Archive for BNP

Stephen Lennon Appointed Deputy Leader of The British Freedom Party

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2012 by loonwatch

EDL_Robinson_BFP

Stephen Lennon (aka. Tommy Robinson) set to join the BFP (Image credit to Hopenothate.uk)

(Readers, please welcome Haddock, a new contributor to LoonWatch.)

Co-founder of the English Defence League, Stephen Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) is to be appointed “deputy leader” of the British Freedom Party come May 5th, 2012, just a few short hours before an EDL demonstration in Luton, according to EDL News.

The BFP, which came about due to a split within the British National Party (which itself came about due to a split within the National Front organization), has increasingly focused their bigotry onto Muslims in an attempt to make racism more “acceptable” in the eyes of a segment of the public who may find some of the “old guard” racism (Blacks, Jews, etc.) problematic.

The two organizations decided to form an alliance in November, 2011 after agreeing that they had a better chance at “helping the Cause” if they worked together. The intended platform for the new alliance is typical fodder for anti-Muslim racists; calls to “ban the Burka,” forbid the establishment of new mosques, “madrassas” (by that they mean any Islamic schools) and “Sharia law” in “all forms”, including “Sharia finance.”

Another strategy they have decided on is to “Focus” on the “non-Islamic” population, in order to convince “useful idiots” of all colors and creeds to set themselves upon the Muslim population; all the while still holding onto their “regular” racist beliefs.

I find it hard, for example, to picture them hanging out with their fellow Black, Jewish, and Hindu Islamophobic cohorts as “buddies,” after everything is said and done.

Some of their other loving policy suggestions include the following vignettes,

End to mass immigration, except for vital (highly qualified positions). Immigrants must undergo health check, have a sponsor, have sufficient funds to support them and their families and must be able to speak/write English.”

Have a system in place to regulate all mosques & madrassas

Leave the European Union.”

Promote Christian values.”

The BFP has also decided to be extremely creative and change their name to simply British Freedom, so that people won’t confuse them with the BNP. In a strange twist of irony, the parent organization of the BNP, the National Front, is beginning to see a comeback after jumping on the anti-Muslim bandwagon. The organization was popular among the far-right in the 1970’s, when it was more socially acceptable to advocate “roots” racism. According to Islamophobia-Watch,

At next month’s London Assembly, local council and mayoral elections it  [National Front] is putting up 35 candidates – the highest number it has fielded for 30 years. Among its hopefuls is a businessman once convicted of assaulting an anti-racism campaigner who hopes to be the first directly elected mayor of Liverpool; a former BNP supporter arrested for burning a copy of the Koran; and Derek Beackon, the notorious far-right councillor.

Classy folks.

This just demonstrates the power of Islamophobia. The fact that a nearly defunct organization that had its heyday in the late 70’s, is able to momentarily drag itself out of bed while in a drunken stupor proves that the anti-Muslim niche works. The same is true for the BNP, who has in recent years hopped onto the “it’s the Muslims vs. the rest of us” bandwagon, despite the fact that its members still hold onto their other racialist beliefs. But hey, “the enemy of my enemy, is my friend”, right?

If there is any silver lining in all of this, it is this; most British people simply don’t like thugs who resort to violence to make their points. This is why the EDL is viewed as an embarrassment (at least publicly) even to some racists; they reveal what racism is truly about, and reality face to face makes most people uncomfortable.

That’s bad publicity for people trying to impose an agenda onto others. Recall that Hitler eventually abolished the SA because he realized that his street thugs were making a bad impression on his so-called “noble Cause.” Bob Pitt of Islamophobia-Watch says it better than me:

Some have suggested that the EDL-BFP lash-up is an example of the classic fascist strategy of building a movement with a physical force and an electoral wing. The theory behind the strategy is that by showing you control the streets and can intimidate your opponents you win admiration as a powerful movement that will be able to impose order on society and this translates into increased votes.

But this strategy is based on the successes of Mussolini and Hitler in situations of extreme economic, social and political crisis, where large numbers of people turned to the leadership of the far right out of sheer desperation. No crisis of such proportions has occurred in Britain and despite the current economic problems there is no sign of it doing so any time soon. Consequently when the far right takes to the streets of the UK with a mob of racist thugs this doesn’t impress people with the strength of the organisation and boost electoral support. Quite the opposite – voters are repelled by a movement whose public face is that of a gang of violent hooligans.

