Brexit was fueled by irrational xenophobia, not real economic grievances – Vox

This was so brilliantly put, I am going to paste the article in full. The source can be found at the bottom.

Just one day after the results of Brexit, Britain’s vote to leave the EU, were announced, we’ve already begun to see some disturbing reports from Britain. Specifically, troubling stories about xenophobic incidents have been popping up across the country.

Protesters with banner "Stop Immigration; Start repatriation" outside a morrisons store in Newcastle

Racists given political legitimacy.

Racists in Birmingham

Racists in Birmingham

This isn’t surprising. The pro-Leave camp claimed that Britain needed to quit the EU to close its borders to more EU migrants, that the country had reached a “breaking point,” and needed to shut its doors. Pre- and post-election polling suggests that this was the pro-Leave argument that most resonated with British citizens, and was in large part responsible for Leave’s victory.

Now some pundits are suggesting that the real lesson of Brexit is that ordinary Britons are bearing an unacceptable economic cost from immigration, and that elites should heed that lesson and think about restricting immigration to other Western countries to prevent a similar populist backlash.

There’s just one problem: this narrative isn’t actually true. Data shows that Britain wasn’t suffering harmful economic effects from too many new migrants.

What Britain was suffering from too much of, however, was xenophobia — fear and hatred of immigrants. Bigotry on the basis of national origin.

That’s not something you give into, and close the borders. It’s something you fight.

British xenophobia is not rational

Immigration has surged in the UK in recent years: the number of foreign-born people living in the UK has gone from 2.3 million in 1993 (when Britain joined the EU) to 8.2 million in 2014. This is a new thing for the UK, as you can see on the below chart:

 (Office of National Statistics)

The surge was a result (in part but not in whole) of EU rules allowing citizens of of EU countries to move and work freely in any other EU member country.

Pro-Leave campaigners, and sympathetic observers in the media, argued that this produced a reasonable skepticism of immigration’s effect on the economy — and Brexit was the result.

“The force that turned Britain away from the European Union was the greatest mass migration since perhaps the Anglo-Saxon invasion,” Atlantic editor David Frum writes. “Migration stresses schools, hospitals, and above all, housing.”

Yet there’s a problem with that theory: British hostility to immigrants long proceeds the recent spate of mass immigration.

Take a look at this chart, from University of Oxford’s Scott Blinder. Blinder put together historical data on one polling question — the percent of Brits saying there were too many immigrants in their country. It turns people believed this for decades before mass migration even began:

 (Scott Blinder)

Brits believed there were “too many immigrants” even when there were too few to have appreciable effects on the British economy. If Britain’s backlash to immigration were really about immigrants taking their jobs, then you’d expect hostility about immigration to be correlated to the actual level of immigration. But it’s not.

That’s not the only reason to believe Brexit was about xenophobia.

Torsten Bell, director of the UK economic think tank Resolution Foundation, set out to test the hypothesis that “areas hardest hit by the financial crisis, or those where migration is said to have held down wages, voted heavily to leave.”

In other words, he tested the exact argument the pro-Leave camp is making: that people who voted to leave made a rational decision based on the real economic effects they’ve suffered from the rise in immigration. If that were the case, you’d expect places that have gotten poorer in the past decade (when mass migration took off) would have been the places that voted most heavily to leave the EU.

But that’s not what Bell found. In fact, he found no correlation at all between areas where wages have fallen since 2002 and the share of votes for Leave in the referendum:

 (Torsten Bell)

“Some areas with big pay boosts voted to leave (such as Christchurch in Dorset),” Bell writes. “Some that have done very badly out of the last decade and a half still voted to stay in the EU (such as Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire).”

Another point. Support for staying in the EU was concentrated among the UK’s young, whose wages were hurt most by the 2008 recession. Support for leave was concentrated among older Britons, who had less reason to fear wage competition from immigrants.

So there are lots of reasons to be skeptical that British voters’ concerns about immigration are a rational response to the effect immigration is having on the economy. Instead, it seems, British opposition to immigration stems from a long-lasting, deep-seated hostility towards new people coming into their country.

The word for that is xenophobia.

Immigrants didn’t hurt native-born Britons

French Border Police Ban 250-Vehicle Aid Convoy To Calais (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Pro-migrant activists in London.

The key assumption of the “rational concern” thesis is that immigrants are actually hurting the British economy. It only make sense to see hostility to immigration as rational if immigrants are actually harming native-born Brits.

But this isn’t the case. Take Frum’s core claim — that immigration was ruining the British housing market. “The median house price in London already amounts to 12 times the median local salary,” Frum writes. “Rich migrants outbid British buyers for the best properties; poor migrants are willing to crowd more densely into a dwelling than British-born people are accustomed to tolerating.”

The logic of Frum’s argument is directly contradictory. He seems to be arguing that rich migrants are raising British housing costs, while poor migrants are lowering it by living in higher-density housing.

