To the French Italian Alpine border, where members of the alt-right ‘Defend Europe’ movement were yesterday building a Trumpesque wall…. well plastic fence …in order to stop ‘migrants crossing the Alps.’ Defend Europe is a spin off from the ‘Nouvelle Droit’ Identitarian movement – a group of young, far right European oddballs, whose selfie happy leadership are prone to posting blank faced ‘sexbot chic’ photographs of themselves on their various social media accounts. The time rich group are dedicated to ‘defending Europe from the Muslamics’ and clearly have very wealthy parents or very forgiving bank managers or extremely generous followers – but more of that later.
Defend Europe’s leader, the diminutive, side-parting fancying Austrian Martin Sellner (yes I know) – has sought to forge ties with other European far right groups – including our own UKIP and the crazy Anne Marie Waters lady. Sellner and his American girlfriend Brittany Pettibone were turned back by UK Border control in March on the grounds that their presence in the UK was ‘not conducive to the public good.’ The revelation that we ‘had control of our borders’ and were able to stop ‘undesirable hate preachers’ from the EU crossing into our sovereign territory set the UK right into a hugely enjoyable hissy fit. All the usual suspects, including Farage, Yaxley-Lennon and Hatey Hopkins were up in arms and set about demanding that they be allowed in through a border which they refuse to accept exists because they were white hate figures and not brown. Or something. Either way, irony – never a strong point with that lot.
Hopkins herself has previous with the group having gone on a sort of racist Love Boat jaunt with them back in July 2017, when they sailed around the Med with the intention of picking up migrants and returning them to Africa. That episode began, middle and ended in farce. Having repeatedly been arrested in The Suez Canal for not having the correct papers, the ship eventually made it into the Med where they promptly developed a mechanical fault and had to be saved by a refugee rescue ship.
Having made Speed 2 and Waterworld look like thrillingly successful endeavours a decision was obviously made that the next stunt should be land based.
Since France reinstated checks between itself and Italy, in the wake of the 2015 terror attacks, an estimated 2,000 migrants – mostly from French speaking former African colonies – have crossed using the risky Alpine route. Many are poorly kitted out – wearing nothing more substantial than flip-flops or trainers and risk frostbite, hypothermia or even death to get into France. These are desperate people.
Over the weekend Defend Europe took matters into their own hands. Equipped with a fleet of snazzy four by fours, at least two (possibly three) helicopters and a light aircraft – all customised with fancy ‘Defend Europe’ logos they zoomed about the Alps ‘patrolling the border.’ The 100 members of the group sporting a ‘Bond henchman’ style winter wardrobe busied themselves erecting fences (well a fence) and posed for Instagram shots in the snow.
Hiring choppers and planes isn’t cheap. Especially when they are emblazoned with logos. Those white 4 by 4s likewise. And the outfits. Indeed the one area where costs seem to have been cut is on the grand fence itself. This consists of some orange netting and a few dozen economy looking posts hammered a few centimetres into the snow and then held together with staples. In total I estimate looking at the pictures that their flimsy plastic fence is about 200 metres long on what is a 500km border.
Sellner hailed the whole thing a big success – declaring that no ‘illegal’ had skied past them in the few hours they were there.
The big question at the time of the Med farce was as to how this relatively small group had afforded the ship hire in the first place. Defend Europe claimed it was through ‘crowdfunding’ but reports that they had exceeded their target and been given as much as £151,000 raised eyebrows. In June 2017 Paypal froze their account.
The organisation has a website with a ‘shop’ where you can still donate money but for its small size and relatively low profile (just 24k twitter followers and 43k Facebook likes) – they seem to be remarkably cash rich. The event predictably has been lapped up by our friends in the Russian propaganda service with both RT and Sputnik licking their lips and giving hefty coverage to the mountain based antics. This story feeds straight into the ‘failing Europe swamped by Africans’ narrative after all. The undeniably photogenic Sellner and chums are all very good looking. It’s all very familiar to students of propaganda.
Now no doubt these European patriots can account both for their spending and the font of their apparently very well filled coffers. Perhaps they have very rich Mums and Dads or maybe their dedication to the cause is such that they are willing to run up hefty bank overdrafts. Perhaps it’s Soros? Doesn’t he pay for EVERYTHING? Perhaps…. despite the spectacular fuck up of their seaborne adventure, their dedicated followers are so generous that they are willing to deposit vast lump sums in the Defend Europe accounts.
Time will tell.