Monthly Archives: May 2012

Eric Joyce and Stuart Andrew: what the papers failed to mention

It was the political story of the month. It was a gift that had fallen into the lap of the subs on Fleet Street. “Labour MP, Eric Joyce headbutts Tory MP in the Strangers Bar in the House of Commons”.

We heard that Mr Joyce was slightly worse for wear or “pissed up” in the common parlance, but what was the spark that ignited the flame, so to speak? We heard that Joyce had said, upon entering the bar, that there were “too many Tories” in there. Perhaps there were. Perhaps some of them hold views that are, shall we say, a little reprehensible?

The other day while I was linking the extreme-right wing Trade Union Reform Campaign to this blog, I noticed that the alleged victim of Joyce’s headbutt , Stuart Andrew, the member for Pudsey, is on the Parliamentary Council of TURC. Was Joyce aware of this? Surely, he must have been. The Tory press was full of outrage, many of them claiming how Andrew was totally innocent. None of them bothered to inform their readers of Andrew’s other activities, namely TURC’s work to destroy trade unions. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Mr Andrew in the Daily Mail,

Mr Andrew said: ‘I was having a lovely evening chatting and relaxing. Andrew [Percy] came back to the table and said, “Excuse me, can I just get to my seat?” but Joyce would not let him. He said, “There are too many Tories” and pushed him against the wall. I stood up and said, “You can’t do that.”

But this is the most interesting part,

Mr Andrew, who briefly joined the Labour Party in 1997, said he had never met Mr Joyce before. ‘We had never spoken and there is no history between us whatsoever. I bet he was in that cell thinking, “Who the hell is Stuart Andrew?” ’

[…]
Mr Andrew said he had received ‘superb’ support in recent days. ‘People I don’t even know have been coming up to me and asking if I am all right. Constituents have been phoning with lovely messages, as have schools and sixth formers.’

How nice of them. I wonder how many of them know about his hatred of trade unions? Not knowing Pudsey, it would be improper of me to label each and every elector in his constituency as rabid anti-union types but those who voted for Andrew must be. What I find so odd about Andrew being a former member of Labour Party is his opposition to trade unions. If he joined Labour surely he was aware of the party’s history?

I don’t expect Andrew,  Nazi Boy Burley or any of the other members of TURC to admit to hating trade unions or wanting to destroy them but, then, honesty has never been the strongest suit of this Tory party.

The Tories have a serious problem with unions. In other words, they don’t like them. They seem to feel that the anti-union legislation that was put in place by Thatcher didn’t go far enough. They want to break the unions by further limiting their ability to organize and to fight on their members’ behalf. They even coined a meaningless neologism, “Union Pilgrims” as a term of abuse (they’re great at slinging mud but terrible at having a reasoned debate).  Well, when I say “they”, I really mean Paul Staines and Harry Cole, whose blog is filled with bile-saturated articles about trade unionists, none of which I will quote or link to here.

You can see who else is on TURC’s Parliamentary Council here.  Two names stand out from all the others: those of the disgraced Liam Fox and Dominic Raab. The latter writes evidence-free reports, some of which call for an end to hte Equality Act. Raab also thinks that men have it tough and suffer from sex discrimination at the hands of women. He obviously missed the meeting about the patriarchy. Tories are rather adept at tospy-turvy thinking and this is one example of how they try to play victim by inverting the logic of discrimination.

Back to Andrew, this article from The Yorkshire Post tells us that he is a career politician who has no problem switching sides in order to further his career.

One commentator on the ConservativeHome website states: “Stuart Andrew defected to Labour… This was a total disgrace and displayed political treachery of the worst sort – yet now he is back.”

And on the UKPollingReport site, Jenny Whitmann, wrote: “I just find it totally staggering. How can anyone switch from being a Tory councillor to a Labour councillor then back? ”

Last night Mr Andrew said: “After the 1997 general election I was not happy with the direction of the party and found it very difficult to support some of the stances they had taken,” he said. “So foolishly – I was only in my 20s – I joined Labour. But I soon realised the philosophy of the Conservatives was where my beliefs lie.”

