I haven’t got time to go into all of the Muslim related stories on the Mail website today, but I have singled out this ‘story’ for particular attention: ‘Censored! Bikini advert blacked out with spray paint by ‘Muslim extremists who object to women in swimsuits‘ [ link]. Now, given the racial tension in the UK caused by ignorance, recession and incessant media stories like this, if we had a responsible and regulated press in the UK this ‘story’ would never have been published.

It is based on a photo of one advertising boarding in Birmingham being partly sprayed with black paint. Now, this boarding happens to be in an area the Mail describes as having ‘a large Muslim population’ and the poster is situated across the road from a ‘”Muslim Students House Masjeed”, an education centre’. The Mail’s opening claims is that ‘the model on this poster, in Birmingham, has been defaced in an act of vandalism blamed on militant Muslims who were offended by her flesh’.

The Mail’s reasoning for this is that:

Similar acts of vandalism have been carried out in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. Police there also believe extremists are responsible.

No further details are given in this article to the Tower Hamlets incidents – but the Mail does have an entire article dedicated to the ‘Tower Hamlet Taliban’ elsewhere on the website – but the opening is worded to imply that this incident in Birmingham is also being linked by the police to Muslim extremists. But this does not seem to be the case when you assess the ‘evidence’ upon which the Mail is basing its claims:

The fact that almost all of the model’s flesh has been covered has led local residents to speculate that the vandalism was not random, but a religiously-motivated targeted attack.

Delivery driver Robert Tonkins, 45, said: “You see a lot of women wearing the hijab around here, and what’s been done to that poster looks very similar to it.

‘I don’t think it’s just kids messing around – they’ve spray-painted specific areas and covered up anything that might be offensive to very religious people.

‘It’s a bit worrying, I don’t think it’s up to other people to decide what can and can’t be displayed on our streets, especially because we’re a Christian country.’

And that’s it. That is the end of the article. No further evidence, no contact with the police or the council or anyone in the area, just the suspicions of one man. This isn’t journalism – it is barely even gossip – but it is of course serving an important purpose: the continued demonisation of Muslims for things we don’t even know that ‘they’ (I dislike having to refer to ‘them’ as a group as if ‘they’ are somehow all the same and very different to me or you) are responsible for.

As much as the Daily Mail may claim to dislike the EDL this is the sort of article that unleashes a torrent of racist abuse on EDL Facebook pages. What’s more worrying is that people who aren’t inherently racist see this kind of story most days in mainstream, supposedly respectable newspapers and they start to have doubts about the way in which religious relations are conducted in this country. These people then say things like this:

I’m not racist, but I do think that we have gone to far in pandering to Muslims. I mean, they do seem to get away with an awful lot, don’t they?

And, in fairness, if you only had the world delivered to you through the Daily Mail or any of its tabloid chums then you cannot be overly criticised for having this kind of view. If Muslims were banning extractor fans, defacing advertising boardings, banning Christmas, banning Easter, demanding Muslim-only hole in the ground toilets from local councils, demanding Sharia Law and all the while the government was rolling out the red carpet with housing, benefits and widescreen TVs, then we’d all have reasons to question the fairness of the system.

But of course the above stories are all an invention of our unregulated media. The above is a powerful media narrative that today’s story feeds into. It is a campaign of disinformation that not only feeds the EDL, but also creates division in more mainstream individuals by convincing them that a real unfairness does exist. Therefore the Mail can denigrate the EDL for being racist, whilst at the same time offering such stories as a massive BUT for all readers to realise that there is a real problem.

In many ways this is a clever way of the Mail removing racism (I know Islam is a religion, but racism is behind much of the sentiment aimed as you will see shortly) from the debate. Essentially what the Mail is doing is saying:

We do not support the EDL or the BNP because we are not racist, we do not have any issues with Muslims on racial or religious grounds. However, we do believe that there is a real issue in which extremist Muslims have began to politically and culturally dominate parts of the UK.

It’s all about maintaining the veneer of respectability for the ‘debate’ which they supposedly want to have. It’s exactly the same as the media narrative on immigration: ‘we’re not racist, we hate the EDL and the BNP, we just want a proper debate on the real issues surrounding immigration’.

