Inside the mind of a Biffer

A regular topic in the EBF office is motivation. What drives the Biffers to be so hateful? How can otherwise ordinary people embrace such malice and wish so much harm on their fellow humans?

Over the last few days I’ve made it my mission to try to answer this question, not for every Biffer but at least for some. It isn’t always easy to trawl through the comments on the Britain First Facebook page but it seemed to be a reasonable place to find the answer to my question. What did the Biffers themselves say about their concerns and how do these comments fit together to produce the hatred and cruelty they advocate?

Taking a methodical, step by step perspective was quite revealing and whilst not all that surprising did provide some insight into the way that Britain First manipulates ordinary people, just as their German forerunners did almost a century earlier.

‘Our’ people

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The first thing Britain First does is create a sense of identity. Biffers need to be brought to identify with the group of ‘our people’. So Britain First regularly produces memes on social media to help them develop this sense of identity. The Biffer ‘in group’ is made up of white Brits, ex-pats and Christians. Out-groups include Muslims (of course), non-whites and immigrants (unless they come from America or Australia).

Colour

The idea of ‘white flight’ and ‘white genocide’ is a recurring theme in the identification process.

white pride black pride BF EBF

Regular appeals to increase white birth rate serve not so much to actually encourage more births but to imbue the Biffers with a sense that ‘their’ race is in peril, international statistics on normalisation of immigrant birth rates notwithstanding.

160319 BF white genocide propaganda FB meme comments EBF

Religion

The Biffers don’t act like Christians (except perhaps for the congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church) but they repeatedly claim to be Christians. They appeal to the dispossessed and the downtrodden in the same way that early Christians did in Judea and beyond. By hijacking established tenets of traditional Christianity they can present a seemingly familiar front for their decidedly unfamiliar neo-nazism.

The comments from their supporters show just how effective this tactic is as people use a religion that speaks of peace to justify the hatred of fascism, apparently without the slightest sense of irony.

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Nationality

Nationalism is their biggest theme, of course. This is the mainstay of Britain First’s raison d’etre as they work toward an all-British, all-white and decidedly Aryan Britain. So the group identity of Britishness is pushed hard. And the sheeple respond.

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Perceived threat

It’s not enough to establish group identity though. That doesn’t engender hatred. For really fervent malice it’s necessary to pretend that the group is under attack, preferably from those too weak to defend themselves. Groups like minority religious populations or desperate refugees.

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Exaggerated horror to come

The technique is simple. Identify with the in group. Breed fear of the out group and then play on the peoples’ newly installed fears.

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Hatred

Then sit back and watch the hatred develop. It doesn’t have to be rational – it just has to be visceral.

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Hostility

Once that groundwork has been completed it’s a short step to turn fear and hatred into open hostility and the volunteers to fund or create violence come forward of their own accord.

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Malice

Keep fuelling the fire with perceived obstructions to ‘our’ way of life or evidence of ‘alien’ activities to underscore the problem ‘our group’ faces and let the people whip themselves up into their own frenzy of malice.

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And watch the hatred you planted all those memes ago grow and bear fruit.

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Have we forgotten yet?

This weekend saw the passing of another historical icon in the fight against fascism. Samuel Willenberg, the last living survivor of the Treblinka death camp passed away in Israel at the age of 93. He never forgot the horrors he witnessed at the camp in which almost every inmate died at the hands of their Nazi captors. Their only ‘crime’ was to belong to the wrong religion (or as the Nazis saw it then and now – the wrong race).

Samuel Willenberg last Treblinka survivor

Willenberg dedicated his long life to keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive. He regularly returned to Treblinka to help each new generation understand just what human beings are capable of given the right circumstances. His was a life dedicated to the principle ‘Never again’.

As I look around modern UK and the still embryonic but very definite revival of fascist ideologies; As I witness the neo-nazism of hate groups like Britain First and the EDL; As I watch these deplorable organisations distort the memory of those brave men and women who fought the Nazis in WW2 I have to ask myself…

Have we forgotten yet?

It seems that many of us have.

Many of us know nothing of the horrors that Nazism inflicted on the world so few decades ago. Still worse, some modern neo-nazis actually deny that these things happened at all, so desperate are they to sanitise the horrific ideology they support.

