Present in the backroom of some seedy boozer in Essex was a litany of would-be ‘leadership material’ with more initials in their group names than members. The SEA fuhrer, Paul Prodromou, was at the helm of what looked like an Alcoholic’s Anonymous day out and he was joined by Dave Smeeton, the March For England eejit who insists on going to Brighton every year for his annual humiliation and ex EDL ‘leader’ Tony Curtis who came on his own as an ‘independent’ (i.e., no friends). The eejit leader of the splinter group Bristol Defence League came on his own as well. The English Volunteer Force (EVF) sent along their entire membership (2) and they were joined by nonentities from Facebook fascist groups like 1 member of Combined ex-Forces (neither combined nor ex-forces), Patriots Unite and the SW Infidels. Which was all very cosy but illustrated that far from uniting the UK, the meeting only consisted of a small contingent from south of the midlands. No NWI, No SYI, No NEI, very few Scottish or Welsh – probably as the NWI are in prison, the SYI have all fallen out over Snowy’s dodgy dealings and the NEI are interchangeable with the NF. We counted 35 eejits and at least 9 groups. Which leaves 3 and a bit members per group and is distinctly under-impressive. They will now be organising under the United British Patriots banner whilst keeping their 'own identities.' How long this lasts is very debatable given the amount of ego problems contained under one roof. They also hung a Help For Heroes flag up amongst their tawdry other rags despite the charity wanting nothing to do with such alcoholic far-right arse-bugles.
This portly gathering of male muffin-tops, delusional patriots and a Walt or 2 guzzled pints of lukewarm lager in plastic glasses as Prodromou tried to maintain a semblance of order. Someone had bought biros and a pad from Poundland to write it all down in and we managed to get hold of their minutes:
11am: Meet & Greet, lager, complimentary mini-Swiss Rolls
11.30: Call to order. Most still at bar.
12.30: Meeting finally called to order
12.45: CxF excused for ‘disorderly trousers’
1pm Lunch: more complimentary mini-Swiss Rolls & lukewarm lager (and poor quality gak in the ladies toilet)
3pm: meeting finally called back to order (several members ‘missing in action’ sleeping it off in the carpark)
3.05: Meeting called to a close
3.30: full scale battle between themselves in the car park over who is the ‘real leader’
3.45: police raid premises & enquire after ‘designated driver’
3.55: ‘designated driver’ found comatose in ladies toilet
4pm: publican closes meeting, plod forces them out and Prodromou is seen weeping
4.10: meeting declared an enormous success’ on Twitter.
4.15: no one notices.
What is clear from this meeting is that there is a major schism between the rump EDL and the extremists as well as a clear North/South divide – which will create future problems like the EDL had. We are supposed to believe that this disparate bunch of potential sex offenders, snot gobblers and trouser foulers are the far right’s ‘top boys’ who will be leading the masses into Brighton at the end of April. They will no doubt be joined by the more local EDL supporters for their ritual embarrassment. Despite the last few years having their marches delayed, rerouted, attacked, being outnumbered and getting a good kicking, it is now a question of pride. They know it will be smaller this year, they also know that opposition will be large but they also know that they will be completely surrounded by plod for their own protection. We also know that Sussex plod is fed up of having to fork out for overtime and hand wads to other police forces as they simply cannot control the streets on the day and they would clearly like to ban it – thus saving face for them and the MfE! It was also clear last year that plod were turning a wee bit of a blind one towards muscular anti-fascist opposition on the day and we took very few arrests despite it getting a bit tasty on the seafront.
What will be interesting is how many EDL will defect now that ‘Sir Tommy’ has deserted them and the whole thing is in tatters. We know that many divisions have left and many individual members are very bitter over their lack of support from the EDL and the long prison sentences doled out following their Walsall debacle. Needless to say that anti-fascists in the South East of England are getting very well-prepared. See you on the day!