Either the New Wave of British Nazism (NWOBN - © Laban Tall 2008) is as incompetent as the New Wave of British Jihad (NWOBJ - © Laban Tall 2007), or there's something funny going on.It looks as if, once again, Mr Cock-Up is at home while Mr Conspiracy is nowhere to be found :
If you were in possession of timers, weedkiller, firelighters and tennis balls in connection with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism, and travelling on the train, would you really take time out to be abusive to a railway servant, resulting in your arrest and discovery ? It makes you wonder if someone knew about him all along.
Police uncovered the alleged threat that Mr Lewington posed by chance last October as he travelled to Lowestoft, Suffolk, for a date with a woman he had met on the internet. He was smoking and being abusive on a train and was arrested at Lowestoft for the public order offences, including urinating at the station.Hmm. Very professional. Our hero is cut from the classic cloth of the 'far-right terrorist'. 43 years old, lives with his parents but hasn't spoken to one for ten years :
Mr Lewington lived the existence of a "loner", his parents told police, and had not spoken to his father for 10 years. He left school at 16 without qualifications but had worked in a number of electronics jobs. He had been unemployed for 10 years after being sacked from his last job for being drunk.It's this little detail that gets me :
"Lewington had made a number of girlfriends he met over mobile phone chatlines, calling himself Aristocrat or Amadeus. "'Nazi' or not, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to feel for the guy, whatever idiotic or unpleasant ideas he may have. Mike Leigh is probably writing a script right now. But enough with the sympathy already - what of his evil plans ?
That's bad news. I have whole boxes of devices "which if ignited would have caught alight and caused flames and fire". They're called firelighters, and you buy them from Wilkinsons at about 47p a packet. Much cheaper than Tesco or Sainsbury. In fact I notice from the first report that firelighters were among the items on him when arrested. Why the big deal ?
Mr Altman said: "He had the parts which, if assembled together, would have created devices which if ignited would have caught alight and caused flames and fire.
"Later searches of the house where the defendant lived with his parents in Reading, in particular his own bedroom, revealed nothing short of a factory for the production of many such similar devices.
"In addition to all of that the police discovered evidence that the defendant sympathised with and quite clearly adhered to white supremacist and racist views."Ah yes. Like Mr Robert Cottage, Mr Lewington is about to find that "a desire to make improvised explosive devices, when mixed with right-wing politics, can be extremely hazardous to your liberty." Not that Mr Lewington's right-wing politics are my right-wing politics, mind you. As regulars will know, I'm more of a 'content of character' kind of guy.
If only I could say the same of Sunny over at Pickled Politics :
I'll pass over the fact that he seems to be pre-empting the verdict. You could just imagine how Sunny would react if the Mail and Sun started producing 'Another Asian terrorist' headlines every time a wannabe jihadi got banged up - which a year or so back was about every other week. He'd have a fit.
I can understand his (and the BBCs) desperation to have a few 'oppos' to the flood of jihadi reports over the last few years. But the simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of "white terrorists" are about as dangerous as this guy, who also got Sunny hot and bothered.
Now while unpleasant, that's not a terrorist attack. It's a mouthy drunken idiot - maybe a racist one, but drunken idiot nonetheless. What kind of terrorist gives the police a buzz or an email announcing their intentions ? There was a story a couple of years back which I read and now can't find - I think in the (Staffordshire) Sentinel, where a couple of unpleasant chaps harassed a pub landlord, telling him he was an Al Quaeda target. It's in that league, if that.
“The court heard how 35-year-old MacGregor admitted sending a race hate email to Strathclyde Police threatening to blow up [Glasgow Central] Mosque if certain demands weren’t met. Included in the chilling message was a threat to behead one Muslim a week in the same manner construction worker Ken Bigley was killed after he was kidnapped in Iraq in 2004.
MacGregor followed the email up with a 999 call to cops on February 5, 2007. The court was told that during the brief call MacGregor claimed he was from the National Front and that a bomb was going to go off. He said: “A bomb will go off in the Central Mosque later this week. Now f*** off.” Cops raced to the Mosque to search it for explosive devices, but failed to locate anything suspicious.”
So there's really very little practical equivalence between the "incomer" terrorist and his native equivalent, other than incompetence (a tribute to Brit science education). Indeed, the only jihadis who seem to fit the "weirdo loner" profile of yer average native pyrotechnician seem to be converts like poor lost Nicky Reilly.
The differences, on the other hand, are significant. The main one being that unlike the native wannabes, 95% of wannabe jihadis are not sad loners. They have comrades, sometimes support networks, lots of ideological support even from those who aren't going to set any bombs anywhere. Quite a few of them have reasonably successful lives. There's a big Islamist sea for them to swim in. If 10% of UK Muslims - nearly twice the percentage that voted for the BNP in the Euro elections and got lefties in such a tizz - are prepared to tell an interviewer that they wouldn't tell the police if they suspected that a fellow-Muslim was a terrorist (another 10% either didn't know, were 50/50 or wouldn't say) that's a lorra lorra potential support.
I'm not saying that a loner can't be dangerous. David Copeland killed several people with his firework and shrapnel bombs. But, as you may remember, there weren't another four people trying to do the same thing a fortnight later. He was a one-off.
Unless you're very skilled, have a lot of time on your hands, a quiet place to 'work' and access to, say, fertiliser, no one-man outfit is going to make a terribly big bang. For that you need friends and comrades - something the NWOBN just ain't got.
Another point relating to the sea in which the fish swim. Were there a sea for the Neil Lewingtons of this world to swim in, it would presumably be some kind of British nationalist or nativist community. But, as readers may have noticed
a) the Brits aren't that keen on blowing people up. In fact, I'd go as far as to say they're agin it.
b) what little Brit nationalist community exists is under attack already as if it were sheltering dozens of bombers - even though, as noted, that's not the Brit way. It's all the nationalist sea can do to avoid being evaporated, without worrying whether its diversity includes a safe refuge for rare and somewhat unprepossessing species like Lewingtonis Brittanicus. The jihadis have dozens of forums, there are organisations like the MCB and the Muslim Parliament, which do not support terrorism but among whose supporters they can trawl for potential allies, not to mention more radical groups and more radical mosques. Not surprisingly, Searchlight aren't going to spend a lot of time trying to crack that particular nut.
PS - the Muslim survey is quite interesting - I see that the BBC report left out the bits that didn't tell the good story, like the 2-1 against homosexuals having 'the right to have relationships'. One of the most interesting is Table 15 - "Do you have friends or family in Afghanistan or Pakistan? If yes, how concerned are you about their welfare?"
One of the answers is 'No - do not have any friends or family there' - which gives you a rough idea of the proportion of Pakistanis in Britain's Muslim community. Overall, 45% have neither in Pakistan or Afghanistan - but by region - North 33%, Midlands 37%, South 56%. You see the Kashmiris and Pakistanis in the North and Midlands, the Bangladeshis in London and the South.