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Westministenders: I can't believe it's not butter

(1000 Posts)
RedToothBrush Sun 13-Aug-17 09:43:23

Nigel Farage @ Nigel_Farage
Cannot believe we're seeing Nazi salutes in 21st century America.

Yeah, that's what we said on 16th June 2016, when some dickhead stood in front of a poster.

The thing is, what Farage says with faux surprise isn't unusual or isolated to him. It's widespread. It's perhaps the norm rather than the exception in many circles.

It's represents a total lack of self awareness. It represents the disconnect that what comes out of your mouth tends to have an effect on the people around you, whether intentioned that way or not when you talk about 'others' or 'not belonging'.

It's a direct effect of nationalism.

Patriotism seems to be something that people have totally lost the plot with and don't understand. It's used as a defence for nationalism. It is the last defence of the scoundrel. Patriotism and being pro-EU or not being a racist dick are not mutually exclusive, though you'd be forgiven for thinking differently these days.

I think a lot of people will sit and go, "Look at America, that is awful. I'm glad we are not like that".

Except we are far more than we realise. Grenfell says much about that.

There's an phrase and Southern Wolves and Northern Wolves when it comes to racism in America. The UK is like the Northern Wolf. Sly and silver tongued to justify and hide racism because 'Look they are worse than us. We are the good guys'.

A bit like saying, you talked to an EU citizen and they were just as racist as me, so Brexit is ok.

It's the twisted desperation to justify the othering rather than take responsibility for enabling and emboldening racism. Then dressing it up as some legitimate political cause which actually you have zero understanding or comprehension of the consequences of.

Brexit has some deep roots in Nazi type fantasies. You can not separate the idea that Britain is superior and Brits are better than Europeans from too much Brexit logic. The Empire was not a pretty thing for much of the world. It's worrying.

Not to mention we've had a right wing attack on a group of people outside a mosque in this fashion before the US had that attack yesterday.

Let's not think that because we haven't had blokes with tiki torches providing a photographic opportunity and theatre for the TV producer that we are somehow 'better'. Or not as bad as America.

The only real difference between them and us is the brash openness about it and the fact they have a bunch of guns.

This was predictable. Indeed I expected and I expect more. There will be more and it will get far, far worse in the US. Yesterday was just the start. Trump wants it. He will fuel it. He will capitalise from it. Yes your mate Donald loves a bit of bigotry, Nig.

There no guarantees it won't happen here for various reasons. It just is characterised in a slightly different way because we are British and don't really do brash in anything as it's not our way.

It's too easy for Farage. Or Johnson. Or May. Or whoever to just walk away and innocently say they are shocked and bear no responsibility because they don't wave Nazi flags about.

You don't have to do that, to share the same values or believe the same thing. Salutes and flags are just branding. A repackaged version for the 21st century is even more dangerous.

We won't forget who Farage hangs out with or courts for publicity and attention. Farage only says and does what he thinks he can get away with. That's part of the ugly truth.

We still have not even started to confront the relationship between racism and Brexit. Indeed, much seems to be happening to suggest that after blaming EU, that there are a Brexit opportunities for scapegoating opening up.

For me yesterday was depressing not because it happened, but because we saw it coming and because our country is in denial about being the same.

Farage is the very personification of it.

Peregrina Sun 13-Aug-17 09:53:04

Thanks for starting this Red.

No doubt some Brexiters will rush in and insist they are not racist. Undoubtedly true, as is the fact that some voted Leave believing they would get more money for the NHS. But almost all racists voted Leave, with Farage as their poster boy. Never mind that Farage wasn't part of the Official Leave campaign - for many of us that was a subtlety that we missed.

ElenaGreco123 Sun 13-Aug-17 09:54:11

I can't say anything about Farage that does not get this thread deleted. Sorry.

Tried to find the hard left anti David Miliband memes, but not being on Twitter I couldn't. Thinking about him made me feel so sad. Was it really only seven years ago that they had the Labour leadership hustings? Such innocent times....

