Monday, December 13, 2010

Observations and impressions

There's a Daily Mail. article today on the EDL which seems to prove the case that the MSM simply don't have a clue about who or what they the EDL are about. Mind you the Daily Mail has form for picking the wrong sides getting behind Oswald Mosely and his British Union of Fascist, running the headline "Hurrah for the Blackshirts!" back on the 8th of July 1934. I guess that's why they seem so sympathetic to the troglodytes in the UAF, as they appear to be the forerunners of the Blackshirts, or even the Nazi Brownshirts of the Sturm Abteilung, they may proclaim to be anti-fascists, but their whole repertoire comes straight out of the bumper book of fascism.
I note the article is co-written by Paul Bracchi. He has previously published the names and addresses of a single mother, a disabled man, a grandmother, pregnant women and three pensioners who intended to vote for the BNP in an election, and suggested they be attacked in their homes by a far left black power group. So this sort of deranged hatchet job is par for the course for this guy. Still they don't seem to have fooled the commenter's, with the tide being totally in favour of the EDL and what people believe they stand for, rather than the Mails soccer boot boy image. He even managed to get the EDL's numbers wrong, not 40,000, more likely 65,000 with a core of about 6000 activists, though actual numbers are hard to come by, there being no official membership, a deliberate policy to prevent government interference in their aims.
The other bit of news that had the MSM's knickers in a twist was the loudly announced headline that the EDL had invited Pastor Terry Jones to speak at their demo in Luton. Well, that was the impression you were given anyway, the truth is a little more prosaic though and the EDL leader put the case for the EDL quite openly last night on Sky when he said that the Pastor had asked the EDL if he could speak, not the other way round. Many of the rank and file of the EDL were unhappy about the Pastor speaking and the decision was made that he would not be asked to speak.

Statement regarding the approach by Pastor Terry Jones to speak at one of our Demonstrations.

The English Defence League wish to correct a falsehood that is being propagated by the international media: we did not invite Terry Jones to speak at any EDL event, he approached us and we agreed in principle but we have since taken an indepth look at him and his church . Terry Jones won international notoriety by threatening to burn the Koran. We believe firmly in upholding the principles of free speech and free expression, and believe that he should have been free to do so, and protected by law enforcement authorities from those who would have tried to harm or kill him had he done so.

At the same time, we strongly disapprove of burning the Koran, precisely because we believe in those principles of free speech and free expression. We do not believe the Koran should be burned, but rather read, so that people come to understand its inherent violence, supremacism, and hatred and contempt for non-Muslims. It is essential that people know what the Koran teaches, so they can see how far its teachings are from the free traditions of England that we have pledged our lives to uphold and defend.

The English Defence League has made it clear in previous press statements that it has a great deal of sympathy with some of the views and opinions of Pastor Terry Jones specifically related to Islamic Extremism. We share similar concerns with him regarding extreme Islam, shariah law and of course the Qu’ran. We are also deeply concerned over his personal targeting by the home secretary, Theresa May, with respect to a possible U.K. banning order. These issues notwithstanding, we still have some reservations about Pastor Jones and we do not agree with all of his opinions or indeed all he stands for.

The EDL is extremely proud of its diverse support base including it’s primary base of geographical divisions from all across England encompassing much ethnic diversity. In addition we have specific divisions drawn from groups particularly threatened by encroaching Sharia: a Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Division; a Jewish Division and recently a Pakistani Christian Division. The EDL also enjoys the active participation and support of many former members of the Armed Forces. In light of our strong commitment to these groups and some of the Pastor’s statements and associations, we feel it inappropriate to offer Pastor Terry Jones an invitation to attend an EDL demonstration.

The EDL can confirm that Pastor Jones will not be attending the English Defence League demonstration against sharia in Luton on 5 February. We wish him success in his efforts to oppose the rise of sharia in the United States and thank him for his interest in the EDL.

The EDL are vastly more complex than meets the eye, although "feet on the street" (attendance at a demo) counts big time with them, working behind the scenes is a small army of activists who would never strike anyone as hooligans, they are very knowledgeable of their enemies (Islamics and the left) and very media smart too having got to grips with social networking such as facebook as well as blogs and internet forums to pass on their message, linking up with various international anti-jihad groups as well as the Tea party in the USA. Talking to some of them in their forum convinced me that they knew what they were doing and certainly were not the right wing, frothing at the mouth, hooligans the MSM and their opponents had branded them, enough to decide to link to their common cause. The EDL even had volunteers out after the student riots cleaning up Churchill's statue.
The greatest asset they have when dealing with the left is that they are totally apolitical, they can't be pidgeonholed very easily.

