Saturday, June 18, 2016

Britain First's violent lynch mob mentality



Before it was even confirmed that the Labour MP and humanitarian campaigner Jo Cox had died as a result of her injuries, the extreme-right BNP splinter-group Britain First rushed out a load of denials that the killer had anything to do with their organisation. In an excruciating video speech their leader Paul Golding attempted to deflect attention away from Britain First by implying that the alleged killer was some kind of lone wolf with no connection to Britain First, lambasting the media for the crime of ...erm ... reporting eyewitness accounts of a major breaking news story, and trying to paint Britain First as the innocent victims of a terrible conspiracy.

One of the most telling things Paul Golding said in his speech was that Britain First "hope this person is strung up by the neck from the nearest lamp post; that's the way we view justice".


I, and I suspect most decent people, view the concept of "justice" very differently. If somebody stands accused of a crime (no matter how heinous) they need to be tried in a court of law. They should have the right to a lawyer and to know the evidence against them. If they are found guilty by a jury of their peers they should be sentenced by a judge to punishment in accordance with the law of the land. 


 Immediately hanging people who stand accused of crimes isn't just a warped definition of justice, it's the opposite of justice. It's lawless lynch mob barbarity.

This statement from Paul Golding isn't an isolated example of Britain First promoting violent, lawless, lynch mob justice either. As part of their spectacularly unsuccessful London Mayoral election campaign the Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen threatened to hang her political opponents. Here's what she said.


"They think they can get away with ruining our country, turning us into a Third World country, giving away our homes, jobs and heritage, but they will face the wrath of the Britain First movement, make no mistake about it! We will not rest until every traitor is punished for their crimes against our country. And by punished, I mean good old fashioned British justice at the end of a rope!" [source]

Paul Golding's claims that the alleged killer had nothing to do with Britain First soon began to unravel when it was revealed that a post on their own website appeared to show Thomas Mair posing with members of the Britain First Northern Brigade on one of their Muslim harassment days in Dewsbury (just a few miles from Mair's home).

In the days after the attack it soon became clear that Mair was a guy with serious mental health problems, a head full of extreme-right propaganda and proven links to several fascist organisations, including the one that sold him a "build your own gun" manual that he allegedly used to construct the murder weapon.

The important question here is whether Britain First's promotion of this kind of violent, lawless, lynch mob mentality is the kind of thing that would drive someone with serious mental health issues to take the law into their own hands, for example, by brutally murdering an MP who spoke up for Syrian refugees and their families?


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