An interesting discussion has developed in the comments section of Tuesday’s post about journalism and the legacy media. A commenter named Joe, who is relatively new to Gates of Vienna, has been making some important observations about Alinskyites, the far Left, and the English Defence League. By now that thread has only a few readers left, so his latest comment is reproduced below.
Joe highlights the same thing that I have said many times — the political Left is by no means the only force massing against the Counterjihad. The Cameron government is persecuting the EDL as vigorously as its Labour predecessor did. Republicans in the United States, ostensibly “conservative” protectors of American values and culture, fall all over themselves to placate Islam and condemn the “intolerance” and “bigotry” of people like Geert Wilders.
It was not a leftist publication that created this capsule depiction of the English Defence League:
This was published in 2011 in National Review to accompany an article on the EDL by Anthony Daniels (a.k.a. Theodore Dalrymple). Dr. Daniels and NR are hardly liberals or leftists. NR is one of the primary bastions of American conservatism.
This is what our so-called “friends on the Right” are doing to us.
No, it is not the Left that is the biggest problem. The whole political establishment across the entire Western world has mobilized against “Islamophobia”. Elected politicians of all political stripes, the permanent bureaucracy, the media, and the academy are almost universal in their condemnation of what we do.
That makes the Right the bigger problem, because everyone already knows the Left is the enemy of people like us. Yet people think “conservatives” are different, that they are simply like-minded people who somehow haven’t quite come around yet, and will in due course become our staunch allies. I have seen zero evidence to support this assertion during my nine years in this line of work, but many of my fellow anti-sharia activists persist in believing it.
Saudi money may be one explanation for the persistent affection that the Right has for Islam. Their attachment to the existing power structure — which provides them with so much power, so many perks, and as much lucre as they can jam into their already over-filled pockets — may be another one. But in any case, the Right remains as much of an obstacle to what we do as the Left.
We truly are the Shadow Culture.
Comment by Joe (edited for punctuation, capitalization, and typos)
Not sure I would be quite so quick in describing the EDL as a success story adhering to Alinsky though. Most of what they did involved street protests — and only that. I believe Alinsky advocated letter-writing and even “mass farting” at a classical concert — as well as ridiculing and lampooning of opponents. Not sure the EDL did much of that.
I didn’t say they’d read Alinsky and used it as a catechism. The street protests involved aspects that other political groups didn’t. They made protesting into “a day out”. Those who were not stalwarts were even known as “day trippers”. The establishment, the Left, and academics were all taken aback by EDL because it was something new. There are two groups of sociologists at British universities who have been studying EDL precisely because it was a new kind of protest movement.
EDL was involved in plenty of letter-writing, and phone call campaigns. They went into the meetings of the SWP and the UAF and took them over or disrupted them. The communists were completely unused to their enemy doing things like that.
EDL would go into Tower Hamlets any time they wanted. The police begged them to stop doing it. The demonstrations were only the most visible aspect of what EDL did. And they did it with a conscious idea that they would bankrupt local councils by the cost of policing. I heard it from some of the leaders themselves, and I was surprised that they were operating at such a strategic level.
But the EDL’s opponents — being mostly seasoned far-leftists — certainly ridiculed and demonised the EDL, and even propagated the ridiculous view that the EDL were “racist”, in a way that would make Alinsky proud. It led even the prime minister, David Cameron, to be a signatory of the EDL’s main opponents — United Against Fascism. And now the main thrust of opposing the EDL doesn’t even have to be the UAF — but mainstream journalists (even those on the right) and the likes of the “English Disco Lovers”.
Almost no damage to EDL was inflicted by the far left. The damage was done by the establishment: the media, the police, the courts, and no doubt government agents fomenting internal dissent (the police had fifteen infiltrators/provocateurs in the Green Movement, some working undercover for as much as ten years — of course, they must have had at least that number in EDL fomenting dissent). And EDL must take some of the blame too. Despite them not being a racist organisation, they failed to publicise that (e.g. by putting images from demos of white and brown and black people on their website). However, even to do that brings charges of “racism” from those who are determined that EDL must be seen as evil.
EDL offered an opportunity for many different groups who had suffered from decades of Islamic invasion to come together. But instead Jews, gays, Muslim women etc. lined up with the media and politicians to castigate EDL. EDL was the opportunity for Britain not to descend into civil war. People have made their choice, and civil war is what they will get. When the Jewish organisations, the gay organisations, and the right-wing press such as Daily Mail and Daily Express and Telegraph are insisting that EDL is “far right” and “racist”, don’t try and blame the far left. Is it the far left who have Tommy in prison for fraud, when Muslims who commit multi-million-pound fraud are given community service? Is it the far left who suspended a black Tory councillor because he expressed support for EDL? Was it a far-left government who banned demonstrations throughout London? Was it the far left judges who imposed ten-year banning orders on various EDL leaders?
If all you’ve got is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. Again, it is a pathetic lack of vision on the part of those who consider themselves “right-wing”; they think that the whole process of Islamisation is being driven by “the far left” (those organisations Bat Ye’or has exposed are mostly not driven or managed by communists).
The UAF was decimated by EDL. At the start of 2010, UAF could get 3000 people to a demo; by the end of 2010 they could get no more than 50. The UAF has ended up relying on Muslims to be their foot soldiers. In 2010, the UAF was bussing trade unionists and students across the country. They can’t do that any more, because the support is not there (they create local non-UAF identified front groups e.g. Walthamstow United). The problems for EDL came from the inside, from the media, from the police, from the government, and from other groups who are too scared to speak out alone, not realising that within the shield of the EDL they would have been safer. Alinksy was about bringing people together to effect change; people were instead very successfully kept apart.
It was all the establishment-connected groups who managed to corner EDL. I’m resigned to what the future of Britain will be. I threw all my energy into trying to avert it. As I said “The actions of EDL and MosqueBusters have just thrown some bumps in the road in the process of Islamisation. “
Those who think that their enemy is “the far left” are tilting at windmills. The enemy is far more pervasive. But simple people like simple explanations.
Whether EDL survives or not, I have no idea. Even if it collapses, it has achieved more in three years than the BNP achieved in twenty years. I doubt there is any group in Britain that has been subject to such attacks: from right-wing media, Muslim gangs, gay communists, international hackers, secret police, academia, church leaders, politicians of every stripe (from SWP to liberals to BNP). What EDL has achieved was a minor earthquake in British politics. For them to have persisted for 600% longer than the experts advised is amazing. And even if it was to disappear, there is now a network of several thousand people across the country who thought they were alone five years ago.