The BNP fires up the youth leader’s clown car. Again.

Posted on February 22, 2013

It can’t be easy trying to make the BNP look youthful and relevant. After all, Gangnam Style isn’t rapped in English, the Harlem Shake comes from a nation almost entirely made up of immigrants and even though One Direction’s name implies they might advocate a totalitarian focus on national unity, in reality they are so anti-Aryan they’re currently engaged in publicly murdering Blondie.

This is presumably the reason Griffin’s barmy outfit always come full-circle to the same idea: organise a media interview with whichever fresh-faced youth leader is the most latest to do the solo in “Tomorrow Belongs To Me”.

And so it has come to pass. The latest, err, Great White Hope is Jack Buckby – who, judging from his photo, has finally brought hipsters and political loons together in their shared love of lapel pin-badges. The chosen publication is Vice magazine, who have picked up several fascinating features in the last few weeks.

As usual, the interview starts off with hair-splitting. He’s not a fascist, or a racist, he’s a “culturist”:

In essence, culturism is the opposite of multi-culturalism. So it believes that diversity can only exist with culturism, because multi-culturalism doesn’t promote diversity, it brings too many cultures together and creates a world where every country is the same.

Ok. So “culturism” believes in diversity but opposes diversity when it means, you know, a diverse range of people being in the same place?

Diversity is ensuring that all national identities are preserved so that there’s a diverse range of cultures across the world, rather than them being pushed into borders.

Ah, right. So “culturism” is in fact true diversity because they’re talking about cultures being extremely diverse – in a geographical way. A wide range of people in the literal sense of their being wide, open ranges between them.

And what are the indicators of which culture someone is from? The food, music or God they prefer? The clothes they wear? The passport they hold, or the cricket team they support?

I grew up in an area that I think is about 97.8 percent white; it’s quite a British area.

Oh.

Currently there’s this idea that the BNP is racist, as I’m sure you know. I don’t believe that.

Where have people got such a silly idea from?

I just believe that every country should be populated predominantly by its own people. I do believe in the racial aspect of that.

Aaaaand the wheels have fallen off the clown car, just as the audience knew they would.

Indeed, as Tim Stanley points out poor Jack has even posted a video of himself online about “culturism” being a “spin” rebranding of the same, old ideology. Outing yourself as a fascist who is pretending otherwise is quite impressively stupid.

There’s a cringe-comedy element every time the BNP puts a youth leader in front of a journalist. I doubt they’d appreciate the comparison, but it’s like Meet The Fokkers (with fewer jews in the cast, for obvious reasons). It doesn’t matter how long they walk the tightrope of distinguish racism from disliking people of other races, it doesn’t matter how many times they manage to recite whatever new name they’ve come up with for their position, eventually the inevitable prat-fall occurs.

It’s as though the urge to tell everyone just how dapper armbands look and espouse the economic benefits of remilitarising the Rhineland is just too great to resist.

In fact, that’s almost exactly what one of Jack Buckby’s ill-fated predecessors did in a memorable interview a few years back. In 2002, Mark Collett was Nick Griffin’s chosen mini-me, and explained at length to Channel 4 why the BNP aren’t racist, before helpfully explaining that:

National Socialism was the best solution for the German people in the 1930s. I honestly can’t understand how a man who’s seen the inner city hell of Britain today can’t look back on that era [Hitler's Germany] with a certain nostalgia and think yeah, those people marching through the streets and all those happy people out in the streets, you know, saluting and everything, was a bad thing. Honestly now, would you prefer your kid growing up in Oldham and Burnley or 1930s Germany? It would be better for your child to grow up there.

Ooh and the boots were so shiny, weren’t they?

Scottish Defence League parade neo-nazi iconography

Posted on January 21, 2013

The English Defence League (EDL), and their offshoots the Scottish Defence League(SDL) and the Welsh Defence League (WDL), have long been at pains to claim they are not “extremists” or “neo-Nazis”. To quote one backside-covering statement:

We will not associate with any individual or group that does not reject extremism. If any such group does decide to attend our demonstration, they will be swiftly removed. We want to make it clear to racists, neo-Nazis and any other extremists – you are not welcome.

All of which makes the behaviour of the SDL at an Edinburgh protest on Saturday rather awkward.

