…in the UK…
What A Year! by ‘Malatesta’
Well, what a year indeed! The far right has had a right old time of it with their fortunes varying from the embarrassing to the ridiculous and the annoying realisation that they are a political anachronism. This year has ended with the most spectacular student demonstrations for years over education cuts and we are facing cuts to local councils which will see the loss of many jobs which is going to cause further ructions. All of which makes the issue of ‘peacefully protesting Islamic extremism’ look irrelevant and the English Defence League’s latest publicity stunt, inviting book burner Pastor Terry Jones to Luton, look desperate. To add to this, the EDL website was hacked yesterday and a list of members – with BNP and Nazi associations – is knocking about. According to one blogger “the EDL had only just re-launched the clothing website after it was temporally shut down following an internal argument over the use of funds generated by the sale of merchandise”.
The EDL have invited that old book burning Pastor Terry Jones over for a cup of tea and a bun next year. This will no doubt descend into the usual drunken violence, racist chanting and infighting. Jonesy has clearly not done his research and admits his knowledge of the EDL is ‘somewhat limited.’ He does not appear to know that EDL demonstrations always end up with arrests and violence and necessitate a heavy police presence in order to contain them (which they usually don’t). Jonesy is the author of Islam Is Of The Devil and was described on Radio 4 this very morn as an Islamophobe – like the EDL. He is also a homophobe and an anti-Semite so there should be interesting discussions with Gay and Jewish EDL divisions. This year Jonesy threatened to burn the Koran which created a media splurge but since then his fire has dwindled so this latest stunt will give him and the EDL a much needed ego boost. However, given that most people’s minds are on how to pay for their own or their children’s education, the consequences of massive employment, benefit cuts and what they want for Christmas, this looks like the usual vanity exercise the EDL specialise in. They love getting their faces on TV, the cheeky wee monkeys!
[The BBC has announced that the EDL has announced that it’s withdrawn its invitation to Pastor Jones; the recent suicide bombing in Sweden by a Luton-based Muslim, on the other hand, is likely to provide the group a much-needed fillip. The mentalist responsible is alleged to have left a message with Swedish authorities: “Our actions will speak for themselves,” the person said in an audio recording. “As long as you don’t end your war against Islam and the humiliation against the prophet and with your stupid support to Lars Vilks the pig.”]
The EDL started this year with a violent demonstration in Stoke where they ran amok through an Asian area of town when the police completely failed to contain them. They had similar ‘successes’ in other towns as well. Feeling cocky, the leadership called for ‘the Big One’ in Bradford which turned out to be ‘the little one’. They were hoping for 10,000 but only got 700 to the demo site with another few hundred either apprehended by plod or stranded in the pub. They had another do at Leicester where 1,600 plod turned out from 12 different forces but were still unable to stop the violence. The EDL have yet to ‘stop Islamic extremists’ let alone name any from the towns where they turn up and despite the amount of media coverage they get, it is all negative and shows them as a pissed-up bunch of football hooligans. There was also the Amsterdam debacle where the EDL had hoped to link up with far-righter Geert Wildebeest who publicly rejected them. The EDL ‘knights’ turned up in their van which got trashed, the leader Tommy Robinson had his flag snatched and the EDL were then run ragged. See at 9.50. Enjoy!
This is only one in a long line of embarrassments for Tommy Robinson aka Stephen Caxley-Trousers.
Tom Tiddler’s Ground
‘Tommy’ has been arrested six times this year, the most recent being in London when he jumped over a barrier to snatch an Islamic protester’s flag but landed straight into the arms of plod. Cynics claimed this meant he could have a cosy chat with his handlers from MI5/Special Branch but this remains unverified. Tommy has done time in the past for assaulting a copper following a domestic dispute, i.e., he was battering a lady friend and when asked to stop by plod, attacked them as well. Nice. Tommy’s legal position is not good: he has done time for violence before so if he is nicked again it means more jail. Which he clearly does not want to do as it means he may miss out on all the money he is making from the EDL merchandise. Tommy is also being investigated for mortgage fraud so he could be useful to plod and could provide information on the extremists and hooligans in the ranks of the EDL in exchange for leniency over his mounting ‘legal issues’.
