I am a supporter of the EDL here in England. I have been to four demos. You can see my various accounts of the EDL in my website below.
This is a response to an article by Martin Smith of Unite Against Fascism, who violently oppose the EDL. Martin Smith is the National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party.
Martin Smith, ‘The BNP and the EDL’, Socialist Review, March 2010, http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=11183
Contents: i) What’s wrong with football fans, Mr Smith? ii) Martin Smith’s Account of the Stoke Demo iii) The Far Left Loves the Far Right Really iv) Racism? v) Martin ‘Runs With Muslims’ Smith the Street Fighter vi) Gramsci and Mr Smith vii) Revolution?
What’s wrong with football fans, Mr Smith?
Citizen Smith doesn’t seem to like football supporters. They are too British for him. Too patriotic. Worst of all, they haven’t read Trotsky or even Lenin. Bastards! Martin Smith seems to find it hard to make a distinction between ‘football hooligans’ and ‘football fans’. Does Citizen Smith know that one out of every two British males is a football fan? Fancy being against so many people. Then again, this is Citizen Smith and the UAF/SWP we are talking about. If you’re not brown, or a student, or a Muslim, then they don’t have much time for you. The vast majority of British people just aren’t Marxist or Islamist enough for Citizen Smith. All we can do is laugh when Smith says, conspiratorially, that so-and-so ‘had already begun to build alliances with football supporters’. Shock horror! What next, alliances with, uh, working class white people? Never!
I love Smith’s little excursion into Marxist ‘class analysis’. Smith thinks that the media portrays EDL as ‘working class yobs’. He thinks that the media is wrong. Apparently, ‘many [EDL] come from “petty bourgeois” professions – the classic base of fascism’. Well, I never! I didn’t know that I was ‘petty bourgeois’ and the EDL members I have talked to are petty bourgeois. Doesn’t it show what a sad little train spotter Smith really is when he resurrects terms like ‘petty bourgeois’ from the dustbin of Communist and Trotskyist history. Anyone who uses these quaint little pseudo-technical terms must be a complete arse. These words are dead today. In any case, the SWP/UAF Alliance is full of middle class people. Alex Callinicos, of the Central Committee (yes, Central Committee) and a few others, are upper middle class. Actually, Callinicos is from an aristocratic background. But they are not ‘bourgeois’! Why is that? Because they are Marxists. A Marxist may be middle class, but he can’t be bourgeois. In fact no Marxist can be bourgeois, no matter how rich he is. How neat. And how tidy.
Yes, I too talk about class. Specifically the middle class and professional/student basis of the UAF/SWP Alliance. That is not because I’m against the middle class. I’m not. What I am against is middle class people who pretend they are not middle class. Or middle class people who speak out against what they call ‘the middle class’. As well as those Marxists middle-class SWP-ers who class right-wing middle class people as ‘bourgeois’ or ‘petty bourgeois’. It’s not the middle class I’m against. It’s middle class far-leftist hypocrites.
You see the EDL can’t win. If it were full of working class members it would be accused of being full of ‘yobs’. Now Smith is saying it is full of, or run by, the ‘petty bourgeois’. In any case, this petty-bourgeois fixation is simply a result of Smith and co. reading too many books about the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany and Italy in the 1920s and 30s. He is trying very hard indeed to fit the EDL and its actions into his own potted history of fascism – the things he has read about again and again in the vast and boring corpus of Marxist history and theory. But the cap doesn’t fit, Smith. This is Britain in the year 2010. It’s not Germany or Italy in the 1920s or 30s. The situations are completely different. The British have always despised Nazis and Trots equally. Extremism doesn’t sit that well in England, unlike in Europe. That’s why far right and Trot groups still do better on the Continent. That’s why the British hate the SWP and the far right.
In any case, what point is Smith actually making by stressing the ‘petty bourgeois’ fan base of the EDL? Is it really the simple point that historically the petty bourgeois were the backbone of the Nazi Party? Is that what he is getting at? Eddie Hitler was also an artist and a vegetarian. Perhaps some sociologist should do a study of the EDL and see how many artists or vegetarians there are.
Martin Smith become even more pathetic than, well, Martin Smith when, in hushed tones, he tells us that the ‘leading figures behind the Luton protest [were] a self-employed carpenter and another runs his own internet company’. Really! Now I’m definitely not going to vote for the EDL. I mean, carpenters – they’re all Nazis, especially Jesus! What the EDL should be full of, instead, are lecturers from the London School of Economics or from the Embrace Diversity Department at Staines University. Oh, and one STIOE member is an ’American student’! Which bit of that description don’t you like, Citizen Smith? It can’t be the ‘student’ part (the SWP is entirely made up of students, except for its ex-student leaders). So it must be the ‘American’ part.
Smith’s Account of the Stoke Demo
Citizen Smith is not very keen on either facts or the truth. Not if the facts and the truth get in the way of a good story or, more importantly, in the way of the Revolution or the leftist radicalisation of young British Muslims. He claims that the EDL, after the Stoke demo of 23rd January, ‘directed their anger on the Asian community, smashing up shops and attacking Asian people’. Everything is right about that account except for the facts. Firstly, within half an hour of the demo ending the city centre streets were more or less clear of EDL demonstrators. Secondly, which ‘Asian community’ is he talking about? There is no Asian community near the city centre of Stoke so how could EDL members ‘smash’ their shops? Finally, not a single riot van was overturned, unless it was overturned only in Smith’s head. I also doubt that a single Asian was ‘attacked’. I saw very few Asians in the city centre that day. I saw lots of black people. Some of them joined the EDL demo, I’m sorry to say, Mr Smith. And why not? The EDL has more in common with the average black person that the middle-class Trots who run the SWP/UAF Alliance.