Here they are spotted by CrashBangWallace reader @Mr_Mark_Brown:

That placard they’re holding is the logo of the Golden Dawn, whose name they were also reportedly chanting. Golden Dawn are the Greek neo-nazi movement which alarmingly secured Parliamentary Seats during the country’s ongoing Euro crisis.

As you can see, the Golden Dawn logo the SDL waved on Saturday is absolutely in no way similar to the swastika – no sirree:

Golden Dawn Logo

And the Golden Dawn definitely haven’t openly adopted the Nazi salute, one of their MPs definitely didn’t quote from classic anti-semitic fraud  “The Protocols Of The Elders of Zion” in the Greek Parliament last year,  while another Golden Dawn MP definitely doesn’t have a tattoo of the party’s logo alongside the slogan “SIEG HEIL” on his arm.

So by parading the Golden Dawn logo, and chanting their name, in Edinburgh this weekend the Scottish Defence Leage definitely aren’t neo-nazi. Got it?

EU Nobel Peace Prize nomination in pictures

Posted on October 12, 2012

When Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize, comedy songrwiter Tom Lehrer declared that satire had become obsolete. Today we learn that the Peace Prize has been given to the European Union -  accordingly, satire has now been dragged out of her retirement home and beaten by riot police.

In case you were wondering why the EU could possibly be given the Nobel Peace Prize, here is a short, pictorial summary of the peace Brussels has brought to Greece and Spain in the last 18 months:

Possible new Breivik Twitter account and article identified

Posted on July 26, 2011

Further to my post yesterday, Anders Breivik’s crimes have another relatively new feature – the way he interacted with the internet and social media first to propagandise for his views and then as part of the way to spread his message of terror.

Following the initial publication of his manifesto, the media (and presumably the police) have been quick to start tracking his history through his online presence. The Standard today reports new evidence of his interaction with the EDL through online forums, and it seems the trail is yet to be followed all the way.

Now that the EDL postings have revealed his online pseudonym as Sigurd Jorsalfare (after a crusading Viking king), it’s possible to follow his tracks even further. I’ve been hunting around to see whether he used it elsewhere and it seems that he may have. For example, no one seems to have so far drawn attention to this Twitter account under the same pseudonym (with the same variation of the spelling of Jorsalfare), or this article which it publicises – a piece posted only a couple of weeks ago on a site which Breivik used regularly which from its tone and topic may well be another of Breivik’s own tracts.

The impression that this is the first time these have been noticed is further reinforced by the fact that at the time of writing the Twitter account is still being followed by a Progress Party councillor, who presumably would have distanced himself had it come to his attention.

To fight Breivik’s views, we need to understand this new, distinct extremism

Posted on July 25, 2011

Advance warning – the below article does include a quote from Breivik’s self-justifying manifesto, though I purposely have not linked to it

I’ve thought long and hard about how best to write this post, because the issue is so sensitive and (sadly) some are keen to leap on any poorly phrased comment about the recent horrors in Norway for political ends. Hopefully it does justice to the point that I’m trying to communicate, because it’s a point I feel that those of us who support freedom and democracy cannot afford to miss, at the risk of severe consequences.

The media are already struggling to characterise Breivik’s motivations and the views that led him to commit the appalling atrocities in Norway, and some interpretations are bordering on a serious misinterpretation.

It’s not the media’s fault (despite Breivik publishing a lengthy manifesto to provide his own justification) – the problem lies in the fact that we’ve got a deeply embedded understanding of the idea of neo-Nazism, a term which is now only partially accurate for the extremist threat that we face.

Neo-Nazis do exist and are a serious problem – as you can see from this Nothing British report on British neo-Nazism, there’s an extensive subculture characterised by anti-semitism, skinhead culture, heavily tattooed thrash metal bands and coded references to Hitler (such as Combat 18, the group whose number derives from Adolf Hitler’s initials as the 1st and 8th letters of the alphabet). If you’re looking for a pop culture shorthand for this neo-Nazism, you can find it pretty well summarised in the superb film American History X.

But it’s difficult to map that culture and ideology to Anders Behring Breivik, either in his appearance and lifestyle or in his self-declared motivations. Because he was clearly opposed to immigration, many have reached for the term “neo-Nazi” to describe him in that tradition. But where is the skinhead? Where is the swastika tattoo? Where’s the Hitler worship or the antisemitism? For that matter, where is the knuckle-dragging incompetence that has previously and mercilessly confounded most neo-Nazi terror plots?

