Gregory Jones

Racist ideas and attitudes permeate the right wing of politics. This happens online, behind closed doors, and in cases such as the recent treatment of the Windrush-generation of post-war Caribbean immigrants, as part of official government policy.

In the extreme, a new far-right movement has emerged calling themselves Generation Identity (GI), mostly active in Austria, Germany and France.

The group hide their ideology behind a politically correct vernacular, referring to themselves as ‘identitarians’ standing up for the ‘oppressed white European’. Their aim is to promote European ‘ethnopluralism’, cultural segregation based on race. They target young people online, particularly student campuses.

These psedo-intellectual terms provide a thin veneer for promoting white supremacy, with racism, misogyny and homophobia virulent on their social media platforms. One post on their group, by no means the worst, featured a picture of a German soldier from the Second World War with the caption:

Bruder you killed me
So that Jews could control your media
So that Jews could control your banks
So that Jews could control your money
So that Jews could control your government
So your children could die for Israel
So foreigners could destroy your cities.

GI have recently attempted to hold events in the UK, activities that have mostly been publicity-based stunts involving a group of very uncertain-looking young adults holding a banner saying something racist. They held a rally in Hyde Park but only attracted around 40 supporters. Then they tried to host a European Reunion Conference in Sevenoaks which was booked to bring people together from across the continent but key speakers were either ill or detained at the border and it was only attended by around 60 people, then cut short when the venue found out the nature of their conference. This was followed by a punch-up in a car park with about a dozen anti-fascists and then they were asked to leave Kent.

The next day GI attempted a second event in Hyde Park. This time anti-fascists turned up in far greater numbers than the ‘identitarians’, the two groups were separated by a large police presence and after a short speech to a self-contained crowd of about 30 people the fascists dispersed. 

Despite a lack of success in the UK, GI are younger, more image conscious and experienced in media production than traditional far-right movements. Attendants are around 95% male but they place both attractive men and women at the forefront of their activities and publicity, garnering nicknames such as Adolf Hipsters, white-fascionalists, etc.

This European brand of fascism has failed to cut through, even with British nationalists. One Twitter user commented that these ‘Euro-Nazi-trash’ should ‘go home’ and ‘stop trying to take our nationalism from us’.

They did however gain support from MEP for South East England Janice Atkinson, who wrote to Home Secretary Amber Rudd expressing her anger that GI organisers were arrested at the border and detained at Colnbrook detention centre while attempting to enter the UK.

Bigotry and hateful speech, action and organisation is a scourge that bleeds into the centre-right wing of British politics. Even in the mainstream there are dozens of incidents easily found online which are not taken seriously by the Conservative Party. For example, Conservative Cllr Mike Payne was last month temporarily suspended from the party for using the phrase ‘Muslim parasites’ in a social media post and Conservative MP Anne Marie Morris was earlier in the year restored to the party whip despite using a disgustingly racist epithet in parliament.

These vile people and vile ideas must be driven out. The centre-right must get behind the push to keep Britain free from fascism by holding itself to account. There is no space in British politics, British universities, British values or British streets for racism or fascism.

¡No pasarán! They shall not pass.

 

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