Nasty Nick copies Britain First

Banned by nasty nick

There’s nothing original in the land of far right Nutzies. Nasty Nick Griffin is back following his humiliating departure from the BNP and he’s stolen a few underhand marketing & publicity ideas from Britain First.


Griffin’s new facebook page peddles the same misinformation as Britain First, the same white supremacist nonsense and the same way of dealing with dissent.

Islamic doll


Yesterday he posted this misleading nonsense about Sharia law on the back of something as benign as a child’s doll. So I commented last night.


Today, in the style of Britain First, he has removed my comment and I’m unable to comment further. It seems that Nasty Nick is no more interested in genuine debate or free speech than any other Nazi. Same lies, different facebook.


And they wonder why we won’t take them seriously.

The school, the governors and the UKipper

I like Whitby. It’s a lovely part of the North Yorkshire coast, even though it can be chilly when that ‘North wind doth blow’. It has an Abbey that was sacked by the Danes, just shy of 200 famous steps, a fictional vampire and most recently a UKIP school governor. Or rather it hasn’t.


Councillor Mike Ward was elected as an independent but recently joined the right wing, nationalist party, Ukip. Consequently, if the press reports are to be believed, Eskdale school demanded and received his resignation from the board of governors. And that really can’t be right.

Personally I loathe UKIP. I think it’s a party of xenophobic, exploitative morons whose most successful policy is the one that forbids UKIP candidates and activists explaining their true intentions. But it’s a legitimate political party, it hasn’t been proscribed (nor should it be) and membership is not an offence in UK law.

“Unless you believe in freedom of speech for those with whom you absolutely disagree, you do not believe in freedom of speech at all.”

Ironically enough the UK’s attitude to freedom of conscience is protected, quite rightly, by the piece of legislation that UKippers hate the most. It’s part of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The underlying principle is important. All people should have the right to follow their conscience within the law without fear of sanction. The alternative is totalitarianism – there really isn’t much room for a grey area here. Either free opinion is acceptable or it is not. If it’s not then we have a very large problem.


That’s why, although I understand and sympathise with the sentiment I cannot agree with Eskdale school’s decision. Odious though it is UKIP is a legitimate political party. Nobody should lose their position because of UKIP membership.

To my fellow lefties who may be tempted to disagree I say this….

UK socialist tradition remembers with outrage those brave founders who lost their jobs because of labour party and trade union affiliation. If we disagree with that (and I never met a fellow socialist who didn’t) then we must disagree with this shabby treatment of councillor Mike Ward too. We really can’t have it both ways.

Hopefully Mr. Ward will lose his political seat at the very next electoral opportunity. But whether he keeps his seat or not, he has a right to his political views and all of us, including we lefties should defend that right against all comers.

If you value freedom of conscience then for Pity’s sake – don’t ever vote UKIP. If you live in Whitby – support councillor Ward’s position at Eskdale school but vote the shit out of the nasty little UKipper come the next election.


My PC, lefty, liberal crisis

Usually I’m pretty damn opinionated on this blog. It’s where I rant about the stuff that interests me. In posts about politics and social commentary it’s where I usually feel very sure of my words and statements. So this post is a bit of a departure from the norm. Right now I’m confused.

I have long thought of myself as a pacifist. That’s a big part of my heritage and my roots. Ever since I grew out of the testosterone-fuelled aggression of adolescence I’ve abhored violence in favour of reasoned argument and compassion. I’d much rather help you than hurt you.


But now as I watch the venomous rise of fascism among the working people of UK – among my people – the working men and women of Britain, I begin to wonder. I’ve tried reasoned argument. Some have understood the damage the far right is doing to society and rejected neoNazis like the EDL, the BNP and Britain First. Many however have not.

From UKIP and the BNP to Britain First & the EDL there is a wave of nationalistic hatred sweeping across my homeland. With it comes the most hate-filled and violent prejudices against anyone the right wingers think of as ‘the other’. For some that means Muslims, for some it means Jews. Some despise all immigrants whilst still others hate only those who aren’t racially ‘pure’ (whatever that means in biological terms).


And many of these neoNazis prefer violence to reason. Indeed, some seem to be so poorly educated that they couldn’t follow a good argument if they tried. What do you do with people who understand only violence?

