Skip to content

Oiks with attitude.

FROM THE MEDIA blather that followed the recent murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich you’d think the British populace had more to fear from the English Defence League (EDL) and other unnamed “far right groups” than from the Islamic terrorists that spilt blood on our streets and boasted about it in front of dozens of camera phones for 20 minutes until the police finally arrived to halt their show.

The instant reaction of press and politicians was as predictable as it was dishonourable. The first tactic was to absolve Islam of any involvement even though both killers seemed totally convinced, during and after the attack, that Islam was their motive and their justification.

The second tactic was to divert attention from the killers and their cause to those who may feel justifiably aggrieved, in this case the British public and the EDL in particular, and demonise them as potential vigilantes.

Both the Prime Minister and the Mayor of London appeared in the media to reassure us that Islam had nothing to with the attack, press pundits scribbled the same nonsense and the apparatchiks on tv followed suit. Even the entertainer Russell Brand got in on the show, with an article in The Sun, making sure we were all politically on message, just in case we had ideas of our own: it was madness, not religion, that inspired these men to murder, according to him.

INSOFAR AS ALL extreme religious and political commitment demands a certain degree of mental instability, he’s correct. Except that in this case at least one of the killers had converted from Christianity to Islam – presumably because the peace message of the former didn’t prove as attractive as the peace, ie war, message of the latter. The so-called religion of peace provided him with the perfect conduit for violence. That’s some bloody irony.

'Be nice to each other because we’re all the same.' Not counting Andrew Sachs.

‘Be nice to each other because we’re all the same.’ Except Andrew Sachs.

Brand gave us the benefit of his knowledge of comparative religions, encapsulated in this nugget of idiocy: “The main narrative thrust of The Bible though, like most spiritual texts including the Koran is: Be nice to each other because we’re all the same”. That bespeaks not just a limited reading of religious texts but also an appalling ignorance of the history of religion. Let’s all be nicey-wicey to each other, is the Brand doctrine, because we’re all the samey-wamey. It’s obviously not getting through to some people and Brand has obviously not read much of the Koran.

But if Brand’s view of the problem is infantile and patronising, it is nevertheless identical to that of the establishment. That’s a depressing thought. For them, people such as the EDL are not just angry but “confused”. “Confused” as in “too thick to understand that just because the killers proclaimed they were acting in the name of Islam doesn’t mean Islam had anything to do with it”.

I have to say this logic is rather confusing, isn’t it? Are we to assume, then, that members of Unite Against Fascism are similarly “confused”? Because if they’re opposing people who are demonstrating against Islamic terrorism, doesn’t that mean the UAF is for it? Given that the UAF was formed by the Socialist Workers Party (no cheap jokes, please) that’s probably not far from the truth. The extreme left is not only anti-patriotic – nation states are evil, don’t you know – but shares with Islamic terrorists a hatred of the West.

I don’t think Russell Brand was thinking this far, but he didn’t need to. A regurgitation of cliches and untruths is all that is ever required. So, having dismissed Islam as the inspiration for these acts, what remained next was to shift attention and reverse the victimhood. Muslims were now to be the victims, while angry and “confused” working class simpletons, ie, the EDL were to be the criminals.

Thus the media have been keen to talk up fear of a backlash against Muslims and Islamic groups have enjoyed playing the Islamophobia card, despite the fact that real revenge attacks, sparse as they have been, have actually dropped since the Woolwich murder.

Unfortunately, the British people, it seems, just haven’t been able to rouse themselves into sufficient vengefulness to do anything. How disappointing for the media. A couple of ineffectual petrol bombs against a mosque in Grimsby was all it added up to until the Bravanese Community Centre in Muswell Hill went up in flames.

That was more like it, especially as the initials “EDL” were painted on the side of the building. Or so it was reported. Since no pictures of this graffiti have appeared in any national papers or on tv, I’ll apply my customary scepticism about their existence, ie, I won’t believe a word of it. That members of the EDL or people in sympathy with them set the Centre on fire is clearly a possibility. As is the possibility that they didn’t. It just seems a bit dumb that if they did, they’d set themselves up for even more media stick than they already get.

SO WHY DO the media and political establishment hate the EDL so much? They’re not a political party, they have no power, no influence, no councillors, no MPs, no celebrity endorsements. Most of their public activity seems to be going on demonstrations at which they get attacked by the UAF. They haven’t killed anyone, called for anyone’s murder, planned or carried out any terrorist outrages (although they have been the intended victims of such an attack) and yet they attract vituperation on a grand scale.

I think most of it comes to down to plain snobbery. The EDL is predominantly working class, white and English. They’re oiks with attitude. They organised themselves on their own initiative to confront a problem which their middle class betters refused to acknowledge and still barely refuse to acknowledge, which is that mass immigration and Islamisation in certain parts of Britain are, in some people’s eyes, proving detrimental to the country.

This is not music to the ears of the Russell Brandy-wandy, multiculty-wulty lefty-wefties of the establishment. Working class and patriotic stirs fear in their bowels. And although certain young far left activists such as Owen Jones have made a living out of supposedly standing up for the demonised working class, they’re full of contempt for them if they don’t conform. They’re more than happy to use a bit of demonisation themselves and slap the racism label on those who fall out of line. The EDL fit the bill nicely for opprobium because they can be attacked in the media with impunity, such is the mob mentality, the groupthink that prevails. Nobody is going to say a word in their favour.

As such, they provide an easy whipping boy for the establishment. Whatever they do or don’t do, they’ll be used as a distraction from the failures of the political class. To date, it has proved a very successful strategy.

Michael Blackburn.


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x