I’ve loved the English Defence League from the moment of its inception. After years of the anti-Islam cause being copyrighted by the ‘blood and honour’ lunatics of the Far-Right, here at last was a collective to stand just as ferociously against the Islamist tide as the BNP, but at the same stroke commit themselves to Britain in its modern, multiracial, capitalist reality.
This was a first in British, and arguably European political history; a splintering of the ‘far-right’ away from biological nationalism towards the grander domain of culture.
Since then, I’ve done my best to support them, writing about them frequently and defending them from the (predictable yet incessant) accusations of the Liberal-Left. I’ve never been part of an EDL procession myself, but I’ve witnessed them from the sidelines many times. They seem to be wonderful affairs, loudly despised by everyone I oppose. True to its ideals, the EDL on parade contains quite a mixture of social types. Just go along and see them and you’ll find young and old, Black and White, straight and gay, Christian and Sikh, Jew and Gentile etc… all united for a common end. Not since the early days of Communism could such a phenomenon have organically occurred so often.
The EDL leadership is preferable to that of the traditional Right too. Tommy Robinson/Stephen Lennon may not be an eloquent, academic type, but he seems perfectly sincere in his beliefs and pleasant in their expression. He’s never denied the Holocaust, or involved himself on matters of race-relations, or called into question the validity of the Capitalist system. He’s just a patriotic, affable young man who wants Britain to go back to how it once was, by which he means how it was in the 1980s and 1990s before the Blair-wave of immigration, and not, like Mr Griffin, back to the Victorian era.
Every time Tommy Robinson is interviewed on Newsnight, I like to imagine Nick Griffin sitting at home with his rottweilers and a large glass of scotch, seething at the screen. He must loathe the attention heaped on this young man, and more than this, he must resent the ability of his organisation to get boots on the street in a way the BNP could never do.
But it isn’t just personalities that divide EDL and BNP, but principles too. The ideological differences between the two groups are worth returning to again and again. Despite the myths and fables put about by Liberal crazies, they really are nothing like each other.
To understand why, consider two cases of modern British ‘diversity’; first, the mixed-race athlete Jessica Ennis, and secondly, the British-based Jordanian preacher Abu Qatada. These aren’t two names you’ll often read in the same paragraph as each other let alone sentence, but stay with me on this one….
According to BNP ideology, the former, as a product of Black-White miscegenation, represents as much of a threat to British survival as the latter, perhaps even more. The latter by contrast could even be considered an ally against the famous ‘Jewish conspiracy’ deemed responsible for the very climate of ‘race-mixing’ in which beautiful creatures like Ms Ennis are created.
For the EDL, the second is an anti-Semitic crank and national-security threat who should be immediately deported, while the first is the opposite of a threat; she is a reason to hoist the flag higher and sing the anthem with greater enthusiasm.
Do you understand? The BNP is a blind alley. Only fools are still found running up it. The EDL, together with parties friendly to it like Liberty GB, are a surer bet, and though I don’t like to invest much hope in any political force, perhaps together they can be the answer we’ve been waiting for.