Laughable.

Recently on his website, Andrew’s constituency agent wrote,

Stuart Andrew MP and students from Horsforth, Pudsey Grangefield, Crawshaw and St Mary’s Catholic Schools in the Pudsey constituency returned from the Holocaust Educational Trust’s visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau on Thursday 3rd May vowing to act on the lessons learned from the experience.

Now in its thirteenth year, the Project is based on the premise that “hearing is not like seeing”. Students first visited Osweicim, the town where the Auschwitz death and concentration camps were located and where before the war, 58% of the population was Jewish. Students then visited Auschwitz I to see the former camp’s barracks and crematoria and witnessing the piles of belongings that were seized by the Nazis. Finally they spent time at the main killing centre of Birkenau where the day concluded with candle lighting and a period of reflection to remember the 6 million Jews, and the Roma, Sinti, gay, disabled, black people, and other victims of the Nazis killed in the Holocaust.

Interesting, yet he still associates with a Nazi fetishist who was caught texting his chums during a Holocaust memorial lecture.

As I’ve said before: the Nazis were opposed to trade unions and imprisoned union activists. Today’s Tory Party would like to deny that it embraces a similar hatred but it’s transparently obvious that it does. Stuart Andrew, far from being just a hapless victim of a Labour MP’s violent behaviour, is involved in a campaign that seeks to destroy workers’ rights and the ability of trade unions to fight on their behalf. If I had have been in Joyce’s position, I might have reacted in a similar fashion. I despise liars, turncoats, blacklegs, scabs and bullies. It seems to me that Andrew is all of these things and maybe more.

UPDATE: 29/5/12 @ 1203

It seems that one of Andrew’s drinking buddies on that fateful evening is also on TURC’s Parliamentary Council. Alec Shelbrooke, the MP for Elmet and Rothwell was also a fellow councillor on Leeds City Council.

UPDATE: 16/3/13 @ 1023

As I came to the end of this article in The Independent, I noticed a quote from Shelbrooke that was contained in this paragraph,

A Tory MP caught up in last year’s fracas, Alec Shelbrooke, said: “I will be talking about it to a number of my colleagues who were involved last time to see if we want to take it further.”

To be honest, Shelbrooke looks as though he takes full advantage of the Palace’s subsidized food and drink. His waistline has expanded exponentially since he took his Commons seat in 2010.

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Economic cults are just as bad as any religious cult

Last Sunday I was watching The Big Questions on BBC, a programme that is best described as a Sunday morning shout-fest. The studio audience usually consists of a fair number of religious zealots and assorted weirdos together with sceptics and rationalists who seek to challenge their beliefs. Last week’s discussion was about religious cults and whether they are any different to mass religions. In truth, the mass religions are the same as cults, they just have better PR and more members. This got me thinking: what about those obscure economic cults like Objectivism? What about all those tiresome free-marketeers who slavishly follow the curious fiscal asceticism of Hayek or Friedman? Are they any different to Scientologists or Moonies? Well, no.

Cults are always organized around a charismatic leader. We see this with the Scientologists, the Moonies, the Children of God (now called Family International) and small Healy-ite cults like the Workers Revolutionary Party. The economic cults are no different; they are all obsessed with ideological purity. The leader’s word is supreme.

All cults, like mass religions, require fetish-objects (Islam and Judaism have no fetish-objects). These fetish objects can range from supposed relics like a nail or a splinter from the True Cross  ( in the case of Reaganites,  a vial of Ronald Reagan’s blood) to holy icons; an image of some saint or other. These economic cultists have money, which, as a fetish-object, serves much the same purpose as praying to an icon of the Virgin. “With this money, I am free! With this money I can enslave others and tell them that I am doing it to make them free”! Of course they would tell you that they don’t worship money but that wouldn’t be true because cultists are always in denial about something.

