British government has ever done (such as illegal wars in Iraq). Though this of course only applies to people of a darker hue.

    I suspect it’s 2)

  19. douglas clark — on 21st March, 2010 at 10:08 pm  

    Trofim,

    You are tripping over yourself in your haste to make a case. Jon is not proposing a unity of Caucasian brotherly harmony. He is, rather, suggesting that it is a complete utter nonsense.

    He is challenging our new friend Tom Johnson / highfield oval to say that it otherwise. You have rather ruined the trap.

  20. douglas clark — on 21st March, 2010 at 10:15 pm  

    masud @ 18,

    Thank you for bringing a note of sanity into this thread.

    I would cavil at your use of the word borderline, but there you go…

  21. Jon — on 21st March, 2010 at 10:34 pm  

    aw… I was quite looking forward to a response from that racist chap. Maybe he’s gone to bed?

    On topic – thanks for the post, Rumbold; I think I might have a look into the subject. Will trackback at you if I can think of anything interesting to say on it.

  22. KB Player — on 21st March, 2010 at 10:38 pm  

    And all those Irish Americans celebrating St Patrick’s Day and getting wet eyed about the auld Emerald Isle – aren’t they very patriotic Americans who join the army and police in great numbers?

  23. douglas clark — on 21st March, 2010 at 11:08 pm  

    KB Player,

    You have a robust and probably accurate idea about the Celtic diaspora.

    Damn your eyes!

    Still, this is the number one that wasn’t, and the best night of my life:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrAwK9juhhY

  24. Shamit — on 22nd March, 2010 at 12:20 am  

    “In fact I’d go further and state that South Asians in general view the U.K as little more than for consular protection and education/economic opportunity.”

    Tom

    And how many British Asians do you know? Not many I would say.

    Most British Asians are very loyal to this country and there is a generational conflict that is inherent in the Asian community regarding that.

    The affinity most British Asians feel for their homeland ie UK & “ancestral homelands” ie South Asia are not by any means mutually exclusive and in most cases their bonds with Britain far outweigh their bond with South Asia.

    Your assertion about Muslims stems out of ignorance as well- it is a well documented fact that our ie BRITISH Secret Services have a lot of Muslim Officers. So do the armed forces – well I am sure they are patriots too.

    We live in a plural society so we must rejoice your right to have and express your opinion no matter how ill conceived and conceited they may be.

    Bad people cannot be identified by their names, their looks or even their religion or their ethnicity – we should all stop it. And hope those recently arrested Barbie terrorists have made some sort of dent in that stale, lazy and ignorant approach. But it seems you are still willing to peddle this crap – Good luck but no here is buying it.

  25. Sunny — on 22nd March, 2010 at 4:38 am  

    I see that, once again, typically many like marvin and cjcjc are more focused on attacking the UAF than the EDL. I wonder why that would be? Is it because they secretly sympathise with the EDL?

    (yeah yeah, I should be holidaying! I’m currently in LAOS, fyi, and heading to Thailand tonight).

  26. Yakoub — on 22nd March, 2010 at 6:01 am  

    I just feel a little ill when someone starts comparing over zealous anti-fascist demonstrators to Nazi scum like the EDL. It seems people want to bend over backwards to be polite about these bigots – oh, they’re just anti-Muslim, not quite the NF, then. And as for them having no political ambitions – they have links to the BNP, and by stirring up anti-Muslim hatred, win the BNP votes. The way to get rid of the EDL is to get out on the streets, instead of prannying around praising them for their good behaviour.

  27. douglas clark — on 22nd March, 2010 at 7:38 am  

    Sunny,

    We love those updates. We are also completely capable of defending your good name!

    You have nothing to worry about.

    Honest!

  28. douglas clark — on 22nd March, 2010 at 7:42 am  

    Shamit;

    Bad people cannot be identified by their names, their looks or even their religion or their ethnicity – we should all stop it. And hope those recently arrested Barbie terrorists have made some sort of dent in that stale, lazy and ignorant approach. But it seems you are still willing to peddle this crap – Good luck but no here is buying it.

    Quite correct.

  29. Dalbir — on 22nd March, 2010 at 7:48 am  

    What the heck is a “Barbie terrorist”?

