Well, there have always been nuts around: People only fit for a psychiatric ward. But dignifying them as supporters of some fantasy “far-Right”, is to credit them with political and social significance that they do not deserve, They are used as weapons with which to denigrate perfectly sane political opponents, by associating their views with extremism. To the modern liberal anything to the right of Keir Starmer is “far- Right”, and probably ‘phobic. I don’t take much notice of this stuff: A quick scan and into the bin it goes.
Your opinion is one I rarely ever hear, and your argumentation is very sound. You must be one of those far-right extremists I keep hearing about.
Perhaps the most frighteningly Orwellian phenomena over the Russian war, is the media sale to Britain and others, that Ukraine is some free downtrodden country seeking libertarian freedom?
“While he has observed many conspiratorial groups latching onto the false claims of US-funded bio-labs in Ukraine, there is still what he calls a “Balkanisation” of the space.”
When you read such nonsensence you have to question absolutely everything else that is said in the article.
This is a writer who clearly believes whatever the political leaders and MSM say and isn’t particularly skilled at uncovering the truth or discerning between ‘false claims’ and cover-ups that many of us were suspicious about from the get-go.
They don’t even have the professionalism to say something less definite such as “allegedly”. No, they just call it ‘false claims’ so as to go along with the given narrative.
It is sloppy writing like this, containing obvious untruths, that has caused such division with things like COVID and the vaccines, and now that same sloppiness is being used for Ukraine.
Next they’ll be telling us that there was no Hunter Biden laptop. Oh, hang on. That’s what writers like this did for two years.
A Hunter Biden laptop? Are you sure that exists? I didn’t see it on Social Media.
Well said. Who would have guessed that Victoria Nuland, Deputy Secretary of State in the current administration and the instigator and facilitator of the Maidan revolution, was a right-wing extremist (not!) when she testified in congress under oath as to the existence of the biolabs, their US funding, and the fact that the US was worried that the biological agents (various nasty viruses and bacteria) in those labs might fall into Russian hands.
You are nothing but Russian stooge.
The country with imperial, nationalistic, genocidal ideology is Russia.
Azov battalion is less than 1% of Ukraine military, whereas Nazisim is state ideology of Putin Russia.
Just read Putin statements about Ukraine.
Pure, vile Hitler playbook
Labs investigating pathogens such as exist in many countries, which could be put to nefarious use by malign actors, such as Putin.
I was going to post something similar, but you’ve done it for me. Articles such as this, and the degradation of the comments section are why I’m not renewing my subscription.
Absolutely! Agree 100%. And if Unherd carry on printing garbage like this, it will soon be no better than the Guardian which is why I won’t be continuing my subscription.
To be fair this is the only one of her articles of that has appeared on Unherd.
No, it is a such a shame UnHerd isn’t an out an out Right wing culture war site…
It’s not sloppy. It’s deliberate.
You use the term ‘nonsense’ to decry someone who does not accept an out-and-out conspiracy theory, which has no evidence at all behind it. Are writers supposed to endlessly caveat their comments with phrases like ‘alleged evidence for a spherical Earth’?
The Hunter Biden laptop was always a well circulated story which you rightly say was repressed by a large, but certainly not all, elements of the US media. They did it largely for the reason that they did not want Trump to be elected.
On the other hand, the idea that the Americans or Ukrainians might be funding a bio-weapons lab in Ukraine has not a scintilla of evidence behind it, but conforms to Putin’s very well worn strategy of setting up a pre justification for his own possible future use of such weapons or escalation of the war.
There are labs investigating lots of nasty pathogens, as exist in many countries, and we rather know that Putin has no very developed concern for human life in furthering his ends.
Putin has a well documented history of serial lying, including very recently hysterical denunciations of western warnings of an incipient invasion. The Russian government to this day still actually deny there is a war. So there are several orders of magnitude difference between information manipulation in the West and that in Russia.
In this regards the author has highlighted a notable phenomenon, which is that some, but certainly not all or a majority of the ‘Right’, are now so far into outright hostility to western governments that they are willing to naively buy into almost any outrageous statements a (freedom-hating) tyrant makes. The Left used to make endless similar apologia for Communist states.
I suspect you don’t know too much about how US funds research. The US doesn’t fund research in a country with no track record of scientific excellence unless it’s to fund research that cannot be done legally in the US! Further, you are being very obstinate regarding whether or not the biolabs constitute a conspiracy theory. When none other than the Deputy secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, testifies under oath during a Senate hearing to their existence, indicates that the US is funding them, and states that they are worried that the pathogens and reagents my fall into Russian hands, one is no longer talking about a conspiracy theory. It’s a fact and it’s real. Further, the questioner, Senator Marco Rubio, expected her to dismiss the biolabs as a conspiracy theory and put it to rest! Well she didn’t and she was very explicit. And in contrast to Biden, she is fully in charge of her faculties and knew exactly what she was saying under oath.
