On this week’s episode of Unpopular Opinion, Adam, with guests Tom Reimann, Maria Shehata and Brett Rader, takes a deep dive into the inner workings of Britain First, the extreme right hate group Trump retweeted recently.
Late last month, Trump retweeted a series of videos posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, a far right extremist group. The videos all purported to show Muslim immigrants committing horrific acts. In at least one case, it was immediately confirmed that the “Muslim immigrant” in question was actually born and raised in the Netherlands. This retweet was so egregious it prompted British Prime Minister Theresa May to actually condemn the President of the United States of America. Aaaaaaand the tweet is still up on Trump’s page. The man clearly doesn’t even know the first rule of screwing up on the internet.
Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn called Trump’s decision to share the tweets “abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our country,” and several members of parliament (in response to a push from below in the form of widespread protests) called for Trump’s upcoming state visit to the UK to be cancelled.
So who are Britain First?
Britain First, founded by Christian fundamentalist and anti-abortion activist Jim Dowson in 2011, grew out of the far-right British National Party, which grew out of National Front, another far right British political group that was founded in the 60s. Dowson is bananas. He is literally in support of a “holy war.” In an interview, Dowson claimed to support the idea of a Holy War with Islam, saying in reference to an extreme Muslim cleric: “He calls it a jihad, we call it a crusade.” Dowson quit the organization in 2014 over the group’s decision to invade mosques, describing the group’s actions as “madness and a bit rude.” The anti-abortion activist who wants a holy war with Islam found this group too rude, if that tells you anything about just how extreme they are.
In 2016, “Britain First” were the words that a Far-Right supporter of Brexit yelled before fatally shooting and stabbing Jo Cox, a Labour Party MP, though the group has attempted to distance themselves from the assailant.
Not only has Britain First made good use of social media and the internet to gain attention (with Trump’s retweet definitely helping their cause), their website is also packed to the brim with fun stuff. Like a petition claiming BBC discriminates against white people, based on a job posting for non-white candidates, posted right on the main page. Their mission statement goes back and forth between declaring the horrible things they want and pretending to actually care about people (calling for “greatly increased assistance and counseling for victims of sexual attacks?” Oh please). And! Fun! One of their photos features someone wearing a Make America Great Again hat!
Current membership includes an accused sexual abuser Paul Golding and scary-person Jayda Fransen, who has been charged with hate speech and has threatened New York Times reporters.
Even UKIP, arguably the driving force behind the Brexit vote, whose figureheads are often marginalized in Parliament due to their own extreme views, felt the need to distance themselves from Britain First. And yet! The President of the United States stands by them. Just…wow.
Listen to the episode to be further disgusted!
International Business Times: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/britain-first-leaders-paul-golding-jayda-fransen-arrested-wearing-political-uniforms-1544188
Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/mair
Britain First: https://www.britainfirst.org
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