As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs…

Originally posted on 9 June. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même (see Iain Dale).

… out come the Squadists. Flush from his the success of his party at the Euro Elections 2009, Nick Griffin organized a press conference in front of *another* legislature… the Palace of Westminster. He was cornered and pelted with eggs by United Against Fascism, formed by a coalition of the Anti Nazi League and NAAR.

What a disaster. As much as I derived visceral satisfaction from watching Grffin flee like a sinister Billy Bunter, this has given wall-to-wall coverage of a democratically elected [racist scumbag] representative being assaulted in the street by a gaggle which scored a fraction of his party’s vote in the Euro Elections. One rebranding effort of the BNP has been to present itself as caring for the views of the white working-classes (appealing to, as UK Polling suggests, Tory-inclined voting working-classes more than Labour-inclined) which is under assault from a grimoire of political freaks and unrepresentative loonies. Which a lot of observers have seen happen right here.

Not that this is uncharacteristic behaviour for the UAF. Its ANL component was seen as a front for the SWP, which included active Squadists who, after their Kronstadding by Tony Cliff in 1981, went on to form a pro-IRA group called Red Action; at least two members of whom were convicted of gun-running for Irish Republican terror groups. In this respect, I compare the peripheries of the SWP to those peripheries of the BNP which go to join Combat18.

Twenty years on, the SWP helped turn the opposition to the invasion of Iraq; arguably the greatest mass-movement – crossing racial and political and social barriers – since Dunkirk into a withered shell of political cranks, racists and more-than-objectively pro-fascists.

The NAAR component was a front for serial-entriest Socialist Action which, I assume, is smarting after the loss of its influence in the London Mayoral office with the defeat of its patron, Ken Livingstone.

Four years ago, both helped force out the thoroughly decent Searchlight from the UAF on the grounds of its being “Zionist”. Now it and others in the UAF have found another tinder-box part of British politics to toss a match into. Bless.

Meanwhile, the latter-day Miss Jean Brodie, John Wight who believes that Hamas is the democratically elected government of the Palestinian Territories and should, therefore, be engaged with, is delighted at this assault on a democratically elected British fascist.

UPDATE – commenter Dan at Harry’s Place makes an apposite observation:

The situation would be made far worse if the UAF mob came along and harassed the BNP and then left the local residents to deal with the consequences. The UAF and the BNP are very similar in this way – they march into an area, cause problems that didn’t exist before and then march away again looking smug while the people who live there pick up the pieces. The UAF are unelected, unaccountable, extremist and violent, just like the BNP. But unlike the BNP, they have no concept of community-led action, only direct action fly pickets fuelled by illusions that the 1970s are back again and it’s time to riot.

If the UAF are reading this, kindly piss off and don’t come near Essex again until you bother, just for once, to communicate and co-ordinate with local people who know better than you (which is never, I guess).

FURTHER UPDATE – See Bob in the comments for a more sympathetic view of Red Action and Squadism.


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5 Responses to “As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs…”

  1. Dominic H Says:

    “Twenty years on, the SWP helped turn the opposition to the invasion of Iraq; arguably the greatest mass-movement crossing racial and political and social barriers – since Dunkirk”

    Well, very arguably. You’ve already forgotten about the Countryside Alliance, haven’t you?

  2. Alec Says:

    Hmm, maybe. Did the Swuppies fuck it up like they do everything they join, or was it populated by Chris Eubanks and boys from Dag who thought horses were skinny cows?

  3. Dominic H Says:

    Oh, sorry, I see you said “crossing racial and political and social barriers”: Well, I was living in a rural town with a population of 12,000 at the time (and not a Swuppie in sight, or for several dozen square miles around) ; and it was all the rage; but….erm, it’d be fair to say the demographic taking part in what was (was it not? I think it might have been) the largest demo in London (500 miles away!) ever was not that “diverse” in the scheme of things. People with different kilt tartans, mind. Some prods, some taigs (and lots of episkies).

    Still (and I speak as a one-time monger): less twats and naive but oh-so-well-intentioned fools than on the OBJECTIVELY PRO-SADDAM (as some of the more fanatical types at HP would doubtlessly put it) March, eh? Probably, anyhow.

  4. Bob Says:


    I completely agree, and this sorry spectacle might have killed off my residual squaddism.

    However, as a residual squadist, I have to take issue with your characterisation of Red Action. They are no more the periphjery of the SWP than AWL are. They were kids when they joined the SWP; they got shafted by Cliff; this experience led them to a thorough re-evaluation of the SWP and of “democratic centralist” vanguard politics in general – a re-evaluation that a lot of other left groups could well learn from. I never got the Irish Republicanism thing though.

    Incidentally, Red Action are of course far from squadists now. See their excellent statement on the BNP vote here:

  5. Alec Says:

    That’s fair enough, Bob, I worded it poorly, and have added another update. I defer to your direct knowledge of events, and also expect Graham to come along with his memories of the Battle of Lewisham.

    I am not against direct action on the street-level taking place, but within a clear framework. The Swuppies should act as a reverse barometer, with their presence in any organization or protest being the cue for every remotely sane or responsible to clear off.

    Dominic, being opposed to the invasion of Iraq did make me objectively pro the status quo ante, I accept. There surely is a difference, though, with the more than objectively pro Saddam crowd who hijacked the StWC.

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