Tommy and his followers have long denied any connection with the BNP but, sadly, a photo of Tommy at a BNP meeting was discovered and widely publicised. The EDL members who respond to Indymedia postings with their usual drivel have all been very quiet when asked to comment. Odd that.
Other anti-fascist posters such as UK Fightback have published lists of known fascists and racists who are involved with the ‘non-violent, non-racist’ EDL.
The EDL demonstrated in Peterborough at the weekend [December 11] which again saw a massive police turnout and 18 arrests and they have faced difficulties in organising public meetings – when not trying to smash up other people’s that is – and their recent Kent meeting cancellation is indicative of public attitude towards them. The EDL are also subject to infighting and not above battering each other. A gay member was battered in a boozer in East Anglia by homophobic EDL members and on their demos there have been fights between stewards and ‘chav scrotes’. The EDL have been contradictory over their relationship with the cops: some say they should liaise and maintain order; others just want to have it with anyone, anti-fascists, local people, cops or when that is not possible, themselves. At first Tommy was for liaising, then he wasn’t and now he is, having just done a ‘support the police’ speech to plaudits on their forum. Make your mind up. Or does your handler do that for you?
So what next? Well, they are hoping for a media splash with the Jonesy demo at Luton early next year. That is, if Theresa May lets him in. They will continue to demonstrate but given the political climate at the moment, they will continue to look like a clueless bunch of pissed-up hooligans out for a scrap. Political acumen: 0.
And that’s not all that anti-fascists have had to contend with: let’s not forget the good old BNP, desperately holed and sinking fast, with Nicklops Griffin looking increasingly like the boy on the burning deck. The BNP contested the Barking constituency at this year’s general election hoping to make serious inroads into the orthodox political scene. However, across the country the BNP lost lots of councillors, Griffin got nowhere in Barking and the seeds of destruction were sown. Many in the BNP were unhappy with Griffin’s performance at the hustings (and still remembered the embarrassment on Question Time) and began a leadership challenge led by Eddy ‘Rights For Whites’ Butler. Griffclops quickly altered the rulings on a challenge and defeated them. He then orchestrated a ‘night of the penknives’ and purged former golden boys like Batty Lee Barnes, Simon Bennett and Mark Collett and anyone else who sided with the challenger thus ridding himself of some of the more efficient activists. This caused a three-way split amongst BNP supporters: Griffin loyalists; Butler supporters; and defectors who went to organise the fluffy fascist British Freedom Party (BFP).
However, internal discipline was one thing, finances another. Griffin has driven the BNP into the ground over reckless legal disputes which have pretty much bankrupted them: he had to settle out of court over the use of the Marmite label; the EHRC case has cost him in legal advice; the accounts have not been accepted and he has been fined over this; he is being forced to pay compensation to expelled members; and financial svengali Jim Dowson has also bailed after offering creditors 20p in the £. The BNP have just claimed they have halved their debts from £570k to £220k but we will believe that when ALL the accounts are published and verified. Griffclops has also had activists out with the BNP’s ‘Bring Our Boys Home’ petition which is collecting names of people who will no doubt be subject to Griffin’s frequent begging letters. The BNP have lost endless councillors who were either not re-elected, gave up or were expelled and Richard Barnbrook who sat on the London Assembly was also sacked/resigned. All of which leave the BNP looking somewhat grounded.
‘No more, marches, meetings, punch-ups!’
At the BNP Annual Conference in Leicester last week, Griffin promised a new phase of militancy with street activities at mosque sites and homecoming military parades. The BNP started off as a militant street force but by the 1990s they had been booted off the streets by anti-fascists and turned to an electoral strategy. However, given this year’s dire results, he is now turning back to a militant strategy hoping to emulate the popularity of the EDL whose demos have topped out at around 1,000 – something which Nick Griffin can only dream of. In Liverpool, the BNP have been acting more militantly but have faced heavy counter-demonstrations and arrests as well as dissent over strategies. So maybe Griffin should have a look before making such pronouncements. And well done Liverpool anti-fascists, you’ve had quite a year!
