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Is the EDL Racist?

This is my first video based blog addressing the many lies that the EDL employ in attempting to deflect criticism and winning wider support. The most strenuously denied accusation is that they are a racist organisation. Whilst anti-Muslim bigotry uses near identical tactics of demonisation, dehumanising tropes and negative stereotypes to classic racism, the excuse that Muslims aren’t a race is too easily deployed as an obstacle in the path of the accuser. For this reason I have only included examples of pure racism in this video. I have also chosen not to include neo-Nazism which would by definition qualify as racist behaviour, as I plan on addressing this in a future blog.

It could be argued that racist language by individuals at 8 demos which have drawn up to 3,000 supporters over a period of 4 years isn’t conclusive proof that the EDL is a racist organisation. I would counter that by saying that leaders, organisers and stewards at demos are required to instruct attendees not to use racist language, which is an unusual request to make of adults in a non-racist organisation. It’s also worth noting that at no point in any of the clips does anybody challenge or question the use of racist language. I would also point out that cameras are not able to capture the words of every demonstrator at every march for the duration of the day.

To bolster my case I have included links below to screenshots taken of EDL members on social networking sites using explicitly racist language. This is just a small sample taken from their reaction to the riots of summer 2011 and the Stephen Lawrence trial.

Click images to enlarge

EDL Riots 2

EDL Riots

EDL Riots 3 EDL Riots 4 EDL Riots 5

EDL Riots 7 EDL Riots 8 EDL Riots 9

EDL Riots 10 EDL riots 11 EDL Riots 13

EDL Riots 14 EDL Riots 15 EDL Riots 16

EDL Riots 17

EDL Riots 18 EDL Riots 19 EDL Riots 6EDL Riots 20

EDL Riots 25

EDL Riots 22 
EDL Riots 23

Again, some EDL sympathisers may argue that this is only two dozen examples from a period of four years where the EDL’s social media pages have attracted up to 100,000 users. I would ask them, why do the EDL seem to attract a disproportionate amount of people who are comfortable using racist epithets and displaying open hostility to people on a purely ethnic basis?

To add a little more scientific weight to my case I will provide some telling results from polls in which EDL members and supporters were asked to answer direct questions.

demos.co.uk files Inside_the_edl_WEB.pdf 1320079341

As the table above shows, as part of the Demos ‘Inside the EDL’ study of 2011, the voting preference of 1,295 EDL supporters was measured. 34% of the participants expressed a preference for the racist BNP, which is 17 times higher than the general population, whilst 14% chose the xenophobic UKIP, which is nearly 5 times higher than the general public.

The slides below are taken from Matthew Goodwin’s ‘Men of Violence? The Drivers of Public Support for the EDL’ study which polled 1,666 members of the general public. 298 were classed as EDL sympathisers, 124 self identified as EDL members, and the remainder were considered neither.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (1)

The slide above shows that those sympathising with the EDL have a clear antipathy towards immigrants, multiculturalism and diversity.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (2)

This slide shows not only an inclination towards ethno-Nationalism but also biological racism. As the slide states, these figures point to a more openly racist inner core to the EDL with a xenophobic circle of sympathisers.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe...

Perhaps surprisingly, the above slide shows that the primary concern for EDL members and sympathisers is immigration and asylum, not Islam or even ‘militant’ Islam. At least a degree of proportion can be found within the rank of the EDL, as Muslims are beaten into third place by concerns over the economy. It’s not apparent whether concerns with immigration are based on fears regarding unemployment, welfare resources and the economy, or xenophobia and racism. But previous slides may provide an insight.

The next three slides illustrate the factors which are most likely to predict support for the EDL. The methodology is explained first.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (5)

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (3)

As far as EDL sympathisers are concerned, by far the strongest indicator of support for the EDL is xenophobia, with an inclination to violence in second.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (4)

Not much needs to be added to the summary of the last slide. The key point worth re-iterating is that the EDL core membership is far more likely to be driven by classic racism and be pro-violence than not only the general public, but also the sympathiser. This would go some way to explaining why the more casual supporters are often oblivious to the extreme hardcore, and are confused by the accusations of racism. They may not actually spend a great deal of time socialising online or attend demos with the EDL, so are therefore less likely to have been exposed to the overt racism as the anti-EDL activist.

