Fascist groups are taking full advantage of Britain’s instability, writes CHARLOTTE HUGHES
THERE are various reasons why someone might join far-right groups likes Britain First, the EDL, Pediga and the like. But what makes a person susceptible to fascism and extreme right-wing views?
Many people are drawn to join such groups because they are vulnerable and want to find a sense of belonging, to feel important. Perhaps they feel like an outcast from society and struggle to find friends.
Lonely and easily influenced, their members are angered by recent terrorist attacks and so they look for answers, for a way to make a change. And to them, these far-right and so-called “patriotic” groups seem to have the answer.
Many are attracted to the banner-waving and the carrying of crosses. These groups prey on people who are proud of their country.
Relying heavily on an obsession with national security, closed borders and military supremacy, it’s easy to get caught up in this web of violence and hate.
These far-right groups use fear as a tool of control because when people become scared, they are easy to manipulate.
They tell their followers that migrants will “steal our jobs, homes and women,” without a shred of factual evidence. They know that fear works both on an individual basis and collectively, therefore social media is very important for them. Many of their members are created through their fear mongering social media posts.
Playing on people’s fear and ignorance, they persuade their followers into believing that Islam and Muslims plan to take over the world.
To these fascists, religion is simply a tool used to whip up hate and manipulate others.
The more members they recruit, the more donations they’ll be able to receive, giving them the ability to fund further protests and “actions” against minorities.
Sometimes, the members of these groups have had a troubled life, suffer from depression or other illnesses. Although this is no excuse for racist actions, often these members will take extreme actions in order to gain notoriety or impress their leaders.
Thus a grooming process takes place, often without the victim realising it. And before long, they are drawn into group activities based around hatred and creating fear within communities.
At a time when our country is at its most unstable, far-right groups are taking full advantage.
They know that the police are vastly underfunded and are less able to deal with violent marches and riots than ever before.
The majority might not understand the logistics of this but their leaders certainly do.
While the country was mourning the terrorist attack in Manchester, former EDL leader Tommy Robinson (whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon) was already planning his next move.
He organised a march through the city ironically called “Unite Against Hate,” which coincided with a silent march that was also planned at the same time.
By carefully choosing his words, and not implicating himself, he and his followers marched in Manchester causing violence, chaos and damage to a city in mourning.
Their aim is to sow division, to make communities fall apart. Although there was anger on that day, the division that they hoped to create disappeared.
Leaders of far-right groups are seen as “legends” and “national heroes.” And are seen as the answer to the country’s needs, when in fact they are the opposite of what the people of this country need.
They talk about “getting our country back” when Britain has always been a country based on immigration.
I’m sure that if the leaders and members of these groups would do a bit of research, they would find family members whose origins were based in different countries.
The groups’ leaders might not break the law with the words that they use, but they are aware of the implications of them.
They know that by saying certain keywords, it will trigger someone into taking action on their behalf. They don’t care who, just as long as action is taken.
Immigration has always benefited Britain, our country is dependent on it. Our NHS, for example, is dependent on help from workers whose origins are from different countries, and they are welcomed.
And most communities live in peace. However if you listen to the words of the far right they paint a different picture.
I spoke to a neighbour the other day who had made his home in England a long time ago. He’s a lovely family man and always pleasant to speak to.
But on this day his voice changed. He said he was afraid. Afraid of rightwing extremists.
He told me that members of his community had stopped going out on their own. A lady he knows is too scared to use public transport after being spat at on a bus.
It’s awful that a few racists can make people feel like this and they are seemingly allowed to continue.
These repeated actions of terrorism are being perpetuated by the extreme right wing and newspapers such as the Sun, the Express and Daily Mail. These publications fuel the racist fire.
They give the fascists their strength and encourage the growth of a subculture of division and hatred.
They don’t want communities to live in harmony, headlines like “Migrant workers flooding Britain,” “Workers are fired for being British,” “Immigration soars 20 per cent in a year” encourages people to question their neighbours and their legitimately for living here.
The newspapers print this bile despite the facts being directly the opposite of what they say. But hatred sells newspapers.
There is never an excuse for racism and violence, nor is there any excuse for any terrorist attack.
A person does not become self-indoctrinated, they are influenced by what is around them in society, written in newspapers, on the internet and on television.
It’s high time that the people and organisations responsible for this are taken into account for their actions and dealt with appropriately. There is a fine line between free speech and hate speech.
Society very obviously has one rule for one ethnic minorities and one for the rest, and this is what needs challenging before there are more innocent deaths.