Trades Unions counter-protesting against EDL in Telford

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

The English Defence League are coming to Telford next weekend to protest in Wellington, motivated by the (alleged) muslim paedophile gang currently standing trail for grooming teenage girls.

Labour councillors have come out in opposition to the march and are getting behind Councillor Mike Ion’s campaign to deny the EDL their right to peaceful protest on the basis that he doesn’t agree with them, rather than concerns about them causing trouble.  Councillor Ion does, however, express concerns about violence erupting if fascist left wing thugs like UAF come out to hold their usual violent counter-protests.  Councillor Ion’s campaign has even attracted the support of the new leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Kuldip Singh Sahota which doesn’t bode well for the next four years.

Now Shropshire & Telford Trades Union Council has organised a “unity” counter-protest to celebrate multiculturalism which will be held in another part of Wellington at the same time.  Most members of the vicious left wing fascist group, UAF, are union activists as well and will undoubtedly be out in force in Wellington to incite violence.

I have three questions about this counter-protest:

  1. What the fuck has this got to do with workers’ rights?  Trades unions are there to promote workers rights, not organise protests against activities that have nothing to do with workers rights.
  2. Is this kind of activity compatible with the constitution of the unions represented by the trade union council or the council itself?
  3. Have union members voted to support the action?

The EDL have a legal right to peaceful protest – it’s in the Human Rights Act.  Similarly, union members, UAF, Socialist Workers Party and other left wing fascists have a right to peacefully protest against them.  But trades unions?  If it’s not in their constitution then the organisers of the protest are acting ultra vires and are leaving themselves open to prosecution from any union member who opposes their action.


  1. Ian Thomas (1 comments) says:

    You are displaying an astonishing level of ignorance here, willful or otherwise. Trade unions have opposed fascists since the 1920s and, arguably, have not only a right but a duty to oppose right-wing organisations which seek to divide working-class people on grounds of race/nationality/religion, etc. Mussolini banned free trade unions on coming to power and his movement was primarily concerned with physically confronting militant trade unionists and socialists. Hitler liquidated the German unions and put their leaders and activists in concentration camps. In Britain, fascist organisations from the BF in the 1920s, to the BUF in the 30s, the NF in the 70s and 80s and the BNP from the 90s to the present have been consistent in one thing: their contempt for the trade union movement. While I wouldn’t necessarily describe the EDL as a thoroughbred fascist body, it is clearly staffed and supported by members and ex-members of fascist organisations. Its own rhetoric and propaganda, despite a tendency to incoherence, has become increasingly critical of trade unions. Recently the EDL have launched a few physical attacks on left-wing meetings and gigs. On their blogs there have been occasional suggestions that they should attack union meetings. Fascism is the negation of workers’ rights. Trade unions are the largest democratic bodies in this country. All trade unions are opposed to fascism and racism. Through democratic votes at union conferences most are affiliated to anti-fascist bodies such as the UAF, Searchlight, etc. Trade unionists often form the backbone of the multitude of local campaigns against racism and fascism that exist in this country. Internationally, tens of thousands of trade unionists have died at the hands of fascist gangs and regimes during the past ninety years. Many more gave their lives in the struggle against the Axis powers in 1939-45. This makes your description of dedicated ANTI-fascists as “fascists”, not only dishonest but hugely disrespectful too. In reality, it is your party, UKIP, which needs to put its own house in order regarding fascism. It is no secret that many hard right former BNP members are considering decamping to UKIP because your policies are so similar to theirs (see, for example: As the old saying goes: people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  2. Stan (222 comments) says:

    The EDL turned up to “protect” Eltham from looters during the riots. This “protection” involved being drunk, racially abusing non-white shop keepers and passers by, abusing the police, throwing missiles at the police and attacking a bus with 3 black passengers upstairs.
    The police were especially pissed off because they had to split resources between protecting the area from potential rioters and from the EDL

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