Bracelets of Division

juden yellow star nazi jewBeginning in Poland on November 23rd 1939, Nazi occupiers forced Jewish citizens to wear distinctive yellow stars on their clothing. The purpose of the ‘badge of shame’ as it was known was to ensure quick and easy identification of Jews at all times. It was, as security chief for France and Belgium, Helmut Knochen later stated “another step on the road to the final solution”. That final solution ultimately brought about the murderous slaughter of 6 million Jews throughout occupied Europe.

It seems unthinkable that such a policy could be repeated anywhere in Europe today. The very idea of forcing people to wear symbols that mark them out seems totally alien in our post WW2 world. And yet…

Earlier this week we were treated to what appears to be a non-story about red doors in Middlesbrough. The original claim by The Times was that red front doors were being used as a sort of ‘coded signal’ to isolate and publicise the whereabouts of refugees so that far right thugs could target them more easily. It didn’t take long for the Home Office to comment and soon the whole thing was the hot topic of the hour.

EBF didn’t say much about it at the time because there was nothing in the reports to tell us how many non-immigrant houses also had red doors. That lack of detail made us suspicious and so we waited to see how the story would develop. Unlike Britain First we actually prefer to report on true situations rather than made up ones. As it stands, one week on it’s still not clear but there is a strong argument that no such discrimination has occurred. We’ll wait and see. It might be true, it might be false.

red bracelet asylum seekers refugees discriminationWhatever the truth about the red doors scandal though there is another story that has much more of a ring of truth to it. That’s not unusual. One media story, whether accurate or not, can prompt people to go to the press with similair tales that really are accurate. This seems to be the case with the second ‘yellow star’ story of the week.

OK, it’s not actually a yellow star – it’s a brightly coloured wristband but the point is the same. According to The Guardian, refugees and Asylum seekers in Cardiff are being forced to wear distinctive wrist bands that identify them to the public. The wrist bands, once removed cannot be replaced and without them the refugees don’t get to eat. That looks pretty coercive to us.

It’s also a lot more plausible, not least because the company in charge of the situation, Clearsprings ready homes, a contractor for the Home Office has admitted to the practice and tried to rationalise it. The original ‘red door’ story was denied – this one wasn’t.
The rationalisation for this practice, so reminiscent of yellow stars in singling out a particular demographic is to do with administration of food. But there must be less discriminatory ways. We’ve been doing the same thing in schools with tickets and other tokens for decades. It’s not hard. Britain’s hostels and food banks seem able to manage to identify and feed people without making them wear badges or wristbands and we’re sure that other methods wouldn’t be entirely beyond the company with the Home Office contract for accommodating refugees and asylum seekers. So what gives?

Theresa May Home Secretary office governmentTwo Home Office contractors are accused of divisive discrimination in the same week. One admits it, the other may or may not be guilty. We have to wonder what is going on in Whitehall when taxpayers’ money is used in such a discriminatory way by people employed by the state and presumably then bound by European human rights laws to avoid discrimination.

We look forward to hearing how this matter has been rectified very soon. This isn’t 1939 and we’re not living in a Nazi state – at least not yet!

Bloody lefties ruin everything!

According to Britain First the ongoing refugee crisis as desperate, dispossessed human beings are forced to flee from their war-torn homes is the fault of left wing European politicians. This struck us as an interesting (if somewhat inexplicable) perspective so we decided to investigate.

BF EBF immigrant refugee death left wing politicians Europe 2015The obvious starting place was the ‘Express’ article the Biffers cited in their original Britain First Facebook post. You can read it for yourself here. Far from blaming left wing politicians for this unfolding tragedy the Express quoted the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), William Lacy Swing who seems clear in blaming the historically inaccurate anti-immigration narrative so favoured by the right wing.

It is the lying perspective of Britain First and the rest of their callous neo-nazis that prevents nations from offering the compassionate aid that these refugees so obviously need. We began to wonder why Britain First chose not to mention the point the article was actually making…
Express 2015 migrant crisis narrative IOM Director General

BF socialism liberal university typicalIntrigued by the apparent inability of the Biffers to read the links they post we thought we’d take a look at what else they blame the left for. It’s quite an eye-opener…

Lots of Biffer posts try to reduce the left (which they seem to define as anyone who isn’t a neo-nazi) to a single homogenous group of vacuous ‘rich kids’. ‘The left’ seems to be a catch all term for socialists, liberals, conservatives, atheists, Muslims, humanists and pretty well all foreigners or non-whites. They use the terms ‘left wing’ and ‘liberal’ interchangeably which itself demonstrates their political naivety. To make matters worse they go on to characterise their artificially unified opposition in some remarkably unsophisticated and immature ways.
In typically immature manner they pull faces at Lefties without once making any sort of comment about which left wing policies they oppose.

