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From left: EDL Leader Tommy Robinson speaks at a rally; MEP Nick Griffin, BNP Leader, poses with White Nationalist flag; National Front Protest Sign
By now, most of you are probably aware of the horrific attack in London recently.
Two young Muslim men murdered a young active duty soldier by running him down with a car and then hacking him to death with machetes and cleavers.

Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, and Far-Right groups are attempting to capitalize on the event.

Fox News has recently had the Neo-Nazi EDL's leader on its programs, and spoke in support of him.

Here, I discuss the far-right in Britain, with hopes that by learning from mistakes made by the UK Establishment, we can prevent a similar rise here in the United States.

In this lengthy post, I will cover each of these organizations, and discuss how they are attempting to capitalize from the recent terror attack.

A boilerplate disclaimer, I quote Nazis in their own words in this diary. Some wouldn't appreciate being called Nazis, and some deny that they are, but I think if you read what they have to say it will be clear exactly who they are and what they stand for. I, of course, oppose these people, but it's important to have the primary sources available. It's important to know what they are saying so that they can be effectively fought. Quoting these bigots is absolutely not an endorsement of their positions.

Nazis have been rather more successful recently in the UK than here. Their tactics have won them elected office and influence. If we can learn from the tactics used by these bigots, we can help prevent overt racists in the United States from gaining elected office and poisoning our Democracy.

Flag of the British Union of Fascists
There has been a consistent, active, fascist force in the United Kingdom since the British Union of Fascists was organized in the 1930s. It has had different names at different times, and the British National Party, English Defense League, and National Front are all a part of this tradition.

First things first, these organizations are almost exclusively English. The Orange Order which exists in Northern Ireland is vaguely Scottish, but is pretty well despised outside of the protestant community in NI, with the exception of Radical Far-Right Protestants in Glasgow.

The main reason for the disparity of fascist activity in Scotland and Wales versus the activity in England is that the most extreme political traditions in Wales and Scotland have almost always focused on securing their nations' independence. They don't need to worry about making up imaginary enemies. Far-Right organizations do exist in Scotland and Wales, but are so small as to need supporters bused in from England for their rallies.

In contrast to their counterparts in the colonized parts of the UK, the English Defense League and National Front in England are large and well organized organizations which dispatch skinhead thugs on violent rampages. The British National Party (The current iteration of the old British Union of Fascists) has elected seats in England. In the British political tradition, those groups and candidates wishing to run for office must make a modest deposit in order to get their names on the ballot. If they fail to achieve a certain vote threshold, they lose their deposit. In Scotland and Wales, groups like the BNP have never once recovered their deposit after attempting to run for office, achieving only a handful of votes in both countries.

The National Front

The National Front has fallen from it's most influential point during the late 70s, and early 80's, when skinhead thugs set the inner cities of Britain on fire with rioting. There's a great movie, This is England which provides a snapshot of that era and the people in it. The NF is best known for sparking white race riots in the late 1970s. They have never held political office.

They are overtly Neo-Nazi in speech, action, and imagery. They continue to be plauged by infighting, and internal and external violence. Members of the police service and prison service in the United Kingdom are banned from Membership in the NF by the British Government. They're very secretive. I can't find names and pictures for most of their leadership. With the EDL and the BNP on the rise, the National Front has seen steady decline in recent years, though they still boast significant membership in England. There are ties between the National Front and most other Neo-Nazi organizations in England. Many of the current Far-Right leaders got their start in the National Front.

The English Defense League

The EDL claims to have Black and Sikh members and to be an anti-muslim organization fighting against radical Islam. It even tried to set up a "Jewish Division" which didn't have a single Jewish member and was called out as a fraud by every single Jewish organization in the United Kingdom. Its current leader, Tommy Robinson, has appeared on Fox News radio and television programs, like the O'Reilly Factor, and Kilmeade and Friends.


Just so we're clear about who the EDL are, and just who Fox News is cosying up to, here are some photos that EDL members have posted on facebook:

Here's some EDL members at a rallies:
We have Fox News announcers SPEAKING IN SUPPORT OF BRITISH NEO-NAZIS.

That's worthy of a post all of it's own. Feel free to just copy/paste the section I wrote on the EDL here into any forum or blog that you wish (with attribution and a link, please.)

It is unclear at this time what affect the EDL will have on the British political process. EDL members have alleged ties both to UKIP and the BNP, and I do expect that their recent influence may help far-right parties gain some seats in future elections.

The EDL has begun a savvy media campaign, posting criticism of the Muslim community from any respectable source it can find. They have quoted social commentary from the BBC and respected news agencies, and are attempting to clean up their image.

That they will have no affect seems an impossibility at this point. It will depend on how willing the membership is to clean up its image and take part in traditional electoral politics. As those pictures show, the skinhead membership of the EDL is it's own worst enemy.

