On the 27th of November 2020, VICE published a hit piece which was designed to discredit Local Matters. Whilst we did offer a statement prior to publishing, this was purposefully misrepresented and further attempts to correct this by contacting VICE on numerous occasions were like talking to a brick wall.
The article opens by telling readers about our October 2020 Leaflet Campaign, in which volunteers presented flyers to shoppers and independent shops, which urged people to use small businesses due to the losses they had suffered as a result of lockdown. The article then takes a turn, attempting to imply that Local Matters is an organisation that is a front for racist or fascistic ideas, or at least a host of individuals who hold these beliefs. To our followers and people who know us personally, these claims will seem rightly absurd. However, some people might be convinced by this misrepresentation, so it’s essential that we set the record straight.
Local Matters does not tolerate any form of hatred towards any racial, ethnic or religious group, and in fact seeks to enforce the equality of human dignity. Additionally, Local Matters is an organisation which holds democracy as one of our core values, with Localism strongly advocating for an increase in democracy including an expansion of referenda, democratised work, voting reform, local & regional assemblies, etc. These values can be found expressed across our website on both our social media platforms and our published articles, as well as in our written manifesto. To claim that LM is somehow a proponent of fascism is frankly ridiculous.
According to Simon Childs, the author of the VICE article, the term ‘globalism’ is “code for supposed insidious Jewish influence”. This claim laughably attempts to paint any person who is anti-globalisation as anti-Semitic. A quick google search will tell you that globalism means “the operation or planning of economic and foreign policy on a global basis”. Although it should go without saying, LM is certainly not anti-Semitic, nor do we believe that one group of people are nefariously controlling the world. In fighting globalism, we find ourselves comfortably in the company of amazing people such as Vandana Shiva, George Orwell, Adam Smith, Ford Maddox-Ford, and Arundhati Roy.
One quote from the article is that “some of their messages may seem harmless, but you don’t have to go far on the Local Matters website to find calls for a ban of all migration into the UK”. This is almost true. We do indeed call for a temporary moratorium on immgration. This message has been consistent since the inception of Local Matters, and it is no secret that we oppose the globalisation of populations, for various reasons which we won’t go into here.
VICE also attempted to connect Local Matters with Generation Identity UK, due to a small number of its members having been previously affiliated with GI UK. VICE failed to mention that, in our opportunity to comment on the article, we described GI UK as “a narrow-minded organisation without ideological foundation” and that “the large majority of Local Matters activists were never associated with GI UK”.
What is most shocking and eye-opening about this segment of the article is the clearly-intentional cutting out of words and phrases from our response to the author, in order to portray a predisposed image which the author wants to frame LM with. First they wrongly define remigration as a “euphemism for the deportation of migrants and non-white people” before stripping our response entirely of our own explaination. In reality, remigration is defined as “the act or process of returning or migrating back to the place of origin” and remigration policies would consist of support schemes for migrants of all backgrounds to be able to return home should they choose to. The following quote is our response to VICE, and the parts highlighted are the sections which VICE chose not to publish:
“Local Matters is not a white supremacist, or “ethnonationalist”, organisation – nor do we advocate for Orwellian policies of discrimination or deportation. However, a policy of remigration – as practiced Italy, discussed within the EU and advocated for by Polish ministers who recognise the damage that emigration from Poland has damaged their country – is ultimately necessary to tackle the negative impacts from our migration policy, both for ourselves and the homelands of these migrants. The policies of mass immigration have led to overpopulation, exploitation of foreign labour at the expense of our own labour market and unions, as well as incentivising the brain drain which stunts the ability for developing countries to progress economically.”
This entire article written by Simon Childs is a great example of modern propaganda, designed purely with the intention of mischaracterising our organisation, ignoring and reshaping our own words in order to discredit our entire movement based on false definitions and disregard of clearly-defined Localist principles for the sake of gaining clicks, motivated by personal political biases of the author. The same has happened to so many people whom they would label as “radical” or “dissident”, which in truth is an association which anyone can achieve by simply stating their preference for pro-local over pro-global. Of course, anti-globalism is not synonymous with deplorable views such as racial hatred and fascism, and VICE’s attempt to brand the anti-globalism movement as such only serves as further evidence that we cannot rely on politically prejudiced mouthpieces, whose agenda to frame anti-globalists in a hateful light is clear.