Richard Silverstein: UK Jewish Chronicle Hosts BNP White Supremacist Blogger

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Our friend Richard Silverstein at Tikkun Olam was the first to expose the UK Jewish Chronicle’s hosting a White Supremacist blogger by the name of Carlos Cortiglia. It was largely through his efforts that the Jewish Chronicle removed Cortiglia’s posts, but not before Silverstein got screenshots. The UK Jewish Chronicle has not explained why they gave Cortiglia a platform, they seem to be just covering it up (h/t: Jenny):

UK JEWISH CHRONICLE HOSTS BNP WHITE SUPREMACIST BLOGGER

by Richard Silverstein (Tikkun Olam)

UPDATE: I e mailed the Jewish Chronicle editor asking about Cortiglia’s status as a JC blogger.  No one replied, but Ben White has noticed that the BNP leader’s posts are no longer publicly available on the site.  So the response to my inquiry must’ve been to take the posts down.  Their approach seems to hush this up so the embarrassment will not be too public.  Hopefully, we can disabuse them of that notion.

Another JC reader notes that apparently any JC reader can set up their own personal blog on the newspaper’s website, which is what Cortiglia did.  I’ve corrected my post title and text accordingly.  Finally, Cortiglia’s four posts are were still available using these links (here and here).  Whether or not Cortiglia was a featured blogger or a reader-blogger on the JC site, the fact remains that they published four of his posts, made them publicly accessible for eight months, and gave him a platform he wouldn’t otherwise have enjoyed.

UPDATE I: The JC has totally removed Cortiglia’s four blog posts, but we have screenshots for every one.  The JC editor, Stephen Pollard, is lying when he told the Guardian’s Hug Muir that Cortiglia’s blog was taken down in September.  The accompanying screenshot disproves this, as the four posts were on the site and freely accessible till yesterday.  Such lies only exacerbate the offense of the JC hosting BNP PR for eight months.  I don’t understand why, when faced with embarrassment, people don’t admit to the offense and move on.  Lying only focuses more attention on the matter.

*  *  *

Stephen Sizer reports that the UK national Jewish community’s Jewish Chronicle has offered a blog-column toCarlos Cortiglia, a leader of the British National Party, the nation’s leading white supremacist political party.  Cortiglia is the BNP candidate in the London mayoral race.

I asked Electronic Intifada’s Asa Winstanley to put BNP’s politics in a U.S. context, and whether it could be compared to the Tea Party.  He replied that BNP carries more political weight, but its politics are more extreme:

Although they have moved towards a focus on Islamophobia and the counterjihad movement in recent years, their background is in the more traditional European neo-Nazi context and the National Front…

They used to be solidly anti-Semitic and it’s said [their national leader, Nick] Griffin used to deny the Holocaust. In recent years and especially since 9/11, they’ve decided they hate Muslims more than Jews or blacks so have put the focus on agitating against Muslims…

As part of their appeal to unite against Islam, they’ve made more recent attempts to distance themselves from anti-Semitism (although it can’t be far underneath the surface). Interestingly they are also now very pro-Israel.

This seems part of the growing convergence of the European far-right and pro-Israel ultranationalists.  A perfect representative of this is of course Anders Breivik, who’s just gone on trial for murdering 77 young Norwegians.  I’ve also written here about a group of Russian neo-Nazis who were welcomed to the Knesset by two far-right Jewish MKs.  The operative concept here seems to be that the enemy of my Muslim enemy is my friend, even if he’s a Nazi.

But white supremacists?  Is this how low the mainstream UK Jewish leadership are prepared to go?  To make common cause with those who only a decade or so ago admired Adolf Hitler and denied the Holocaust?

On a somewhat related subject, Electronic Intifada reports that the faux progressive UK Jewish rights group, Engage, surreptitiously accepted funding from the UK Jewish Board of Deputies in order to mount an anti-BDS campaign.  All the while Engage touted itself as an independent Jewish progressive voice, when it was a paid shill of the monied pro-Israel interests of the UK Jewish leadership.  When you’ve been doing this as long as I have you develop a sense of smell about groups like this.  They make a pretence of believing one thing and do something entirely different.  Engage is one, as is StandWithUs.

Far Right Hardcore ‘Willing to Prepare for Armed Conflict’, New Study Finds

Posted in Loon People, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by loonwatch

A lot of Anders Behring Breivik’s not only in the UK but across Europe:

Far right hardcore ‘willing to prepare for armed conflict’, new study finds

(Guardian)

A hardcore of far-right supporters in the UK appears to believe violent conflict between different ethnic, racial and religious groups is inevitable, and that it is legitimate to prepare even for armed conflict, according to a new report.