Blinded by their unswerving devotion, right-wing economic cultists will tell you how “flat taxes will benefit us all” and that ‘wealth’ will “trickle down” to those below, even though they produce no hard evidence to support such claims. They will produce the holy icon of the Laffer Curve and, without a trace of irony, proceed to tell you why this curve is so significant and why those at the bottom of the economic ladder must take pay cuts while those at the top award themselves even bigger bonuses. This is voodoo economics. It’s magic, maaan! You will find them reciting passages from The Road to Serfdom, one of the holy books of right-wing economic cultists and they will tell you, with a straight face, that fascism and socialism are the same thing and that only they hold the keys to your freedom. It isn’t and they don’t. But cultists won’t listen to anyone but their cult-leaders. Hayek’s word is holy writ.  He speaketh the Truth and we must listen. Just ask High Priest, Dan Hannan of The Freedom Assocation.

You won’t find the working class or the lower middle class subscribing to these notions  about ‘freedom’ and there is a very good reason for this: they can’t afford them. Only those who have a substantial amount of personal wealth can become cult  members and take part in the liturgy.

These cults also have their priestly caste that is formed from a hardcore of free-market economists who are gathered together in think-tanks like the Adam Smith Institute, the Taxpayers Alliance or the Institute of Economic Affairs. It is within these bodies that the doctrines are formulated and the high priests of late capitalism worship at the clay feet of their dead idols. The Adam Smith Institute, for example, practices a strain of laissez-faire economics that is based on a highly selective reading of The Wealth of Nations , for which they rely on people’s ignorance of Smith’s theories in order to promote “The Invisible Hand” of the free market; the rest of the text is discarded and ignored.

The right will make the counter-claim that the Left (to the Tories this is just anyone who just happens to be vaguely to the left of them) worship John Maynard Keynes and have formed a cult around his ideas. They can make that claim as much as they like, but I have seen little evidence to support this notion. They would also point to Marx and shout “Look! You worship Marxism”!  But that’s only true of a handful of left-wing cults and, at any rate, there is always an ongoing debate about Marxist economics. The same cannot be said for the Right, who are hopelessly devoted to their idols and accept their ‘wisdom’ without criticism. But this deference shouldn’t surprise us: the Right doesn’t like to criticize what they see as unassailable truths; the holy word of Hayek or whichever economic theorist they happen to be praise-singing at that moment in time. This is the truth and all those who deny it shall be cast into eternal darkness!

The problem with economic cults  is that we are forced to live with their mistakes. Privatizations are forced onto us and all social relations are marketized – all for our own good, you understand.  After all, this is the word of the Lord!  He hath spoken! Have faith and enjoy the Kool-Aid!

Postscript

Interesting article from Alternet about Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman.

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Why do Tories think that we will accept reports that have not been based on research?

The Tories are fond of writing reports but few are based on any form of research. Moreover, the lack of research points to a deep-seated hatred of anything that bears even the slightest resemblance to evidence.  Even when they do conduct research, it is so compromised that they need not have bothered (have a look at some of the Centre for Social Justice’s ‘research’ if you don’t believe me). Such disregard for the intellectual rigours of research and producing evidence in the form of data is nothing less than a form of anti-intellectualism.

In the last week we’ve had the Beecroft Report, which was not only written by a venture capitalist and donor to the Conservative Party, it was produced without a single shred of evidence.  In 2009, right-wing think-tank Localis produced a report titled “The Principles for Social Housing Reform”. Written by  Stephen Greenhalgh and John Moss, the darlings of Tory local government,  they asserted that “social housing is welfare housing”. Looking through their report, one thing was noticeably absent: research. Yet this ‘report’ and the Beecroft Report are held up by the Tories as some form of unassailable truth. This is a logical fallacy (argumentum ad verecundiam).

I can tell you  that as a PhD student, if I were to make the similar assertions about my field of study without conducting any research or any providing any evidence to support my assertions, I would be told, in no uncertain terms, that my report was flawed and that I would have to go away and come back with some hard facts. Not for out Tory friends it seems.