But the Mail (or any other tabloid) cannot maintain the pretence of not being a deeply racist newspaper when they frame the ‘debate’ (note: there is no real debate) with a series of offensive lies about Muslims – or immigrants. Newspapers may have pretty low journalistic standards these days, but they would not go to print with this story if the perpetrators were suspected of being extremist Christians (who can be just as puritanical as anybody). They’d probably want insignificant stuff like ‘evidence’ before they went ahead and covered that – if, of course, they covered it at all.

The appetite for Muslim-bashing articles is obviously healthy otherwise the newspaper business would not keep printing them. What the Mail should be constantly reminded of is that whilst making their core readership a little bit more racist might only lead to a few more UKIP / Tory votes and more ignorant gossiping over garden fences across Middle England; at the same time they are feeding a completely different readership in the EDL. As you can see, the consequences of feeding this group is going to be a whole lot more serious:

EDL hijack a young girl’s death

Until today I had never heard of Olivia Whiteside. I know her name now because I saw it – alongside a picture of her – on an EDL placard, located next to ‘Tommy Robinson’ (real name Stephen Lennon) as he gave a speech during yesterday’s EDL demonstration in Blackburn. The placard demands ‘Justice for Olivia Whitehead’, which must mean that she must be a victim of Islamic extremists – given that is what the ‘non-racist’, ‘non-violent’ EDL are supposedly fighting against.

Except she isn’t a victim of extreme Islam, but the victim of an hit-and-run in which the accused driver happened to be Asian. The Asian man was not charged due to lack of evidence (the police statements after the verdict demonstrate frustration, as did the reaction from the public gallery) and the coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death. Whatever the ultimate truth of the matter, what is clear is that this story has nothing to do with the stated aims of the EDL, it is simply inciting racial tension by associating the death of a young girl with a racial / religious conflict that exists only inside the minds of the pitiful number of EDL demonstrators who turned up in Blackburn.

For those of you who want to understand just how deeply ignorant and racist the average EDL member is, follow @everythingedl on Twitter – they follow the EDL around online in order to expose them for what they really are.

What kind of person buys the Daily Star?

I tweeted the other day that anyone who reads the Daily Star must have the intelligence of a slug. I received quite a few responses, the majority informing me that I was being offensive to slugs, but one person who wanted to point out that his dad was an intelligent chap and read the Daily Star. I replied to this person probably dismissively- although I cannot be bothered to find the tweet – and thought no more about it.

Until now. So ‘pissed off’ was this individual that they felt the need to blog about it a while later and they pointed me in the direction of the post this morning. Essentially, his argument is this: after listening to Jim Davidson being interviewed on BBC 5Live he realised that not everyone is the two-dimensional caricature we suppose them to be, ergo it would be wrong to pre-judge people based on what they read.

A fair point, I’ll concede that not everyone who buys a tabloid newspaper is a unintelligent slug. However, my exasperated insult aimed at Daily Star readers was based on yet another front page headline that was completely fictional – not distorted, not inaccurate, but purposefully and completely invented. If that is the standard being set by the front page, what does that suggest about the standard of journalism enclosed within?

As you may be aware, the Daily Star recently appeared to throw its support behind the English Defence League, with a glowing write-up about how they were going to become a political party. For the record, the EDL did not have any firm plans to become a political party, but after the Daily Star article – and the massive phone poll support they received – they are now looking into it.

Once again, bad journalism has real consequences.

Which brings me back to any individual who buys a tabloid newspaper. As Richard Peppiatt wrote in his resignation letter to the Daily Star: news article invented in an office in London can get someone’s head caved in in Bradford. Now, as a reader of the Daily Star you might claim to not be an ignorant, hateful individual and you might instead argue that you’re a rational, intelligent human being. You might be able to rationalise why you buy it, how you see past the constant, hateful anti-Muslim (and fictional) propaganda and just enjoy the ‘fun’ articles inside or that you only read it for the sport.