But setting aside this weirdness, the truth is that migrants aren’t transforming British housing in any meaningful sense. Most of British housing demand is domestic; foreign born-residents only make up about 13 percent of Britain’s population. And while migrants may live in different kinds of housing early on, that changes quickly. “The longer they stay,” a 2011 London School of Economics study finds, “the more their housing consumption resembles that of similar indigenous households.”

If anything, migrants have a positive effect on the UK housing market — specifically, because they’re both capable of doing critical construction work and actually willing to do it. “The Chartered Institute of Building points out that any caps on immigration will harm housebuilding rates, as not enough British-born nationals are either trained or interested in construction careers, and migrants have been filling the gap,” the Guardian’s Dawn Foster writes.

The debate over housing mirrors the broader debate over migration’s effect on Britons. Leave campaigners, for instance, frequently argued that migrants were taking British jobs. Nigel Farage, head of the far-right UK Independence Party, once infamously proposed a law that would legalize discrimination against foreign-born workers in favor of hiring out-of-work British citizens.

Yet when a 2016 study, also from the London School of Economics, analyzed this specific claim using new data, it found, conclusively, “that the areas of the UK with large increases in EU immigration did not suffer greater falls in the jobs and pay of UK-born workers.”

What about wages? Is Britain being flooded by low-skill workers from EU countries, willing to work for low pay and thus undercutting native-born Brits?

The new LSE study looked at that as well. “There is also little effect of EU immigration on inequality through reducing the pay and jobs of less skilled UK workers,” the LSE authors write. “Changes in wages and joblessness for less educated UK born workers show little correlation with changes in EU immigration.”

This is consistent with international studies on the effect of migration on wages in other places. “Most of…the literature suggests that the effect on native workers’ wages is neutral or positive,” my colleague Dylan Matthews explains.

“The Mariel boatlift, when Cuba unexpectedly sent 125,000 people to Florida, did not hurt employment or wages among native workers in Miami at all. A huge spike in Russian immigration to Israel in the early 1990s appeared to give existing workers a nearly 9 percent raise.”

Finally, Brexit supporters argue that migrants are taxing UK social services. EU migrants were coming to the UK to take advantage of its generous public benefits, they argued, and over-stretching the system. “EU migrants’ access to the UK’s welfare state has dominated debates about the EU membership,” a paper by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, notes.

That same Oxford paper actually examined some of the claims — and found little evidence that EU migrants were coming over to take advantage of British benefits.

“EU migrants are less likely to claim out-of-work benefits, such as Jobseekers’ Allowance and incapacity benefit, compared to their UK counterparts,” the Oxford scholars write. “In February 2015, people who were EU nationals when they registered for a National Insurance Number made up 2.2% of the total [Department for Work and Pensions] working-age benefits caseload, but were about 6% of the working-age population.”

The bottom line, then, is that there is no good evidence that immigration was doing serious harm to native-born Britons. British attitudes towards immigration once again appear untethered to a rational assessment of the costs and benefits of migration.

Brexit is xenophobia, and we should react as such

Political Leaders Respond To The UK's EU Referendum Result (Mary Turner/Getty Images)
UKIP leader Nigel Farage

Over the past 20 years, the percentage of Britons ranking “immigration/race relations” as among the country’s most important issues has gone from near zero percent to about 45 percent. Today, 77 percent of Brits believe that immigration levels should be reduced.

The best explanation is that Britain’s xenophobia over immigration is being activated. They see immigrants around them, and they start looking for ways to prevent more from coming in. It’s not about assessing the harm immigrants are doing to Britain; it’s about being terrified that they’re changing the “character” of Britain to be more “foreign.”

You can see this fear in the the language of anti-immigrant campaigners like Farage. Much of it is downright bigoted against immigrants of all kinds, from Muslims to Eastern Europeans.

Farage has called some Muslims a “fifth column living within our country, who hate us and want to kill us.” He once warned Britain of a “Romanian crime wave” sweeping the nation. His party officially debuted this poster to warn of the dangers of letting in more migrants, which was actually reported to the police for resembling Nazi propaganda:


This is not the language of a rational immigration skeptic. It’s the language of a fearmonger.

The rhetoric became so heated that some native-born, non-white Britons are now worrying that xenophobia whipped up by Farage and others will end up targeting them.

“After an appalling referendum campaign, dominated by daily front-page scare stories regarding immigration, we’re wondering if people will again be questioning if we should be going back to our ‘own country,’” Joseph Harker, the Guardian’s deputy opinion editor (and a black man), writes. “It seems only a matter of time before the intolerance that has been unleashed, reinforced and normalised, looks for the old, easy targets of people who look different. People like me.”

Its perhaps understandable why xenophobic rhetoric appealed to some Brexit supporters. Resolution’s Bell found that even though pro-Brexit voters weren’t from places that had recently gotten poorer since the mass immigration wave, they were from places that had historically been poor — going back to the 1980s. These people have good reasons to be angry about the status quo. They’re looking for someone to blame, and immigrants are an easy scapegoat.

