Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2563

LETTERS: Fans are organising to stop the racist Football Lads Alliance

This article is over 6 years, 10 months old
Issue 2563
Anti-racist footballers
Anti-racist footballers (Pic: Growers United FC)

Raymie Kiernan’s piece on the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) was timely (Socialist Worker, 5 July). As Raymie says, the FLA is trying to learn lessons from the English Defence League’s (EDL) implosion.

But this may prove troublesome. The FLA’s poster boy—“hero” of the London Bridge attacks Roy Larner—is a National Front-supporting Nazi. If they really are against all forms of extremism, as they claim, then he will have to go.

Don’t hold your breath. But such a figure’s politics and prominence could well mean several people won’t attend the next FLA event in October.

The FLA’s social media is littered with Islamophobic and similar poison from members of fascist groups. It is not removed by admins.

FLA organisers were keen to stop racist chants that broke out on their June march. But they didn’t remove the likes of Joel Titus, ex EDL “youth” leader, or various fascists in attendance.

The FLA claims to want to include families on future marches, a realisation that its base is limited and overly macho.

For now Tommy Robinson, ex EDL leader, is being kept at arm’s length. But he clearly would like to be part of the FLA. That and the inbuilt tensions can hinder FLA plans.

Unite Against Fascism and Stand Up To Racism have noted that football firms around the FLA are already plotting to fight each other in the new football season. This reflects the FLA’s combustible mix.

Its lack of ideological homogeneity means it can be split by anti-racists.

Anti-racist fans have much to build on. This could involve groups such as the Hillsborough Justice campaign and Ultras Against Racism.

Battles against racists and fascists have been won around football grounds before.

The overwhelming majority of fans don’t support racism and Islamophobia. Fans are already organising against the FLA. Watch this space.

Paul Sillett, East London

We can fight together

When you leave your country because you cannot find a job you become a migrant.

Maybe I was a privileged one since I was able to buy a plane ticket and used the “facilities” given in Britain to a European Union (EU) worker.

But I will never forget when I left my family and friends in Madrid three years ago.

As an internationalist, I voted against the European Union (EU) constitution more than a decade ago because I felt it was all about profit.

So I can understand why the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) campaigned to leave the EU.

I talked to some SWP members at the Marxism 2017 festival. They said Brexit was about democracy and people in Britain voted against the establishment.

But were these ideas behind the vast majority of people who went to the polls last year? Sadly, I do not think so.

I believe the media and some political parties turned the focus on immigration and racism.

That is why I reckon most of the EU workers in Britain felt angry and disappointed.

From a personal point of view, it was quite difficult to read the results in a different way.

Having said that, after attending Marxism 2017 I realised that we are all welcome to fight for workers’ rights and trying to get a fairer society.

We need to stand up to racism, no matter what you voted for or where you come from.

Ricardo, Swansea

It’s better not to boycott Uber over workers’ rights

Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said she doesn’t use the taxi firm Uber because it’s not “morally acceptable” as the firm exploits its drivers.

She was attacked for being “out of touch” by the right wing think tank the Adam Smith institute.

They couldn’t care less about workers’ rights—or about ordinary people’s safety.

Uber’s working practices are rubbish. But I’m not sure boycotting is the way to deal with it.

For a lot of people Uber is a safe and much more affordable way of being able to get home—particularly if you’re a woman.

It would be better to support Uber drivers when they organise and campaign for their rights.

Siobhan Brown, East London

Posh pillock Jacob Rees-Mogg is no joke

It doesn’t surprise me that the Scum (Sun) newspaper is one of the biggest pushers of the idea that ultra-posh Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg is somehow popular.

There is nothing cute about pictures of him and his son out campaigning looking like a posh remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Nor is there anything funny about hanging his Tory conference pass on an “elegant gold watch chain”. With a thoroughly homophobic, anti-disabled and pro-war voting record he is a prime example of the nasty party through and through.

But if he really wants to keep traditional values alive then I’m happy to crowd fund a guillotine just for him if need be.

Pat Clinton, Manchester

Will pay rise hike prices?

Go ahead and demand a pay rise—but prices will rise accordingly.

Guy Hunt on Facebook

Prices are rising already and wages are low. But I’ll tell you what else is rising—the wealth of the super rich.

I hope everybody gets stuck in with the fight over pay.

Angela McCormick on Facebook

lI’m not an economist and I’ve never run a business

But I can’t believe it’s a good choice to deny those who provide essential services a pay rise.

Ian Garty on Facebook

lIf we have a proper fight over pay it could ignite other struggles. Let’s end the one-sided class war!

Sandra Hill on Facebook

Well done to post workers

Total respect to postal workers standing up for their pensions.

Privatisation was stupid. Royal Mail made loads for this country.

Martin Timsbury on Twitter

Purge the Labour right

Labour MPs attacking their members for talking about deselections are scared of democracy.

What’s the problem with being accountable to people you are supposed to represent? We’ve been treated with contempt for years.

Ray Hall on Facebook

I agree. Isn’t it time for the likes of Yvette Cooper to resign?

Jasna Balorda on Facebook

There should be a mass purge of the Labour right. Now is the time to seize the moment or the right will come back with a vengeance.

Ali Haytch on Facebook

True. If Corbyn doesn’t purge the Blairite rump they will come back to damage him.

Frank Homeward on Facebook

Sign up for our daily email update ‘Breakfast in Red’

Latest News

Make a donation to Socialist Worker

Help fund the resistance