The recent revelation that the so-called “Day for freedom” fronted by Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, was bankrolled by a hardline conservative “think tank” from the USA called the Middle East Forum, was not an isolated incident. Nor was the recent appearance of the deeply repellant Steve Bannon on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, and the LBC show fronted by Nigel “Thirsty” Farage.
Nor were the recent moves to join UKIP from the likes of Battersea bedroom dweller Paul Watson, Mark Meechan (who styles himself Count Dankula), Milo Yiannopoulos and others. Nor is the taking of the Kippers increasingly to the right by their current leader Adolf von Batten. Nor is Batten’s increasingly shrill Islamophobic rhetoric.
We know this after the Daily Beast blew the whistle on Bannon and his pals, sounding a warning that politicians across mainland Europe, but especially here in the UK, should heed and act upon. As Nico Hines has told, “Trump’s former White House chief advisor told The Daily Beast that he is setting up a foundation in Europe called The Movement which he hopes will lead a right-wing populist revolt across the continent starting with the European Parliament elections next spring”.
While the thought of Steve Bannon, an ocean-going shit of no known principle, naming his project after one of the more respectable synonyms for a turd, might generate momentary amusement, the fact remains that someone Stateside is prepared to throw a lot of money at the former Trump confidant in order to interfere in this country’s affairs.
Although he claims that The Movement will be a not for profit enterprise, those with whom he wants to work shows that someone will profit from his meddling, and it won’t be the people upon whom he is trying to foist his ideas. “Over the past year, Bannon has held talks with right-wing groups across the continent from Nigel Farage and members of Marine Le Pen’s Front National (recently renamed Rassemblement National) in the West, to Hungary’s Viktor Orban and the Polish populists in the East”.
And what he envisages as the fruit of his labours is equally unappealing: “Right-wing populist nationalism is what will happen. That’s what will govern … You’re going to have individual nation states with their own identities, their own borders … It will be instantaneous - as soon as we flip the switch”.
Bannon wants to throw tens of millions of US Dollars at The Movement. It will set up shop in Brussels. It will have its own staff. But there is a chink in the armour of this particular warrior, and that is the collective inadequacy of those he has rallied to his standard.
Quite apart from Watson, Meechan, and of course Stephen Lennon, once he emerges from prison, Yiannopoulos crashed and burned recently, and Bannon’s latest trusted lieutenant, Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam, is a clown, a woefully inept nobody whose propensity to bluster and threats is no more than a cover for shallowness.
Steve Bannon’s vain pursuit of glory by interfering in other countries’ business can be defeated, and must be. Anyone who tells bigots “Let them call you racists, xenophobes or whatever else, wear these like a medal” should never be welcomed - anywhere.