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".
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 3 Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
If Surrey were Syria: Social experiment shows what it's like to live under siege
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...
£19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hull based charity providing except...
£9464 - £10396 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will ne...
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With extensive experience and a...