Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Is this the end of the EDL?

This weekend saw the English Defence League's large rally fizzle to just 200 followers marching on Westminster instead of their intended target in the East end. Some are trumpeting the end of this vile movement but I fear that is unfortunately, wishful thinking.

Firstly is the ideology at the core and the prejudice that is shown. Recent writing suggests that the working class are more likely to to be less liberal and have racial prejudice than the upper or middle classes but that is a frightful generalisation.

It falls into two lines of thought for the EDL, blame/envy and fear. Envy at the nice houses and jobs that immigrant families work for, a place to blame for their own hardships. Anger at State support for immigrant families whilst they see their benefits cut and living conditions fall.

Fear of the unknown. It is easy to differentiate the two cultures based on clothing, ethnicity, religion, language etc and file the label of "they're not from here or one of us."
Throw in the fact that Islamic terrorists attacked this country and they think they have an even more just cause as they equate the actions of an extreme minority of radicals as the beliefs of an entire religion. It would be like equating the actions of the Waco cultists with the whole of Christianity.

There wasn't such an anti-Irish movement because there was very little to differentiate between an Englishman and an Irishman.

I hasten to add that I do not believe the EDL are the voice of the masses, far from it. Just the very vocal voice of a small minority of racists that has also caught up people with some genuine feelings of disenfranchisement and twisted it to fit their needs.

Then around the core of this "thought" are those who like a good fight. The ones with the face masks who want to have a go at a copper or do some damage to property and theft. Doesn't matter what the cause is, it will always attract this type of person - even Watt Tyler had them!

Unfortunately, like a Hydra, if you cut the head off one organisation another will arise and use the same body. We've seen this sort of organisation before with the BUF attacking Jews in Tottenham in the 30's and again in the 60s and 70s against Afro-Caribbean immigrants. The EDL are just the latest incarnation.

Luckily they cannot succeed in the long term. They have no real aim, nor do they have a political wing. Could you imagine the SA taking over Germany on their own without the NSDAP political wing (or indeed the attempted absorbtion by traditional Conservative elements in Germany to combat communism)? Or Mussolini's blackshirts? Even Mosely had a political party which thankfully failed utterly.

At best this group are an annoyance and engage in criminal behaviour (inciting racial hatred) that will never gain any real sway on politics or thought. They should be acknowledged as a problem though and buried between the lines (deep, deep, deep between!!) there is a voice of common concerns from the people at the bottom about their economic hardships.

Unless you treat the root with education and address underlaying poverty then this is a beast that not even Saint George can slay.

1 comment:

  1. It's a relief that the far right in the UK have a tendency to fall out amongst themselves and fragment before they grow to a significant size, but as soon as one movement disappears, another rises to take its place. What bothers me (judging purely by the comments by EDL supporters on Facebook and Twitter) is that many of them are so easily led and poorly educated. My mother left school at 14, but was very well-read and refused to take anything she read in the newspapers at face value. She was an old-school Clyde-side socialist and raised me to look beyond what the media said, and this was reinforced by my secondary education. I can't help feeling that we've failed a lot of these young people, who are being exploited and encouraged into violent behaviour whilst their leaders hide behind their computer screens.