The study, From Voting to Violence? Rightwing Extremists in Modern Britain, by Matthew Goodwin, of the University of Nottingham, and Jocelyn Evans, of Salford University, was launched at Chatham House on Thursday. The report questioned more than 2,000 supporters of “radical-right” and “far-right” groups and found that many endorsed violence, with a “hostile inner core” apparently willing to plan for and prepare for attacks.

“What we have got here is a group of people who self-identify as supporters of the far right and who are, to quite a large extent, backing ideas about preparing for violence and appear to view violence as a justifiable political strategy,” said Goodwin, who is a specialist in far-right politics.

The findings come ahead of the trial next month of Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right extremist who has confessed to the murder of 77 people in Norway in July. Breivik said he had contact with far-right groups in the UK and that he carried out the attacks on Utoya Island and Oslo to help protect Europe from a “Muslim takeover”.

Goodwin said his report’s findings should also be seen in light of the 17 people affiliated to the far right who have been imprisoned in the UK in recent years for terrorism offences.

“When you go through the transcripts of those cases what they often emphasise is this notion of impending race war, the impending clash of civilisations that meant they needed to stockpile explosives and plan attacks to defend their group from a perceived threat. It is that apocalyptic, almost survivalist notion that goes with far right ideology that we have begun to explore through these exploratory questions.”

The study was based on a survey, carried out by YouGov, of 2,152 people who self identify as supporters of either the British National Party, the UK Independence Party and a smaller sample of English Defence League supporters.

The authors found that almost half of the BNP supporters in their sample thought “preparing for conflict between different groups is always or sometimes justifiable” and two-fifths considered armed conflict to be “always or sometimes” justifiable.

The report states: “The responses point towards a tranche of BNP supporters who endorse the view that both preparing for and engaging in inter-group conflict are always justifiable actions…. the BNP members in our sample appear to view themselves as a core vanguard who are preparing for a forthcoming conflict in a way that the party’s more passive supporters are not.”

In line with previous studies, the respondents to the survey were largely men who had not been to university, were generally dissatisfied with their lives and were mostly concerned about immigration, the economy and a perceived threat from Muslims and Islam. Twenty per cent of BNP supporters and 25% of UKIP supporters who responded said they had served in the armed forces.

Goodwin said the study’s findings should be seen as a preliminary first step towards addressing that shortcoming and warned that the far right in the UK was now at a “fork in the road”.

“On one side, we have a far-right party [the BNP] disintegrating at elections and closing down any chance of a ballot box strategy. On the other we have a more combative and confrontational form of street politics in the EDL. Then for the first time in recent history we have somebody in Breivik who has essentially offered a brand to would-be perpetrators of far right violence.

“Our findings would appear to suggest that within this wider climate and amidst continuing public anxiety over immigration, Islam and economic hardship there is a significant section within the far right who believe violence and armed conflict is a legitimate option should they feel their wider group is under threat.”

Guardian, 9 March 2012

BNP and EDL Hold Joint Protest in Burnley

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on March 6, 2012 by loonwatch

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller‘s buddies from across the pond.

Remember when BNP leader Nick Griffin exposed his strategy,

The one quote from Nick Griffin which sums up the whole strategy – and which reveals Griffin’s true feelings towards Jews – appeared in 2006 in a report for The Forward concerning an American Renaissance conference:

Nick Griffin has been credited with trying to root out antisemitism from the British National Party, which he leads. But in answer to a question at the recent conference, he said: “The proper enemy to any political movement isn’t necessarily the most evil and the worst. The proper enemy is the one we can most easily defeat.”

By swapping open anti-Semitism for Muslim-baiting, the BNP has managed (to) appear more attractive to some – it has also enjoyed some PR assistance from the “libertarian” right.

The so-called “Counter-Jihadism” movement is just a euphemism for the new fascism (via. Islamophobia-watch).:

BNP and EDL hold joint protest in Burnley

British National Party and English Defence League supporters held a protest outside Burnley crown court on Friday. More than 25 protesters gathered as Judge Beverley Lunt prepared to set a date for a child sex offence case.

Holding Union and St George’s flags and banners reading “protect children, fight grooming gangs”, protesters were monitored by around 20 police officers in and around the Hammerton Street court. Members of the BNP played music and speeches for more than two hours in front of TV news cameras and newspaper photographers.