BF Robert de niro liberal talk face
Perhaps it’s the NHS they hate or the fact that working people have rights, sick pay, a minimum wage, paid holidays and the right to safe working environments. Maybe it’s the leftist practice of free state education or the way that people are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Maybe it’s the fact that people are provided for when they’re out of work or the way that national insurance supports the sick and disabled. Hmm – how dare those pesky lefties (defined by the Biffers as non-nazis) care about stuff like that?

Then we get to the point. The Biffers hate lefties because we see through their attempt to make all foreigners look like terrorists. Remember the core values of Britain First…

1. White supremacism

EBF BF white genocide

2. Religious intolerance

BF terror Islam left wing idiots Koran Quran.png
Anyone who doesn’t agree with their vile, divisive ideology must be discredited. The last time anyone tried their particular brand of fascism they used a straightforward strategy of categorising everyone who disagreed as ‘lefties’ so why not do the same? After all, it worked for the last Fuhrer.

BF Terrorism no religion left wing idiots.png

They even threw in some remarkably disingenuous religious dogma for good measure (not that anyone will really be fooled by such an obvious misinterpretation of ancient texts).

BF Ecclesiastes left and right.png

That’s just cover – a smokescreen to try to mask their true agenda. In reality they’re just following their leader.

Hitler anti left wing

Does that seem familiar to anyone?

Steve Lewis eradicte lefties pic

View from a barstool #12

Beer 2Well now the festivities are over and hangovers nursed in the Landlords household, the pirates seem to have finally buggered off, the hobnob cupboard in the office needs replenishing(hint) but at least the Blue Nun and the babysham was imbibed. I had 3 major resolutions to try and keep. The first – to be nice to trolls lasted 4 minutes. The second – not to get pissed off with the biffers lasted 2 and the last – to get decent coffee for the office lasted 8 hours.

So to the roundup of all things biffer from last week…

Well Goldibollocks graced us with his considerable presence, trying to look statesmanlike but failing miserably, informing his congregation that he was proud to be arrested. Paulie, proud you miserable cockwomble, of harassing a elderly woman in her home, proud of sticking two fingers up at the Queen by wearing a tatty green bin bag with her crown emblazoned on it, and proud of being leader of a fascist organisation.

Biffer central seem to be sending an endless amount of trolls over, who we tolerate to a degree, and love reading you lot ripping into them and the comedy value of your replies. Indeed we are currently discussing a new virtual award for troll hunting. It proves beyond any doubt that the powers that be over in Bifferland are worried about our continued presence, getting bigger by the day. Other anti groups also continue to grow as well so the people are out there, getting louder and getting to their leaders.

Floods, lots of them. Loads of damage to infrastructure and homes. People struggling under the deluge. But we saw something happening. Huge community spirit, help from Christians, from Sikh’s, Athiests, Muslims, refugees, giving up time, food and money for the victims, not caring who they are. What did Britain First do, with their 1.1 million disciples? They sent a meme out asking those who receive foreign aid to send £3. I think, Goldibollocks and Dutchy, you have fucked up badly on it.

EBF Rochdale refugees sandbags meme

Our picture of Syrian refugees was trolled relentlessly, it seems that most of the mainstream media and even the Washington Post isn’t enough proof for them. Well up yours Biffers! People in this country have long memories and when you have your drunken stroll through Dewsbury there will be a few good people of Hebden Bridge and other affected areas coming to join the ranks of the real British people opposing you.

And finally, instead of a conference the Biffers are going to have a weekend festival somewhere in Lincolnshire, complete with burger vans (halal?) and beer tent. And this brings me to my final resolution of this year, to harass and harry anything you do.

Have a meet up at a pub? Not if I can help it!

Your festival? Not if I can help it?

A march? I’m going to be there!

A meme? Yep you guessed it.

In fact, whatever you do I’m going to counter it with my fellow admins and my mates on the page.

Send your trolls in. We’ll counter them to shreds!

Try to discredit us. We’ll laugh and repudiate your claims!

