Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Hope Not Hate Report: Brexit Helped Mainstream “far-right notions around immigration and identity”

with 27 comments

Image result for brexit day celebrations far right

Brexit has both marginalised the far right but also contributed to the mainstreaming of some far-right notions around immigration and identity.”


Brexit making far-right ideas mainstream, major report finds


‘Cordon sanitaire’ keeping far-right discourse out of mainstream politics has collapsed, Hope Not Hate says

Brexit is causing far-right views on immigration and identity to be drawn into the mainstream, a report has warned.

Research by Hope Not Hate found that Britain’s departure from the EU has fuelled discussions of loyalty, elites and patriotism, “drawing people who might have otherwise have been attracted to the far right back into the mainstream right”.

“The blurring of these boundaries has seen mainstream politicians and commentators using language and rhetoric that was previously found only on the far right [and] seen anti-Muslim prejudice, demeaning rhetoric on migrants and refugees and notions of a ‘cultural war’ against social liberalism increasingly being adopted,” the group’s annual report said.

“This is partly as a consequence of politicians co-opting far-right narratives to gain support and partly because of the newer far right engaging in wider issues.”

Hope Not Hate said the change was responsible for weakening traditional far-right street movements in Britain, seeing a decline in membership and events.

Its report noted that several extremist figures and groups, including Tommy Robinson and Britain First, had called for their supporters to support Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party since he became leader.

“Past and present far-right leaders even attended Brexit Day celebrations in Parliament Square,” it added.

“The ‘cordon sanitaire’ which once kept far-right groups and thought out of mainstream discourse has collapsed, both here and on the continent.”

Extracts from this important report: FAR RIGHT TERROR GOES GLOBAL.

Editorial Nick Lowles. 

This is partly the consequence of the far right engaging in wider cultural and identity issues, but also because centre-right politicians have tried to embrace far-right narratives to win support.

Who really needs far-right propagandists when you have more mainstream commentators like Rod Liddle, Richard Littlejohn, Toby Young and James Delingpole all weighing into the fray?

The ‘cordon sanitaire’ which once kept far-right groups and thought out of mainstream discourse has collapsed, both here and on the Continent.Belgium’s King Philippe has held an official meeting at the Royal Palace with the head of the far-right Vlaams Belang party. It is the first time a Belgian monarch has met a far-right leader since 1936. In Germany, a significant group of Christian Democrat politicians have called for a deal with the far-right Alternative for Germany Party.

The decline of the traditional far right has been happening for some time. As far back as 1999 the British National Party recognised that its strong racist and anti-immigrant message had decreasing traction in a multicultural society where some non-whites were already second or third generation British.

However, this decline has been quickened by the emergence of the internet and the rapidly evolving digital landscape, plus the loosening ties between political parties and people, which has given us all a far wider choice to move between causes and campaigns.

The far right has also been constrained by police action and social media deplatforming. Leaders of many of the more violent far-right groups have been imprisoned, while the action of some social media companies to limit hate speech has massively curtailed the ability of far-right figures to reach audiences and raise money.
But it has been Brexit that has really quickened the far right decline. Brexit has dominated the political discourse over the past three years and the traditional far-right organisations have struggled to get their issues heard amid the Brexit roar.

Figures such as Yaxley-Lennon tried to jump aboard the Brexit bandwagon, but after admitting that he hadn’t actually voted in the EU Referendum, he struggled to have any meaningful impact beyond complaining about Muslims and his own sense of persecution.

Last summer, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party was formed and topped the poll in the European elections all within two months. Along the way it claimed to have recruited 150,000 supporters and millions in donations. However, almost as quickly as it emerged it sunk, as Boris Johnson promised to deliver what Farage could only dream about.

This does not mean an end to the far-right. Just as anti-immigrant and anti “cultural leftist” people like Éric Zemmour  is part of the national political landscape in France, so have many of their far-right ideas become part of the British cultural and political terrain.

This may stand for the UK as well, “Raphaël Glucksmann described Zemmour as having “a very clear ambition, which is to erase the divide between the Republican right and the far right under the banner of the far right.”