But the fact that their bigotry is comprehensible doesn’t make it any less bigoted. Nor does it excuse the politicians who catered to it — nay, encouraged it — over the course of the debate over Brexit.

Understanding this as bigotry matters. If the issue were that immigration hurt native-born populations, then it might make sense to talk about restricting immigration as a way of preventing this kind of destructive sentiment from rising to the fore again.

“Is it possible that leaders and elites had it all wrong?” Frum asks, rhetorically. “If they’re to save the open global economy, maybe they need to protect their populations better against globalization’s most unwelcome consequences — of which mass migration is the very least welcome of them all?”

But if the Brexit vote was rooted in xenophobia, rather than rational opposition to immigration, then the conclusion should be very different.

Civil rights prompted a racist backlash from Southerners, yet nobody seriously believes the 1964 Civil Rights Act or the 1965 Voting Rights Act were mistakes. You don’t give in to bigoted pressure to restrict people’s rights — in this case, the right for people to live where they want. You fight it.

That, not Frum’s kowtowing, should be the real response to the Brexit vote. British voters made an unjustifiable and irrational decision, grounded in fear of people who spoke different languages or whose skin was darker than theirs. The response shouldn’t be to restrict immigration further. It should be to figure out how better to make the case for the fundamental human right to migrate.

Source: Brexit was fueled by irrational xenophobia, not real economic grievances – Vox

Updated by on June 25, 2016, 4:07 p.m. ET

Warsi’s on the War-Path…

Recently, Baroness Warsi presented a speech to an audience at Leicester University.  A speech, which according to sources was not cleared by Downing Street and does not appear on the Conservative Party Website.

No idea is immune to critical analysis or query, least of all her argument that Islamophobia has become ‘socially acceptable’ dinner-table topic of conversation. Islamophobia is a disingenuous and deliberately misleading term which implies that a fear of this backward, narrow and totalitarian belief system is somehow unjustified by those of us who have bothered to give it any real examination.  Baroness Warsi made no mention of the Muslim demonstrations and marches in our streets, with banners denouncing our way of life, our troops and calling for the death of all non-believers (in other words anybody who is not a Muslim or those who dare to call it out for what it is).  What she attempted was nothing short of anti-criticism propaganda aimed at cowing the proportion of the population who are no longer willing to accept anything at face-value.  She did nothing but try to de-value critical thought.

It’s not just that she was selfish and thoughtless in the tone and content of her speech, but her whole attitude toward non-believers is little more than what she describes as Islamophobia under a different mask.  She is even on record of elevating those of the religious persuasion as morally and altruistically superior back in September during the Pope’s visit.  Her claim that there is no such thing as Islamic extremism goes to show how the baroness has blinkered herself to reality and only sees what she wishes to see.  More dangerously, she denied any distinction between the moderate and the extreme.  Moderate Muslims are quite happy to get on with their lives and get along with non-Muslims.  Aside from a worrying lack public of outrage over the attitudes and actions of their counter parts, there is no need to fear them.  Extreme Muslims who demand ‘respect’ (special treatment), have no wish to affiliate with non-Muslims, and attend those venom filled marches demanding for the end of freedom of speech, not to mention the other freedoms which allowed them to march in the first place are the ones we have every right to be afraid of.  Warsi is sorely mistaken if she thinks otherwise.

“Within Government – among ministers, Coalition partners, officials and agencies – there is an endless battle on this matter. It is a fight between those who think that the way to win is to empower nasty people to control even nastier ones, and those who believe that the best way to deal with extremism is to confront it and reward only those who reject it. It is an argument between those who think that only violence need concern us, and those who believe that it is from bad ideas that bad actions spring.” – Charles Moore of The Telegraph.

If Ms Warsi thinks people have not noticed her own past criticisms of her fellow Muslims then she cannot think much of her electorate’s intelligence, potential or otherwise.  Ms Warsi is of the latter group; reluctant to deal with the issue in favour of patching the symptoms when people are hurt due to the negligence and hesitation of those who could have prevented it.  A free country, truly free, needs to live by common values (not legislated morality) and those who refuse to honour those values should be shunned. Extremism in any form is a force-majore, a phenomenon which once it takes hold is contagious and pernicious and does not let go.  It does not listen to reason and any means is justified by the end.   To deny it’s existence as Warsi has done is foolish and dangerous.  She has encouraged the extremist fringe to nurture their supposed grievances (that people are allowed to not be Muslim and not share their lifestyle).

“This refusal to confront bad ideas means, for example, that the public authorities have shied away from having a look at what is preached at university Islamic societies. The security services do not investigate and combat subversion, as they did in the Cold War. Yet we know, from cases like that of the “Underpants Bomber”, that students are often recruited for extremism by contacts at their universities. It is a pity Lady Warsi said none of this to her university audience.” Charles Moore of The Telegraph.

