The origins of Britain’s far right movement

Godwin’s law states that the first person to call their opponent a Nazi loses the debate. That’s because the word Nazi (the short-form of the German NSDAP or ‘National Socialist German Workers’ Party)’) is so over-used today. It’s become the go-to insult for those whose intellectual abilities have run dry and they find themselves unable to counter a well-thought out argument. In that sense, Godwin was right – the first person to call their opponent a Nazi has indeed, lost the debate. But what if the person you’re talking about or interacting with really is a Nazi?

edl nazi.jpg

That’s when Godwin’s law starts to come apart. It becomes even more confusing when your verbal sparring partner subscribes to Nazi policies (see groups like Britain First, UKIP and Liberty GB) and yet genuinely believes that they’re not Nazi at all. What if they actually see themselves as ‘anti-Nazi’?

The leadership of the British far-right have been so diligent in redefining themselves that they really have convinced their supporters (and perhaps even themselves) that their policies, although often exactly matching those of Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s, are actually anti-Nazi.

Here we chart the descent of Nazism through the generations as we might track the passage of the runners’ baton in an Olympic relay race. Here the track is measured in years, not metres but the principle is the same. The same baton that was touched by the hands of Hitler, Franco and Mussolini now finds itself carried just as reverently by Weston, Griffin, Yaxley-Lennon, Hopkins, Golding, Fransen and Dowson.

Hitler, Mussolini, Franco

It’s no secret that these three mid-twentieth century dictators knew each other. Hitler and Mussolini even fought together against the Allies during World War 2. Before the war both men sent troops, funds and equipment to support Franco’s fascist cause in the Spanish Civil War. They were the three most prominent fascist dictators of the period, matched in ruthlessness only by Stalin in Communist Russia. What isn’t so well known is the way that these dictators interacted with British High society.

Mosley, the British Union of Fascists

Oswald Mosley was the leader of the British Union of Fascists, a party he formed in 1932 immediately after visiting Mussolini in Italy.

mosleyMosley’s followers dressed in black military style uniform, shared Hitler’s hatred of Jews and socialists and even had their own army of street thugs, the infamous ‘Biff Boys’. These violent, black-shirted gangs spent their time terrorizing and assaulting Jews, homosexuals (the word ‘gay’ meant something rather different back then). Socialists and non-whites. Their methods and their targets were exactly the same as those of Ernst Rohm’s brown-shirted SA in pre-war Nazi Germany. There’s a reason for that.

Mosley and the Mitford sisters

Mosely had very real links to the fascists of Europe. As well as Mussolini he also visited Nazi Germany and married his second wife, Diana Mitford in the home of Joseph Goebbels. There were only around half a dozen guests in attendance including Adolf Hitler himself. Mosley’s new sister in law, Unity Mitford was known to be extremely close to Hitler and even got to attend high level strategy meetings with the Fuhrer. Unity killed herself when war was declared, so heartbroken was she at the rift between the two nations.

William Joyce Lord Haw HawDeputy leader William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw)

Deputy Leader of the BUF was William Joyce, later to defect to Nazi Germany and broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda across the channel throughout the war. Nicknamed ‘Lord Haw Haw’ by the British he was captured in 1945 and hanged for treason shortly afterward.

Defence regulation 18B

In late May 1940, Mosley and his wife, along with several other prominent members of the British Union of Fascists were imprisoned under Defence regulation 18B. This was an emergency power used to prevent any British citizen suspected of undermining the British war effort from aiding the enemy. The BUF itself was disbanded a few days later. However its legacy lives on.

Archibald Ramsay & The Right Club

Archibald RamsayArchibald Ramsay was a Scottish aristocrat and Conservative MP. He was a staunch supporter of Franco’s fascists during the Spanish Civil War. In 1935 he collaborated with German Nazi agents to found the Nordic League, an aristocratic version of Mosley’s BUF. Like the BUF, the Nordic League was deeply anti-Semitic and committed to establishing and maintaining a racially pure Britain. Ramsay was responsible for instigating a number of attempts to have Jews barred from political life in Britain.

In 1939 he founded The Right Club, a secret society of upper class Nazi sympathisers and anti-Semites whose stated aim was to expose and oppose organised Jewry. Members included Mosley, the traitor, William Joyce along with Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent who were subsequently imprisoned for passing classified information to the Nazis during wartime.

AK Chesterton

AK ChestertonAK Chesterton (not to be confused with author, GK Chesterton) was a prominent member of the British Union of Fascists, The Nordic League and The Right Club. Like his fellows he was staunchly anti-Semitic and pro-fascist. He left England during the second world war and went to live in Africa, presumably to avoid being forced to fight against his ideological brethren. However he maintained his far-right, anti-Semitic and openly racist views throughout his life and was instrumental in passing the baton of fascism down to the next generation of British Nazis – The National Front.

