By Tash Shifrin
Tensions inside the leadership of the English Defence League have burst into the open as the organisation publicly ditched its former funder and strategist Alan Lake.
The bust-up shows that the EDL is feeling the heat after the revelation of its links with Norwegian fascist killer Anders Behring Breivik prompted a wave of revulsion against the organisation.
Lake is reportedly a wealthy businessman in the IT industry. He has extensive links with far-right and fascist organisations across Europe.
He is a vicious anti-Muslim racist who is behind the strategy of welding together football hooligan firms – who now make up the EDL’s hard core – into a unified fighting force of racist thugs.
Lake told the Daily Telegraph: ‘This is a dirty, nasty, difficult struggle and you have to work with what is available.’
He has also admitted funding the EDL, telling Norway’s TV2 channel: “I have given some money to help some EDL things happen.”
But today, the EDL monster attempted to break free from its Frankenstein creator.
Lake’s shocking comments that the Norway massacre was a case of “chickens come home to roost” were followed by a story in the Guardian newspaper reporting a post made by Lake on his 4Freedoms website in May 2010, which discussed the merits of killing prime minister David Cameron, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.
He claimed that “in 20 or 30 years the UK will start to fragment into Islamic enclaves”, adding:
It’s time we decide… who we will force in the Islamic enclaves (and who we will execute if they sneak out.) By forcing these liberal twits into those enclaves, we will be sending them to their death at worst, and at best they and their families will be subjected to all the depredations, persecution and abuse that non-Muslims worldwide currently ‘enjoy’ in countries like Pakistan…
It will be great to see them executed or tortured to death.
Lake suggested that the Archbishop of Canterbury beincluded on the death list on the grounds that he “approves of the creation and use of sharia courts”, while David Cameron’s fate should be discussed “to help refine our criteria about who deserves to die at the hands of the Muslim overlords”.
In their statement, the unnamed EDL bosses deny that Lake is a leader of the organisation, claiming his role in the EDL was “during its early formation”.
But Lake has compered and spoken at EDL demos and was among the EDL leaders at a meeting filmed by Australia’s 60 minutes documentary at the end of March (see screenshot).
The EDL statement says:
He has always jumped on the bandwagon of the EDL when in reality all he has ever done is bring shame on our movement with his “Nazi Like” postings and his moribund rantings that would even make Himmler blush!
It seems unlikely that the EDL members have only just come across Lake’s remarks – they have been in circulation on the internet for more than a year.
But the EDL is riddled with Nazis of its own. EDL leader Stephen Yaxley Lennon – AKA “Tommy Robinson” is a former member of the fascist British National Party, as was founder member Chris Renton and other leadership figures including North East organiser Alan Spence.
The organisation has increasingly “hardened up” its position, with more frequent attacks on traditional fascist targets such as trade union demos, socialist and anti-racist gatherings as well as against Muslims and other ethnic minority communities.
The falling out between Lake and Yaxley Lennon is only the latest in a series of leadership spats. It reflects tensions over the direction of the organisation between pseudo-intellectual “anti-Jihadists” and more traditional racist boot boys.
Earlier this week, Lake issued a statement of his own, denying that he had had anything to do with the organisation over the past six months and claiming that he had not funded it – despite his earlier public statements.
As the EDL’s links with Breivik and the fact that he was inspired by the organisation’s appalling anti-Muslim racism has become clear, both sides of the formerly cosy EDL leadership have been in an unseemly rush to ditch each other.
Lake has become an increasingly unpopular figure among sections of the EDL’s cadre for some time, with senior figures openly questioning his shadowy role.
But the rhetoric accompanying Lake’s departure is a desperate attempt by the EDL to cover up the racism and fascism at the organisation’s heart.
The divisions at the top make the national demo against the EDL on 3 September in Tower Hamlets all the more important – it is our chance to bring thousands of people together to turn the tide against the EDL’s racist and fascist thugs.