Although hundreds of thousands turned up to the Peoples Vote march yesterday intent on peaceable protest, there had to be a counter-protest, and it had to be the Wall of Gammon™ making it. Although that counter-protest was at times unintentionally hilarious, there was a serious and indeed sinister undertone, given the presence of not just the far right, but also neo-Nazis of the kind who are often up for a little afters.
The counter-protest had the blessing of UKIP, which (a) confirms the party’s drift towards electoral oblivion, but (b) allows the far right to feel legitimised. Head Kipper Adolf von Batten proclaimed “A great crowd at the Pro Brexit Rally in London at Millbank”, although there were four or five hundred well Policed attendees at best.
Reaction to Batten’s proclamation was frequently adverse. “Why is the crowd mostly, white men? Wouldn’t like to be there ..looks really hostile and angry” was one response, while Otto English goaded them with their own language: “Teeny by comparison to #peoplesvotemarch ... you lost … move on”.
Some observers, though, got to the serious point in short order. “Seeing as how when angry white men ‘march’ They get really drunk, seig heil and then attack police leading to numerous arrests” was one warning. And Far Right Watch picked up on the “Sieg Heil” part: “#Ukip Event at #Millbank ... proudly supported by Generation Identity - the Paramilitary Trained Fascist Group. (Yellow 'Sigma' Flags)”.
Yes, the neo-Nazis were there, and Batten didn’t seem fussed about it, which should now be sounding alarm bells not just in the law enforcement agencies, but also all those media outlets which have been so keen to court the Kippers of late. Daniel Sidi agreed with FRW: “Oh look, Generation ID Expect Nazi salutes, violence and racist chants any moment”. But pro-am creep Caolan Robertson was having none of it, pretending all was sweetness and light: “#FreeTommy & ProBrexit patriots take over London”.
Mike Stuchbery put him right on that one: “There's a few Generation Identity flags in that crowd, Caolan. I see to remember we fought a war against their sorts 80 years back. BTW, they'd have put you in a camp”. They might just have taken Caolan out and shot him. And one Tweeter had this event figured out. “So, No neo-nazis at a pro-EU march, but they show up at an anti EU march. What can we determine from this?”.
What indeed? And then came the farce, as Jan Schneider encountered the Wall of Gammon™ in all its not-quite-splendour: “The Brexiteers have arrived. Shouting ‘Go home’ at British people”. That’s a Democratic Football Lads Alliance T-shirt, by the way.
And just how patriotic they were was soon discovered by Will Dry, who Tweeted in clear surprise “The far right just abused 96 year old Brigadier Goodall - WW2 hero, many medals. Disgusting”. The far right are always ready to tell how they support our armed forces and veterans - unless they don’t agree with them.
So the Wall of Gammon™ failed to make friends or influence people yesterday. But their presence should not be dismissed out of hand. Neo-Nazis stirring up the mob never should. And we all know where that leads. Gerard Batten is a clown. A dangerous one.