Lancashire Telegraph, 5 March 2012

BNP leader Nick Griffin recently announced that the party hadlifted its ban on co-operation with the EDL, while prominent EDL member Hel Gower has joined a Facebook group advocating unity with the BNP, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Member of Robert Spencer’s Favorite UK anti-Muslim Organization Sentenced for Burning Mosque

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2011 by loonwatch
Simon BeechSimon Beech

Simon Beech sentenced to prison for ten years was a member of the EDL and the BNP, any surprise?

Hanley mosque arson accused’s links to far right parties

One of the men accused of setting fire to a Stoke-on-Trent mosque was a member of the British National Party (BNP) and English Defence League (EDL).

Simon Beech was a serving soldier with the 2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, based at Weeton Barracks near Preston, Lancashire, when he is alleged to have set fire to the City Central Mosque in Regent Road, Hanley, in the early hours of December 3 last year.

He is accused of entering the mosque, which was still under construction, with his co-accused Garreth Foster. The Crown Prosecution Service allege the pair were responsible for starting a blaze on the ground floor and feeding a gas pipe upstairs, from a neighbouring property.

Beech, of Hilton Road, Hartshill, and Foster, aged 28, of Hartshill Road, Stoke, deny arson.

Yesterday at their trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court the jury heard Beech, aged 23, subscribed to Facebook and the EDL.

Peter McMaster, an intelligence researcher with Staffordshire Police, said on November 10, less than a month before the arson, Beech posted comments including “Let’s start bashing skulls, dirty, rotten rodents, they breed like rats here, they need to die like rats” and “I say we need to start taking things into our own hands because they are running the place”.

The next day he posted “Get as many heads as we can, go and smash some skull and take over Shelton”.

And Beech said he “liked” a comment someone else posted – “Nuke all mosques”. He also posted comments including “Time we took things into our hands,” and “I say we put a stop to it before it’s too late.”

Also on November 11, Beech said: “The time has come we burn their place, burn the lot of them.”

The Sentinel, 7 December 2011

 

Click to read more …

Max Blumenthal Exposes The Real Nazis. Meet Atlas’s Thugs

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2010 by loonwatch

So Who Are The Nazis? Meet Atlas’s Thugs by Max Blumenthal

In October, 2009, the EDL  gave Nazi "Sieg Heil" salutes and the racists chants of, " If you all hate Pakis clap your hands."In October, 2009, the EDL gave Nazi “Sieg Heil” salutes and the racists chants of, “If you all hate Pakis clap your hands.”

In the days leading up to Israeli Apartheid Week’s opening event at Columbia University, leading anti-Muslim blogger Pam Geller posted an image of an SS officer with the name of one of the event’s speakers, Ben White, emblazoned on his uniform. (The image recalled placards held by far-right settlers depicting Yitzhak Rabin in an SS uniform just days before he was assassinated.) Geller was among the crowd at the Columbia event, making sure to catch White’s eye as he walked to the podium to speak. He told me that she mouthed to him, “You’re a Nazi.” The day after the event, Geller posted another characteristically juvenile screed describing White as “Nazi boy.”

There is little reason to engage a figure like Geller on the merits of her deranged characterizations. And it would be unfair to ascribe crude views like hers to the established pro-Israel groups working to discredit Israeli Apartheid Week. Their tactics are slightly more sophisticated, even if they have also demonstrated a reluctance to engage White and other participants on the facts about Israel’s systematic dispossession of the Palestinians. (Canadian pro-Israel students have united around a vaguely pornographic counter-campaign called “Size Doesn’t Matter” that invokes insecurities about penis length and equates traveling to Israel with the pleasure of oral sex.)

Geller’s attacks on White are worth discussing only in light of their irony. She is, after all, a fervent supporter of a British fascist group comprised of soccer hooligans and skinhead thugs who have delivered sieg heil salutes en masse at their rallies while also displaying Israeli flags — a most bizarre melange. Geller’s endorsement of the shadowy fascist group, called the English Defense League, highlights the reorganization of the British far-right around an anti-Muslim, pro-Zionist platform designed to cultivate alliances with influential online fanatics like her.

On the same day Geller posted her smear of White, she promoted a rally in defense of the Dutch anti-Muslim extremist Geert Wilders by the English Defense League (EDL) (Wilders has called for a “head rag tax” on Muslim women who wear hijab).

So what happens at a typical EDL rally? According to a report by Wales Online, at an October 2009 rally in Swansea by the EDL’s Wales-based affiliate, the Welsh Defense League, “onlookers were confronted with scenes of jeering men giving Nazi salutes.” At another rally in Stoke on Trent in January, intoxicated EDL activists in black masks attempted to break through police lines to assault anti-racist protesters around the block, injuring several police officers in the process.

