Britain First and the history of European Nazism

The problem with making historical comparisons is they’re never precise enough to satisfy the pedants and rarely obvious enough to catch the attention of most people. That’s because the majority of us have enough to deal with just coping with the necessities of everyday living. People haven’t time to go around studying political history and most don’t have the inclination to search for comparisons and similarities between modern UK and the worst of European thought.

EBF understands that. We know that to many this article will seem like an over-reaction to current events. But we think it important that we highlight the broad trends of 21st century ideologies even if the exact details differ from the precise events of the past. Modern Europe is very different from that of 80 or 90 years ago. Mass communication is easier and less controlled which accelerates the speed of social change. Deceitful propaganda is more easily spread and ideas, even dangerous ones can take hold of a population like wildfire.

EBF BF Wake up and rise up.pngBut people are still essentially the same. Their fears are the same, their vulnerability to manipulative ideologues is the same and their tendency to look for scapegoats to blame is the same. Our species hasn’t evolved at all in a few decades. We are as we were and what we were was frightening.

In 1920s Germany economic hardship was rife. People were literally starving to death as food became more and more expensive and wages, even for those lucky enough to be employed at all couldn’t keep up. Many felt hopeless and helpless.

In post 2007 Europe whole countries went bankrupt and others, like UK saw the weakest citizens, those suffering from disabling conditions or those who were unable to find work stripped of their incomes, sanctioned by civil servants or forced to work for nothing to ease the wage burden on large companies like Tesco, Asda and even’ the Biffers’ favourite’ – Gregg’s the baker’s. Many argue that this was little more than state-sponsored slavery designed to increase private, corporate profits at the expense of the public purse as several employers cut jobs, replacing paid employees with unskilled, forced (workfare) labour instead. Many at the bottom rungs of society felt hopeless and helpless.

In Post WW1 Germany a group of veterans calling themselves the Frei Corp (Free Army) began releasing propaganda explaining that Germany’s predicament was all the fault of international Jewry. This wasn’t true but it suited the emotional need of some of the people to scapegoat someone other than themselves.

In post-recession UK groups like Britain First began releasing propaganda blaming Muslims for all the country’s problems. This isn’t true either but it suits the emotional need of some of the people to scapegoat someone other than themselves.

EBF extremist Jayda no moderate muslim BF court lie

In 1920s Germany Adolf Hitler joined a small group of far right nationalists and quickly rose to prominence within what was one day to become the Nazi party.

In 2010 a relatively minor official in the British National Party (a far right nationalist group) broke away from the party to form his own rival group – Britain First.

In 1920s Germany the government largely ignored the Nazis. They were only one of many far right factions and they seemed too busy fighting amongst themselves to be of any significance.

In 2010 the UK government largely ignored Britain First. They were only one of many far right factions and they seemed too busy fighting amongst themselves to be of any significance.

In 1920s Germany Hitler’s Nazi party made very little impact. The demonstrations they held were violent armed conflicts and so the authorities eventually acted. When Hitler tried to begin an armed revolution and held hostage two government officials he was overwhelmed, tried and imprisoned for sedition.

In modern UK, Britain First incites violence against Muslims and immigrants but Golding et al have learned from history and never personally involve themselves in such crimes.

In 1930s Germany the Frei Corp became the Brown Shirts – the organised street fighters who persecuted Jews – their most infamous incident was ‘The night of broken glass’ or ‘Kristalnacht’ during which Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues were attacked in a domestic atrocity ordered by Hitler himself.

In modern UK we have not seen anything on the scale of Kristalnacht yet. We have however seen attacks against Muslim shops, Mosques and businesses, including arson and several Muslim deaths. At least one 81 year old Muslim was beaten to death by Britain First supporters whilst on his way to his local Mosque for morning prayers.

From the 1920s onwards Hitler and his cronies used dehumanising propaganda to isolate and encourage violence against German Jews.

From 2010 onwards Britain First has used dehumanising propaganda to isolate and encourage violence against British Muslims.

EBF BF Nazi dehumanisation

The German Nazis relied upon nationalism and a sense of ‘taking back control’ to fuel their hatred.

Britain First relies upon nationalism and a sense of ‘taking back control’ to fuel its hatred.

BBC3 BF WWOCB Title page

The internet and the speed with which social media spreads ideas around means that the popular nationalism that took the Nazis 15 years to achieve has taken Britain First with its social media savvy operation a third of that time. What they lack is political clout but there’s time for that and they’re certainly trying hard.

And it’s not just Britain First. There are other, equally disturbing groups at work in the UK. Nationalists organisations echo the same message of hate. Groups like the English Defence League and countless others also rely upon the same propaganda to fuel a nationalism that seems hell bent on taking this country back to a past that only really existed in their imaginations. Respectable political groups like UKIP seem almost to legitimise the nationalist agenda and may well be the key to political influence for all the other nationalist groups.

Brexit send them back T shirt

It’s no coincidence that ‘Vote UKIP’ is a common refrain from the racist nationalists we interact with across social media. Britain First is unlikely to gain any political power but that doesn’t mean they can’t support UKIP. Golding and Fransen have already created something like a Frei Corp in waiting. Their own website describes Britain First as a ‘Street defence organisation’ and their regular calls for civil war against Muslims and their (admittedly laughable as yet) attempts to train their members in combat skills seems to point very clearly in one particular direction. Might they become UKIP’s Brown shirts in time?

EBF BF fight club

If the problem was only UK based that might be less of a concern but similair trends can be seen across Europe. Some countries are further along this dark path and it’s not hard to see where we’re all being driven. This week in Austria a far right party using the slogan ‘Austria First’ (there’s a coincidence) narrowly failed to become the ruling political party in the country’s national election.

EBF BF Austria far right Nazi election.pngIn the style of their Austrian predecessor, Adolf Hitler they are now forcing a new election. Hitler’s Nazi party also forced elections until they got the result they wanted. We’d hoped that Austrians would know better, given their country’s part in WW2 but seemingly not. Like Brits and many other European nationals they have short memories. It remains to be seen how prophetic the result of the UK’s recent ‘Brexit’ referendum may be. The result (48% v 52%) is strikingly close to the Austrian result after a campaign that was fought much more along nationalist and racist lines than any other issue. We believe that there is very real cause for concern both here in the UK and abroad.

Holland, a country defeated by the Nazis and subjected to all the horrors of occupation is currently seeing the rise of its own brand of Nationalism. Even Germany, the birthplace of Pegida has a growing number of fascists within its population. Similair stories can be told about many Western nations from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean. The far right hasn’t won yet but it’s making remarkably good headway.

There’s still time to turn this around. Please help us to spread the word and stop the neo-Nazis from dragging us back into the darkness of former decades.

Further relevant reading from EBF

An overview of Britain First (PDF)

Britain First’s Nazi policies (PDF)

Britain First’s general Nazism (PDF)

Jayda Fransen’s Anti-Islamic propaganda – just Like Julius Streicher’s anti-semitic ‘Der Sturmer’ (PDF)

Britain First has blood on its hands

How Britain First profits from violence

Britain First inciting civil war

Britain first as a uniformed, paramilitary militia

 

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We need unity now more than ever

The decision is made and the consequences, whatever they may be will be best faced as a united nation. The campaign leading up to yesterday’s referendum has been bitter and in some quarters violent. Commentators on both sides of the debate made exaggerated claims and strove hard to alienate their opposing camp. None of this was ever going to be helpful post-referendum.

EU and union flags brexitAs a staunch Remain advocate I won’t pretend that I’m not disappointed. But so what? Who gives a flying f**k about that? Emotions are irrelevant in this situation. The decision is made and Britain faces an uphill task to re-establish our identity as a nation, to re-establish our entire legal framework and to re-establish our relationship with the rest of the world.

Given that we might just have slammed the door on the international cartel that buys almost half our exports it seems certain that greater austerity is ahead. Equally worrying, especially for the low paid or those on zero-hour or casual contracts is the fact that many of their EU derived employment rights will cease to have any legal basis in UK law. Those workers who thought that their rights couldn’t be eroded any more than they already have been over the last few years may well be about to get a very large shock as they lose the protection the EU afforded them in the past.

The temptation for the Remain camp to blame the Brexiters for the sudden drop in the pound’s international value and for Brexiters to find a way to claim it’s all Remain’s fault really over the next few weeks, months and possibly years will be almost irresistible for many. The need for those workers who may soon begin to see their rights eroded to blame each other, whether they voted in or out will be equally strong. But we must avoid that temptation.

I won’t deny that I fear for this nation’s future today. But we must not fight each other. One of the most significant long-term consequences of the decision to leave the EU may well be the loss of the European Convention on Human Rights. Many of our current conservative leaders, including the Home Secretary have expressed their desire to reject both the ECHR and the British Human Rights Act that supports it in UK. This move opens the door for those who would remove those rights, potentially to replace them with an as yet unspecified ‘British Bill of Rights’. Potentially we have lost the framework that has hitherto defended the rights of working people, of religious and ethnic minorities and that has guaranteed us fair recourse to law. It’s too soon to know precisely what will happen next but the risk to our rights, especially to the rights of minority groups, to working people and to those who are out of work for whatever reason has suddenly become much more credible.

Not all Brexiters were far right sympathisers but all the far right sympathisers we interacted with were Brexiters. And there’s a reason for that. The loss of the EU means that far right groups like Britain First have just received a massive legal shot in the arm. As this country extricates itself to a greater or lesser extent from European legislation it will become easier for so-minded politicians to erode minority rights. And the thing that will make it easiest of all for them in this post-referendum Britain is sustained division.

If this nation continues to fight against itself, if we cannot find a way to come together and heal the divisions of the last few months of furious campaigning we will be too distracted in hating each other to notice the wholesale erosion of our protections.

The result is what it is. Britain, for better or worse has left the European Union. Now the task is to come together in unity.

Most people I know, be they Remain or Leave voters want to see a strong nation, not a divided one.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Marcia

The betrayer is betrayed

Oh dear! Poor old Paulie seems a bit upset. And it’s hardly surprising.

EBF BF UKIP Even Farage hates Britain First.png

Do you remember all the time and effort he and his fascist mates invested acting as UKIP’s attack dogs in the run up to the 2015 general election? Who could forget how they gallantly intimidated a tiny woman on the South coast or the courageous way they attacked a troupe of cabaret performers who’d dared to criticise Uncle Nige? They even coughed up to fill the Landy with diesel for a day trip to Margate in their role as UKIP’s infamous SA shit-troopers.

And now look. Just as Uncle Adolf ditched Ernst Romme’s original SA when they got to be more trouble than they were worth, so Uncle Nige has done the very same thing with his version of the SA rabble. The only surprising thing is that anyone, even the Biffers, could be surprised.

EBF BF Galloway Farage snub Golding.png

Grasser Golding threw his hat into the ring in support of UKIP because he recognised that Nigel Farage is essentially just like him. They’re both wannabe chancers who turned their backs on the political parties who taught them their craft and they’re both opportunists who feed on fear and hatred to garner support.

It seems obvious that they’d both be capable of the same betrayal.

Just as Paulie stuck the knife in his old mentor, Nick Griffin, Uncle Nige has abandoned Paulie, his former thug-wrangler with equally little ceremony. Perhaps the inimitable Mr. Farage has realised what would happen to his MEP expenses if the UK pulled out of Europe. Something’s made him change his mind about the single issue he’s banged on about incessantly for the last 20 years.

Poor, poor Paulie.

We’d weep if only we could stop laughing long enough!