We are Christian, Athiest, Muslim and agnostic. We are from a wide range of backgrounds with contacts in many places. And EBF is getting stronger from the people who send us in memes, links and information. Britain First may not have been involved in the floods but they will reap the deluge that’s coming their way.

Finally, may I wish all our mates on the page, and the trolls too, a very happy and prosperous new year.

Cheers,

Landlord

Abdol-Hossein Sardari: Islam’s Oskar Schindler

Yes, it’s true. We promised not to mention the Biffers at all on the EBF blog today but some things just need to be said. Britain First regularly publishes false information about Muslims persecuting other religious groups, especially Jews and Christians and they often point to the weakest of historical events to try to prove it. In truth the record of history tells a very different story that our next hero illustrates so well.

Abdol Hussain Sardari Islam ww2 paris iran ambassadorAbdol-Hossein Sardari was the Iranian ambassador in Paris when the occupying Nazis began rounding up the country’s Jews for forced labour or liquidation. As we have already seen they did this because of an ideological assumption that was based not upon observable science but on blind faith. The Nazis did try to evidence their claims about racial purity, even financing extensive but fruitless archaeological expeditions in the attempt but they could not. There was no evidence to be found because the cultural construct of race makes no significant sense anyway in any reasonable context.

Abdol used this lack of evidence to his advantage. If there was no real evidence to support the Nazi claims about racial purity, there was no need to worry about finding any. All he’d need then would be an emotive argument, persuasively delivered. That was all the Nazis had needed to consign central European Jews to their labour and death camps so presumably it would work in reverse too.

Speaking first on behalf of his own nationals, Sardari was able to convince the German authorities that Iranian Jews were genetically different from the rest of Jewry. They were descended from a different blood line and therefore not ‘tainted’ by the genealogical deficiencies of other Jews. He invented an entirely fictitious collection of research that ‘proved’ that Persian and Iranian Jews weren’t Semitic at all. He actually convinced the Nazis that ‘his’ Jews were really pure Aryan’s, like themselves! In other words, Iranian Jews were most definitely not ‘Untermenschen’. Having nothing beyond a perverse sense of their own ‘righteousness’ and ‘purity’ to guide them the Nazis fell for it, hook, line and sinker. Iranian Jews were spared the holocaust.

But Sardari didn’t stop there. Since there was no objective geneological evidence underlying the policy, all a Jew needed to be saved was an Iranian passport. Provide the illusion of citizenship and the Nazis, like the Angel of Death at passover, would simply move on.

holocaust-executionActually there was nothing ‘simple’ about it. Abdol-Hossein Sardari ran considerable personal risks, arranging Iranian passports and documents of citizenship for countless Jews. He had no authorisation from Iran to do this. Sardari was actually recalled by the Iranian government but he refused to comply. He remained in Paris, using his own considerable fortune to fund the elaborate deception and escape plan. Estimates vary but the lives he saved certainly ran well into the thousands if not the tens of thousands.

Had Sardari been discovered in his clandestine mission of mercy he would almost certainly have died. Yet his faith in Jihad, in the Islamic struggle to be righteous drove him, as it has so many others to protect the weak, the helpless and the non-combatant. Taking his inspiration from the Koran he held so dear Abdol had no option but to follow the demands of his religious conviction and risk everything in the name of peace and justice.

So the next time you read about the alleged hostility of Islam, remember Abdol-Hossein Sardari and the many like him who’s personal Jihad, what Muslims know as the ‘greater’ Jihad, was to be the best, most compassionate and most honourable person he could be, even in Nazi occupied France.

When you buy your poppy this year, wear it with pride in honour of Muslim men and women like Abdol-Hossein Sardari. It’s their poppy too!

 

Download the full collection of today’s blog posts  EBF They fought for us

Fighting for Poland and for Britain too

My grandparents were immigrants. But just as the vast majority of modern immigrants, they were more than worthy of their place in our society.

As with most of our grandparents, they didn’t talk too much of their trials during WWII but this is their tale, as accurate as I can make it.

Dziadek (Polish for grandad) was a young man from Postawy in Eastern Poland.

ww2 warsaw occupation polandHe joined the army and fled along with thousands of compatriots when Germany annexed the country.

Why did they run? Why didn’t they stop and fight? Sounds familiar huh?

Imagine charging Panzer Divisions on horseback or trying to shoot down Stukas with antiquated rifles…..Damn right you’d run!