The left (and the MSM) scream racist = they point to their ethnic members.
The left (and the MSM) scream fascist = they point out they aren't political, having members from all political groups.

Also much of the left in recent years have made some very poor political choices directly from their opposition of the USA and all things American. This has lead them into various blind alleys such as supporting Hamas and Hezbollah despite their obvious Islamic supremacy motives with its barbaric legal codes on women and gays. This means that they can be put on the back foot by pointing out their defence of Islamics puts them directly at odds with equality of women as well as gay rights too, one of the corner stones of the lefts belief in those groups supporting the left in any revolution. Pointing out their silence over Islamic gestures such as the poppy burning again puts them on the back foot, they simply can't answer the criticism without appearing to betray their allies.
Again with Hope not hate, despite their coming out and addressing Islamic extremism, it can be pointed out they are comparing chalk and cheese, the EDL do not fly planes into buildings, blow up tubes and buses, nor do they praise those who do.
The weakness of the EDL's opponents on the left will always be their hypocrisy, they've tied their campaigns to the Islamic mast and now they face the real possibility of going down with the ship. The EDL continually hold them to account, because they are vulnerable to accusations of "terrorist supporters" and of course if they cut and run they will be left with nothing. Pretty much like the Iranian socialists who helped in their revolution, arrested and executed once they'd served their purpose, assuming of course the Islamics win.

People really need to remember, the EDL is only 18 months old, it is a group in it's infancy, such groups often work out their policies and strategies over years but so far the EDL are running rings around their opponents. Yes they have their occasional moments when they don't get it right, yes some of them are certainly no angels but they are far more diciplined than outward appearances would suggest, police forces have noted that the EDL will follow police instructions when on a demo, the same cannot be said of their opponents.

So, that's some of what I've learned about the EDL, interesting group, interesting people and a worthy cause. They even have a good sampling of English Nationalists sprinkled amongst them. Do I agree with everything they say and do? Hell no, but that's common amongst the membership too, the discussions are quite robust and generally good natured though. They do all agree that Islamic expansion should be stopped in its tracks in the UK, they have no problem with anyone being a Muslim and integrating, they have major issues with Islamist preaching (and doing) that which the Quran requires by way of Jihad including a definite stop on any form of sharia law or courts being implemented in the UK, also a total stop on foreign money being used to build mosques too.
In short...

Are they racist? As a group no.
Do they hate Muslims? Again, no.
Are they fascists? No.
Hooligans? No.
Nationalists? Yes, though civic or liberal ones, not racial. The term they use is Patriots.

2 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting analysis. My basic impression of the EDL is that overwhelmingly their heart seems to be in the right place. There public persona is that of a genuinely organic grassroots organisation and what is overwhelmingly important about them is, THEY HAVE NO SECRET AGENDA. Everybody knows what they stand for.

I frequently browse numerous political blogs and forums of all political hues. What is so striking about the EDL forum is the extremely high standard of cogent argument which only rarely strays into abuse. Similarly their public statements would appear to be very sophisticated and nuanced. I would suggest that they must have an inner core of intelligent politically savvy activists.

I think that they are very soon likely to reach a critical mass. They will increasingly be subject to Government scrutiny and no doubt all sorts of dirty tricks to discredit them. What I find so awe inspiring about such an organisation is their complete indifference to the social mores and conventions of the political establishment. If a typical middle class professional were to become active in the EDL, he or she would probably have committed a career ending move, in all probability they would be ostracised socially. However the working class EDL dont care, they demonstrate true political courage. Not the rubbish that Gordon Brown talked about but never demonstrated. It must be particuarly galling to Lefties and communists, that the one genuine working class movement to emerge in England for several decades is inherently patriotic and standing up for this country's traditions.

Where the EDL are leading the country will eventually follow!!

English Pensioner said...

Someone on the BBC suggested that the EDL was simply an offshoot of the BNP, whereas my understanding is that they have been doing their best to avoid any connection or association and have totally different aims.
Of course, any organisation which advocated patriotism, wouldn't go down well with the BBC and the lefties and has to be smeared in some way.