But I’m not convinced by any of these arguments. I look at the average Daily Star front page and see only three consistant themes: racism, anti-Muslim propaganda and Jordan. Now, call me narrow-minded if you want, but I think that if you can still buy the newspaper in spite of this you must either be a racist, Muslim-hating Jordan fan or a complete simpleton. In either case, I can excuse you buying the Daily Star: you know not what you do.

Now, if a third type of reader does exist – in this case, the intelligent dad – then I can only point out that in purchasing the Daily Star they are funding, supporting and legitimising its agenda. I just have to wonder out loud what kind of intelligent person wants to do this. I can only think that maybe its that newspapers are like banks: we tend to stick with the one we’ve always used. Perhaps the Daily Star wasn’t always such a terrible newspaper – enlighten me in the comments if you wish – and some people are only buying it because it’s difficult to break out of an old habit.

As I pondered the other day, if the average Daily Star read Richard Peppiatt’s letter of resignation and realised that much of what they read was simply made-up by journalists at the newspaper – and in particular a lot of these stories were made up to stir-up hatred of Muslims – would they stop buying the newspaper?

Well perhaps the person who I ‘pissed off’ with my blanket accusation that all Daily Star readers were dribbling morons should make his dad read Peppiatt’s letter and see what impact his has on him. If he still intends to buy the Daily Star then I guess the most polite thing I can write about him is that he is extremely loyal.

Multiculturalism and the Monkeysphere

The Monkeysphere is the group of people who each of us, using our monkeyish brains, are able to conceptualize as people. If the monkey scientists are monkey right, it’s physically impossible for this to be a number much larger than 150…

we all have limits to our sphere of monkey concern. It’s the way our brains are built. We each have a certain circle of people who we think of as people, usually our own friends and family and neighbors, and then maybe some classmates or coworkers…

Those who exist outside that core group of a few dozen people are not people to us. They’re sort of one-dimensional bit characters.
David Wong, What is the Monkeysphere?

Whenever I hear people argue that multiculturalism is dead I always think of Dunbar’s number and the Monkeysphere. Robin Dunbar – an anthropologist – researched monkey brains and found that the number of social group members a primate can track appears to be limited by the volume of the neocortex region of their brain. He then studied a human brain and estimated (based on the volume of the neocortex) that human beings also suffer from a similar limit (albeit slightly larger than a monkey) and theorized that the average human being can maintain a stable social relationship with a maximum of around 150 people.

As the above quotation suggests, anyone outside of this sphere of understanding essentially becomes a caricature, a one dimensional stereotype that is simply not a real human being to us. It is for this reason that we can be extremely upset when a loved one has a bad day at work, but can remain surprisingly unperturbed when a busload of schoolkids plunges over a cliff in Chile. We simply do not have the mental capacity to visualise them as human beings. Some people argue that this limited number serves an evolutionary purpose, for why should we concern ourselves with the lives of those that we cannot possibly influence? 24 hour rolling global news can be a terribly depressing affair, given that all of the events take place outside our monkeysphere and we have virtually no chance of having a positive impact or influence on any of the awful events we witness. We’re selfish creatures able to enjoy buying clothes that we know are made by kids in sweatshops because our brains don’t force us to see them as being like the children that reside in our monkeysphere – they exist only fleetingly in an uncaring periphery.

Given the high rate of depression in developed nations it appears that stepping outside of our limited social sphere is not good for us and that in many ways, ignorance is bliss. This brings me back to this idea – so loved by politicians, the media and nationalist groups – that a national culture really exists and that we must somehow all engage with defending it. David Cameron’s recent declaration that ‘Multiculturalism has failed’ just doesn’t stand up to the merest whiff of scrutiny. Culture isn’t a racial thing, it isn’t something that divides people of different skin colours, it is something that divides all of us. Just as I have absolutely nothing in common with a stereotypical EDL member and would never envisage socialising with one, David Cameron would never dream of socialising – or even having anything in common with – 95% of the UK. Likewise, I can never imagine socialising with the elite into which Cameron and most of the elected cabinet of our government were born: culturally we are divided by an impassable chasm.

