Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Edmund Dee's White Wyrm Rising: White Wyrm or whitewash?

One of my first posts on this blog was about the nationalist publications put out by Athelney, an imprint of Anglo-Saxon Books.

Proof of the relationship between Anglo-Saxon Books and Athelney, from the Directory of Publishing 2014.

At the time I mentioned that Athelney had been keeping a low profile for a few years, but was preparing to publish a new book entitled White Wyrm Rising: A Journey into Modern English Nationalism.

The book in question was finally published this January. I was interested in covering it, but out of reluctance to give my money to Athelney, I waited until a second-hand copy of White Wyrm Rising turned up on Abebooks before buying it.

My copy arrived recently, and as it is a very slim volume, it didn't take long to finish. I can't say I was impressed.

Written by someone called Edmund Dee, the book touches upon a number of the groups I've covered on this blogIn each case, Edmund makes a concerted attempt to sweep the racism perpetrated by those outfits under the carpet. White Wyrm Rising is a thoroughly disingenuous attempt to whitewash Englisc nationalism.

Throughout the book, Edmund paints nationalist groups such as the Anglo-Saxon Foundation, the English Shieldwall, Woden's Folk and the Steadfast Trust (the book came out shortly before the Exposure documentary on that last group) as noble, right-minded organisations which hold no hatred for people of other ethnicities, only love for the culture and heritage of England. Any racism in the English nationalist movement, according to Edmund, can be blamed squarely on a small, misguided minority - which the author portrays as being essentially a different movement entirely.

In reality, the Anglo-Saxon Foundation is a forum where stuff like this is posted on a regular basis:

...But you'd never know this from reading Edmund's shamelessly sanitised version of events. How can Anglo-Saxon Books, which purports to be a respectable publisher of informative books on history, justify shilling for a racist forum this way?

Anyway, on to the book itself. I recognised quite a few of the people mentioned by Edmund, even though he tends to identify them by their screen names:

"Ingy and Ynngy" are Lee Ingram and Paul Young.

Since the book was published by Athelney, we shouldn't be too surprised to find it plugging another Athelney publication:

Linsell's "holy book", incidentally, makes the bizarre claim that the English are descended from Aesir and Vanir. Edmund doesn't seem to find this at all dubious.

Our first real glimpse of just how disingenuous this book is comes when Edmund talks about the English Folcmoot, an event organised by Paul Young in 2011:

I've written about Wulf Ingessunu before; his organisation Woden's Folk is a neo-Nazi cult which believes Hitler to have been an avatar of Woden.

As for the loving couple Harold and Shirley, "Harold" is actually Clive Calladine, known on the Internet under the pseudonyms Harold Godwinsson and Teutoburg Weald. This is evidenced by a posting from the English Shieldwall website which names the couple as Clive and Shirley...

...And by one of "Harold"'s postings at the Anglo-Saxon Foundation, where he describes the ceremony himself:

I've documented his views at length here. In summary, Calladine regards Anders Breivik as a "hero"; feels that England should have been on the side of the Nazis during World War II; supports apartheid; believes that "the Jew" is conspiring against the white race; argues that liberals and Asians are "enemies" who can be justifiably murdered; endorses the criminalisation of homosexuality and race-mixing; and says that members of minority groups should not have human rights (even though, as a Wodenist, he is himself a member of a minority group)

Edmund is certainly aware of Calladine's extremist views, as they both post at the same forum. And yet, the author portrays Calladine as a loveable sort whose only visible flaw is his tendency to get into amusing arguments with his wife.

Early in the same chapter, Edmund pours scorn on some Morris dancers who were concerned that the English Folcmoot would attract a racist element. But the presence of Wulf Ingessunu and Clive Calladine demonstrates that those Morris dancers were entirely correct.

Again, Edmund namechecks his bigoted comrades. Seaxan is the owner of the Anglo-Saxon Foundation; I discussed his views here. AelfredSeax appears to be a fascist sympathiser, judging by the fact that he has an Oswald Mosley quotation in his signature at the ASF:

Moving on...

Let's take a second to unpack this. First of all, Edmund is quite right to treat antifascist protests with a degree of skepticism. Groups such as Unite Against Fascism and the Socialist Workers Party have atrocious records when it comes to free speech, and campaign against certain kinds of extremists while aligning themselves with others - particularly of the Islamic variety. Jesus and Mo sum them up:

However, Edmund is giving a seriously skewed version of events when he claims that the March for England demonstration was opposed by antifascists simply because it celebrated St. George's Day. If that were the case, then other St. George's Day celebrations - such as that held regularly at Stone Cross - would also be targeted by antifascists.

The reason the event was attacked by antifascists was because of the nature of the group which organised it - namely, the accusation that it has far-right connections (its Facebook page has linked approvingly to Casuals United). You may question the legitimacy of these accusations, but the fact remains that they are the reason for the group coming under scrutiny, not its decision to celebrate St. George's Day.

Edmund smugly dismisses the anti-fascists as "thousands of Anglophobes" who felt hatred "for anyone who reminded them that there was a country called England, and for anyone who dared celebrate its existence." This is a flat-out caricature: again, where were these "thousands of Anglophobes" at every other St. George's Day event around the country? The Brighton march was targeted because of the group behind it, not because of the day it was held on.

In the same chapter, Edmund names some of the Anglo-Saxon Foundation members who accompanied him to the 2012 March for England event. First is Osgar:

I have to wonder if this is the same Osgar who fell out with his daughter when she started dating a black man (or "a spade", as Osgar delicately refers to his potential son-in-law):

After this come a few others:

Well, "Steven" is possibly the same Steven who seems to think that the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack was a Jewish conspiracy. But the really remarkable person in this group is Steed.

Steed is another member of the neo-Nazi Woden's Folk. He used to run a blog called Eye of Woden, where he made a number of utterly remarkable claims - that Zionists worship a race of intelligent lifeforms from Mars, and that the creators of the cartoon series Family Guy were in on the Boston Marathon bombing, to pick just two. He has since closed this blog but he can still be spotted in the comments section of Aryan Myth and Metahistory, run by his fellow neo-Nazi Wotans Krieger.

So, Edmund is pulling the exact same stunt as with his account of the English Folcmoot: scoffing at anyone who suggested that there were racists at the event, and then providing evidence that - yes - there were racists at the event.

By now, you should have a clear idea of what Edmund Dee was up to when he wrote this book: he was trying to pass off a bunch of racist cranks as simply honest folk who want what's best for their country.

But just who is this Edmund Dee person? Given his fascination with King Edmund, it seems likely that his name is a pseudonym.

In my next post, I will dig a little deeper and try to find out exactly who it was who wrote White Wyrm Rising...

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