21 March, 2011


A Niemöller moment

I tend to groan when confronted with yet another reference to, or yet worse full-blown pastiche of, Martin Niemöller's "First they came..." dictum. Not so much because its impact has become so threadbare with constant repetition but because the people who quote it in web fora and newspaper readers' comments threads always seem to behave as if they are the first person to have rediscovered it in the past 60 years. Why do these Niemöller quotes always radiate such an air of "Look! Aren't I so jolly clever and oh so well-read, then?"? Sorry, folks, but everybody else has got a copy of the Reader's Digest Bumper Book of Erudite Sayings to Impress Your Friends on their bookshelves too.

In the case of this spiked piece, though

First they came for the faux fascists

I am happy to make an exception. It concerns the "granting" (yes, that is the word used) of a CRASBO to one Shane Overton of Lincoln forbidding him from
for a period of 10 years.

From the report on the police website and this report in the Sheffield Star it seems clear that Mr Overton is a scrote of the first water. If he lived in Ruraltown he would undoubtedly be a resident of the Swamp and one of Mr Gadget's most valued customers. I note that

His 33 previous convictions included other racially aggravated offending linked to his association with the EDL.

"Included" precisely how many such convictions, I am tempted to ask. But fair enough. Now I hesitate to pontificate about the severity of the sentence. Like any other external commentator reading this stuff third-hand in the meeja, I don't know the detail of the mitigating or aggravating factors that may have influenced either verdict or sentence in this or any other case which I am not directly involved in. But frankly chaps, this seems a bit strong. Strip out the entirely artificial element of "racial aggravation" and this case is basically a bit of unpleasant verbal by someone with form for being a public arsehole. If the incident happened as reported, than I sympathize with the South Asian couple and their kids who were at the receiving end. If I were in their position I would probably have shrugged it off. If I pursued it, it would presumably have scored no more than a Section 5 public order offence, like that nice Mr Choudhury was "granted" for aggravated poppy burning. If I, as a White man, had been verbally abused by an agitated "Paki" telling me in no uncertain terms how his people were going to "take over the country and fuck you gora shitbags good and proper" or whatever, that would of course not be "racially aggravated", anyway.

The truly chilling quote comes from that Lincolnshire police report linked to above,

DC Andy Haworth from the National Domestic Extremism Unit, a national police unit who worked alongside BTP and Lincolnshire Police, said: “It is only the second time a Crasbo of this nature has been granted to individuals participating in Defence League demonstrations, and it is widely anticipated other police forces will follow suit and apply for Crasbos to stop violent individuals from subverting otherwise legitimate, lawful, protests.

“While the Defence Leagues are entitled to protest, violence has been a persistent feature of their demonstrations, and on this occasion on the offence was committed while travelling from a demonstration.

“We are working to support all police forces with Crasbo applications against any individual who persistently commits criminal acts at (or travelling to and from) Defence League demonstrations, regardless of whether they profess to support the Defence League or oppose it, in order to ensure future demonstrations are peaceful and lawful.”

The Old Bill have form for this.

Pardon my prejudice, but I get the impression that Shane Overton isn't bright enough to use a computer. Otherwise the "National Domestic Extremism Unit" would doubtless have confiscated his laptop and "found" some "level 1 kiddie porn" on it, just for good measure.

I don't like the way things are going.

"“While the Defence Leagues are entitled to protest, violence has been a persistent feature of their demonstrations..."

Violence from whom?

I saw the footage of the last march. It was amazingly well behaved. Even Insp Gadget noted the difference between the EDL and the UAF.

The helpful link at the bottom of Nowehereshire police's website takes you to a photo of the scrote.

Oddly enough though,there's no browsing facility of other perps, presumably in the "interests of community cohesion".

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