  30. douglas clark — on 22nd March, 2010 at 7:52 am  

    Dalbir,

    Good question.

    Google doesn’t really help on this one…

    Perhaps it is an internal ‘Respect’ word. Maybe Shamit knows?

    Shamit, admit it. You are our local ‘Respect’ PPC?

  31. cjcjc — on 22nd March, 2010 at 7:54 am  

    I was wondering that too.

    UAF is an appalling organisation.

    “Unfortunately, its leadership is in the possession of two of the most obnoxious political parties in Britain: the Socialist Workers Party and Socialist Action. The Socialist Workers’ Party’s commitment to anti-fascism can be judged by its touring around of the ‘ex-Jew’, Gilad Atzmon: a man who claims that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion accurately portray the reality of what he terms, elsewhere, “Jewish Power”. Socialist Action are a function of Ken Livingstone, and have enthusiastically pursued a policy of allying with groups that are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami. These two parties run Unite Against Fascism as their personal possession, and for the purposes of recruiting cadres and providing a level of public exposure to their leading figures.”

    http://hurryupharry.org/2010/03/21/weyman-bennett-charged-with-conspiracy-to-commit-violent-disorder/

    And, no Sunny, I have no “secret sympathy” for the EDL.

    They and UAF fully deserve each other.

  32. Boyo — on 22nd March, 2010 at 7:54 am  

    Heh Sunny’s on holiday but why waste a nasty insinuation?

    It’s sad to see the knee-jerk “analysis” that passes for discussion here.

    The EDL may well contain racists (what movement doesn’t? Much of the Left is racist for aligning itself with cultures that promote inequality) but simply dismissing it is symptomatic of the problem. It’s the sharp end of popular outrage about the consequences of mass immigration and the suppression of dissent.

    In its way it is a mirror image of the extremists it loathes.

    Take from that what you will ;-)

  33. Dalbir — on 22nd March, 2010 at 7:57 am  

    Hang on. Maybe he is referring to the blonde ‘Barbie’ that was recently hauled up for terrorism offences in the states?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8561888.stm

  34. cjcjc — on 22nd March, 2010 at 8:00 am  

    Yes, possibly her.

    But she was a Muslim convert, wasn’t she?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704131404575118103199708576.html

  35. douglas clark — on 22nd March, 2010 at 8:17 am  

    Dalbir @ 33,

    Good catch!

    I expect you are right.

  36. Shamit — on 22nd March, 2010 at 8:28 am  

    Dalbir – there were two of them and both american blondes and hencemy term Barbie terrorists. And you are spot on.

    Douglas – come on man – Respect & BNP are pretty similar in my book and I would not touch either with a 10 foot barge pole.

    Sunny – I am jealous.

  37. douglas clark — on 22nd March, 2010 at 8:48 am  

    Shamit @ 38,

    I apologise for that. You are a good person then, by default.

    Promise not to sue me!

    Och, that is a different thread!

  38. Dalbir — on 22nd March, 2010 at 8:48 am  

    Sunny go Gurdwara!! lol

    See it as a fact finding mission. Are they any different to the ones in the UK?

  39. Ravi Naik — on 22nd March, 2010 at 11:21 am  

    South Asian disloyalty and tribalism resulted in mass deportations from Uganda in 1971

    Yes, that is exactly what Idi Amin said. By sheer coincidence, the litmus test of loyalty was simply their ethnic appearance. If they looked Indian they could not possible be African or belong to Uganda no matter how many generations they were in that country, or how much they contributed to the economy or how much they contributed to the well-being of the community. They were different, therefore unpatriotic, an easy scapegoat, and had to go.

    But you asked an intriguing question:

    the question you should be addressing is why was there no native support for Ugandan Asians

    The fact is that the vast majority of British people reject the BNP and EDL – there is little native support for your ilk, the self-declared guardians and protectors of the English ethos. This indicates that you have no qualifications or credibility to give lessons to anyone about patriotism, let alone about what it means to be British in the 21st century.

  40. damon — on 22nd March, 2010 at 12:59 pm  

    My feeling is still that not too much fuss should be made of the EDL, and that I don’t care for the UAF much – but would never call them thugs in the way that the EDL can be thugish. It’s just that I am really turned off by the whole UAF approach.