 

Chesterton, Tyndall and the National Front

John TyndallChesterton’s most prominent protégé was John Tyndall. Through Tyndall and his fellow acolyte, Colin Jordan the ageing Nazi sympathiser passed the baton of extreme right wing politics to the next generation. Tyndall joined his mentor, Chesterton in the League of Empire Loyalists, The National Labour Party (mirroring Hitler’s National Socialist Party) and The National Socialist Movement (with Jordan) until eventually the pair co-founded The National Front in the late 1960s.

The early years of The National Front, steered as it was by Chesterton and Tyndall saw the introduction of many better known modern neo-Nazis who also carry forward the baton of British fascism first brandished by Mosley, Joyce and Ramsay. Under Chesterton and Tyndall’s stewardship the NF nurtured the early political careers of people like Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons (later to become British National Party MEPs), Holocaust denier, Martin Wingfield and even Tommy Robinson. Tyndall and Colin Jordan eventually formed the White Defence League before uniting with John Bean to found the British National Party.

Andrew Brons had been a member of Colin Jordan’s National Socialist Movement, an affiliation he has repeatedly had to distance himself from in later years. In 1965 he joined the National front led by John Bean. This is not the same National Front that Tyndall and Chesterton founded in 1967 although its aims and ideology were the same – anti-Semitism, racial purity and neo-Nazism. Only in 1967, following a merger with Tyndall and Chesterton’s League of Empire Loyalists did the current National Front come into existence. With this merger, a critical mass of new-generation Nazis was re-established in UK and Mosley’s baton became a truncheon once again.

Combat 18 and Column 88

Combat 18 nazi

This newly imagined National Front gave rise to some of the most violent street warfare of the period. Groups like Combat 18 were as much the NF’s enforcers as Mosely’s ‘Biff Boys’ had been for the BUF. Named after letters of the alphabet, Combat 18 stood for A & H (Adolf Hitler). Column 88 whose initials stood for HH (Heil Hitler) was led by former British National Party stalwart Leslie Eric Lutz Vaughan. The column was a paramilitary Nazi group whose CO of operations was a former Black Watch Major called Ian Souter Clarence. The ‘good’ Major used to run military style training camps and was widely thought to have stockpiled weapons acquired after demobilisation of WW2 servicemen.

 

Both groups  have a string of convictions for intimidation, assault, harassment and even murder to their credit. More modern groups like The Pie and Mash Squad and the EDL’s breakaway ‘Infidels’ groups have their own links with these early bands of politicised street fighters.

Nick Griffin

Nick Griffin NF White PowerNick Griffin was mentored by Tyndall and followed his far-right tutor from the National Front into the newly formed British National Party. This erstwhile NF Street fighter rose to prominence in the BNP and eventually ousted his old mentor to take the BNP chair for himself. There he steered the party from relative obscurity to become the most successful British far-right party since Mosley’s BUF before financial irregularities and a string of law-suits brought his newly-built empire crashing down around his ears. Now the BNP is a shadow of its former self with many of its members defecting to join the ranks of street movements like the English Defence League and Britain First.

The BNP gives birth to the EDL and Britain First

BF East London Mosque ELM Robin Lomax political uniformchief of staff head of national security

Paul Golding had once been a member of the National Front but he followed his mentor, Nick Griffin into the BNP when still a teenager. With Griffin’s mentorship he rose to become Communications Officer on the party’s National Executive and was widely tipped to rise high in the organisation. That was until things started to fall apart.

Tommy (EDL leader) RobinsonStephen Yaxley-Lennon was a member of the British National Party under Griffin’s leadership. It’s unclear how well he knew Griffin personally but they certainly had shared contacts and their ideologies are broadly the same. It was Robinson who took the far-right baton in a new direction and abandoned politics, albeit temporarily to form the English Defence League, a street movement that once boasted up to 5,000 ‘foot-soldiers’ at its largest demonstration.

The English Defence League still exists but without Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) who has since been associated with the Muslim-led anti-terror organisation Quilliam and then the UK Branch of the anti-Muslim group, Pegida. More recently in a desperate effort to avoid a much-deserved obscurity he’s pretending to be a journalist. In truth he’s generally found causing trouble, getting into fights and then filming the retaliation of others whilst pretending to be a victim. These days he tries to assume an air of reasonableness but underneath he’s the same bigotted thug he always was.

