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Leading fascists could see hardline splinter group in Scotland

This news post is 11 months old

Hope not Hate warned Scotland could be a key target for far-right groups in coming years.

A hardline, far-right offshoot of one of Britain’s most active extremist groups could be forced into existence in Scotland in the coming years, a new report has warned.

On Wednesday advocacy group Hope not Hate published their annual report - State of HATE 2022: On The March Again

The research, which analyses and assesses the dangers of dozens of the most insidious far-right organisations operating in Scotland and across Britain, found that powerful branches exist north of the border. 

Patriotic Alternative (PA) - considered the “dominant force in UK fascist politics” – could splinter into an independent group in Scotland due to the power of its branch north of the border, researchers claimed. 

The report described the Scottish branch as PA’s “most active, hardline and independent”, with a number of high-profile stunts being carried out in Scotland last year. 

Experts at Hope not Hate said the group could seek to exert an outsized influence on election

debates in key areas by inflaming local tensions and is willing to engage in dirty tactics. 

One way this could be seen in Scotland is through splintering, with the report stating: “Another possibility is the formation of a more radical offshoot. 

“PA has brought together many formerly disparate elements of the far right, but as a result there are huge differences between its regions. One potential splinter candidate is PA’s Scottish branch, which is its most active, hardline and independent.”

This could be as a result of a currently neutral position on Scottish independence, Hope not Hate warned, with fears the cost of living crisis and a “hostile rhetoric” around immigration and asylum have led to an “increasingly welcome environment for authoritarianism and populism”. 

Hope not Hate CEO, Nick Lowles, said: “Our report finds that the far right is now actively mobilising in ways not seen for several years, and we must be wary about opportunities for it to mount a resurgence over the coming year. After years in the political wilderness, and as Britain has been moving on from Brexit and COVID, an increasingly confident far right is back on the streets and back in our communities. 

“The far right does not operate in a vacuum, so this report explores racism and hate in society at large. 

“One of the most disturbing developments to come out of 2021 is how the further right – be it populist radical right or traditional far right – has overcome obstacles to spreading hate over social media by literally creating their own platforms.

“Far-right activists and commentators can now speak to hundreds of thousands of like minded people without any restrictions. This may provide the far right with a better ability to exploit the economic and political difficulties Britain faces.”



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