The British National Party

The BNP is the most organized out of all of them, and the most dangerous.

Nick Griffin, Fascist, British National Party MEP
Nick Griffin, MEP for North West England, Leader of the BNP
What must be understood about the BNP is that they are the direct ideological descendants of the British Union of Fascists. In the same way that Oswald Mosley was the BUF, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Nick Griffin is the British National Party. He currently represents North West England in the EU Parliament.

It is Griffin's ideas and leadership which have created electoral success for the BNP. The difference between Griffin and previous leaders of Fascist movements both in the UK and the United States, is that Griffin is intelligent enough to realize when his tactics aren't working. White Nationalists in the US are continuing to use the same old tired tactics of talking about how interracial marriage is a Jewish conspiracy designed to wipe out white people. They seem to think that if they can just scream their racist bile loud enough, people will start believing it. This isn't so for Griffin.

At the start of his career, Griffin would say things like this:

"The capitalist free traders, the marxists, and organized jewry have declared war on the white man, not just in Britain, but in every nation on this planet."

But he learned from the reaction. Here's what he had to say to the KKK, when he met with them in 2000.

"There is nowhere in Britain, there is nowhere in America, there is nowhere on this planet where the multiracial totalitarians will let us go and rear our children the way our grandparents were reared, nowhere on this planet will they leave us alone."

What are we doing in the British National Party, well, we're trying to simplify our message in some ways, to make it a sale-able message. We coined four words which are the keys to what the British National Party is all about. I think you'll find that they're applicable here [in the United States] as well.

And they're four Apple-Pie words... So not White Supremacy or Racial Civil War or anything like that, which is what we know in fact is going on, or "we're not white supremacists, we're white survivalists," because even that frightens people.

Four apple pie words: Freedom, Security, Identity, Democracy.

There's a difference between selling out your ideas, and selling your ideas. And the British National Party isn't about selling out our ideas, which are your ideas too. But we are determined now to sell them, which means basically to use these sale-able words as I say: freedom, security, identity, democracy.

Nobody can criticize them, nobody can come at you and attack you on those ideas. They are sale-able.

Perhaps one day, once by being rather more subtle, we've got ourselves in the position where we control the British Broadcasting media, then perhaps one day the British people might change their mind and say "Yes every last one must go."

Perhaps they will one day.

But if you hold it out as your sole aim to start with, you're gonna get absolutely nowhere.

So instead of talking about racial purity, we talk about Identity."

He's learned that complaining about "Organized Jewry" scares everyone. He's realized that almost no one is going to vote for a Nazi if they know they're voting for a Nazi. He's continued to muddy the waters and try to rehabilitate violent right wing organizations. As an example, in 2009, he called the KKK a "totally nonviolent" organization while on BBC's question time.

The BNP are very practiced at both muddying the waters and not saying what they actually believe while sticking to talking points. They're developing a new wave of cryptofascism, where they hide their Neo-Nazi beliefs and instead talk about those four apple-pie words.

Now, that wouldn't be enough, normally, to win someone seats in office in the UK, but the BNP saw a surge in support a few years ago during the economic collapse. They used a British version of the dog-whistles typical of the Republican southern strategy. They registered poor white voters living in crumbling slums that had once been industrial towns servicing the British Empire, and they told these people that the reason their lives are terrible is because the immigrants are getting goodies. Just like all that nonsense here in the US about Obama phones.

Griffin tends to focus on extreme incidents, and holds those extreme events out as the norm. If one Muslim does something wrong, then it's part of a larger pattern, and all muslims are therefor just as evil as the worst members of their community, Griffin argues. His treatment of the Woolrich attack is no different.

The brutal cowardly Jihad murder in Woolrich has brought home to us all that Britain faces a stark choice. A sickening slide into civil war, or admitting that mass immigration has been a disaster and has to be not just stopped but reversed. I was elected as an MEP for telling the truth about the child abuse grooming scandal by criminal Muslim gangs, and for speaking out on behalf of the the white and Sikh victims of Muslim street violence against kuffars, as these cowardly thugs call all us unbelievers. And, you'll remember, I've been persecuted for it as well.

Twice, the BBC, the Political Elite, and their police puppets attempted to send me to prison for telling the truth about Muslim drug rape gangs and the fact that Muslim terrorism is not un-Koranic but comes direct from the Koran. They even tried to jail me for predicting 18 months before 7/7, that Yorkshire-born Muslim terrorists would blow up buses and tube trains in London.

