On Monday 27th February at 10pm, Channel 4 Dispatches will be screening a documentary on the EDL and Sayful Islam. As is to be expected, its billing reveals that its approach is not to be without a certain bias, for it has already been trailed as featuring two sets of “extremists”: the EDL and Sayful Islam's Islamists. The mandatory NUJ tag of “far-right” was also appended to the EDL, so although we may expect something rather more thoughtful and considered than Stacey Dooley’s primary school style ‘report’ on current divisions in Luton, we can be reasonably sure that a negative conclusion with respect to the EDL had been reached long before the first camera had started shooting. Then again, perhaps I shall be proven wrong, but I doubt it.
The documentary is said to have been a year in the making, so irrespective of its tone and political slant, it will be worth viewing if only to discover which tack the EDL’s opponents will be taking on this occasion. On a day when the media, particularly the BBC, are refusing to use the M-word (Muslim) in connection with the 11 men from Rochdale standing trial in Liverpool for grooming and sexual exploitation, and instead slurring “Asians” en masse for this phenomenon, it would seem that the existence of the EDL is as much needed today, if not more so, than when it was established in 2009. Click here for a video preview of the programme.