Saturday, July 30, 2011

Daily Mail readers with guns

Years ago, there was an Anti-Fascist Action leaflet that spoke to working class voters of the realities of the BNP. With a montage showing the then Tory leader John Major superimposed onto the booted physique of a Nazi skinhead, the title said 'BNP: Tories in flight jackets'. I also remember seeing a news item on a commemorative rally in Madrid for fascist leader Franco just a few years ago. The crowd was a curious mixture of wealthy Castillians and nazi boneheads. I wonder who called the shots there? With Norwegian uniform freak and self-confessed "Christian conservative" having apparently name-dropped Gr8 Brittish right-wing blawhards like the Daily Mail's Melanie Phillips and even Jeremy Clarkson in his manifesto, should M15 switch its attention away from Islamic extremists to Daily Mail readers?

Of course, the nice blue rinsed middle-English readership of the Daily Mail and Express would not condone such an action. However, the constant drip, drip of prejudice that emanates from their pages is unquestionably designed to stir up hatred against anyone they don't like, be it Muslims, single-mothers, gays or Gaelic speakers.

And that's the strange thing. Conservatives by definition should seek to 'conserve' their local environment. It's obvious that they baulk at the influx of dark-skinned foreigners while welcoming white-skinned foreigners, such as Rupert Murdoch. However, the British isles have always been multi-cultural or in a state of cultural flux.

There have always been significant numbers of people who followed other gods or none. Or who spoke different languages, such as Scottish, Irish, Norn or Welsh or even the Latin of the church and the French of the royal families. There has always been homosexuality. There have always been 'illegitimate' children. There have always been asylum seekers or just migrants. There have always been people seeking to help others in their communities and communities seeking to help individuals. I'm thinking here of those who were too old or physically unable to work being given a share of the seabirds on St Kilda or the guga in Ness. Or even remote islanders giving food and shelter to shipwrecked Spanish Armada sailors washed up on Hebridean beaches. Or even the Asian travelling salesmen of the 1930s who learned Gaelic to ply their trade in the Scottish Gaidhealtachd and were given a warm welcome - see Iain Crichton Smith's An Duine Dubh.

Call it socialism maybe.

I don't live in hope but perhaps the day will come when conservatives accept the diversity of their local environment. It is ironic, but kneejerk xenophobic warmongering moralistic conservatism - in all its guises from New Labour to the Tories to UKIP to the EDL to Anders Breivik to the Roman Catholic Church and Orange Order or Islamic militants- is more of a threat to society than any of their usual bugbears. Norway for example has been a mainly progressive nation since winning its independence in 1905. However since then the most significant assaults on Norwegian life and society have come from the Nazis and Breivik.

We used to hear much here of Sinn Féin's 'ballot box and the armalite' strategy. Perhaps an unofficial and unmentioned strategy links the likes of the Daily Mail, Daily Express and even Jeremy Clarkson to Breivik and those in the EDL? Some talk, others act?

Whatever, I tend to agree with AFA's old maxim that there should be 'no platform for fascists'. Fascism doesn't start with concentration camps - or gun massacres, that's where it ends.

For more topical reading, check out:

Interesting piece on the proposed EDL march in London and how it should be dealt with. Its interesting too to read in one of the comment links that the EDL are now trying to distance themselves from former members who may have had contact with Breivik. I guess it's not good PR for an organisation that claims to have 'Christian European' values at heart to be exposed as being not only a mentor for but complicit with someone who massacred innocent 'Christian Europeans'. The fact remains that the EDL and militant Islamists are just different cheeks on the same arse.

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