There is more to this than meets the eye, after years of constant pressure from the authorities, from agent provocateurs, and infiltration, the leaders more than likely agreed to an offer that they couldn’t refuse. As Lars Hedegaard explains, there wasn’t a racist and bigot under ever bench and behind every door where they congregated, and in my opinion, joining the Quilliam Society was not their idea, but the state’s involvement. You can only be manhandled for so long until you break.
EDITORIAL: The night they drove Tommy down
Posted by: Lars Hedegaard 9 October, 2013
Yesterday’s defection of Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll from the English Defence League will probably spell the end of the organization as an effective political force.
Though a number of EDL activists have vowed to continue their battle against Britain’s Islamization, it remains to be seen if new leaders can emerge from the rank and file to equal the charisma, courage and strategic vision of Robinson and Carroll.
Ever since the EDL started in 2009, the British government has done everything in its power to crush the organization – in de facto collaboration with so-called ”anti-fascists”, who have turned up to cause havoc and violence every time the EDL has tried to hold peaceful demonstrations. Street demonstrations have been the only avenue open to the EDL because it has never been able to rent a hall for orderly meetings apart from the odd pub.
The strategy of the ”anti-fascists” and the police has been clear from the start: To disrupt EDL demonstrations in the hope that the demonstrators would react with violence so that the entire movement might be portrayed as a bunch of neo-Nazi thugs.
Justifying his defection, Tommy Robinson explained that the movement had been taken over by neo-Nazis. Speaking at a press conference Tuesday night, Robinson said: “We had fought for four and a half years to keep racists out of the EDL. … When I returned [from a stint in prison, ed.] I saw flags and signs that did not represent me and I am not willing to be the public face for them.”
There can be no doubt that Robinson and Carroll have done their utmost to distance themselves and their movement from racism, Nazism and violence.
In October 2010 I had an opportunity to spend a few days with Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll and to travel with them to various EDL arrangements in London, Wolverhampton, Luton and Bolton. I was there on an assignment paid for by people in the United States who wanted an objective assessment of the EDL phenomenon. In particular, they wanted to know if there was any truth to the assertions in the British media and political class that the organization was nothing but a bunch of hate-filled and racist thugs out to ”get” foreigners and people of color.
After spending time with the leadership and rank and file, I could find no trace of racism. I listened attentively to a number of EDL supporters with a few drinks under their belt. Here was the chance of these working class blokes to divulge their true racist, fascist and xenophobic intentions – if they had any.
”Quite the contrary”, as I wrote in my report. ”The leaders and rank and file that I met in London, Wolverhampton, Luton and Bolton (a fair cross-section of the national membership, one should think) are multi-ethnic. They are black and white, English, Irish (interestingly, both Catholic and Protestant), Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Jewish and probably a few other denominations and nationalities. Homosexuals are welcome and have even formed their own “division” in London — as have the Jews.
I further noticed:
”The EDL is entirely working-class in outlook and demeanour and proudly so. Their sole political objective appears to be the defence of English — sometimes referred to as Christian — culture against Islamic encroachment. They despise the current British left but mainly because it is being subservient to Islamic interests. They have no trust in the official political leaders, who they consider to be sell-outs.
One is reminded of George Orwell’s observation: ’If there is any hope at all, it has to come from the proles.’
Nobody this reporter spoke to — leaders as well as rank and file — had any sympathy with English Nazis or with The British National Party, which they consider racist in the traditional sense of the term. Adherents of totalitarian or racialist ideologies are unceremoniously evicted.”
No wonder the EDL had to be crushed. Here was a genuine working class movement that simply stood up for English culture, democracy and the ancient rights of English freemen. To the multicultural elite they must have been as welcome as the bubonic plague.
Have EDL demonstrations contained elements eager to flaunt their know-nothing and far-right sympathies and violent inclinations? Undoubtedly. But who were these people?
If you cannot function as a normal organization but must hold your meetings in the street, how can you prevent idiots or infiltrators from giving you a bad image?
I was a friend of a by now forgotten American by the name of Fred Halstead. Fred was a Trotskyist and the real organizer of the anti-war demonstrations that eventually forced the US out of Vietnam.
In spite of the organizers’ best efforts to keep their massive street protests clean, they were joined by a group of youngish men bearing sticks with the heads of pigs – obviously a reference to the police that were roundly denounced as ”the pigs”. It later turned out that the pig-bearing activists were police officers trying to put the entire anti-war movement in a bad light.
So the question is: Who were the people trying undermine the EDL and who sent them?
One can only speculate.