Johann- This is very well put. I agree with your assessment of Sen Rubio expecting to hear that the US had nothing to do with bio-labs in Ukraine. He handled his surprise well. Ms. Nuland was picking her words with considerable care. My assessment is that the State Department is concerned that the Russians will seize a lab and stage a media event. She got out in front of it.
Note that you, and only you, included the word “weapons” in this discussion. The author did not. Nor did those responding to the author before you. I’m not sure what the proper term for this might be. “Straw man” comes sorta close, but I’m sure there’s something more appropriate.
Not Just US media. Search for Hunter Biden laptop on the BBC from the first time around and you will see a piece headed (to paraphrase) “Why we won’t talk about the story Trump wants us to talk about”
You say you think the US media repressed the story “because they did not want Trump to be elected” as though that is actually OK. Is that what you believe?
Measures to combat extremism in the UK and the US for a long time disproportionately targeted Muslim communities, for example.
Odd use of ‘disproportionately’ there. For the past twenty years the majority of terrorist attacks have been Islamist. Far-right terror groups exist mainly in the imaginations of trendy writers. I recently binned Outbreak by Frank Gardner because he made the terrorists a shadowy British far-right group with advanced skills in biological warfare. You’d think the BBC’s security correspondent would know better, but no.
There are not enough Neo-Nazis in Britain to fill a moderately-sized parish hall. Yet they are the go-to villains for TV writers.
Meanwhile only a few months ago an MP was murdered by an Islamist terrorist and a couple of weeks later another blew himself up in Liverpool targeting a Remembrance Day service.
What’s more, extreme left-wingers like Extinction Rebellion continue their antics on a weekly basis.
It would not be hard for a writer to imagine a shadowy British far-left group as a terrorist outfit, but – funnily enough – it’s rarely done. (The last time I can remember it being done was Who Dares Wins with Lewis Collins in 1982, which is an under-rated film).
“we saw how people can cast around in a confused world and seek solace in conspiratorial narratives“
What is a conspiratorial narrative? Natal males winning female sports events – now so main stream it can’t be considered an outlandish narrative. The widespread belief that police target racial minorities, despite volumes of statistical evidence to the contrary – is that an extremist position? So on through the woke litany, which is really now impacting our everyday lives.
The nutters have reached levels of power and influence that the kinds of people being discussed in this article can only dream about.
The word “right” appears 18 times in this article, and each time it’s preceeded by the suffix “far-“. Is the author aware that a) Nazis — neo or otherwise — are of the left, and b) the right is a legitimate political position, not a covid variant?
N*zi is used as a characterization of violent, racist groups. Some of these – the 1940 Germans – are also fascists, some are not. Fascism is a variation of socialism, except the means of production remain in private hands, so it is leftist. I prefer the term ‘collectivist’ to leftist, and the term ‘individualistic’ to rightist. These terms are more accurate of the type of government the groups are espousing.
The pandemic saw a convergence of the far-Right and far-Left around anti-vax and anti-lockdown movements, creating a confusion of paranoia and division.
Ah yes, the ‘paranoia’ of being concerned about lockdowns which many mainstream ‘experts’ are now conceding were either futile or damaging or both. And imagine being concerned about the possible health risks of a novel vaccine, or of mass media censorship of dissenting views? Nutters everywhere.
So interesting how the writer falls hook, line and sinker for the narrative. As you note the lockdowns have now been shown to have been not only useless but counterproductive resulting in more death and suffering than COVID itself. As for the vaccine, the writer should be aware of the new technology employed which entails not only significant risks but a lot of unknowns (such as huge variations in dosage in relation to the actual amount of spike protein produced in different individuals), that the spike protein which is translated from the mRNA is subject to massive antigenic drift in the virus such that the current vaccine directed against the spike protein of the original virus is basically useless against the current strain! But I guess all these issues are the wondering of the extreme far-right.
I thought government policy was now anti-lockdown.
I remember saying very early on that inflation would be a problem. My thinking was the creation of vast sums of money with a vastly reduced natural sink in the form of purchased goods and services would cause significant inflation. The mainstream media suggested inflation wouldn’t happen, then suggested it would be transitory.
And that was only one of my issues with lockdown policies.
Of course, this makes me a far right extremist and conspiracy theorist.
Anyone learning English must think that ‘far-right’ means ‘a person who thinks independently and conducts their own research’, as that always seems to be the context in which the term is now used.
“It is more important than ever that we recognise this, given that the Covid-19 pandemic had already created the conditions for a surge in fringe beliefs.”