Anyway, he eventually made his way across Europe and ended up in Scotland, where the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade was formed.

They were formed intending to drop into Poland and assist in the liberation of their homeland but the British government pressured them into joining Operation Market Garden.

On September 18th 1944 they were due to drop, alongside the gliders of the 1st British Airborne at Arnhem in Holland in an attempt to push German forces south, toward France and the allies advancing from that direction.

Bad weather meant the British gliders were able to deploy but it was too bad to parachute in so the Poles followed three days later, out of position, on the wrong side of the Rhine and where the Germans were waiting.

The battle of Arnhem is widely regarded as one of the biggest mistakes in military history, massive casualties were inflicted on both sides, Dziadek was extremely lucky to survive as many of his countrymen died alongside him and the whole thing ended up in a stalemate over THAT bridge, made famous in A Bridge Too Far

ww2 warsawMeanwhile, in Warsaw, Babcia (grandmother) was fighting her own battle alongside the Polish Resistance.

On August 1st 1944 the Russians were advancing from the east and liberation was imminent.

The sound of Chopins Polonaise rang through the streets of Warsaw, signalling the start of what was one of the bloodiest battles of the war. The Russians halted outside the city so the Poles were left to battle against a far superior army, with spontaneous help from allied air forces. Over the course of two months around 20,000 Poles were killed, wounded or went missing in action compared with nearly 23,000 German troops. Nearly 200,000 civilians were killed and a further 700,000 were displaced due to the near-total destruction of the city.

15,000 Polish freedom fighters were also captured, Babcia one of them. She took a piece of shrapnel to the leg and spent the rest of the war in the hellhole known as Belsen. After the war she was in a demobilisation camp. One day she was struggling to get her hairdryer to work when a dashing young paratrooper happened to pass and fixed it for her, the rest is history

They spent a brief couple of years in Germany where my father was born and then decided to move to Britain as many Poles who’d fought alongside British forces did. They didn’t have much choice anyway, Dziadek’s hometown was now part of Belarus after the allies carved up much of Poland and Warsaw was all but levelled.

Looking back now I wish I’d questioned them more on their experiences but they were proud, strong people and it didn’t seem right to drag up their past and memories they might not want to recall.

We found out that Dziadek was younger than we thought after he passed, like many of his generation he’d lied about his age to join up (can’t imagine a proud biffer doing that, somehow! )

During one of our family get-togethers, alcohol fuelled, as Poles tend to do, Babcia came into the room with four bottles of homebrew held between the fingers of each of her hands. My brother and I jumped up to help but she shooed us away with, “this is how we carried the petrol bombs in Warsaw!”

A pair of awe inspiring heroes, much loved and sadly missed. I oppose Nazism in honour of their memory xxx

When you buy your poppy this year, wear it proudly and remember those brave poles who sacrificed so much for all of our freedom.

Download the full collection of today’s blog posts  EBF They fought for us

302 and 303 squadrons – The Free Polish Air Force in Britain

On September 1st 1939 the German army invaded Poland. The successful Blitzkrieg (lightning war) tactic of swift invasion supported by armoured artillery, rapidly moving infantry and massive air support got them to Warsaw with remarkable speed and the city fell, effectively signalling the collapse of Poland itself on September 17th.

Unable to continue the defence of their homeland, many Polish pilots and air crew fled to France where they joined the French air force and returned to the fray as the Germans continued their advance there. Once again however they were defeated. Undeterred, the surviving Polish pilots and air crew made their way to Britain and the Royal Air Force.

ww2 polish 303 squadron raf302 Squadron was formed on July 13th 1940 with 303 Squadron close on its heels coming into existence on August 2nd. Both squadrons fought in the Battle of Britain, the gallant action that drove back the Luftwaffe, prevented Germany from establishing air superiority across the channel from France and thus forced Hitler to abandon Operation Sea Lion (AKA the invasion of Britain). These two squadrons, although late to the Battle of Britain were responsible for one fifth of all German planes shot down over Britain. Without the aid of these 139 Polish airmen (303 squadron shot down more German planes than any other RAF Hurricane squadron) it is doubtful that the German invasion would have been halted. Britain may well have been occupied. That in turn could easily have resulted in a quick victory for Germany and for Nazism throughout Europe with no effective opposition to launch a counter-attack.

