The English Defunct League
For a while the white racist was left to stew in his own stimuli, getting lazy and fat, enjoying the credit boom, maybe just a bit of domestic violence here and there and a random act of thuggery at the kebab house to offset his prejudicial urges. A bit of a ruck at Oldham and Burnley in 2001 and that. But now, in more circumcised times, he and just a few of his kind they think they’re ready for the fight: eight years after the towers and four after 7/7, the English Defence League is rising with a self-declared mandate to target ‘Islamic extremism’ on our shores. Football is just diving, handbags and foreigners, and they can’t even have a fight with each other at the yearly Oasis gigs now (a real shame, them quitting). So they reckon it’s time to act, what with the Muslims taking jobs that aren’t there etc, and the EDL is a perfect leisure vehicle for those who can’t take the full-on commitment and dogma available elsewhere in the racist marketplace.
The EDL are on the rise, if you believe the press, and crucially like a many racist before them their calling card is that they are not actually racist. ‘No surrender to Al-Qaeda’, they instead state on their polo shirts, whatever that means. They have tried a few demonstrations in Birmingham only to be penned back by local Asian and anti-fascist groups. The action on a Harrow mosque again saw the chunky thugs in Lenin’s term comprehensively outnumbered and outmanoeuvred. So they then decided to stage a protest against the ‘Slamists on Al-Quds day, the day of unity and support for the Palestinians – not an issue that usually has much comeback on the suburban streets of the UK. They were given a fair amount of leverage to do so when the GLA allowed them to protest at Trafalgar Square, meaning the original rally had to move to the Pall Mall.
The EDL is branding like the BNP/C-18/NF would never be able to achieve, almost sounding like a football organisation/firm, and it’s happy for some of its cadres (it wishes!) to dress in the hoolie ‘casual’ style that is somehow still fashionable nearly 30 years on (romanticisation of the look in remakes of the Firm will keep it going for another few) and to adopt rumble/ambush tactics (large-scale rushes are hardly viable with their paucity of numbers and scale of opposition).
As the moves to get Griffin on Question Time and the hyperbolic coverage of Harrow prove, they will get a disproportionate amount of press from a media content vowing to defend free speech at the cost of making many paranoid about social tensions (same truck with the Home Office regarding EDL’s planned Manchester demo in October even when the council have expressly advised against it). They will protest they are not racists while targeting normal Muslims – or will they actually target avowed extremists such as Al-Muhajiroun, the reason why the BNP bloke from Luton started this up in the first place – and the ‘battles’ that ensue will be perfect BNP press/recruitment fodder. They may get more followers from disaffected white males in the major cities, including blue- and white-collar workers confident their employers are comfortable with their activism (again, this isn’t the BNP, honest), but will remain one of those groups unwilling to attribute cause and effect to what isolated examples of Islamic extremism do exist back to its government’s foreign policy.
They are up against an ANL/militant left/local Asian/Muslim opposition more than capable of making it skulk back to the pub, defeated and bitter. And as the Luton case showed, it’s a nasty swig of truth for the EDL that ‘normal Muslims’ are probably doing a better job of getting rid of Islamic extremism on our streets than they are.