Of course, I remain a pacifist. I’m not about to go out and attack those with whom I disagree (although many of these far right thugs have threatened the same against me over the years). My crisis isn’t about what happens today. It’s about tomorrow or the next day.

What happens if UKIP & the tories get their way & the UK withdraws from Europe? Such a move would destroy at a stroke the human rights protection UK citizens enjoy today. It would be a racists’ paradise.
What if people continue to be duped by the discriminatory lies of Britain First? What if the right wing racists who found a veneer of respectability in UKIP actually gain some power?
What if the only way to oppose discrimination becomes physical action?

What if, one day the call goes out to man a real, physical barricade in support of my non-white neighbours? Please understand that when I say ‘barricade’ that’s exactly what I mean. I’m talking about defence here, not attack. But where the jackboot marches violence has always followed whichever way we look at it.


What if a violent struggle becomes necessary rather than an intellectual one?

What will I do?

What should I do?

Right now I have no idea how to answer those questions and that worries me greatly. I would never have believed myself capable of even considering the use of force as a political tactic. Now I wonder if one day it may become the only effective response to the violent excesses of white supremacist, ‘Christian’ groups like Britain First. Even the fact that I’ve asked myself that question is frightening.


The war to end War 2: Still fighting now

Corporal Hitler

Corporal Hitler

At the end of World War 1 a twice decorated German war hero, Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler, like many Germans despaired. He felt betrayed by his county’s own leaders and struggled to make sense of what had happened. Four long years of bitter conflict had resulted in the destitution of the country he loved and the punishing reparative payments demanded of the German people seemed to be a recipe for perpetual German misery for generations to come. Something had to be done.

The reasons for Hitler’s rise to power are many and complex and I don’t propose to go into them all here. However it is undeniable that the bitterness and austerity that Germany reaped from the Treaty of Versailles was more than a little instrumental. Populations under threat are easy meat for nationalist ideologies and the German people between the wars were as ripe for National Socialism as a modern European state ever could be. Hitler and his National Socialist (Nazi) party provided a source of German national pride, a convenient (and entirely fictional) mythology that supported the idea of Aryan supremacy and a governmental mechanism with the infrastructure to bring back prosperity to a newly positive Reich. The Nazis also provided a wealth of convenient scapegoats to explain the tragedy of Versailles – including the Jews.

By 1939 the world returned to war as Hitler sought to reclaim German dominion over the lands lost in Versailles 20 years earlier. An almost inevitable consequence of the terms that officially ended World War 1. The war to end war had in fact kick started World War 2 (albeit on a slow burn).

Holocaust executionThe Jewish holocaust was a vindictive and ideologically driven persecution of a demographic group, perpetrated by Nazi Germany against the people that Hitler and his fellows held responsible for the German defeat in 1918. It was, they asserted, Jewish conspiracy that undermined German resolve and brought about their destruction in the French trenches. The Jews, aided and abetted by the Communists were to blame and they must be eradicated. The aim was to exterminate all European Jews, an endeavour that the Nazi extermination machine embarked upon with chilling efficiency in the early 1940s.

The horrors of the holocaust inflicted upon Jews, Communists, Non-Aryan’s, Non-heterosexuals, Gypsies and others is well known. It was mass murder and inhuman slavery on a genuinely industrial scale. And it has taken its toll on the population of the world. The vengeance Hitler wrought upon the Jews didn’t only condemn contemporary Jews though – it has affected a quite different population and indeed, continues to do so even today. The ‘war to end wars’ continues to threaten world peace a whole century on.

At the end of World War 2 another knee-jerk reaction took place. The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) was created to consider the question of creating a new home for the Jews within existing Palestine. Just as the treaty of Versailles concerned itself with compensating the French (and others) the UN wanted to compensate the Jews and the creation of a new state seemed appropriate. The propaganda slogan at the time was “A peopleless land for a landless people” a slogan that conveniently ignored the presence of Palestinians who had lived on that land for many generations.

But just as the Versailles treaty had been a knee-jerk reaction to the horrors of WW1, the creation of the state of Israel seems to have been a knee-jerk reaction to the holocaust of WW2. A knee-jerk reaction with far-reaching consequences.

