Thursday, November 24, 2011

British Freedom Breaks into the MSM

British Freedom: Paul Weston

From tomorrow’s edition of The Independent:

Angry face of far-right protest prepares to storm local elections

English Defence League to enter electoral politics after signing pact with British Freedom Party

by Kevin Rawlinson

The English Defence League plans to field candidates for the first time in local elections after an alliance is finalised between the far-right group and the British Freedom Party, which was set up by disgruntled members of the British National Party.

Senior figures said that the EDL, which has become known for its protests in English towns with Muslim populations, needed to “detoxify” its name by moving into politics with an existing party. Their new partners hope to capitalise on the EDL’s ability to mobilise a large number of supporters.

Both groups will retain a measure of independence but will support each other. EDL members will be invited to join the newly affiliated political wing and stand as candidates under its name. “There is a gentleman’s agreement in place, we are looking at the EDL becoming political early next year,” said Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the leader of the far-right group. Mr Yaxley-Lennon, who also goes by the name Tommy Robinson, confirmed he had met the British Freedom Party leader Paul Weston and that discussions were at an advanced stage.

Mr Weston confirmed the plans and revealed he would offer Mr Yaxley-Lennon a place on the party’s executive committee. He added: “We are going to say we support the principles of the EDL. We will get a lot of people who can stand in local constituencies and they will get a genuine political party in return.”

The move is likely to meet with some resistance from those EDL members who want to see the group remain a “street movement”. Mr Yaxley-Lennon acknowledged the issue, saying he will consult the leaders of the group’s local divisions.


Babs Davis, an EDL member, backed the move if the leadership thought it was in the best interests of the group. “A lot of people have said that we should go political but the movement never really wanted to do it,” she said.

“If that is what Tommy Robinson thinks is the right thing to do, then I agree with him. I think he has done a brilliant job. The whole point of being in the EDL is to follow what the leadership says.”

Dr Goodwin, who is a professor at the University of Nottingham, said: “Since the widespread defeat for the BNP in last year’s general election, the far right-wing landscape of British politics has seen the emergence of several small political parties and movements, all attempting to fill the gaps left by Nick Griffin’s party and exploit wider public concerns about immigration.”


Allies on the right: The leaders

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson

Tommy Robinson and the Metropolitan Police

The former BNP member is the founder and leader of the EDL. He has recently forged a strong relationship with British Freedom Party leader Paul Weston.

He is known for wearing a St George’s Cross mask when making public appearances and was one of two EDL members who protested on the roof of FIFA’s Zurich offices about the attempt by world football’s governing body to ban England players from wearing poppies during a recent match. Earlier this month he received a 12-week sentence for assault, suspended for a year, at Preston magistrates’ court.

Paul Weston

A former electoral candidate for UKIP, Mr Weston is described by Mr Yaxley-Lennon as a “charismatic public-schoolboy type”.

He took over the chairmanship of the British Freedom Party two weeks ago. Like many of the party’s founders, he is said to be an experienced political campaigner. He is thought to want to keep his party free from the “historical baggage associated with parties such as the BNP”.

Previous posts about British Freedom:

2011 Nov 9 It’s Time for British Freedom
    16 Standing for British Freedom
    19 The English Defence League and British Freedom


1389 said...

Notice that the MSM always calls us "far right" ...


Compared to the MSM, I suppose everything else is "far right".

Anonymous said...

Pretty much. But now that they have begun to mention you, it becomes harder for them to refuse to show you. It is a beginning.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Jye Dante said...

The left wing msm are traitors, but there's only so long that they can hold back the tide of truth.
And the truth shall set you you free!

Anonymous said...

Can't help noticing the loaded language here: anger, far right, storm & pact.

No need for any of those words - they're deliberate attempts make the reader think of other things. Things which the author would like to link current events to.

Obvious. And pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Oh and note the claim by some EDL member which is quoted here. Apparently the whole point of being in the EDL is to do what the leadership says.

Again, very obvious. And still pathetic.

Whatever happened to journalists telling the truth and dealing in facts?

Sagunto said...

"Both groups will retain a measure of independence but will support each other. EDL members will be invited to join the newly affiliated political wing and stand as candidates under its name."

Bad idea. Both groups should remain independent. The EDL should stay true to their grassroots and support BF from the bottom up. They are natural allies, no need for the EDL to go political.

"A lot of people have said that we should go political but the movement never really wanted to do it [..]"

Exactly, don't do it.

I second the sentiment of those who cherish their grassroots origin. I am slightly worried about the kind of people who say things like:

"The whole point of being in the EDL is to follow what the leadership says."

The leadership who seek recognition, as in, "obtain funding [..] be taken seriously by the political class."

Say them grassroots goodbye.


bilbo said...

i hope this does not result in the dilution of the EDL's aims.
i can't help thinking that such a developement is not only inevitable, but detrimental to the EDL's future.
I do not feel comfortable being in close proximity to people whos poltical outlook is close to the kind of fascism that the EDL stands against.

john in cheshire said...

1389 - That is the point I had intended making; you beat me to it. However, as usual, the newpaper fails to define what it means by 'far-right'. As such, it is meaningless. But because of conditioning over the years, the majority of the population interpret it to mean something that is bad and to be avoided. I think each time the terms 'right-wing' and 'far-right' are used, they should be challenged. I intended posting such a comment on the Independent website but the comments button didn't work.

Sagunto said...

From a BF perspective also, I'd consider it a recipe for premature self-marginalization, should they assist the current EDL leadership in the politicization of a grassroots movement.
And that's even before the party has given itself time to develop in the free market direction it is said to represent.

One can expect the depraved MSM to distort things, as other commentators have duly noted, but one can't blame the media for the peculiar and deliberate shift towards soliciting political "recognition" by the EDL leadership.


Anonymous said...

The EDL isn't disposed or established to give "political recognition". But there is nothing wrong with saying, "here's some folks running for office that don't want to exterminate us."

Nor is there anything wrong with having an outlet for people who want to go beyond showing up for rallies to get clubbed over the head by the police. The EDL isn't a political organization and doesn't want to become one, but recognizing that there is a political party that wants to field candidates who seek to address the grievances which the EDL protests against is not "going political".

Might as well exercise the vote while you still have it.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

EscapeVelocity said...

The EDL was clearly, always a political movement.

They clearly always advocated in support of the British system, traditions, culture and democracy.

Thus the move to support political parties and electing representatives to government to advance its values and concerns is the logical progression.

The alternative is revolution and anti-government, anti democracy, and anti freedo...anti UK.

Seems pretty clear to me.

Sagunto said...

Chiu -

"the peculiar and deliberate shift towards soliciting political "recognition" by the EDL leadership.", is what I said.

Again, when addressing me, for the sake of clarity, direct your comment to Sagunto, if you please.

The EDL leadership solicits i.e. seeks political recognition. Savy?


Anonymous said...

Sapa Tapa my tag: I was hoping the EDL would stay as a street movement as i fear the kind of internal sabotage the BNP suffered will now be directed at BF by Government stooges.

By remaining non political the EDL always had the credibility of the public and not being accused of making political rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Sag, your phrasing was syntactically unclear. The chunk "political 'recognition' by the EDL leadership" takes parsing precedence over " the EDL leadership."

I do have to say that, with your 'correction', this makes less sense than it did before. Yes, it would be peculiar for anyone to seek political recognition by the EDL. But for the life of me I can't see what would be peculiar about the EDL wanting to have some political representation, or how doing so would represent a "deliberate shift" from anything else.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that from the beginning they were demonstrating in order to effect some kind of political change. The have a much clearer agenda than many other protest movements I've heard about, in any case.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

EscapeVelocity said...

No Chui, the Left has the measure of the EDL, low class chavs who are just looking to bash some Pakis, have a ruck, and get pissed.

They dont have any political agenda.

sarcasm off

I cant believe that people advocating that the EDL refrain from actually affecting political change.

We are just here to march around with our thumbs up our arses!

Anonymous said...

:sarc:I myself am one of those extreme masochists who get off on uniformed goons killing me and then stepping on my inert body, so I can totally understand.:/sarc: