Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Why are the mainstream media so relaxed about extreme-right terrorism?


Yesterday it was announced that the extreme-right terrorist organisation National Action had infiltrated the British army with at least four serving soldiers belonging to the banned white supremacist, anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi organisation.

Today the news cycle has already moved on to other things leaving the "neo-Nazis in the army" story to fade into old news obscurity.

Now just imagine if it had been a banned group of Islamist fanatics who had infiltrated the British army. Do you think the mainstream media would have let the story drop down the old news memory hole inside a single day?

We all know that the right-wing dominated media would only just be gearing up their intense campaign of anti-Muslim outrage if it had been Islamist fanatics instead of white neo-Nazis:

Outrage that British taxpayers' money has been used to train Islamist fanatics how to use weapons. Questions over why these fanatics weren't reported by the Muslim community. Demands that the Muslim community do more to confront the extremists in their midst. Insinuations that there's something inherent in Islam that causes people to become radicalised, and that all Muslims should be held collectively responsible.

But because the terrorist army infiltrators were white British neo-Nazis, the same kind of commentary goes unmade and the same kind of questions go unanswered.

Where is the outrage that British taxpayers' money has been used to train extreme-right neo-Nazi terrorists in the use of weapons?

Where are the questions about why the white communities didn't report these terrorists for their extremist views, or their membership of a banned neo-Nazi organisation?

Where are the demands that the white community do more to confront the growing number of dangerously radicalised extremists in their midst?

Where are the insinuations that there is something inherent in white culture that causes people to become fixated with disgusting extreme-right ideas like white supremacy, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and anti-Semitism?

Where are the insinuations that all white people should be held collectively responsible for the actions of a fringe group of violent ideological fanatics?


These questions haven't been asked because Brits, driven by the influence of the UK mainstream media, is clearly a lot less concerned about extreme-right radicalisation than they are about Islamist radicalisation.

Perhaps it doesn't matter as much to the mainly white-British mainstream media because they don't consider themselves the primary targets of extreme-right fanaticism?

History has proven how dangerous this relaxed attitude towards extreme-right fanaticism is.

When the fascists gain political power they begin by wiping out the left. People like me would be the first on their hit lists because they hate people like anarcho-socialists, left-libertarians, syndicalists, the green-left, and Marxists even more than the people they consider to be racially or genetically inferior.

After they've massacred the left, they turn their attentions to ethnic cleansing and enforced ideological conformity. If you have so-called "moderate" political views (rights-based liberalism, democratic socialism, traditional conservatism) then you'd better get with the fascist programme, or suffer the same horrible fate as the lefties, ethnic minorities, LGBT people, and the disabled.

Even after the extreme-right have brutally murdered a left-liberal MP in the street, and used the exact same methods as the Islamist extremists to murder pedestrians with vehicles in Finsbury Park and Charlottesville, the British mainstream media are still very much more relaxed about the growth of white supremacist fanaticism than they are about Islamist fanaticism.

For me they're two sides of the exact same ideological coin. They both have the same objective (an ideological war between Islam and the West); they both use extreme violence to further their cause; they both use hatred to divide people; they both represent a tiny minority of the cultures they claim to represent; they both hate liberal western values (democracy, the rule of law, social liberalism ...); and they increasingly use the exact same method of attack (ramming pedestrians with vehicles).

The fact that one is treated with so much less concern than the other by the UK mainstream media is deeply concerning because the hatred of the extreme-right fuels the hatred of the Islamist fanatics and vice versa.

Every time a Britain First follower writes a hate-filled diatribe about how much they'd love a campaign of anti-Muslim ethnic cleansing, or attacks random Muslims in the street, they're working as recruitment agents for the Islamist fanatics.

And every time an Islamist fanatic commits an atrocity against the west, extreme-right hate chambers like Britain First thrive by spewing their divisive hateful rhetoric.


In conclusion, the white community have a responsibility to deal with the growing number of extremists in our midst. The public have a duty to report people for hate speech and membership of extreme-right hate groups, and the mainstream media have a responsibility to treat extreme-right hate preachers and white supremacist terrorism with the same degree of seriousness as they treat Islamist hate preachers and Jihadist terrorist organisations.


