On a number of previous occasions, UAF supporters have deliberately fomented violence and attacked the police and the EDL, although mainstream media coverage of demonstrations in Birmingham, Leeds, Bolton and elsewhere has sought to portray the EDL as perpetrators of violence and has not highlighted the deliberate violence of UAF. An example of such distorted reporting was provided by Look North (Yorkshire BBC) in its treatment of the ban earlier this week; the reporter parroted the line that the EDL march had been banned to preserve public order and prevent an outbreak of violence which the ‘far-right’ (note the obligatory use of this stigmatising tag) group was said to encourage.
Whilst this ‘warning’ about the menace of EDL violence was delivered, footage of the Leeds EDL demonstration was shown but, and this is important to note, although the reporter was blaming the EDL for violence, the footage clearly showed members of the UAF attacking the police. This footage however was passed off as if the attackers were members of the EDL, and was thus either an example of exceptionally sloppy reporting or deliberate misrepresentation. Being cognisant of the content of the NUJ code on the reporting of ‘minority’ racial and religious issues, I am of the opinion that the second explanation is the correct one.
The mainstream media has deployed its standard stigmatising linguistic arsenal in dealing with the EDL’s attempt to demonstrate in Bradford, describing the EDL as ‘far-right’, ‘racist’, ‘controversial’ and ‘divisive’. It is strange how the Government, local authorities and mainstream media are happy to refer to ‘communities’ (thus illustrating the Balkanised ethno-confessional reality of Britain today) in their general discourse, yet refer to ‘community cohesion’ (note the use of the singular noun ‘community’) and some putative threat to its existence whenever the EDL seeks to demonstrate. The fact is, as they are perfectly aware, there is no ‘community’, for there are plural ‘communities’, and the population of Bradford most certainly does not constitute a ‘community’ in the singular. Bradford has become a bicultural city in which a cohesive Muslim colony stands against the rest of the population. It was not the so-called ‘far right’ that rioted in Bradford in 2001, but volatile members of this colony. There is no such thing as ‘community cohesion’ in Bradford. The reality is an ethno-confessional divide, so there is no ‘cohesion’ to disrupt.
As many people know, UAF is effectively run by the Trotskyist Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP), and the SWP by its own definition is a ‘revolutionary’ organisation that is willing to use violence to achieve its ends. It is therefore planning to gather its activists in Bradford on the same day as the EDL and has used inflammatory language specifically designed to whip up an atmosphere of fear in the hope that it will polarise opinion and lend them support. Thus their website states:
The EDL's aim is to intimidate and terrorise Bradford's Muslim community.The use of the terms ‘intimidate and terrorise’ is not intended to calm the situation. What the SWP would desire above all else would be another Muslim riot such as the city witnessed in 2001 owing to their unquestioning belief in the legitimacy of ‘revolutionary violence’ and their selection of the Muslim population as a surrogate revolutionary proletariat. I wish the EDL success next weekend and hope that their demonstration goes without a hitch and without violence. If you see or read any reports of violence, examine them with a forensic thoroughness and seek to discern the actual course of events and who perpetrated any violence.
Therefore the We are Bradford celebration of unity, backed by Unite Against Fascism will be going ahead.
You make a very valid point ref to Socialist Workers Party. My short experience of this Marxist group was that they considered themselves as the revolutionary vanguard of the working class without having any working class political or social views or values. Their activists appeared to be university educated and were very controlling, judgemental and censorious. I became suspicious of the parties motives. It always appeared to seek a new enemy to campaign against usually with violent and aggressive tactics. But its fallback position was always to call on its members and supporters to vote Labour Party. It has been said that SWP is a street army for the establishment in order to control and criminalise any genuine grassroots movement and dissent. The fact they have now turned their attention to anti-jihadist EDL via one of their front groups Unite against Fascism comes as no surprise. First the well funded, connected and organised UAF set about demonising EDL as racist thugs and Nazis aware that this was blatantly untrue. This was followed by incitement to violence with the knowledge that they could associate EDL with public disorder and so discredit it with mainstream general public and eventually demo bans and then its demise. Despite their claim to uphold free speech the ruling political class are desperate to see the end of anti-Islamic activism and protests and I am sure endorse the confrontational UAF street tactics. Socialist Workers Party once again acting in the interests of the establishment against the valid concerns and democratic rights of people from different communities including large numbers of the working class.ReplyDelete
Thanks for commenting Anonymous. I see that your encounter with this group very much tallies with my knowledge of them acquired many years ago from speaking to a number of its members. It struck me that they didn’t like real working-class people as they found them too ‘reactionary’, which is no surprise, as Marxists of various sorts have shown scorn for ordinary people since Marxism’s founders fulminated against the moderation of German workers in the revolution of 1848. Marx was disappointed that they simply wished to improve their material conditions without recourse to mass bloodletting. Lenin of course, was very much in the same mould and criticised the ‘economism’ of working-class trade unionism.ReplyDelete
SWP members back in the early 1990s were open about their desire to promote mass immigration with the deliberate intent of undermining and destroying social cohesion so as to create a violent revolutionary situation. This utterly revolted me, for I’m from the sort of working class family that the SWP despises (I’d like to add at this point that I’ve never been, nor considered becoming, a member of the SWP). The consciousness of the typical SWP member is steeped in tiers-mondiste anti-Western loathing, so it is unsurprising that such individuals are quite happy to sacrifice English working class people to the predation of Islamic incomers. The SWP is a blight upon our democracy.
