Readers may recall the role I played in blowing the whistle when anti-Islam extremist, Anne Marie Waters, was shortlisted for the Labour target seat of Brighton Pavillion.
The result was a campaign against me, including a hatchet job by the obsessed wingnut Howard Fuller, (who on another occasion I had to issue a formal warning to, using the pre-action protocol for libel). This story was then picked up by Nick Cohen at the Spectator, also in defence of Anne Marie Waters. As it worked its way up the journalistic food chain, the half truths and distortions about me were expanded and someone, presumably Grant Shapps, saw the opportunity to plant hostile stories about me in the Mail and the Sun, to try to damage Labour. Fame indeed.
All of this blowback against me, was because I argued that Anne Marie Waters was an anti-Islamic extremist, and therefore unsuitable to be a Labour parliamentary candidate. So I was interested to see in today’s Daily Mirror: Watch Ukip candidates spouting vile anti-Islamic hate messages at a far-right rally
Magnus Nielsen and Anne Marie-Waters were guest speakers at a weekend event organised by Mothers Against Radical Islam And Sharia – MARIAS – which has close links to groups like the English Defence League.
The Mirror’s footage shows Mr Nielsen, who is standing in the marginal North London seat of Hampstead and Kilburn, openly telling the audience Britain is “at war with Islam”.
Ms Waters, who hopes to become MP for Lewisham East, South East London, was also filmed telling an undercover reporter “a lot of people need to be deported” and “many mosques need to be closed down”.
UKIP bans its members from being formally involved with far right wing organisations and has claimed it is not a party of racists. Yet activists from fascist groups were welcome to come and hear the UKIP speakers at the MARIAS gathering in Westminster on Saturday. MARIAS leader Toni Bugle recorded a video message to online followers days before, which said: “On April 11, between 12.30 and 1, Downing Street, MARIAS, be there. “I don’t care what you are, I don’t care if you’re Britain First, I don’t care if you’re English Defence League, I don’t even care if you’re National Front.” In another video she said “no matter who you are affiliated with, can stand together under one umbrella.”
But let us look what the so-called “decent” left said when I called out Anne Marie Waters for extremism and racism:
Jim Denham: Religious bigot Newman witch-hunts secular Labour woman
The liar Newman deliberately misrepresents Waters when he suggests she made an anti-immigration broadcast. Watch it for yourself, and you’ll see she makes it absolutely clear that she’s not arguing against immigration.
Howard Fuller: Anne Marie Waters resigns from the Labour Party
Ms Waters departure came as a bit of a surprise given her recent attempt to be selected as PPC for Brighton Labour Party. Her candidature attracted attention from those on the darker side of politics in the form of Andy Newman from the misnamed Socialist Unity website where he conducted a witch hunt which was opposed both here and over at Harry’s Place.
Anne Marie Waters is one of the countries leading secularists and is a spokesperson for the National Secular Society and the One Law for All campaign and does some excellent work campaigning for free speech and women’s rights. Her decision to leave Labour is therefore a blow to fighting back against the parasitical pro-Islamist elements like Socialist Unity and Socialist Action.
Howard Fuller: Socialist Unity attacks secularist activist
Ms Waters is also active in the National Secular Society, hardly “extreme” in any shape or form.
Worth noting that Howard Fuller still proudly links to AMW’s own website on the sidebar of his blog, and has had no compunction in himself quoting from the far-right journal “International Dispatches”, a publication which is linked to Fjordmann – whose work was one of the inspirations for the Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik.
My goodness, how would liberal commentators describe a blog that linked to a racist extremist like Anne Marie Waters, and quotes from Dispatch International? It surprised me that Nick Cohen praised Howard Fuller, describing him as “anti-Totalitarian”
Nick Cohen: Extremists and the mainstream: the case of Comrade Newman
The Chippenham Labour Party has decided that its candidate to contest the 2015 general election will be one Andy Newman. As the anti-totalitarian blogs Howie’s Corner and Harry’s Place have already argued he is almost certain to be the worst politician to stand for a mainstream party.
… Newman manages the laughably named “Socialist Unity” website: laughable, not just because it engages in vicious factionalism, but because it indulges the religious strain of far-right thinking. He has campaigned against Anne Marie Waters of One Law for All , which opposes the imposition of Sharia law in the UK. In other words, he has put himself on the wrong side of the struggle between religion and women’s rights.
But how liberal is Nick Cohen really? In November 2013 he himself shared a platform with Anne Marie Waters, at an event where former EDL leader, Tommy Robinson, was guest of honour.
Over at Hary’s Place, Sarah AB: Secular mesalliances: Anne Marie Waters, Fjordman and Socialist Unity
Readers will probably already be aware of Andy Newman’s articles criticising Anne Marie Waters – and of ripostes from Howard Fuller, Nick Cohen and, just recently, Anne Marie Waters herself. I fully sympathise with the disdain she expresses in her own post for the ‘totalitarian left’, as represented by Andy Newman.
Sarah AB: Socialist Unity attacks secularist activist
I agree with Howie that is absurd to describe Anne Marie Waters as an anti-Muslim extremist and, as Shiraz Socialist reports, Andy Newman misrepresents her views on immigration.
Perhaps there should be a little reflection from those who leapt to Ms Waters’s defence. I know that it can be difficult to distinguish between genuine concerns, and bigotry. But the warning signs were all there with Anne Marie Waters.