Don’t Stoop to the EDL’s Level
Ahead of a planned EDL march in February, Cärlchen Jupp implores you not to allow ‘blatant common sense’ to be hijacked.
The EDL are, obviously, a bunch of pricks; that much is self-evident. They are racists, they are generally thick, and whilst I would defend their right to free speech to the death (well, sort of), I can’t imagine that anyone with a touch of brain remaining would be convinced by their utter nonsense.
While the original EDL riots may have been in reaction to pretty distasteful protests by the banned Al-Muhajiroun group, these complete tools have essentially hijacked what might have been a serious debate. By doing so they’ve made people on both sides of the ‘multicultural society’ debate terrified to speak, either because they’ll be attacked by this bunch of thugs or associated with them. People like the EDL are exactly what a mature democracy should be able to rise above. However we don’t, because we have a media up to its neck in horseshit, which would rather make sweeping statements than provide serious analysis, and politicians who have ten seconds to make a sound-bite, which either has to be banal, a lie, or ‘hard-hitting’. Generally, it’s all three.
Think of how embarrassing it is to say we’re proud of being English – you just can’t do it. The Scots manage (God knows how), but we seem to fail continually, principally because we don’t know what it means. What it should mean is a welcoming and tolerant society that can openly debate the role of religion, culture and social norms, without fear of being accused of Islamophobia, racism or cultural insensitivity.
Take an example: the majority of the UK, and the majority of its Muslim population, do not support the introduction of Sharia Law, but if you listen to the EDL you’d believe the courts are already in planning permission. And on the other side, you hear people who calmly discuss these issues being described as rabid bastards by other idiotic reactionaries, who won’t sit and listen to people’s actual views. They would rather characterise them to win elections, and in the process whip up the hate they claim to want to avoid.
But we at Cambridge are lucky, because we have a ‘march’ by these EDL charmers coming up. I have to admit my surprise at their ability to coordinate their feet, one in front of the other, let alone actually getting a load of them together in the same place on the right day, but miracles do happen. Their presence will be a general annoyance, and they may well intimidate people who the EDL describe as ‘non-English’, which I suppose means anyone not white with British ancestry leading right back to the dawn of time.
But never fear, because Unite Against Fascism is here to save us. These are the bastions of decency, remember – they are the true, self-declared ‘anti-racists’ (which I suppose means the rest of us are, deep down, racists). Now don’t get me wrong, there are a hell of a lot of decent people involved with the organisation with very good intentions.
But UAF have also been accused of committing acts of violence, refusing to condemn anti-semitism, and silencing free speech, which is of course a form of, you guessed it, fascism. And it doesn’t take a genius to look at their leadership to see that it’s essentially a far-leftist pressure group. TCS has been delighted to report that our dear friend Owen Holland, the great silencer of David Willetts, is a ringleader of UAF, in terms that even the greatest sycophant amongst us would be reviled by.
I’m not saying for a moment that people shouldn’t support the march against the EDL, and I’m sure many Cantabrigians will be doing just that. We just need to think a little more, and not allow the side of anti-racism and, frankly, blatant common sense, to be hijacked as well. Despite their rhetoric, UAF is not good enough for a real fight against these people. We need a real, non-partisan, serious debate about the UK, and about respecting each and every person who has a stake in this nation; without condemning ‘opponents’ every five minutes.
After all, the EDL are just embarrassing morons. We can only treat them with contempt, and the best thing we could do is make sure our university and city is a place where their odious and pathetic views are utterly irrelevant, and where inclusivity, and grown up debate, is the name of the game.