The EDL and Geert Wilders.
Reading Left Foot Forward today I noticed their post on the EDL and Geer Wilders, the Dutch anti-Muslim bigot.
I think they are probably choosing their words carefully, to avoid a libel suit but they are very wrong when they write “…the English Defence League, a single issue pressure group…”
Anyone familiar with basic fascist history would recognise the EDL as a proto-street army.
At the moment they latch on to the hatred and animosity in British society towards Muslims, but it’s fairly obvious from the nature of their leadership, peppered with BNPers or their allies, that the EDL fulfil a wider role.
Whilst there may be no formal ties, the role of each organisation seems fairly clear, one as a street army and the other as the besuited and respectable face of modern British neofascism.
We should not forget that neofascist ideology and their political methods have evolved in the postwar era to present a more moderate and acceptable face of neofascism to the public. That is a facade, many of the underlying tactics are still the same, if somewhat reinvented for the 21st century.
We should not be fooled by the EDL’s propaganda, or forget the lessons of history.
But back to LFF’s post:
“Wilders will be visiting Parliament on Friday, having accepted an invitation from from Lord Pearson of Rannoch, the leader of the UK Independence Party and Baroness Cox, a crossbench peer, to show his film ‘Fitna’ in the Palace of Westminster. The sixteen-minute film juxtaposes acts of terrorism with lines from the Koran.”
Update 1: Radio Nederlands reports that Wilders’ form of popularism and xenophobia is making ground in early election results:
“Liberal democrats D66 and Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam Freedom Party made major gains in the Dutch municipal elections on Wednesday. The Green Left also did well. The Christian Democrats and the Labour Party, the two parties responsible for the fall of the Dutch cabinet two weeks ago, both lost a large number of seats in the municipal governments. The biggest losers of the night were the Socialist Party, which saw its popularity of four years ago all but vanish.
The conservative VVD, which have done badly in a series of polls, has more or less regained the position it had in 2006. General public dissatisfaction with the larger established parties was expressed in the large proportion of votes which went to the different local independent candidates, over 25 percent. Although individually the local parties failed to attract enough voters to become a force to reckon with.
The Labour Party remains the largest national party in local politics, although it suffered severe losses, the damage was less than they had expected. The party received 16 percent of the votes, 5 percent less than in 2006. However, Labour Party leader Wouter Bos remained optimistic. The election in 2006 was a “monumental victory” that could not be equated, he argued, and explained that he believed these results were a leap forward.”