Cruddas urges parties to 'choke off' EDL surge
A Labour MP today called on political parties to "choke off" what the English Defence League (EDL) taps into.
Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, said the EDL is a small, violent street militia "but it speaks the language of a much larger, disenfranchised class".
Writing in The Times, he said: "The EDL may well pass through, and crash and burn like many of its predecessors.
"But it may not, because it taps into a politics born out of dispossession but anchored in English male working-class culture - of dress, drink and sport.
"Camped outside the political centre ground, this is a large swath of the electorate, a people who believe they have been robbed of their birthright and who are in search of community and belonging. Many are traditional Labour supporters."
Many working class people appeared to be turning to the far-right cultural movements that are sweeping across Europe, he warned.
"Now all our political parties must search for an animating, inclusive and optimistic definition of modern England to choke off what the EDL taps into."
The same newspaper carried an interview with a 27-year-old man said to be the founder and leader of the EDL.
Stephen Lennon, from Luton, "has many names", according to the newspaper, which reported that "reluctantly" he uses the threat of a demonstration to ensure councils do not pander to Islamic pressure groups to change British traditions.
He said: "We are now sending letters to every council saying that if you change the name of Christmas we are coming in our thousands and shutting your town down."
The EDL would live in peace with the Islamic community "if they ... swear allegiance to the Queen, this country and the flag, and then live side by side. That's what we want".
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Tommy Ramone dies: Last surviving founder and drummer seminal punk band The Ramones dies aged 62
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...