I've been away for a few days but, having seen the shocking photos of the "FF Force" paramilitary march, I assumed the www would be awash with commentary. Well yes, there's the predictable Daily Mail / Guido type of comment: the law prohibits paramilitary displays, so what's Commissioner Dick gonna do about it? That kind of thing. (And quite right, too**.)
But on the Left? Nothing. This is a genuine question: can anyone point me to even a story about this incident / phenomenon in the Graun? Or a comment on it, from any "mainstream" leftie type on social meeja or elsewhere? Because I can't find one.
Why? Obvious. This is the "academic" Left's worst nightmare. Much as they tend to swoon at the feet of a Gerry Adams++, or a militant Islamic preacher, or indeed anyone who's actually willing to use violence for political ends (which they kinda wish they were, too), in today's "culture-war" context, they know this one is the finishing of them.
For just as Kier Starmer knows that if Labour becomes clearly identified as the party of Trans Rights he is doomed to lose even more RedWall-type votes, so equally if it becomes identified as the political wing of FF, it's all over for 2024. The basic consensus on the left is that the Labour Party's bedrock has ceased to be the traditional "working class" of Everytown across the whole UK, and has become the multi-culti "new worker" yoof-oriented populations of the Big English Cities (- which, they think, isn't even a vote Labour can take for granted, any more than the RedWall voters were locked in).
What's more, it's nowhere near a parliamentary majority for them - they need an alliance with other "progressive" demographics - county town greens and libs, or even not-so progressive C1C2D's - the sort they felt they already had. The prospect of such an alliance evaporates the moment they are even loosely, (even unfairly) associated with FF. Incidentally, what genius came up with that?? Nothing could more clearly signal it's an outright fascist venture - probably even a deliberate provocation as such. Support us! Even though we do this!
Nope: as a self-proclaimed anti-fascist movement, Labour must now categorically distance itself from FF. There's no wiggle-room for a Sinn Fein style nod-and-wink; and we see that Starmer slams down heavily on nods-and-winks on the antisemitism side of the house, so I think we can guess his policy on this new one.
And the Graun. And Sadiq Khan. And yes, Owen Jones, you too will need to make some clear pro forma statement on the matter (unless it all evaporates on Monday morning, as you'll be passionately hoping). But ... what then for the multi-culti-"new-worker"-yoof-oriented-populations-of-the-Big-Cities vote?
This is Cummings' Culture War writ large and lurid. (Did I say "unfairly" ..?) It can't go well for any of us: but it bids fair to be the end of Labour. Starmer knows it all too clearly - so he'll have some sort of a plan - though it may not be one the multi-culti Left will be too happy about. Watch and wait. Meantime, it'll be interesting to see this gradually break cover in leftie www circles.
** Knowing the way the security establishment works, BTW, I'd say they have a plan to handle this. But sending PC Plod to invite a street demo to disperse peacefully, oh, and please hand over your uniforms on the way out, isn't any part of it.
++As Marina Hyde put it: You only have to look at the little faces of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell in the photos with Gerry Adams to conclude that they’d have been almost erotically impressed by the whiff of cordite.