English Fascists Jailed

This is interesting given the frequent attempt by some to portray the EDL as a benign force detached from the rest of the fascist and nazi movement in England. The massed ranks of the Aryan Strike Force (ASF) and the British Freedom Force (BFF) have suffered a body blow as  Mike Heaton and Trevor Hannington have been sent down for racist comments posted on the internet.

At Liverpool Crown today Michael Heaton was sentenced to 30 months and Trevor Hannington to 2 years. They were cleared of soliciting murder but were convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words likely to stir up racial hatred. It was no real surprise but what is interesting is if any further charges are pressed over similar Nazi websites. Certainly, when Heaton and Hannington were first arrested several posters on the various Nazi forums stated : “If they can get Mike for what he has said on the net then they can get all or the majority of us I would wager.” Heaton and Hannington have a long history of far-right activity and have been filmed on EDL demos.

Libcom have an interesting take on this, highlighting polices frantic attempts to paly down the EDL connections (which seem pretty transparent). On Cops & The EDL they write:

“In Channel 4’s panicky report Heaton and Hannington on Thursday it was interesting to note the reaction of the cops. The current police line is that the EDL have “1 or 2 extremists” but are mostly okay. This new ‘softly softly approach’ started after the EDL leadership were arrested in Scotland and taken back to Sheffield which begs several questions: Why arrest them? Why Sheffield? Was it uniform or Special Branch? Why the sudden turnaround by the cops in Bolton with mass arrests of anti-fascists? Why are the EDL being allowed to turn up in Whitechapel and not prevented from organising in Bradford both of which are sensitive areas guaranteed to kick off? Without getting too conspiracy theory about it, did the police offer a softer line on the EDL in exchange for info on hardcore hooligans before the World Cup as well as on Nazi extremists who the EDL leaders profess to dislike anyway? Without doubt the EDL serve to divide communities and are politically and economically useful at the moment: the EDL enflame Islamophobia which is necessary to continue the otherwise unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as gaining support in any forthcoming conflict with Iran. However, they also increase the ‘need for surveillance’ and stronger legislation on public assembly which will work against them.”

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  1. Scunnert says:

    Pathetic! What a load of codswallop. Why not just admit that the left in the UK has become Islamified. The left in the UK now accepts female circumcision, consanguinity, Burqas, misogyny, homophobia, plural marriage, and submission to Allah!?

    1. Tocasaid says:

      Scunnert. I’m probably ‘left’ though not ‘UK left’ and I’m atheist. Islam is as backward as its Abrahamic siblings Christianity and Judaism. As to the English fascists described above – are they suddenly for gay and womens’ rights? And, if the EDL are so progressive, why do they seem to consist mostly of fitba thugs? The EDL have more in common with Islamic extremists- love of violence for the most part – than they do with your average Scot.

      1. Scunnert says:

        Tocasaid, I am not now nor ever have been a member of the EDL (not being English). But on a casual reading of the article it is evident that the author supports the use of fascist tactics to shut up the opposition.

        “They were cleared of soliciting murder but were convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words likely to stir up racial hatred.”

        So they tried to stitch these guys up for conspiracy to murder, but when that wouldn’t wash they settled for a speech crime?

        ‘ … the EDL leadership were arrested in Scotland and taken back to Sheffield which begs several questions:”

        And what were the charges and did it go to court?

        If I remember correctly the whole EDL mob were corralled in a pub before being transported back from whence they came while some government approved anti-EDL march was allowed to proceed.

        We’ve just witnessed some of these tactics here in Canada at the G20. That the “progressive” left would support such authoritarian measures is unbelievable. The truth is if the EDL were protesting against international capital, the New World Order, or GMO’s they’d be supported. But they’re protesting against a medieval fascist ideology and that’s not on.

        By the way the “anti-facists” are anything but.

    2. milgram says:

      I woke up this morning and found I’d grown a beard.
      Oh noes! Islamified again!

      1. Scunnert says:

        Milgram, if the left hemisphere of your brain had the wit the right hemisphere is so obviously lacking your comments would be worth consideration.

  2. Tocasaid says:

    No freedom of speech for those who would deny it to other. Have we learned nothing from Hitler? And, I’d say the same for the Islamists.

    1. Scunnert says:

      Tocasaid, freedom of speech is for everybody – even those you despise. Robust debate is the antidote to tyranny.

  3. Iain says:

    Robust debate didn’t stop Hitler who used democracy and ‘freedom of speech’ to kill, how many?

    1. Scunnert says:

      Iain, Hitler used Brown Shirt thuggery to shut up the opposition and the Ermächtigungsgesetz (Enabling Act) to shut down democracy.

      1. Tocasaid says:

        Er, my point exactly.

    1. Tocasaid says:

      The left should stick to secularism. I too would ban the Burqa and all expressions of religion. I wonder if either the EDL or many of the ‘left’ groups were present on the demo by Iranian dissidents against Sharia law:

      The scenes of public stoning of women, hanging of gay men and execution of political dissidents – mainly socialist should be enough to convince us. How can we oppose the conservatism and bigotry of Wee Frees or the Orange Order/ RCC and yet tolerate it from Muslims?

      As to ‘well intentioned’ missionaries… I’m reminded of Christy Moore’s song which reminds us that ‘missionaries and pioneers are soldiers in disguise’. Let us leave the indigenous peoples to stand on their own feet without our multinationals or churches.

      1. Scunnert says:

        Good points. But in Iran and Saudi Arabia they have religious police patrolling the streets to enforce Islamic dress codes for women – is that what you would have us do with “our” dress code if we banned the Burqa?

  4. Scunnert says:

    Thanks for the link Bella.

    Derek Wall seems like a nice guy who wants everybody to get along together with tolerance, concern for the poor and marginalized, and the indigenous peoples of the world – so brutally and ruthlessly exploited by transnational corporations.

    Who could argue with that? Regarding the French attempts to ban the Burka Derek says :

    “Shockingly Green, Socialist and Communist Party members of the French parliament abstained on the vote.”

    I agree, the government has no business in the wardrobes of the nation and these parties should have taken a firm stand against such an intrusive law.

    But then he descends into name calling;

    ‘Islamophobia is to a large extent simply a refuge for racists and the ignorant …”

    The term “islamophobia” is just silly. One could add ophobia as an ending to any ideology just as easily: Socialismophobia, Communismophobia, Capitalismophobia. And really, how can one be a racist for opposing a universalist ideology that has adherents from almost every ethnicity on earth?

    Derek then presents us with some anecdotes to prove that some Muslims (and members of other “faith” groups) are good guys. I believe you Derek, but are they good guys because they are true believers? Goodness, I believe, is a human quality unaffected by adherence to any particular ideology.
    Were there good Germans who supported Hitler, or good Russians who supported Stalin, or good Englishmen who supported Thatcher?

    “We need prophetic voices more than ever in a world dominated by corporations.”

    Well here’s one prophecy Derek – embrace Islam at your peril.

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