With new free schools and academies increasing in number, it will not just be christian and jewish faith schools on the rise and outnumbering (possibly marginalising) the more secular state schools.  These schools will be state funded despite their freedom to select their students based on the religion of their parents but very little will be known about the background of those setting them up.  Great care must be taken to ensure that  the power to warp young minds is not handed to fanatics along and then the bill sent to the tax-payer.  Muslims are not a singular mass who all think the same way and attacks against them or harassment of them based on their religion is just as unforgivable as the actions of suicide bombers or perpetrators of honour killings: the one does not justify the other.

Let me now be distinct in saying that I do not hate Muslims.  They are people, they have as much right to their own beliefs as I have of mine.  It is Islam I have the issue with: the idea is not the believer.  If this were twenty years ago maybe it is true I would not have been as out-spoken against the terrible ideology of this religion but that is probably due to the fact that it was not as frequently in the public consciousness but I am no less vocal in my criticism of other religions, so Muslims have no need to feel ‘picked’ on by me.  Extremist right-wing groups such as the English Defence League and the British National (Nazi) Party do no favours to those of us who welcome real debate.  Pitting ignorance against ignorance is only ever going to result in more ignorance and it is unfortunate that national papers have thrown their journalistic integrity away in order to use that ignorance to sell their bottom-shelf hack-rags.

Warsi is as much a hypocrite as ever I saw.  Where she acknowledges the importance of distinctions, she wishes us to ignore it.  She wishes people to stop worrying and let others do the thinking for them.  Attempting to persuade the British public to abandon the idea of ‘moderate’ Muslims and replace it with ‘British Muslims’ is all very well but she seems to be ignoring the fact that many British Muslims are not in the least bit moderate having been swayed by international fanatics.  If she wishes to strip them of the title Muslim then she is wilfully ignoring the particularly authoritarian brand of Islam that is being promoted in this country.

“The mere fact that someone is a Muslim tells you nothing about their moral character, sexuality, political attitudes or even wealth. Baroness Warsi is no more typical of her religion than David Cameron is of his. With such a broad general term, being prejudiced in favour is as silly as being prejudiced against.” Andrew Brown – The Guardian

When I see a woman in a burka, I see victim of Stockholm syndrome.  I see a woman who has deliberately isolated herself from society and then displays that isolation because she has convinced herself it is her choice to be separate.    It turns them into a faceless black shape with no singular identity.  It removes their individuality so completely that it is almost as if they have ceased thinking of themselves as people.  This is why I am for the banning of the oppressive garment, not as an ‘insult to Islam’ but out of respect for (and view to protect) the physical and psychological well-being of the women made to wear them.



It’s the same bloody book!

Saudi Arabia’s ‘morality queen’.

“Meet Zainab al-Khatam, the winner of Saudi Arabia’s second annual pageant celebrating “spiritual and filial beauty”. Each contestant reportedly underwent training in “psychology, culture and law in Islam; family relations, public rights, social skills, health knowledge, volunteering … as well as cosmetics””  Nesrine Malik –,


Map of Saudi Arabia

Map of Saudi Arabia


The Saudi ‘inner beauty’ contest, really is nothing but a veiled celebration of female submission.  It was set up last year and does more than merely imply criticism of western pageants but encourages the warped view of feminine subservience as a virtue.  This is but one of many nations which conditions women to think of their circumstances in terms of positive attributes and in an “I can bear more oppression and subjugation than the others” and they do this not behind a mask of religious dogma but because of that dogma.  In a ‘world’ where any form of female vanity is not only disapproved of but punished severely, the mind boggles as to what the organisers of those ‘women’s groups’ were thinking when this plan was conceived.  It does nothing but cow-tow to the patriarchal Islamic authority.  These women have been forcibly conditioned to accept their circumstances by forbidding them access to any alternatives.

“This year’s winner is a blind 24-year-old woman who had managed to exhibit superlative “respect for her family, parents and society” – by staying at home after she had finished her studies, in order to take care of her family. She suffered in dignity and accepted her lot, her martyrdom becoming all the more poignant because of her disability. She is a stark contrast to another Saudi woman, Samar Badawi, who was sent to jail for disobeying her father.”


Muslim women

'Spirit of compliance' – female submission is nothing to celebrate. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images


“Al-sutra” is an approbative term meaning to cover or conceal in order to preserve dignity and is one of the most highly prized and pernicious values in Sudanese society. It applies to both men and women and involves summoning up one’s reserves of strength and endurance.  It requires that both men and women put up with all hardships in silence.   If somebody in your family wrongs you, then you bear it.  You do not chase family members who owe you money.  More importantly, the misery of an unhappy marriage is to be kept between that couple.  The ability to be seen as a doormat to the world is deemed a sign of good breeding in women and thus the burden of sutra is all the heavier for them.