Fringe beliefs like the virus did not originate from a lab, that it was a serious threat to healthy people, that lockdowns were essential to combat the virus, that masks are effective, that the vaccine was 95% effective, that the vaccine stopped transmission of the virus, that the vaccine makes symptoms less severe, that there was no no coordinated action to silence anyone questioning the official line in Covid
When will this writer and the establishment she so clearly represents get tired of being wrong all the time?
Are they even capable of entertaining any doubt as to their own righteousness and virtue?
Contrary to what many Herd commentators believe Sweden did eventually restrict movement during the pandemic – see below. It has had many more times Covid deaths per capita than its Nordic neighbours. Its economy suffered too. See ‘A year and a half after Sweden decided not to lock down, its COVID-19 death rate is up to 10 times higher than its neighbors’ https://www.businessinsider.com/sweden-covid-no-lockdown-strategy-failed-higher-death-rate-2021-8?r=US&IR=T
Best strategy was New Zealand’s. NZ closed its borders and had lockdown for only 2 months. Afterwards from June 2020 most people enjoyed life with very few restrictions. Out of a population of 5 million sadly it has had 299 Covid deaths. But Scotland with 5M population tragically it’s had 11,393 deaths.
By October 2021:
“Sweden has recorded more COVID-19 cases per capita than most countries so far: Since the start of the pandemic, roughly 11 out of every 100 people in Sweden have been diagnosed with COVID-19, compared with 9.4 out of every 100 in the UK and 7.4 per 100 in Italy. Sweden has also recorded around 145 COVID-19 deaths for every 100,000 people — around three times more than Denmark, eight times more than Finland, and nearly 10 times more than Norway.”
“In a paper published in September 2020, philosophers Mirko Farina and Andrea Lavazza argued that many lives could have been saved if Swedish health authorities had followed the strategy of their Nordic neighbors.”
“Eventually, after Sweden’s daily COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and death skyrocketed from October to December, the country closed non-essential public spaces, such as gyms, pools and libraries, and recommended masks during rush hour on public transport.”
Sweden population = 10.4M, Covid deaths = 18,189.
Norway population = 5.4M, Covid deaths = 2,518.
New Zealand population = 5M, Covid deaths = 299. Scotland, 5M pop, deaths 11,393.
Good and clear summary thanks !
“While he has observed many conspiratorial groups latching onto the false claims of US-funded bio-labs in Ukraine, there is still what he calls a “Balkanisation” of the space.”
I was under the impression that this so called “false claim” had been verified as true?
Link? I have seen nothing of the sort.
You’re being tongue in cheek, right?
Victoria Nuland’s, the current deputy Secretary of State, senate testimony under oath.
US funded bio labs: confirmed.
Bio weapons research facilities: denied.
At least that was the last I could make out anything about it.
We are in a weird world where even if you are “supposedly” conducting research on biological weapons agents to counter said agents in the future you still do not have the agents you are working on right now, because it is all defensive even though they can be easily repurposed into offensive weapons. See, crystal clear! No bioweapons research facilities working on bioweapons just potentially with them! We had a embarrassing domestic terrorism disaster in the United States years ago involving anthrax (we supposedly did not have) that came out of a research lab and it was years before the government admitted what happened. On a slow news cycle I might add.
Hard to believe when this bio lab story came full circle and scooped up Hunter Biden along the way. It is onIy a matter of time before we find out Matt Hancock’s mother planted a tree on the lab lawn at the open day. I struggle both with the sheer outrageousness of world events and HOW anyone can keep swallowing the party line and use phrases like “false claims”.
Education is not thinking ability.
Perhaps because members of that community “disproportionately” commit suicide murder, beheadings and stabbings. The so-called “far right” don’t in any significant numbers, if at all.
“far-Right violence was on the rise” What evidence is there of this?
Source: Trust her. Also buy her book, chud.
Herd commentators often ask what is meant by far-right. See this which contains a definition of far-right, and an accurate account of what far-right politics entail: ‘Far-right politics’ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far-right_politics
As the far-right “view their community in a state of decay facilitated by the ruling elites, far-right members portray themselves as a natural, sane and alternative elite, with the redemptive mission of saving society from its promised doom. They reject both their national political system and the global geopolitical order…”
Far-right violence: “According to Cas Mudde, far-right terrorism and violence in the West have been generally perpetrated in recent times by individuals or groups of individuals “who have at best a peripheral association” with politically relevant organizations of the far right. Nevertheless, Mudde follows, “in recent years far-right violence has become more planned, regular, and lethal, as terrorists attacks in Christchurch (2019), Pittsburgh (2018), and Utøya (2011) show.”
Even the founder of wikipedia says not to use wikipedia. Why not quote Roger Eatwell instead?
