When did it become taboo to protest against fascists?

The Di Canio incident has underlined the need to step up campaigning against fascism, whether in uncovering extremists in the world of sport or entertainment as well as far-right political movements.

The media storm whipped up over Di Canio’s appointment as Sunderland manager has been far reaching.

From David Miliband, to mainstream anti-racist activists and militant trade union groups, all have taken steps to criticise and in some cases take symbolic action to show their disdain for his appointment.

Even the Daily Star carried a front page questioning the appointment, showcasing Di Canio’s Nazi salute whilst playing in Italy seven years ago.

But instead of universal outrage across the press, which one might expect considering not so long ago Britain along with her allies fought a world war against fascism in Europe, right-wing commentators have turned the story into an attack on the “left,” criticising Di Canio’s detractors.

LBC’s Iain Dale highlighted the so-called hypocrisy of the “liberal left” in emphasing the fact that no one cared about Di Canio while he was Swindon Manager whilst treading a dangerous path of attempting to distinguish National Socialism from fascism.

He concludes by suggesting he would not boycott a team or complain if “a devoutly left-wing socialist” or “Chinese Communist” became a manager of a premiership footballer.

Jonathan Liew in the Telegraph suggests that our obsession with the Di Canio story is particularly British “middle class” pre-occupation and that reminders of the crimes of fascism in the Guardian are all designed to make us all feel better, serving no wider practical purpose.

The question that has to be asked here, however, is this: when did it become taboo to dislike fascists, to criticise them, to remind ourselves of the horrors of the worst economic and political system ever devised?

If people were a bit late coming forward to have a pot shot at Di Canio, does that make their condemnation any less worthwhile?

The fact that there wasn’t much coverage when the GMB, Britain’s third largest union, withdrew its sponsorship of Swindon when Di Canio was manager due to his fascist sympathies is the fault of major newspapers not anti-fascist commentators.

Durham Miners Association leader Davey Hopper, whose group has asked for their banner at Sunderland to be returned in protest at Di Canio’s appointment, was a deep pit miner for 27 years.

I have known and interviewed Davey several times over the last four years and he would be insulted to be labelled “middle class” or to have his association’s decision questioned on the basis of what it “hopes to achieve.

As difficult as it might be for Liew, Dale and others to understand as I am sure they have never covered a National Union of Mineworkers AGM before, the decision by DMA is based on principle – a principle that dates back to before the greatest crimes of Adolf Hitler and his partner in crime, Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini.

Opposing fascism whether by pen or sword, is something that goes back to the brigades and the Spanish civil war, when thousands of working class people volunteered to go over to fight fascist dictator Franco and defend the Spanish Republic.

To not withdraw the Durham Miners banner from Sunderland would have been akin to spitting in the face of all those who have fought and died fighting fascism.

Hopper does indeed fit the description of Dale’s “devout left wing socialist” and the kind of society Davey wants, one of peace, equality and workers rights, is the antithesis to fascist ideology.

As for the defence Di Canio has “several best friends who are black” – how many times have we heard that one from somebody after they have made a racist comment?

The BNP and English Defence League all have black members – does this mean that both organisations are any less racist?

To use the other argument, that sport and politics should be kept separate, is to ignore the platform that professional sport gives individuals and their viewpoints.

Similar arguments have been used to allow fascist countries or individuals to benefit from such regimes.

One need only look at World Cup in Italy in 1934, the Nazi Olympics in 1936, the open racism of the IOC towards militant black American sprinters in the 60′s, the breaking of sanctions on Apartheid South Africa by England Cricketers, to see how sport and politics are inseparable.

The Premiership could learn a thing or two from the Greek footballing authorities who recently banned one of their up and coming stars, Giorgos Katidis, from representing the national team due to his Nazi salute at the end of a league game last month.

The Di Canio incident has underlined the need to step up campaigning against fascism, whether in uncovering extremists in the world of sport or entertainment as well as far-right political movements.

38 Responses to “When did it become taboo to protest against fascists?”

  1. Andrew Roake

    Yep. Sorry. Apparently now if you think fascists, actual fascists with fascist views are a bit shitty, you’re juts some looney-lefty, multi-culti, PC nazi. God I hate the fucking right wing.

  2. SadButMadLad

    The reason the right are digging into the left for their protesting against Di Canio is because it is something that the left always do. The left always ban or attempt to ban anything close to debate. The left do not like people have differing views or opinions. All non valid views are somehow taboo and verboten. So they will do anything to highlight their actions and make big statements and sweeping accusations – all to cloud the fact that they don’t like others to have views and opinions and thoughts of their own.