“This is by no means exclusive to Sudanese or Arab societies. It is a hallmark of conservatism and slavery to traditional values. Lady Chatterley and Out of Africa’s Isak Dinesen were both ostracised for not maintaining a stiff upper lip, and there is a universal human regard for martyrdom and comely suffering victims.


Khadra al-Mubarak, left, showing potential contestants brochures of the _Miss Beautiful Morals_ contest at her office in Safwa in the eastern province, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, May 5, 2009.

Khadra al-Mubarak, left, showing potential contestants brochures of the _Miss Beautiful Morals_ contest at her office in Safwa in the eastern province, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, May 5, 2009.


It has been told that women hold informal contests of their own in which the prize may be marriage to an eligible bachelor who has heard through the female grapevine that the winning candidate dropped out of school to take care of her ailing mother, or willingly ‘gave away‘ her inheritance to build her family a new home. These are not feats of selflessness, but dis-empowering.   These women have been conditioned to be compliant, ensuring that no matter how far afield the body travels, the mind is subjugated.  According to Islamic law, daughters are entitled to only half of the inheritance of their brothers  (Qur’an 4:11).  If there are only daughters, more than two should share 2/3 between them but if there is one then she is only entitled to half of what is left after bequests and debts are paid.

“Unlike others conned into suffering in silence in order to score social brownie points, she realised that in deliberately embracing her position, she transcended it.”

What they’re looking for in the quest for “Miss Beautiful Morals” is the contestant who shows the most devotion and respect for her parents.  The women, who despite great hardship can revel in her suffering with what can almost be described as euphoria due to what that suffering represents.  Their suffering and subjugation may be noticed but not lamented.  But doesn’t this pride in their ability to lay down and be their family’s doormat, without complaint, verge on vanity?  (Qur’an 4:36)


Veiled women shop at al-Zall souk in downtown Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Veiled women in downtown Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Islam is possibly the most inhuman(e) of the three Abrahamic religions. It is geared to favour men in every aspect. The Qur’an is, in a large part (Chapter 4 is a fair example.), designated to the repression and subjugation of their women.  This includes instructions to beat rebellious and disobedient wives (Qur’an 4:35), a promise of reward for those who die as martyrs (4:74-76), how to deal with unbelievers who; “would dearly like you to reject faith, as they have done, to be like them. So do not take them as allies until they migrate [to Medina] for god’s cause.  If they turn [on you] then seize and kill them wherever you encounter them.  Take none of them as an ally or supporter…We give you clear authority against such people.“, and condemning those who do not ‘commit themselves and their possessions to striving in God’s way‘ as deficient and beneath those who do (Qur’an 4:89-91, 115).   This contest does nothing more than legitimise the religious oppression of women.  Rather than celebrate this contest we should mourn it as it shows exactly how deeply their inculcation has gone.

“Zainab’s morals may be beautiful, but society’s reasons for celebrating them are very ugly indeed.”


Defence needed against the English Defence League!

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me – and by then there was no one left to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Yes, I know I have posted this poem before and yes, I do realise that repeating it is not a realistic way of upping my waning viewing stats but I felt it was worth remembering considering the conversation I have just had with a very friendly Indian chap I met through Hemley Gonzalez of ‘Stop the Missionaries of Charity’.  He was very nice to request that he use the video I did a while ago for an official site (big floaty feather in my cap).  After puffing up my ego no end, we got into a more personal discussion of introduction as previous conversation related purely to the video.  This conversation included a question about my political affiliation.  ‘Fair enough‘ I thought. I will paste the relevant part of the conversation but I will omit the name and then I will explain my concerns and thus the reason for the above poem.


The Conversation?

