Daily Mail Article on Luton anti-Muslim Violence

The Daily Mail has a background piece on last week’s debacle in Luton, during which a large number of yobs (some in gimp-like black balaclavas) supposedly showed their objections to Islamic extremism by rampaging through the town, attacking Asian-owned businesses, assaulting an Asian man, and informing the police that they are “fucking left-wing fucking cunts”.

The Mail takes a sceptical look at Dave Smeeton, the leader of March for England. MfE, which I blogged here, did not organise this particular event, but Smeeton did play a role in an unofficial capacity:

‘I was very disappointed about what happened,’ Smeeton claimed. ‘Our members were not involved in the trouble. That sort of thing couldn’t have been further from our minds.’

It would be easier to believe Dave Smeeton if it were not for his unsavoury past.

It is encapsulated in a spoof advert for Dr Martens on his Facebook page, in which three skinheads are kicking a man on the floor in the head. The caption reads: ‘Kicking the f*** out of you since 1960.’

Smeeton has added, for good measure: ‘Those were the days.’ He is, after all, a former skinhead himself. He used to belong to the ‘6.57 Crew’, one of the country’s most notorious gangs of football hooligans.

I pointed this out a few weeks ago here and here; Smeeton has left a number of comments disassociating himself from violence and claiming that to draw a negative inference from his choice of Facebook images is unwarranted. He also (genuinely, in my opinion) says he is against racism. The Mail also repeats a claim that elements of the “6.57 Crew” have had links with the violently neo-Nazi Combat 18, although there is no suggestion that Smeeton would approve of such a thing.

A couple of other characters also make an appearance in the story:

Guess which organisation Paul Ray belongs to? Yes, that’s right, March for England. He took part in Sunday’s demonstration, but says he was not involved in any of the trouble. Ray calls Smeeton a ‘very good friend.’

Another link between the men is Glen Jenvey, accused by several newspapers of fabricating stories about Islamic extremism. Jenvey has eight ‘friends’ on his Facebook site; two of them are Ray and Smeeton.

Paul Ray, of course, is the local anti-Muslim blogger “Lionheart” – I’ve blogged on him several times. In days leading up to the “protest”, Ray tried to whip up support with a bogus claim that “coachloads” of Muslims were coming into the area to oppose the event. On his blog, Ray is currently defending the protestors’ behaviour (although not the assault), and he claims that a particular Asian business was attacked because of an illegal activity he alleges it is involved in. Ray, who has made statements offering qualified support for the BNP, achieved fame for a short time last year when right-wing “anti-Jihadists” in the USA decided that a police investigation into whether Ray was stirring up racial hatred meant that he was was “free speech martyr”; however, when his pro-BNP views were noticed he was quickly dropped. This led to a feud between Ray and Little Green Footballs, with Ray describing Charles Johnson as “the equivalent of a Second World War Nazi collaborator who would have been shot because of his treason”.

The Mail adds that the Luton mosque which was recently firebombed had received a threatening letter before the arson signed by “Reynold de Chatillon”; because Ray like to identify with Christian Crusaders, he claims that “The Muslims must be trying to pin the firebombing on me”.

And as for Glen Jenvey: it’s a long story, but the guts of it are here. In fact, there is overwhelming circumstantial evidence that Jenvey (a pundit on the controversial Obsession DVD) has indeed fabricated stories which he then sold to newspapers, as has been investigated extensively by Tim Ireland (with a bit of assistance from  me). Alas, though, rather fewer than “several newspapers” have so far taken up the investigation; all we’ve had are two short pieces, one in the media section of  the Guardian and the other in Private Eye. Ray denounced the evidence against Jenvey as “propaganda”, although he’s been silent on the subject more recently. Of course, there is no reason to suppose that just because he’s a Facebook contact of Smeeton that Smeeton knows much about him; Jenvey may have few Facebook links, but Smeeton has many more. Some clarification would be nice, though.

And also alas – the Daily Mail continues to use the wrong picture to illustrate the extremist Muslims who gave Ray just want he wanted (just as he has now returned the favour).

Incidentally, last month Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs praised an earlier anti-Muslim protest in Luton of the same sort as a “Pushback against Muslim Extremists in the UK”; this led to a spat with LGF. Geller has not made any comment on last weekend’s violence. She did, however, recently opine that the Mail (a conservative paper) is the “DHIMMI PRESS IN BED WITH THE ISLAMIC SUPREMACISTS”.

(Hat tip: Bloggerheads)