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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

When did it become a radical leftist position to have concerns about in-work poverty?


One of the most shocking statistics about poverty in Tory Britain is that more than half of people suffering poverty in the UK actually live in working households.

One of the Tories favourite propaganda lines is that "work is the best route out of poverty", but what they never tell you is that their hard-right economic agenda has made it significantly harder for people to work their way out of poverty over the last seven years.


Not only have the Tories created the longest sustained decline in UK workers wages since records began (a wage collapse only matched in severity by Greece anywhere else in the developed world) they've also overseen an explosion in exploitative employment practices like Zero Hours Contracts, ruthlessly slashed in-work benefits like Tax Credits, and allowed virtually unregulated profiteers in the private rental market to gouge vast profits out of people by charging eye-watering rents.

All of these Tory policies combined have resulted in a shocking increase in in-work poverty to 7.4 million, which means that an astounding 55% of people living in poverty are from working households.

A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that the single biggest factor in this alarming increase in in-work poverty was living in expensive and insecure private rental properties.

Some Tory apologists might try to squirm out of responsibility for this situation, but the facts show that their hard-right economic policies are fully responsible.

Between 2010 and 2017 the Tory government oversaw the lowest level of new house building since the early 1920s.

Despite repeatedly pledging to cut immigration to below 100,000, the Tories actually oversaw the biggest migrant inflows in history, peaking at 336,000 in 2015. There's nothing wrong with high migration if the government builds the housing and infrastructure necessary to sustain it, but if house building slumps to the lowest levels in over 90 years and the government continues implementing a fanatically right-wing policy of slashing local government budgets, public service cuts, and severe cutbacks in infrastructure spending, then increased demand for housing and services becomes problematic.


Additionally the Tories have also strongly resisted Labour efforts to ensure that private rental properties are fit for human habitation, and to clamp down on exploitative profiteers who have used the Tory housing crisis to charge extortionate rents.

The Tories and their propagandists in the mainstream press continually tell us that "work is the best route out of poverty", but they have spent the last seven years trashing our wages and working conditions, slashing in-work benefits for the lowest paid workers, and allowing prices in the private rental market to soar way out of control.

The solutions to the problem of in-work poverty are obvious: Increase the minimum wage, stop the Tory policy of cutting in-work benefits for the poorest working households, build more houses (especially council houses and affordable homes), reintroduce the Migrant Impact Fund that the Tories scrapped,
 and bring in new regulations (rent caps, fit for human habitation legislation) to prevent the exploitative excesses of the private rental sector.

Of course anyone who follows politics will know that all of the above are Labour Party policies under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, and that all of this stuff is strongly opposed by the Tory party who continually describe these kinds of poverty alleviation policies as being dangerous extreme-left radicalism.

The reason the Tories oppose these policies is obvious. They are, and always have been, on the side of the idle rentier class. They're on the side of exploitative buy-to-let slumlords who charge vast rents for outrageously poor housing, and they're on the side of unscrupulous corporations who pay their workers so little that they end up living in dire poverty despite working full-time.

Labour's housing and employment policies have been designed to make sure more people who work can afford to pay their rent and bills, and provide for their families, but millions of people are gullible enough to believe the ludicrous Tory narrative that any efforts by the government to reduce their soaring rates of in-work poverty are dangerously radical left-wing fanaticism.

Unfortunately millions of people buy into the shockingly dishonest hard-right Tory rhetoric that the government has no responsibility to reduce in-work poverty and that people who are poor despite having jobs are in that situation because of some moral deficiency of their own, not because the Tories have spent the last seven years actively restructuring society even more in favour of corporations, exploitative landlords, and the super-rich.

So these people trot off to the polls to actively endorse the party that has plunged huge numbers of working families into poverty over the last seven years because they've been duped into believing that any efforts to reverse this sustained Tory assault on workers, and especially the working poor, is dangerous extreme-left fanaticism.

What a country we live in that the fanatically right-wing Tory policy of grinding the working poor and private rental tenants into the floor is considered acceptable and vote-worthy, and people who suggest the moderate proposal that the government of the day should actually be working to ensure that "anyone who works for a living should have at least enough to cover their rent and bills and provide for their family" are considered by many to be raving extreme-left lunatics!


