A story is currently doing the rounds that the Globe, a pub in Leicester, has banned all British soldiers out of respect for the local Islamic community.
I first saw it shared on Facebook via a post [no link, I don’t want to support it] on a blog called the Daily Bale.
That the story is completely spurious should be obvious with half a second’s thought: how many teetotal Muslim customers is the Globe likely to have, causing tensions with others?
It takes less than 10 seconds of investigation to confirm that it’s complete rubbish, via an announcement on the Globe’s Twitter feed.
Unlike other “loony Britain” stories which sometimes have a nugget of truth in them, albeit skewed out of recognition by the tabloid press, this one is totally fictitious. It’s been concocted by an extreme right wing group to push an agenda of Islamophobia, intolerance and the widespread but discredited idea that “political correctness has gone too far” – ie by inference “we want to be free to spread hate speech”. It’s subsequently been promoted on Facebook by foaming EDL nutters, and on other websites like Stormfront, the white supremacist neo-Nazi mouthpiece.
This blog which invented the story, the Daily Bale, describes itself as bringing you “the news the left wing don’t want you to hear”, but apparently what it actually gives you is totally false neo-Nazi propaganda. Other stories on the site include:
- speculating on the basis of no evidence whatsoever that a Blackpool kebab shop served the body of a murdered teenage girl as kebabs, and calling for a boycott of all Asian-run kebab shops in the entire country as a result.
- publishing the address, family details and habitual movements of a suspected government mole in the EDL, with the implication that the readership should harass him – or worse.
Here are some other idiotic aspects of the story which provide an illuminating picture of the minds behind it:
- Why choose a real pub that has a social media presence and can instantly deny it? Making up a fictitious pub would have let the story run on longer.
- The photo used in the story is actually of a completely unrelated pub about 100 miles away, the Oak in Knutsford. It was almost certainly stolen from this story on the Knutsford Guardian website. Next time you try to frame a pub for being anti-military, try choosing one that doesn’t have a Help for Heroes charity collection tin on the bar.
- The story is clearly designed to appeal to the military-wannabe freaks and weirdos of the EDL, not to actual soldiers, none of whom would be particularly bothered by being barred from a pub, since they’re probably personally barred from several dozen already. Half the pubs in Colchester and Aldershot are barred to the military, not because of multicultural tensions, just to reduce the chance of them smashing it up in drunken exuberance.
I can understand why a blog with the tagline “the news the left wing don’t want you to hear” would be of interest to people, and I know a lot of people with sensible, non-Nazi opinions who feel that political correctness has gone mad, and that the mainstream press aren’t reporting things which don’t fit their agenda. And it’s true: they aren’t.
However, if you want news stories the establishment aren’t telling you, look at the Independent, which does some of the highest quality investigative journalism of all UK newspapers but is in danger of going under due to low readership; and Private Eye, which is the only truly independent print media of substantial circulation, and also does fantastic investigations and exposés, which are rarely repeated in the mainstream press. There are things you’re not being told, but don’t go to reactionary right-wing extremist blogs to find them.