British National Party fundraiser, Ulster Unionist and long-time pro-life campaigner, Jim Dowson became involved in a spat with Griffin over allegations of sexual misconduct. Dowson left the party in less than amicable circumstances and Golding went with him. Together they formed the anti-Muslim party, Britain First in 2010. They were later joined by former EDL ‘Angel’, Jayda Fransen and spend much of their time campaigning against Islam and ‘invading’ Mosques and Halal businesses. The pair regularly find themselves in court for harassment, breaches of bail and ironically for wearing political uniform, an offence under the Pubic Order Act of 1936, originally created to kerb Mosley’s black-shirted British Union of Fascists.

BF beyond UKIP cabaret invasion

Having recognised their ideological soul-mates in Nigel Farage’s UKIP, Britain First even set themselves up for a time as UKIP’s attack dogs. They harassed their opponents and mounted unofficial ‘patrols’ to ensure would-be demonstrators against UKIP were intimidated. They were a much less effective and actually quite laughable parody of the German Nazi party’s violent, brown-shirted ‘SA’. Golding, Fransen and the rest of the BF leadership have repeatedly called for their supporters to vote UKIP, presumably having noted the many similarities between UKIP’s extreme right policies and their own.

Most recently both Golding and Fransen have been imprisoned for racially motivated harassment and their organisation has been banned from the largest social media sites. It is this double-whammy blow to Britain First that has prompted EBF to rebrand itself and broaden our horizons. Britain First is dying but British fascism is not – so we continue.

BF Paul and Jayda Kent police mugshot

Godwin’s law revisited

It’s clear that step by step, generation by generation the British fascist baton has been passed down without interruption from mentor to student, from racist to racist, Anti-Semite to anti-Muslim, Nazi to neo-Nazi for almost a century now. As this series continues we’ll start to look at how the very same policies and ideological beliefs have withstood the test of time. Some have remained unchanged whilst others have adapted slightly in the face of modern attitudes and current events. But however they might have been adapted, disguised and given the superficial appearance of something far more moderate than they really are, the core of  fascism and Nazism remains unchanged.

Remember – Godwin’s law only applies if the people you’re talking about aren’t actually Nazis. In this case – they really are!

EDL Nazi salute swastike tattoo.jpg

 

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

 

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!

Vote any way you want – as long as it’s UKIP

Britain First broke the irony meter again this week! By supporting UKIP’s claim that democracy is dead they reveal not only their own anti-democratic stance but also that of their favourite political party.

Their political hero, Nigel Farage has claimed that Thursday’s Oldham West election was fixed because Asians didn’t vote for the UKIP candidate. That’s like complaining because turkeys don’t vote for Christmas (or ‘Thanksgiving’ as the American Biffers would understand it).

EBF BF UKIP Labour democracy Oldham west postal vote.pngWhat exactly does Farage’s tantrum mean for democracy though?
Not much as it happens. We’ve summarized our thoughts below…

The unelected (and unelectable) leader of a parliamentary political party has decided that since the people his party hates most have not voted for the party that hates them the most, democracy has failed. The message is clear…

It’s only democracy if UKIP wins. Otherwise it’s a fix!

Fraudulent Elections

“Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.”

Now we come to the last of Britt’s fourteen characteristics of fascism. If Britain First weren’t so laughably inept it might be easier to show their attitude to the electoral process. As it is their electoral  influence is so small there’s not too much to report here. On balance though, we think that’s a good thing.

We do know that BF stood a few candidates in the early days. They came precisely nowhere in the last round of European Parliamentary elections, where they used the slogan ‘Remember Lee Rigby’ despite the late drummer’s mother’s pleas for them not to. They came nowhere again in the Roschester and Strood by election in which deputy leader Jayda “Dutchy” Fransen lost her deposit with only 56 votes. They haven’t bothered to stand in any elections since. They even bottled out of the 2015 General Election, preferring to back UKIP by intimidating Farage’s political opponents instead.

Even this brief foray into the world of legitimate politics tells us a lot about the Biffers’ attitude to the democratic process though. Here’s what we know…

Biffer candidates have no intention of fairly representing the entire electorate. Fransen was very clear in Rochester and Strood that she would oppose the needs of Muslims and other ethnic minorities. The Britain First election mailshot was so blatantly racist and discriminatory that the Royal Mail refused to deliver it.

1414927996-britain-first-election-campaign-march-in-rochester-meets-protesters_6161604

Biffers use elections in the same way they use everything else. Elections are just opportunities to make more money for the Biffers. The election appeal to raise the money for Fransen’s deposit was painful to witness. Then there was the campaign to raise money for the election mailshot that may or may not have been printed in the numbers they claimed, the money for postage of the mailshot that was never required and the money to take the Royal Mail to court (that never happened). Finally Folding Golding earned his nickname when he and Dutchy said on record that they never wanted to run a serious campaign in Rochester & Strood, bizzarely claiming that Dutchy’s candidature was a ploy to support UKIP (from whom she probably took 56 votes). Not a penny of this money, taken under false pretences was ever refunded.