  • so u too are atheist
  • Me : fiercely so
  • hmmm
  • Me : that’s my channel. feel free to have a gander
  • lol. i’m a pantheist and animist. but i do have respect towards atheists
  • Me :each to their own, babe
  • atleast atheists are honest
  • Me : for the most part but there are arseholes everywhere
  • I consider the whole world to be one family of humanity but many ideologies have come into this world to divide the society; at least atheists don’t do that
  • Me : Nationality is bollocks.  Just an excuse to divide people.
  • but i am a rabid Islam hater. i cant stand it (so one big family excluding Muslims?)
  • Me : ditto that (I was referring to the ‘one family bit).
  • i hate it from my gut (Really,  you think with your gut?)
  • Me : thing is it’s based almost word for word on the old testament.
  • but then how come you support Labor Party?  they are always sucking up to them.  You mean it’s based on Tanakh ? (This worried me.  He didn’t even know this much about what it was he claimed to hate.)
  • Me : because it’s a case of picking battles. (I try to ignore it.)
  • well then how come jews don’t act like them?
  • Me : can’t fight them all let alone win them all.
  • also jews dont proselytize, muslims do.  true (another generalisation?  I will finish my answer to why I support labour and I’m a party member.)
  • Me : the labour party has policies I agree with such as Ed Milliband’s living wage campaign. (I wasn’t prepared to qualify the ‘sucking up bit with an argument at this point.)
  • ok (Finally, he’s listening!)
  • Me : The NHS was on its knees and about to have the rest of the life sucked out of it but Labour brought it back and they brought in the national minimum wage.
  • good
  • Me : They poured money back into schools. Okay, they lost their way but they did a lot of good for this country and I think they can do alot more.  I actually joined the party in May so I got to vote in the leadership campaign.
  • TOny Blair was good
  • Me : I’m not surprised he went grey though.  I wouldn’t want that job
  • it is tough for anyone to become good PM in UK. one will never be able to satisfy all (Going to tell me that bears defecate in wooded areas next?)
  • Me : but at least it’s not like the states where personal religious beliefs are brought into every tiny thing
  • lol
  • Me : it’s largely irrelevant here at least in politics.
  • Sometimes i feel uk society is more open than US  but the media shows different picture;  that US is more open than UK.
  • Me : it might get a passing mention in the hack-rags. The media run by Murdoch who owns faux news along with however many other news corps?
  • not just fox news.  I’m saying in general (Didn’t think it was worth repeating the question as he clearly missed my point)
  • Me : if you read the Guardian and the Telegraph online you’ll get a better idea.
  • ok
  • Me : the BBC is fairly reliable too
  • yes.  what do you think about Geert Wilders? (Not much.)
  • Me : If you are desperate go for the Independent but the rest are a bunch of nasty fascist hack-rags.  The daily mail has links with Nazism.
  • lol. I didn’t know that.  As long as it doesn’t have a communist or Xian or pro-islamic stink, I’m fine with it. (don’t think this guy would know left-wing if it jumped up and head butted him)
  • Me : Yup supported Hitler & Oswald Mosley’s Brownshirts
  • but then there is no such neutral media (Just mentioned three didn’t I?)
  • Me : I used to be a member of the Socialist worker party but I grew up.
  • I see.  I am following the English Defence League very keenly (Alarm bells, sirens the lot go off! so like the true Englishwoman I am, I snap i.e. I sigh and shake my head.)
  • Me : Their paper has the whole ‘property is theft’ angle to it. I decided that was bollocks too.  (I was referring to the Socialist Worker newspaper)
  • hehe
  • Me :  (An example of their true attitude)
  • patriots will always face hardships/ (Does he really know the meaning of the word?)
  • Me : The EDL ARE fascists, worse than the BNP  and they are in Dagenham and Rainham which is no more than 40 mins from us!
  • that is the politician in you talking now (UP YOURS, PAL! YOU BROUGHT THE SUBJECT UP!)
  • Me : follow them but be aware that there is nothing patriotic about them.
  • see fascist approach is the only way to deal with muzzies (I can’t believe he used that derogative! It’s as bad as the ‘N’ word!!!.  But I was not going to get into a row.  There was no way he’d listen to me in through a slagging match.)
  • Me : all they see is the colour of your skin
  • hmm
  • Me : they don’t care about religion.
  • i have many friends from EDL in my list, and they don’t mind Indians.  At least that’s what they say.
  • Me : That’s big of them (sarcasm):  ‘not minding’.  How about forgetting the nationality label and just seeing you as a person?
  • true
  • although I noticed that EDL attracts jobless british youths
  • Me : Yes; and the rest.  I’m all for helping the hard up but some people are beyond help and the garbage they come out with is based on ignorance and hate.  What would happen if you did get your way and muslims, many of whom were born here, were shipped out or destroyed?  What would stop them from then coming after you or my husband?  He’s a UK National but he was born in Zimbabwe.
  • ohh.  Yea that wud be a mess. (Give that man a coconut!)
  • Me : These people are NOT messing about and they mean to do a great deal of harm
  • Now it seems there are a lot of constraints involved and it’s not as easy as EDL makes it look.  Some of my Irish friends said the same to me, but i didn’t take their word, as I thought it was the Irish in them which was speaking against the British but now it means they were right. (I thought we were making progress here)
  • Me : There are never any easy answers.  Look at what the French and Italians are doing to the Roma people too.  It’s the same thing and it is wrong; very, very wrong
  • Yes.  Romas are suffering; Even gypsies
  • Me : It’s the same people; the word gypsy only means itinerant.  Some of those people are settled in houses but are being expelled on the basis of their heritage.  It’s racism straight and simple.
  • yes outrageous!
  • Me : The EDL and the BNP mean to do the same to everyone they don’t see as English that means having white skin and being born here.
  • yea I know abt BNP, they are run by neo-nazis
  • Me : I hate the term ‘neo’ too.  It’s a softener; they are just Nazis.
  • lo
  • Me : Neo only means new.  The EDL are much more extreme than the BNP.
  • i will dig more into this.
  • Me : Really do!
  • thanks for the info
  • Me : Including news on their actions.  Any group that condones violence against another is not worth following.  I will NEVER condone the use of force on any issue.
  • yes but i assumed use of force is a means of defence reaction to islamic onslaught on Europe. (And now take it away! )
I didn’t get a chance to point out that what the EDL have in mind is not defence; it is an outright attack on legitimate British citizens.  The ‘Onslaught’ is entirely imagined.  When one is physically attacked, then you have every right to defend yourself with all force if it means that they will never attack you again.  However, declaring a perceived threat an ‘attack’ and then striking the first blow is unconscionable and should never be tolerated, That makes you the aggressor.  Yes, there is something positive to be said about intolerance.