The far right are enthusiastic and extreme participants in the culture war and have successfully sought to portray themselves as victims of political correctness, the liberal establishment and gender equality.
And in this they successfully tap into an anxiety and lack of control over their lives that many feel, especially those who feel most pessimistic about the future and those who have been top of the social hierarchies but now feel they are losing out to others.

The report explores how the ‘manosphere’ has snowballed into an ideology that has taken on a life beyond an online niche. Though its organised elements and online communities are still a fringe issue, it taps into broader reactionary attitudes towards towards women, feminism and progressive politics.


“….particular far-right tropes, especially those with a conspiratorial angle, have received attention from mainstream politicians. These include ‘The Great Replacement’ and other identitarian ideas influencing far-right European Parliamentary election campaigns, to Britain’s Nigel Farage using the antisemitic ‘globalist’ dogwhistle and Conservative MP Suella Braverman using another, ‘Cultural Marxism’. On some topics mainstreaming has gone even further. HOPE not hate polling released in June highlighted the worrying extent of British Conservative party supporters’ Islamophobic beliefs, including in once-fringe Islamophobic tropes such as ‘no-go zones’.


When it comes to resisting the spread of far-right ideas, the culture war over deplatforming those who spread hate continued in 2019, with doing so continuing to be framed, often cynically by the far right, in terms of a danger to freedom of speech.

Likewise, moral equivocating of the far right and antifascists continued, not least from Trump who in April reiterated a form of his ‘both sides’ response (that he gave when reacting to news of the murder of antiracist demonstrator Heather Heyer in Charlottesville in 2017).

Through our American newsletter, CARD, edited by Melissa Ryan, we also drew attention to  home of the narratives and conspiracies which have begun to gain more of a footing, including the antiLGBTQ+ and misogynist ‘Gender Ideology’ conspiracy which was central, for example, to the Polish far right’s parliamentary election campaigns.”


Amongst other issues the section on Labour and Anti-Semitism remains significant.

The relationship between between the Jewish community and the Labour Party was in pretty dire straits at the start of 2019. The summer of 2018 had been dominated by a row over Labour’s eventual acceptance of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which occurred after the unprecedented ‘Enough is Enough’ rally led by Jewish community organisations in Parliament Square.

This stands out,

Chris Williamson.

The disgraced former MP for Derby North became a symbol of Jew-baiting and hatred, and caused an unnecessary saga that took far too long to resolve. Williamson came into 2019 still facing calls for the Labour whip to be suspended from him for sharing platforms with expelled members, denying antisemitism in the Labour Party and signing a petition in support of controversial jazz musician Gilad Atzmon.

Despite this, Jeremy Corbyn told Derbyshire Live: “Chris Williamson is a very good, very effective Labour MP. He’s a very strong anti-racist campaigner. He is not antisemitic in any way.”

Williamson further angered anti-racists in Labour by booking a room in Parliament to host a film screening in Parliament for then-suspended member Jackie Walker. In late February, footage was uncovered of Williamson saying that Labour was “too apologetic” over antisemitism. The party confirmed that he would be under investigation for a pattern of behaviour but would remain as an MP. However, after much anger from then-deputy leader Tom Watson, backbench MPs and a statement from HOPE not Hate, he was suspended.

Unfortunately, this did not prove to be the end of this sorry tale. In June, Williamson’s suspension was lifted by a three-person NEC panel and he was issued with a formal warning. It then took two days, and pressure from 120 MPs and peers, plus 70 Labour staff members, for his suspension to be reimposed. He unsuccessfully attempted to return as a Labour MP through the courts and after he was refused permission to stand as a Labour Party candidate in the General Election, he resigned from the party. He got his final kicking of the year at the ballot box, receiving just 635 votes and losing his deposit in Derby North. However, it should be remembered that his case was yet another that dragged out so long that Labour never had to take the final decision to expel him.

This is one response to the section that mentions one individual:

The Conservatives face this charge:

Limited disciplinary action, a membership riven by Islamophobic views and a leadership which has brushed off criticism – the conservative party’s approach to its islamophobia crisis is deeply disappointing writes Gregory Davis.

Last year there were growing calls for the Conservative Party to tackle the Islamophobia crisis within its ranks. A steady drip-feed of allegations emerged throughout the year of Islamophobic behaviour from individuals at every level of the party, ranging from the grassroots up to the very top with the leadership.

