My Day With Generation Identity
Yesterday, I attended the first Generation Identity conference in the UK. It is fair to say that GI is something of a controversial topic within UKIP. Young Independence‘s decision to invite Martin Sellner, the leader of the ‘Identitarin’ movement that Generation Identity represents, has not proved to be a universally popular one. Mr Sellner’s background, in particular, has come under scrutiny with the basic accusation being made that he had links to Neo-Nazi organisations in Austria. On reflection, this line of attack strikes me as simply being unfair. Given my journey from left to right perhaps I more than anyone can state with categoric certainty that people’s politics are far from static and indeed if they were we are all wasting our time because currently only 4% of the voting public identify with UKIP and we obviously need to change many more hearts and minds to be a viable electoral force. If people’s politics is static what on earth then are we even doing trying to change people’s minds to vote for us?
I digress. I set out with the hope of finding out more about Generation Identity and maybe firming up my own views. It was early in the morning when I set off, so early that I arrived at the train station in Grantham at the same time as the station cat wanting its morning milk. The reason for this was GI’s exceptionally tight security which meant the end destination wasn’t fully known until I arrived at a certain point. I am not going to lie I thought this was commendable in its desire to protect those present but somewhat overzealous. However, it turned out even this was not enough to stop the left eventually arriving and I can understand that the relatively small and relatively young membership of GI do need strong protection – a point forcibly made by AntiFa arriving and violence ensuing later in the day.
Hopes of being able to see Mr. Sellner speak were quickly dashed as the British state once again excluded him. Set in the context of his speech, which was still delivered by someone else, I can’t help but wonder if someone in the Home Office is desperate to prove him entirely right in everything he says about the ‘Soft’ Totalitarian nature of the UK state purely by dint of their own example. His speech was exemplary and timely and I can clearly see he has grasped the potency of the free speech issue to motivate people, especially young people. UKIP should take note and adopt the proposal for a free speech spokesperson. GI couple it with a message of empowerment, ‘Be Who You Are Meant To Be’ which I can see is very appealing. The battle for free speech is becoming a defining issue of this political age and it is a rallying call for an increasingly assertive and growing movement of which GI is a part. I couldn’t find fault in the speech and agreed entirely with its content.
However, there wasn’t any particular enlightenment in the speech as to some of the more heavyweight theoretical components of Mr Sellner’s thinking. This is because this wasn’t a conference but more a rally cum launch plus a recruiting day for those close to GI [only half present were members] and therefore people who know a bit about things such as the Great Replacement, which was liberally name dropped, already. I may know a bit about it and its origins in the thinking of Renaud Camus but to your average Joe it is jargon. GI, which since it sets itself up in the culture war and therefore has an especial focus on messaging, will need to think how it boils ideas such as this down for mass consumption. I am also hazy on what his actual solutions are and I have to be honest I am still none the wiser as to whether I agree with them or not. I think there may be a case for a wider dialogue here between GI and the wider milieu it is part of in regards to this. Clearly, GI does recognise its place as a cog in a much bigger machine and indeed one of the best speakers of the day was a lady called Freya from the 120-decibel movement dragging the plight of women who have suffered horrific sex attacks at the hands of migrants to the forefront of the public mind.
We must be careful in UKIP to avoid repeating lazy mainstream media and far left insults when it comes to organisations like Generation Identity. I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say at no time during my entire day did anyone use what I would define as truly racist epithets or display racist attitudes. I did see a fair few people who feel clearly threatened by Islamisation but that is a rational response to its behaviour and the ideology itself. On Islam and other issues such as free speech, UKIP is clearly on the same page as GI, however, they are different beasts. Our job is to win elections and aspire to govern the country and that requires a different approach to the one GI takes. However, scope exists for common campaigning and a fraternal dialogue and indeed we must pose the question to GI of who when it comes to an election they actually intend to vote for – clearly, they cannot vote for any of the mainstream parties and I would argue the United Kingdom Independence Party has plenty to offer their supporters when it comes to putting their X in a box. UKIP would do well to also learn a little from GI, especially its professionalism and the general slickness of the operation and its high-energy, quality output. GI clearly has a bright future in the UK and as patriots, we should wish it well and engage with it constructively where we can and not be put off by the controversy that surrounds it but see that for what it is, the smack of the authoritarian UK state running scared.