According to the author, “incels” are “far-right”. That immediately discounts her writing as complete rubbish. The fact that she then goes on to claim “anti-lockdown” is also “extremism” just compounds this. Apparently, the entire Swedish government are “extremists”. Who knew?
It’s all nonsense on stilts.
Strange that the author would reference the ”Lisa case” whilst forgetting or ignoring the mass sexual assaults suffered by German girls in Cologne on New Years Eve 2015 at the hands of up to 1200 refugees. A media blackout followed so perhaps it slipped her mind.
Unherd is a great place to escape agendas pushed by certain aspects of the mainstream media. Hope it stays that way.
I thought the same. As if no female has ever been sexually assaulted by an Muslim immigrant.
The false claims about U.S. funded bio labs?? You mean like the false claims about Hunter’s laptop or the false claims about where the virus was created? Or perhaps you are were thinking about the Russian collusion in the 2016 U.S. election, or maybe that Lia Thomas is really a woman? Everything today is false……except when it becomes true later.
False claims of bio-labs in Ukraine?
Last I heard the Pentagon admitted to 20 or so and there seem to be few others funded by other US sources.
I don’t think McDonald-Gibson is a reliable source.
“Encounters with ordinary people”. Imagine that in our supposedly connected world!
Face-to-face encounters, or rather in-person meetings as they say today, must have been the fortunate kind.
The Hope Not Hate/Far Right Panic circle offers nothing useful on this subject. Pure nonsense.
An article that tries to portray the exception as the rule. By the way I know some Iranians. A lot of them consider themselves “white”.
Yeah, that stuck out to me, too. Persians are Indo-European.
Unherd is becoming unbalanced. Or has it decided to join the herd?
Neo-nazis, like original nazis (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), are far-LEFT, not far-right.
This article makes some interesting and valid points about the psychology of extremists, who might be drawn to any one of a number of routes. But by buying into a category of ‘Far Right’ to include a huge range of views, it sets them up as a huge enemy on the scale of Islamism.
The statement “Measures to combat extremism in the UK and the US for a long time disproportionately targeted Muslim communities” oozes wokeness and indicates a desperate desire for a whole range of ‘extremist’ threats, which is a gross distortion of the real picture.
The threat to the British population is vastly greater from Islamists, who actually DO have a coherent ideology – and who have bombed, murdered and injured scores of British citizens.
Of course the Islamists have individual psychological motivations as well underlying their opinions and actions, but the same can be said of every politician and indeed human being on the planet.
Fed up to the back teeth of how difficult it is to uptick comments (iPad/app).
Also, these “far right extremists”. Anybody actually know any of them? Do they actually exist?
“Do they actually exist?” Yes they do because I’m one, or rather I have no doubt that as an anti-immigration English patriot the author would classify me as one. Which simply shows that the term “far right” is now extended so far as to be nearly meaningless.
The Far Right and Far Left are one and the same: however the fact, yes fact is that there is only one group that is actively engaged in wars and terrorism across the globe, seeking to impose will and rule and that is islamic extremism, neatly shielded and protected by the West’s fear of the non word ” Islamophobia”.
When official opinion dictates that a trans woman or trans man is as much of a woman or a man as an actual woman or an actual man is, and that if you disagree with that view then you are to be driven from public discourse and are not fit to serve or work in major instititions and represent hate perhaps criminally so, it would seem that extremists with insane beliefs have taken over the organs of the state itself. ‘Mis-representing’ biological research as a bio-weapons lab seems very mild in comparison.
I suggest one needs to back to basics to assess treat from terrorism
If we look at terrorism and subversion from1939 onwards ( include experience of SOE), especially post 1968 , for any terrorism to have an impact requires all seven attributes. The risk from A Q was because it has all seven attributes.
The last right wing terrorist group which was active was probably the railway bombers in Bologna in1980. There are mad and bad right wing people who commit murder but there does not appear to be well funded and trained groups compared to PIRA, PLF, Red Army Faction. ETA, Black September, Al Qaeda, etc, .
Not sure where this author is from, but making your way by covering “far-right” extremism in the US is not to be a journo or investigator of any worth. The FBI already and State Dept already have that covered, and they’re more than willing to fill in the gaps with paid assets as needed. A real story is Antifa and the other State supported leftist extremists who organize and carry out violent attacks openly and with little recompense or fear of such. Few have the courage and integrity to cover this awfulness, myself included. There are those few however who do, Andy Ngo being one. He has paid severe consequences, including being beaten and assaulted on the street more than once. I would venture that this author has zero skin in the game in her coverage of the “far right”.
I am sure glad Mr Cook’s government saved the day by reading his mail, pulling his passport and reeducation him. Big Brother to the rescue.
A profound article stressing out the cause of the problem and not the symptom. Just like the man from the article, Putin is also a man with underlying issues. And all those who want this war have similar pattern.