Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The English Defence League is not a human rights organisation

The English Defence League are still trying to push the "we're a human rights organisation" line. They're now even going so far as to threaten action through the Press Complaints Commission against any media outlet that refers to them as "far-right." So great is their delusion.

Should any media now refer to the EDL as "Far Right" or associated terms with negative or extreme conotations, without providing justifying evidence and giving the EDL a right to reply, as they are required to do by Press Complaints Commission (PCC) Editors' Code section 1-i and 1-ii (Accuracy) & Section 2, we will have to consider an official complaint to the PCC.

As the EDL has a large following among ethnic minorities, different religions and differing sexualities, who are happy to stand up for the England they want to live in, describing these people as "Far Right" is inaccurate, insulting and morally wrong. The EDL has an obligation to protect its supporters from this accusation and will act accordingly.
However, given that the title of the press release is "The EDL Is A Human Rights Organisation," they are hardly ones to throw stones about accuracy of terms.

As I noted when I dissected their mission statement, "if I was inclined to sell the group to non-members, to make it credible, the last phrase I would ever use is "human rights organisation." At least not to anybody who had the slightest clue what a human rights organisation actually does."

There are a number of reasons why, but key is the fact that, "as an organisation, the EDL do not pass out advice and information, engage in legal work, lobby MPs and provide briefings to parliament, or utilise petitions as part of their campaigning. In fact, I think shouting "Allah is a paedo" and "we hate Pakis more than you" is probably the extent of their "lobbying.""

On the contrary, however, the traits of a far-right organisation fit them perfectly.

Taking the Wikipedia definition that they cite, far-right politics "commonly include authoritarianism, nativism, racism and xenophobia." Such as going to Asian areas of big cities and attacking people, homes, and businesses, or issuing threats to Asian taxi drivers, perhaps?

The defenition that they claim doesn't fit them also "include[s] fascism, Nazism and other ultra-nationalist, religiously extreme or reactionary ideologies."

This only makes the point more obvious given that the organisation is saturated with nationalist symnbols and icons, from their constant flag-waving to the George Cross facemasks and the emblem ripped off from the Templars. Their reactionary stance is also hard to doub when they do things such as threatening Christmas mayhem on the back of tabloid myths.

Thus, if the EDL demands that they are not referred to as far-right "without providing justifying evidence and giving the EDL a right to reply," I invite journalists the world over to recycle and re-use the above as they see fit. For, to repeat my own conclusion from last time I covered this, "whilst they may be refining their rhetoric," the English Defence League "remain fundamentally a fascist organisation. Not a human rights one."