SwastikaMany modern supporters of divisive hate groups are so misinformed about the reality of the Holocaust and all its perpetrators stood for they actually believe that they are part of some vague opposition to Nazism when in fact they are its keenest supporters.

Have we forgotten yet?

It seems that many of us have.

I ask any members of Britain First, the English Defence League, Pegida, The New British Union or any of the seemingly endless list of far right organisations cropping up across the Western world to stop and consider for a moment. Do you really, truly understand what you’re getting into? Do you really want to be part of a movement that wants to murder anyone who doesn’t agree with its own policies and ideologies? Do you really believe that anything good can come out of the wholesale persecution and slander of an entire religion?

Have you forgotten yet?

Well… have you?

Britain’s worst on Holocaust memorial day

Last Wednesday was Holocaust Memorial Day. The 27th January, 1945 was the day when Allied forces first entered Auschwitz concentration camp. Auschwitz and its sister camp, Birkenau were used for slave labour and the industrialised extermination of the ‘final solution’.

We blogged about the Holocaust Memorial Day here. As often happens the Biffers responded to our original post with their own version. We regularly seem to shame the Biffers into addressing issues that we have raised. For all Golding pretends he’s a British hero bent upon saving our country no matter what others might think, we all know he’s really just a vain and ignorant bigot who’s actually acutely sensitive to the opinions of others. They never manage to make a very good job of it though.

A few hours after our blog was published the Biffers published this hastily thrown together Facebook meme, desperately trying to prove that they care about the victims but actually unable to bring themselves to mention anyone the Holocaust actually targeted except in passing.

BF Holocaust memorial day

 

They could have mentioned the theme of this year’s Memorial Day – the awareness raising plea… “Don’t stand by” but, of course people standing by is exactly what they’re relying on. They want us to stand by in silence while they continue to demonise minorities in UK and do to modern Muslims what the Nazis did to Jews all those years ago.

We think they’d also have preferred it if their supporters had kept quiet too – at least on this issue. There’s nothing more convincing than to witness Nazis advocating atrocities themselves.

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Don’t stand by

Please, don’t stand by

Holocaust memorial day

holocaust-executionToday, January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day. This is the 71st anniversary of the allied liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazis’ largest and most destructive death camp.

Each year Holocaust Memorial Day is given a theme. Today, in 2016 that theme couldn’t be more pertinent as Europe sleepwalks its way back into the hard, cold embrace of the far right.

The message this year is simple but compelling…

Don’t stand by.

Far right groups are spreading their mantras of hate all across Europe.

 

Don’t stand by.

Please, don’t stand by.

Here in UK neo-nazi groups like Britain First, the English Defence League, Pegida, the National Front and even the New British Union are working hard to have their odious policies recast as somehow ‘mainstream’. This poisonous perversion of British values threatens to derail our harmonious society and pave the way for another jumped-up, tin-pot Fuhrer – but this time in our own land.

Don’t stand by.

As Edmund Burke famously wrote…

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph
Is that good men do nothing.”

Don’t stand by.

Please, don’t stand by.

Nuremberg – 70 years on

Nine days ago we published a selection of blogs about why the memory of Armistice Day is so important. Several of our supporters sent in their own articles and reminiscences but not all of them were published at the time. Some were retained (with the authors’ consent) for later anniversaries.

This one, sent in by EBF’s own ‘Hulk’, is perfect for the anniversary of the opening of the Nuremberg trials. We hope you find it as powerful as we did… (EBFBlogger)

I’ve a little story I want to share about my Grandfather, he was born just too late to fight in the Great War, and he was old to be fighting in the second, so he became a mechanic in the RAF, he was an ordinary man, simple values and beliefs. In 1944 he was at a forward airfield not far from Caen when some units of the 21st Panzer and some SS units wiped out so many poor young Canadians. They were advancing on the village close to the airfield and the only people who could stop them were the RAF personel, cooks, mechanics, signalmen many who had not fired a rifle since basic training, but they grabbed their weapons and went to do what they could, like so many ordinary soldiers in extraordinary times. They fought and died, KILLED and some survived but they saved the village until some of the Sherbrooke Fusiliers relieved them, My Grandad survived, but he lost many friends.

