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Michael Burleigh
Monday 14th September 2009
Right to Defend?

Although the liberal-Left has not so far proved any connection to the BNP, the so-called Communities Secretary, John Denham, has been making fatuous analogies between the English Defence League/Stop the Islamisation of Britain, and the BUF members who invaded Cable Street in the 1930s.The BUF were bent on assaulting Jews qua Jews, not in protesting against a structure which could very well be conceived of as a magnet for the propagation of anti-western extremism. If there are any faint analogies with the past, the EDL resembles the Deutsch-Volkische Schutz und Trutz Bund or the Austrian Heimwehr of the 1920s.

When I saw events in Harrow on TV last week, I think I noted under 20 EDL protestors - they have the right to protest - being subjected to the violent attentions of a Muslim mob about a thousand strong. Many of the latter were wearing face masks and bore placards with subversive slogans.

As far as I know it is legal for anyone to demonstrate against the erection of a five storey mosque in Harrow. Whether radical Muslims find that 'provocative' is also their democratic entitlement.

What should concern us all is that in years to come the violent Islamist counter-demonstrators may be better armed, and that we could have Provo style no-go areas in our inner cities. A final thing about this also worried me. The BBC commentators are now openly hostile to a new tribe called 'the white working class male'. Actually, such people are just as complex as the people who work at the BBC, arguably more so since the BBC is a left-liberal monoculture. They also pay for the BBC through the license tax. Perhaps someone should ask them why they wish to pay for an organisation which insults them?   

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About Michael Burleigh

Michael Burleigh is a member of the government's senior advisory group on commemorating the centennial of the First World War. His most recent book is Moral Combat (Harper Press, 2010). 

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