Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Daily Mail's far-right fascist racism

During the French presidential election of April 2012, the Daily Mail's Richard Waghorne wrote a column supporting the candidacy of the far-right French National Front's Marine Le Pen. The daughter of open Nazi sympathizer and antisemitic Holocaust denier Jean-Marie, who himself bemoans the influence of "Jewish organizations" and denies that non-white footballers in French national football team are truly French, and describes his daughter as "passing the baton" of his ideas. Though Waghorne supposedly disowns the extreme racist fascism of the NF and Le Pens, he still justifies his endorsement based upon as "an imperfect choice in urgent times, the only candidate capable of saving France’s control over her finances, borders, and identity." This is evasive and revisionist language easily on par with the rhetoric of British National Party leader Nick Griffin. The French NF are part of the same party grouping in the European parliament as the BNP. Why don't the Daily Mail support the BNP based upon the same reasoning of them being a "reformed" far-right fascist party with the same agreeable priorities?  Nicholas Sarkozy (ironically described as "the foreigner" by Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2007 for his Jewish ancestry) was keen to pander to the fascist segment of the voting population in his unsuccessful reelection campaign, by describing France as having "too many foreigners", and warning against the threat of immigrant "invaders" if Francois Hollande was elected to the presidency. Sadly, it appears that  President Hollande, who was once thought as beholding values in line with social justice, is just as keen to pander to racial hatred for political gain as Sarkozy.

"How to crush a Roma camp French-style", begins the Daily Mail's article on the subject (which I will spare anyone reading this from linking to) on the French government's displacing of Romanian gypsies from their bulldozed decrepit caravan camps. It is comparable to the title of an instruction manual rather than an consciously ironic newspaper headline. And this very unsubtly seems to be the case.  The article discusses in detail the Roma's motivation for moving into deeply poverty-stricken and dangerous living conditions in camps such as this in Lyon; primarily to escape the crushing and hopeless conditions they face in their native Romania, in the hope to find more social mobility in continental Europe, and an improved hope to their children's futures rather than an entirely hopeless one. Nevertheless, Steve Bird's writing continues in its seemingly fetishistic glorification of the deposition of "the gypsies", noting how "they giggle" in their foreign Romany language and live inhabitation with their "dirty" threadbare clothes. Bird's use of brutalistic Germanic language continues, describing the "grab and smash" of the diggers used to destroy the Roma's caravans.

The article refers to "how long" the council in Basildon, Essex took to evict the Irish travellers of Dale Farm —who cleared up a concreted tip which is now a concreted tip again—with aggressive bailiffs and truncheon-happy riot police. The article describes how the Roma are "herded together under the watchful eye of CRS officers (the French equivalent of the riot police) wearing military-style blue outfits and black leather boots, then taken to airports and put on flights to their home countries." It details the CRS's method of sending "hundreds of police armed with truncheons, shields, smoke grenades and dogs" to undertake to raids, herding and deportation of them. And it seems to praise them for their "ruthless efficiency." 

And here comes the clincher of appeal: "guess where they want to come next", the Daily Mail implores us. Just like the French NF they support, invoking the fear of an "invasion" by the dirty untrustworthy gypsies, and exalting their ruthlessly efficient crushing and  smashing by the jackbooted French stormtroopers, and conveniently incorporating a baseless and ignorant attack on the welfare system.

But what else to expect from the newspaper that supplied propaganda to Herr Hitler and Il Duce Mussolini, and said "hurrah" to Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts?

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