Since the launch of the English Defence League in the summer of 2009, many people in the Counterjihad have been watching it with anticipation, waiting for it to move beyond street demonstrations to form a real political resistance to Islamization.
A reader in England sent us an email this morning about the upcoming Peterborough demo. He is generally supportive of the EDL, but made the following observation:
"The EDL video doesn’t help. The news is nine years old. Singing “We’re coming, we’re coming” with lots of braggadocio explains nothing, and the matter of EDL dress and hair has been well-discussed here before."
The video he referred to is the promotional spot for this Saturday’s demo. Although I can sympathize with his concerns, my assessment of the situation is quite different. I sent him this response:
"I disagree about the video — it actually does help. The English working class is perhaps the most demoralized and disenfranchised group in Europe. What is needed first of all is to create a sense of solidarity and pride in simply being English, and that is what the EDL is building. They are attempting to reinvent England, from the bottom up.
"I agree that it would be better if they lost the “skinhead” look, and took on more of a middle-class appearance to broaden their appeal. But the engine for the reclamation of England will not be the middle class. The middle class is even more fragmented than the working class, and has been corrupted by the all-powerful bureaucratic welfare state.
"So the EDL does what it can. Considering that up until a year and a half ago, the only alternative to the Labour-Tory-LibDem oligarchs was the BNP, I think those “football hooligans” have really achieved something.
"If you only look at the surface of the EDL — and focus on being repelled by its working-class appearance — you miss what’s going on here: the EDL is a genuine grassroots movement that spontaneously arose to resist the Islamization of England. It doesn’t have government backing. No political party or commercial interest or church is bankrolling it. It appeared out of nowhere when conditions were right, like mist forming in a meadow on a cold morning.
"I, too, wish it were more middle-class. Yes, it would be nice if it had a respectable intellectual aura about it. But if its members had taken my advice — or that of our emailer — then the EDL would never have come into existence in the first place.
"The underlying conditions behind the formation of the EDL required that it be working-class in style, taste, and outward appearance, because the English middle class is not yet prepared to risk what the “hooligans” of the EDL are risking in an attempt to save the country. The middle class is fragmented and atomized, and is deeply entwined with the enormous corrupt authoritarian welfare state that controls Britain today.
"All that may change in the next few years, as the UK and the entire Western world harvest the bitter fruits of the financial crisis. The more people there are with nothing left to lose, the greater the numbers that will take to the streets. The spoiled-brat “students” who riot in London over the rise in tuition fees are just a tiny foretaste of what is to come.
"The members of the EDL may well have less to lose than the comfortable burghers with their polite vowels, their nice cars, and their safe neighborhoods. But that doesn’t mean that they are losing nothing by openly resisting the multicultural juggernaut.
"They have been arrested, tried, convicted, and fined.
"They have been beaten up by Muslim gangs, UAF, and the police.
"Their homes have been raided.
"Their wives and children have been frightened and intimidated.
"Their computers and office equipment have been repeatedly seized.
"Their bank accounts have been frozen.
"In an attempt to make them more compliant, they have been quietly threatened with false charges by corrupt police officials.
"As much as I would like the English Defence League to be somewhat different, it has my complete support and my admiration. I doubt I would have the grit to do what those EDL boys are doing this weekend.
"Moreover, they are the only game in town. So we’ll just have to let the EDL be what it is. When the time is right, its scope will expand to include other sectors of English society — all of which face the same deadly threat, whether they realize it or not.
"In the meantime, raise a foaming glass to the “skinheads” and “hooligans” who are taking to the streets on behalf of the rest of England. They remember what England once was, and what it could be again. And they’re willing to risk everything they have for it.
They’re real heroes."