    The classic recent example being that of the extremists on the left (SWP) who tried to ban the UKIP poster. Free speech – not allowed according to those on the left. Then you have the nutter on the left called George who walked out of a debate.

    It’s only because the left like to redefine the mean of words that racism now also means a hatred of someone of a different nationality but the same skin colour, the same ethnicity, and the same religion. So yes, fascism does not mean racism in the true sense of the word (hatred of someone of a different colour). Fascism is more xenophobic than racist.

  3. margery simpson

    “The question that has to be asked here, however, is this: when did it become taboo to dislike fascists, to criticise them, to remind ourselves of the horrors of the worst economic and political system ever devised?”

    Socialism is the worst system ever devised and Nazism is just one particular flavour of it.

    And there are still people mad enough to be socialists around.

    ps that ‘salute’ above is at too high an angle to be called Nazi. it looks more olike he’s trying to take off.

  4. dr fox

    “The BNP and English Defence League all have black members – does this mean that both organisations are any less racist?”

    yes. neither are racist in my opinion.

    the BNP is ‘for’ the indigenous British (however you define them), the EDL is ‘for’ ‘Englishness’, as a culture rather than ethnic group (or it wouldn’t be lead by an Irishman)

  5. Paul Hilton

    Instead of concentrating on fascists, however unpleasant they and their philosophy are, shouldn’t we be aiming our fire at extremists/extremism and bigots/bigotry in general? That includes communism as well as fascism. Communism and nazism are merely opposite sides of the same poisonous coin. The only good extremist is a dead extremist.

  6. dc warner

    seems a bit harsh! what’s wrong with being extreme?

    the only good moderate is a dead moderate!

  7. demetriev

    what is actually wrong with being a Fascist?

    they saved Spain from much much worse

  8. dc warner

    communism and nazism are the same side of the same coin. socialism.

  9. hume

    you can like or dislike whoever you want. this is about trying to force someone out of a job/prevent people hiring certain people because they claimed views once which the left don’t agree with. it may be fascists today, but it was ukip supporters having their children taken into care last month and it will be conservatives and anybody else they don’t like tomorrow. totalitarianism is a creeping thing. new labour took us a fair way down the path by trying to get rid of trial by jury and detention without trial and the lisbon treaty etc. the conservatives are not taking us back quick enough

  10. Stephen Wigmore

    It’s ridiculous because this is football we’re talking about. Some 2nd rate football club has employed a nutter, and the news are carrying on as though this were some national crisis. If you’re planning to evict every person involved with professional football who is an idiot and has expressed stupid views you are going to be working your entire life and end it having achieved absolutely nothing.

  11. Old Albion

    I hate all extremists. Be they far-right or like LFF far-left.

  12. John Smith

    this is meant to be a democracy and he can have whatever views he likes and there is a growing number of people that are fed up with all the immigrants and everyone ignores it so its hardly a surprise people are going to the right

  13. Mr Reasonable

    Since when did Left Foot Forward become a platform for nationalists, bigots and the historically ignorant? Demetriev, Franco’s forces killed 250,000 civilians during the Spanish Civil War and his security forces imprisoned 500,000 people in concentration camps after it. A further 350,000 enemies were killed after the war. Spain sent men to fight with the nazis in Russia. Franco, like all his allies and subordinates, was profoundly anti-semetic. Nazi ships and submarines docked and were replenished in Spanish ports before sailing into the Med or Atlantic to sink allied shipping and kill allied sailors (40,000 British and Commonwealth merchant seaman died in WW2 ). Spanish government officials were authorised to pass intelligence to the nazis. The nazis ran coal mines in northern Spain.
    However, Franco himself wasn’t a nazi or a fascist, but many of his allies were. He was a traditionalist, a militarist, a nationalist, an anti-semite, an anti-democrat, a Catholic supremacist, a conservative.
    He just happened to find himself in agreement with fascist views – because they were virtually the same as his.
    The site is called Left Foot Forward. If you are of a conservative, nationalist or right-wing disposition, you won’t be persuaded by the ideas and arguments presented here. I know that, you know that. I can’t persuade you, you won’t persuade me. It’s pointless you being here. It’s a waste of your time reading the articles and the posts from people like me. Go and do something more useful. Watch telly, read a book, go shopping. Why make yourself angry by arguing with folk you have nothing in common with? I’m not being snidey or ‘having a go’. We don’t get on, simple as that. You have your views, we have ours. Let’s call it a day, shall we?