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Monday, 4 September 2017

Brexit didn't come up once in the German Merkel-Schultz TV debate


Yesterday Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz faced each other in a 95 minute debate for the German election and the subject of Brexit was not even raised once.

Some people have tried to make out that this is because the Brexit issue is trivial and unimportant in Germany, but in my view that's a stretch.

Brexit is an important issue in Germany because the nuclear "no deal" strop that the Tories keep threatening would obviously trigger significant economic fallout on the continent. However Brexit is not coming up in their election debates because the EU27 are united, their negotiating positions are clear, and both Schultz and Merkel back the EU27 negotiating stance, so there's nothing for them to actually debate.

The debate is raging on in the UK because it's increasingly obvious that the Tory Brexit position is a "back of a fag packet" shambles being negotiated by a hard-right billionaire-bankrolled and still bitterly divided political party who only achieved their "mandate" to negotiate on behalf of the entire country by lobbing a £1 billion bung at the DUP after Theresa May's ridiculously timed vanity election backfired so spectacularly.


Both Merkel and Schultz back the EU27 negotiating position on Brexit, so there's nothing for them to actually debate.

The Brexit ball is in Britain's court, and all the Germans can do is watch on to see what kind of chaotic mess we're going to make by allowing shockingly incompetent charlatans like bumbling David Davis, the disgraced Liam Fox, the offensive oaf Boris Johnson and the worst Prime Minister in living memory the power to trash our economy and scrap our rights with as little scrutiny and accountability as they think they can get away with.


All the Germans really have to debate about Brexit is whether watching the UK wilfully commit such drastic social and economic self-harm is side-splittingly hilarious, or actually pretty concerning because the blowback from Britain's self-inflicted implosion will eventually end up singeing the German economy too.


 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.




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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Are all white people racist?


I wouldn't normally react to a political rant written by a model I'd never even heard of because there are more important things going on in the world, but the way Munroe Bergdorf has been turned into some kind of heroic martyr after getting sacked by L'Oreal for her all white people are racist rant, I think it's important to criticised the misplaced hero worship and adoration she's receiving.

Firstly I'll begin by quoting what she actually said to get herself fired (with important bits in bold).
"Honestly I don't have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people
Because most of ya'll don't even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***
Come see me when you realise that racism isn't learned, it's inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.  
Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk. Until then stay acting shocked about how the world continues to stay f***** at the hands of your ancestors and your heads that remain buried in the sand with hands over your ears."
ALL white people

Monroe Bergdorf clearly accused all white people of being guilty of racial violence. There is no ambiguity here. She even used all caps to emphasise the point that she was making her accusations against ALL white people.

The dictionary definition of racism (Merriam Webster) is that it is "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race".

Accusing all white-skinned people of being guilty of racial violence, and claiming that white people are the most violent and oppressive force of nature on earth is brazen and obvious racism because it's defining people by the colour of their skin, not by the content of their character.

White supremacy

Several people have presented that the fact that she got sacked for this blatantly racist rant as some kind of proof of white supremacy. 

One excruciating Independent article (that failed to even disclose what the model said so that the reader could make up their own minds about whether she was just "speaking out against racist rhetoric" as the article claimed, or spewing racist rhetoric herself) even painted her as a "trailblazer to lose out on opportunities for calling out the insidious ways that racism functions"!

In reality the fact that she got sacked is proof of nothing except the fact that L'oreal is a corporation that considers anti-white racist views incompatible with their brand identity.

As someone who is considered by many to be a radical leftist I don't often find myself defending massive corporations, but the decision to fire a brand ambassador who decided to attack a huge swathe of their own customer base as being guilty of racial violence simply because of the colour of their skin, doesn't actually seem that outrageous at all.


Of course white supremacy exists, there's no debate about that. We just need to recall the events at Charlottesville, or any number of other violent extreme-right rallies, or the hateful bile spread in online hate chambers like Britain First to see that this sickening white supremacist ideology persists, but a model getting sacked for spewing anti-white racism isn't proof of anything except the fact that overt racism of all forms is unacceptable.

Only whites can be racist?

Not only does Bergdorf accuse all white people of being guilty of racial violence, she also seems to suggest that white-skinned people are the only ones who are capable of being racist because racism is supposedly learned and passed down through white privilege.