Yet the party has appeared reluctant to acknowledge the scale of the problem, which is the first step towards tackling any issue effectively. It has seemed, at times, as though the party was intent on repeating every mistake that Labour has made in its handling of its antisemitism crisis.

Despite the party’s claims that its disciplinary procedures were ‘transparent’, a consistent refusal to provide basic information about the number of complaints, or their outcomes, has made it impossible for outside observers to verify the actions taken or true scale of the problem. As it stands, the evidence we have already suggests that the problem is larger than the leadership cares to admit.

Identity Politics.

Brexit, it was predicted by some on the left, would lead to a ‘Carnival of Reaction’.

From immigration to national identity the right has gained an advantage by playing the issue of national sovereignty against internationalism and human rights.

There is another way far-right, or, national populist, ideas have shaped the terrain of political debate.


The rise of right-wing identity politics, and the inability of the pro-Brexit left to answer without claiming an identity politics of their own, based on the “real” working class, pro-Brexit opposed to “Metropolitan” pro EU “elites”, is striking.

The Morning Star and others, the Socialist Party, Blue Labour and the alliance between the sovereigntist left and the Brexit Party backers, the Full Brexit, have played this game.

Explaining Labour’s defeat Beck Robertson says in the Morning Star,

To win back the working class we must ditch identity politics

The right has seized on our insistence upon all things woke and have used this to parody our whole movement.

…..though Brexit was undoubtedly important, and Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity may have played a part, there is another long-ignored factor — identity politics and its role in the perception of the party as a vehicle for middle-class Islingtonites.


Traditional working-class Labour voters, who in their droves turned away from Labour this election, have long complained the party has become London-centric, middle class and out of touch, with too much focus on liberal identity politics.

Nobody is going to tackle national populism and the far right  by pitting the ‘left-behind’, the “Somewhere” working class against the imaginary London metropolitan left – a city with its own working ‘cosmopolitan;’ working class.

Their arguments serve only to reinforce right-wing views, not challenge them.

Not to mention that they sound like Toby Young whingeing about all that ‘identity’ intersectional PC, Woke, nonsense.

27 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Only for the ignorant peasants! The well educated, like you and I, were able to see through their lies

    Still, the leave position won and in a democracy you have to respect that. Only true fascists hate democracy.

    Steven Johnston

    March 2, 2020 at 7:20 pm

  2. The true fascists love a referendum and always say democracy stops there. haven’t you noticed, Stephen?

    Jim Denham

    March 3, 2020 at 2:51 pm

  3. […] Coates (at Tendance Coatsey) […]

  4. Nope, there was the offer of a 3rd referendum and the voters rejected that.

    They wanted Brexit done, what is so difficult to understand?

    Steven Johnston

    March 3, 2020 at 3:40 pm

  5. The majority at the last election voted against Brexit. Fact.

    Jim Denham

    March 3, 2020 at 5:24 pm

  6. You are being disingenuous here. People vote for a variety of reasons and the referendum delivered a clear result, to leave the EU.

    But the hypocrisy here is staggering. If, 48% of the total votes cast were for political parties with a remain or neutral position. If as result of the quirks of the electoral system. that this then gave them a majority of say, 80 seats. Would you argue, no! The majority voted for leave, so don’t you try to overturn that decision.

    Answers on a postcard for that one…

    Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 10:15 am

  7. Stephen: your “logic” is completely illogical and – as the Brexiteer and objective Tory that you are – fundamentally reactionary. *Of course* people “vote for a variety of reasons” and that applied to the EU referendum just as much as it applied to the last general election. But the fact remains: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/election-result-boris-johnson-pro-brexit-referendum-voters-conservatives-a9245866.html

    More people voted for anti-Brexit, pro referendum parties than for the Tories and other pro-Brexit parties.

    As for “so don’t you try to overturn that decision”: presumably you’s also say that to anyone seeking to get rid of the Tory government … or indeed the capitalist system?

    I hate to have to break this to you and your Tory-Brexiteer friends: socialists are *in the business of* overturning decisions.

    Jim Denham

    March 4, 2020 at 10:28 am

  8. I hate to break this to you and your remain-left-wing friends, but you didn’t do a good job of overturning anything at the last general election!

