The Long Lens blog: Photography with added snaps, art and culture

The photography site for sore eyes. Featuring: Art, photography, performance and theatre. With extra writing because I'm also a writer.

Racists – it’s the conference you’ve been waiting for: Populist Racism in Britain in Europe

Populist Racism in Britain in Europe since 1945 – it’s a two-day conference being held on September 22 and 23.
It’s one of the subjects close to my heart – racism. I’m as perplexed that people in fairly well-developed societies are racist as I am that Facebook repeatedly fails to delete the accounts of those making racist comments which I report.
When the University of Northampton releases their comprehensive report on the English Defence League – The EDL: Britain’s ‘New Far-Right’ Social Movement
– images taken at an EDL march in Preston last November (2010). And, yes, I did take them.


My interest in racism comes through photography, including an interview I did with BNP leader Nick Griffin in 2008, where I have tried to highlight different forms of prejudice and the reasons behind this slightly disturbing aspect of human behaviour.
This latest report examines the EDL’s influence on far-right terrorism and extremists such as Anders Breivik the lone killer who killed almost 93 people, mostly teenagers, in Norway on July 22, 2011.


Dr Matthew Feldman, Senior Lecturer in Twentieth Century History and Director of the Radicalism and New Media Research Group at The University of Northampton, says of the report: “The EDL, perhaps the best representative of a new far-right dynamic this century, uses new media to organise support and protests on the one hand, while on the other, act as a social movement rather than a traditional political party.

“These features, along with the demonisation of Muslims, are very different than the far-right parties of the past, especially those of fascism’s heyday between the wars. But for all the smoke and mirrors, the EDL may still be considered a far-right movement – and just like the past, is ultimately one that incites violence, prejudice and division in our communities. 


“For these reasons, our report is intended not only for policy-makers and officials, but also for the wider public – so affected by the disorder brought to towns and cities across Britain as a result of EDL ‘protests’.”
Very handily, the report will be available to download for free from The conference will also be available as podcast.


Dr Paul Jackson also launches his book (Searchlight’magazine’s Gerry Gable is co-editor) at the conference.
The book is looks at how British far-right groups use the internet to develop extremist policies.

NOTE: Not all the images shown here are included in the report.

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