What exactly does Smith mean by ‘anti-Muslim riot’ when there were no Muslims there to riot against? Or does this just sound good on paper? Perhaps it will give a few middle-class Trot/SWP students a sense of excitement and their first taste of a scrap.
The Far Left Loves the Far Right Really
If Smith uses the words ‘racist’, ‘thugs’, ‘Nazis’ enough times, he thinks he will be able to persuade all and sundry that the EDL really is full of racists, thugs and Nazis. Repeat a lie enough times and many people will believe it. I think some Nazi once said that. And Smith is himself a red fascist; so he should know… Oh, I forget. Socialist Worker recently argued that it was a big mistake to conflate the far right with the far left. Well, the SWP would say that, wouldn’t it? After all, it is far left. Not only that, but it justifies and defines itself almost exclusively by its opposition to the far right. What a nice little club the far right and far left belong to. They love each other really. They certainly need each other.
Smith mentions the ‘terrifying rise in anti-Muslim racism since 9/11’. Apart from the fact that there has been no ‘terrifying’ rise in anti-Muslim attacks, what about the real rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain and Europe? You won’t hear much about that from Smith and his friends because many of them are anti-Semites. Oh, no, they are ‘anti-Zionists’. Their monomania and neurotic obsession with Israel has nothing whatsoever to do with the one thousand five hundred years of European anti-Semitism. It is a complete coincidence that Trots go to bed at night thinking about Israeli ‘crimes’ and the sad, sad Palestinians. They don’t worry that much about the plight of the southern Sudanese black Christians or animists, or the Kurds. No. It the behaviour of the Jews in Israel that really gets to them. After all, Israel is the ‘front line of America’.
Anyway. ‘Anti-Muslim racism’? What does that mean? That’s like, ‘anti-Tory homophobia’. It doesn’t even make sense. After all, people like Smith himself keep on telling us that Muslims don’t constitute a single race. That doesn’t matter to a Trot. As long as the phrase ‘ant-Muslim racism’ helps him recruit a few young naïve Muslims and a few naïve middle class students. He doesn’t really care how he recruits them. If lies, distortions, alliances with reactionaries (Muslims), etc. work, they he’ll do it. He will do anything to further the Revolution and increase militancy amongst young Muslims and non-Muslim students. Anything.
Martin ‘Runs With Muslims’ Smith the Street Fighter
Smith cleverly tells us about the ‘electoral and a street fighting wing’ of fascist organisations. Does that include red fascist organisations like the SWP and UAF? They certainly have a ‘street fighting wing’ and a nice wing (the good cops) which dupes members of the leading parties into joining the UAF.
The SWP can’t be electoral because it is against parliamentary democracy. However, that didn’t stop Smith from accusing the BNP of not believing in democracy and the vote. But that’s for far- right reasons, which are bad, not far-left reasons, which are good. Indeed Martin Smith himself is a street fighter. He is called ‘Martin “runs with Muslims” Smith’. There are photos of him running with Muslims, attacking two Birmingham shoppers, teasing a police dog, and haranguing a Birmingham shop keeper. He was also arrested for street fighting outside the BBC. In addition, he was reported to West Midland Police for attacking shoppers in Birmingham. So Smith is in favour of far-left street fighting, but against far-right street fighting. This is something everyone knows already.
Gramsci and Mr Smith
Smith mentions his hero, the ‘socialist’ Antonia Gramsci. Gramsci’s main thesis was simple. He knew that the revolution would not happen, at least not in the immediate future. So what to do? Gramsci suggested taking over, infiltrating and being entryists in important institutions, from the universities and colleges, to the media and even the church and police. The tactic was, basically, to take over these institutions and groups and make them ideologically communist or Trotskyist in nature. It has worked in the UK. The far left has ‘won the culture war, but lost the economic war’. But instead of out-and-out Trotskyism, which the British would never swallow, what we have instead is the Politically Correct Cultural Revolution. This is a nicer form of far leftism.
Martin Smith is the National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party. He has heeded Gramsci’s words and he and the SWP have formed UAF. Smith also runs the Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) show. He is certainly doing his bit for Gramsci and the Revolution. Martin ‘runs with Muslims’ Smith has even created his own version of Mussolini’s squadre d’azione. You can see him in action in a few photos and videos. I think his boot boys are called ‘Red and Green Action’. The ‘red’ stands for ‘red fascism’ (Trotskyism) and the ‘green’ stand for ‘Islamofascism’. I bet Smith’s red ‘sword’ is nine inches long when folded in half!
Smith indulges in some classic Trotskyite scare-mongering. In one breath he tells us that ‘the BNP gained 17 percent’ of the vote in Barking in 2005. That’s only 17% in one constituency. From this meagre evidence he then tells us in the next breath that ‘the Nazis are making serious breakthroughs at the ballot box’. Apart from 17% not really being a ‘breakthrough’, this vote involved a lot of protest votes from the electorate. And why is that? Because people like Smith and the middle class professionals who run the UAF/SWP Alliance, and the universities and much of the media, gave up on the white working class years ago. Smith and his mates now ‘run with Muslims’. They embrace other kinds of diversity – any kind of diversity, as long as it is not the white working class. For example, Martin writes that EDL members ‘talked about the fear of losing their jobs or businesses’. He doesn’t show any compassion for their plight or even an analysis of why things are the way they are. The only thing that he concludes from this is that such people become attracted to ‘typical… fascist/ultra right wing nationalist movements’. This just shows us why some people are doing precisely that, Mr Smith. Because you don’t give a shit about anyone except middle class students and Muslims. That is, anyone who will be fodder for the Trot Revolution, which the working class refuse to be. And that’s why the SWP gave up on the working class. It just wasn’t into the Revolution. Never mind. Let’s try the Muslims and Islamists instead.
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