Jayda Fransen: A sympathetic figure or a vindictive profiteer?

We’ve been doing a bit of soul searching here at EBF lately. We’re concerned that we may have been too hard on someone who is actually more a victim than a perpetrator of callous hatred and abuse. We’re not sure but we thought we should ‘put the idea out there’ and see what others think.

The ‘someone’ in question isn’t exactly the most obvious ‘first in line’ for compassion. In fact not all of us think she’s in line for consideration at all, let alone ‘first’. But in the spirit of discussion and sharing of ideas that EBF has always been based upon we’re all happy to put our virtual names to this. Enough of us have doubts to make this blog worth writing.

BF BBC3 WWOCB Jayda FransenWe’re talking, of course about Jayda Fransen, deputy leader and ‘Fuhrer in waiting’ of Britain First. She’s certainly responsible for a wealth of hate speech and the organisation she fronts clearly intends to stir up as much inter-racial and cultural conflict as it can but our question is ‘how responsible is she’ for that?

We all watched with interest (and for many more than a little cynicism) her performance in the BBC3 documentary ‘We want our country back’ as she hinted but never elaborated on past trauma. We have speculated about the possibility of some sort of early Abuse that might have led her down the road to hatred and I have to admit, even within the team we haven’t all agreed.

Is Jayda the hapless (and potentially helpless) victim of some abusive past?

If so should she be held responsible by the age of 29 for her subsequent anger and hatred?

Or is she just a cynical Nazi using her gender and perceived ‘feminine vulnerability’ to justify her vindictiveness?

It’s certainly possible that Jayda experienced some sort of abuse in her early years. We’ve highlighted before the problems with her account of a late adolescence spent in hostel accommodation rather than a children’s home or foster care. But those details, interesting though they are don’t necessarily mean that nothing happened. Perhaps she used the wrong term when caught off-guard by the interviewer. Perhaps she told a partial truth to protect the feelings of others or perhaps she made the whole thing up. We don’t know.

It’s equally plausible though that nothing untoward happened to Jayda during her early years. We know that historical abuse is a powerful psychological tool in the arsenal of the far right. That’s why they make such a big deal of the events in Rotherham and other places. Exploitation of children, especially of girls is emotive and, from the perspective of the Biffers extremely good for business. If Jayda really was just a cynical manipulator of emotional ‘groupthink’ would she have said anything different?

BF BBC3 WWOCB Jayda Fransen threatening Muslim restaurant Halal campaignFinally, even if it’s all true (as it very well might be) should that let Jayda off the hook for the abusive and discriminatory hate speech and incitement that she and her followers spew so regularly and predictably into the life of our nation? Does such a history give her the right to libel and slander others for her own personal profit?

Whatever her past, the reality is that her current behaviours are both malicious and destructive. Jayda undoubtedly profits from other lies. Lies she tells about Muslims, about the Koran and even about her own legal ‘qualifications’. Would a history of childhood trauma of any kind excuse this sort of slanderous trouble-making in an adult?

Should we report upon Jayda’s abusive behaviour more sympathetically?

If so how will that impact upon our work next year when she becomes Fuhrer?

We have no collective answer to these questions. Each of us within the EBF team has our own opinion but there’s no real agreement.

What’s your opinion?

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16 thoughts on “Jayda Fransen: A sympathetic figure or a vindictive profiteer?

  1. Nothing excuses the right-wing bigotry of Jayda and BF. However, the hints about her background and her alleged christian piety are extremely tantalising. They make me want to know more about her. Knowledge is power, I’m told and there must be a record of her earlier life that may well repay a period of in-depth investigation.

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  2. They are all fair game, no matter the circumstances. Her, Golding, Lewis, the walts etc have all set themselves up as leading lights in this movement and enjoy the celebrity and notoriety they have created. They pander to base feelings and instincts and would impose no end of restrictions on people who disagree with them if they were to get the merest sniff of power. Keep up the pressure on them any which way…

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  3. Regardless of an abusive past, she and the other BFs deserve compassion as it’s the only way to break the cycle of hatred. That doesn’t let her, or anybody else ‘off the hook’: to me it means that reporting on their vile opinions should not descend into personal invective. I have seen probably 1% of the amount of shit you guys must undoubtedly get from fascist sympathisers, so I can appreciate how hard it must be to try to hold the moral high ground, but if you don’t then you’re descending into the mire and perpetuating the problem. Use factual reporting, use satire and wit, but please don’t use abuse and division, as these are major tools of the far-right.

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  4. If someone who was abused as a child becomes a child abuser is that okay, and many who end up abusing were abused themselves?

    I am afraid we are all responsible for our own actions, we have all made mistakes, maybe she will wake up one day and realise how nasty she has been, but until that day, I will hold her in contempt, She is vile by word and deed, so even if there is a lost little girl in there, by our deeds are we known.

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  5. Erm, this post is a little reminiscent of a Daily Mail story isn’t it? No actual facts and a lot of speculation on the possibility of sexual abuse, with some questions at the end aimed at getting people foaming at the mouth in the comments.
    Just a thought.

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    • Bob – she claimed to have been in a homeless shelter at 14, so if she’s 29, this would have been in 2000. The Children Act was changed in the late 80’s to ensure children under 16 were in foster care or children’s homes and not left in situations where they could be abused further. This is why her story doesn’t ring true.
      If you want to see a prime example of trying work people up into a foamfest just look at Britain First’s Facebook pages and their website.

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      • ok, thats not really got any relevance to my comment does it? The fact that her story doesn’t ring true doesn’t have any bearing on the Daily Mail style of the article.
        I’ve never been entirely comfortable with an argument that essentially says ‘its ok for us to do this because those people over there are doing it a lot worse’.

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          • Fair enough. It comes across as a little sensationalist and patronising to me i.e. all the hallmarks of the Daily Mail, but possibly thats just the way i’m reading it.
            I should point out that the second paragraph of my second post up there was in response to Pams invitation to ‘see a prime example of trying work people up into a foamfest’, and not in relation to the article itself.

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      • Sorry, i wasn’t commenting on the validity of your doubts about her story. Why do people keep trying to convince me that its true when i haven’t said anything to the contrary?
        I was commenting on my perception of the tone of the article.

        I think you may have become too used to cretins posting on here, and seem to be viewing anything thats not agreeing with you directly, as being hostile.

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  6. This lady needs help! You can see it in her eyes. She is crying for help but expressing her emotions in a totally wrong manner. She is a sweet person, who just needs to find herself and direction in life. She has got into the wrong crowd for all the wrong reasons. One day someone will reach out to her and mark my words, she will convert to a Muslim herself. A lot of people may be surprised but I am her fan, who is a Muslim (no joke and no sarcasm). I honestly think she is a nice person who needs TLC.

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  7. Like any person with human compassion, if what she hinted is true, then it is unquestionably terrible and she should be helped should she want it. Deep down, I’m sure she has it in her to be a decent person; no-one is born with such pent up hatred are they? There must be a catalyst for it all and it could very well be the traumatised past speculated.

    However, that shouldn’t stop us from attacking her vitriolic opinions and exposing her lies. What we must do is try and seperate the person and her past from her politics and ideologies. It can be difficult especially if her past is the reasons whyn she has such convictions in the first place, but we should try and steer clear until or unless the truth comes to light. Until we get some revealation, that we should assume her past is irrelevant. We can only hope that she will eventually see the error of her ways and leave, as someone mentioned elsewhere, the “wrong crowd”.

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