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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Should the EDL field Candidates for Election?

This week, the Daily Star has run a number of articles on the EDL that in contrast to those routinely encountered in the British press and electronic media did not possess a condemnatory tone. Gone were the obligatory stigmatising tags of ‘far-right’, ‘racist’, ‘fascist’, etc, to be replaced instead with neutral straightforward reporting. Naturally, for the Guardian and the New Statesman, both bastions of the cultural relativist Left, this was in contravention of their ‘no platform’ credo for the EDL. Commentators at both publications gave vent to their priggery by indulging in their distaste for the Daily Star and its plebeian preoccupation with “tits and bums” as if the self-righteous Guardian-reading classes somehow managed to routinely reproduce asexually, and were mortified by any thought of pleasures of the flesh.

Sophisticated the Star may not be, but I do not concur with the NUJ hacks of the ‘Grauniad’ and New Statesman that it should have to submit to their strictures of national-masochistic groupthink, and the fact that it has not done so this week is the reason why I for a change have looked into its content. Contrary to the assertion that its coverage of the EDL was ‘supportive’, it appears to have been perfectly balanced, unlike that of either the Guardian or the New Statesman. Whilst finding the EDL utterly beyond the pale, the latter publications found it perfectly understandable and agreeable for Islamo-Marxists Salma Yaqoob and Mohammed Ishtiaq to have insulted the bravery of Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher through refusing to stand as part of an ovation in honour of his receipt of the George Cross. This was a gross affront to Croucher, who displayed exemplary gallantry whilst serving in Afghanistan by throwing himself upon a grenade to save the lives of his comrades. Whereas Croucher’s act was one of undoubted selfless heroism, that of Yaqoob and Ishtiaq was one of selfish politicking; a petty-minded gesture aimed at fishing for votes in the filthy pool of Muslim communal politics.

Contrary to what Yaqoob and Ishtiaq will aver, they will be happy that EDL leader Tommy Robinson has now vowed to bring the EDL out onto the streets of Birmingham on 19 March to show displeasure at the snubbing of Lance Corporal Croucher. The Islamo-Marxist councillors will adopt the usual ruse of misrepresenting the EDL as some kind of contemporary blackshirt movement in an effort to mobilise their ‘community’ (sic) by playing upon the fears of local Muslim electors. This was the first of the EDL stories run by the Daily Star this week. Next came the headline that caused consternation in other sections of the press, as pictured below:

This headline was prompted by Robinson’s response to a question as to whether the EDL would field candidates in local and national elections. He replied:

“We aren’t ruling it out. I think this country needs a party that’s not afraid to say things some would consider unpopular.”

“My hope is still that the Tories will take a tougher stance.”

“We are a single issue group and at the moment we would rather have a dialogue with the other political parties – but that could change.”
Hence, although he has not categorically ruled out the political option, he has displayed a politician’s judgement in the wording that he chose with respect to the future. According to the Star, a telephone poll indicated that 98% of its readers would be willing to vote for EDL candidates (no sample size or details of methodology were provided).

However, after running three neutral stories about the EDL over the past week (the third focusing on threats to behead Robinson and members of his family) the Star on Sunday reverted to the NUJ line and ran with the story 'Paedo Rap for EDL Leader'. The headline was prompted by the conviction of Richard Price - one of the EDL's former senior members - for downloading child porn. Price is no longer a member of the EDL. A second story on the EDL in the Sunday edition of the paper headed 'EDL - Not in My Name Says Hero', reverted to the normal press practice of dragging in the terms 'far-right' and 'inflammatory' to describe the EDL, highlighting Robinson's former membership of the BNP and describing the EDL as 'football hooligans'. Why this volte face? Interestingly, one blogger notes that the Star on Sunday possesses a different editor to its weekday sister paper presiding over a different team of writers. Evidently, the Sunday team bat for Islamo-pandering official consensus.

The EDL and Party Politics
My advice to Robinson and the EDL would be not to place any faith in the Conservative Party. There may be a few backbenchers who would go most of the way to meeting the EDL’s demands, but Cameron and his clique would in my opinion never consider acceding to the EDL’s programme. As Robinson himself notes, the EDL’s position as a single-issue group would not place it in the most favourable of positions to field candidates in electoral contests. Campaigning on such a narrow platform would in my opinion not prove to be a viable strategy, leading in all likelihood to EDL candidates gaining a few hundred votes in whichever seat they stood, but nothing more.

The EDL needs to see if it can find a political partner which possesses a more comprehensive political programme. It needs to find a party with libertarian anti-Islamist principles along the lines of the European freedom parties such as Holland’s PVV and Germany’s Die Freiheit. In fact, there is such a party in Britain, but at the moment it is small and little known. However, there is no reason why it should remain so, for were the public to gain knowledge of its platform and policies, its message would resonate and it could start attracting votes in considerable numbers. That party is called British Freedom, and consciously allies itself with the PVV and Die Freiheit. Its slogan - ‘It’s about Culture Not Colour’ – seems to me to align it perfectly with the stance of the EDL. I would therefore urge EDL supporters to visit its website and consider its policy position. Our old political system is broken, and the Westminster parties have proven themselves time and again to be unwilling to acknowledge let alone address the concerns articulated by the EDL.

Tommy Robinson and others within the EDL have built a genuinely popular grassroots movement at tremendous cost to their personal safety, so it would be a great shame if they were not to take the next necessary step in transforming this support into real and lasting political and social change for the better. This can be done, and if none of the Establishment parties change their ways (I consider that Cameron is simply posturing with respect to his alleged rejection of state-directed multiculturalism), then the EDL needs to back a new political party that answers both its needs and aspirations.


  1. I agree: Cameron is part of the consensus(can't spell any more since spending all day on the computer!:( ). I was thinking more in terms of UKIP. But they do not seem to be moving towards UK MPs.

  2. I've mentioned on this blog before that I felt the BFP and the EDL were a natural fit. Cultural nationalism seems to be at the heart of both organisations. Lee Barnes has made no secret of his support for the EDL and that seems to be one of the reasons he left the BNP. I dont believe that becoming a political party is the right way forward for the EDL, at least for the moment. I think they are an excellent pressure group and I hope will continue to be so.

  3. Juniper, with respect to UKIP, although possessing a less disagreeable stance than the three major Westminster parties its policy platform does not form such a natural fit with the EDL's objectives as that of British Freedom. Take a look at British Freedom's website and see what you think. As for Farage, I have doubts as to how far he would go to tackle the Islamisation issue (not very I suspect):

  4. Cygnus, you're right to remind readers that you have mentioned the natural complementary nature of the EDL and British Freedom. I agree with you that it would be best for the EDL to remain a pressure group. What it could bring to British Freedom would be visibility, whereas British Freedom would provide a comprehensive policy platform with great public appeal. In its enthusiastic espousal of cultural nationalism the BFP has taken the step that the BNP dared not take, for many in the latter party viewed such a move with abhorrence. I thus think that it was healthy that the reformist wing of the BNP broke away, for as we have discussed at length before, it did the reformers no favours remaining in a publicly discredited and politically moribund organisation.

  5. Interesting article over on Eddy Butlers blog yesterday regarding a nationalist party alliance. Worth a read.

  6. Thanks for the tip Cygnus. I'll take a look.


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