March 31, 2010

English Teabaggers: The EDL vs “COMMUNISM!!!!”

A couple of left-wing websites have noted the English Defence League’s new target: union power and Communism. A couple of days ago the EDL’s site told us that
The EDL know that unions have a part to play to protect workers’ rights, to ensure that employees are treated fairly in the workplace. However it would seem that these unions have become more powerful, more influential and more militant in the political sphere, this is where vested interests infringe upon a democratic political platform, so much so that democracy seems to be ebbing away right before our eyes and its replacement………COMMUNISM!!!!

Great Britain doesn’t do Communism, it never has, yet Communists are afforded more influence and more power as the Labour party look to fund its upcoming election campaign.
Lenin’s Tomb and Barrykade suggest that this is the organisation’s “true colours”, and this is shows that the EDL has an agenda beyond simply opposing “Islamic extremism” – attention is drawn to the fact that the EDL has a millionaire businessman sugar-daddy.

There are, though, a couple of other factors: It’s clear that the EDL would rather people support parties such as UKIP or the English Democrats over mainstream parties, and Labour’s association with the Unite union is a topical knocking-point. Perhaps we are also seeing the importing of rhetoric from the USA, where the crudest 1950s-style anti-Communist posturing has enjoyed a renewed lease of life over the past year or so. I recently noted Pamela Geller’s reference to Obama as the “mad Commie clown”, and this kind of thing is now commonplace among the “teabaggers” – Geller has written posts commending the EDL to American conservatives, and the EDL in turn has directed traffic to her site.

More widely, Communist groups have shown up at Unite Against Fascism anti-EDL events waving around hammer-and-sickle iconography, and the Trotskyist SWP looms large within the UAF. Naturally, just as the UAF denounces the EDL of having semi-hidden far-right links (a subject I have also written on), so the EDL will point to the UAF’s far-left links, as a matter of tit-for-tat. There are also, of course, actual links between far-left groups and Islamists.

Meanwhile, EDL members are also planning a rally on a “Not Compatible with Britain” theme, attacking the BNP along with neo-Nazis and Communists. Anarchists don’t get off lightly, either…

Bartholomew's Notes on Religion


Bobsleigh said...

EDL interpret Hammer and Sickle flags at our demos in exactly the same way as we interpret Nazi salutes at their demos. Thankfully there havn't been too many of them, but ANYONE who displays extreme left symbolism at Anti-Fascist demos is doing the EDL a big favour, so please don't

Anonymous said...

"the English Defence League’s new target: union power and Communism"

Didn't take them long, eh?

Seeing as most of their "working class" support would be fairly lumpen, you can't see them having any progressive views about Britain's rich trade union tradition and they seem reactionary on most things.

Maybe we have got it wrong about the EDL. Maybe they're not fascists but essentially a bunch of right-wing Tories in Stone Island!

Anonymous said...

"EDL interpret Hammer and Sickle flags"

Who gives a fuck what the EDL interpret? You could go the whole way and state that muslims should stay away from anti-EDL demos because the EDL could paint that as a "clash of civilisations".

In the 1930's tens of thousands of Communists fought the fascists and frequently they were the only ones doing it - while Liberals and Conservatives were bending over backwards to accommodate fascism.

barrykade said...

You can pop my original article on this up as well if you like! Baths notes has a link to it.

At least if the EDL are going to try and take on the seven million strong British trades union movement, then they will have less time to pick on the Muslim ethnic minority! Its better than them intimidating Muslim girls on trains, as in this disturbing picture.

So now the EDL define their task as 'protecting our nation from Islamism and Communism'.

By 'communism' they mean the trades union leaders of 'Unite'! This is the alleged 'communist' stranglehold over new labour. (If only!) As if right wing new labour is influenced by 'communism'!

But its good that this is turning into a political battle between left and right, rather than an ethno-religious sectarian battle between the white non-Muslim majority and the Muslim minority.

Its like the EDL set out to persecute Britains Muslim minority, but have now found the trades union movement is standing in the way, blocking the path between them and the Muslims. So they are turning on us as their enemy instead. That will be their error.

So now the EDL set themselves up as the new McCarthyites- sniffing out 'un-British' and 'alien' influences. Well, socialism is an old English tradition. Socialism and communism are as old as England, and form our ancient indigenous traditions.

Take the 1381 English peasants revolt against the poll tax. in this revolt, the peasants had a rhyme, which went: " When Adam delved and Eve span, who then was the gentleman?" This was a medieval English peasant communist slogan. It uses the biblical geneses story to put forward a vision where there are only working people with no parasitical lords or bosses living off their back.

A reading of English social history reveals rich and deep radical socialist and anarchist traditions. What about the Diggers and Levellers of the English Civil War of the 1640's? The Luddites and then the Chartists, radical workers movements in the early 19th century? What about William Godwin, 18th century english dissenter and founder of anarchism? Or his wife Mary Wollstonecraft, the founder of feminism? Or their daughter, Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein and her lover, PB Shelley, great radical and romantic revolutionary anti-capitalist poet? What about thousands of others - like William Morris, the founder both of Britain's 19th century arts and crafts movement and its revolutionary socialist movement?

The list goes on. Socialism is part of British working class history and culture, and has been for centuries. We won't let these EDL hooligans and their apologists, waiving their plastic St George's flags (made in China) and their plastic nostalgia that lacks the basic knowledge of history, we won't let them define for us what is British or English, and what is not.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Barry.

The EDL leadership strong point is not British history. Bigotry more like.

Kaze no Kae said...

The difference between fascist symbology and revolutionary symbology is that fascist symbology stands for, um, fascism. You know, totalitarianism, racism, mass murder?

As for that one Stalinist flag at London that the EDL had a field day about, I would actually argue that Stalinism is a form of fascism and we should take the same stance towards Stalinists as we do more conventional fascists anyway.