Is it possible to claim that the EDL is a racist organisation given the information I’ve presented here? The evidence would suggest that it attracts racists and xenophobes in numbers vastly disproportionate to the general public. It also suggests that the closer the individual identifies themselves with the EDL, the higher the probability is that they hold racist views. Add to this the fact that the leadership have a history of support for the BNP and it’s not surprising that they feel at ease doing this in EDL circles. The fact that the group’s raison d’etre is opposition to a religion practised predominantly by people of Asian, Middle Eastern and African origin provides the perfect cover for racists to be able to vent their hate with slightly amended terminology. Despite the disingenuous mission statement and lip service from the leadership, it’s undeniable that the EDL is riddled with racists and it isn’t a coincidence.

All screenshots used can be found in the link below.

http://twitpic.com/photos/EDLNewsXtra

Links to the full reports used are below.

http://www.slideshare.net/matthewgoodwin1/isdtapva2013

http://demos.co.uk/files/Inside_the_edl_WEB.pdf?1320079341

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The Importance Of Checking Your Sources or Tommy Robinson Spreads Neo-Nazi Propaganda

One thing I’ve learnt in my relatively short time blogging and involvement in social network activism, is that the sources one uses, links to or cites, must be reputable, credible and as clean as a whistle. Any debate or argument can be lost in an instant if, in your haste, you provide a source that can be debunked or discredited. I, myself, have been guilty of this in the past, so I now ensure that I know exactly who and what I use to support my case. Their credentials, qualifications and body of work. Any political, religious or personal bias. Any history of controversy or skeletons in the cupboard. Any criticism, refutations or rebuttals. Using sources without doing your homework can leave you open to embarrassment and humiliation, your honesty, morality or integrity being questioned or forever being associated with unpleasant people with unpleasant views. In the cut-throat world of political activism these lapses will be seized upon and used against you at any and every opportunity.

In my experience there are two groups of people that persistently fall into this trap. There is the group that consider themselves to be serious activists, but due to the absurd or extreme nature of their position can only support their case with sources that range from the unreliable, to the dishonest, through to the most hateful, agenda driven bile imaginable. Then there are the eager but naive novices who in their haste to counter a point, discredit an opponent or rally a cause, will unknowingly endorse a source that exposes them to the consequences highlighted in the first paragraph.

In the context of anti-Islamophobia activism there is an unfortunately fine line between what is considered acceptable and unacceptable by the anti-Islam movement in their own propaganda. For politically strategic reasons, just about any accusation or smear can be levelled at the Muslim community using the time honoured techniques and tropes of demonising and dehumanising the ‘other’. But this can be a minefield for the inexperienced or lazy bigot.

The relatively new right wing bandwagon of Islamophobia has subtle but crucial differences to traditional far-right ideology and discourse. Muslims are accused of condoning and practising sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism as instructed by the Qu’ran and practices of the Prophet Muhammad. The problem for the uneducated Islamophobe, or the younger generation of right wing ‘patriots’ and Nationalists is that their own movement is aligned to, and integrated with many individuals and groups who have traditionally espoused the aforementioned views that they must now appear to find abhorrent.

My attention was caught by a tweet posted on the EDL hashtag by mountforrest, who regularly links to far-right websites, which contained a YouTube video entitled ‘European Race Awakens: A Golden Dawn for Sweden’ (it has now been changed as can be seen below).

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the concept of race or a passing familiarity with the various peoples of the European continent will immediately have spotted exactly what I did. There is no single ‘European race’. They might also have picked up on the unpleasant echoes of racial theory and Nordicism in the term. With my curiosity piqued I decided to give it a viewing.

This is when I noticed the people who had chosen to retweet (Twitter speak for sharing for the uninitiated) the short film.

In the Twittersphere retweets or RT’s can be interpreted in numerous ways. If unaccompanied by any additional text, elaboration or specific denunciations of said RT, it invariably implies an endorsement of the contents. It’s common practice to stipulate in your bio as to whether a retweet is to be considered an endorsement, especially if that person is in a position of responsibility such as politician, journalist or celebrity.

As can be seen from the screenshot, as well as EDL supporter QueenLareefer and prolific internet troll, racist, homophobe, Hitler worshipper and EDL supporter WeAreTheBrits, EDL leader and British Freedom Party deputy leader Tommy Robinson aka Stephen Yaxley Lennon has also retweeted this video.