    Are the EDL really much worse than a working class football culture version of Harry’s Place?
    I think some of the distaste for them is that they are an expression of white working culture that many people find difficult to accept.

    Idiots they may be, with violent tendencies … and completely wide of the mark in their political ‘concerns’ – which I agree are islamophobic.

    How relevent this following story is, I don’t know.
    I’m in Dublin, and on friday I went to prayers at Dublin’s central mosque – this one:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dublin_Mosque

    It started with the imam giving a sermon, and it was in arabic from the start for about 15 minutes.
    All I could pick out were words like ”Palestine” and ”Al-Quds”, ”Israel” and ”Al Aqsa”.

    Then he changed to English for another 15 minutes and it was indeed a sermon about Palestine (occupied) and the Al Aqsa mosque which he said was under threat as the Jews/Israelis (and he used the words a bit interchangably I thought) wanted to destroy it and build their Temple apon it.

    He then went into arabic again for ten minutes, and came back for the last ten in english, and he was still going on about Jerusalem, and the duty of muslims to do what they could to defend the holy places and the Ummah and could make their jihad even by donating money to the good causes. And that they should do so.

    Then after 40 minutes altogether it was straight into the prayers. And then it was over.

    I wondered how appropriate was such a sermon to hundreds of people who look like they mostly were born and raised in muslim countries – particularly arab speaking ones.

    I haven’t exaggerated there, and there was no ”undercover mosque” type sensationalism.
    But I wondered if that imam was the right man for the job. Why be so obsessed with this tiny little place and say nothing of the rest of the world?

    Meanwhile, here in Ireland, the free catholic newspapers that you can pick up inside the churches have stories of the plight of christians in Iraq and Pakistan – and are (of course) deeply reactionary backward themselves, against gay civil partnerships and ” the undermining of marriage” etc.

  41. persephone — on 22nd March, 2010 at 1:21 pm  

    “ Are the EDL really much worse than a working class football culture version of Harry’s Place? I think some of the distaste for them is that they are an expression of white working culture that many people find difficult to accept.”

    What parts of WWC culture do people find hard to accept?

  42. douglas clark — on 22nd March, 2010 at 1:41 pm  

    Och damon @ 40,

    I am quite fond of your quite counter intuitive – stuff from reality – factoids.

    I will not, easily, give up on the opinion of a person who ‘tells us it as it is’

    However, I think – see elsewhere – that I too am representative of the white working class.

    I have been to Dublin too. As far as I recall it is no hotbed of Islamist shite. I’d quite like to know how many folk were there?

    I’m with earwiga on the idea that Catholics are denying their guilt. Which I’d like to see you comment on. Rather than the few muslims you found there?

  43. damon — on 22nd March, 2010 at 2:53 pm  

    By aspects of white workling class culture, I mean that which almost resembles the fiction of the Gallagher family in the Chanell 4 TV show Shameless.

    I remember doing this poem at school.
    http://faxmentis.org/html/kipling.html

    Douglas Clark – I only just said what I heard between one and two pm on friday. The people who came for prayers had no idea what the imam was going to talk about, and it wasn’t so radical, just unduely alarmist and inappropriate (in my opinion).

    Saying that could be deemed as patronising to the muslims who came for their friday prayers – several hundreds there were, packing out the old church both downstairs and upstairs in the balocny where I was.
    So many tried to get in, but it was full, and had to pray on the stairs.

    I say patronising, as when I look at them – majority of them arab speaking it seemed, I might be suggesting they should put ”fussing” about that tiny place, which is ‘occupied Palestine’ behind them, now that they have made new lives in Ireland.
    In muslim countries, Israel/Palestine is used as a means of deflecting criticism away from whatever government people are living under, and focussing it on something safe like that.

    I only raise it as it’s something an EDL type person might mention, and Harry’s Place certainly would.

    Personally I think it’s an unhealthy focus, not to be blamed on the people who came to pray – but on the judgement of the people running the mosque.
    Unless someone can tell me that their really are some people planning to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque and rebuild the Jewish temple on its foundations.

    As for catholics … although raised one, I think I’d rather be a muslim.

