The EDL, Money & Zionism

Crivvens, all is not well at the house of the EDL what with the poor show at Bradford, the division over tactics and politics, the continued attendance of fascists at demos and the behaviour of unrepentant hooligans and ‘chav scrotes’ and now to add misery to woe, concerns over merchandise money has forced ‘hero and patriot’ Tommy Robinson to make a statement over on the English Defence League website. Tommy Robinson is AKA Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, not a very proletarian name admittedly.


Allegations of financial malfeasance and fiduciary mismanagement are not unfamiliar  amongst far right groups. At the moment the BNP is imploding rapidly and members and ex-members have expressed serious concern over the whereabouts of cash raised by Nick Griffin via a string of semi-literate begging letters in order to fight his ongoing legal battles. Many BNPers want the role of Jim Dowson clarified and the BNP accounts to be explained. Nick Griffin is seen as extorting the membership and piling it high before it all falls apart. In the 1980s, the National Front had organised Rock Against Communism and the White Noise Club which promoted neo-Nazi bands and channelled profits into party coffers. Some bands, notably Skrewdriver, were unhappy with this and organised Blood & Honour which gave them more autonomy and created large profits. The Nazi thug group Combat 18 saw the earning potential of B&H and muscled in causing a huge schism in the UK Nazi scene. Jings!

The EDL leadership have made a lot of money out of merchandise, particularly the divisional polo shirts which help the police monitor them more effectively. They have also sold hundreds of flags and badges as well as their cute little burkah masks but now the EDL merchandise page and EBay page are down. The EDL have said that the money goes on placards and posters but the quality of these on demos is poor to say the least. The cops seem happy to provide most of the EDL’s transport and Wetherspoon’s is not that expensive. So what happens to the cash?


Other opportunists have identified a potential cash cow here as well as trying to get some of the EDL’s media coverage. The English Nationalist Alliance were humiliated in Brighton last week with about 30 people turning up to be protected by masses of cops. The ‘brains’ behind the ENA is Bill Baker who is also an EDL member as well as a BNP member. Naughty, naughty, didn’t uncle Nick proscribe dual membership? The demonstration by March For England at the Al Quds anti-Israel do at Marble Arch this week attracted barely a handful of supporters waving their Stars of David much to the consternation of the anti-Semites on the Nazi web forums. The Stop Islamization of Europe appear to exchange members with the other groups. SIoE main face Stephen Gash is a supporter of war criminal Radovan Karadzic. None of these grupuscules have garnered the media or economic success of the EDL.

Paper Members

The EDL are planning a ‘peaceful demo’ in Leicester, yet again choosing to provoke a heavily Asian community. If it goes ahead the cops will bus them in as usual and surround them, opposition from the local community and anti-fascist groups will be vocal and the EDL will hope to get their faces on TV and in the newspapers again. The EDL’s Bradford demo was an embarrassment with many on the forums being critical of the whole shebang. The EDL have 1,000s of paper Facebook members but these have yet to turn up at the demos which have seen decreasing attendances over the last few months. Despite their threats to throw out Nazis on their demos they do not. The stewarding has proven ineffectual and the Nazis are tolerated and help make up numbers because the EDL, like other far right groups, rely on quantity not quality so will happily stand with assorted fascists and ‘chav scrotes.’


Those Nazis on the EDL days out will not be impressed by the use of the Star Of David flags. The far right is split over the EDL and, by turn, the EDL is split by the far right. Many Nazi posters view the EDL as a state set-up designed to monitor active racists but they also think it is funded by ‘Zionists.’ The Zionist conspiracy is that Jews are taking over the world and are dedicated to wiping out the white race. Jews own the media – apart from Rupert Murdoch but he is probably secretly Jewish anyway! Zionists believe that Israel is the true homeland of all Jews and that Palestinians should be moved out. However, there are many Jews who oppose the harsh treatment of the Palestinians and who are against the building of Jewish property on land originally earmarked for the Palestinians.

The EDL set up a Jewish division which attracted the usual paper members but this has not translated into much visible action. Following their formation there was a strong reaction from some in the Jewish community which view the EDL as racist and intolerant. The EDL have been turning up alongside the Zionist Federation at the Ahava Israeli shop in London effectively offering muscle against the pro-Palestinian demonstrators. Roberta Moore is the organiser of the EDL Jewish division and has been attending. She stated that people ‘think the league are exploiting us… if anything we are exploiting them.’ Which is enough to get any anti-Zionist conspiracy theorist going. She has also stated  that ‘there is no difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.’ Which is untrue. Although fascists do use anti-Zionism as a smokescreen for outrageous anti-Semitism, this also assumes that all Jews are therefore Zionists. Which is not true. Many Jews oppose the treatment of the Palestinians and wish to see a peaceful solution with a fair distribution of land between Jews and Palestinians. Other Zionists have spoken out in favour of the EDL including Pamela Geller who is founder member of the Stop Islamisization of America group. She also supported Slobodan Milosevic the Serbian war criminal. Geller is similar to publicity seeking fanatics like the Reverend Terry Jones and his Koran burning media stunt.


The attitude on the far right to the Middle East is muddled at best: the EDL ostensibly support Israel because they are in conflict with Islamic countries in the middle east and are therefore on the same side. Others on the far right support the Palestinians in a covert anti-Semitic position, and others hate Jews and Muslims equally. The EDL use the Star of David as a flag of convenience, to show people they are not Nazis. They also parade Abdul the confused of Glasgow, the Sikh feller and Joel Titus as ‘evidence’ of their multiculturalism. What is clear is that the EDL are busy scape-goating Muslims, painting them all as extremists and blaming them for the world’s ills. And now with the book burnings threatened in the USA, it all sounds just a bit too 1933. Help Ma Boab!


About malatesta32

Malatesta aka M. Testa, undercover anti-fascist blogger, has analyzed the changing fortunes of the British far right for nearly a decade. He has given lectures on anti-fascism, published articles in Anarchist Studies and Freedom magazine and wrote Militant Anti-Fascism: 100 Years Of Resistance (AK Press 2015) which the Morning Star called a '‘Potent Primer On Europe’s Anti-Fascist Struggle … a useful source of information about the fight against fascism.’
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