Richard Seymour has no doubts about how the world operates politically: on one side there are the oppressed masses – the workers; the Muslims; the persons of colour and their ultimate saviours the Socialist Workers Party. On the other hand there are less savoury elements – the capitalists; the imperialists; the Zionist pigs; the Labour Party and the BNP.
So when a group of thugs violently attack Muslims in London a culprit must be found and lessons learned quickly – at least according to the Trotskyist tradition to which the proprietor of Lenin’s Tomb belongs. In that gung-ho spirit Seymour quickly put up a post on his blog in which ‘British values’ and ‘free speech’ are slyly attacked and the tags ‘BNP’ ‘Far Right’ and ‘Fascism’ are added at the bottom.
A cut and dried case of nasty nazis attacking Muslims goaded on by that enabler of violence freedom of speech then?Not quite. At least according to the Press Association:
The first attack took place in Gloucester Way, adjacent to university buildings, shortly after 6pm on Monday, November 2, when, police said, a group of black teenagers shouted racist abuse and threw bricks at a group of Asian men.
Black teenagers? In the BNP? Something’s not adding up here.
Eventually someone alerts Seymour – via the comments box – to the inconvenient fact that the attackers probably weren’t nazis, but local toughs. Seymour replies:
The reporting suggested that a series of racist attacks, both verbal and physical, had taken place against Muslim students. The context you introduce was not available when I was writing, so I’m not sure what other conclusion I could have drawn.
In other words if some people attack Muslims the best thing to do is blame someone on the other side of the political fence, no matter whether it’s true or not. Well, the BNP are unarguably unpleasant and dangerous scum, but there’s no point in blaming them for something which there’s no proof they’ve done. It makes you look stupid.
Too harsh? Not if you consider the fact that the ‘context’, despite Seymour’s protestations, was available to him before he posted. If you look at the United Against Fascism story on the attacks it links in turn to a Guardian report which makes it abundantly clear that thuggish teenagers – including an unspecified number of black ones – carried out the attacks, not the BNP.
The moral of the story? There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in Seymour’s increasingly threadbare and entirely useless philosophy.