Monday, 11 July 2011

Hi Hooooooo, Hi Hooooooo...

Now, stop me if I lose you on this, but as peaceful chants go, shouting “Allah is a paedo” through a loudhailer with the same charming phrase taken up by around 100 of your mates… well, it’s not one which would readily come to mind.

But that’s just me, eh? A soft liberal communist wet who’s blinded by Islamic brainwashing techniques, clearly.

“I’m England Til I Die” is confusing. English, well yes, unless you emigrate and take up another nationality. But “England”? I don’t think that works as patriotic chants go. It doesn’t really translate that well. I mean, could you imagine someone shouting “I’m United Arab Emirates Til I Die” or “I’m Democratic Republic of Congo Til I Die”?

As for “Who the F*** Is Allah?” I would hazard a guess the question in rhetorical. Otherwise such an inquiry while on a march to highlight your concerns of Islamic extremists would suggest you should first read a book. Possibly all the way through and ideally one without pictures.
My personal feeling is the quality of the chants and banners belonging to the EDL were rather tepid to be honest.

Whereas the three delightful young girls who repeatedly and loudly shouted “Love Peace and Cupcakes” which was echoed on the colourful and arty banner hung out their first floor window in Southside Street? That was bloody marvelous and easily the best, most decent, thoughtful and educational retort of the day. Certainly better than any counter-rally, to be honest.

I later found that the brave youngsters had also used orange chalk to write “All You Need Is Love” on the kerbstones outside their home, which was tramped on by the EDL came to town.

Oh all right, I say came to town, only because saying “arrived in town, drank all morning at a pub and walked around some of the best parts of the city dragging their knuckles along the ground behind them while they shouted, swore and grunted” could be constituted as unfair and unwittingly hurt their feelings.

I must say I did feel a little inadequate about my own Englishness when I returned to the office on Saturday, but I think that was the EDL’s main aim.

While I listened intently to a Scouser bellow -nay screech - into a loudhailer that “We’re not fascists. We’re English and we’re proud to be English” I did find myself thinking “Well, I’m English, and I’m proud to be English and I’ve travelled a lot of the world meeting other nationalities in their countries, and I’ve tried to behave in a manner which would leave them to think ‘oooh, those English people are polite and helpful aren’t they, they’re a credit to their parents and their country’ but clearly I’m not proud of my Englishness enough because I haven’t got any tattoos of bulldogs, Union Jacks, Thai and Maori symbols or my ex-girlfriend’s name on my body, don’t want to march through the Barbican eliciting tuts and looks of worry from tourists and locals and have never suggested that the “UAF [Unite Against Fascism] can f***in’ ‘ave it” while waving a flag of St George with the words “EDL Geert Wilders” on it.

But that’s just me, eh? A soft liberal communist wet who’s blinded by Islamic brainwashing techniques, clearly.

As the EDL marchers headed off back to the pub, they were tunefully sent on their way by singers banging out a Christian hip-hop-pop tune as part of the multicultural diversty celebrations organized by the All Nation Ministries which was being held on the Hoe.

The pumping beats could be heard all the way down Exeter Street, over the sounds of clip-clopping police horses, more chants and the words of a kindly elderly lady I met along the way.

“It’s despicable,” she said of the marchers and their hollering. “It doesn’t look good for Plymouth and I bet half of them aren’t even from here. And all those officers having to escort them, it’s such a waste isn’t it? But I suppose if anything went wrong they’d not hear the end of it. I can’t imagine they [the officers]want to be doing this either.”

From the looks on a lot of the 400 plods faces, I can’t imagine they’d disagree.


  1. You said it all. As a Plymothian, Englishwoman, Brit, European and Earthwoman I'm with you and the woman on Exeter Street.

  2. I've just heard that tonight's EDL get-together at the Wild Coyote on Exeter Street was broken up by riot police using tazers. Reports of fighting and a heavy police presence.