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Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain's Far Right [Hardcover]

Daniel Trilling
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Sep 2012
The past decade saw the rise of the British National Party, the country's most successful ever far-right political movement, and the emergence of the anti-Islamic English Defence League. Taking aim at asylum seekers, Muslims, enforced multiculturalism and benefit scroungers, these groups have been working overtime to shift the blame for the nation's ills onto the shoulders of the vulnerable. What does this extremist resurgence say about the state of modern Britain? Drawing on archival research and extensive interviews with key figures, such as BNP leader Nick Griffin, Daniel Trilling shows how previously marginal characters from a tiny neo-Nazi subculture successfully exploited tensions exacerbated by the fear of immigration, the War on Terror and steepening economic inequality. Mainstream politicians have consistently underestimated the far right in Britain while pursuing policies that give it the space to grow. Bloody Nasty People calls time on this complacency in an account that provides us with fresh insights into the dynamics of political extremism.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books (10 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844679594
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844679591
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.7 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 233,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Racism and the rise of the far right in Britain are often discussed but rarely understood. Daniel Trilling is an exception, writing about these controversial issues authoritatively and eloquently. With the threat posed by prejudice and bigotry ever greater at a time of economic crisis, Trilling's voice must be heard. --Owen Jones, author of Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class

Daniel Trilling is a serious reporter who is not afraid to get close to a difficult subject and ask awkward questions. The result is journalism of the best kind - it is vivid and readable, and it also makes you think. --Brian Cathcart, author of The Case of Stephen Lawrence

About the Author

DANIEL TRILLING is an Assistant Editor at the New Statesman, where he has reported on Britain's far right since 2009. His work has also appeared in the Guardian, Sight and Sound and Frieze. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars v readible 18 Oct 2012
By alice
This is a very good book - it is very depressing in places but manages to maintain a tone of thoughtful exploration which is very readable. Absorbing even, and not in a gory "look at the horrible nazis" way, it's simply an engrossing read about some of the people of Britain. In particular, the conclusion does an excellent job of helping you at least feel like you have a clue about how to start thinking about these issues - a liberation from the rather limited perspectives offered by most of our politicians. I did get a few funny looks on the tube reading it. But maybe that's a good thing. We should be talking about this stuff more.
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15 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Forensically researched and clearly presented analysis of the rise of the BNP and EDL in the UK over the past few decades. Trilling's book meshes interviews with local residents in areas that have seen sharp rises in the far right votes, BNP politicians and antifascist activists, sensitively exploring the conditions and climate that have enabled the far right to grow. Particularly interesting is the final section, debunking commonly reported myths about the far right. A must read for anyone interested in the far right in the UK and Europe.
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14 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent balanced argument! 21 Sep 2012
Well the far right are exposed once again, Daniel Trilling a highly experienced journalist puts paid to the blatant propaganda and myths put out by the racists. He clearly explains why these people should be carefully watched and the type of people that make up these groups. An excellent factual book, highly recommended!
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12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Daniel Trilling has produced an exceptional piece of research which looks at the the rise of the fascist British National Party (BNP) and other far right trends, such as the English Defence League (EDL). Almost uniquely among such accounts, Trilling thoroughly debunks the myths propagated by the mainstream media: that an excess of immigration and the "failure" of multiculturalism drove the rise in the BNP's support, that supporters of the far-right are not racist but have legitimate grievances which should be taken up by mainstream politicians. Rather, Trilling spells out how "tough talk" and reactionary policies, and especially Islamophobia, pursued by Labour, Tory and the Lib Dems alike, have legitimised the extremism of the far-right.

While the book omits a thorough discussion of anti-fascism in the present day, implicit in its argument (particularly the discussion of the defeat of the National Front in the late '70s and early '80s) is the understanding that the far-right can only be defeated by a combination of grassroots organisation, militant confrontation when fascists mobilise, and the articulation of a progressive alternative to the mainstream consensus of cuts and scapegoating, an alternative that must exist not simply at the ballot box but on the streets and in strikes. Trilling is at pains to point out that the threat of the far-right has not receded (witness the mobilisations by the racist EDL in recent years) and that the idea that "it couldn't happen here" is a dangerously complacent position in the midst of a global economic crisis: The rise of the openly fascist Golden Dawn, from less than 1 percent in the polls to the third-highest polling party in Greece in less than a year, should be warning enough of that.

Based on years of research and reporting on the far-right for the New Statesman magazine, Trilling's book is an essential read for anti-fascists, activists and academics alike.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and very readable 25 Nov 2013
While it is more like an extended journalist article than an academic study, this makes the book very readable. Sure, it is largely a series of anecdotes, but it makes some very good points. In no way does it dismiss the far right, as some critics seem to imply . It is not just about the BNP, but all the various homes into which far right politics has morphed over the years. He also shows that most people in the UK do not like fascist ideas, and so the far right has spent a lot of time rebranding itself according to prevailing conditions. It was news to me that the EDL had been backed by an investment fund manager and fundamentalist Christian, and he also shows how it avoided any party political manifesto. This allowed it to claim to be "non-racist", while allowing violent racists to join its demonstrations. I also liked the way that he did talk to people who had voted for the extreme right, to give some idea of where they were coming from, and the circumstances under which immigrants had arrived and been forced to live in declining mill towns. Divide and rule is as old as the hills, and our rulers will always use it to divert attention from their own failings during times of crisis, as in the current slump. The last thing they want is a united population turning on them over the failure of their economic system, so better blame the Jews, the Irish, the Eastern Europeans, the Afro-Caribbeans, the Asians, the Poles, the Bulgarians, and latest fashion of all, the Roma. His last chapter on 10 myths about Britain's far right are an excellent summary of current situation. He also highlights UKIP as the most likely new home for the far right. Read more ›
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13 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not objective 15 Aug 2013
I am afraid this book is utterly biased against the BNP, and thus has little value to the researcher or historian. It is merely propaganda, and is packed full of the usual stories printed in the press which we have all read a thousand times.

There is a desparate need for an objective and unbiased account of the rise of the BNP, but sadly this book isn't it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Students: Do not base essays on this book.
This is a concise, accessible and very readable recent history of the BNP but it is far from authoritative. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dan Roper
1.0 out of 5 stars Trilling's Tirade
Daniel Trilling has inadvertently provided an autobiographical description of himself on the front cover of this thoroughly nasty piece of hack journalism which, not unexpectedly,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Neutral
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best (concise) histories of the post-war Far Right
This book provides one of the best (and most concise) histories of the British Far Right I have read so far. Read more
Published 9 months ago by J Whitgift
2.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Nasty People
A sound and common history of the BNP, NF and beginnings of the EDL. Some very incisive criticisms of the local electioneering of the three main parties and the absurdity of Nick... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars politically correct nazi advertisement
i have never read such slanted,biased drivel,to even mention immigration makes you a racist.this guy obviously lives in a multicultural utopia.can't be england then.
Published 11 months ago by s g shaughnessy
1.0 out of 5 stars Propaganda
When I purchased this book I was hoping for a clear, concise and honest review of the apparent rise of the far-right in Britain. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ridiculous
2.0 out of 5 stars Overlooks legitimate concerns
Actually, according to Pew Global surveys concerns about immigration and the marginalisation of the local culture are common. In fact they make up the majority. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Viewer
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