  14. Stefan

    National Socialists v. Socialists – sibling rivalry.

  15. Cole

    Yep, that General Franco sure knew how to deal with lefties.

  16. Cole

    Oh that looney rubbish again. In case you didn’t know Hitler had socialists, communists, trade unionists etc locked up or killed. And he was in a coalition government with conservatives.

  17. Magnus Ramage

    That “much worse” being a democratically-elected socialist government? Give me a break. According to the same argument, Pinochet was the saviour of Chile because he staged a coup and murdered the elected president (before starting a highly repressive regime).

  18. Magnus Ramage

    That “much worse” being a democratically-elected socialist government? Give me a break. According to the same argument, Pinochet was the saviour of Chile because he staged a coup and murdered the elected president (before starting a highly repressive regime).

  19. Cole

    Last time I looked Labour had a 10 point lead in the polls, so I don’t think the country is going to the right.

  20. Andrew Roake

    I agree. Democratically elected governments that give people protest against what the government are doing are just terrible lefty inventions. I’m so glad I’m a right winger like you and one of those damn lefties that hate freedom and liberty. Unlike us right-wingers who hate freedom and liberty.

    If you haven’t realized, which I doubt you do considering you’re a right-winger and probably suffer brain deficiencies. I am making fun of you.

  21. Andrew Roake

    Yes, totalitarianism is on the rise. It’s far-right, nationalist and fascist parties that are threatening democracy. That’s why Europe needs to become more left-of-centre.

  22. Ominosus_cattus_lectica

    Same headline but article more in depth over the general problem rather than some shitty football manager. A curious thing, right-wing nutters screech loudly about their rights to be bigots, when you point out how bigoted (without the use of silencing them) they are, that’s you censoring them, banning them and oppressing them. (They shout bans but no bans happen, part of their tactics is to make themselves look oppressed so they can be seen as the fighters for true freedom) While if you have your own views that opposes them or even if you don’t but it attracts their attention, they tend to want to shut you up by means of physical violence. If you don’t agree with them, that means you are a commie wanting to destroy the white race. But the UK hasn’t had a presence of menacing communists since what? The 1920s? While the BNPs, the EDLs and the UKIPs still linger in the shadows, annoying or attacking members of whatever the group in fashion it is to hate. If the darlings were so oppressed I wouldn’t be typing about them right now. When capitalist pigs start getting bumped off at a frequent rate, under the sign of the hammer and sickle, I’ll be more concerned about the evil commie threat. But for now I’d like to live in 2013 not 1950, the only threat on the horizon is right-wing extremism, rising to power by years of propaganda and greed.

  23. Ominosus_cattus_lectica

    Same headline but article more in depth over the general problem rather than some shitty football manager. A curious thing, right-wing nutters screech loudly about their rights to be bigots, when you point out how bigoted (without the use of silencing them) they are, that’s you censoring them, banning them and oppressing them. (They shout bans but no bans happen, part of their tactics is to make themselves look oppressed so they can be seen as the fighters for true freedom) While if you have your own views that opposes them or even if you don’t but it attracts their attention, they tend to want to shut you up by means of physical violence. If you don’t agree with them, that means you are a commie wanting to destroy the white race. But the UK hasn’t had a presence of menacing communists since what? The 1920s? While the BNPs, the EDLs and the UKIPs still linger in the shadows, annoying or attacking members of whatever the group in fashion it is to hate. If the darlings were so oppressed I wouldn’t be typing about them right now. When capitalist pigs start getting bumped off at a frequent rate, under the sign of the hammer and sickle, I’ll be more concerned about the evil commie threat. But for now I’d like to live in 2013 not 1950, the only threat on the horizon is right-wing extremism, rising to power by years of propaganda and greed.

  24. Ominosus_cattus_lectica

    Same headline but article more in depth over the general problem rather than some shitty football manager. A curious thing, right-wing nutters screech loudly about their rights to be bigots, when you point out how bigoted (without the use of silencing them) they are, that’s you censoring them, banning them and oppressing them. (They shout bans but no bans happen, part of their tactics is to make themselves look oppressed so they can be seen as the fighters for true freedom) While if you have your own views that opposes them or even if you don’t but it attracts their attention, they tend to want to shut you up by means of physical violence. If you don’t agree with them, that means you are a commie wanting to destroy the white race. But the UK hasn’t had a presence of menacing communists since what? The 1920s? While the BNPs, the EDLs and the UKIPs still linger in the shadows, annoying or attacking members of whatever the group in fashion it is to hate. If the darlings were so oppressed I wouldn’t be typing about them right now. When capitalist pigs start getting bumped off at a frequent rate, under the sign of the hammer and sickle, I’ll be more concerned about the evil commie threat. But for now I’d like to live in 2013 not 1950, the only threat on the horizon is right-wing extremism, rising to power by years of propaganda and greed.