So they may try to gag and imprison me for this new prediction. Right now, groups of young Muslims, many of them barely in their teens, are watching the same news footage from Woolrich that sickens us, and are saying to each other "Yeah, that's Jihad, that's good, that's what we must do." And some of them will do it. Maybe not tomorrow or next week, but time, after time, after time, in the increasingly bloody years ahead. And many young native British lads seeing only surrender, appeasement and lies, from our political masters will give up democracy and take the law into their own hands in a desperate attempt to defend all we hold dear.

Enoch Powell wasn't wrong he was just very long sighted, but the rivers of blood are now much closer. Unless we act, because it doesn't have to be like that if we only face facts, if we only acknowledge that the virulent strain of wahabbi islam now spreading like a cancer in our midsts is incompatible with our ways and makes peace between their community and ours impossible. Then it would be easy to stop this slide to disaster, I said easy, we just have to pay Britain's muslim population to leave, and insist that they do, I didn't say cheap.

But since Cameron and Clegg reckon that Britain can afford to give away 12 billion pounds in foreign aid every year, and rising, then we can surely afford to take that money and use it to fund the peaceful resettlement of Britains muslim population in Islamic countries where they can be truly at home.

Because you can believe me, that's the only choice we have. Inaction, appeasement, and civil war, or face reality, pay the bill, and reclaim our country. But don't just say i'm right, because without your help being right isn't enough. No one else will do it. We're ruled by fools, cowards, and traitors. There's no knight in shining armor out there to rescue us while we watch. If we don't do it, no one else will. If you don't do it, no one else will. So get involved today in our crusade to save Britain. and give the children of this wonderful country a safe future in  our own land.

Young Muslims in the UK are terrorists who feel inspired by the Woolrich attack, argues Griffin. He invokes Enoch Powell, which is like invoking Strom Thurmond, or George Wallace's Segregation Forever speech.

It's the same tactic he's had success with before. Mix your lies with just enough truth,
and angry people will agree with you.

So how the hell did Nick Griffin get elected in the first place?

The British Mainstream made a catastrophic error: they thought if they just Ignored Griffin and his lies, that he would go away. Griffin is able to take advantage of that. Lie, lie, lie, and then tell a little bit of truth, so that you get to pretend that you're actually right. When your lies aren't even corrected by the mainstream media, when you are allowed to act unopposed by the people in power, you can influence many.

Griffin has learned to find extreme incidents involving people of color, and to then talk about those problems in the most racist way imaginable, portraying them as the norm. He mixes the truth with horrible racist lies. He simplifies complex issues down to "Muslims are bad, deport them all."

And so when it comes to difficult issues of race and urban crime, Griffin has started to own the issues in the minds of his followers. By the time British politicians began actively and vocally opposing Griffin, it was too late. Griffin had already gained prominence.

An example, one of the issues that was ignored was the Rochdale Sex Trafficking Ring, where at least 12 Muslims were running a prostitution ring of over forty young white girls, many under age. Just so you understand the extent of this situation, the Age of Consent in England is 16.

Police Incompetence and idiotic political leadership created a situation where Nick Griffin, Nazi, was the only person discussing this issue. Because he was discussing the issue in such a racist way (and let's face it, Nazis usually lie) nobody believed him, and no politician wanted to touch the issue. Then, when news of the prostitution ring broke, the BNP was able to gain support, and Griffin blamed Islam, and called for deportation.

This is despite the fact that organized crime in Europe and America has been using drugs and violence to enslave young women for at least a century. It's a typical tactic used by almost every organized crime group. Asian organized crime in the UK is no different from the Russian Mafia across Europe, or the varied organized crime groups in the United States. All of them enslave women and girls with drugs and violence for the purposes of prostitution. It's a horrific subject that our societies ignore, but it happens everywhere. It is not unique to Asian Organized Crime in the UK.

But Griffin was able to make it appear in the minds of many that the grooming of young women for sex slavery was an exclusively Muslim issue. His presence and prominence allowed him to poison that discussion.

Griffin was charged with hate speech for the incredibly racist things he said about the issue. Now he gets to play the martyr, which if you remember his earlier quote, he's milking for all its worth. He gets to pretend that he's being "silenced" for "attempting to tell the truth" which anyone with a working knowledge of these issues knows is complete bullshit.

It proves, quite effectively, that the lack of free speech protections can have massive, unintended blowback. British Hate-Speech laws don't prevent people like Griffin from speaking, but they do allow him to play the martyr.

The truth is that Griffin's political career has gone on far too long because the British mainstream has absolutely failed to deal with race and cultural issues in a meaningful or effective way.

The same thing can absolutely happen here. To be clear, I am not predicting a fascist takeover of the UK, only that Nazis may find themselves elected and use the influence they gain to poison the British Democracy, and make progress on issues very difficult. Griffin poisoned the discussion of prostitution rings in the UK. He will continue to poison discussions as long as he is elected.