BiglyBadgers Sun 13-Aug-17 09:58:25

Bloody hell, what a depressing couple of days.

I agree with everything you have put there red. Brexit and Trump are 2 side of the same coin in my view. They have similar causes, ideological roots and outcomes.

People in the UK should not only remember we have already had a car plow into people outside a mosque, but we have had a left wing Member of Parliament assassinated in public by a white supremacist.

As you say, just because our homegrown nazis aren't managing to march as openly it doesn't mean they are not growing and dangerous.

LurkingHusband Sun 13-Aug-17 09:58:32


BiglyBadgers Sun 13-Aug-17 10:00:08

I can't find any either Elena and I am pretty darn left, so usually get these things popping up on my feed if they are truely swamping Twitter.

RandomlyGenerated Sun 13-Aug-17 10:04:32

This popped up on my Twitter:

And the original Channel 4 News item is here:

Makes Farage's "Cannot believe we're seeing Nazi salutes in 21st century America." all the more ironic / moronic.

woman12345 Sun 13-Aug-17 10:09:27

flowers red

Meanwhile in Germany, Merkel is soaring in the polls. I wonder

GhostofFrankGrimes Sun 13-Aug-17 10:34:17

I'm shocked that the situation in the US isn't wall to wall news coverage on TV. Also little coverage on forums. We are sleep walking backwards to the 1930's.

Arborea Sun 13-Aug-17 11:26:11

Randomly I can't read your photo: are you able to do a quick precis? (The print is too small and has a watermark)

RedToothBrush Sun 13-Aug-17 11:34:56
Tory former minister Anna Soubry warns she could quit party over hard Brexit

RedToothBrush Sun 13-Aug-17 11:42:04

Adam Wagner‏ @AdamWagner1
1/ Some thoughts on why I have woken up feeling pretty shaken this morning. As a liberal, as a Jew, as a human being
2/ Last night a white supremacist riot happened in Charlottesville. A counter-demonstrator died. That's scary, but not the most scary thing
3/ US President spoke many minutes on the riot without condemning white supremacists who caused it. That’s not the most scary thing either
4/ The most scary thing is that none of this was unexpected. Trump is a white nationalist sympathiser in plain sight.
5/ He surrounds himself with ethno-nationalists like Bannon and Miller. We all knew it. And the 50m+ people who voted for him knew it
6/ Leaders I've seen in my lifetime - Reagan, Thatcher, Bush1, Blair, Clinton, Bush2, Cameron, Obama … all flawed but all stood up to racism
7/ Not Trump. I watched video of him condemning-not-condemning racism & felt chills. He won’t last forever but his supporters are on the up
8/ Ethnic hatred isn’t a disease we eradicated from our society. It is a disease which lays latent in all societies and probably always will
9/ What a reemergence of the disease look like? THIS is what is looks like. Ethnic riots, leaders not condemning. Atmosphere of tolerance
10/ I’m not being alarmist. Because evil progresses cunningly. Here’s how human rights pioneer Pierre-Henri Teitgen put it

Democracies do not become Nazi counties in on day. Evil progresses cunningly... one by one freedoms are supressed, in one sphere after another. Public opinion and the entire national conscience are adphyxiated. And then, then everything is in order, the 'Fuhrer' is installed and the evolution continues even to the oven of the crematorium. It is necessary to intervene before its too late.

11/ What can we do? Well, laws protecting rights (you guessed it!) are designed to put a stop to the early stages of ethnic hatred
12/ We could do a lot worse than securing those laws and making sure they are powerful enough to withstand the storm which may be coming
13/ To finish, here's a video I scripted in Jan for Holocaust Memorial Day, which seems more and more relevant

RedToothBrush Sun 13-Aug-17 11:44:40

David French‏@DavidAFrench
Trump is very, very specific when he wants to condemn someone - ask the Khans, Judge Curiel, Comey, his AG - his vagueness has a purpose.

Vagueness as a political device or weapon.

