On Friday 6 September, David Cameron refuted a Russian official's summation that Britain was 'just a small island' by delivering a speech that reeked of a Gove-esque approach to popular history entwined with petulant patriotism. He seemed to cry out that "Britain's one of the bigger kids too, even if it wasn't allowed to go to war this time", calling upon the rhetoric of the past as if to prove Britain's place in the present world and reimagining it as it suited him.
I have a modest proposal for the likes of Ukip, MigrationWatch, the Home Secretary, David Goodhart, Paul Dacre and, of course, the BNP. Why not call for "A Day Without Immigrants?" Wouldn't that demonstrate, once and for all, that neither our economy nor our society needs migrants? That they are a burden, rather than a blessing?
We are caught in a spiral of fear, leading to more violence and not leaving enough room for love. So a big real part of the 'war on terror' is one which takes place within us. It is one where we let our fears lead us to hate. 'Fighting' our own fears then becomes the war worth fighting and the way we can stop this cycle of violence. And we need to start uplifting others along with us.
Economies are in free-fall, unemployment is high, and extremist parties are gaining support by using viscous anti-immigrant rhetoric. The similarities are obvious. But forDr Matthew Goodwin, Britain's leading expert on the far-right comparing the Europe of the early 1930s with the Europe of today is simplistic.
Had the anti-fascists spent a minute looking at the BNP protest they would have seen 50 tired, haggard middle-aged men barely worthy of a passing car horn let alone a huge counter demonstration. Some of them could barely string a sentence together. I asked one man waving a flag why he was there. "They're killing our soldiers, aren't they..." He could offer no more by way of reasoning.