The contents of this particular video was footage of what appeared to be two or three groups of Swedish nationalists parading with flags, chasing and attacking what seem to be counter demonstrators. It’s unclear whether these opposition groups are Antifascists, immigrant communities or both.

Despite being familiar with the numerous ‘counterjihad’ groups, various Defence Leagues and far right political parties across Europe, I realised that I didn’t recognise any of the flags or symbols being flown. They didn’t belong to the neo-fascist Swedish Democrats party, the Swedish Defence League, SIOE or any other group involved in anti-Muslim activism. I decided to do some digging to see if my instincts concerning the racist undercurrent of the theme were right. It took a while but this is what I found.

The two flags on display here belong to the Swedish Resistance Movement.

The video footage is poorly lit so here’s a photograph from their ‘Stop the Boer Genocide’ march.

The SMR is a militant Neo-Nazi organisation, who’s leader Klas Lund was a member of the White Aryan Resistance and has served time for manslaughter. The aims of Swedish Resistance Movement is to establish a Nordic government by revolution. The organization says their fight will require bloodshed.

Persons linked to the Swedish Resistance Movement have been involved in several acts of violence:

  • Armed robbery, Sollentuna 1997
  • Theft of weapons from the army in Strängnäs, September 1998
  • Assault and battery of persons of African descent, Stockholm April 1999
  • Assault and battery of homosexuals during Gay Pride in Stockholm, July 1999
  • Assault and battery of ethnic Swedes at Gröna Lund, Stockholm 1999
  • The murder of Björn Söderberg, Stockholm 1999
  • Manslaughter in Skogås new year -2000, Stockholm 1999
  • Three far left activists from the Socialist Justice Party and one conservative youth from the Moderate Youth League were seriously assaulted in Gothenburg 2008

The Swedish Security Service believes the SMR to be the biggest threat to Sweden’s national security.

The flag in the video still above is that of the Party of the Swedes.

They are a nationalist political party which was founded as the Peoples Front by members of the now defunct National Socialist Front.

The party describes its ideology as nationalism based on a biological ground. The political program states that:

1, Sweden should also in the future be Swedish: Only people who belong to the western genetic and cultural heritage, where the ethnic Swedes are included, should be Swedish citizens.

The flag being paraded by the marchers above is that of the aforementioned National Socialist Front.

It became a political party on 20 April 1999, the 110th birthday of Adolf Hitler. Whilst active the NSF demonstrated in Stockholm for the release of Holocaust denier Ernst ZündelThe party had as its main goals the abolition of democracy, the repatriation of immigrants, the implementation of scientific racism and cutting taxes for families with many genetically healthy children.

The flags in the above photo represent the Autonomous Nationalists &Workers Partiesfrom Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Sweden.

Both groups are major players in Central European far-right extremism.

A high level of militancy is connected with the activities of autonomous nationalists (Menhorn 2008). The AN are a strategic concept, organization and subculture – all three terms are possible for the designation of this phenomenon.”

“The violent actions of right-wing extremist are traditionally propagated at international level. The cult of the American right-wing terrorist group The Order or the Anti-Antifa concept of German origin are examples. In East Central Europe is right-wing extremist violence very strong (Mudde 2005: 275). Various violent activities from other countries have inspired foreign activists in contemporary East and Central Europe, and even transnational participation in them can be seen.  Specific brutal forms of violence, mostly against people from Caucasus and Central Asia and against anti-Fascists, is typical of contemporary Russia, including video shots of executions or activities of racist gangs causing tens of victims. The “Russian Way” is a new popular term in the right-wing scene for the designation of violent struggle with terrorist means. The training by the Russian military veterans of post-Soviet conflicts is also propagated in several East Central European countries (of course not among the nationalists with strong anti-Russian
prejudices, as in Ukraine).”

A popular concept is also vigilantism by paramilitary groups, which is inspired by the Hungarian guard (MG). The main aim of the MG and similar groups in other countries (National Guard – NG and Protection corps of the Worker´s Party – OS DS) is not the direct use of violence (they are unarmed formations), but the public demonstration of force. The real goal is intimidating ethnic minorities (mostly Roma people), who are connected with crime in public discourse (it is influenced by racist prejudices strongly).

