I left the Labour party when Tony Blair took us into an illegal war without mandate from the UN. I couldn’t be party to the destruction of innocents just so that we could suck up to the Yanks.
I rejoined the party the day after Jeremy Corbyn was confirmed as leader. I watched him keep his cool and maintain his dignity as the gutter press (& others) printed lie after lie about him. And I read his manifesto with growing excitement.
Here was the opportunity to undo the cruelty of ten years of Tory rule. A proper socialist government waiting in the wings. Here was our chance to build a fairer society with a system that no longer supported the men at the top to rob those at or near the bottom blind.
That wasn’t to be and spilt milk is rarely worth the crying so I moved on. I watched sir Keir make mincemeat of Boris every Wednesday afternoon and I tried to forget what this nation could have won.
And now… Now I don’t know. Today I remain a member of the British Labour party. Many good people are not. Tomorrow I may join them.
Whilst the press was jumping over the Labour party because of around 0.01% of members with anti-Semitic views, British Muslims were looking in a different direction. They saw plainly what many others did not. They saw the rampant Islamophobia and racism that has overtaken the Tory party.
I’ve never been all that impressed by the conservative party and its callous attitude towards ordinary people but at least it used to maintain at least a veneer of fairness and decency. Nowadays the party that brought us forced deportation of genuine Brits, Grenfell and the hostile environment is almost as openly racist as it was in Enoch Powell’s day.
Of course there’s more evidence to come but for now I recommend you read this little article from the Metro detailing the fears of British Muslims fleeing the country. This is what a Tory victory means for them. They know the signs all too well and the rest of us had better start watching too.
If we are to prevent a national decline into full on racism we need to do two things, and we need to do them relentlessly…
1. Challenge racist and religious bigotry of all kinds whenever we see it.
2. Make it clear to our Muslim, Jewish, European, Black and Asian neighbours that they are accepted by the decent majority of Brits – especially by those of us from a white, working class, Christian heritage.
Unless you want to live in an increasingly racist, bigoted, mean-spirited and hate-filled society please consider this a duty.
I’ve been a Labour party supporter all my adult life. Apart from a brief period when Tony Blair took us into an illegal war I’ve been a party member too. And I’ve never met a single Labour party member who I would consider to be antisemitic.
It’s a common phenomenon. Sick and tired of hearing far right tropes at work, in the pub, on social media and pretty much everywhere else, decent people, armed with only a sense of justice and the best of intentions eventually decide that is enough is enough and decide to give the Fash a piece of their mind. And then the trouble starts.
Like trench warfare but without the guns, like the German assault on Verdun or General Winter’s relentless destruction of Napoleon’s forces in Russia, the war of attrition begins. Anyone daring to suggest that desperate refugees might need some help or who has the temerity to suggest that Nigel Farage might not have the best interests of the working class at heart is instantly depicted as (tick as appropriate)
ÿA closet Muslim
ÿA race traitor
Such people are apparently deserving of (tick as appropriate)
ÿDeath by hanging
ÿLife imprisonment (without parole)
ÿDeath by firing squad
ÿDeath by various other creative but ultimately highly impractical alternative methods.
Understandably enough, when faced with these daily tirades from relatives and former friends, as well as complete strangers our intrepid heroes aren’t always as indefatigable as they might have hoped. It’s easy to become despondent in the face of so much undeserved abuse for the crime of showing a little compassion and understanding. The decent people grow tired. They develop Fash Fatigue.
But take heart. This little article is intended to help lift the spirits of the decent folk. The ordinary people who know intuitively that so much bitterness and hatred is the wrong way to go. Those who can see the need for a little compassion in the world, who aren’t frightened of the fact that not everyone enjoys Jellied eels and Melton Mowbray pork pies, who are quite able to walk past a Mosque or a Synagogue without feeling the need to set it alight.
If you don’t see brown people as the enemy. If you understand how ludicrous the idea of miscegenation and race replacement is. If you can’t stop laughing whenever anyone seriously suggests that white genocide is a thing then this is for you.
Keep your chin up, keep plodding on and have faith in the fact that British society, despite having lost its way for a brief moment in time, is better than all that.
We’ve come a long way in the last 100 years. Yes, it’s true that racism and fascism is rearing its ugly head again within these islands but it’s only a blip. It’s only ever a blip when this happens. Hold your nerve. Another few years will see the current batch of racist, fascist bully boys fade into the same insignificance their predecessors of the National Front, the British National Party, the English Defence League and the New British Union of Fascists currently ‘enjoy’.
