of UAF-SWP. Right: Weyman Bennett
The point is blindingly obvious. The SWP/UAF wants violence. It requires violence. It needs violence.
Violence even turns many Trots on. I myself am not anti-violence. Full stop. I think that outlets like boxing are good things in certain respects. And even rival-football-fan fights can be a good thing in some ways – as long as civilians and children aren’t involved. For the Left too there's a lot of ‘machismo’, as they would put it; but it is disguised.
You see, UAF members are far too middle-class and sophisticated to become football hooligans. So they need sophisticated ideologies to cover up the basic fact that they also love a scrap. Actually, and more accurately, they love to do violence to their many, many enemies (everyone outside the Trot club of Muslims, etc.) – that is, preferably violence during which they themselves aren't hurt.
Violence is intrinsic to Trotskyism for pretty similar reasons to the ones adumbrated by the anarchist George Sorrel in the early part of the 20th century.
Violence is a means and to some extent an end. After all, they're Trotskyists. That’s the sort of thing which makes a Trotskyist a Trotskyist; not fluff about 'internationalism' or other irrelevances. The distinction between Communists or Stalinists is that they aren't too keen on scrapping on the streets with ‘Nazis’, ‘racists’ or ‘fascists’. They prefer state persecution and the Gulag. The Trots, on the other hand, have never really had a state to themselves; thus they prefer street-fighting to the Gulag – because the Gulag isn't yet an option. In a sense the same can be said about internationalism. They're keen on international precisely because they haven’t had control of a single state. If they ever did, they would become Stalinists because only Stalinism can save Marxism from the counter-revolution and the million other problems which will - of necessity - follow the Revolution.
Through violence, their potential converts (Muslims, students, workers… any group really) are 'radicalised' or 'revolutionised'. Through 'struggle' (i.e. violence) people are radicalised and turn to revolution. They can be 'tapped into', as the SWP’s Chris Harman once put it. Of course ‘tapped into’ means used. They really think, or hope, that Islamists and Muslims (of all the groups they patronise and ‘tap into’) will take up the revolutionary or Trotskyist cause. Muslims or Islamists, of course, think they are using or tapping into the Islamist aspects of the Trots. Mutual using!
The same is true with the Islamists. Violence is part of their methodology and purpose too. It's the lifeblood of the Koran. If there were no violence to bring about, reasons would need to be concocted. Indeed reasons are concocted: cartoons, books, EDL demos and so on. Violence is how many Muslims prove their faith and how they express their faith – or at least their piety or commitment to Islam.
So there will be violence in Bradford no matter what. UAF wants violence. So do the Islamists. This partly explains the mutual resepct between these ostensibly (mutually) contradictory groups.