On my list of possible subjects for a story is the threat of far-right violence and terrorism. I don’t have a specific hook for this story yet,
but I am collecting background information for research.
(And getting worried for my country as I do.)
Today, though, there is an autonomous mass of far-right activists propagating hate independently of formal far-right organisations, some of which we have outlined in our new report out today, State of Hate 2018. Some of the biggest names in this world are from the UK and they have global audiences. Many of the largest and most influential far-right sites in the world are visited by huge numbers of UK activists.
US white supremacists, but we have our share of home-grown equivalents.
In May, federal agents searching the Tampa home of 21-year-old Brandon Russell discovered an array of explosives and bomb ingredients: fuses made from rifle shells, a white cake-like explosive substance called HMTD, more than one pound of ammonium nitrate and other explosive precursors, and two different kinds of radioactive material. The agents promptly arrested Russell, who was both a member of the Florida National Guard and a leader of Atomwaffen, a small fascist group calling for a “white revolution in the 21st century.”
Frankie Boyle the political commentator uses a lot of the skills that made him a hilarious and shocking comedian to good effect. There are a lot of stabs at hypocrisy, inversions of received wisdom and bad taste, but pointed, punchlines. He also comes across as better informed than the people he’s attacking- which isn’t hard in some case, obviously- and presents a more humane assessment of the situation as a result.
Apparently, they couldn’t care less about being called Daesh. Not that that’s going to stop me. The most important points are probably numbers 3 and 4- they really, really want the violent reprisals they inspire, and they’re most worried about losing ‘subjects’ they can ‘tax’ or who could provide vitally important services. So, our leaders are playing right into their hands with all the bombing.
Really, our bomb happy leaders- and the politicians, papers and plain old racists calling for an end to taking in refugees- should be ashamed that a website that’s basically full of listicles has provided more insight than they’re capable of.
You may not know about this. I only heard about this case because I was in Cumbria for a couple of days last week, and it was on the local news. It didn’t make it onto the national news, though the trial of another teen, who ‘incited’ a terror attack in Australia (which also never happened), did.
One of these teen terrorists is white, the other is brown, and muslim. Guess which is which.
I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever read Charlie Hebdo. I always bought a few bandes dessinee magazines, but I had a preference for lushly rendered ligne claire tales full of hard SF and occasional naked people.
Since the magazine’s offices were attacked, there has been an amount of self important commentary suggesting the cartoonists brought the violence upon themselves. It’s not just been from the sort of right wingers who would like to have the power to threaten and censor for themselves, either. People who would normally, and rightly, rail against victim blaming, have been saying, “Well, if they would go out in those covers, they were asking to be shot.”
They’re wrong, of course, and many people have explained why, so I’ll not go into that. But what’s bothered me is their inability to read a cartoon, or do some basic maths. Everyone’s been concentrating on the covers depicting Mohammed and the blame brigade are pointing at them and implying that the magazine was a non-stop anti Islam hate fest. There’s a pool of a dozen or so cover images from the period since 2006 (date of the image above), that are being concentrated on. But Charlie Hebdo was weekly. There were 52 issues a year (maybe 50 if they took a break for Christmas and New Year), which kind of makes the charge of concentrated Islamaphobia a little weaker. Of course, I can’t speak for the content of CH, and just how nasty it was to whom and in what ratio, but none of the magazine’s sudden critics can either, judging by their concentration on the most repeated cover images.
The left-leaning victim blamers are all determined to see racism aimed at France’s muslim population, and have decided that cartoons about the prophet are an example of that. A favourite argument has been that, with drawings of Mohammed, Charlie was “punching down when it should have been punching up”. But they’ve only come to that conclusion because they can’t do something as simple as decode a cartoon. They see that the image is supposed to depict the prophet and decide that it’s nothing more than a simplistic attack on Islam and, by extension, an attempt to demean muslims. There’s a snobbery in their refusal to actually look at the cartoons and work out what they’re really saying. Cartoons are a juvenile art form, they’ve decided, crude scribbles meant for the young and the simple-minded, so they can’t possibly be loaded with nuance.
Let’s look at that cartoon up above again. I’ve seen a few, slightly different, translations of the caption and speech bubble, but the gist of it is- ‘Mohammed despairs of the extremists, “It’s hard to be loved by arseholes!”‘ Ignore the edict against depictions of the prophet and this is a very sympathetic depiction of him. Here’s an entity with the empathy to be apalled by the actions some are claiming to do in his name. The only people who should be offended by this cartoon are the very arseholes whose behaviour has driven the one they claim to revere to tears. Similarly, another image, of a returned Mohammed about to be beheaded by a masked ISIS type, is showing, in a suitably brutal way, how the terrorists have diverged so far from the religion they claim to represent that they wouldn’t recognise it’s creator.
