Angry White People:
Coming Face-to-face with the British Far-right
With a Foreword from Benjamin Zephaniah
'They've taken over our culture and our way of life.' 'Britain for whites only.' 'Islam is Britain's biggest problem.' These are not strange words in Britain today, nor are the irate faces of far right street mobs strangers to our screens. In this fantastically daring book, Hsiao-Hung Pai, an 'inscrutable foreigner', follows a group of individuals who got caught up in the wave of far right street movements that began in 2009. Among those who Pai gets in with are Darren, who took part in the formation of the English Defence League but who left it after two years of activism; a Reading-based activist nicknamed Viking, who once occupied the cathedral in Derby in order to assert his right to carry a sword. And the infamous Tommy Robinson, founder of the EDL, whom Pai saw change from a young, foul-mouthed Luton lad to a well-received, suited and booted, Oxford Union guest speaker. Delving deep into the day-to-day lives of the far-right activists and the marginalised communities around them, Pai uncovers that their ideologies are not an aberration in modern British society, quite the contrary, not only are they very much a part of it, but they are constantly reproduced, rejuvenated and mainstreamed by the media and powers that be.
Published by Zed Books, 2016
Now with Bloomsbury Publishing...
"One of Britain's best investigative journalists, Pai addresses a defining issue of our time: the nature of extremism. Driven by an unrelenting curiosity that takes her deep into the world of her subjects, the result is one of the finest accounts of the British far Right."
- Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims are Coming!:Islamophobia, Extremism and the Domestic War on Terror'
"With her calm and unflinching investigative journalism, Hsiao-Hung Pai sheds light on the dynamics of class and racism in Britain today. Essential reading for anybody interested in the contemporary far right, and what feeds it."
- Daniel Trilling, author of Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain's Far Right'
'Hsiao-Hung Pai gives us a rich, complex picture of the "left behind" white voters and activists who have fuelled the resurgence of far right politics. Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the economic, social and emotional forces which drive far right politics.'
- Robert Ford, co-author of Revolt on the Right'
"A fascinating insight into the minds, motives and worldview of the EDL"
- Wolfgang Deicke, Humboldt University Berlin
- Andrew Marr, BBC4 Start the Week
"Angry White People is an enlightening, thoughtful and intelligent study in what makes the far right tick, their political strategy and aims, and how they build support for them"
"Hsiao-Hung Pai uncovers both the strange and the familiar that characterizes those who represent the far-Right, and those who fight it. She not only describes the origin of the EDL, what makes it ticks and its relation to other far-Right movements in Britain. She also daringly investigates the personal and societal circumstances that push many Britons to join their ranks. Her book is a true eye-opener and a reminder that much remains to be done."
"A vital contribution to studies of far-right politics in the UK"
"An exemplary account of the rise of the English Defence League"
"It explores what the far right tells us about British politics and society" - Left Foot Forward
"A hugely insightful acccount by one of the bravest contemporary journalists in the business" - Morning Star review
"A lucid account of a deluded movement....Hsiao-Hung Pai deserves high praise in going to some very dark places and bringing out invaluable information to aid the fight against racism and fascism" - New Internationalist review
"Hsiao-Hung skilfully draws out the sense of abandonment by mainstream politicians that has led some people to support the EDL and others to favour the UK Independence Party...[The book] could form a useful basis for policy formation."
"Hsiao-Hung Pai has an engaging way with her journalism. . . . The virtue of Pai's work is that, because she has many conversations and reproduces them at length, complexity is uncovered" - John Lloyd, Financial Times review
"Why are white people angry? because of twits like Hsiao-Hung Pai...A remarkable book...patronising, hideously mistaken...metropolitan liberal...utterly incurious...dismissive...credulous...bone-headed...arrogant...absolutist."
- rightwing columnist Rod Liddle, Spectator
London Muslim Centre, book launch & seminar, with Marwan Muhammad & Darren Carroll, chaired by Abdullah Faliq (see picture below). Many, many thanks to Abdullah Faliq for organising this event
Photo: Dave Barkway
London Review Bookshop, book launch, with Owen Jones, Ash Sakar & Daniel Trilling
Waterstones, Trafalgar Square, event with Wail Qasim and Darren Carroll
Photo: Hsiao-Hung / Waterstones
(Photo: Dave Barkway/ Bristol Festival of Ideas)