Have you ever wondered as I have, exactly what would happen if a totalitarian government was established in Britain?
The phrase ‘totalitarian’ like its sibling ‘fascist’ is usually misused in the modern age and perhaps no more so than in the UK. There are people in this country leading free, mundane lives who believe that because of the CCTV camera at the top of the parking-lot wall, or the trail of speed cameras along the motorway, that we already have a taste of what these systems of government are like. They’re wrong of course, but then this is obvious. What is more interesting is to ponder as to why, if these folk really believe the UK to be in the grip of fascism – are they so passive in the face of it? If this really is a totalitarian state engaged in systematic national oppression, then why are they mowing their lawns and shampooing their dogs? Why aren’t they making shelters, gathering weapons and buying tinned food? Why aren’t they preparing – in other words – for an organized rebellion?
The answer to these questions is that it isn’t in their nature to be rebellious. Those who believe speed-cameras to be a harbinger of state-sponsored genocide are almost always middle-class Mail-readers. They are Surrey-dwellers who lead lives so comfortable that it would take the sound of their neighbours falling to the floor after government gunshots to rile them to political action. They would be truly useless in the context of any fascism deserving of the name.
And a genuinely fascist Britain is not a lunatic idea. It could happen. Indeed it might happen. Then, in the midst of a genuine police-state, we would have to rely on other sections of society to defend us.
The English Defence League have been a feature of British life for some years now. In that time, they have risen from obscurity to a position of national familiarity. There can be few adult Britons who do not know by now what E.D.L stands for, and what the organization was created to stand against. Every time a march is announced in a town or city centre, anti-Racist orgs and local police react in a swift and uniform way, giving the impression of a routine long rehearsed. Law enforcement are deployed on a large scale to control EDL marches. The recently incarcerated leader of the EDL Stephen Lennon, is already an old hand on international news networks and was among the first to be consulted for his views after the attack on the Norwegian labor party in 2011. As a political force, the group has eclipsed the fading BNP and is feared more by the Left than a plethora of other ‘far-right’ vehicles.
This is some progress for a group whose origins lie in one of the most downtrodden parts of the UK and who have had all the muck the media could scoop thrown at them since their inception. As to membership, the figures vary – but at the high-end, the EDL (after just a few years of existence) could conceivably marshal a force of thousands should the need ever arise. Even if these numbers are swollen by the cowardly or insincere, anything above a thousand is still impressive in the crowded market of nationalist politics.
But what’s the point of the EDL? Sadly, more and more people are asking this question up and down the country. After a run of drab, unsuccessful marches in Walthamstow, Hartlepool and Cambridge at which the group was totally outplayed by anti-fascists, and now – to compound this – the imprisonment of its leader, some are questioning whether the EDL can survive even another year.
I can understand these worries and also the view that the end of the EDL is nothing to be sad about. To be sure, if all the EDL was ever about was showing up in some rainy market town and shouting slogans – then nobody should mourn its dismantling. But this was never the promise of the EDL. The promise of this collective was to provide a reserve of organized resistance to something very real and ongoing – the unwanted and socially damaging Muslim presence in the UK.
Though it’s horrible to think about, at some point in the future, there will likely be another 7/7 type attack in the United Kingdom. When this happens, the British people will not, unlike on 7/7, have to rely on the stiffly PC maneuvers of the police to protect their local communities, but can take quick and visible action to let the world know of their anger. The middle-class anti-fascists who obsess over speed-cameras won’t be of any use then. It is a job that requires real, masculine anger, not hands-thrown-up-in-the-air exasperation and surrender. These brave young people, judged unworthy by the same nation they would have (in older times) been mistaken for, are not a menace. They are unpaid heroes willing to provide a public service; a social fumigation that – were it allowed to be successful - would benefit above-all the coffee-shop liberals who have most scorned them.
If it can hold itself together, the EDL can shine brighter in the future than it ever has before. With a demographic threat that can only increase, the resistance must for now, dig in and prepare for the nations darkest days.
D, LDN, UK