In the line of duty I watched another BBC 3 programme in the series about Racist Britain. This episode starred what appeared to be a two-man operation called Britain First.
At first glance it looked more EDL than EDL and more BNP than BNP, but maybe that impression was misleading. The Union Jacks and the sinister white crosses they brandished at rallies didn’t help. It wasn’t a good look, that’s for sure. Many of the crowd that turned up at their marches and rallies sported a variety of shaven headed fashions and looked about 14 years old.
Jayda and Paul were masters of social media, filming their every move and sticking it up on YouTube faster than you could say Tommy Robinson.
As we got to know them, they seemed more intelligent and a little more plausible. Well, Jayda did, Paul not so much.
Jayda insisted that Britain First was not a racist organisation, she said its remit was solely to oppose the ‘Islamization’ of the country. “We want our country back” Not particularly convincing I'd say.
The nature of the crowd that supported them as well as the dubious way they went about their business amounted to not a very nice whole.
Jayda had ‘issues’ - with historic abuse, about which she did not wish to elaborate. She had left home at 14, and lived in a terrible hostel. Admirably and against the odds she managed to acquire a law degree.
At this point I have to mention that the couple suddenly pulled out of the show. They withdrew. The press said they did so because they feared they would be unfairly represented, and I can’t help wondering why it took them so long to figure this out. They must have known they would be unfairly represented from the outset. Even before the outset.
Anyway, the presenter, a young man named Miles Blayden Ryall with an agenda and a bun for a hairstyle interspersed his narrative with explicitly derogatory value judgements, the like of which, had the political scenario been any different, the BBC would declare indefensible.
The way the presenter whined and disparaged his subject was unprofessional and counter-productive. Towards the end of the show, he turned up unannounced with his cameras and was turned away by Britain First minders. Then he demanded freedom to ‘do what he liked in his own country’ with a petulance that had me rooting for Jayda.