Butler and the BNP reformers are hoping to unseat Griffin but this looks like a long shot. He can easily manipulate the rules – as he has shown – to secure himself until 2013 when he will step down and pass the tarnished crown on to a sycophant. British Freedom got off to a lame start and faced ridicule when it published a multicultural promotion image. They decided to adopt civic nationalism as opposed to the racial nationalism of the BNP, seeing it rightly as a vote loser, and have tried to present the caring side if fascism. However, one of the organisers, the discredited Simon Bennett, lost a lot of credibility when he pulled the plug on the BNP website before the election. Batty Lee Barnes, once the BNP’s ‘legal adviser,’ has been left in the political wilderness and is trying to ensconce himself in non-BNP fascism by supporting both the EDL and the BF. The BF tend to do their political laundry over on the British Democracy website which can be quite entertaining. The BF website is feeble and does not get much traffic and their initial impetus has rapidly faded. Fascists tend to be incredibly fractious and fallout with each other over minor details. It seems BF are no exception.
[NB. The NF is officially endorsed by local fascists belonging to the Australia First Party.]
And let us not forget the jolly old National Front who revitalised themselves at the start of this year. It has been interesting monitoring their ‘progress’ to say the least, though hardly stressful. (More in-depth Malatesta article here.)
Briefly, veteran racist and alcoholic Eddie Morrison masterminded a coup against the ageing NF leadership and with his rudimentary web skills got the NF into the 20th century. Morrison has been threatening something big but so far has had a couple of badly attended demos round the country, got a couple of hundred sympathisers to the once significant Remembrance Day march and err… that’s it. Piss-poor really. They have absorbed some disaffected BNP members but their activities are sparsely attended and anti-fascists simply ignore them. Even the losers on the pro-Griffin VNN website think Morrison is a tout and despise him for railroading the much treasured NF, referring to them as a bunch of ‘paedos, poofs, grasses and alcoholics’. How comradely.
Even Further Right
Other extremist/fascist groupuscules have taken a few body blows this year as well. The English Nationalist Alliance, led by chubby Bill Baker, have been hoping to cash in on the EDL’s ‘success’ but they were humiliated on their tiny march in Brighton and the photos of last weekend’s march showed about 30 fat blokes surrounded by cops. Not very good. Earlier this year ‘Malatesta’ reported the jailing of two members of the fascist Aryan Strike Force over internet nastiness, the jailing of their Newcastle father and son terror clown act comrades and the odious Sheppard and Whittle duo on similar charges.
The British Freedom Fighters (BFF) were rocked by a sexual scandal involving Liverpool BNP member Liam Pinkham and a 15 year old girl whose mother supervised the relationship and claimed that Pinkeye had been a ‘proper gentleman’. Pinkham was quickly ostracised by the far right but has slowly managed to weeble his way in again although he was humiliated in a Liverpool boozer recently by LAF! The ASF blokes and Pinkham are also associated with the EDL! Quel Surprise!
So what can we expect next year then? Well, the EDL have topped out at around 1,000 members at demos despite their 1,000s of paper Facebook inactivists. They will have their do at Luton with or without Pastor ‘Rolling’ Jones. Leadership figures like Caxley-Trousers and Jeff Marsh have been continuously exposed as having fascist connections which they have countered by remaining very quiet. Tommy’s legal difficulties are mounting and his days are numbered. The BNP are seriously floundering, Griffin has lost a lot of support, the money remains an issue and although they got a few more votes than usual last election they lost many councillors. The prospect of Griffin retaining his MEP position or of taking the Oldham seat are few. The BF look like a non-starter and the other Nazi groupuscules continue with their deluded and alcoholic visions of the future (circa 1933). What a year!
‘Malatesta’ is taking a month’s sabbatical due to other journalism demands. Thanks to everyone for reading the posts and commenting on them. The ‘Malatesta’ blog has been well attended and thanks to all the people who have cut and pasted the articles elsewhere around the world. As ever, copyright free! Happy Holidays!