HOPE not hate


‘BRITAIN FIRST – Army of the Right’

Britain First

Over the last few months a new group has taken Britain’s far-right scene by storm. Seeking to fill a vacuum left by the declining British National Party (BNP) and the splintering English Defence League (EDL), Britain First (BF) is confrontational, uncompromising and dangerous.

Combining the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the BNP with the hostility to Islam of the EDL, Britain First is attracting supporters from both thanks to its confrontational approach and direct action stunts. It has particularly targeted Anjem Choudary’s media savvy network in a way the EDL never managed.

Its direct style of taking the fight to opponents – all caught on camera – is attracting huge support on social media. It often cleverly disguises its online campaigns as support for the Armed Forces or against animal cruelty, whilst creating a climate of fear among Muslim communities on the ground.

Britain First protest outside the trial of Lee Rigby's killers at the Old Bailey

Britain First protest outside the trial of Lee Rigby’s killers at the Old Bailey

This includes direct action and stunts in or outside mosques in London, Bradford, Luton and Glasgow – which it styles as “invasions” – plus confrontations with Muslim extremists from the al-Muhajiroun network (which HOPE not hate profiled in its report Gateway to Terror) at demonstrations and at their homes.

Although most of the media only knows its publicity-hungry, former BNP frontman, Paul Golding, Britain First is in reality led by Jim Dowson. Dowson has been a religious antagonist and Protestant extremist since the early 1980s, when he was active in anti-abortion extremism in Scotland. For several years Dowson was the key fundraiser for the BNP, but after falling out with BNP leader Nick Griffin he set off alone and eventually formed a partnership with ex-BNP publicity officer, Paul Golding – and Britain First was born.

Dowson has links to unrest at recent ‘flag protests’ in Northern Ireland and is banned from all demonstrations and use of social media. A man who called himself the former “Provost Marshall” (chief enforcer) to former Ulster Defence Association (UDA) hardman, Johnny Adair, was until recently chief bodyguard to Britain First’s Paul Golding.

The story of Britain First

Report author Matthew Collins, director of research for HOPE not hate and a former member of the National Front (NF) and BNP, said: “Britain First is the most dangerous group to have emerged on the British far right scene for several years.

“Its confrontational style is attracting huge publicity and could potentially lead to a violent backlash. If nothing else, its provocative actions – such as distributing Bibles inside mosques and doorstepping Muslim community leaders in their homes – is generating a climate of fear.

“In effect, Britain First is the far-right version of al-Muhajiroun, the Islamist group led by Anjem Choudary. Despite numerous arrests, Golding and Dowson have not slowed their sick stunts against Muslim institutions. It’s time for the authorities to act properly against Britain First.”

HOPE not hate has produced this pamphlet to reveal the truth behind Britain First. It is the first proper investigation into a group that has gained 1,500 members in just six months. The report ‘Army of the Right’ (Available to order for £4) profiles the leaders, explores the ideology and examines Britain First’s successful use of social media.

Above all, the pamphlet is a useful tool in dealing with Britain First when they arrive in our communities.

Paraic O’Brien looks inside the provocative far-right group Britain First who have been invading mosques across England

Britain First in action

“You’ll be hearing from me, you’ll be seeing us on your doorstep very soon. I’ll find out where you live and we’ll be around.”

It’s outside the Indian Embassy and Paul Golding is shouting at a young Muslim man on a demonstration demanding Sharia law for India. It’s a pointless demonstration and the counter-protest is also almost as pointless. But they’re all here, Islamists and fascists alike.

Golding then puts a loudhailer to his lips and begins shouting “Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ!”, not in anger or surprise, but in seeming exultation.

A minute later, he and four of his followers break through a peace line and try to attack a large number of Islamists. Not for the first time this year, Golding is being carried away in handcuffs. So are his colleagues. “Get your hands off of me” one bitterly shouts pushing against the arresting officer. “I’m doing your job for you…”

Golding leads his group into a confrontation with supporters of Choudary

Golding leads his group into a confrontation with supporters of Choudary. (inset) Three people were arrested, including Golding

Buy Britain First - Army of the Right here

Only £4 including P&P.

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