For David Cameron to imply that Britain has some kind of culture that immigrants should be assimilated into is quite ridiculous, because the people of Britain are not an homogeneous blob. We all live in our own little Monkeyspheres which are full of people just like us. We don’t really know anyone outside of this sphere and what’s more we don’t have the capacity to really know anyone outside of this sphere (nor necessarily the desire). David Cameron and his elitist monkey-chums don’t know anybody who doesn’t have inherited wealth, he’s not necessarily taking any pleasure in the cuts that his government is pushing through, he just simply doesn’t understand the concerns of those who live outside of his monkeysphere. He doesn’t know anyone who has ever had to rely on the government for support, or anyone to whom money is an issue. He can only appreciate the needs of those inside his tiny sphere, hence why he cannot see any problem with combining savage cuts to the not-human-in-his-eyes masses with tax breaks for his friends in the banks. He’s just looking after his own interests in the same way that the person shopping in a high-street fashion store does when they buy stuff they know has been made using slave-labour.

We’re never all going to get along; it’s physically and mentally impossible. The sooner we realise this, the quicker we can stop thinking about the world in such simple terms. Being British by birth can only mean that I share the same place of birth with other British people. It does not mean I share a common bond or culture. Chances are I will never even get close to interacting with a fraction of 1% of my fellow birth-buddies. I have good relationships with the people I work closely with, I have a professional passing recognition of others outside of that small group. I have a couple of friends from university that I keep in contact with, and a few close friends from various jobs I’ve had down the years. I commute to work in my car, I get home, get inside and spend most evenings with my wife. I speak to my neighbours occasionally, not because I consider myself anti-social, but because they’re just not part of my monkeysphere – just as I am not part of theirs.

I enjoy my life but I live in the knowledge that I will spend the vast majority of my adult life in work, not socialising. Our ability to form and maintain close social bonds is limited by how much time we have to participate in such behaviour (Dunbar even argues that language was developed as an easy way of performing social grooming). And for those of you thinking that social networking sites are going to change all of this, think again:

Dr Marlow found that the average number of “friends” in a Facebook network is 120, consistent with Dr Dunbar’s hypothesis, and that women tend to have somewhat more than men. But the range is large, and some people have networks numbering more than 500, so the hypothesis cannot yet be regarded as proven.

What also struck Dr Marlow, however, was that the number of people on an individual’s friend list with whom he (or she) frequently interacts is remarkably small and stable. The more “active” or intimate the interaction, the smaller and more stable the group.

Thus an average man—one with 120 friends—generally responds to the postings of only seven of those friends by leaving comments on the posting individual’s photos, status messages or “wall”. An average woman is slightly more sociable, responding to ten. When it comes to two-way communication such as e-mails or chats, the average man interacts with only four people and the average woman with six. Among those Facebook users with 500 friends, these numbers are somewhat higher, but not hugely so. Men leave comments for 17 friends, women for 26. Men communicate with ten, women with 16.

What mainly goes up, therefore, is not the core network but the number of casual contacts that people track more passively. This corroborates Dr Marsden’s ideas about core networks, since even those Facebook users with the most friends communicate only with a relatively small number of them.

The truth is we all exist in tiny bubbles which will always encourage us to act in the best interest of those within our particular bubble. We can certainly acknowledge that we live in a world much bigger than this bubble by creating basic expectations to nullify as much as possible our selfish instincts – this is why we have laws, the Human Rights Act, equality and diversity policies in work and so forth. It is to try to ensure that when we step outside our monkeyspheres we are able to treat those strange beings around us as humans, even if we cannot truly visualise them as such.

What is dangerous with this assumption that somehow other cultural groups cannot also abide by these basic tenets of civilisation and that they must therefore abandon anything that might signify that they are outwardly different to the majority is that it feeds our natural instinct to dehumanise any outgroup. How can we possibly say because a group of around 20 Muslims protested against British soldiers serving in Iraq and 4 individuals bombed London in suicide attacks that somehow multiculturalism has failed? The 2001 census recorded 1,591,000 Muslims living in the UK – making 24 a minute percentage,  whilst a survey conducted in 2009 of attitudes of British Muslims suggested that they ‘were found to identify more strongly with the UK than the rest of the population, and have a much higher regard for the country’s institutions’.

