Supporters of aggressive nationalism.
The far right have been taking to the streets in response to the Black Lives Matters protests held across the UK. Many were spoiling for a fight.
In the olden days, the far right were known as ‘fascists’. They used to arrange mass public rallies, marched in drilled columns wearing military-style uniforms and acted as paramilitary units attacking opposition groups and intimidating minorities. Because today’s far-right supporters don’t wear uniforms (or indeed T shirts) or articulate a clear ideology or appear to be particularly well organised, it can be hard for journalists to distinguish them from your common or garden working class bloke. In the 1970s far-right supporters helpfully identified themselves by becoming skinheads, nowadays they are simply bald.
Commentators are concerned that these far-right protestors are part of a serious and growing threat, backed up by a sophisticated organisational network that is ready to strike at any minute. Armed with the lethal weapons of lager and full bladders, they descended en masse on Parliament Square to defend Winston Churchill’s statue. When they discovered that it was already boarded up and protected by riot police, they enacted their plan to devastate the capital by wandering around Trafalgar Square and the West End entering into sporadic fights and random brawls, many of which they seemed to lose.
This frightening tactic, known as ‘asymmetric drunken fighting’, has been carefully and rigorously honed during England away games before being unleashed on British streets. Society must pool together the best minds within Whitehall and the British police to determine how best to neutralise this complex vehicle of hatred.
In some towns, veterans, locals and boy scouts turned out to protect statues from being pulled down. They said that they wanted to preserve their local heritage, rather than advance the cause of fascism. However, a number of media commentators have found it difficult to distinguish between ‘ordinary people’ and ‘racist gangs’ and they have found it easier to simply label everyone standing around a statue as ‘far-right’. Those in positions of authority must remain alert to the possibility that a boy scout is a potential extremist in waiting.
Although fascist groups are currently consigned to the fringes of British politics, the historic fight against the far-right continues to animate left-wing thinking. The heroic fight against the Falangists in Spain, the 1936 defence of Cable Street and battles with the National front in the late 1970s continue to provide inspiration. New groups of anti-fascists (Antifa squads) have formed to oppose the frightening demon of fascism that they have worked so hard to recreate. The spectre of fascism will be kept alive to ensure that it is forever defeated.