Much used in the UK.

thecatfromjapan Sun 13-Aug-17 11:45:58

The memes were definitely on my Twitter feed but I guess this just shows me how much of an echo-chamber my own Twitter feed is - despite attempts (by me) for it not to be.

I'm sorry about not linking. I have read RTB's explanation of why it's important to source things, esp. social media things, and I vigorously concur, and yet ... I keep shoving learning how to do that to the bottom of my 'to-do' list. Perhaps today will be the day I make myself learn how to do that! grin My son keeps offering me a tutorial. I also tell myself it will take 10 years off my on-line age!!

I really can't shake off this feeling of despair at all. Mainly for the reasons you outline in your opening post, RTB. I really feel as though there has been a right-wing coup, a significant shift in that Overton window of what is acceptable in public discourse, and that, actually, it is not mandated by the majority of people - yet we have no effective means of stopping it.

thecatfromjapan Sun 13-Aug-17 11:49:12

By the way, I have another thought on the "I voted Brexit but I'm not a racist" thing. I reckon that a lot of them subscribe to views that I might think are racist but they, quite possibly, don't regard as such. And that those views have subtly been detoxified over the last year or so - in some sections of society, anyway.

HashiAsLarry Sun 13-Aug-17 11:55:34

A perfect time for an Elie Wiesel quote:

We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

HashiAsLarry Sun 13-Aug-17 11:58:21

thecat there's a lot of so called non racist people who very happily involve themselves in casual racism and attempt to cover it as banter thereby, like with brexit, try to make it someone else's problem.

whatwouldrondo Sun 13-Aug-17 12:15:02

Arborea It is easier to read in the link. I know quite a few Dulwich College alumnae, both past and more recent, and the members of the Farage family who have attended are widely regarded as arrogant entitled bigots. I know other alumnae and staff have spoken up publicly, more strongly in private.

Thank you Red .

BiglyBadgers Sun 13-Aug-17 13:07:04

Racists will rarely recognise their views as being racist. It is the same with misogyny. Instead they write cod scientific memos on why women are different and whine about free speech.

Motheroffourdragons Sun 13-Aug-17 13:14:29

Thank you Red flowers

What is happening in the US is absolutely disgusting. It is a worry that racism like this seems to be bubbling under the surface in the world today.

Very depressing.

RedToothBrush Sun 13-Aug-17 13:25:41
Crucial Brexit week looms as May returns from holiday
Papers fleshing out UK’s position to be published before August 21

Key parts of the UK’s Brexit negotiating strategy are set to be revealed over the coming 10 days as Theresa May, the prime minister, returns from holiday and launches a series of critical position papers.

Next negotiating round starts August 28th.

squoosh Sun 13-Aug-17 13:56:35


RedToothBrush Sun 13-Aug-17 14:11:56

Off topic, but I recommend Channel 4's Eden: Paradise Lost, if you want to be really depressed!

You need to get past episode one but it goes down hill quickly from there. Its amazing to see how people justify their behaviour and the dynamics at play.

I've been watching it thinking about it the context of current politics rather than it being something that reflects history in any way. There are some rather eye opening quotes which even with heavy editing you get in these type of programmes make you go "wtf"'.

RedToothBrush Sun 13-Aug-17 14:13:37
Half of landlords in one London borough fail to declare rental income
Newham council says HMRC maybe losing £200m a year in London alone after finding half of its 27,000 landlords failed to register for self-assessment

Well this is quite a story... Those rental yields....

Of course if they try and tackle the problem its the renters who suffer as these tax dodgers will just put up the rent.

RandomlyGenerated Sun 13-Aug-17 14:17:49

Arboria - the relevant passage from the letter, written by a Dulwich College teacher to the master of the college, reads:

Another colleague, who teaches the boy, described his publicly professed racist and neo-fascist views; and he cited a particular incident in which Farage was so offensive to a boy in his set, that he had to be removed from the lesson. This master stated his view that this behaviour was precisely why the boy should not be made a prefect. Yet another colleague described how, at a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) camp organised by the college, Farage and others had marched through a quiet Sussex village very late at night shouting Hitler-youth songs.

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