Yet because of our monkey brains we have the EDL demanding that all ‘Muzzies’ or ‘Muzz rats’ be thrown out or worse because of the actions of an utterly insignificant few. We never demand the slaughter of all men whenever a male paedophile is convicted. It is no less insane to treat all Muslims in they way that some people are now.

Repeated experiments across cultures show that when human beings are put into groups – even in the most arbitrary way, such as at the toss of a coin – they will always display ingroup bias and a desire to maintain distinctiveness from other groups. Media narratives about Muslims or any other group that exists outside of our Monkeysphere play into this irrational desire to negatively perceive those outside of our immediate groups – whilst maintaining a positive bias to those in our own groups. Arguing that somehow all his could be resolved if massive cultural groups – which are in themselves split into near infinite amounts of vastly different spheres – were somehow assimilated into what is seen as the dominant cultural norm is ludicrous.

All we can do as individuals is realise that we don’t normally process people outside of our tiny social groups as being real human beings. This is why a loving, doting son is able to mug someone else’s mother and we need laws with significant punishments to suppress such actions. We are hard-wired to stereotype outgroups, homogenising millions of people into one simple schema. But we have conscious thought, we can take a step back and challenge our default cognitive processes so that we can force ourselves to realise that Muslims are individual human beings and they cannot possibly be judged by the actions of an insignificant minority who happen to share the same religious belief.

Multiculturalism hasn’t failed, it’s not even a real concept when we consider how our brains function and that we only really share a common goal with the select few inside our Monkeysphere.

Tabloid bullshit of the month award

The wonderful Five Chinese Crackers blog has created a new award for tabloid hacks who like to invent stuff and call it news. The blog has just awarded the first trophy to Daily Mail hack, Jack Doyle, for his sublimely terrible article on how Mohammed was the most popular boy’s name in Britain and that the Muslims were taking over. Jack Doyle knows his audience well as the article made a big splash on the EDL Facebook page.

Anyway, said Daily Mail hack has now been emailed about his award with details of why his article won. I wonder if he’ll offer a response. You can read about the award here and can submit your entries for November, I do believe there are already nominations even after just 1 day.

The same old stories

It has been another busy week for media disinformation on a range of their favourite topics. The Daily Mail has made more extremely misleading claims about migration, this time attacking skilled workers by implying that only 1 in 4 of them actually work in a ‘top job’. The figures in fact could only confirm that 29% were in low-skilled work, whilst almost half of the sample returned unclear data – data that the Daily Mail or anyone else cannot possibly draw any conclusions from.

They have also made some very bizzarre claims against health and safety, again. This time they claim that ‘A ten year old champion swimmer has been banned from wearing his goggles in the pool under health and safety rules’. As Minority Thought points out ‘the decision to prevent Alex from wearing goggles has nothing to do with health and safety rules of any kind’ and in fact as the articles confirm the reason is as follows:

The school, St Anne’s in Royton, Greater Manchester, says it is following Oldham Council swimming guidelines which state that beginners and improvers should become used to eye contact with water.

It seems to me that the traditional tabloid portrayal of ‘elf ‘n’ safety’ would demand that goggles be worn at all times in order to protect eyes from the water, this is the complete opposite of the normal ‘elf ‘n’ safety gone mad’ myth.

This story is little more than an aside in the real story that an hospital eye consultant (ophthalmologist Parwez Hossain) has advised that participants in apple-bobbing should wear goggles and that bottled or boiled water should be used and the stalks removed from the apples. The Mail refers to this advice as ‘Halloween health and safety horror’ and insert the normal comments from outraged Joe Public:

Shop assistant and Halloween enthusiast Ben Richards, 29, from Southampton said: ‘This seems like health and safety gone mad.

‘I’ve done apple bobbing for years and never had any problems. It is all part of the Halloween experience.’

And, oddly, they even give some space for the thoughts of Adrian Barlow, chief executive of English Apples & Pears (which represents apple growers) as if because he deals with the marketing of apples he is somehow in a position to comment on the dangers of bobbing for apples:

‘Health and safety can be taken too far and in this case it is ludicrous in the extreme. I have never heard of anybody suffering an injury as a result of apple bobbing.’

