The EDL are big news at the minute. This is no surprise though, the cyclical wax and wane of far-right support is as predictable as that one week a month where you’re not supposed to have sex. A few years ago New Labour left behind a gaping hole of ‘political correctness’ which was just waiting to be filled with lager-fuelled angry protests by men with shaved heads and the kind of tattoo you only say looks good because the owner weighs at least twice as much as you.
In the wake of the atrocity at Woolwich last week, everyone’s favourite fascists were only too quick to board the blame game train and take advantage of the fragile situation by blaming Islam for anything and everything.
Although the actions of the EDL have a very serious undercurrent and their actions have undoubtedly caused untold suffering to a wide range of communities, I can’t find myself taking their presence wholly seriously when they have literally no idea what exactly they are campaigning for. Their leader, Tommy Robinson, is a perfect example of the blind leading the blind. Tommy’s disbelief and genuine astonishment at the veteran’s charity Help For Heroes non-acceptance of his limply offered EDL donation was about as mature as the cheese on top of my week-old pint of skimmed, although this level of naivety and lack of intellect can hardly come as a surprise.
As somebody who fancies themselves as a modern day Enoch Powell, Mr Robinson clearly has a very limited grasp on how to effectively run an organisation. For this reason it’s easy not to hate the man — with his primary school leadership qualities at their helm, the EDL are destined for the chasm of obscurity in which the BNP currently has one foot in the door of.
The recent protests in London by the EDL actually went off without any real violence and incident, apart from a few scuffles with the police as a few middle aged men had one Stella too many. I was, though, surprised to hear that the enemy of all things liberal and accepting arranged for their members to meet at prominent London gay bar, Halfway to Heaven. I mean, everyone knows that homosexuality and fascism get on like a blue and green outfit, am I right girlfriend? The demonstrations, however, still managed to feature the oxymoronic ‘we’re a non-racist racist group’ vibe, as shown by this anonymous Geordie’s rather derogatory outburst aimed at a group of people based on their skin colour. Here’s me thinking that the EDL are ‘an inclusive movement dedicated to peacefully protesting against Islamic extremism’, as it so claims on their eyesore website.
It’s hard not to realise that there has been a recent surge in the popularity of this group of self-styled ‘patriots’, but what exactly does this mean to the future of this disillusioned group of activists and their cause? When the pseudo-panic of the recent Woolwich murder settles down and the angriest of the righteous Englishman resumes his daily task of keeping calm and carrying on, I see no real avenue for the EDL to continue their summer of hate. The frank disparity in their take what they stand for is enough to promote a slow decline back to the dingy pub corners of middle England from whence they came. In the meantime, for the rest of us, we could always groove with the funkier of the EDL acronym buddies, the English Disco Lovers.
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