In those two cartoons, CH attacked the people who would go on to attack them. They also stood with the thousands of muslims who have been killed in Syria and Iraq by arseholes who think praying in a slightly different way merits the death sentence. But some people are too busy trying to read shallow intentions into the images to look deep enough to see that.
I’m not in possession of large reserves of physical or moral courage, I leave that sort of thing to my protagonists. Only once has anyone demanded that I shelve something I was planning to write. But he was an obnoxious, bullying little shit, so I carried on with it, only putting it aside when it became obvious that my drawing skills weren’t good enough to produce the sort of art it deserved. I have written, and will write in the future, stuff that offends people, but I couldn’t say that I’d carry on with it when faced with constant death threats. It’s galling to think that, if I were attacked, there’d be some self-righteous pricks who’d turn around and say, “Yes, but just look at the tacky genres he was writing in, and such short books, lacking any pretentious prose. It’s not like he was creating worthy, literary novels, is it.”
It would be nice to think that these events, and before that the decades long IRA campaign, would give we Brits a longer view on terrorism. It would be nice if everybody didn’t cry “Al Quaeda” before the evidence was in. But that’s not how it works. And that’s dangerous, as all the history we so quickly forget shows.
So my mockery of dumb, faith based* prejudices doesn’t seem as much fun now. Which means it’s even more important to continue. Luckily for me, God’s self appointed representative in Salford is back blogging after a hiatus. On Friday he decided to tell us what is wrong with modern Policing. Can you guess what the problem is? (Yes, you’re right, it’s homosexuals- or “homopervuals” as Carvath likes to say- with a side order women. It’s always homosexuals with Richard Carvath, he’s obsessed, and no amount of fantasising about having to save WPCs when “serious and organised” criminals come and kick in his door is going to make any of us think he’s not in denial.) At least some of the reactionaries are still good for a laugh.
A couple of more serious posts on this subject, by people who have stronger stomachs and have looked deeper into the abyss that is the reactionary belief system-
*I don’t mean religion here, these guys cling to their beliefs in overarching conspiracies and impossibly complex plans with ill defined aims ever tighter when presented with evidence of how ludicrous they are. That sounds like blind faith to me.
Charles Stross on the Abdelbaset Al Megrahi release and the incomprehensible attitude of some Americans to healthcare reform. No doubt I’ll weigh in on the healthcare thing again, but on Megrahi can I just say that the people who’ve displayed weakness in this whole affair haven’t been the Scottish authorities but those who have wailed that the scots are somehow weak for following their own laws and not bowing to outside pressure. The circus that greeted Megrahi on return to Libya wasn’t Kenny MacAskill’s doing and should serve as a warning to all those, here and abroad, who want to trade with Gaddafy- many in his counry hate us and we shouldn’t get complacent about that.
Having said all that, I can’t help but think that there’s a dark thriller waiting in compassionate release. Supposedly reformed gangster with only a few weeks to live is released, only to set out to avenge the death of his wife and child/ get the people who set him up/ clear the ground for his heir/ all of the above. Give it all a granite grey tone, violence in front of Edinburgh’s or Glasgow’s grander buildings and have a Highland finale with the heather turning the colour of blood as the sun sets on the fallen bodies.
What are we coming to when being truly British and proud of it seen as being “Far-Right”?!
The BNP is far left, not far right. That is why they are taking all the disgruntled Labour votes across the country and the only reason the BNP are being labelled “right” is because Labour are suffering and are hoping to associate the BNP with the Tories.
Any fueling of racial tension will come from the far left anyway, because it is mostly the working classes who are losing their jobs to immigrants.
I actually think it is quite possible that the authorities may be behind this. If something happens and trouble stirs, they get exactly what they want. A complete police state and the tools to quell any revolution. This is just a new label to demonize those Brits who have had enough of the way this country has been destroyed. Just watch, it is happening in America also with furious American patriots being called “neo Nazi” or “KKK”, rather than outraged citizens. My final point is clear. Join the dots and you can now see why the police are so keen to change the Contempt of Court Act now.
In the USA Homeland Security recently released two reports. One assessed terror threats from left wing groups- environmentalists burning cars, anti-vivisectionists targetting scientists etc.- one from right wing groups. The report on the lefties didn’t cause any fuss- the dangers are recognised and the only people defending such extreme actions are the ones carrying them out. But the right wing report caused all sort of controversy as self important pundits and Republican senators competed to shout loudest about how conservatives were being maligned by the mere suggestion that white people might participate in terrorism.
