Saturday, September 17, 2011
No-one like us, we don't care: The EDL, and some other stuff
Owen at Third Estate has a post on the EDL and “anti-fascist obfuscation”, taking a similar position that Flesh and Sarah have taken in the comments thread here, rejecting the left’s obsession with “confrontation”. // Here (pdf) is an interesting analysis of the EDL from a year ago, by Nigel Copsey, historian of British anti-fascism. // Here’s Spinwatch on the EDL’s funders – they’re not so salt of the earth after all. More on the same funders from the Center for American Progress. They make much of their links to Anders Breivik. And here’s his manifesto mapped by the Guardian databloggers.
Here’s the RCP’s Brendan O’Neill on the class hatred at the heart of the anti-EDL clique. The fact is “that a great deal of anti-EDL protesting is driven by a barely disguised hatred for that apparently ugly, uncouth, un-PC blob of white flesh that inhabits inner-city council estates”. I think he’s half-right. You can see that sort of class conceit at work amongst liberals and wadicals – like Laurie Penney or the “twits” who called EDL thugette Angel Jo a “scrote”. (Scrote, like chav, is a keyword in the middle class imaginary about the white underclass; it’s a term that comes from the lexicon of the police.) And he is right that the left sees the white working class as somehow having failed the left, rather than the other way around (that’s a position he shares with Red Action/IWCA, see below). But he is wrong (a) to think of opposition to the EDL as coming from a “clique”, as if it’s some conspiracy from above by the liberal elite; and (b) to say that class conceit causes anti-EDL sentiment. O’Neill says: “it's becoming increasingly clear why Leftists have leapt upon this small political grouping and blown its threat out of all proportion – because campaigning against the EDL provides them with a PC platform from which to express their disappointment and/or disgust with the white masses” (emphasis added). But surely that is not the “why”; the “why” is that leftists see the EDL as fascists (mistakenly) and racists (correctly), and they don’t like fascists and racists.
Not only but also
Let's start with some South Londonism: Transpontine debunking some myths about Millwall and the 1926 General Strike. // Moving on, Sarah has had several good posts in the last few weeks at Harry’s Place, including this update on the Assange saga and this round-up of responses to the PA bid for Palestinian statehood. // Meanwhile, Alan Johnson makes the case against Palestinian statehood at HuffPo. // Worth re-reading (if overblown in places): Phyllis Chesler on a postcolonial attack on “white” feminism. // Also worth re-reading, from a very different angle (and also overblown in places): Red Action on multiculturalism, from 1999. // And, relevant to some of our recent debates, “Off the Nazis! ...but how?: Potential and Limitations of Militant Anti-Fascism” from Bring the Ruckus. // Finally, some new essential reading: Anti-National: Love Techno, Hate Britain? by History is Made at Night.
The video at the top is Armenian South London rap hero Blade, with "Gripper the Pitbull", a song that takes me back to New Cross in 1992/3. For more info, see here. Seemed kind of appropriate to the themes of this post.