  44. nobodys hero — on 22nd March, 2010 at 4:42 pm  

    is islam a threat ? .Why are are sikhs and hindus being killed for refusing to convert to islam in Pakistan

  45. persephone — on 23rd March, 2010 at 10:19 am  

    damon @ 43

    Am afraid its no clearer to me as I have never watched Shameless & the link to the poem did not clarify as to what aspects of WWC culture is behind the dislike of EDL supporters

  46. damon — on 23rd March, 2010 at 11:34 am  

    If you look at this clip of the EDL marching in Manchester from about 1 minute 30 seconds in, you will see that these people are of a particular kind of working class.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImdXSGew7H4

    They are coarse and crude – and mostly a bit thick – which is why the EDL appeals to them.
    They are also the descendants of the Englishmen who fought at Waterloo and in the trenches of world war one.

    The Duke of Wellington is said to have said ””We have in the service the scum of the earth as common soldiers”.

    And that’s why I also did the link to the Rudyard Kipling poem ”Tommy”.

    But the EDL are still a problem – and I don’t know what should be done about them. Calling the fascists and Nazis seems to be a waste of time – and probably not accurate. They aren’t so different to half the country in many ways. But have enough of the streetfighter in them that they will go out and not care if they come across as crass and thuggish.

    Check out Shameless on youtube. It has sometimes been quite brilliant.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQaKdPuG9xk&feature=channel

  47. Dalbir — on 23rd March, 2010 at 11:59 am  

    Damon@46

    They aren’t so different to half the country in many ways.

    There is a problem though because, for reasons best known to themselves, the majority of English people with sway in the media portray this common English man thug as if it were an aberration of the norm (is this the old class based bias?). Yet anyone who has actually lived in this country knows otherwise. We’d only ever normally see this type in reports about footbal hooligans and even then it is played down as some minority element and disassociated with any sort of Englishness. The truth is that type of behaviour is viewed by those wno exhibit it as archetypal Englishness. That is not to say yobs do not exist in other communities though.

  48. MaidMarian — on 23rd March, 2010 at 1:56 pm  

    Dalbir – I bet if I said that by flaunting a chip on the shoulder, muslims were showing a behaviour that could be called, ‘architypal Muslim,’ you would blow a fuse.

    This is not to say that people in other communities do not have chips on shoulders. It’s just that unlike you I do not approach humanity with a priori moral condemnation.

  49. persephone — on 23rd March, 2010 at 2:10 pm  

    Damon @ 46

    Thanks for replying & the link.

    I grew up & worked for a time in a WWC area and many of them would be insulted by the way those in that link were portrayed and to be embodied by the EDL. I am not convinced that the EDL are seen negatively largely due to association with class/WWC cultural aspects. They represent yobbish behaviour per se and have been easy targets to recruit as groups such as the EDL seem to endorse/make acceptable such behaviour interlaced with use of racist elements as an outlet for the underlying reasons for why they became the way they did.

    Added to the above, the EDL are small in number, as far as reports I have come across, so can’t see how they represent half the country.

  50. MaidMarian — on 23rd March, 2010 at 2:21 pm  

    persephone – ‘I am not convinced that the EDL are seen negatively largely due to association with class/WWC cultural aspects.’

    Spot on. Insofar as there still is such a thing as a real working class, it is very different from the underclass. The underclass can, of course, be of any racial background.

  51. Dalbir — on 23rd March, 2010 at 2:37 pm  

    Dalbir – I bet if I said that by flaunting a chip on the shoulder, muslims were showing a behaviour that could be called, ‘architypal Muslim,’ you would blow a fuse.

    Well, you’d lose your bet then.

  52. me — on 23rd March, 2010 at 2:43 pm  

    MaidMarian
    “Dalbir – I bet if I said that by flaunting a chip on the shoulder, muslims were showing a behaviour that could be called, ‘architypal Muslim,’ you would blow a fuse”

    He would if he was from the spelling police (UK branch).

    architypal? Five years at least.

  53. me — on 23rd March, 2010 at 2:45 pm  

    nobodys hero

    “is islam a threat ? .Why are are sikhs and hindus being killed for refusing to convert to islam in Pakistan”

    Is Hinduism a threat? Why are Muslims and Christians being killed for existing/refusing to convert to Hinduism in India ?