A new form of violent activity – mass riot in the problem localities – was presented in the Czech town Litvínov in quarter Janov in Autumn 2008. More than thousand activists (mostly autonomous nationalists and right-wing extremist football hooligans) attacked the police and tried to attack the Roma settlement (Albert 2009). Participants of this riot were not only Czechs, but also Slovaks and Germans. One year later the north Bohemian NS-activists supported the raid of the Slovak community in the Roma settlement in Šarišské Michalany in Slovakia (Nejvyšší správní soud 2010: 6).”

I was now curious to know who was responsible for uploading Nazi propaganda onto YouTube.

Clicking on the appropriately named fasciststateUK’s channel reveals a wallpaper adorned with an immediately recognisable moustachioed man.

A browse through the channel uncovers gems such as these:

As well as fawning tributes to Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler, there is Holocaust denial and revisionism, praise for the BNP and the National Front and videos laughably referring to ‘My Tram Experience’ racist Emma West as the ‘Mother of England’ and ‘England’s Joan of Arc.’ There are also similar videos to the Swedish example posted on twitter charting and celebrating the perceived rise of National Socialism in Greece, Ukraine, Croatia, Romania, Germany, Poland and France.

The channel also hosts seven broadcasts of the a ‘White Network’ radio show hosted by a woman by the name of Carolyn Yeager. The Anti Defamation League gives us the low-down on her.

Carolyn Yeager is a Texas-based neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier who runs her own Web site. The site is filled with racist and anti-Semitic material, as well as essays promoting motherhood and home-schooling.

From April through August 2007, Yeager was the Texas state leader of neo-Nazi American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP), a group that descended from the National Socialist Movement, the largest neo-Nazi group in the country. She also assumed the position of Assistant Editor at the ANSWP’s magazine, National Socialist, in July 2007.  In a 2007 profile inNational Socialist, she is quoted as praising Hitler, advocating the supremacy of the Aryan “race,” and claiming that the Jews’ “long-term plan is to drive us off the land and alienate us from our roots so that we will not fight.”  In August 2007, Yeager defected from the ANSWP, which has been inactive since its leader Bill White was imprisoned on charges of threatening and intimidating various perceived enemies.

By 2009, Yeager was writing for The Barnes Review, a Holocaust denial publication published by long-time anti-Semite Willis Carto. In the May/June 2009 issue of the magazine, Yeager co-authored an article, “Who Are the Traitors? Frank Talks Inside the Fuehrer’s Headquarters Revealed by Hitler Confidant Hermann Giesler.” She also authored the book “Auschwitz: The Underground Guided Tour; What the Tour Guides Don’t Tell You at Auschwitz-Birkenau, published by The Barnes Review.  In the book, Yeager claims that Auschwitz was not an extermination camp and that Nazi guards looked after the health of inmates.  Reputable scholars estimate that 1.1 million people, 90% of them Jewish, died at Auschwitz.

To summarise, Tommy Robinson, the leader of the English Defence League and deputy leader of the British Freedom Party, retweeted a video of Swedish Neo-Nazi groups attacking opposition activists. These groups variously promote white nationalism, eugenics, repatriation and violent revolution. Have carried out violent attacks on minority groups, attend paramilitary training camps and openly espouse anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, racist, anti-democratic views. The video itself was uploaded to a channel devoted to the promotion of Nazism, Holocaust revisionism, white power, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and glorifying Hitler.

This wouldn’t be the first time he has used questionable sources either. In an attempt to discredit extremism expert and esteemed academic Matthew Goodwin, he ‘inadvertently’ used an entry from the Metapedia website. Metapedia is pro white supremacist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and glowingly praises Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. In his haste to smear Dr. Goodwin, Mr. Robinson quoted Metapedia live on BBC television and posted a link to them on twitter.

Since opening his twitter account, the EDL leader has committed faux pas after faux pas.

Inappropriate comments to underage girls.

Hilarious ‘jokes’.

Let’s just remind ourselves that this person is the deputy leader of the British Freedom Party, who claim to be central in orientation and harbour ambitions of electoral success.

