“Retarded Reprobates”? An analysis of the English Defence League

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Long suffering members of the English Defence League have been branded “retarded reprobates” by the organisation’s supposed leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, alias Tommy Robinson, who objects to recent questions about his profits from EDL merchandising.

The EDL is a politically confused gang, who wave Israeli flags and proclaim their “anti-racist” credentials at every opportunity, but whose members also pose for some peculiar photos, such as the one below!

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So what is the EDL?

The EDL is a multiracial, ultra-Zionist, Islamophobic organisation, most of whose activists are linked to various football gangs around the country. It developed during the spring of 2009 after a small Islamist demonstration in Luton against members of the Royal Anglian Regiment returning from Afghanistan. After grabbing the headlines with several large scale anti-Islamic demonstrations featuring Israeli flags and multiracial, anti-Muslim speakers, the EDL has now split into mutually antagonistic factions. The official EDL leader is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (alias Tommy Robinson) a former BNP member who lives in the village of Wilstead, near Bedford, where he is under police investigation for mortgage fraud.He is supported by BNP activist Chris Renton from Luton, who designed the EDL website, and a diverse crew of associates including a supposed Muslim named Amit and a fanatically anti-Muslim Sikh named Guramit Singh  (see photos below). Guramit is rumoured to be a relative of the BNP’s Sikh recruit Rajinder Singh.

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The main rival faction is headed by Paul Ray, formerly described as media spokesman for the EDL, who has been one of its most pro-Israeli members. Since falling out with Renton and Yaxley-Lennon, Ray has spent much of his time in Malta, where he has forged a new alliance with German-born Nick Greger, purportedly a former ‘neo-nazi’ from Dresden. Greger first came to prominence as part of a television documentary by Donal Macintyre, one of Searchlight‘s favourite journalists. Previously unknown in the German nationalist movement, Greger was presented as a major player. Macintyre’s film followed his bizarre hero worship of the former Loyalist gangster Johnny Adair, who was expelled from the Ulster Defence Association for his drug dealing, treachery and murder of a fellow UDA brigadier. So far the Paul Ray faction of the EDL has won over a block of Bolton football hooligans, a development which may be related to the Adair family’s involvement in drug dealing in the Bolton area.

Bizarrely Ray and Greger believe that they can launch a rival EDL which is even more pro-Zionist than the current leadership, and they aim to recruit Adair as part of their leadership team. Perhaps all involved need reminding of a few facts. Like Ray and Greger, Adair has always been fanatically pro-Zionist. However he is better known as one of the most sinister terrorist gangsters ever to operate in the U.K., having abused his position on the Brigade Council of the Ulster Defence Association to build a criminal empire.

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In 2002 Adair (shown left with actor Danny Dyer and his fellow gunman and gay lover Sam McCrory) was expelled from the UDA, and after ordering the murder of UDA brigadier John Gregg in February 2003, Adair and his cronies were forced to leave Northern Ireland. Since he is a bisexual and drug dealer as well as a pro-Zionist, Adair might think he has three good reasons to campaign against Islam. However he would be wise to think carefully about any overt involvement in a political organisation, since his former UDA comrades are unlikely to tolerate his return to any form of political prominence. Any remaining nationalists in the EDL should carefully consider the type of alliances they are being dragged into by their blind Islamophobia. Even before the EDL was created some of its founders took part in a disgraceful demonstration against Al-Quds Day in Trafalgar Square in 2009 that featured multiracial gangs of coked-up football hooligans alongside the Trotskyist Alliance for Workers Liberty, the Zionist Federation, and a CIA-backed group of Iranian monarchists. They repeated these antics in September 2010.

ray-greger-tanzanianadairfanThe first propaganda efforts of the Paul Ray faction will have won them few friends. In a photo issued on their website (left) Mr Ray poses with “ex-nazi” Nick Greger and Mr Greger’s Tanzanian wife, who is wearing a pro-Adair T-shirt. It might be a good start for these self-styled defenders of European civilisation to learn how to spell ‘Praetorian’!

Former ED Councillor Michael Johnson has been exploring possible collaboration with some elements of the EDL and may seek to build a new movement from its factional wreckage. Also seeking recruits at a recent EDL event in Halifax was a small team of National Front paper sellers including two ex-BNP organisers.

The Lancashire Evening Telegraph reports that ex-councillor Michael Johnson has been condemned as “a rather foolish individual” by the Conservative ex-leader of the council Colin Rigby, after Mr Johnson spoke at the EDL’s recent demonstration in Bradford.

The Home Secretary had banned the EDL from marching through Bradford and in the event the turnout was much lower than expected, partly because yet another rival group – the English Nationalist Alliance headed by BNP member Bill Baker – attracted a few hundred (including both NF and BNP members) to a simultaneous demo in Brighton.

The EDL remains divided (not least between members of rival ‘firms’ of football hooligans) but for the time being Yaxley-Lennon appears to have fought off the takeover bid from rivals Ray and Greger (see H&D Issue 41).

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