The reasons why Tories think that their reports don’t require research or evidence that has been derived from empirical study is because they are arrogant and intellectually bankrupt. I often think the reason why James Delingpole regularly dismisses empirical evidence out of hand is because it conflicts with his weird belief that pollution is good for us. Jokes aside, this attitude is rooted firmly in the way in which this country has been governed since time immemorial. Parliament was once the preserve of the aristocracy. Even after the Reform Acts, the House of Commons has remained persistently upper middle class and semi-aristocratic save for the years between 1920 and 1989. The Conservative Party believes that it is the natural party of government and its place as a governing party is divinely ordained. Therefore should anyone demand proof, they are met with abuse.  To demand evidence is to question the existence of God Himself.

Like the Localis report, the Beecroft Report is predicated on one thing: class hatred. Beecroft is an unreconstructed Social Darwinist. As a venture (for that read “rentier”) capitalist, he produces nothing. Yet he feels that he has some kind of authority to produce a report that has no findings whatsoever. You can read his report here.

Yesterday,  the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, made a few noises about the report. Beecroft labelled him a “socialist”. This tells us something else: the right are not interested in debates or discussions and would much prefer to hurl insults at anyone who dares to criticise them (have a look at the comments left on this blog if you don’t believe me). Of course Cable is no socialist; he’s a market liberal who has one or two social impulses. He was once a member of the SDP. So he’s hardly a Trot.

The Tories have never liked employment laws and this is demonstrated by their desire to tear up legislation that protects workers from dangerous or unsanitary conditions. The Tories were also implacably opposed to the National Minimum Wage (NMW), some have even demanded that the NMW be scrapped for workers who are under the age of 25.

The Beecroft Report whose author claims it is a strategy to improve economic performance and reduce unemployment has produced a report so full of class prejudice that he should be clapped in irons and dragged by a donkey through the city streets, while the people pelt him with ordure.

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Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 45)

Kennite is back from his break.  He must have exhausted himself so much that his bosses made him take a holiday. As you will recall, Kennite wrote at least two anti-Livingstone blogs a day. Even his Number One fan, the similarly obsessed  “imrankhan” is back, chipping in with his extra long comments (there’s one that comes to 701 words) in which he repeats the same tired old clichés and libellous drivel about Ken Livingstone, Tower Hamlets, trots, postal vote fraud (a favourite of the right) and so forth as he’s done before.

Yesterday’s blog follows from the news that the New Statesman’s Mehdi Hasan is to take up a position with Huffington Post as their political editor. Naturally, Kennite is beside himself with a mixture of bitterness and bitchiness. The blog, titled, “Mehdi Hasan: liar leaves job” is nothing less than a window into the mind of a deeply embittered man. “imran” thinks he knows why Hasan has left the New Statesman but, like his idol, he’s just being bitchy.

Wishful thinking.

Desperate to impress his readership of extreme nationalists, racists and those who continue to pine for the demise of Empire (We should never have left Injah!), he writes,

Mehdi is an effective polemicist, increasingly beloved of BBC discussion programmes – but the job needed more reporting scruples than he possessed, and his temper sometimes get the better of him. My own experience with this came in November 2010. I’d done something to annoy Mehdi – not that hard – so he accused me (in his New Statesman blog) of a long list of crimes including working for the Iranian state-funded broadcaster, Press TV. “Sources at Press TV tell me Gilligan is among the highest-paid, if not the highest-paid, employee at the channel,” wrote Mehdi, asking: “So, Andrew, when will you quit your lucrative job at Press TV?”

Gilligan is trying to claim or, rather, feign innocence.  He adds,

I did present a fortnightly discussion show on Press TV, in which the policies of the Iranian government were often debated and challenged. But I stopped in December 2009. I have not worked for Press TV since, with the exception of two one-off shows in the week of the general election in May 2010, almost six months before Mehdi’s “sources” told him I was its highest paid employee.

As I pointed out in a previous blog, Kennite left Press TV, then he was back in. Who’s to say that he won’t work for Press TV again in the future? It’s all money after all and he showed no scruples when he joined the channel the first time. If he went back so soon after leaving, then surely there is the possibility that he could return.