Community and individuality are not opposites. People cannot survive on their own. When the odds are stacked against you, you must rally with the oppressed and hated.

When a growing oppressive regime is taking hold, you must act, otherwise you will soon face your enemy alone and hopeless.

Strength of community is a strength as much as individualism, as long you are willing to face weaknesses in your own community. Ignoring slacking values will mean that you will be rallied against by those you oppress.

Niemöller affirms we must rally against unhealthy organized regimes. We must also stay vigilant with those that appear to be good-natured, as all organisation attracts corruption. Niemöller also warns us that if it is you who are corrupt, then you will face a stronger combined force of foe!

Vexen Crabtree


But what is the English Defence League?

On the night of 10 May 1933, a crowd of some 40,000 people gathered in the Opernplatz – now the Bebelplatz – in the Mitte district of Berlin. Amid much joyous singing, band-playing and chanting of oaths and incantations, they watched soldiers and police from the SS, brown-shirted members of the paramilitary SA, and impassioned youths from the German Student Association and Hitler Youth Movement burn, at the behest of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, upwards of 25,000 books decreed to be “un-German”.  The English defence league, deliberately or not, is emulating the attitudes and actions of the Nazi Party.

“They actually dislike and campaign against everything we hold dear to our hearts, we as a nation have taken such things for granted for far too long, and now because of this incessant provocation a giant awakens from its slumber. The British Lion roars again in a clear act of defiance because we will not submit, we will never surrender or compromise to their ideology! Islamists will never be made to feel welcome or wanted in our cities and towns up and down the country.”

It was founded on the 27th June 2009.  It is nothing short of a racist rabble of thugs and bigots.  Their thinly disguised nationalism is aimed to entice and convince the working classes of the UK that they have something to gain by ousting an entire settled demographic; exactly how Nazism began to persecute the Jews.  Their view of a better England is simplistic and naive to say the least but they are prepared to go to any lengths to achieve their ends.  This includes destructive ‘protest marches’ and thuggish behaviour designed to evoke a violent reaction (as if it would ever justify their own disgusting behaviour), hurling abusive language at strangers and those who oppose them, and threats of violence.  What would they stop at?

“Whilst British citizens are being arrested and charged for burning the Quran these Muslims are allowed to walk free, no action is taken against them, does this not show duplicity in the application of law we ask?”

What they seek is Muslims to arrested and charged with being Muslims.  As far as I knew myself, we do not live in a fascist-police-dictatorship and long may it stay that way.  The application of the law they seek never existed.  Along with this Nationalist clap-trap, the group has developed strong links with the American Tea Party movement. Complete with hateful finger-pointing, unfounded statements of ‘they’re getting your share‘, the ‘they’re taking over‘ and ‘they’re all evil‘, come the generalisations and groundless claims.  Most offensive is the one claiming they speak for all Britons.  They are not.  It is very important that all rational Britons speak out against them; make it clear that they are not in the majority and that their bullying an intimidation will not work on us.

“We, the English Defence League, are a grass-roots social movement who represent every walk of life, every race, every creed and every colour; from the working class to middle England. Our unity and diversity is our strength.”

What they fail to mention is that they are extremists themselves.  They believe that the means will justify the end.  The actions of their members do not echo their claims of knowing the difference between peaceful and integrated Muslims and those they claim to target.

“We have had enough, why should anyone tolerate intolerance? Again we must re-iterate that we do not have any problem with law-abiding, respectful, peaceful Muslims who integrate and contribute positively to society. Muslims who love and respect our country are welcome. The EDL was never set up to discriminate against all Muslims. “

Why, indeed?  Just many of them?  The ones they see as not integrated?  It seems that the definition of ‘integrated’ has been twisted into an unrecognised knot of ignorance and suspicion.  This is couched racism and, as they parade their token Sikh spokesman before us in a gesture of false magnanimous ‘tolerance’, they betray all of their prejudice.  They clearly have no idea bout the history of India if they do not realise why India was partitioned in the first place.  It was a last act of destruction by the British, to ‘placate’ the Indian people, and arbitrarily separate the different religions, before we were thrown out more than 60 years ago.  The religious turmoil and sectarian violence in India has caused unending problems for her people but it takes more than one side to have a battle.  Islam is by no means the only religion that has caused harm and destruction.  It has merely elbowed its way to the forefront and what with the US and the UK being at war with Islamic countries, the religion is ever more in the public eye