Gaza funeralPalestinians have suffered at the hands of Jewish settlers and the Israeli army ever since. The resentments engendered by the Israeli/Palestinian land grab, itself in breach of the UN’s Charter which includes the national right to self-determination (Article 19), are no less significant in 2014. Indeed, as I prepare this blog post prior to publication on August 4th 2014 I can see news reports of a massacre of Palestinian civilians in a public market in Gaza. The massacre seems to have been perpetrated by Israeli soldiers leaving at least 10 dead and more than 50 seriously injured. This is just the latest in a string of media reports regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and the disempowered Palestinians. The history of this conflict has been ongoing since 1947 and represents an ironic persecution no different in intent than the holocaust the Jews themselves endured in WW2.

It’s unfortunate that the sacrifice of so many young lives in the 1914-18 war led directly to the rise of Nazism and World War 2. The end of WW2 led to a land grab that led directly to the current conflict in the Middle East and the religious and geopolitical tensions engendered by that struggle are themselves spreading throughout the world. Those tensions are contributing to the rise of nationalism and racial and religious intolerance in many modern countries. Society is polarising once again and as it does so the risks increase.

The world is standing by and watching the assaults on Palestinians today just as it stood by whilst Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938. The international community, for all its fine words is dithering when it should take action. Political alliances are viewed as more expedient than humanitarian principle in direct contrast to the fine words and hypocritical posturing of nations such as the UK and the USA. We should condemn Israel but we don’t – perhaps because Israel is historically our ally. And yet the atrocities Israel is committing against the Palestinians is little different in principle than the atrocities committed against the Jews by the Nazis during WW2. The scale is different but the suffering remains the same. Death and persecution are death and persecution whatever the political context may be. Appeasement is appeasement and it always comes at a price – a price often paid by the most vulnerable. Just as the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler in 1938 so the international community appeases Israel in 2014. In 1938 the price was paid by the Czechs. In 2014 it is paid by the Palestinians.

Trench chargeThe time has come for the world to learn the lessons of the past and to honour the promise made to all those who sacrificed their lives in the Great War. When individuals, not nations decide not to fight any more; when politicians of all nations unite in the belief that integrity and opposition to persecution and apartheid are matters of principle rather than of expediency; when ordinary citizens accept that ‘everybody needs to be somewhere’ then maybe we can fulfil that promise. Maybe, a century on from 1914 we really could end wars.

In another blog series I’m exploring the evolutionary and instinctive traits of human nature including territorialism and group violence. However the fact that we evolved a certain set of traits doesn’t mean we must remain slaves to them. That’s just the naturalistic fallacy. We have the opportunity to fight against our lower natures.

European Court upheld French veil ban

Today the European Court of Human Rights has struck a blow for freedom by, er… erm…. well…..
The European court has stood up for the freedom of religious expression through its decision to…. to…. well it….. er….

In a bid to protect devout Muslim women who wear the veil as a religious observance from isolation the ECtHR has made it easier for them to show their faces in public by er…. well… by making it harder for them to leave their homes. This upholds their freedom of conscience because….. er….

Still – it’ll please these nice Britain First guys who never hide their own faces at all.


Can you say “Hypocrisy”?


Care to share magazine issue 7

Just a reminder. Care to share magazine issue 7 is out today as a series of blog posts or downloadable PDF.

Get your free copy here.


Islam, Europe & neoNazi politics


There are just over 2 billion practicing Muslims worldwide. Can you imagine the global impact of 2 billion far right neoNazis like Britain First, BNP or the EDL? And they tell us that Islam is the biggest problem.


There are, of course, good reasons to distrust all religious groups, especially the three Abrahamic religions (Islam, Judaeism & Christianity) but let’s keep it in perspective. Secular societies such as we have in the European Union keep religious bigotry at bay, just as Europe also keeps nationalism & xenophobia at bay.


The very things that Nationalist groups oppose protect us from the theocracies that they claim to fear the most.

But the European convention on human rights (ECHR) doesn’t just prevent religious theocracy – it also prevents governments based upon discrimination and Nazi ideology. No wonder far right groups from UKIP and the BNP to the EDL & ‘Britain First’ want the UK to leave the union.

What could possibly go wrong with the Master Race in charge?



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