  54. MaidMarian — on 23rd March, 2010 at 2:54 pm  

    Dalbir – Really? With the greatest of respect, I don’t believe you.

    Now if you will excuse me, the IPL is on.

  55. Sock Puppet Spotter — on 23rd March, 2010 at 3:55 pm  

    Me @53

    Bugger off, Munir.

  56. Alan — on 23rd March, 2010 at 6:29 pm  

    The EDL dont want part of England to become like Northern Cyprus. simple!

  57. damon — on 23rd March, 2010 at 6:50 pm  

    persephone @49 – if you’re talking about the tv programme link (to Shameless) then I don’t think that it’s so far fetched. Here in Dublin that tracksuited inner-city culture is everywhere.
    It’s like an Irish version of Rab C Nesbitt.

    Maybe the EDL people in Manchester can be further defined as more to the underclass – but I bet many of them work in mainstream working class jobs too.
    They are your dustbin man and plumber, postman and guy who works at the tyre and exhaust garage.
    That’s why I find the UAF chant of ‘Nazi scum off our streets” to be a bit lame.

    Sunny seems to support UAF overall – so that’s a bit of a difference of opinion there.

  58. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 12:09 pm  

    Damon

    The difference is that not all WWC use the EDL to complain about anything they may have missed out on in life. And even those WWC who are jobless, some see shame in that & not as a lifestyle choice.

    I think the common underlying theme of this is blaming others, normally more vulnerable/more fashionable or topical to blame at the time – regardless of whether you are a dustbin man, track suited, jobless. Its not the mere fact of being associated to being from WWC/ underclass. Thats why the edl & bnp are disliked.

    I can see the linkage to nazism because the same bullying tactics towards a group were used by them. If EDL & the like want to change the perception about them then they should go about things in a diffrent way. But like bullies, they have an underlying weakness that prevents them from doing so.

  59. Ravi Naik — on 24th March, 2010 at 12:30 pm  

    I can see the linkage to nazism because the same bullying tactics towards a group were used by them

    In my view, the risk of comparing X to nazis is that one has to ensure that X were as vicious psychotic mass murderers as the nazis were. Bullying is certainly not the nazis worst offense. Which is why it is best to leave them out of most arguments.

  60. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 1:18 pm  

    “In my view, the risk of comparing X to nazis is that one has to ensure that X were as vicious psychotic mass murderers as the nazis were. Bullying is certainly not the nazis worst offense.”

    Why would we wait until it gets to that stage? Experience shows it is a stepping stone.

    The early propaganda & targeting by the Nazis show similarities with far right groups now. Early nazi’s pitched themselves as the “workers’ party”, on the side of labour, against finance/capitalism, against liberal politics, indigenous customs & rituals were heavily highlighted as was nationalism per se and they accused populaces they considered ‘non-German’ of possessing extra-national loyalties to name a few.

    The EDL/BNP version of ‘lite Nazism’ does not portend a favourable outcome if left unchecked.

  61. Dalbir — on 24th March, 2010 at 2:04 pm  

    The EDL dont want part of England to become like Northern Cyprus. simple!

    What’s going on in Northern Cyprus then?

  62. damon — on 24th March, 2010 at 2:08 pm  

    persephone – when I said those EDL types are like half the people in the country, I just meant that their culture is very common. It’s the Sun reading mentality that would never read somthing like the Guardian, ever.

    They should be undermined some way or another – though how to so I’m not sure. Maybe putting off people having anything to do with them in the way that UAF does is a way of curtailing them. As is perhaps, the way the police are dealing with them, meeting them in riot gear right from the start and with dogs and kettling them.
    So only a robust football hooligan type person will want to turn up at something like that.

    They don’t see themselves as fascists and nazis, and as we have seen, they are often posing for the cameras burning swastika flags they have brought along for the purpose of showing that they are not ”nazis”.

    In their simple way of viewing the world they seem to think that someone is taking the mick. And have decided that the muslim community is allowing extremism to florish within it.
    And you don’t have to agree with the Harry’s Place view on things to except that there are some things not quite right.(Or ideal anyway)

    So that’s why I mentioned friday prayers in Dublin last week. Of all the things a sermon in Ireland could be about, why bang on about ”the plot” to destroy Al Aqsa mosque and rebuild the Jewish temple on its foundations? To me it showed that perhaps their is a problem with leadership in some muslim institutions.