There is a great deal of push-back within the UK, which is now on all levels. Anti-Fascist organizations such as United Against Fascism and Hope not Hate, members of all political parties, and the basic decent members of the British public are fighting like hell against the Nazis. Once politicians realized that nobody ever lost an election beating up on Nazis, they started opposing Griffin in earnest.

Direct Action is proving as effective as it always has been. Even in the time of Mosley and the BUF, there was the Battle of Cable Street. As long as the British people continue to fight like hell against the racists, they will win this fight. But the fight against racism must, absolutely must continue even until after the EDL and BNP seem to have been destroyed.

We should remember as we consider things in this country that the most effective response to Nick Griffin and the EDL has come not from politicians, but from the public:

Fascism is a symptom of problems within a society. Until the underlying causes have been eradicated from England and the United Kingdom as a whole, people like Griffin and Robinson will be a problem. Those causes, simply put, are poverty and racism.

As of today, Fascists are being effectively fought by the British Public. With effective grassroots resistance, they can be made irrelevant again, though they seem to be, for the moment, on a path to continued relevance.

So what do we do about fascism here?

The most important lesson we can learn from this is that ignoring racists will not make them go away. And if we see a rise in action from the far right, and our politicians fail to speak out, we must engage in direct resistance and counter-protests.

In America, we have a tradition of racial violence. Everyone knows about the KKK and Neo-Nazis, and knows that they're evil. We already have a golden opportunity to absolutely slam Fox News for supporting British  Neo-Nazis.

In the same way, watch for American conservatives parroting or supporting the EDL or the BNP. We have a chance here to really hurt the Republicans for this if they fall for supporting British white nationalists.

Cryptofascism in the US can become a temporary golden goose, giving us opportunities to slam Right-Wing politicians for their ties to the ultra right. But such a tactic will only work temporarily, and must be met with effective action to undermine the recruiting efforts of the ultra-right. For while we're attacking conservatives for such ties, conservatives may respond by attempting to legitimize and reconcile the worst kind of racist populists that America has had to deal with in its past. It can be the southern strategy all over again.

The BNP is the symptom of much larger problems. Since Margaret Thatcher, urban blight has affected much of the UK. Poor whites who feel like they have no hope, and no way out of an obviously unfair economic system are the main fodder for people like Robinson and Griffin.

There are people in the US in similar circumstances capable of supporting such men, as long as such fascism comes draped in an American Flag and carrying a cross. If we start to see such a rise of overtly fascist political groups in the US, it will be a sure sign that we as a nation have ignored poverty for far too long.

As progressives, we know that there's a seat at the table for everyone. We know that you can both provide opportunities to people of color, and to poor whites from Rural America. Getting the best and brightest from those two groups in the same college classrooms is the best way to start a dialogue on how to fix this nation's problems. That it has the added benefit of undermining right-wing terrorist activities and Fascist organizing is simply the icing on the cake.

Empowering the poor, all of them, making sure that opportunities actually exist for everyone, is the way we prevent Neo-Nazis from poisoning our political system.

As important is making sure that we continue to support candidates of color, so that people from affected communities can own the issues from within those communities, rather than surrendering that ground to the Republicans, or worse. Helping communities of color retake ground that is already being lost is vital. Responding effectively to each new racist attack is vital. Think about the fodder that already exists. Headless bodies in the desert from Jan Brewer. Acorn. Obama Phones.

We know that "Obama Phones" should more accurately be called "Reagan Phones," because that program was signed into law by Ronald Reagan, but our media has allowed this odious right-wing meme, and memes like it, to continue. Right wing, racist lies are already poisoning our political process. A push-back must happen now, before things get anywhere near as bad as they are in the UK.

What is working in the UK is grassroots organizations with voices from every community in Britain fighting back against racist lies and bigotry. If we unite against racism in the same fashion here in the United States, I know that we can be successful in a push-back.

It is important to state that with the rise of the Tea Party and right wing populism, we're in a dangerous place right now.

This can happen here. Our discussions can become completely poisoned if we allow them to be.

Understanding the tactics of the British ultra-right, and being careful to watch for its implementation here, while refusing to make the same mistakes that the British mainstream has made can help save us from a much darker future.

We need to be vigilant, and more importantly, we need to be active. I say again that if overtly fascist organizations begin to have anywhere near the prominence in the US that they have in the UK, if they begin standing for office, we must meet them with direct resistance and counter-protests. We must make sure that our elected officials do not ignore the problem, as they did at first in the UK.

Finally, we must recognize the symptoms of this problem. If we do not end the dual problems of poverty and racism, they can and will poison our democracy.

2:46 PM PT: Thank you, Rescue Rangers.


Originally posted to Writing by Will McLeod: A Better World is Possible on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 12:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by More and Better Democracies and Community Spotlight.

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