18 February, 2013

Rebranding Fascism

Rebranding Fascism

Daniel Trilling in an opinion piece for the Mirror newspaper covers the launch at the weekend of the British Democratic Party (BDP).

Trilling, author of the book 'Bloody Nasty People', writes of the BDP's roots:

"On Saturday, veteran neo-Nazis – all disgruntled ex-members of the BNP – met at a village hall to launch the British Democratic Party.

"At their head was Andrew Brons, a retired teacher who began his political career in the synagogue-burning National Socialist Movement.

"To Britain's shame, he still represents our country as a member of the European Parliament.

"Providing "security" at the launch in Leicestershire were members of the anti-Muslim English Defence League."

Trilling elucidates the conditions under which far right groups and parties have an audience and opportunity, from rhetoric espoused by mainstream politicians to the media. He writes of the latter, "some newspapersfanned the flames of hatred, linking asylum seekers with crime and disease, publishing scare stories about Muslims in the wake of 9/11, and making exaggerated claims about immigrants entering the country."

Where media and political scaremongering led, Trilling notes the emergence of the English Defence League as,

"Pretending to be a grassroots movement of people angry at Islamic "extremism" it was in fact cooked up by rich Islamophobes, in a £500,000 flat belonging to ex-City investment fund boss Alan Ayling, who hides behind the pseudonym Alan Lake."

Touching on the fearmongering in recent days over Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants to the UK, Trilling argues "We simply can't afford to let ourselves be divided by racists.

"Cameron and his Cabinet of millionaires may be smirking when they say "we're all in this together", but for the rest of us – black, white or Asian; Muslim, Jew, Christian or atheist – it really is true."

You can read the opinion piece here.

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