That these factors don’t appear to be there (in the evidence produced so far, at least) appears to be because he is drawn from a linked but different ideology. An ideology which is just as evil and just as (or possibly even more) threatening to our free democracy, and one that we must understand and recognise as distinct in its own right if we are to defeat. You can even spot indications of his different roots in the reaction of neo-Nazis to his views; the deeply unpleasant neo-Nazi forum Stormfront is alive with condemnations of him because, in the words of one poster:

it’s a big disappointment and serious grounds for suspicion that he didn’t name the jew [as his enemy]

And there we have the core of this relatively new ideology – Breivik may well be a racist but it is primarily hatred of Muslims that seems to have motivated him, in stark comparison to the neo-Nazis’ antisemitism. Take this extract from his manifesto, for example:

Whenever I discuss the Middle East issue with a national socialist he presents the anti-Israeli and pro-Palestine argument…I was unable to discuss this issue further after I was banned and kicked out by Stormfront

For this reason, Breivik and those like him tend to look down on Nazis and sneer at, rather than venerate, Hitler. After all, in their view Hitler had the wrong target; Breivik has reportedly written that Hitler should have helped to clear the Muslims from Jerusalem.

He’s not alone in that – the English Defence League, as I have written before, are Britain’s most recognisable example of a new evolution of extremism which is virulently anti-Muslim, often pro-Israel and has attempted to ally itself with Jews, Sikhs and gay people on the grounds that Shariah presents a common threat. It’s also true that in recent times the BNP have largely moved to focusing on Islam, though they are arguably motivated more by a strategic post-9/11 opportunism and new laws against racial hatred.

The point is that to characterise Breivik as a neo-Nazi in the recognisable, traditional mould is inaccurate and misleading in addressing the threat he and his ideology poses. Like many a neo-Nazi he is evidently a nut and is obviously attracted to violence as well as ludicrously pompous military imagery, as evidenced by his view that he’s a modern day Knight Templar, but it’s time we recognised this is a different school of extremism.

There is contact and sometimes overlap between neo-Nazism and whatever we want to call this new ideology – both are dangerous and evil, and it’s evident from Breivik’s own dabbling in neo-Nazi forums that the two sit very close to each other in various way.

We’re seeing calls in the UK for a strategy to address what you could loosely call White Power extremism. But one sole, catch-all strategy to fight both neo-Nazis who hate Jews and anti-Muslim “culture war” conspiracists will fail to defeat one or the other, or even both. We need a distinct strategy to combat each strand of thought.

A simple way to annoy lefty comedians

Posted on June 27, 2011

Work has been quite hectic lately, hence the very limited blogging over the last ten days. In all the whirl, I missed this report about The Freedom Association securing an apology from the BBC.

Back in December, Alan Davies and David Baddiel used a 5 Live slot to smear The Freedom Association as a “posher version of the BNP” and liken TFA’s founder, Norris McWhirter, to “Oswald Mosley” and Hitler’s Brownshirts. Sadly this was just the latest instance of lefty comedians forgetting that being good at jokes doesn’t make you the fount of all political truth.

Had Baddiel and Davies bothered to check the facts before slinging mud, they would have known that the Freedom Association – which I worked for 2005-2007 and on whose governing Council I am proud to sit – is dedicated to the seven principles of a free society:

  • Individual Freedom
  • Personal and Family Responsibility
  • The Rule of Law
  • Limited Government
  • Free Market Economy
  • National Parliamentary Democracy
  • Strong National Defences

In short, it is a libertarian organisation which is about as far from the oppressive, racist collectivism of the BNP or Oswald Mosley as you can possibly get.

As for Norris, he served tirelessly in the Royal Navy helping to defeat fascism in World War II and spent the bulk of his adult life supporting the fight to free the peoples of Eastern Europe from Communist totalitarianism. But apparently too long under the studio lights (or perhaps too many licence-fee-funded lunches) have blinded Alan Davies and David Baddiel to such inconvenient facts.

It’s good news that after pressure from Robert Halfon MP, criticism from DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt and complaints from many listeners, the BBC has acknowledged it was in the wrong. It would be better news if Davies and Baddiel were made to apologise personally for the lies they told on air with no attempt at balance, but that seems unlikely.

Perhaps the best way to fight back against their smears, and the best way to annoy some lefty comedians, would be to join The Freedom Association. You can do so here.