File on 4 investigates football racists

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - File on 4, 22/09/2009

File on 4 investigates the football hooligan racists who have been going around causing trouble in various British cities. They claim to be against “Muslim extremism”, but their chants include phrases distinctly offensive to any Muslims, “extremist” or otherwise, and people who have tried to sit down with them have concluded that they are not interested in debate.

One qualm I have with recent coverage of these new anti-Muslim hooligan groups is the constant reference to “right-wing groups”. Right-wing doesn’t mean much; it just means that they are the conservative element at any given time. They may be pro- or anti-free market (in the 19th century, free marketeers were the liberals, while in the 1980s, they were on the right), pro- or anti-immigration, or whatever. They are not politically sophisticated enough to be called right- or left-wing, anyway, and their views on the economy or healthcare or even immigration are irrelevant; what distinguishes them is being violent men who want to stir up Muslims and cause trouble.

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