Wilders in UK

This is just in: Wilders is in the UK to once again try to show his “film” about the deplorable results of Islam in the House of Lords.

He was greeted by a demonstration of opponents, as well as by the cheers of about a hundred members of the “English Defence League,” a group I’ve never heard of. His formal host is Lord Pearson.

I just wish foreigners would not meddle in our politics. It’s complicated enough without giving Wilders a Europe-wide forum for his message.

Any UK readers who can shed light on the EDL or Lord Pearson?

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This is the political blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer, in Amsterdam. It’s a hobby blog where he follows Dutch politics for the benefit of those twelve foreigners that are interested in such matters, as well as his Dutch readers.

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1 Posted by Abi Sutherland on 6 March 2010 | Permalink

The BBC has an article on the EDL here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8250017.stm

Reading between the lines a little, they look to be the sort of people who don't find the British National Party confrontational enough. (!)

There's been a set of people like them in English* society for generations. It's the brawling culture of the football "casuals", later called "yobs". It's a tribal association, and they unite around the St George's flag rather than the more usual British symbol, the Queen. A certain proportion of them are bound over to appear at police stations every time England plays in Eruope, just to prevent them from going over and starting trouble.

I've lived in the Netherlands for less than three years, so I don't know the society well enough to come up with a suitable analogy. In American politics, they would be the militias: conservative voters, worried about the dilution of the native culture because of immigration and what they see as left-wing collaboration with foreign influences, angry and willing to act on that anger in physical and violent ways.

[Like all sweeping cultural generalizations, the above paragraphs are probably as narrowly false as they are broadly true].

Lord Pearson (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8381332.stm) is head of the UK Independence Party, whose platform maps very closely to the PVV's.

2 Posted by Richard Gadsden on 16 March 2010 | Permalink

That's a pretty fair description of the EDL.

As for UKIP, the real difference between them and PVV is that they span out of the UK Conservative party instead of out of the VVD. The UK Conservatives are at least as if not more right-wing than the VVD on economics, but are also at least as if not more socially conservative than the CDA.

While the Conservatives themselves have moved to a more socially-liberal position in the last ten years or so, UKIP have not in any way done so. If you google Section 28, you'll see where the Conservatives were in 1988 as one example - UKIP would like to reinstate Section 28.

Strictly, I've misrepresented the history of UKIP - it was originally a combination of left-wing anti-Europeans ("socialism in one country" thesists) and right-wing anti-Europeans (British nationalists) who were mostly socially conservative. Over time, the left-wingers and the socially liberal minority of the right-wingers abandoned the party, but that all happened before they started getting large numbers of voters, so even their own membership have mostly forgotten that it ever happened.