Charlie Flowers and English Nationalism

Following my posts on Charlie Flowers and the campaigns of harassment conducted by him and his gang of “Cheerleaders”, a post on Talk Islam by “johnpi” claims to reveal “Cyber-stalker Charlie Flowers’ English Defence League connection”. The author cites me in his piece, but the article doesn’t quite deliver the goods. We’re shown a picture taken from Facebook showing Flowers posing with members of the English Democrat Party behind a St George’s Flag (there’s also a glimpse of the “Cheerleader” who hides behind the pseudonym “Shooter Kirpachi”); but to jump from that to the EDL requires an unsustainable imaginative leap:

The flag in the picture is the St. George’s Cross, which EDL supporters fly at their rallies. The EDL is a right-wing political group with nativist/white supremacist leanings that appeared in England last year.

The obvious problem here is that just because the EDL uses the St George’s Flag, it hardly follows that anyone who makes use of a St George’s Flag must be an EDL sympathizer.

Also in the picture are two other persons, both of whom actively interact with the “Cheerleadered” site. One of these is Bill Baker, who organised an abortive “anti-Shariah” protest outside a mosque in Harrow in August. The Harrow Times reported:

Bill Baker, the organisor, said: “It’s been cancelled. They’ve made assurances that sharia courts will not be held in the building. If they go back on that then obviously we will be allowed to protest.”

He added: “If it’s only going to be used for the community then good luck to them.”

A protest by the EDL in Birmingham on August 10 resulted in violent clashes between members and anti-fascist campaigners attempting to break up the demonstration.

Mr Baker told the Harrow Times ties with the EDL and Casuals United, which formed in the aftermath, were broken after the skirmishes in Birmingham.

…”We are opposed to extremism on both sides of the political agenda.”

(A protest did in fact go ahead, but this was organised by a different group)

The other person is Darren Marsh, who goes on about he “fucking hates the UAF” but who has no EDL link either [UPDATE: He has also informed me that he is in UKIP rather than the EDP].

Certainly, looking over Facebook myself it is somewhat strange that Alan Lake – a businessman who has links with the EDL – should be a fan of Flowers’ music band The Fighting Cocks, but it’s impossible to say what this signifies. It’s also perhaps of interest that a year ago I received a comment from one of the “Cheerleaders” indicating that they had been in contact with Paul Ray but they had disliked his use of the word “Paki”; Ray went on to found of the EDL, although he has since been marginalised. Both Ray and the “Cheerleaders” have also had contacts with Glen Jenvey.

But what about the English Democratic Party? The author at Talk Islam finds a report in which an ex-member accuses it being more extreme than it appears to be, and the EDP’s website currently showcases an interminable modern folk-song which includes lines opining that “long-term immigration” is part of a plot by the “British ruling class” to “crush the English nation”. However, overall I’d judge that it’s more the case that Flowers makes those he associates with look bad, rather than other way round.

A second post on Talk Islam has the detail that

After I published a mocking post about them last year, the Cheerleaders – or the individual who pretends to be the group – threatened several Talk Islam contributors and published their home addresses online. They (or he) also sent mail to at least one TI contributor’s house.