All this information compels an anti-bigotry activist to make a decision on what to deduce and how to use it. It would be easy to use this to smear and discredit both the person, the organisation and the political party he represents. If I was a ruthless cynic, I could manipulate the situation to make it appear that the person involved was openly endorsing, encouraging and celebrating the rise of National Socialism in Europe. Indeed, some people reading this may feel the urge to use this blog post for that very purpose.

Should we give Tommy Robinson the benefit of the doubt and attribute this to being impulsive, politically naive and, well, not very bright? Or do we decide not to patronise him? After all, he has been appointed the deputy head of a legitimate political party. A person in such a position would surely be aware of the consequences of disseminating potentially controversial material. They would no doubt have received media coaching or have been briefed on the dangers of bringing the party into disrepute. Should we therefore assume that the BFP are happy for their deputy leader to spread neo-Nazi propaganda? Or would they consider him to be a liability? A tactless bigot ill equipped for the political arena? Has he been careless in navigating the far-right minefield where the divisions are so blurred, or are the true colours of the former BNP member finally being revealed?

Confronted with a similar situation with the roles reversed, how would Tommy Robinson react? Would he behave with integrity and exercise caution, or smell blood and go for the jugular? Given his attempted smearing of Matthew Goodwin on national television to name but one incident, I think it’s obvious what the answer is. The moral dilemma is whether to afford Robinson the same courtesy. Being seen to openly endorse violent neo-Nazi groups could be extremely damaging to a fledgeling political career and the already dubious reputation of the leader of a supposedly peaceful, non-racist protest group. That would be a terrible shame.

Patriotism vs Nationalism

Patriotism is a devotion to one’s country. In a generalized sense applicable to all countries and peoples, patriotism is a devotion to one’s country for no other reason than being a citizen of that country.

patriot (plural patriots)

1. A person who loves and zealously supports and defends his or her country.

Nationalism involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms. It can be a belief that citizenship in a state should be limited to one ethnic, cultural or identity group.

An issue that keeps nagging away at my subconscious is the relationship between patriotism and nationalism. Whether you can express one without the other, whether feeling either is compatible with liberal values and principles, and what drives the sentiments. This dilemma was brought to the fore again this week with the Welsh Assembly local elections. Having voted Labour and Lib Dem in the past, and not particularly enthusiastic about doing so again, it was a choice between the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru. If you’ve been brought up in South Wales with family ties to the coal mining community (my maternal Grandfather was a coal miner in the Rhondda Valley) and witnessed the pain and poverty the Thatcher years and it’s aftermath brought to the area, voting Tory is not an option. It looked like it was going to be Plaid. I had already voted Plaid in the General Election of 2010 so it wasn’t a big deal, but the old question of nationalism reared its head once more. Now I know voting for a party such as Plaid or the SNP is a million miles away from giving the thumbs up to the BNP, but the perception of nationalism is still something that rankles with my desire to be part of a global community, not isolated and exclusive. The spectre of separatism still looms with the ideals of nationalism, whether left or right wing.

Is the Welsh nationalism of Plaid Cymru the same as that of Meibion Glyndwr (Sons of Glyndwr), Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (Movement for the Defence of Wales) or Byddin Rhyddid Cymru (Free Wales Army)? Possibly, but the crucial difference is the method by which independence is to be achieved. For Plaid it would be a referendum, for the aforementioned paramilitary groups it was burning holiday homes and bombing water and power lines. Welsh nationalism is defined as: emphasises the distinctiveness of Welsh language, culture, and history, and calls for more self-determination for Wales, including independence from the United Kingdom. Aspirations held by all Welsh nationalists, but there’s a risk that this could alienate non-Welsh residents (as well as Welsh), and if you ignore the history of Wales these sentiments look quite BNPesque. This is where my discomfort must come from. Looking at the Plaid platform it’s obvious that this is not the angle they are coming from:

1. To promote the constitutional advancement of Wales with a view to attaining Full National Status for Wales within the European Union.

2. To ensure economic prosperity, social justice and the health of the natural environment, based on decentralist socialism.

3. To build a national community based on equal citizenship, respect for different traditions and cultures and the equal worth of all individuals, whatever their race, nationality, gender, colour, creed, sexuality, age, ability or social background.

