Now, I am not a supporter of the EDL. I don’t oppose them as such, but I’m not going to bang the drum for them either. I think they’re wrong because they are going after a symptom, not a disease. The real issue is the people who enable certain sections of society to behave in a manner which is forbidden for others. As a very simple illustration, imagine what would happen if the General Synod of the Anglican church stood around demanding the beheading of those who insult Christianity. There is no equality there.
I don’t blame the EDL, they know that something is very wrong, but they’ve lashed out at the puppet, not the puppeteer.
They’re easily demonised; predominantly white, predominantly working class, they lack a certain élan, they lack subtlety. I don’t blame them, they’re angry, many are, I just think they’re angry at the wrong people. That isn’t to say that I don’t think extremists of any religion are objectionable, repulsive and wrong on pretty much every level, they are, but they are a symptom and a tool. If they didn’t exist they’d have to be invented. The idea that we could not have a common terror is one that itself fills politicians with terror, it is one of the most effective tools available to them.
Just to be certain that the fear is kept well fed and exercised, the EDL are held up as being just as dangerous as those they protest against. And, funnily enough where’er they appear, trouble seems to follow.
This weekend saw an EDL demo in Walsall, and you can be sure that the fantastically deluded UAF (Unite Against Fascism) were there as well, making sure we don’t descend into some neo-fascist hell-hole by doing everything in their power to make sure that freedom of expression and freedom of association are stamped out. Yes, yes. I know, you realise, but unfortunately they don’t. But they’re just another little tool in the toolbox, willing and/or unwitting participants in the Two Minutes Hate, and as we know, the horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible not to join in. That hate is a powerful force, it cannot be subjected to logic, it cannot be challenged, it is just as powerful as the hate displayed by the religious extremists and the EDL.
And how do we stoke the hate, the hate against the Muslim extremists, the hate against the EDL and the hate against UAF?
Simple, selective reporting.
Now, I want you to read the BBC report here, and then answer the following questions:
1. Who were the ‘other’ group?
2. Who started the trouble?
3. From which group did the arrested come?
No? Me neither, I know what the answers to the above questions are by insinuation, but I can’t say if the conclusions that we are led to draw are correct or not.
Except I’m a cynical old bugger. If the EDL were the antagonists here, I would expect the article to be crowing about it, as it doesn’t, I’m leaning towards the conclusion that it was the EDL who were the target of the violence.