Photo taken in the village of Johnstown October 10th 2018. Thanks to Keith Sinclair for the photograph
The above photograph was taken in the village of Johnstown in the Clwyd South constituency. To say that seeing this was shocking is somewhat of an understatement. Or at least it was initially; it is actually not that surprising given the speedy rise of the far right and their racist, divisive & often fascist statements, policies and ideas. What it does do, in combination with a much broader context, is confirm that the far right is now very much embedded in the mainstream. A brief flick through our mainstream media shows this; so, people like The Spectator’s Rod Liddle saying things like “My own view is that there is not nearly enough Islamophobia within the Tory party” (CLICK HERE), Melanie Phillips who is a clear racist and STILL, like Liddle, gets air time on various BBC programmes, despite writing racist dirge like this (CLICK HERE) where she actually attempts to say Islamophobia cannot be compared to anti-Semitism and is not racist?! The vile Douglas Murray claims there is “too much Islam” and writes crap like this (CLICK HERE). Just a few of many examples…
Of course it is not just here. In the USA this last week we saw the far right murder Jewish people in a despicable, disgusting anti-Semitic killing spree (CLICK HERE) by walking into a Synagogue during services and opening fire. Once cannot even begin to understand just how scared the local Jewish community in Pittsburgh, and elsewhere, must now be feeling. We must show unqualified, total support for our Jewish & people of all faiths & none, comrades. We must stand as one community against this dangerous, often fatal, hate-mongering. We have the BBC’s flagship political presenter Andrew Neil, a very vocal critic of the “endemic anti-Semitism of the Labour party”, (we would never claim anti-Semitism does not exist in tiny pockets & must be ruthlessly rooted out, but we factually know any “endemic” claims to be a total lie (CLICK HERE)) with Neil having nothing short of a past and present record that just screams ‘far right & anti-Semitic’, despite this (CLICK HERE) and being editor of a newspaper that paid thousands to a Holocaust denier to translate Goebbel’s diaries! (CLICK HERE). Is there any wonder the BBC still allow the likes of Phillips & Liddle to appear on their mainstream political flagship programmes?!
But, of course, it is not just the media who are ramping things up. We are told that Jacob Rees-Mogg, Michael Gove & Boris Johnson (at least) have all met with the now infamous Steve Bannon (CLICK HERE) whose connections to the darkest corners of the far right are plentiful and well-known. He also has money. Lots and lots of money. So, the potential next leaders of the Conservative party, potential next Prime Ministers, have been courting the support of the racist king/queen-maker. Or so he would like to think of himself; he has Trump as proof to be fair…
So, who is being classed as the ‘far right’ here. Well, as I say, the far right has very much infected and stained our mainstream political, social, economic and media structures. Perhaps using Steve Bannon, who seemingly wants to create a world-wide far right movement, and who he has funded/endorsed would help. I would also now class a rising number of CONservative members/politicians as swimming in those waters. Also, UKIP, BNP, Britain First, EDL, Generation Identity, the DFLA (more on these organisations below) and many more. Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka, Tommy Robinson (CLICK HERE) is a good place to start though, as he has been in/is in several of these hate groups. Robinson plays the part of the victim very well; he is, of course, anything but. He is a former leader of, and still heavily associated with, the English Defence League (EDL) (CLICK HERE). Though not all supporters at his rallies, there are a significant amount who consistently use the Nazi salute (CLICK HERE) and have even had some people claiming to be the “world’s proudest Jewish Nazi” (CLICK HERE).
