Thursday, 15 August 2013

Extreme right bingo

As the Another Angry Voice Facebook page has become more popular, it has attracted ever more foul mouthed and reactionary comments from extreme-right ranters.

I have a strong anti-censorship stance and I tend to leave their comments in place so that they can be derided as the cognitively illiterate gibberish that they are. The only time I ever block them is if they post something really extreme like openly call for ethnic genocide or make grotesquely slanderous accusations. Under these circumstances I block them and inform the group of what I have done in order to maintain transparency.

This transparent blocking policy contrasts strongly with the Facebook pages of the extreme right. You can test this by going to one of the right-wing propaganda pages like The New Daily (fucking un-) Patriot (-ic bastard), and leaving a politely worded left-wing comment or two to counter the hateful bile you will find there. It won't be long before your comments are deleted and you are blocked from posting, without any kind of explanation.

The extreme-right propaganda merchants clearly hate debate and desperately try to maintain closed ideology echo chambers in which followers are drip fed a diet of simplistic extreme-right propaganda messages and taught to immediately dismiss anything that contradicts these messages as "communist propaganda".

The leaders of the extreme-right also like to create the fiction that the UK is run by a cabal of left-wing "cultural Marxists". They like the adherents of their ideology to believe that the last three decades has been a period of left-wing extremism, however even the slightest dalliance with the evidence reveals that British politics has swung way to the right in recent decades. The post-war consensus mixed economy (a mix of democratic control over natural monopolies and regulated capitalism) was abandoned in 1979 and replaced with ideologically driven neoliberalism (privatisation, tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, attacks on labour rights and repression of trade unions). When Labour returned to power in 1997, they too ploughed an orthodox neoliberal furrow, retaining Margaret Thatcher's extreme trade union legislation, privatising more and more state infrastructure and recklessly deregulating the financial sector. David Cameron is undoubtedly the most right-wing leader in living memory. His attacks on the NHS, the Post Office, the state education system and the most vulnerable people in society go much further than Thatcher ever would have dreamed of, and the shocking scale of wage repression since 2010 is far, far worse than the impoverishment of the poor and ordinary that happened under Thatcher, and worse even than the wage repression of the 1930s.

Despite all of this evidence that social democracy is rapidly being dismantled and that UK is becoming a neoliberal dystopia, where all three establishment parties are ideologically committed the bankrupt ideology of neoliberalism and to serving the interests of the corporations and the extremely wealthy at the expense of the majority, the extreme-right would have their followers believe their ludicrous assertions that David Cameron is a cultural Marxist and that the Tory party are a bunch of communists.

The politics of right-wing extremism has two wings: The first manifests as the highly visible street thuggery of the English Defence League and the in overt fascism of the BNP. This form of extremism is considered by the majority to be extremely dangerous, and even the most conservative of conservatives find this kind of "working-class extremism" frightening and repulsive.

In reality the second wing is much more dangerous. It is the kind of insidious extremism that presents itself as mainstream, "common-sense" and as "the only alternative" to a hopelessly corrupted political system. This kind of populist extremism is designed to appeal to individuals that don't think too much about politics, but when they do, they tend to blame politicians for the fact that Britain has changed too much. It is designed to appeal to people that nostalgically yearn for the mythical Britain of the 1950s, when coppers and teachers effectively dealt with delinquent kids with a spot of corporal punishment, where everyone worked hard and proudly refused to accept welfare and all of our neighbours were white and English (despite the fact that 1950s Britain was actually a much more left-wing social democracy than the neoliberalised Britain of today).

This kind of populist extremism is much more dangerous than the blunt street thuggery variety because the most repulsive aspects of the ideology are deliberately concealed in order to avoid damaging their populist appeal. Sometimes however the real extremism is exposed when their representatives stray from the carefully managed party line of moderate conservatism and reveal their extreme-right views. There are countless examples of UKIP politicians and candidates revealing the extremist views and outright idiocy. There's Godfrey Bloom's intemperate language and outright lies about foreign aid and his view that "no employer with a brain in the right place would employ a young, single, free woman", the guy that called for mandatory euthanasia for disabled fetuses, the woman that decided to blame the Jews for World War Two and the Holocaust, the guy that claimed that more physical exercise in schools would cure gayness, the woman that linked homosexuality with paedophilia and bestiality, another woman that used the phrases "Paki" and "egg-nignog" and claimed that Muslims have sex with camels and those that support the view that those that fail a "contribution to society test" (the disabled, the unemployed, pensioners ... ) should be barred from voting in elections.

In April 2013 the English Defence League openly endorsed UKIP with a statement that "All nationalist parties should stand aside in areas that Ukip have a good chance of winning ... Let’s not split their vote." Perhaps the EDL see their role in a future UKIP government as equivalent to the Sturmabteilung brownshirt Nazi party enforcers that eventually gave rise to the Waffen S.S.?

What should be even more concerning than the fact that countless UKIP politicians, candidates and support staff have expressed extremist ideas, or that UKIP clearly appeal to the most extreme right-wing groups in the UK is the fact that UKIP is part of the extreme-right European Parliament group called Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD). In fact, the UKIP leader Nigel Farage is is the Co-President of this rag-tag bunch of right-wing extremists which includes the Danish People’s Party, the True Finns Party, the Dutch SGP and the Italian Lega Nord. Nigel Farage's fellow EFD Co-President is Lega Nord’s Francesco Speroni, who described the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik as someone whose "ideas are in defence of western civilisation". Mario Borghezio, another member of the EFD group, declared that Breivik had some "excellent ideas". UKIP like to present themselves as centre ground conservatives, but their open alliance with this rag-tag bunch of extremists demonstrates the extremism that is carefully hidden behind their veneer of centre-right populism.

Another deeply concerning factor about UKIP is the fact that they are even more fanatical about the ideology of neoliberal pseudo-economics than any of the three establishment parties (just read the UKIP 2010 manifesto if you don't believe it). It is quite remarkable that so many people are prepared to buy into the idea that UKIP represent an "alternative" to the three establishment parties, when in reality they are even more keen on serving the interests of the wealthy minority at the expense of the majority than the establishment Lib-Lab-Cons.

The fact that UKIP are so desperate to serve the rich with corporation tax cuts, financial sector deregulations, huge cuts in the top rate of income tax and the abolition of income tax means that they are likely to attract ever more donations from the wealthy minority, creating the kind of crony capitalist clientelism of the Tory party. It would take an extraordinary level of historical ignorance to assume that the corporations and the wealthy minority wouldn't actively fund the extreme right.

Anyhow, returning to the reactionary right-wing people that troll the Another Angry Voice Facebook page with their hateful bile and their ludicrous displays of political illiteracy. I've devised this handy bingo scorecard so that you can at least enjoy their incoherent ranting by scoring their efforts out of 20.


If you like this bingo card, please feel free to share it.

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