    As I have said before, Dublin’s other big mosque is also the headquaters of the European Council for Fatwa and Research – which is headed by Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
    And from the sound of it, is completely reactionary.

    So knowing that, and listening to that ridiculous sermon on friday, and having read a story about extremism amongst some leading Irish muslims ….
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jan/14/religion.ireland
    …… then I’m not really so surprised that there would not be a rather ignorant backlash against this percieved internal threat that mocks (in their eyes) their country and communities.

    Because that’s what I think the EDL’s gripe is. They think the P is being taken out of them, and there’s nothing people of that type hate more than having the mick taken out of them.

  63. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 2:22 pm  

    ” They think the P is being taken out of them, and there’s nothing people of that type hate more than having the mick taken out of them.”

    Perhaps then the approach would be around that if they believe this EDL stuff, that in reality, it is the far right taking the mick.Revealing the truth on sites such as PP is part of that unmasking.

    But Damon, seeing as you mentioned religious leadership & mosques on a EDL thread,I would be more convinced of there not being a racist underpinning to the EDL if they likewise took on,by way of example, the Catholic Church – marching against the Pope making a visit for example as that is a religion that is taking the mick & has leaders with grave problems. Somehow I don’t think they will see it as part of their cause.

  64. Dalbir — on 24th March, 2010 at 2:38 pm  

    Perhaps then the approach would be around that if they believe this EDL stuff, that in reality, it is the far right taking the mick.

    More than that, their own ruling classes are taking the piss out of them too. But in all of this they only seem to be able to identify Islamists as a problem without admitting that leadership from the very community the purport to be defending (judging by their name) is as guilty of causing negativity, instability and general death and destruction all over the globe through stupid military/political decisions.

    Damon describes them as typical Sun readers. Anyone who forms views based on that publication is suspect in my opinion. I doubt their reading enables them to grapple any complex, knotty issues anyway, which explains a lot.

  65. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 2:48 pm  

    Dalbir @ 64

    I can see your point in that, so called ‘islamicists’ are not prevalent in positions of power to make the decisions & plans that affect them. Its funny how a group that has minimal representation is seen as the cause of so much. Thats taking the mick.

  66. damon — on 24th March, 2010 at 2:49 pm  

    I think that there most definitely is some ”racist underpinning” in the EDL’s existence persephone.

    Or at least particularly islamophobic.
    It’s more than just extremist muslims they don’t like I’m sure, but much of the muslim community in general.
    That’s why they sing ”we want our country back”.

    I don’t really know what to comment about this Spiked article I’ve just read – other than to say I found it very interesting.
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8335/

    The reason I don’t like UAF is that they would probably dismiss that as ‘right wing’.

    Whatever you might think of it, this following bit is something I was trying to get across the other day when I said that the EDL’s class might have something for the disdain that is heaped upon them, not just their stupid ideas.

    If the elite now expresses its discomfort with Old Britain through the immigration issue, it also expresses its disdain for the lower orders through it, too. In many ways a perfect issue for a fundamentally middle-class party like New Labour, the ‘pro-immigration’ stance allows the contemporary elite both to distance itself from the traditional elites of the past and from the working classes of today, from the old order and from the new masses. For decades, the British elite used the politics of racism as a way of keeping the working classes in their place, ratcheting up immigration fears and racial tensions in an effort to win native workers’ loyalty. Now it uses the official politics of ‘anti-racism’ and ‘pro-immigration’ to do a similar job. One of the most effective ways in which the working classes are policed today is through the monitoring of their allegedly problematic attitudes to immigration and their failure to embrace the apparently superior cosmopolitan values of their rulers.

  67. Ravi Naik — on 24th March, 2010 at 3:08 pm  

    The EDL/BNP version of ‘lite Nazism’ does not portend a favourable outcome if left unchecked.

    The reason why UAF resorts to violence is precisely because they consider EDL and the BNP as nazis. That’s the wrong tactic and it backfires with the public.