Yaxley-Lennon often claims to be some sort of saint by exposing and potentially collapsing the trails of Muslims accused of being child sex offenders-the trouble is, when it comes to convicted white, non-Muslim child sex offenders & EDL people he appears happy to support & defend them?! (CLICK HERE). He allegedly seemed quite happy to assault the police officer who came to answer a call of a, shall we say, ‘altercation’, with his partner (CLICK HERE). In fact, you can read about the convictions for & charges of assault, fake passports, mortgage fraud, hate, breaching the peace, racism, violence and why his own wife hates ‘Tommy Robinson’ by CLICKING HERE, HERE and by CLICKING HERE. This man is hailed as a victim and hero by millions of people. He has been given a platform by the BBC. The amazing thing is, and this is related to the whole ‘fake news/facts’ debate, even when you point out these facts to his supporters they either don’t believe them (even literally seeing the evidence) or don’t care. They do not care about supporting a racist, hate-filled, violent, fraudster who has had ‘altercations’ with women and has openly defended and supported paedophiles; when they are white & non-Muslim, of course. Just think about that. There is, or rather there should not be, any “Yes, but…” here!!!
If you are on social media, check out your own Facebook timeline or twitter etc. You will find many people, people you may know well, openly supporting ‘Tommy Robinson’. Yes, even when you show them the evidence. Even then. The moral vacuum and blatant hypocrisy is genuinely astonishing. Yaxley-Lennon, certainly no ‘man of The People’, lives in an expensive house and is reported to make millions from spreading this hate elsewhere (CLICK HERE). Yaxley-Lennon and the EDL are just one of a huge number of rising racist & fascist groups. UKIP under new leader Gerard Batton actually speak at ‘Tommy Robinson’ rallies. We still have the BNP (CLICK HERE), Britain First (CLICK HERE) who were repeatedly cited by the murderer of the MP Jo Cox in 2016, the DFLA (Democratic Football Lad’s Alliance (CLICK HERE) and already we have had people attempting, in the name of far right hate, to kill the Labour Part leader Jeremy Corbyn & London Mayor Sadiq Khan (CLICK HERE).
There are many more groups; too many to list here. The pattern is always very similar though-disillusioned people (usually, though certainly far from always) white men, who feel society’s attempt at progression and the search for equality is somehow oppression against them, their ‘culture’ and most importantly, their identity; “political correctness gone mad”. Believing those least responsible for the things they are angry about, are actually the most guilty. Here is where the media and Establishment must shoulder their huge share of the blame. The media help peddle this narrative in order to support & maintain The Establishment as is. Not listening to people, whether they have ‘legitimate’ concerns or not is demonstrably proving to be THE biggest failure of The Establishment and, yes, let us say it, ‘Centrism’. The “we know best and should make these huge decisions for you…aren’t all these Brexiteers racist idiots…look, it’s the Left creating this environment of hate…we’ll ignore democracy when it suits us” etc etc
I campaigned for & voted for Remain. I am pro-immigration. I am pro-multiculturalism. I am a democrat first & foremost. I do not think I know better, or speak on behalf of, this huge amount of hate-filled people. I fundamentally disagree with them. I oppose them and protest against them. But until the ‘Liberals’ & The Establishment stop pretending this is 1997, stop lecturing people on how stupid they are, stop ignoring people’s concerns, stop ignoring debates that potentially could have stopped things escalating to where we are now, this will continue. Those burying their head in the sand the most, those seemingly totally incapable of accepting any responsibility & living in total denial (with a knowing smirk plastered on their faces) is the ‘liberal establishment & media’. The danger is that because our communities and society are as fragmented as I have ever seen it, these clear dangers, go unchecked or unacknowledged with people not sharing the same spaces (physically or online) as they used to.
I know just how shocked a lot of people I associate with are about, for example, the Swastika graffiti in Johnstown and the horrible sight of another of these far right groups, Generation Identity (CLICK HERE) marching through the streets of Wrexham recently. I was proud to be part of a cross-party alliance that were there to meet these misguided souls. This is too important to be about specific party politics; as we did in Wrexham, we must ALL, regardless of political persuasion, stand as a wall against this sea of hate. A wall that stops hate, not encourages it like Trump’s. People from all parties and none, MPs, local figures etc were out in force with the intention of letting the hate-mongers know they are not welcome here.