Far right parties never last here. We gave Mosley and his Black-shirts short shrift in the 1930s, we laughed the NF and the BNP into obscurity in the 70s, 80s and 90s and we’ll ridicule UKIP and the Brexit Party into oblivion too.Not that this is a Brexit issue per se.
There are many non-racist, non-fascist Brits who want us to leave Europe and that’s OK. That’s democracy. But I have never met a single fash who didn’t want us out of Europe. I’ve never met a single UKIP or Brexit Party leader who cared about anyone but himself and I never heard of a UKIP or Brexit party leader whose political career isn’t smeared with the foul-smelling defecant of racism and far right bigotry.
So when you get despondent and exhausted by Fash fatigue, take heart. The journey is never as long as it seems and most of the ordinary Brits screaming abuse at you aren’t really the hard-core Fash they appear to be. They’re our brothers and sisters who, duped by a sustained and deceitful media campaign have come to believe that the only way to ‘save’ UK is to close our borders, to leave the EU and to vote tory. But they’re not the enemy. They’re ‘us’. They’re our friends and neighbours and they will come to their senses soon enough.
Even now, for the most part they genuinely want what’s best for everyone. They’re not usually racist and they’re not usually fascist. But they are for the moment sitting on a tiresome, abusive bandwagon because they haven’t yet sussed where it’s heading. They’ll jump back off it soon enough. When that happens it’ll be up to us to rebuild the bridges that are currently burning. It’ll be up to us to realise that only a small minority of the apparent Fash really are Fash. The rest are decent people who’ve been swept up in the storm. If the UK is ever to get beyond this conflict, this divisive, bloodthirsty civil cold war it’ll be up to us, the decent people to make the first move.
One day, in the not too distant future, we will need to reunite our nation or lose the rights our ancestors fought and died to win for us. The people of Britain, especially the working class cannot survive if we remain divided.
So don’t worry about your Fash fatigue. Take a break – do something enjoyable and calming. Read a book and then, when you can, come on back and keep on arguing for peace, for compassion and for good sense to prevail.
Is it fair to compare modern anti-Muslim propagandists to Hitler’s arch rabble-rouser and Jew-baiter?
Julius Streicher was a Nazi party member from the beginning in post WW1 Germany. He was also the editor of Der Sturmer, an anti-semitic propaganda tabloid and a Gaoliter (a regional official) once Hitler came to power. Hated for his vindictiveness and uncouth manner even by his fellow Nazis, Streicher dedicated his publication to disseminating libellous slurs towards Jews, trade unionists, socialists and all who opposed Nazi ideology.
He incited hatred and violence and was instrumental in fuelling the intense prejudice against innocent Germans that contributed to the horrors of Kristalnacht and the atrocities of the holocaust. Streicher was hanged at Nuremberg for his crimes against humanity in 1946.
Katie Hopkins is renowned for using her social media presence, her newspaper column and her radio and television appearances to spread lies, hatred, exaggeration and generalisations in an effort to whip up hatred against Muslims and immigrants just as Streicher did against the Jews. Across the Atlantic, Steve Bannon used these same techniques and prejudices so effectively he used the alt-right Breitbart online media machine to get a 70 year old vindictive, narcissistic, overgrown child elected into the Whitehouse.
Just as Streicher used the media of his day to commit and incite crimes against humanity so Hopkins and Bannon do the same with the media opportunities of today. Less prolifically but equally dangerous are the likes of Boris Johnson who cynically jumps on the discriminatory bandwagon because he thinks it will get him a few votes. British newspapers have jumped on the same bandwagon, routinely publishing headlines and articles that would have been unthinkable in this country just a few years ago.
The similarities between Streicher’s Der Sturmer and some of our domestic tabloids are both striking and terrifying. Is it any wonder then that hatred against foreigners and Muslims is rising across the West? Hate crimes are still rising here in UK, proving that the idea of a ‘post-referendum’ spike was false. There is a sustained hostility toward immigrants and Muslims nurtured by regular additions of anti-Islamic, and xenophobic slanders from these modern day Streichers.
I wonder how much more Western societies can take before we have to start prosecuting them for incitement to violence. Freedom of speech is one thing but deceptive incitement to commit violence has never been protected by free speech in any modern civilisation, not even America, a nation that probably enjoys the laxest free speech laws of all.
I say we need to stop winking at these hate-mongers and start prosecuting them. After all, it’s not as though we don’t know where this sort of publicised hatred leads, is it?