The Scottish Defence League is a provocative organisation with links to the British National Party. (As well as displaying a wholly unpleasant form of nationalism, not many people realise that the BNP are fundamentally a socialist party. Their policies are (as were the Nazis) dominated by a centralising tendency advocating state control.)
The various Defence Leagues specialise in marches and have proposed and advertised the intention to march in Edinburgh on Saturday 20th February. My understanding from contact with the police is that they have not to date lodged an application to hold a march and that any such march is likely to be illegal.
Now the fly posting. The posters appearing in the ward, and especially around the University, scream 'Nazis not welcome here'. They are in the name of Unite against Fascism, an organisation which is dominated by the unions and left wing Labour MPs (though it has a smattering of others who have put their name to the founding statement, including some Conservative MPs). But now it's modus operandi seems to be that of a far left extremist group. I am afraid they are part of the problem for several reasons.
- First they are a polarising influence. I might want to publicly oppose the Scottish Defence League if they march in Edinburgh but am hardly likely to risk associating with such a partisan organisation.
- Second they are deliberately adding hype to the situation e.g. advocating a 'mass demonstration' to stop the march.
- Third, if the Scottish Defence League do turn up that is a matter for the police to take action. The prospect of Unite against Facism creating a confrontation will simply make the situation more complex for the police - who are the proper authorities - to deal with public order.
- Fourthly, their posters and their campaign have all the appearance of being designed to whip up fear, particularly within the local area in Southside where we have a large multicultural community.
So, a plague on both your houses. Oh, and Unite against Facism, I will be grateful if you will stop putting up your illegal posters.