The Biffers raised funds to field 6 candidates in the 2015 General election. Then they changed their minds and fielded nobody at all. The money was never returned. The Fuhrer and his Biffers have no respect for the democratic process.

Worse than that, they are very happy to threaten, intimidate, silence and smear political opponents. We have already seen here and here how they treat anyone who engages in politics for any other faction (except UKIP). As a tiny, extremely ineffectual fledgling group of fascists they’re limited in what they can do to disrupt democracy. If they ever were granted legislative power we think it’s clear just what would happen.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely – and the Biffers are pretty corrupt already!

Based on the article ‘The 14 characteristics of Fascism’ by Lawrence Britt

Thankyou so much, Britain First

OK – we were mistaken. We admit it. Mea Culpa. We got it wrong.

All this time we’ve believed that Britain First was a racist, bigoted organisation run by leaders who were more interested in profit than politics. We thought Golding and Fransen were really just bumbling political lightweights with no clue how to influence anything beyond the few hundred genuine followers lurking among the bought likes and foreign (non-voting) fundamentalists who egged them on.

How wrong we were

It seems that Paul and Jayda were being far more subtle than that. Their task wasn’t to spearhead the rise of fascism in the UK after all. They had an altogether different agenda. Britain First was set up to stop fascism – yes, that’s right – it’s not a typo.

Britain First exists purely to discredit UKIP!

ebf bf ge2015 jayda ukip interview farage is toast

Think about it….

When Britain First began UKIP was just beginning to be noticed after around 20 years in the political wilderness. Nobody had really heard of Farage’s little bunch of nationalists until then. What’s worse – with the austerity programme already biting hard they were even starting to attract some support. Something had to be done.

That ‘something’ was Britain First!

What better way to expose the awful truth behind UKIP than to satirise it? The British people have always loved satire and Britain First really has been comedy gold. The Golding & Fransen show could have rivalled any comic double act and therein lay their success.

These comedic geniuses satirised racism and religious intolerance so thoroughly that the name ‘Britain First’ is now synonymous with bigotry and small-minded stupidity throughout the land. They made their brand toxic to voters and then…

A stroke of political genius

They associated themselves with UKIP.

Stage one

First they tested the waters with a mock campaign in Rochester & Strood. Nobody ever expected Britain First to keep their deposit but they needed to gauge just how hated they were. The result was spectacular. Never has a ‘political party’ (even a comedy one) been so hated since Mosley’s ‘British Union of Fascists’. Jayda “Dutchy” Fransen became the most despised woman in British politics whilst simultaneously remaining the biggest joke. That’s quite a combination and it took some really hard work to pull it off. But, with Golding’s publicity skills and Dowson’s money behind her she managed. Britain First had reached first base with spectacular success.

Stage two was easy….

After that all Dutchy had to do was get herself photographed with a few UKIP campaigners whilst Golding told everyone to vote UKIP (even whilst Fransen was standing in the same election). Once again BF combined comedy and apparent stupidity with the more serious political task of undermining UKIP through association.

Once the task of associating themselves with UKIP was done – once they established the link in the eyes of the public all they had to do was keep on reinforcing it.

  • Acting as self-appointed bouncers who harassed people outside UKIP meetings was pure genius.
  • Invading office blocks to have a go at anti UKIP performance artists was brilliance on stilts.
  • But the real cracker was publishing the details of an anti UKIP activist whilst followers (or possibly their own sock-puppet accounts) issued threats and in one case even offered a reward to whoever ‘glassed’ her.

The result…

Association with all this thuggishness sounded UKIP’s death knell. Try as he might (and he did try) Farage just couldn’t get the electorate to believe that UKIP wasn’t really in bed with Britain First. That might have worked if Golding hadn’t repeatedly told people to ignore UKIP’s denials. The assertion that Farage had to say that but really didn’t mean it was just genius. After that the association between UKIP and Britain First was just reinforced with every denial.

So well done Britain First. You did it. If it wasn’t for you, UKIP might have gained more than a single parliamentary seat. In fact, before Rochester and Strood (when you first began smearing your own toxic brand all over their purple pamphlets) they looked likely to gain considerably more. The liberally-minded, non-racist, tolerant citizens of UK owe you a debt of gratitude for your sterling work in keeping UKIP out of Westminster.

Thankyou so much, Britain First!

EBF UKIP Farage Thanet GE2015 loses resigns