It seems to us at Nowhere Towers that Kennite is desperate for a story and it shows. He’s also still grinding an axe for his former employer whom he has never forgiven. Hell hath no fury like a Gilligan scorned!

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Manic Street Preachers – The Masses Against the Classes

Good live version. Shame about the advert.

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The Winter of Discontent: a media event

The abiding image of 1979 but was this scene was not universal

Last night I was watching Dominic Sandbrook’s one-sided look at the 1970s and was reminded how much the right are fond of bringing up the phrase “The Winter of Discontent” at every opportunity. Whenever 1979 is mentioned, archive footage of piles of uncollected rubbish accompanies the stentorian narration as if to say “Look, this is what happens when unions are too strong”.

The reality of life in the 70’s with its ethnic tensions, inflation, casual and overt racism and ideological polarization is barely touched upon nor is the fact that there were forces in this country that wanted to stage a coup against an elected government (to be fair, Sandbrook touched on it). The  ideologically driven Heath government is painted, on the one hand,  as being hamstrung by bolshie unions and on the other hand, as a victim of world events that spiralled out of control. There is no mention of its terminal incompetence save for Heath’s 1974 election slogan “Who governs Britain”?

Sandbrook had been building up to the ‘Thatcher’ moment  since the start of the series. His ideologically-charged narrative pointed the accusatory finger at the unions and the Labour Party. He repeated the by now familiar canard that the nationalized industries were a failure and that they were costing the taxpayer (a word of power for the Tories) far too much money. But this was a time when Britain actually made things. It had a shipbuilding industry, forged its own steel, built cars and dug its own coal. It made things that it could sell.  Now it’s all gone. The demise of these industries was blamed on the unions. The miners, who had been heroes during World War II, were cast as enemies of the state by Sandbrook (and the Tories), not as men who were fighting for better pay and conditions. Then there were the shipyard workers who were fighting to modernize an industry that was largely stuck in the 1920s, who were also cast in a similar role. Heath had proposed to close the Upper Clyde shipyards, not because they weren’t profitable or efficient but because he didn’t like the colour of the worker’s politics. The workers responded by holding a “work-in” rather than walk out. Their strategy worked and the shipyards remained.

Nowhere in Sandbrook’s narrative were Britain’s lazy and incompetent managers and directors to be found. Indeed the Right never mentions them. It is as if they were innocent of any blame for the state of the economy or the country’s poor performance abroad.

I can remember early in my working life watching directors roll up in their Jaguars or Daimlers at 4pm looking well-fed and watered. These ruddy-faced, gin-soaked men knew that no one could shift them from their positions – even if they performed badly. They were there for life if they wanted it and many of them were. They were more than content to deflect the blame for their failures and place it on the shoulders of those who helped to pay their inflated salaries.

This passage from an article from The Week puts the Winter of 1978/79 into perspective.

The so-called ‘Winter of Discontent’ of 1979 – which ushered in Thatcherism – is also shrouded in myth. James Callaghan never said ‘Crisis, what crisis’ – that was an invention of The Sun. The strikes themselves only lasted for a comparatively short period and were largely over by February 1979.

As this passage shows us, much of what we see on our television screens about the 1970s has been constructed by the right-wing press – particularly the Murdoch press, who were responsible for constructing the majority of the myths that have been perpetuated by the Tories and their allies to this day. This image of ‘militant’ trade unions has been fed directly into the right’s architecture of mythology into which extreme right-wing groups like the Trade Union Reform Campaign have inserted themselves.

 The Winter of Discontent myth has talismanic properties. Its invocation was designed to stop critics of the neoliberal project and defenders of trade union rights in their tracks. And for the better part of 30 years, it has worked well for the Right. Even Kinnock’s Labour Party ran scared of the horror show put on by the Tories.

Britain in the 1970’s may have been a politically polarized country but workers had a greater sense of class solidarity. There was also a greater sense of community.  Many communities had formed around pitheads and steel mills. Once Thatcher sold off the steel industry and shut the mines, the communities around them died. By the 1980s, the managers and directors who had wreaked so much havoc through a combination of gross incompetence and crass self-interest had crawled off into the darkness. It was if they never existed and the Tories were happy for them never to be mentioned again.