If he had read the comments of Parwez Hossain he would have known the following:

Mr Hossain said three people were admitted to the hospital with apple bobbing injuries last year. He added: ‘Casualty staff have seen children and adults turning up on Halloween with scratches on the cornea and eye injuries from impacts caused by apple bobbing…

‘Admissions to casualty on Bonfire Night have gone down as people have become more aware of health and safety but we have not seen a decline on Halloween.’

The Daily Mail declares that ‘now apple bobbing has fallen foul of the health and safety police’, even though this is merely advice given out by one hospital in an attempt to reduce the numbers of people they treat for avoidable injuries during halloween. The Daily Mail really needs some basic lessons on risk and they really need to stop using the word ‘police’ to accompany any advice that they do not wish to heed. There is no ‘health and safety police’, this advice is not backed-up by any kind of sanction or legal impediment. It is advice you are free to ignore or heed, something very different to the laws enforced by the police.

In other news the Daily Mail has been horrifying readers (and providing fuel for the EDL) by claiming that the ‘Islamification’ of Britain is in full swing because ‘Mohammed’ is the most popular name for newborn boys in the UK. Accept, of course, that is isn’t. It is actually in 16th place but the Daily Mail adds together all the variant spellings of the name until they force it into first place. Even then it only accounts for 2.09% of all newborn boys born each year in the UK. You can read more on this story on the following blogs:

Meanwhile this blog might be a bit sporadic for a bit whilst some other projects are being developed.

If you’re not a racist, can we at least call you stupid?

Tabloidwatch has got his hands on a letter from Monday’s reader section of the Daily Mail. In it ‘Edd Butler’ makes it clear that although he definately isn’t a racist, he is pretty darn fed up with reading all about Muslims taking over the place:

We seem to be letting Muslims take over this country. We appear to be afraid to upset them…

I’m not racist, but I’m getting fed up with opening the newspaper every day to read that we’re bowing and scraping to the Muslim community.

The most obvious response was nailed in the comments immediately: put down your copy of the Daily Mail and buy a newspaper that actually reports news and you wouldn’t spend your day wading through transparent lies about Muslim ‘demands’. The old ‘magic but’ (more on this tomorrow) is often wheeled out by people who then go onto utter a racist sentiment, but what if we take their declaration of innocence at face value? If Edd Butler is not a racist – as he claims – can we at least call him an utterly stupid, ignorant arse?

It seems to me that so many topics are started with this ‘i’m not racist but’ get-out clause and continued with utterances that are always mind-numbingly stupid. Take for example the EDL, who keep claiming that they are not a racist organisation (although they invite racist musicians along to perform and have been caught on camera numerous times chanting racist ‘songs’ about Muslims). If they are not actually racist then perhaps they can explain the contents of their latest email, sent regarding a big rally in Dudley:

As always our excellent stewarding team will be on hand to assist, guide and endeavour to keep the peace. They will evict any racist people or anyone found causing trouble within the demo.

OK, no racists, understood. So why are you marching then, if not because your members are inherently racist? Well, here is why – according to the EDL – they march:

We would like you all to take a minute on the day and remember why we are here, for whom we are here, fallen heroes, future generations, our right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly, this is sacred when our democratic rights are slowly but surely ebbing away. Sharia law can never be allowed to replace, succeed, abrogate, or even work within or alongside our democracy without abusing human rights, it does this through religiously sanctioned intolerance, supremacy and misogyny. We know this, that’s why we oppose it so vehemently. This is one Jihad the EDL MUST eradicate once and for all no matter the cost, the very foundations of our secular democratic society depend on this.

The EDL is a cornerstone of a hard fought democracy, we bear the weight of a nation under attack from Islamism, it’s a weight we can carry, we carry it with pride!

So, they are not racist, they just see something happening and ‘know this’ to be true, yet somehow the overwhelming majority of the country (who will not be marching alongside them) are blind to this ‘takeover’.

We may sit and shake our heads at the disinformed Edd Butler who felt so strongly about the ‘Muslim takeover’ that he drafted an outraged letter to the Daily Mail, but we should shake with rage that the media propaganda campaign against Muslims has succeeded in persuading a group of people that they much march under the banners of hatred and the language of war in our cities fighting a menace that only exists in the minds and poisoned souls of tabloid editors.