Your observation re the SWP’s role as an unofficial establishment street army is an interesting one. It is peculiar that UAF receives backing from members of all of the mainstream political parties including none other than David Cameron himself given that it is an SWP militant vehicle of violent confrontation. The EDL is as you say a ‘genuine grassroots movement’ born out of the frustration of ordinary people with the political Establishment’s unwillingness to acknowledge the existence of the problems of Islamism and Islamisation in our country. It is not, as Nick Griffin has claimed, “a Zionist front organisation”. It is not, as the SWP and UAF claim, a racist/Nazi organisation. The EDL is what it says it is: a movement that seeks to counter jihadism and Islamisation in England.
That the establishment parties and media back UAF and by dint of this the SWP initially seems paradoxical, given that the SWP is sworn to seek to undermine and overthrow the capitalist interests of the Establishment. All however do share two key aspects of ideology: a commitment to globalist internationalism and a concomitant support for mass immigration and multiculturalism. The SWP supports Islam because of its perceived ‘revolutionary’ potential, whereas the establishment parties and media support it because of the massive influence of Islamic petrodollars in the international financial system. The Labour and Liberal Democrat parties also favour Islam because of their cultural self-loathing and deference to ‘minority’ interests, whereas the leadership (I don’t think most traditional grassroots Tories take this line) of the Conservative Party is pro-Islam because of its recent embrace of multiculturalism and its desire to win investment from oil-rich Islamic states.ReplyDelete
With respect to mass immigration, the Labour and the Liberal Democrat parties are keen supporters because of their cultural self-loathing derived from a misplaced sense of collective post-imperial ‘guilt’, whereas certain interests within the Conservative Party support it because it helps to depress national wages and increase profits for particular businesses.
All of the above factors thus point to a confluence of interests between the Establishment and the SWP which effectively give the latter free reign to attack the EDL with a view to engineering its destruction. The establishment parties, media and trade unions seem to have adopted the following straightforward and cynical tactic with a view to eliminating dissent: stigmatise, isolate and destroy. At present, they have managed to successfully stigmatise the EDL amongst most members of the middle classes, which means that open support for the EDL by individuals working within the professions (especially in the public sector) would lead to their isolation and the effective destruction of their careers. This same tactic has long been tried and tested against nationalists of various sorts. I think that you are right in noting that most members of the political class do not in reality believe in free speech, otherwise they would have removed harmful gagging legislation such as the Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006.
Furthermore, without the perpetual creation of new ‘enemies’ and violent confrontation, Marxist parties such as the SWP tend to lose their energy: they thrive on hate. In recent years our national democracy has been deeply undermined, and the very need for the EDL to come into existence is an indictment of the failure of mainstream politicians to represent the real interests and concerns of their constituents. The actions of UAF and the SWP in seeking to ignite violent confrontation threaten to snuff out our right to protest on the streets, which is one of the few ways remaining in which we can effectively give vent to our concerns. It is time that the media stopped portraying leftist organisations and movements as morally superior, and began to cast a light upon their dark, violent and totalitarian inclinations and actions.
