Following the ignominous rout suffered by the English Defence League at their attempted march on Walthamstow last month, it seems that motivating the British populace to acts of extreme xenophobia is more difficult than it looks.
Even in the throes of economic recession (a circumstance that has ever been used as a catalyst to harden the resolve of the right-leaning bigot) the EDL and British National Party are almost as often seen directing their fossilised confrontational rhetoric at each other as at whichever specific non-British ‘Other’ they are most concerned with on any given day.
And whilst the gradual progress by society towards an environment where people are treated as equal regardless of their skintones, gender, sexual persuasion, abilities or origins may be typified by a dwindling majority as ‘pc gone mad’, the phrase itself has become a meaningless canard in the face of a Britain which is becoming proud once more.
Proud of what it is, and what makes it what it is. Not proud because of an outdated and discredited notion of imperial superiority, but because of tolerance, multiculturalism, and a stubborn Civil War hangover of freethinking iconoclasm. And finally being good at sport.
And if that is typified as the sort of thinking that is the hallmark of the ‘PC Brigade’ remember – the term exists solely to provide solace to the Daily Mail-readers and golfclub bores who need desperately to believe that a tangible, organised cartel exists to forward this tolerant mindset. Otherwise, they may have to face up to the fact that the rest of the nation is getting gradually nicer, without overt direction – and that they are out of step.
But fear not, xenophobic bigots! There is still hope. A thematic coalition with the far more mainstream forces of environmentalism beckons, and offers the possibility of some socially-acceptable, anti-foreigner rage. Not only that, but within spitting distance of Walthamstow too (some of those skinheads can do a pretty impressive spit).
Parasitic freeloading foreigners are invading the Thames.
‘Almost 100 freshwater species not native to the UK have invaded the River Thames catchment making it one of the most highly invaded freshwater systems in the world’, according to scientists at Queen Mary, University of London.
Well, 96, to be precise. And they’re costing the state money too. The cost to the British economy of invasive non-native species is £1.7bn every year (CABI report, 2010). Swap a couple of words here and there, and those BNP and EDL speeches will fit just fine.
Lead author of the research, Dr Michelle Jackson explains: “We have identified 96 freshwater non-native species in the River Thames catchment and modern invasion rates (post 1961) reveal that one non-indigenous species is discovered every 50 weeks.
“Our research suggests that globalisation has facilitated species invasions because shipping activity and population size in the catchment had a positive correlation with the discovery of non-native species….Invasive species are major drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss, and multiple invaders have the potential to amplify one another’s impact,” Dr Jackson said.
“Our research highlights the need to establish how these multiple invaders interact”.
Banners at the ready.
Source: Queen Mary, University of London
A full report into the EDL’s attempted march at Walthamstow will appear in Trebuchet on Saturday 13th October