  68. Ravi Naik — on 24th March, 2010 at 3:10 pm  

    Damon, what I disagree with you is conflating the grievances of the working class specially in a time of recession with EDL. EDL is a militant group fueled by bigotry against Muslims and possibly against South Asians in general.

  69. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 3:59 pm  

    Ravi

    I’m not agreeing with UAF tactics but that it should be recognised that EDL ideology has fledgling roots in the future branches of more subversive far right activity. I see it as a continuum with BNP offering those further up the continuum an outlet (though they too are criticised as having gone soft with things like re-writng membership policy). Some are sensitive to not joining the BNP because they fear being linked as racists & feel EDL offers a softer cushion to couch their (racist!) aims.

    I have not met a racist (overt or non overt) who thinks they are racist/nazi.

  70. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 4:30 pm  

    Damon @66

    I read the link to that long article and it comes from a place I mentioned earlier:

    “The early propaganda & targeting by the Nazis show similarities with far right groups now. Early nazi’s pitched themselves as the “workers’ party”, on the side of labour, against finance/capitalism, against liberal politics, indigenous customs & rituals were heavily highlighted as was nationalism per se and they accused populaces they considered ‘non-German’ of possessing extra-national loyalties to name a few.”

    ———————————————————————–

    Looking at that article, it states that the first wave of immigration was for economic reasons and so deemed justified. However, the elders in my family & circle came in that wave but were still not wanted in the UK & faced a lot of racism, inequality but I see the article endorses that wave. The article says that the second wave of labour induced immigration was for social benefits (therefore not as feasible as the prior economic wave) and breaks with/is a direct criticism of british culture – earlier british culture. I have a few issues with that, for starters:

    -Immigration for economic reasons is ok (inherently this means we have to put with racism & inequality to allow the british to benefit financially).

    -Immigrants cannot offer social benefits – quite insulting don’t you think to write off all immigrants?

    -Reversion to earlier british culture – the imperialist culture? (I say this because immigration for economic reason regardless of how immigrants suffer points to old imperialism). But imperialism is now seen as morally, socially exploitative and corrupt. So does going back to earlier britsh times mean imperialism?

    If reversion to an earlier British culture is the way forward then all things not attuned to it need to be removed to retain the purity of early british culture –which must include globalisation. But the article does not cover the practical reality.

    It gives no answers.

    How can a section of the populace buy into an argument without answers? Unless their fear (racism?) is so irrational that all rationality flies out of the window.

  71. Dalbir — on 24th March, 2010 at 4:48 pm  

    It’s more than just extremist muslims they don’t like I’m sure, but much of the muslim community in general. That’s why they sing ”we want our country back”.

    I’m sure they’d be marching through any predominant Sikh areas singing the same thing. What I think they really want to say is “we want our country back….to being white everywhere.”

    If the elite now expresses its discomfort with Old Britain through the immigration issue, it also expresses its disdain for the lower orders through it, too.

    So again, why blame the migrants or Muslims for what is essentially a problem between Anglo-Saxons of differing classes? To me it just reinforces what lowlife scum these types are in that despite their loud, provocative marching, they completely lack the bollocks to square up to their ruling classes, in the presence of whom they lose all voice and swagger, like the conditioned cowed down scum they are. Maybe the ruling classes have good reason to disdain?

    In anycase, if you think those cavemen, Sun reading EDL types (as seen in the Manchester vid you posted) are capable of producing and implementing a half decent economic policy for Britain, let them try and see how quickly this island becomes a basket case.

    I can see your point in that, so called ‘islamicists’ are not prevalent in positions of power to make the decisions & plans that affect them. Its funny how a group that has minimal representation is seen as the cause of so much. Thats taking the mick.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Islamicistism (whetever it is called these days?!), is a problem, but blaming every last problem in the country on that gives a real insight into the ‘advanced’ thought processes going on behind the EDL scene.

    I think the UAF are approaching the problem the right way myself.

  72. damon — on 24th March, 2010 at 4:49 pm  

    Ravi Naik, I don’t mean to be ‘conflating the grievances of the working class’ with the EDL …. but just describing them as coming from a section of the working class. And not being so different in many regards as …. if not half the country, then a good chunk of it.

