Hello? Hello? Yes, hi – is that the English Defence League?
Great. Yeah, I’m thinking I might join, but I just wanted to check a couple of things first. Is that OK?
So, first question. You know you say ‘English’? Well, I’m quite a lot English, but I am half Welsh as well, and I think there might be a bit of Irish too – way back though. Is that OK?
Brilliant. Yeah, like you say, we’re all a bit of a mix, aren’t we? And my husband’s family go right back to the Vikings, you can’t get more English than that, can you?
So I just wanted to check who it is you’re defending us against. ‘Cause, you know, I don’t want to get the wrong people. It’s Muslims, isn’t it – because of their religion?
Right. Only – I just wanted to ask – you know when the IRA was blowing up bombs in England, and killing soldiers outside their barracks and stuff, would you have protested against the Catholics – you know, outside Catholic churches and the places where Catholics get together, maybe thrown bricks through their windows, that sort of thing? It’s just – well, like I said, there’s a bit of Irish in the family and I am a Catholic myself. Well, I’m a lapsed Catholic. Still go to mass at Christmas. Not been to confession for a while though, I have to confess, haha! But wouldn’t really want to get involved if you were having a go at the Catholics. That wouldn’t feel right at all.
Oh, so it’s not actually about the religion then? What is it, then, the skin colour? I mean, they look different to us, don’t they? Like a dark colour? But what worries me about that is, my sister’s just had this really bad fake tan done, you know when they come out looking like a really dark orange? I told her she shouldn’t go to that salon, they’re rubbish, but – well, I don’t want to have to threaten her with a baseball bat or anything.
Great – so it’s not really just the colour of the skin that makes the difference. Phew! I was worried there for a minute! No, you’re right. It’s more about being different from us, isn’t it? Like, it’s in the blood, the way they were born? Yeah, I can see that. There’s a lad down the road was born with no arms. You mean like that, a sort of genetic thing? Only – well, he’s a nice kid. It’s not his fault he was born like that. I wouldn’t want any harm to come to him.
So, perhaps not quite like that. Is it the threatening our traditional way of life? You mean like Tesco’s Express? Hey, I could go round and paint some obscene slogans on the front of the new supermarket down the road!
Oh. Oh, OK. Sorry, it’s taking me a while to get my head round this but, you know, I want to be sure I’ve got it absolutely right. Don’t want to pick a fight for no reason, do I? That would be just daft! So if it’s not just their religion, or the colour of their skin, or the fact that they’re just different to the rest of us –
Right. Yes. Some individuals motivated by wrong headed religious and political thinking committed a truly horrific murder. So you need to defend us against people who think and act like that. Yeah, I see where you’re coming from there.
Only … Well, that sounds like you’re saying that the people who are paid and trained and constitutionally established to defend us against people like that – you know, the police and the armed forces – well, it sounds like you don’t think they’re up to the job. Like you think they aren’t good enough to manage it without your help.
And that sounds to me a bit like you’re undermining them – you know, the people who put their lives on the line to protect and serve this country. The people who perhaps have more right and reason to carry a British flag with pride than either you or I could ever hope for.
In fact, it sort of sounds like you think they don’t deserve your support. Because you think it’s your job to defend this country. Because they’re just rubbish at it.
So have I got that right? The English Defence League is here to defend us against the incompetent forces of law and order in this country?
Great. I’m so glad I’ve sorted that out in my mind. That makes so much more sense than, y’know, mindless violence and unfounded prejudice.
But – well – sorry, but I don’t think it’s for me.
Because actually, you don’t really make any sense at all.
Not in my mind.
And not in my name.