Belief is Beggared

When I posted a couple of days ago about David A. Riley the vile Neo-Nazi horror writer from England I expected the majority of people to be horrified by him and repulsed by his views and that those that weren’t would be somewhat quiet about it and shy away from the discussion. I do tend to think the best of people.

Of course, as is too often the case, I was disappointed. There’s a discussion going on on the Facebook page of a notable British author, I’m not going to say who as we’ll see how the conversation plays out, and there are a number of people coming out with the most batshit things in defence of Riley and, by extension, fascism. I’ll leave a couple of the choicer comments here. For posterity. 😀

I commented:

Hi [redacted], I’m the person that posted the blog about David A. Riley, based on the findings of others, and I have to say that it isn’t simply a matter of choice and preference. The activities of Neo-Nazis like Riley put people’s actual lives at risk.

All the affability in the world cannot lessen the contempt all civilised and rational people ought to feel for fascism. It is not a ‘political opinion’ to believe that the mechanised slaughter of 6 million Jews is in any way ok. As the National Front–who Riley supports do. ‘How can we reasonably expect that holocaust justification does not have serious implications for the safety of Jews, gypsies, the disabled, people of colour, gay people, *in the here and now*? If even ‘nice guy’ Nazis (which is, of course, an oxymoron) are tolerated that gives confidence to the active elements of that movement to act upon their beliefs. That leads to families being burnt out of their homes, to kids being stabbed to death, to bombs blowing up pubs where people the Nazis hate socialise. Support for people like Riley has direct material consequences in the real world as does publicly denouncing fascists like Riley.

It isn’t simply about boycotting the scumbag that is David A. Riley but about making it loud and clear that fascism is not welcome in civilised society. It is about making our society a safe place for all who live in it.

And then came the responses.

Geoff W replied:

We all have our own ideal and opinions. We all have thoughts and views and that is our choice. I’m not one for forcing my opinion on people, but would challenge what i disagree with, but this doesn’t change the fact that a person with different opinions is a bad person. I’ve read posts mentioning Hitler here, but just because he made some very poor choices, does that stop him from being a nice person? Eva Braun enjoyed his company. He was also a fine artist, creative and passionate. Let me also mention Gandhi, who is recognised all over the world as a peaceful man, yet he brought violence to the world causing chaos in India, supported racial segregation in South Africa. Things are not always that clear cut.

And then Uwe S:

While we call ourselves “civilised”, a sad sign of the times is the rush back to the Middle Ages. We’re back to witch-hunting, with people accused and burned at the stake at suspicion, with fire and brimstone the only instruments to clean you of your sinful steps since that moment of birth. Nowadays, we call it “political correctness”. So, Ladies and Gentlemen: never talk to somebody, never work with somebody until you have read the Inquisition’s notes – and even then you’re not out of danger, for in the end you’re sinful for being born from man and woman.

I do hope that it is simply ignorance on the part of these particular people. Still, crazy.

 

David A. Riley

HP Lovecraft was a bigoted piece of shit. He wrote wonderful stories and created a whole genre of cosmic horror/weirdness that has had an invaluable impact upon the genre/horror literature of the 20th-21st Centuries but he was still a bigoted piece of shit. It may well be true that his views were advancing somewhat as he got older but as his life was unfortunately cut short we will never know quite how much his views were changing.

For the vast majority of fans of HPL his personal views are problematic as they simply do not sit well with people living in the 21st Century. HPL is however dead as a doornail. He is, to paraphrase Monty Python, an ex-bigot. Were he alive today I don’t think I would read his work as I wouldn’t feel especially comfortable supporting someone who held such vile opinions of me and my friends -it is for this reason that I have never read Orson Scott Card.

I have, over the last couple of years, made a number of friends -albeit mediated by social media, in the weird fiction community and it seems that the vast majority are of a definite progressive bent. They are leagues ahead of old HPL in their view of the world and the people that inhabit it. Which I found to be really heartening, that people were able to appreciate HPL’s work and to build the weird fiction literary community into an inclusive place of diverse creativity. As China Mieville said: The best thing about the New Weird is we have less fascists. This is most certainly true and it is something to be celebrated.

However there is always going to be someone trying to ruin it for everyone and this time it is the English author and publisher David A. Riley. David A. Riley is an author of horror/weird fiction who is rather well known in the UK genre scene. He is also an unrepentant Neo-Nazi who was at one point the North-West organiser for the National Front -a gang of street fighting boneheads who wish to nail the swastika to the Union flag. They are the lowest of the low. Riley has also stood for election for the National Front on a number of occasions and continues to spout his vile opinions on people of colour on various British National Party (a more successful offshoot of the National Front) web forums. He is also responsible for penning a vile article (link) praising HPL’s racism.

david a riley

I found Riley’s page on Facebook earlier today and checked to see how many mutual friends I had with him. I only had 13 but that’s 13 too many so far as I’m concerned. All of my mutual friends were American publishers, writers, and editors -with one British exception. I find it highly likely that not one of these people on my friends list had any inclination as to Riley’s fascist affiliations. After all why would non-political people or people from the other side of the Atlantic be aware of someone’s affiliation with a Nazi group in another country? So I made a polite post tagging my mutual friends and within about 10 minutes 13 mutual friends had dropped to 7. That made me happy. A couple of people who saw the post didn’t remove Riley however -that could just be down to not being at a computer and doing shit on Facebook can be really fiddly from a mobile phone. So hopefully it will drop again soon. I’m also assuming that the others simply haven’t seen the post so hopefully they will pick up on this through other friends and will drop him like the swastika draped piece of shit that he is.

There is absolutely no place for the vile hatred of groups like the National Front and individuals like David A.Riley in any civilised society. Especially not when that society is seeing the worst attacks on public services and quality of life since the Second World War. There are people killing themselves because of the poverty they are being forced into by the government and groups like the National Front seek to weaken us farther by setting us against ourselves by peddling their racist hatred into the world.

Fuck fascism and fuck David A. Riley.