But such things have a nasty habit of coming back to haunt governments. We now have a situation where Britain’s economy is over-reliant on financial services. Yet, the current government, for all their warm words, have little will or inclination to change things. The current situation where rentier capitalists and other parasites dominate the nation’s economy suits them just fine. They will continue to lie and create myths to fool people into thinking that their way is the only way.

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The British Freedom Party: who are they?

The short answer to the question is “the English Defence  League or EDL”, the long answer is that the British Freedom Party (BFP) is a small party that has welcomed the EDL to its ranks.  The BFP was formed in 2010 by a group of disgruntled and disaffected BNP members who were unhappy with Nick Griffin’s leadership and the lack of transpatrent accounting of the party’s finances. The self-styled leader of the EDL, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who is otherwise known as “Tommy Robinson” is now the party’s deputy leader. Here’s a picture of Yaxley-Lennon appearing at a hastily-arranged news conference.

BFP Yaxley-Lennon

I first became aware of the BFP when they started following me on Twitter. I’d never heard of them before, but I suspected that they weren’t necessarily just any party that was obsessed with an idea of freedom. I Googled them and discovered what they were and immediately blocked them.

I won’t link to any pages from the BFP website for obvious reasons. Here’s what I found on their “Democracy” page of their manifesto.

The British Freedom Party will return democracy to Britain by:

1. Withdrawing from the European Union.

2. Devolving decision-making power down to the lowest practicable level.

3. Abolishing restrictions on free speech.

4. Allowing British citizens to utilise rights and liberties enshrined in the British Constitution in court cases to challenge laws that undermine, annul or remove those rights and liberties.

5. Re-introducing the parliamentary boundaries, boroughs, and counties as they were in 1960.

6. Introducing citizens’ referenda whose decisions shall be binding on parliament.

7. Ensuring that any issues concerning England only, are debated and voted upon only by English MP’s.*

8. Restoring power back to the British Parliament by repealing all laws and treaties that have allowed other nations and supra-national institutions to impose their laws upon us.

* However: we oppose the break-up of the United Kingdom. Make no mistake; this country is under an invasion graver even than the dark days of the Battle of Britain. The New World globalists backed by wealthy banking cartels, will not stop at the Tweed, Severn, or Tamar rivers, nor will the advocates of a world caliphate stop there. These people want the whole of Britain and what better way than by encouraging a broken up, devolved Britain?

You have to laugh at the way they use the Battle of Britain to evoke images of a nation under siege. Oh, the drama!

Just for a laugh and out of morbid curiousity I decided to take a look at their page on immigration. It didn’t surprise me.

It’s About Space Not Race

Britain has been subjected to mass immigration for several decades and our small island can take no more. It’s about space not race and it’s time to shut the door and stop further immigration.

Culture Not Colour

We believe that it is the obligation of all naturalised migrants to fit in with our way of life and to respect our customs. For our society to be cohesive it is essential that all citizens are integrated fully and that they respect the British way of life. We bear no ill will to the settled minorities who have adopted our culture but this integration is a duty not a choice.

Most immigrants who originally came to the United Kingdom, from the former British Commonwealth in particular, came to Britain specifically because of our British culture and because they wanted to live in a country and culture that they loved. They also now have to live in a Britain where the indigenous British folk, and fully integrated British citizens like themselves, are becoming strangers due to unrestricted mass immigration.

Asylum Seekers

British Freedom would refuse asylum in Britain to those who have passed through safe countries to get here. Britain would no longer accept such people as genuine. The UN charter is quite clear about this in that asylum should be claimed in the first safe country passed and not in the one that pays the most generous benefits.

Foreign Criminals

Rather than releasing our own criminals early to re-offend we would deport the foreign born criminals currently taking up space in our jails.

It is not Britain’s job to pay for their upkeep when prison places are in short supply.