Then an abortion doctor was shot in his church, the guard at a Holocaust museum was killed by a white supremacist and a gun nut killed three police officers. The poor victimised conservatives are a bit quieter now, apart from the ones trying to argue that Hitler was a Socialist and therefore the anti-semitic killer was a liberal.
We don’t have quite such a collection of idiots over here, though Richard Littlejohn and Melanie Phillips are trying to make up for that. But we do have a bias of reporting and opinion that the ones we should be scared of are all muslims. What we don’t get is anything more than a passing reference to the other people who’d like to kill those they don’t agree with. The biggest haul of weaponry recovered by the Police belonged to a bunch of white racists and another, arrested for something else entirely, was planning a bombing campaign against the “non-British”.
24 wouldn’t be as much fun if Jack Bauer made suspects a nice cup of tea and sat down for a chat with them, but in the real world torture is worse than useless. Interrogation works better if you can build up a rapport with the subject, gaining their respect or disproving their prejudices. Even something as simple as providing the right type of biscuits can work incredibly well.
The US right wing blogs I’m reading are getting desparate as they realise how pathetically their candidate is doing. One post from today is so moronic it’s funny. Stop The ACLU (still not getting a link, even if they didn’t delete my last comment there) got an email from some perv who’d been checking out vintage porn and swore he’d found a naked picture of Obama’s mother. He immediately went searching (it must have been hell for him to stare at all that pulchritude) and dug up some more, on which he used his finely tuned forensic skills to determine who Barack’s secret father is.
They are taken before Christmas by the decorations and unopened presents. Also a stereo and records that an expert could confirm as jazz records are in view.There is a distinctive grain to the wood floors. I do research including genealogical and had downloaded everything I could find. Not much. So when I saw the picture, I locked on the the ear lobes, chin, eyebrows. It is she. A nude photo,not distasteful, but posed, I believe, by a mature man who knows what he likes, including jazz and now we know young girls. One could ascertain the location of where the photos were taken.
And the shoes..not indigenous to Hawaii,but maybe not unsual for Helen Canfield Chicago socialite and Marshall’s second wife. The photos are important in the sense that they explain the going to Chicago and the immediate acceptance by the hard left, if his father is Frank Marshall Davis, not just his mentor
It’s Christmas- see, the man’s a genius- and there are records “that an expert could confirm as jazz records”- because only black men listened to jazz records at the time- and a distinctive grain to the wooden flooring. There, it’s conclusive. Apart from the shoes….. Oh, the shoes.
On November 5th this guy’s going to be sitting in his basement, wanking over his supposed pictures of Obama’s mother and crying because the rest of the world just can’t see what he sees.
Elsewhere, one supremely homophobic homeschooling mother is no doubt seeing a jump in visits to her blog after several people (me too now) have linked to her post fantasising about blowing up faggots. You could ask her to replace her various epithets with Christian and ask if she’d like to read the passage that results, but she’ll just ignore it, because she’ll only pay attention to answers with “Scripture instead of another meaningless cliche”.
The right wing isn’t going on about the ACORN voter registration scandal they invented as much. This is probably because the only person so far arrested for voter registration fraud is a Republican and cases against ACORN are being dropped all over because they’re baseless.
Note I’d like to point out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with looking at images of naked women or men, vintage or otherwise, I was merely calling him a perv for satirical purposes.
Indeed, if he’s looking for a particularly good source of gorgeous naked women I’d highly recommend Domai (affiliate link). Many of the beauties there are from former Soviet republics, so he can have the added fantasy of only being able to see them because Ronald Reagan defeated Communism. Or, if he’s closeted- like I suspect so many of these guys are, he could try maleperfection.net (also an affiliate link).
Lunatics like this are going to blow up people who aren’t perfectly white, other idiots are going to blow up anyone who’s standing next to them at the wrong moment because of their imaginary friend and our government’s going to pretend to protect us by creating the sort of repression the extremists all want.
Call them what they are- terrorists, murderers, criminals. Don’t play into their hands. This is actually a sensible suggestion. The phrase “Islamist terrorist” gives them something to use. It lets them make claims of islamaphobia (merited in some cases given the pathetic bigotry of the sort of person who wants to use such stupid words as Islamofascist) and try to get sympathy from other muslims who wouldn’t normally pay attention to such criminals.
We should use language to marginalise terrorists and other criminals who hide behind religious or political causes. Make them sound stupid and pathetic and they’ll have a harder time drumming up support amongst the group they claim to be a part of. It won’t stop them all by itself, but it’s a start.