“We exist simply to pursue and extinguish an Islamist scourge, a scourge that has been left to fester and multiply like a malignant social cancer, with little intervention from our government who are at best apathetic, and are, at worst, willingly blind to the threat of militant Islam. When Anjem Choudary and his jihadist cohorts shouted abuse at our soldiers returning home from Iraq the united people of Luton took a stand against them. It was from that point onwards that the British people united for one cause: to highlight the danger of appeasing those who wish us harm, those who happily take from our welfare system, yet hate our country, our people and way of life. You may follow these events from this link here……

It is garbage like this that causes social division and discord.  The selection of sources below is but a fraction of the information available in the news archives to show that the EDL is just another fascist harbinger of hate and destruction.  They may think that the government was being inactive but since when do the Police publish details of every case they investigate?  Since when are the papers obliged to publish only the stories which flatter the lowest common denominators, fuel fear, confirm ignorance or condone violent acts?  However much we have a problem with a lack of education within the Mosques of the UK, we have no right to curtail their right to practice their religion, persecute them or incite violence against Muslims.  This includes abusive language and mob behaviour that causes valuable police resources to be used on crowd control and riot prevention due to THEIR antisocial behaviour.  So, no.  I have no sympathy for the fears of the EDL or its supporters because they are based on ignorance, intolerance and selfishness.

“For those taking to the streets of Leicester, the EDL is providing a new white nationalist identity through which they can understand an increasingly complex and alienating world. In a similar way to how football hooligans once coalesced around support for Ulster loyalism and hatred of the IRA, the followers of the EDL genuinely believe they are “defending” their Britain against the threat of Islam.”

The right has become organised; those of us who believe in a decent progressive society must make a vocal response against them.  This is not a call to arms, it is a call to speak out against the far-right who would stamp and trample over the rights of any group they see as inferior.  The National Front was a movement that should serve as a loud and clear warning as to what CAN happen when people abstain from their public duty to speak up for those in danger.  It might be a different group and a different name but its the same fear and the same hate that drives them.  As much as we atheists must step out, be counted and refuse to be cowed by religious institutions who seek to control our lives, we must speak out about these people.  If Islam4UK has been banned for inciting terror and hate, then so must the EDL.

“The group has regional organisers and units emerging in most towns and cities. They bring together a dangerous cocktail of football hooligans, far-right activists and pub racists. Yet there is no national strategy to deal with this group and little understanding of what the EDL is about, its appeal and how it is just one component, albeit a violent one, of a growing cultural, religious and political battle that is emerging across western Europe and is supported by right-wing religious groups in the US.”

The league has also developed links with Pamela Geller, who was influential in the protests against plans to build an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero. Geller, darling of the Tea Party’s growing anti-Islamic wing, is advocating an alliance with the EDL. The executive director of the Stop Islamisation of America organisation, she recently met EDL leaders in New York and has defended the group’s actions, despite a recent violent march in Bradford.  Home secretary Theresa May banned marches in the city last week but the EDL said its protest would proceed, raising fears of violence. Parts of Leicester were cordoned off to separate a counter-protest from Unite Against Fascism. Officers from 13 forces were on hand to maintain order.

“Shifren, a Californian senate candidate, said Britain’s Jewish community should rally behind the EDL: “The Jewish community is paralysed with fear, exactly what most radical Muslim agitators want. The people of England are in the forefront of this war – and it is a war. One of the purposes of this visit is to put the kibosh on the notion in the Jewish community that they cannot co-operate with the EDL, which is rubbish.””

If this is true (it probably isn’t considering who said it), then the reason the Jewish community are refusing to involve themselves with the EDL is because they see them for what they are; a rabble of ignorant thugs.  The BBC has learned that four specialist national police units are investigating the EDL, including detectives with a background in watching hooliganism – but also extreme violence and terrorism. Those units are building up a picture of what the organisation is doing with the help of the British Transport Police and constabularies who have policed the demonstrations to date.  I would recommend that if you live in the UK, you download that list of events so you can avoid those places.  There are more effective ways of raising awareness than to face-off on the streets.

“Last week, 40 EDL followers protested for three days outside a KFC restaurant in Blackburn which was trialling halal meat. A fortnight before, 30 EDL followers in Gateshead held an impromptu demonstration outside a police station after six of their friends were arrested for burning the Qur’an; a similar number attacked a leftwing meeting in Newcastle. On the anniversary of 9/11, there were EDL actions in London, Nuneaton, Leeds and Oldham.”

There really is no need to go looking for a fist fight but they have proven that the belive themselves above the laws they say they hold so dear.  As far as defeating them goes, we should adopt the tactic of merely spreading accurate information about them.  We need to show people what they really are and destroy their support base by slamming doors in their faces rather by throwing bricks and trading insults.  We ARE better than them and they DON’T represent us.

“The threat of the EDL and the wider cultural war must be taken seriously. That is why we will soon be establishing a broad-based group to formulate a response.”