    I agree with your sentence that says ‘EDL is a militant group fueled by bigotry against Muslims and possibly against South Asians in general’.

    I think annoyance towards media hate figures like ”Captain Hook” and Abu Qatada – who was pictured out on bail still wearing a tag, runs quite wide and deep. There’s Sun and Daily Mail reading members of my family who tut when they see pictures like this.
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/07/10/article-1033882-01E692EE00000578-318_233x644_popup.jpg

    The EDL might have some similarities with early nazis in Germany …. but I still cant stand UAF.
    I don’t call them thuggish at all (like the EDL who are), but they are just too SWP like for me, and I can’t stand them either.

    persephone, I see your last post. I’ll read it properly in a minute.

  73. Dalbir — on 24th March, 2010 at 5:03 pm  

    I think annoyance towards media hate figures like ”Captain Hook” and Abu Qatada – who was pictured out on bail still wearing a tag, runs quite wide and deep. There’s Sun and Daily Mail reading members of my family who tut when they see pictures like this.

    I’m sure many Muslims (and others) feel the same way when seeing pictures of Tony Blair with that idiotic Cheshire cat grin on his face in the papers, making a bid for the European presidency for instance? Running around Scot free obstinately defending the indefensible.

  74. damon — on 24th March, 2010 at 5:57 pm  

    Fair enough Dalbir. I think the points you make are fine, even when I don’t really agree with them.
    As for ‘cavemen, Sun reading EDL types’ …. in which countries are people like that not to be found?
    I can’t really think of any.

    And persephone – I get the ‘early nazi’ thing …. and will get duly alarmed when I think they pose a serious threat. But I can’t be having anything to do with people like this right now – maybe later.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yrn93zOW2cs

    As for the rest of your post @70 persephone … gosh.
    I didn’t really read it like that.

    For example in this line you say: ‘-Immigrants cannot offer social benefits – quite insulting don’t you think to write off all immigrants?’

    The writer of that article was certainly not implying that. It’s really not that much about ”the immigrants” themselves but in how they have been spoken about and how any debate is conducted and how it is couched.

    Maybe I am just a contrarian, but I like to read things like this following paragraph from that article.

    ”For today it is often those who present themselves as ‘pro-immigration’ who are the least progressive, expressing a profound cultural snobbery and adopting the immigrant as a cover for their own lack of attachment to a political vision or moral values. And often, those who seem ostensibly ‘anti-immigration’ – for example, some working-class voters who express discomfort with the arrival of people from abroad – are expressing an understandable, if misplaced, agitation with the values of the cosmopolitan elite. When immigration is increased without any public debate about why it is being done, when old-style British values are judged to be inferior to new cultures from overseas, and when immigrants are continually held up as better beings than Britain’s native working classes, is it really surprising that some people ask awkward questions about immigration?”

  75. Dalbir — on 24th March, 2010 at 6:54 pm  

    As for ‘cavemen, Sun reading EDL types’ …. in which countries are people like that not to be found?
    I can’t really think of any.

    You’re absolutely right. The problem lies with taking what they say seriously. I mean do they even have the faculties to form a balanced perspective? Their reading habits (or lack of) indicate no.

  76. persephone — on 25th March, 2010 at 4:49 pm  

    Damon @ 74

    “ I didn’t really read it like that.”

    I think you have the nub of the issue here on two fronts.

    On one front, I am seeing it from the perspective of an immigrant background – whose family & wider ‘immigrant’ network went through the economic immigration but succeeded despite the racism. Therefore when an article talks about it being as ‘better’ – one wonders for whom and if the issues were even recognised then and if indeed now. I can see that non immigrants may not relate or read it on the same level. Which is partly why I said it.

    On the second front, it comes down to those who do not identify themselves as racist but buy into certain aspects of far right ideas without considering that their support, even if on selected issues dear to their hearts, means support of the whole organisation and therefore ‘unwitting’ support of the other more nefarious aspects. For eg the BNP appeal to those who want action on immigration but for some reason cannot see or recognise the apartheid/more extreme race ramifications.

    As to whether the section of non racist supportors who after looking into the whole ideology more fully changed their perspective is another issue entirely. I would like to think that more insight & understanding of the whole would bring a contingent out of such support.

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