The Muslims are not taking over, but hysteria is consuming the tabloid press as they plant more and more seeds of malcontent amongst us. An Edd Butler sprouts here, EDL members sprout far and wide and all the while the press gets braver, stripping away any layers of pretence that they are just ‘reporting the facts’. It becomes less about ‘not enough jobs or services’ and instead becomes more direct: ethnicity is the real problem; the watering down of the white race.

This reporting would not be a problem if people trusted their own senses. If they did they could open their windows and hear the birds chirping, feel the warmth of the sun on their skin and the wind rustling the curtains. If people only turned off their TVs and put down their newspapers and just seized the pure joy – the inexplicable realisation that somehow they are alive against all the odds – then perhaps they might realise that it’s all just bullshit and the vast majority human beings on this planet just want to live in peace, to love and be loved and that for all our superficial differences we are all startingly similar. I think Bill Bryson put it best:

Every living thing is an elaboration of a single original plan. As humans we are mere increments – each of us a musty archive of adjustments, adaptations, modifications and providential tinkerings stretching back to 3,8 billion years. Remarkably we are even quite closely related to fruit and vegetables. About half the chemical functions that take place in a banana are fundamentally the same as the chemical functions that place in you. It cannot be said too often: all life is one. That is, and I suspect will ever prove to be, the most profound true statement there is.”
– Bill Bryson in “A Short History of Nearly Everything” (2003)

The Disinformed March Again

So, another weekend, another planned march (Newcastle) by the EDL, who are remember, not at all racist. This weekend features a live performance by Anglo-Saxon, a one-man band who was arrested for in 2007 for incitement to racial hatred for the lyrics of his song, This is England. I imagine the lyrics the Police objected to were these:

Take this as a wake up call
See the writing on the wall
Is this the land you want to leave to your children
They bleed the state and ask for more
It’s time Britannia closed the door
They crossed these shores for thirty pieces of silver
They took the passport, they took the pound
And now they’ve bombed the underground
They’ll never destroy the land of Hope & Glory
This is England…………X 4

Once again it is not surprising to see another nationalist repeating tabloid lies about immigrants – it is almost as if Anglo-Saxon have attempted to put Richard Littlejohn’s entire repertoire of made-up slurs against immigrants to music. Naturally Anglo-Saxon claims to be ‘not remotely racist‘, he just happens to be obsessed with his ancestral race and is happy to write off a whole range of diverse people as ‘those who bombed the underground’. No doubt people will be rushing to point out how I’m one of those evil thought-police who are rushing to shut down the debate about immigration because remember: you cannot talk about immigration.

However, I’ll just reiterate once again: talking about immigration is not racist. What is racist is being happy to believe media narratives about a diverse group of people and believing that all of them crossed ‘the shore for thirty pieces of silver’ and all of them are responsible for ‘bombing the underground’. That is the very definition of racism: the negative stereotyping of a whole race based on the actions of a couple of individuals who are in no way representative of anyone but themselves.

The EDL march because the tabloid media have carefully constructed a series of narratives for them. If they are poor it is because the welfare state has given more money to ‘them’, if they have no job it is because one of ‘them’ took it, if they have no council house it is because ‘they’ get priority and it is they that ‘bleed the state and ask for more’. None of these concepts grew organically inside the head of Anglo-Saxon, all of them were carefully planted by a corporate media that is creating someone to blame for the fundamental inequality of society.

The corporate tabloid media pursue a corporate agenda, they sell us the ‘American Dream’ in which any one of us might just become rich and have the kind of lifestyle we see on TV. This is the carrot that is dangled in front of us, making us docile consumers, each individual trampling on those around them in order to claw their way just one step closer to owning more and more expensive stuff. Because the corporate world knows that such social mobility is getting less likely with every passing year and as the gap between the rich and the poor widens as more and more money in concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people they must create believable narratives as to why you aren’t living the American Dream.