4. To create a bilingual society by promoting the revival of the Welsh language.

5. To promote Wales’s contribution to the global community and to attain membership of the United Nations.

You only have to look at the candidates put forward in Cardiff to see that Plaid are true to their word. The candidate for my particular constituency this time around is Liz Musa, a Cardiff born daughter to a Welsh mother and Nigerian father. At the General Election the candidate was Farida Aslam, a Muslim single mother. Plaids Riverside councillor is Mohammed Sarul Islam, and former candidates include Mohammad Ashgar the first AM from an ethnic minority and daughter Natasha Ashgar. In 2006 on the International Day of Peace, the group Muslims for Plaid was launched as a reaction to the party’s stance on the Iraq war. The BNP have recently called Plaid a ‘fake nationalist’ party and claimed that a vote for them is a vote for the further Islamification of Wales, due to the growing relationship.

So, I’m satisfied that a vote for Plaid is progressive and not at odds with my leftist leanings. They’re nationalist in the sense that they aim to promote the Welsh culture and language that has been eroded with Anglicisation since the days of the Welsh Not and earlier, but not in the sense that it should be done at the expense of other cultures that have found home in Wales.

What about patriotism? It’s a word that has been hijacked by the right-wing in recent years and has come to evoke sentiments similar to nationalism, the Union Jack and the St. George’s flag. In the minds of Teabaggers and EDLers, any inclination towards the left, any criticism of our troops and foreign policy, or any feelings on immigration, Muslims and multiculturalism that edge towards sympathy or objectivity are considered unpatriotic. Anything that doesn’t put white Britons first, second and last is unpatriotic.

There is also the feeling that the concept of being so proud of somewhere just because of an accident of birth is strange one. Yet I still get goosebumps singing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, the hairs on the back of my neck still stand up watching footage of Barry, Gareth, JPR, Gerald and Phil from the 70’s. It still fills me with pride to remember great Welsh people like Aneurin Bevan, John Charles, Richard Burton, Dylan Thomas, Carwyn James and Tommy Cooper, to name but a few. My sense of national pride comes from knowing the history of my country and its people, the achievements of these people, and how we continue to overachieve in the fields of sport, the arts and culture. Not from any sense of superiority we have over any other country. Not because of any military conquests, an ability to build empires or the arrogant belief that we brought civilisation and democracy to the third world.

The EDL have a slogan that goes along the lines of ‘Patriotism isn’t Racism’. As a statement of fact, this is 100% true. But the EDL definition of patriotism has more in common with right wing nationalism or jingoism.

More on nationalism:

It can also include the belief that the state is of primary importance, or the belief that one state is naturally superior to all other states. In some cases the identification of a national culture is combined with a negative view of other races or cultures. Some nationalists exclude certain groups. Some nationalists, defining the national community in ethnic, linguistic, cultural, historic, or religious terms (or a combination of these), may then seek to deem certain minorities as not truly being a part of the ‘national community’ as they define it.

Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy. In practice, it is a country’s advocacy of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one’s own country as superior to others – an extreme type of nationalism.

I saw the EDL being described recently as ‘Untranationalists’.

Ultranationalism is a form of nationalism that expresses intense support for one’s nation, and is often characterized by authoritarianism. It can lead to reduction or stoppage of immigration, expulsion, oppression, demagoguery, emotional aspects, talk of presumed real or imagined enemies, threat to survival, crack-down, limit of trade through tariffs, tight control over businesses and production, militarism, populism and propaganda. Ultranationalism has the potential to lead to conflict within a state, as well as between states, and in its extreme form leads to war, secession or, in the case of enthnocentrist ultranationalism, genocide

They would certainly tick a few of those boxes.

Patriotism is a celebration of ones own country and countrymen, once it strays beyond that it ceases to be patriotism. Is it possible to be patriotic without being nationalistic? It would seem so. Is nationalism necessarily a negative trait? It doesn’t have to be as far as I can see. As with any political ideology there’s a broad spectrum of ideals that pick up more unpleasant characteristics as you approach the extreme right. When ethnicity, culture or religion is targeted in a notion of nationalism, the sense of pride has been overtaken by a sense of supremacy. That’s when I get off the ride. I’m happy to celebrate and promote the people, the country, the cultural history and the language of Wales, but I’m also happy to welcome other people and languages that will enrich the cultural history. I don’t want the Wales of 2011 to be the same as the Wales of 1811, but there’s no reason why I can’t be proud of both.

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