  25. Ominosus_cattus_lectica

    Same headline but article more in depth over the general problem rather than some shitty football manager. A curious thing, right-wing nutters screech loudly about their rights to be bigots, when you point out how bigoted (without the use of silencing them) they are, that’s you censoring them, banning them and oppressing them. (They shout bans but no bans happen, part of their tactics is to make themselves look oppressed so they can be seen as the fighters for true freedom) While if you have your own views that opposes them or even if you don’t but it attracts their attention, they tend to want to shut you up by means of physical violence. If you don’t agree with them, that means you are a commie wanting to destroy the white race. But the UK hasn’t had a presence of menacing communists since what? The 1920s? While the BNPs, the EDLs and the UKIPs still linger in the shadows, annoying or attacking members of whatever the group in fashion it is to hate. If the darlings were so oppressed I wouldn’t be typing about them right now. When capitalist pigs start getting bumped off at a frequent rate, under the sign of the hammer and sickle, I’ll be more concerned about the evil commie threat. But for now I’d like to live in 2013 not 1950, the only threat on the horizon is right-wing extremism, rising to power by years of propaganda and greed.

  26. Ominosus_cattus_lectica

    Same headline but article more in depth over the general problem rather than some shitty football manager. A curious thing, right-wing nutters screech loudly about their rights to be bigots, when you point out how bigoted (without the use of silencing them) they are, that’s you censoring them, banning them and oppressing them. (They shout bans but no bans happen, part of their tactics is to make themselves look oppressed so they can be seen as the fighters for true freedom) While if you have your own views that opposes them or even if you don’t but it attracts their attention, they tend to want to shut you up by means of physical violence. If you don’t agree with them, that means you are a commie wanting to destroy the white race. But the UK hasn’t had a presence of menacing communists since what? The 1920s? While the BNPs, the EDLs and the UKIPs still linger in the shadows, annoying or attacking members of whatever the group in fashion it is to hate. If the darlings were so oppressed I wouldn’t be typing about them right now. When capitalist pigs start getting bumped off at a frequent rate, under the sign of the hammer and sickle, I’ll be more concerned about the evil commie threat. But for now I’d like to live in 2013 not 1950, the only threat on the horizon is right-wing extremism, rising to power by years of propaganda and greed.

  27. Ominosus_cattus_lectica

    Same headline but article more in depth over the general problem rather than some shitty football manager. A curious thing, right-wing nutters screech loudly about their rights to be bigots, when you point out how bigoted (without the use of silencing them) they are, that’s you censoring them, banning them and oppressing them. (They shout bans but no bans happen, part of their tactics is to make themselves look oppressed so they can be seen as the fighters for true freedom) While if you have your own views that opposes them or even if you don’t but it attracts their attention, they tend to want to shut you up by means of physical violence. If you don’t agree with them, that means you are a commie wanting to destroy the white race. But the UK hasn’t had a presence of menacing communists since what? The 1920s? While the BNPs, the EDLs and the UKIPs still linger in the shadows, annoying or attacking members of whatever the group in fashion it is to hate. If the darlings were so oppressed I wouldn’t be typing about them right now. When capitalist pigs start getting bumped off at a frequent rate, under the sign of the hammer and sickle, I’ll be more concerned about the evil commie threat. But for now I’d like to live in 2013 not 1950, the only threat on the horizon is right-wing extremism, rising to power by years of propaganda and greed.