Of course this theory of racism is narrow-minded rubbish that ignores all of the countless examples of non-white racism like the ethnic genocide in Rwanda and the oppression of the Kurds in the middle east, through to the huge increase in white-on-white racism that has happened in the UK since the Brexit vote.

But what really rubs it in is that this ridiculous theory that racism is propagated only by white privilege is being expressed in the very same statement as a load of blatantly racist anti-white rhetoric.

Collective responsibility

Bergdorf accuses white people of having their heads buried in the sand over the crimes of our ancestors and ignoring the fact that empires of privilege were built through the exploitation of people of colour.

As an anti-imperialist I'm well aware of the way the British empire was built on exploitation and I don't need some racist rant from some model I'd never even heard of to accuse me (and all other white-skinned people) of racial violence and wilful ignorance to accept the fact.

Aside from understanding the depravity of the imperialist exploitation and genocide that built the wealth of Britain, the United States and numerous other western countries, I'm also well aware that the victims were not always people of colour.

I'm from a working class background and I have some Irish heritage, so I know perfectly well that while the establishment class were building up the vast fortunes they maintain today.

Not only did the British ruling establishment build their fortunes on the backs of people of colour across the empire, they ruthlessly exploited the white working class in Britain too in their mines, in their sweatshops, and on their battlefields.


When it comes to imperialism, the occupation of Ireland was absolute proof that when it came to exploitation, genocide and famine, the British ruling class drew little distinction between white Irish people and people of colour elsewhere in the empire.

So why, just because of the colour of my skin, should I bear collective responsibility for the crimes of exploitation the British ruling establishment committed against my white working class ancestors to build their fortunes, and their savage repression of my Irish ancestors?

Tarring all white-skinned people as being collectively guilty for the crimes committed by some white people in the past isn't just ill-considered as a tactic for getting white people to consider the history of oppression that others have suffered, it's downright racist.

Imagine if someone tried to argue that all black people are collectively responsible for the crimes of Idi Amin, or Mobutu Sese Seko, or that all Asians are collectively responsible for the crimes of Japan during WWII or the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

There would rightly be an absolute uproar about it, but when it comes to tarring people with white skin with the imperialist genocide and exploitation of the past, there are many who actually laud this kind of racism as if it's the wonderfully progressive anti-racism of a heroic trailblazer for freedom!

Privilege

Of course white privilege exists. Countless studies have proven stuff like white sounding names on identical CVs achieve far more success than non-white sounding names, however white privilege isn't the only form of privilege.

In the United Kingdom it's been proven that people from non-elitist backgrounds get paid thousands of pounds per year less than people from establishment backgrounds for doing exactly the same job.

Talk to anyone with a physical disability or a mental health condition about the way they are discriminated against.

Anyone who sees the world in terms of ALL white people being privileged and ALL people of colour being oppressed is thinking in a childishly two dimensional manner.

As a transgender person Bergdorf should know that privilege is a multifaceted issue that involves race, sex, class, creed, age, sexual orientation, physical and cognitive abilities and countless other things, but she decided to paint it in absolute terms as a skin colour issue in her rant.


In the 21st Century UK an able bodied, wealthy person of colour who has been educated at an elitist private school obviously has far more privilege than a white person from an ordinary working class background, a regional accent and a physical or mental disability.

How to alienate people

Issues like the legacies of imperialism and exploitation, continuing race discrimination, privilege and widespread indifference/denial are incredibly important, but to frame such important issues in the context of a racist anti-white tirade is massively counter-productive.

You don't engage people into thinking about these issues by furiously deriding them as massively ignorant and violent racists who are automatically defined as guilty simply because of the colour of their skin.

Such a confrontational and openly racist approach to these issues is clearly likely to be severely counter-productive, because tying these issues up with displays of brazen anti-white racism is more likely to turn people away from giving them proper consideration than it is to suddenly wake them up.

Publicity

Bergdorf may have got herself sacked as a brand ambassador for L'oreal, but she's certainly whipped up a mass of free publicity with her racist rant.

Instead of being just some obscure model few people had ever heard of, she's now being championed as some kind of heroic anti-racism campaigner by people too thick to see that ranting about "ALL white people" is the polar opposite of anti-racism.


