The Tories and the Far-Right – an “Alliance of the Elite and the Mob”

10th February 2022 / United Kingdom
The Tories and Far-Right conspiracies

By TruePublica: Since Boris Johnson’s slur against Keir Starmer, which has dominated headlines for a week (and quite rightly, weakened his position further), MP’s have been questioned about the PMs claim emanating from the far-right that Starmer, in his years as director of public prosecutions, was personally responsible for failing to prosecute paedophile Jimmy Savile. There was, however, a mixed response.

Notably, Johnson’s policy chief, Munira Mirza, who has been advising Johnson since his days as London Mayor then resigned, blaming Johnson’s refusal to withdraw the claim. This claim has been perpetuated and promoted in fascist circles online for years.

One thing that was noticeable, was that the mainstream media has now been looking at not just Boris Johnson’s enthusiasm for promoting the hard-right to whip up the mob but the government’s prior record of amplifying the far-Right.

The Independent reported only last week that questions have been raised over a Tory MP who endorsed a group on the fringes of far-right French politics.

Andrea Jenkyns gave the thumbs up to the Union Populaire Républicaine, a Party founded in 2007 by conspiracy theorist politician François Asselineau. That incident follows criticism of another Tory MP, Daniel Kawczynski, for speaking at a conference of far-right parties in Rome earlier the same week.

The Union Populaire Républicaine celebrated by Ms Jenkyns won just 0.92 per cent of the vote in the 2017 French presidential election with Mr Asselineau as its candidate.

Conspiracy theories expounded by the party’s leader include the idea that Marie Le Pen’s National Front was secretly backed by the CIA, and the Bush family to undermine the cause of French nationalism.

The party wants France to leave the EU and Nato. Mr Asselineau claims that the founding fathers of the European Union, like Robert Schuman, were CIA agents. Ms Jenkyns approvingly shared an article in the Daily Express celebrating the group’s campaign for France to leave the EU, and asked “Is Frexit next?” before posting a thumbs-up emoji.


“It was deeply irresponsible and clearly riled up the mob”


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iNews reports of the warnings given by – Joe Mulhall, director of research at Hope Not Hate, the UK’s leading anti-fascism campaign group. On Johnson’s irresponsible Starmer comments floating around far-right media – “To hear it repeated by the prime minister was shocking. It was deeply irresponsible and clearly riled up the mob that accosted Starmer.” Mr Mulhall added: “This is an extremely worrying example of far-right disinformation entering the mainstream at the very top of British politics.”

Monday’s protest was organised in opposition to vaccines and coronavirus restrictions and was billed as a “UK Freedom Convoy” inspired by a similar march held against Covid-19 restrictions in Canada that paralysed much of Ottawa – much of which is now funded by hard-right factions in the USA.


“Boris Johnson has repeatedly incited far-right mobs – we are living with the consequences”


From openDemocracy is a piece dedicated to the baseless claims of Tory MP’s led by Boris Johnson in – “Boris Johnson is far from the only senior Tory to echo far-Right conspiracies.” A few examples are given, here are three of them:

Cultural MarxismThe phrase ‘Cultural Marxism’ centres on a conspiracy theory that Christian and Conservative values within Western society have been undermined by the theories of a niche group of Marxist, and largely Jewish, inter-war German scholars. The phrase has been circulated among far-Right groups in the US since the 1990s and was later cited in the manifesto of far-Right terrorist and mass murder Anders Behring Breivik.

Yet it has been used by more than two dozen Tory MPs and peers, despite warnings by Jewish groups of its antisemitic origins.

In November 2020, 26 Tory MPs accused the National Trust of being “coloured by Cultural Marxism dogma” in a letter to The Telegraph after the trust produced a report that examined its properties’ relationship to the slave trade and colonialism.

A month earlier, two Tory MPs – John Hayes and Tom Hunt – used the term in Parliament while criticising a debate during Black History Month that proposed diversifying education by introducing more Black authors into schools’ curriculums.

The current attorney general, Suella Braverman, repeated the phrase in a speech condemning “a culture of censorship” in 2019. Braverman said she stood by the term even after she was asked about its far-Right connections during a question and answer session directly after the speech.

Hard-Left extremist network’Another variation on the conspiracy theory was published by The Sun’s political editor, Tom Newton Dunn, just weeks before the 2019 general election.

The piece, headlined ‘HIJACKED LABOUR’, claimed that former British intelligence officers had uncovered a “hard-Left extremist network” at the heart of the Labour Party, including “Marxist intellectuals” and “militant groups”.