Who belongs to the EDL? The group’s muscle is provided by thugs affiliated with the right-wing football hooligan club, Casuals United. The Casuals are led by an infamous thug who goes by the name “Tommy Robinson” and who will only appear in public in a balaclava. The Casuals are themselves a front for another violent football hooligan gang called Soul Crew. Soul Crew’s former leader, Jeff Marsh, is now the head of the Welsh Defense League and a recruiter for the Casuals.

According to the Daily Mail, neo-Nazis from Combat 18 and the British Freedom Front have insinuated themselves into the ranks of the EDL along with activists from the incipient neo-fascist British National Party (BNP), which is led by former white supremacist organizer Nick Griffin.

Though the BNP has distanced itself from the EDL, the two groups enjoy clear membership cross-pollination. For example, BNP activist Chris Renton helped set up the EDL’s website. While the EDL remains amorphous, its leadership appears to be following the organizational techniques employed by neo-Nazi groups like the British Peoples Party, which attempted to translate its acts of street terror into political power; and the BNP, which declared a “race war” on Muslims at a 2001 meeting. (Go here for a comprehensive look at ties between the EDL and BNP.)

British extremist right groups like the BNP have reorganized around a pro-Zionist, anti-Muslim platform to broaden their support. Israeli flags are a routine sight at EDL rallies.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the EDL is its identification with Israel. EDL activists routinely wave Israeli flags at rallies and carry placards declaring the groups support for Israel’s “right to exist” (go to :50 of this excellent BBC video report). The group’s support for Israel reflects a gradual reorientation of Britain’s far-right in favor of the policies of the Jewish state and against the rights of Muslim immigrants. While their motives for the strategic shift are largely cynical, they are also rooted in a genuine fascination with the image of Israel as a state fighting for ethnic purity against armies of Muslim marauders.

The BNP’s Griffin, who has openly denied the Holocaust and accused Jews of controlling the media, urged his allies to transmute their anti-Semitism into Islamophobia to broaden the party’s political appeal. He wrote in 2007, “It stands to reason that adopting an ‘Islamophobic’ position that appeals to large numbers of ordinary people – including un-nudged journalists – is going to produce on average much better media coverage than siding with Iran and banging on about ‘Jewish power’, which is guaranteed to raise hackles of virtually every single journalist in the western world.”

Ruth Smeed of the Board of Deputies of British Jews observed with astonishment, ”The BNP website is now one of the most Zionist on the web – it goes further than any of the mainstream parties in its support of Israel and at the same time demonises Islam and the Muslim world.”

When Israel attacked the Gaza Strip in 2008 and ‘09, leading BNP figures celebrated. ”This sort of ‘disinfecting’ process whereby Israel is required to sterilise areas of radical Islamist support … is what all nations have to do in order to eradicate Islamist cells who have managed to take over territory either within or on the edges of their borders,” BNP head of legal affairs Lee Barnes proclaimed on his blog on January 4. He continued, “Get used to the casualties – for without them any nation so infected with Islamism will surrender, rot away into liberal apathy and then dies as it is taken over.”

Griffin echoed Barnes’ comments in an essay called “Israel’s Gaza affair:” “The Israelis will NEVER get unbiased reporting on the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation, despite being the only civilised country in the region & fighting for their very existance [sic],” Griffin proclaimed. “It is NOT our place to get involved but you aren’t the only one to be 100% behind them, they are an example to us all because the only thing the Islamic Terrorists understand is FORCE.”

The reorientation of the BNP around a pro-Zionist, Islamophobic platform led directly to the rise of the EDL. Now Pam Geller has volunteered as perhaps the group’s most prominent online promoter. So who is the Nazi?

 

News of the World: The True Face of the EDL

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2010 by loonwatch
EDL-StokeEDL-Stoke

News of the World unveils their findings after a three month investigation of the EDL. (viaIslamophobia-watch)

The repulsive race-hate face of the English Defence League is unveiled today by the News of the World.

A three-month probe by our undercover investigators exposes the TRUE nature of the organisation that claims to be patriotic, non-violent and non-racist.

In reality the EDL is backed by a bunch of bigots, football thugs, and BNP defectors dedicated to promoting race war on Britain’s streets.

News of the World, 14 March 2010

See also “How sectarian hooligans are killing off Scots far-right”, Sunday Herald, 14 March 2010