It seems that social media platforms, and especially Twitter, have created an appalling online environment where calm and considered analyses usually get ignored, and the people who spread the most extreme views get the bulk of the publicity.

If you want to get a following of millions for your views on immigration and Islam, call refugees "cockroaches" and propose a "final solution" for the Muslim problem. Even if you get sacked from your radio show, it'll be worth it for the storm of free publicity.

And if you want to be lauded as a hero by right-on liberals, don't talk about issues like imperialism and privilege in rational evidence based terms, furiously generalise that all white people are violent and wilfully ignorant racists. Even if you get sacked as a brand ambassador for L'oreal, it'll be worth it for the storm of free publicity.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.




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Friday, 1 September 2017

There is no "moderate" centre ground when it comes to fascism


It's extremely concerning how the political right (and an alarming number of self-declared "centrists") have taken to using "antifa" as an insult, as if being opposed to fascism is some kind of moral degeneracy.

When it comes to extreme ideologies like fascism (street thuggery, dictatorship, genocide, white supremacy, violent oppression, eugenics, anti-Semitism ...) you're either opposed to it, or you support it.

There is no moderate centre ground when it comes to fascism. No matter how much you might wish for it, there simply isn't a convenient fence for right-on handwringers to sit on.

When it comes to fascism the only sensible position for anyone other than fascists is on the anti-fascist side. This is because if the fascists gain power they'll eliminate all opposition starting with the leftists and the anarchists before they move on to eliminating the democratic socialists, liberals and traditional conservatives. 


If you have any political opinions other than fascism (or pig-headed apathy about all political issues and a willingness to adopt total subservience to your political leaders in order to save your own skin if fascists ever come to power) then you have a responsibility to be antifa.

Inaction when it comes to fascism is clearly implicit support for fascism, but promoting the ridiculous, but increasingly popular false equivalence that those who oppose fascism are "just as bad" as the fascists themselves is even worse. It's worse because it implies that to oppose fascism is morally repugnant, when in reality smug indifference to fascism is the real moral degeneracy that people should be worrying about.


Even if the number of people alive who still remember the horrors of the Second World War have dwindled, we still have countless recorded testimonies that the brutality of Hitler's Nazi regime was enabled by the indifference of millions of ordinary people.

It was the self-serving indifference of the people who just quietly got on with their lives as their neighbours and work colleagues were dragged off by the fascists who allowed the political purges and then the Holocaust to happen.


Britain has a long tradition of resisting fascism (the battle of Cable Street, WWII, opposition to the National Front in the '70s and '80s, ridicule of the BNP & EDL ...) but nowadays many of the descendants of those who made incredible sacrifices to beat fascism during the Second World War are actually more likely to share content from extreme-right hate groups like Britain First on Facebook and whine piteously about how nasty the Antifa leftists are, than they are to do like their grandparents did and actively resist the horrors of fascism.

In fact we've no excuse at all for inaction, or for mindlessly spewing the ridiculously dangerous trope that to oppose fascism is as bad as fascism itself.

Back in the 1930s nobody knew the appalling scale of the horrors that fascism would inflict on Europe but the British working classes came together in solidarity to beat Oswald Mosley's fascist blackshirts into submission. Nowadays we've got access to an enormous mass of information about the horrors that are possible when desperate people succumb to the lure of fascism, so we've no excuse at all for not being anti-fascists.


So next time you hear anyone smugly condemning those who stand up against fascism as being "just as bad", remember that they're condemning all anti-fascists, including previous generations of your family who made such sacrifices in the fight against fascism on the continent. 

They're essentially saying that your grandparents/great-grandparents were just as bad as the concentration camp guards in Nazi Germany because they actively, and in many cases violently, resisted fascism.

By making this ridiculous argument they're placing themselves on a mythical centre-ground where inaction and pseudo-liberal handwinging in the face of violent swastika waving white supremacists intent on dictatorship and genocide is morally superior to active resistance and condemnation!

It's long been said that "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing". And it should be obvious that all that is necessary for the triumph of fascism is for right-wingers and sickeningly smug so-called "centrists" to go around spreading the incredibly dangerous notion that to actively oppose fascism is as bad as fascism itself.


 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.




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