An Phoblacht 2 - 2022 small

25 March 1999 Edition

Resize: A A A Print

Television: Following fascists

A Journey to the Far Right (BBC2)
La Haine (BBC2)
I never met a black man until I was nineteen years old and a raw ``mick'' off the boat in London Town digging for dollars and eating hairy rashers on the building sites.

Black men on Irish dominated building sites can sometimes be subject to isolation and abuse and being left with the most distasteful jobs i.e. ten hours on the jack hammer.

Unfortunately our ``Ceád Míle Fáilte'' baloney has been exposed as just that, with the shoddy treatment of refugees by the Free State government, media coverage, bordering on racist at times and an increasing number of attacks on black people in Dublin.

Nick Fraser recently undertook a year long journey throughout Europe, following the fascists and exposing their philosophies on BBC2's ``A Journey to the Far Right''. Some were cliched, some comical and all disturbing.

Did you know of the existence of the Lego Nord in Italy who canvass for the separation of North and South ``dark skinned Southern Italians are not like us, they should be sent home''. We were taken to a ``new fascist'' rally in Venice with lots of silly men in green shirts and hankies waving flags with what looked like a cannabis leaf as their symbol, chanting and singing Padonia's national anthem which sounded like a Cadbury's advertisement.

Fraser reminds us of his distaste for small country nationalism ``people from the past - who try to cut themselves off from others''.

The unionists immediately sprang to mind but the British media unfortunately have a blind spot when Ireland is mentioned.

We were taken further down the Italian coast to the birthplace of Mussolini, where a rabid priest - ``I want to take him closer to Heaven'' was celebrating mass in IL Duce's honour with a troupe of frail pensioners saluting the ``fascist glory''. Mussolini put into practice what I have at times been tempted to concur with, ``elections and democracy are pretty useless and Mussolini did not believe in them'', especially if they're all voting for Mary Harney or Pádraig Flynn.

We were taken to the former East Germany were we met pimply teenagers and heavy metal fans, victims of high unemployment, aiming their venom at ``Turks and Blacks'' - ``there are six million without jobs and seven million immigrants - we don't want our kids to look like black Africans''.

We met the English historian David Irving who describes the holocaust as ``the most interesting thing to happen to Jews in 3,000 years'', and had a twirl at the anti-semitic monopoly where one buys concentration camps in place of hotels and the object is to dispose of the maximum number of Jews, and were introduced to the Austrian Freedom Party whose leader resembles a 1970's porno star dividing his time between toning up his muscles and using coded racist language which has garnered him 27% of the vote.

Fraser reserves his own venom for Jean Marie Le Pen's National Front, who loves to lolly in a riot - ``it makes me feel younger'', his bullying tactics and racist language is quite similar to our own Dr Ian.

Unfortunately for Toulon, the city is controlled by the National Front, where the Chief of Police offers his views on crime - ``it's due to immigration, it's in their interests for them to go away, take away their citizenship and force them to go home''.

The characters featured in the award winning ``La Haine'' are Le Pen's intended targets, passing their time doodling about high rise flat complexes, avoiding the police and robbing the odd car or two.

They don't join the Socialist Party or go to college and their futures are pretty predictable in this excellent but quite depressing movie.

Unfortunately the hatreds that made fascism and sectarianism still exists and is present in state structures be it the London Metropolitan or the RUC, and we are reminded ``not to shrink from confrontation or allow them the last word!

Fight the fash!

By Sean O Donaile

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1