The fash don’t often say this so blatantly but it’s very clearly what they mean when they offer violence to get their political way. When they talk about what they want to do to those who oppose them they clearly are drawing upon the mindset that tells them their entitlement comes from their physical strength. When gangs of swastika clad thugs terrorize the streets of UK, Europe and America they’re not inviting people to discuss policies, they’re threatening to crush all opposition.
And they have the cheek to call themselves democratic. It’s always worth pointing that out.
The usual retort is that lefties won’t talk to them. They’ll witter on about freedom of speech which is covered later in the series. A fun response is often to explain that you’re willing to talk it through with them right now… and then see if they can.
The sad fact is that most of them don’t understand the first thing about the ideology they espouse, the development of fascism and neoNazism or the manipulation of information that brought them to accept the current lies of the far right. You won’t win any contests here because the fash will almost certainly just insult you and move on but you will have demonstrated to them just how ill-equipped they are to defend their views and that’s a good start.
For those that suggest that might really is right ask them what they think about Stalin using the mighty soviet machine to kill millions of his own citizens. Then ask what they think of Hitler doing the same to millions of his own, German citizens. They’ll claim that Hitler’s targets weren’t ‘his own’ people which gives you two responses…
Why does that matter?
Did the socialists, trade unionists, Jews and disabled people he persecuted before the war began not have German citizenship, then?
Once again, the aim is to get them to understand that there are holes in their arguments. Many fash won’t have looked into their ideology enough to see those holes in the first place and exposing them to that fact may be the beginning of their road away from hatred.
If, like me you’re fed up of listening to the nonsense spouted by racists, neoNazis and other assorted fash then this is for you. I started the project on Sunday October 4th 2020, the 84th anniversary of the Battle of Cable St. It’s my little acknowledgement of the day Mosley and his Blackshirts were beaten back by decent Brits.
I’ve taken some of the more common (and most ridiculous) ‘arguments’ used by far right numpties and turned them into a bingo card. But this is a card with a difference.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be taking each square on the card in turn and providing easy (and generally fairly obvious) counter-arguments that you can use to stop them in their tracks.
Once it’s finished the whole series will be made into a PDF and left in the resources section here at www.lefteyeview.com as a free download.
The East End of London has long been a melting pot. My own experience of working within several East London boroughs has been both fascinating and positive. The chance to meet, work with, talk to and train colleagues from so many different cultural, religious, national and racial backgrounds has been a boon and an education. I’ve met and learned from so many people whose experiences and approach to life has only ever enhanced my own.
Just as it is today, the East End was home to a diverse, multicultural community and then. Just as now, outsiders with a political axe to grind saw the area as a target to stir up trouble.
On Sunday October 4th 1936 the British Union of Fascists, a group of Nazi sympathisers led by Oswald Moseley planned a march into the East End in opposition to the area’s Jewish residents. The BUF drew its members from all over the UK, expecting to overwhelm the locals with their numbers. Moseley had pulled out all the stops to get up to 5,000 fascists to descend upon London on that fateful afternoon. You can watch a newsreel from the day here.
Then, as now the locals were having none of it. Fascists, racists and religious hate-mongers have never been welcome in Britain and no matter how hard they try they never manage to outnumber the opposition when they descend upon a town, city or Borough.
The Battle of Cable Street was a major turning point in the fortunes of the paramilitarised, uniformed British Union of Fascists. This was the day that ordinary British people showed them exactly what they thought of racism, Nazism and Fascism and it wasn’t pretty.
Today’s uniformed (and uninformed) fascists might do well to take notice.
The impact that Cable Street had on the British Anti-Fascist movement is perhaps best illustrated in this song ‘The ghosts of Cable Street’, written by ‘The men they couldn’t hang’ in 1986 to celebrate the battle’s 50th anniversary. Like Cable Street’s legacy itself, the song has stood the test of time. Click here to play the video.
If you have to lie to make your point, your point isn’t worth making!
It’s late October and the next seasonal slight against British Muslims is making the rounds again. Year after year, from Facebook to Breitbart the same old crap is posited in Memes and articles. And year after year those of us with more than a handful of cranial axons to work with find ourselves responding.
Like Canute before the ocean we strive to hold back the growing Tsunami of deceit and discrimination as wave after wave of far right bollocks finds its way into our ‘news’ feeds. This is no mere paddling pool of right wing bollocks – this is a full blown flood complete with alt-right lies that really ought to be easy for even the least well-informed citizen to disprove. Unless, of course, they want it to be true.
The Royal British Legion is gearing up its annual poppy appeal, a yearly fundraising drive that will reach its zenith at cenotaphs across the nation at the striking of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. A moment of reflection when we remember and feel gratitude for the sacrifices of so many who gave their lives first in the Great war and then 20 years later in the struggle against totalitarian fascism. It’s the moment when we recall the great price paid by men and women of every race and creed to safeguard our democracy, our liberty and our right to survive.
And as we remember that sacrifice we owe it to those brave heroes to remember that diversity. In particular, given the toxic lies currently circulating on social media, we need to remember the many Muslim martyrs who lost their lives defending our freedom, our liberal democracy. They gave their lives so that we might be free.
So remember – when your auntie Mabel shares a meme claiming that Muslims are offended by the poppy or the flag to put her right. When some bloke at the social club holds court about ungrateful Muzzies not liking to be reminded of the proud Brits who fought for this country, when the loudmouthed dickhead Gammon in the beer garden makes speeches about deporting unpatriotic Moose limbs who disrespect our war dead let them know loud and clear.
Many of the war dead they revere so much were themselves Muslims. Indeed, without Muslim and Indian sepoys we might well have lost – twice! Many British Muslim families will be remembering their own British war dead this November. So make sure you speak out and let the Gammony bigots know just how ridiculous they sound when they claim that Muslims are offended by the Poppy.
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.
This week, for the first time in over 3 years I caught a glimpse of hope. This week I realised that there’s a chance that the rest of my life will not be lived against the backdrop of decades of economic disaster. This week gave me a reason to be optimistic again.