Chances are that you have seen some of Britain First’s images on Facebook recently.  Using vile pictures of mistreated pets, radical preachers and pushing for the death penalty for paedophiles, the page has racked up considerable support. By pandering to the most basic and savage of human principles this hateful organisation, masquerading as a political party, has given rise to a concerning new form of racism and vitriol.

This is a distinct racism, one that uses popular images to sell a twisted ideology. Social media allows images to appear as a fact, allowing for misquotes and twisted words.  By using this dirty tactic this new racism is able to permeate across your friendship group and infiltrate the minds of even the most reasonable of people.

Recently Paul Golding, the leader of the far right party, attempted to gain a platform to speak on by claiming to be wanted by police. When he attempted to give himself up for arrest he was told no warrant was in place. He was however questioned over the so called “invasion” of a Crayford mosque by a “battalion.”

…Social media allows images to appear as a fact, allowing for misquotes and twisted words…

These invasions are not lawful, they are infringements on hard won freedoms to practice religions without persecution. The need for this hateful collection of people to feel victimised has led to the unfair and disgusting vilifications of immigrants, Islam and reasonable minded people.

The internet is a wondrous thing; it has been a democratising force with unrivalled success. However, the rise of nationalist sentiment and unchallenged bigotry has meant that the organisation is able to spread lies without having to engage in political discourse. Freedom of speech is an integral freedom, and while it would be wrong to shut down a group without recourse, this “party” has launched a militaristic crusade against the very freedoms it claims to defend.

A popular image from the page proposes banning the Burka as it is unclear who is beneath it; “Man? Woman? Terrorist?” While people are free to say what they like, the attempt to reduce other people to second class citizens due to nationality is simply abhorrent. In the Second World War Britain fought valiantly against these ideals, but the fascist resurgence is once again threatening to invade our country, although rather than using guns and planes, this time the war is being fought in the digital arena.

…the attempt to reduce other people to second class citizens due to nationality is simply abhorrent…

Fascism does not show its ugly head initially. It panders to the will of the people, scapegoating the easiest groups in society and using military-like language to demand respect, even if they have not earned it. Britain First is following this pattern to the letter. It’s hideous ideals are present but hidden by the almost reasonable sounding demands to appeal on the emotional level.

When you see a post from this despicable page that may resonate on an emotional level, think about the ugly undertones that accompany this nationalism. We are not British, French, Saudi Arabian or African. We are people, and this thought above all else, is what we must defend. Do not allow yourself to be taken in by their shock tactics; challenge bigotry on all fronts, and remember that to be British is not to attack minorities, it is British to offer help to the defenceless.

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20 Year old History student at Royal Holloway looking for someone to listen my ramblings...

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