Currently the in-vogue tabloid narrative is that immigrants are to blame, they are the ones draining the system, stealing the jobs and taking the houses. If it wasn’t for them your life would be full of opportunities, you’d be living the American Dream, clawing your way towards more pay and more consumables. But instead, because of the immigrants your life is failing and you want to lash out at the ones to blame.

I feel sorry for EDL members who march to reclaim a country that has been firmly taken over by a global corporate elite, not by immigration. We live in a society in which corporate narratives are so successfully disseminated by the corporate-controlled media that we want public sector pay and benefits slashed, rather than private sector pay and benefits raised. We actually get outraged over certain people having the right to a decent pension, annual leave and job security; when we should be getting outraged by the fact that corporations earning billions of pounds a year for shareholders do not provide these things to the majority of their staff.

As the lyrics to ‘This is England’ testify: the nationalist EDL are a direct result of dishonest media narratives. Narratives designed to create a disinformed public who lash out at other social groups – usually the disenfranchised and weak – as being the cause of poverty, unemployment and so forth. The real causes of poverty and unemployment is this warped version of capitalism that is regulated in favour of transnational corporations – many of them creating more GDP per year than most of the countries on earth. Moving between countries and avoiding tax through inter-company charges these global corporations are gradually placing a price tag on everything on earth – including human DNA – accumulating the world’s wealth without any social responsibility, just a pathological desire to exploit, monetise and avoid taxes.

Sadly, the EDL will not be marching to the doors of Newscorp or any other global abomination, instead they’ll be singing songs about how it is all the brown person’s fault.

The ‘Dudley 2’

Just received my latest email from the EDL discussing a march taking place in London tomorrow. The email stresses the importance of ‘mobilising divisions’ (as if they are an army) quickly in support of the ‘Dudley 2’ who are:

being persecuted for standing up for the rights of everyone in this country

Actually, as far as I can determine they were arrested for breaking into a disused factory and staging a roof top protest in Dudley. Presumably they were campaigning to maintain the age-old right of indigenous Brits to break into to disused buildings and from the rooftops rain down such awe-inspiring messages as ‘E, E, EDL. E, E, EDL.’, interspersed with racial slurs against Muslims. An arrest which is portrayed in the email as ‘being persecuted for speaking the truth’.

What martyrs they are.

If you are a fellow ‘patriot’ (a term ironically formed to express the rejection of all things English and the embracing of all things American) then you might want to read the full email which is reproduced below. Or you could just read it to make sure you avoid this colossal group of ignorant thugs who want to do nothing more than drink Stella and repeat nonsensical terrace chants whilst looking for a ruck:

Hi fellow Patriots.

Many of you are aware that there will be a march in London tomorrow (Sat 22nd May) and though this is not being organised by us, this is a very important statement to make. We need numbers there.

We have proven in the past that divisions can mobilise fast, so lets see if we can repeat this. The Dudley 2 are being persecuted for standing up for the rights of everyone in this country who have accepted England for the Country it is, and do not want to change it to suit their own ideologies, and this march is to protect like minded patriots like us from being persecuted for speaking the truth.

Details are below:

Date: Saturday, May 22, 2010
Time: 2:00pm – 6:00pm

March from Tothill Street, Great George st up whitehall past Downing st, Trafalgar Square, Cockspur Street into Waterloo Place where speeches will be made against the Government and their intention to ban English Patriots

Every Muslim child that is born in England and is thoroughly islamized through Shariah Law indoctrination and extremism, is a time bomb for English children in the future. The latter will be persecuted when they have become a minority unless we act for them now.

Therefore we are organising a major march to Parliament to protest at the values and culture of Britain being destroyed by traitors determined to promote a minority who clearly despise Britain and all it stands for.

Time is short and we have to get out and reclaim our Country. In Dudley the police used firearms to suppress opposition to Shariah law by English patriots. On 22nd May we need all English Patriots to descend on London and fight for our country by passive protest. Time is against us and it is action that is needed now not words. By attending this event in the thousands we can make our voice heard. Welsh Scottish and Irish patriots are all joining the English patriots in this as we are all suffering under the British government persecution of our rights to national identity and keeping our culture secure.

It’s our Country so lets go get it back…

No Surrender,
Trevor Kelway