    You talked the talk, but you couldn’t walk the walk.

    Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 10:42 am

  9. I think we all know the answer to that one, Steven. The Leavers would have been expected to defer to the democratic will of the people and accept the legitimate and binding decision of the electorate. After all. that’s how democracies work, isn’t it?

    Miss Jones

    March 4, 2020 at 11:00 am

  10. Thanks Miss Jones, it is. Not to write some drivel about one shot referendums etc.
    The accepted the 1975 result and now the remainers have to accept the 2016 one.
    For what’s it’s worth I spoiled my paper and wrote “World socialism” on it.

    Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 11:28 am

  11. Funny how the remainers never asked for another referendum after the one in 1975. Apparently that one could stand forever. But after the 2016 one, it became fundamental to democracy that we have a 3rd referendum to validate the 2nd on…
    Where would it end?

    Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 11:53 am

  12. Well Steven, the reason the Remainers never asked for a second referendum in 1975 is really quite simple – it is because the first referendum delivered the result they wanted.

    Miss Jones

    March 4, 2020 at 12:14 pm

  13. On the 1975 decision…

    Industry Secretary Tony Benn, who had come under criticism from the prime minister during the campaign, said: “When the British people speak everyone, including members of Parliament, should tremble before their decision and that’s certainly the spirit with which I accept the result of the referendum.”

    Remainers…any comment?

    Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 12:42 pm

  14. Stephen and “miss” Jones: read what your ideological master Nige Farridge had to say on the matter: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36306681

    Jim Denham

    March 4, 2020 at 12:50 pm

  15. Jim, how many times, it’s Steven with a V, not with a ph.

    Oh and I’ve told you time and time again, a plague on both leave and remain.

    At least will you get my name right in the future, that can’t be too hard, even for you.

    Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 12:57 pm

  16. Sorry about that Mr Johnson. You know and I know that your a Brexiteer and – at least objectively – a Tory (you use all their “arguments”, don’t you). You’re certainly no sort of socialist.

    Jim Denham

    March 4, 2020 at 1:08 pm

  17. It’s Johnston with a T…

    You use Tory arguments too as you work within capitalism and you’ve never worked to replace it with socialism.

    Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 1:42 pm

  18. Mr Denham, are you casting doubt on my marital status? You cheeky devil.

    Miss Jones

    March 4, 2020 at 1:50 pm

  19. On International Women’s day too!

    Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 3:33 pm

  20. Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 3:50 pm

  21. Mr Johnson: you “argue” (I use the word advisedly) that people like me should attempt to overturn “decisions” like the EU referendum result (or, presumably, the Tory election victory) … and then go on claim I “work within capitalism and [have] never worked to replace it with socialism”: which is it, Stephen? Please try to think things through logically, although I’m aware from you previous efforts that logic, consistency and indeed thought itself, are all alien to you.

    Jim Denham

    March 4, 2020 at 4:25 pm

  22. It’s simple, you are a reformer, not a revolutionary. What is so hard to understand?

    Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 5:00 pm

  23. Why are you back to using the incorrect spellings of my name?

    Steven Johnston

    March 4, 2020 at 5:18 pm

  24. Stevie-boy: It’s simple: you are a Brexiteer and a Tory, not any sort of socialist. What is so hard to understand?

    P.S: I’ll spell your name as I please: possibly “Stevie-effinidjeet-Toryboy-Brexiteer-unread-ignoramus-Johnson”. That OK with you, Stevie-boy?

    Jim Denham

    March 4, 2020 at 7:23 pm

  25. Good news for remainers! You can rejoice at the news that Britain, will be a net contributor to the EUs budget for the new 7 years! The bill? A whooping 20 billion euros. Now if that doesn’t make your day I don’t know what will.

    Steven Johnston

    March 5, 2020 at 10:12 am

  26. The downside is that Stephen Peel has resigned from the board of Best for Britain, the Remain organisation.

    He was involved in the Israeli spyware company NSO Group. They have been in implicated in hacking and spying on dissidents in dictatorships.

    I hope nobody here gave this organisation any money.

    Steven Johnston

    March 5, 2020 at 3:28 pm

  27. https://euobserver.com/justice/147640

    What would Hope not hate say?

    Steven Johnston

    March 5, 2020 at 4:11 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: