Extreme Right in the UK

Por Tom

Lately, we have seen a rise in the popularity of the politics of the extreme right across the world. In Hungary, Germany, Brasil, France, Italy, the UK just to name a few, the movement that sells us isolationism, exclusion and racism seems to be picking up speed.

Although the majority of people don’t appear to be so extreme, it’s important to take on board that these sentiments exist. These groups usually talk about the pride of being whichever nationality, the honour of having the blood from whichever land, and above all the glorious history of the time when there were no foreigners in the country.

Personally, I see no sense in it, and I don’t agree with their methods. I can understand, of course, that people are afraid, that they see a threat from outside, and that their natural reaction is to protect what’s theirs. My suggestion would be to shake off the fear and, therefore, eliminate the need to react to protect.

In Spain, there are several groups: The famous Falange (Phalanx), Democracia Nacional, or more recently VOX, but these groups don’t tend to be very visible outside their own country (until the General Elections on the 28th of April, where Vox planted itself firmly as a political power in Spain).

There are, of course, similar groups in the United Kingdom.

First, we shall take the National Front. Founded in 1967, it’s one of the only groups considered to be neo-fascist. They hold meetings throughout the country, but the membership isn’t as high as it once was. Recently they divide their time between tormenting any area when Muslims can be found and burning flags. Their social media contribution is the usual mix of racism, violence and hatred.

Britain First. This political party came to prominence a few years ago due to a few of their social media posts. Using fear tactics to hide islamophobia inside posts related to other things in order to make them go viral and spread their message. However, once they had garnered more attention, antifascist groups were quick to respond, putting in place campaigns to raise awareness about Britain First’s true motives. The leader of the party, Paul Goulding, ran for Mayor of London against Sadiq Kahn and lost spectacularly.

The British National Party (BNP). In its heyday, the BNP was the most famous of this list. Nick Griffon founded the party in 1982, but until the end of the noughties, nobody really paid it much attention. The peak of its success was Nick’s appearance on Question Time on the BBC, during which he succeeded only in severely humiliating himself. After this disaster, Nick can now be seen on YouTube apparently running his own low key cooking show, explaining, among other dishes, how to prepare a “Tory-beating stew.”

English Defence League. As you may be able to imagine, the English Defence League is a group that fights for the defence of England (sorry Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). It is pretty violent, anti-Islam and pro-invasion of areas of Muslim communities. The leader and founder of the group, Tommy Robinson, stepped down in 2013 in a famous press meeting.

Combat 18 and the Racial Volunteer Force. Combat 18 is so-called because the initials of Adolf Hitler are first and eighth in the alphabet. If that doesn’t tell you enough… Well, it’s an openly neo-nazi group, completely opposed to politics in general. It was founded in 1992 by Charlie Sargent, who currently languishes in her majesty’s prison for the murder of another member of the group.

In 2002 dissidents from C18 formed a new wing of the group called the Racial Volunteer Force, very similar to C18, whose members are prohibited from joining the police service.

Saving the best for last: National Action

This group is among those on the terrorist watch list, and as a consequence is prohibited in the UK – the group is actually illegal. Founded in 2013, it rose to fame in 2016 following a series of protests where racist stickers were slapped on surfaces everywhere, flashmobs of Hitler salutes were organised, and even a Miss Hitler parade was held.

Their social networks abound with content encouraging people to commit acts of violence and condemning the government and anyone else who has authority. They celebrated the death of Jo Cox in 2016 and the attack in Orlando last year. Any type of affiliation with this group could land you in the slammer.

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