When he was in his early nineties, he decided, having been in a care home for 8 years that he wasn’t sure when he was going to die, so after a long battle he got a council flat and moved out of the care home, My sisters and I would go and cook a whole series of meals and freeze them every week, when he struggled to walk he bought a scooter and would go to the local park, he would always say hello to those he passed, but one day it was raining I remember, I went in said hi Grandad, and he was sitting in his chair crying, I had never seen him do that before, I ran to him thinking he had fallen or was in pain, he looked at me tears on his cheek and said these words to me;

“I taste the taste of death every night”

I sat and listened, his clear grey eyes darkened and he told me the story

“In April 1945 we were mainly driving delivering supplies we were sent with trucks of supplies to a camp called Belsen, from a few miles there was a strange atmosphere, no wildlife, everything was quiet, when we got to the gates we saw half humans , walking corpses, and the smell, I smell the smell of death every night”

The tears were streaming down both our cheeks, we hugged for a while until we both stopped. He grabbed my hand and said “never again”
For 50 years he had tasted that taste as he slept if you can call nightmares sleep, there was no treatment for PTSD back then.

He never stopped loving life, he bought a computer at 94, he said he had to live for his friends that died and the two young Germans he killed young enough to be his sons.

The night he died he met his first great grandchild, and I sat with him after the others left, he’d had a stroke and said nothing in two days, I kissed his forehead and said ” I love you” I then realised I had never told him that, he gripped my hand with all his strength, the same strength that held my hand as a little boy walking across Yorkshire moors, that grip of strength and safety, and he said his last words “Go now, I love you too”
I sat outside the door as he spent his last half an hour talking with all the people he had known. I knew when he had gone, I left.

The fog was thick as I walked along the river, the strange orange glow of sodium lights above and his words came to me, i scrabbled for a pen and a scrap of paper and i wrote his words, he said it must not happen again.

NEVER AGAIN

Can it be they are men
Gaunt faces, sunken cheeks
Dark dead eyes
Those that move shuffling forward
Feet dragging through a sea of mud
Matchstick fingers clinging to wire not moving

Every bone is shown angular and deformed
Creaking with every tiny movement
Cuts putrid rotting
Then the smell sweet and sickly
Causing nausea deep within
Rising unstoppable spewing forward

I saw those the few survivors
The ragged remnants of a battalion of 6 million others
Now some say it never happened
A mere detail in history
Or perhaps a communist lie
Let those that forget
Let those that deny
Taste the taste of death I taste every night

EBF Nuremberg 70 years anniversary meme

The ‘not racist’ myth

Britain First’s Biffers love to shout about not being racist. The argument goes something like this…

Islam is a religion. Religions are choices people make. Choices don’t depend upon race. Opposing Islam isn’t racism.

To an extent they’re right. Religions do cross racial boundaries and many non-racists oppose religions for a host of ideological reasons. Many of our own, EBF supporters have made no secret of their opposition to religion, often on the grounds that some religions are themselves quite discriminatory. So it’s certainly true that one can oppose any or all religions without being racist. But….

Opposing religion is one thing. Opposing the people who follow (often are simply born into) a particular religion is quite another.

EBF BF Nazi dehumanisation

This is more than an ideological objection – it’s a form of discrimination. Whether that discrimination is based upon race or religion is less significant than the fact that it is discrimination.

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The most obvious example of this is the Nazi holocaust against Jews (on both religious grounds and in relation to physical, ‘racial’ characteristics) but there are many others. The atrocities committed both by Muslims and Christians in the former Yugoslavia, the Catholic versus Protestant ‘troubles’ in N. Ireland and the Buddhist persecutions across the Far East are all good examples, not to mention the Christian right’s atrocities in the US and continental Europe. Discrimination and persecution are inexcusable whatever label you choose to give their different ‘flavours’.
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So if discrimination on religious grounds is just as bad, why do we insist on calling the Biffers racists? The answer to that is easy…. Because they are racists.

Britain First has made it a matter of principle to conflate skin colour and religion. In their world view all Muslims are brown and all brown people are Muslims. It’s a crass over-simplification but it serves their purpose well.

In the above images we saw Biffers advocating the same atrocities committed by the Nazis in Germany and across occupied Europe. In the images below we see the extent of their racism, not only against Asians but against anyone who isn’t both white and Christian.

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To imagine that Britain First isn’t motivated by both religious and racial bigotry is to be very naive indeed.

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