  28. Ominosus_cattus_lectica

    Same headline but article more in depth over the general problem rather than some shitty football manager. A curious thing, right-wing nutters screech loudly about their rights to be bigots, when you point out how bigoted (without the use of silencing them) they are, that’s you censoring them, banning them and oppressing them. (They shout bans but no bans happen, part of their tactics is to make themselves look oppressed so they can be seen as the fighters for true freedom) While if you have your own views that opposes them or even if you don’t but it attracts their attention, they tend to want to shut you up by means of physical violence. If you don’t agree with them, that means you are a commie wanting to destroy the white race. But the UK hasn’t had a presence of menacing communists since what? The 1920s? While the BNPs, the EDLs and the UKIPs still linger in the shadows, annoying or attacking members of whatever the group in fashion it is to hate. If the darlings were so oppressed I wouldn’t be typing about them right now. When capitalist pigs start getting bumped off at a frequent rate, under the sign of the hammer and sickle, I’ll be more concerned about the evil commie threat. But for now I’d like to live in 2013 not 1950, the only threat on the horizon is right-wing extremism, rising to power by years of propaganda and greed.

  29. Ominosus_cattus_lectica

    Same headline but article more in depth over the general problem rather than some shitty football manager. A curious thing, right-wing nutters screech loudly about their rights to be bigots, when you point out how bigoted (without the use of silencing them) they are, that’s you censoring them, banning them and oppressing them. (They shout bans but no bans happen, part of their tactics is to make themselves look oppressed so they can be seen as the fighters for true freedom) While if you have your own views that opposes them or even if you don’t but it attracts their attention, they tend to want to shut you up by means of physical violence. If you don’t agree with them, that means you are a commie wanting to destroy the white race. But the UK hasn’t had a presence of menacing communists since what? The 1920s? While the BNPs, the EDLs and the UKIPs still linger in the shadows, annoying or attacking members of whatever the group in fashion it is to hate. If the darlings were so oppressed I wouldn’t be typing about them right now. When capitalist pigs start getting bumped off at a frequent rate, under the sign of the hammer and sickle, I’ll be more concerned about the evil commie threat. But for now I’d like to live in 2013 not 1950, the only threat on the horizon is right-wing extremism, rising to power by years of propaganda and greed.

  30. Ominosus_cattus_lectica

    Same headline but article more in depth over the general problem rather than some shitty football manager. A curious thing, right-wing nutters screech loudly about their rights to be bigots, when you point out how bigoted (without the use of silencing them) they are, that’s you censoring them, banning them and oppressing them. (They shout bans but no bans happen, part of their tactics is to make themselves look oppressed so they can be seen as the fighters for true freedom) While if you have your own views that opposes them or even if you don’t but it attracts their attention, they tend to want to shut you up by means of physical violence. If you don’t agree with them, that means you are a commie wanting to destroy the white race. But the UK hasn’t had a presence of menacing communists since what? The 1920s? While the BNPs, the EDLs and the UKIPs still linger in the shadows, annoying or attacking members of whatever the group in fashion it is to hate. If the darlings were so oppressed I wouldn’t be typing about them right now. When capitalist pigs start getting bumped off at a frequent rate, under the sign of the hammer and sickle, I’ll be more concerned about the evil commie threat. But for now I’d like to live in 2013 not 1950, the only threat on the horizon is right-wing extremism, rising to power by years of propaganda and greed.

  31. ned

    franco killed a fair few, but not as many as the commies would have killed had they got in. look at cambodia

  32. dmitriev

    it’s an open site. and I am watching telly, reading a book and shopping whilst I type this.

    Franco was a monster, just less of one than the left-wing alternative could have been. liberal democracy is what we all want, but sometimes that isn’t an option.

    he may have saved millions

    ps i’m not angry and i’m not arguing.

  33. benny

    that’s just public sector scroungers and people on bennies. labour had 13 years to increase their core vote

  34. kiev survivor

    he didn’t lock up national socialists, only international ones (traitors)

  35. bob crow

    right wing = freedom
    left wing = statism and slavery

  36. ed miliband

    far left totalinarianism is on the rise. the state spends over 50% of all money spent in society. they’ll steal your kids if you vote ukip. they got rid of trial by jury and detention without trial.

    they will imprison you for thinking things.

    we need a revolution but not a left wing one

  37. Andrew Roake

    HAHA! LOLZ! You just keep telling yourself that if it makes you sleep better.

  38. Andrew Roake

    Wrong dumbass. Yeah the state does spend money on society. And do you know why? To provide healthcare, a social safety net, public education, roads, fire and police services amongst others. I’m guessing in your little world we should just privatise everything because, y’know screw poor people being able to access things they need to live on.

    And nice little conspiracy theory at the end there “they will imprison you for thinking things.” Ooooh, spooky… All we need now is some scary music and dark lighting and we’ve got ourselves an Alex Jones style DVD.

    Man, you right-wingers get more and more mockable. Please keep it up.

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