COLIN DRURY: EDL are marching to a different tune...

Members of the Sunderland Anti-Fascist Coalition, march from Murray Library on Chester Road to the site of the proposed mosque on Saint Marks Road, shortly after groups from the NE Infidels, BNP, Northern Patriotic Front and EDL arrive to demonstate against Sunderland Anti-Fascist Coalition, Police officers keep the two groups apart.
Members of the Sunderland Anti-Fascist Coalition, march from Murray Library on Chester Road to the site of the proposed mosque on Saint Marks Road, shortly after groups from the NE Infidels, BNP, Northern Patriotic Front and EDL arrive to demonstate against Sunderland Anti-Fascist Coalition, Police officers keep the two groups apart.
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ISN’T it reassuring to know the English Defence League is coming to South Yorkshire this weekend to make a stand for us all?

Isn’t it a relief that just as Rotherham finds itself confronting complex sociocultural problems, these lads – bless their face-hiding generosity – will be travelling from across the country to offer their advice and experience?

Isn’t it great such chaps – football hooligans maybe but good honest football hooligans with good honest convictions – won’t be put off from visiting us just because the average human being wouldn’t wipe their backside on the movement’s manifesto?

Thank you, EDL, you lovely bunch of racists, thank you indeed. To what do we owe such a pleasure?

You probably know the answer to that already.

It’s this whole depressing business about how Rotherham social services and police failed to act on evidence that five men were grooming teenage girls for sex.

A bit like with Jimmy Savile. Only less news-worthy because it was happening in kebab shops instead of Broadcasting House.

Oh, and the other difference, was that these men were of Asian descent.

And that’s where those friendly fellows at the EDL can help out.

Because no-one wants to waste their time having to think about this whole horrible affair too much, right? No-one wants to have to consider the underlying issues – the years of under-staffed social services, the rights and wrongs of sensitised police policies towards minority communities, the professional failings of many and criminal inclinations of some – no-one wants to consider all that when the EDL can give you a nice uncomplicated bogeyman instead, right?

It’s all Muslims wot are to blame.

And so on Saturday, this group will come and chant their simple message of hatred. And maybe smash some shop windows too but that’s all part of the political rough and tumble.

And anyone with a shred of decency will look at these social inadequates and think: blimey, what repulsive young men.

Because that’s what the EDL are, isn’t it?

A collective of angry young men, scarred by their own inadequacies and lack of social skills.

I say this, incidentally, having read the Twitter feed of portly leader – and criminal convict – Tommy Robinson. I can recommend it for a giggle.

A satirist couldn’t make up its impotent fury at the supposed unfairness of the world (he reckons the authorities have it in for him despite his 24-hour police protection) and contradictory politics. At one point he rages against the use of capital punishment in Sharia Law before demanding paedophiles are given the, erm, death penalty.

Except, I suppose, it’s not funny.

Partially because Tommy has his followers and fans. And partially because his group of cretins really will be here on Saturday.

And then they’ll be met by the Unite Against Fascism movement, and there’ll probably be some brawling, and those windows will get smashed, and the police will have to fork out for overtime when the nation’s already bankrupt.

And the only people who will be happy are the EDL themselves who like a bit of bother now they can’t get it on the terraces.

Which means, I reckon, it would be far better to ignore the weirdos completely, to let them protest to themselves and no-one else; to spend the afternoon rejecting hatred by doing something nice for someone.

Hippy nonsense?

Maybe but wouldn’t it send a simple message to a group that trades on such simplifications: Go home, guys, you’re just a set of prats.