Without Britain’s continued resistance to the German war machine there would have been little or no commonwealth involvement and the Americans would have ignored Europe completely, concentrating all their forces upon the Pacific war with Japan instead. To put it another way, without the Polish airmen of 302 and 303 squadrons Germany would almost certainly have won the Second World War. And it wasn’t just the Polish pilots we need to be grateful for. In total around 17,000 Polish nationals fought for Britain. They represented their country (and ours) over air, land and sea and bled just as deeply as any Brit in the defence of freedom from Nazi totalitarianism.

When you buy your poppy this year, wear it with pride in honour of the Polish flyers who fought and died in defence of Britain. It’s their poppy too.

Download the full collection of today’s blog posts  EBF They fought for us

A wartime childhood

I was born in 1937 so by the time the second world war began I was not old enough to understand what was happening.

I suppose I must have been about four or five years old before I was able to begin to understand that life was not necessarily the same as it had always been. However my parents and those of my friends made a very good job of hiding the realities of war from us.

My father had his own Joiner’s business and began to find it difficult to obtain timber so of course our income was greatly reduced. Food began to be in short supply but everyone was in the same situation so we made the best of it. It was made more difficult when the local butcher decided that because we were a small family we did not have enough coupons to buy meat, so obtaining enough nourishment was difficult. Week after week my mother would go to the butchers shop and stand in the queue only to be told “There is no meat for YOU this week Mrs H.” We have often wondered where it went! Perhaps the man and his wife who used to visit certain houses after dark with bulging overcoats could have told us.

WW2 childrenMany families had very little to eat for Christmas Dinner. My friend’s family were going to sit down to egg and chips one year. Fortunately my Father was able to help them out. He happened to be a very good chess player and every Christmas the local Chess Club held a competition with a Turkey as first prize. So that was Christmas Dinner taken care of!

One night there was a knock on the door and a neighbour was standing there. He was home on leave and had managed to get hold of a bunch of grapes. He had carefully cut the bunch into smaller parts enough to give one little ‘bunch’ to every child in the street. I had never seen a grape before. Fruit has never tasted so sweet. Thank you Bob for your kindness.

Toys were in short supply so every Christmas my dad would make sets of bricks for all the neighbours’ children and distribute them on Christmas Eve.

My schooldays were happy ones. The teachers appealed to parents and the general public to let them have any spare paper for us to work on, but I was blissfully unaware that it wasn’t usual to write on squares of wallpaper. It doesn’t seem to have done my education any harm though!

We had few evacuees in our area, but I remember one shy little girl arriving at our school and not receiving a very kind welcome from some of the local children. She was a Londoner and they had never heard her accent before so several of them decided to bully her. However a number of us decided to befriend this child and as we outnumbered the bullies they soon slunk away. ‘Twas ever thus!!

Living in a fairly quiet part of the North we didn’t have the horror of the bombings taking place in cities all over the country. I vividly remember my mother taking me to visit her cousin in Manchester in about 1942 and being taken by my half cousins to their favourite playground. A heap of rubble opposite their house which had once been someone’s home.

Dark nights were the norm. No street lights, absolutely no lights shining from windows and only the tiniest amount of light allowed from hand torches which had paper stuck over them with only a tiny slit for the light to shine through.

We would sometimes go to the Cinema with some neighbours and their daughter. Coming home in the pitch dark seemed a great adventure to us as we happily skipped along singing ‘Who’s afraid of the dark?” One night we left the cinema to discover it had been snowing and the ground and rooftops were white. There was a full moon which made everything look as bright as day………..We couldn’t understand why we were shepherded home as fast as possible. We would have loved to play snowballs.

In common with every town in the land there was a possibility of air raids. My mother decided that the safest place to shelter from any bombs was in the understairs pantry, where she provided cushions to sit on. As she also left all the tins, glass jars and bottles on the shelves, it was probably not the safest choice!

None of these things had much impact upon me as I grew up until at the end of the war I was taken to the cinema by my parents. There they showed a newsreel of the first soldiers entering Belsen and finding people in the late stages of starvation, literally living skeletons waiting to die and heaps of bodies piled up to rot. The result of Nazi hatred and inhumanity. I can remember it still.

I pray that the present threat of Fascism in defeated so that never again will people be persecuted because they are perceived to be ‘different’.

Let us embrace and rejoice in our differences and stand firm against such oppressors. For then our world will be a richer and more peaceful place.

When you buy your poppy this year, wear it proudly in honour of all those parents who never made it back to help their children grow up.

 

Download the full collection of today’s blog posts  EBF They fought for us