But researchers quickly discovered that the web page on which the article was based listed antisemitic and Neo-Nazi groups as sources.

Tory MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, now the international trade secretary, tweeted a link to the article after it was published, which remains on her profile despite The Sun having removed the story without comment.

Immigration – Tory MPs have also been accused of echoing far-Right rhetoric around immigration. Last year, the home secretary, Priti Patel, was criticised for inciting violence against migrants and human rights lawyers in an open letter by four charities, including Hope Not Hate.

The letter came after Patel denounced “do-gooders” and “lefty lawyers” for representing asylum seekers despite a law firm specialising in asylum cases having recently been attacked. It later transpired that the home secretary had targeted the legal profession even after being briefed about the attack by the police. The alleged attacker is awaiting trial.

Patel has also made false claims that refugees who arrive in the UK by crossing the Channel are “illegal”. In December, a High Court judge ruled that refugees trying to reach the UK by sea have not committed a crime. Home Office lawyers said a “misunderstanding” about the law had been rectified.

But the home secretary, the attorney general and ministers Victoria Atkins, Baroness Williams of Trafford, James Heappey and Baroness Goldie have continued to repeat the falsehood that Channel crossings are criminal even after the ruling.

The claim is repeatedly made by far-Right groups including extremists who have filmed themselves targeting hotels where refugees have been temporarily housed.

Mounting Reports

The Guardian reports that – A former Conservative councillor who was thrown out of the party and now heads an anti-vax group peddling a range of conspiracy theories was among a mob that harangued Keir Starmer before the Labour leader was whisked away by police. As experts warned of a dangerous risk of extremism from a radicalised hardcore as the pandemic wanes, the incident has focused attention on the rise of a plethora of protest groups. One group present during Monday night’s fracas, Resistance GB, is led by the former north London Tory councillor William Coleshill, who draws on bogus justifications about ancient English “Common Law” to justify direct action.

Hard-right conspiracy theorist William Coleshill with Boris Johnson

Hard-right conspiracy theorist William Coleshill with Boris Johnson

Members of social media channels run by Resistance GB, a self-styled journalism platform, continue to disseminate debunked conspiracy theories about the role of Starmer in protecting paedophiles such as Jimmy Savile – alongside other claims about the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines.

It was shared by a number of prominent anti-vax figures including Kate Shemirani, a former nurse who was struck off the register last year, and Mike Yeadon, a former Pfizer employee who has spread misinformation about Covid-19.

A further post from Yeadon’s Telegram channel, which claimed the incident was “set up theatre”, has received 10,000 views. The post appears to be a reference to “false flag” or “crisis actor” narratives, in which it is claimed protesters are paid actors trying to discredit a cause.

Before his expulsion from the Conservative party, Coleshill was pictured in a selfie on one occasion campaigning with Boris Johnson.


“This is a temporary alliance of the elite and the mob”


GQ Magazine has a piece about the Conservative MP Neil O’Brien who is making a name for himself on Twitter exposing Covid cranks and dangerous coronavirus conspiracy theories – including those in the Conservative press, like the Daily Mail. O’Brien says – “of course, an even better system would be for journalists peddling dangerous and false information to be suffering professional consequences.

And it’s interesting that the bulk of the mainstream misinformation has come from prominent right-wing figures and newspapers. “Toby Young, on his website, published a letter signed by a bunch of people. One of them is a collaborator with David Icke, another has called on his Twitter threads for the assassination of democratically elected politicians,” he laments. “We just need a bit of hygiene here, people!”

Another highlight was the debunking of a graph published by the Daily Mail, which argued there were no excess deaths in the second half of 2020 compared to previous years. Reprising his role as Parliament’s digital sleuth, O’Brien pointed out the data hadn’t come from the ONS, but from “the Statistics Guy”, “a cranky Twitter feed, run by a guy with a cartoon avatar”. To no one’s surprise, the chart – and the claim – were bogus (and the chart eventually removed from the piece).

The New Statesman runs with the headline – “Boris Johnson has repeatedly incited far-right mobs – we are living with the consequences.” This article focuses on what Hannah Arendt, the political philosopher and Holocaust survivor said of tapping into a far-right narrative. She said that this was a “temporary alliance of the elite and the mob” and it fits into how Johnson very dangerously flirts with hate mobs and conspiracy theorists on the far right to both gain support and divert from the real problems of his own making.





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