A good analysis of Socialist Workers Party Durotrigan. The mainstream media’s role ref English Defence League is one area of interest in this debate because it almost mirrors the SWP view in its misreporting description of EDL activities as violent far-right thugery. Have a look at this link for an example http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/midlands-news/2010/08/21/english-defence-league-get-marching-orders-66331-27111584/ My observation within an SWP branch was that it had links and influence within the National Union of Journalists and the media generally. Its activists were also encouraged to join and promote the party within the trade Union movement. I believe that there is an unwritten conspiracy by the British state to manipulate news and suppress genuine ‘people power’ movements. If the SWP is used in this process then it would make sense because this political party is very highly organised and disciplined. Its activists, who are mainly university and private school educated, and supporters are taught the value of loyalty to the party and to a utopian Marxist state. Liberal democracy and communist totalitarism may appear to be unbridgeable, but here in the UK, it is my view that they are closer than we think.ReplyDelete
I'm a Bradfordian, I was brought up in the city and still live here. There is no 'social cohesion'. There is no attempt at equality anymore, not even much lip service to it. Large parts of the city are simply no go areas for whites (or white males). I welcome the EDL's demonstration, as do most people I know. But, in Bradford at least, militant islam is the very least of the problems. Cygnus.ReplyDelete
Welcome back Cygnus. There's no denying that Bradford is in a grim state. The centre is now a complete eyesore and has a very uneasy feel. Unless someone lives or works there, I cannot see how anyone would be attracted to visit. As for Manningham, well . . .ReplyDelete
Thanks Durotrigan, glad to see you blogging again. For a while there I thought you wouldn't return. I could reel off at least half a dozen areas that are as bad as Manningham. The sad thing is that most were previously affluent areas, with great victorian terrace and town houses, built when the mills were prosperous. Now they're mostly filth strewn ghetto's. Bradford is dead and rotting from the inside. The centre is a ghost town. I'm not sure it could ever be saved. Cygnus.ReplyDelete
No fear Cygnus, I'm not going to stop blogging just yet. A number of bloggers have given up over the past month or so owing to turmoil in a certain party, which is a pity. However, I've had an exceptionally busy month and I won't be back to regular blogging until mid September. Owing to family commitments I'll not be within reach of a computer to write about the outcome of the Bradford EDL demo until quite some time after it has taken place. If you have any information about the course of the demo gleaned from your own experience or that of friends and acquaintances, please post it in my comments section. It may however take a few days to appear on the site.ReplyDelete
Your observation re the state of once affluent areas of Victorian Bradford is spot on. Having acquainted myself with some of them a while ago, it saddened me to see them going to rack and ruin. Were they to be inhabited by different people, they could be quite pleasant (Heaton for example).
I'll be there with several friends on saturday. I'm very interested to see if what I experience is what is reported in the media. Somehow I doubt it. I'll happily report back here. I feel there will be plenty to discuss. Cygnus.ReplyDelete
I wish you good luck and hope that everything passes off peacefully. I'll post your report in full as an article if you'd like to leave it in the comments section initially. As you've probably found out previously, if it's lengthy it'll need to be split into shortish sections, so it's probably best to write in a Word document then copy and paste the text into multiple comments.ReplyDelete
Durotrigan, not sure where to post this. Wanted to get it to you asap.ReplyDelete
Here is my personal account of Bradford EDL demo. On arriving in Forster Square EDL supporters had no option but to enter their Urban Garden protest area through metal detector arches. The uncultivated site was surrounded by 8ft fences, hundreds of police and numerous police vehicles. Forward Intelligence police Teams (FIT) were photographing activists to add to their ‘Domestic Extremists’ database. It resembled a temporary prison camp. So here we are in a so called free country with so called freedom of speech witnessing something straight out of authoritarian dictatorship. But it gets worse, directly opposite on the streets and pavements were several hundred baying opponents shouting abuse and threats without any attempt by the police to stop or arrest them. When a minority of EDL protesters reacted to this provocation they were met with violence and aggression by riot police. The question to ask is why anti-Islamic extremists are kettled in a cordon denied the right to march when jihadi and left wing thugs are allowed to rampage around the streets. Its clear now that the political establishment want to see the end to EDL activities. The Home Secretary has already implemented a march ban. With the ‘violent thugs’ label now attached to the organisation and with police complaining about the operational costs related to the demonstrations the next step could well be further curbs and restrictions. The British state is closing in, EDL have to be prepared and have a radical response to any further attempts to neutralise its campaigns and legitimate right to protest.