Cross-party alliance in Wrexham to oppose fascists who turned up. Thanks to Iolanda Banu Viegas for the photo.
There is, of course, hope. The more we all unite on this, the more chance we have or eradicating this cancer from society.
Leaflets handed out in Wrexham by anti-fascists. Thanks to Keith Sinclair for the photo/image.
After I had left the protest, this small (but too big) group of fascists, decided to try and become violent. They were, thankfully, opposed by the anti-fascists, some of whom were targeted personally on the day and since in social media campaigns of lies. Laughably, this group also tried to frame themselves as victims by claiming they were attacked by the anti-fascists while trying to hand out warm clothes to the homeless! The attempts of these groups to ‘normalise’ themselves, and playing the victim & innocent party shows just how serious we ALL must take them as they develop more subtle and sophisticated ways to spread hate. They will try to frame all who oppose them in some kind of Trojan Horse infiltration of the mainstream. Sometimes, at first glance, they become hard to spot. They have soundbites that are twisted to sound ‘reasonable’ and ‘relatable’, and then build hate from there through the apparent guise of logic & oppression of culture & identity. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past by ignoring what is in front of our very eyes. Wolves must not be allowed to wear sheeps’ clothing.
But we must also have hope. Because there is hope. This very urgent, serious issue of anti-fascism and anti-racism must not be allowed to grow any more. We must not make this in any way party-political. This issue is one we must ALL get behind supporting, regardless of your politics or affiliations. I was so pleased and proud of our area seeing members of all parties & none, Unite the Union, MPs etc turn up, at very short notice, to oppose these dangerous charlatans. Unless we all want swastikas and hate graffitied on the physical walls & in the minds of our communities, it will take ALL of us uniting on this. This must not be seen as a passing fad or someone else’s responsibility; if you are in a political party, raise this urgently with your local party or branch. Ditto if you are in a Union. If you use social media, get out the anti-fascist posts. Tell your family, tell your friends. Tell your boss, tell your workmates, tell your MP, tell your MEP, tell your AM, your local Councillor. Tell the media. Ring phone-in shows and make a stand. Write to your local paper. Do not be a silent observer as silence is condoning the hate.
I appreciate we must strike a balance between giving the hate-mongers the oxygen of publicity and informing the masses of what is here and about to get worse. I would also, of course, not expect anyone to knowingly put themselves in danger or instigate violence. Being aware of the dangers of not doing anything though is, I would argue, also very important. No one is born hateful, racist or fascist. No one. It is all learned and taught. It can all be opposed, consistently & emphatically, but ONLY if we ALL take this danger very seriously and UNITE. As Remembrance Day approaches we must acknowledge far more openly that our ancestors, in many cases, gave their lives to oppose fascism. Yet in this messed-up, twisted current environment, we see hate preachers conning people to the extent that we see images like this:
Images that show how utterly bizarre things currently are, with fascists, in some cases, doing the Nazi salute in front of memorials for the dead who fought & died fighting the Nazis. As some kind of ‘tribute’ to them?! Thanks to Mementum for the photo/image.
Let us end on a moment of hope, though. If we do all unite on this, we will win. We will eradicate (to the extent it is possible) hate, racism & fascism. Let the future not look like the above photo, but rather the one below:
An alliance of various different people of all ages, backgrounds & political associations, all united as one against hate, racism and fascism. Thanks to Keith Sinclair for the photo.
Three of the world’s biggest four countries now have racists/fascists leading them-Trump in America, Modi in India (CLICK HERE) & the most worrying of all-a man who makes Trump look like Corbyn-Bolsonaro in Brazil (CLICK HERE). Also, Putin is hardly the opposite of them, is he?! We also have prominent racists and fascists in Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Poland, France, The Netherlands etc etc. Solidarity has never meant more in my lifetime as it does now. UNITE!
In Solidarity with all who oppose and defend against the rise of the far right.