So i was in a pub in Leicester last Saturday having a Diet Coke - no ice, although a slice of lemon might have been nice Mr barman, when a lot of men in bad supermarket jeans came in. The local news started and these lads, as if they were all being controlled by some Dr Who mind-control device, started chanting "E-E E-D-L". Part of me wanted to say "Actually, it's the B-B B-B-C" but i was too busy thinking "F-F Effing Hell, it's the bleedin' E-E E-D-L" They all got close up to the screen and tried to find themselves in the crowd - tricky when they all have the same ferrety look - a sort of 'Where's Wally? With his Wally-ish friends of course'. But presumably they like looking the same as it adds to their tribal feel and group anger. Some started telling stories of not being treated as well in prison as their more ethnic brothers. (Admittedly they used neither 'ethnic' nor 'brothers')
They bang on about not wanting Sharia law. Neither do I, but these guys haven't even obeyed British law. They don't like the burqa; me neither, but it's so hilarious when they try to sound all feminist about it. They want to protect 'British Culture' but I can't see any of these guys on Mastermind on the subject of "Shakespeare, British history..." Whenever the EDL speak on telly it's like an episode of 'Kids Say the Funniest Things' with the word 'Muslim' at the bottom of the screen and one of them saying "Um..i think it is a verewee scarewee man who is verewee naughty."
Meanwhile, while the EDL may want to stay 100% 'British' I'm personally surrounded by trendy lefties desperate to assert that they are not, or can at least prove how culturally dynamic they are. Some people slip bits of Yiddish into their conversations with me (I often have no idea what they are saying), mention their fury about the Holocaust or worry about my kosher needs (NONE.) A friend of mine who seems to eternally listen to 'World music', recently found out she was a sixteenth Jewish and emailed me to tell me, like I'd email back and say, 'There's a handshake we will teach you.' A sixteenth seems nothing but she's a homeopath so she's used to very weak dilutions. One year ww went to India together and she wanted to buy a sari so she made me try one on as well. I felt uneasy as it's not my culture but did it for curiosity (and cos the sari was v pretty). She tried a white one on and by her own admission looked quite a lot like a prawn cocktail wrap.