Putting British Citizens First

We would end the scandal of cheap labour being imported from overseas depriving British workers of jobs and put our people first.

There isn’t anything here that truly differs from the BNP or the other racist parties. The BFP and the EDL like to claim that they aren’t racists or fascists but the language that is being used here leaves very few doubts as to their ideological position. They say that “most immigrants came from the British Commonwealth” because of “our British culture”. This is ahistorical tosh. Those who arrived here from the former colonies came here to work in the NHS, the Royal Mail and on the trains and buses. At any rate, the antecedents of the BNP and EDL subjected these immigrants to abuse. Many, if not all, EDL and BFP members would have readily agreed with Enoch Powell.

In addition to their manifesto, the BFP has a “20 point plan”.

1. Introduce a US style First Amendment guaranteeing Free Speech.

2. Leave the profoundly undemocratic European Union.

3. Abolish the Human Rights Act, which benefits only foreign criminals/ terrorists.

4. Halt any further non-Western immigration for a period of five years.

5. Deport foreign criminals, seditious dual nationality Islamists and illegal immigrants.

6. Abolish all multicultural and equality quangos.

7. Halt and turn back all aspects of the Islamisation of Britain, including Sharia finance.

8. Drastically reduce crime – criminals should fear the consequences of their behaviour.

9. Repair the damage wreaked by the progressive educational establishment.

10. Promote British values and assimilation, rather than multiculturalism and division.

11. Rebuild Britain’s Armed Forces to 1980 levels.

12. Diminish the public sector and government interference in the private sector.

13. Withdraw troops from all areas where we are not directly threatened.

14. Cancel foreign aid to countries which do not deserve or need it.

15. End welfare payments to immigrants; they must pay for their housing and children.

16. Ensure no elderly person lives in fear, and can afford both heat and food in the winter.

17. Abolish destructive Political Correctness, promote Common Sense.

18. Promote morality, marriage, the family, the community and the nation state.

19. Allow pubs the freedom of operating as smoking or non-smoking establishments.

20. Live by Christianity’s Golden Rule: “Do unto others as thou wouldst be done by.”

With regards to the 20th point, it is doubtful that many members of the EDL/BFP are regular church-goers. However, like the Tories, they want to abolish the Human Rights Act, destroy  state education (which they accuse of being “progressive”) and shrink the public sector. As for an “American-style First Amendment”, what document are they amending and, given their antipatrhy towards “Americanisation”, does this not smack of bald hypocrisy? But “free speech”? Only those who support the BFP will have that.

The BFP may try to distance themselves from the thuggery of the EDL but their efforts look decidedly piecemeal, if not wholly dishonest. The Guardian says that

a BFP member tweeted his support for Norwegian killer Anders Breivik, while an EDL member defended the 34-year-old, currently on trial in Oslo after confessing to the murder of 77 people last July, and said that if he had “singled out the muslim filth” he would be viewed as a hero.

EDL News (a site that investigates the EDL) tells us

There is was no disguising the party’s love for fascism when BFP joint deputy leader and second in command of the English Defence League, Kevin Carroll, called for the execution of a democratically elected MP at the EDL’s Luton demonstration this weekend.

Stood in front of a baying  mob of drunken shaven-headed football hooligans, Carroll called for Bradford West MP George Galloway, to be dragged to Traitors Gate and hung for treason.

We at EDL News would like to ask Mr Carroll who else would be hung under a future BDP ruling party (If the British public were ever to embrace fascism as an acceptable ideology).

Fascists like the BFP do not only want to execute people for opposing their racist ideologies; many would be attacked and imprisoned for their views. People with long hair, people with glasses, people who are not pasty white enough, people with an education, people who dress differently. History shows the long, long list of the perceived enemies of fascism.

It’s amusing how they can recall the name of Traitor’s Gate, which hasn’t been used for hundreds of years. It has also been bricked up for some time as this image shows.

Finally there is very little to distinguish the BFP from any other far-right grouping. In some respects they resemble the Monday Club of days gone by. In other respects, they look just like another fascist party that’s lying to the electorate about their true intentions.

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