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On my birthday last year, a far right extremist led an attack on me, driven by homophobia and hatred of my left-wing politics. Today, he has been handed a hefty prison sentence.…
As I wrote in my victim impact statement, prison is not a solution to far right extremism. He will go to a prison a violent far right extremist, and probably leave prison a violent far right extremist.

There is no judicial solution to the far right: it is a political problem.
The attack wasn't just driven by far right extremism, but was a homophobic hate crime.

Homophobic hate crimes have doubled over five years; transphobic hate crimes have trebled. We are desperately overdue a proper discussion about this.…
As I've said from the start, my case received some media attention because I'm a white male journalist with a media platform.

Every day, minorities are targeted by racists, bigots and far-right sympathisers, with often far worse consequences.

Far right extremism does not appear out of nowhere.

It has been fuelled and radicalised by several mainstream media outlets, several mainstream commentators, and by several mainstream politicians.
Politicians and media outlets which vilified "traitors", "saboteurs", and portrayed the left as dangerous terrorist sympathisers who hate their own country, have played with fire.

They have helped to radicalise extreme elements. They know this, but it doesn't stop them.
It's not just the right, either. Some (but by no means all) who call themselves "moderates" claim that the left is no better than the far right - using Trump-style "both sides" rhetoric - and in practice spend far more time whipping up bile and hatred against the left.
In doing so, they mainstream and legitimise hatred against the left which goes way beyond passionate disagreement. My timeline often brims with questionably self-described "moderates" whose bile is retweeted by far right sympathisers. Does this not concern them?
This attack was just the worst example of a concerted far right campaign of intimidation centring on the fact I'm left-wing, gay and an anti-racist.

Below are some examples: not given to seek pity, but to underline the largely ignored far right threat against the left.
I've long received death threats and threats of violence from the far right, sometimes attached to previous home addresses circulated online.

What changed particularly from late 2018 onwards is this increasingly became a problem on the streets.
In December 2018, a group of Tommy Robinson activists wearing MAGA hats yelled abuse at me while I was on air, then chased after me yelling homophobic abuse.…
This incident was celebrated online not just by the far right, but some self-styled "moderates" who hate the left so much they don't care who yells abuse at left-wing figures, even if far right extremists are responsible. It still is, and even has its own Twitter gif.
In January 2019, I was chased by Tommy Robinson supporters whilst on my way to do a BBC interview on College Green.

From then on I was barred from doing interviews outside and assigned security by the BBC and Channel 4 News.
A few days later I was surrounded by hundreds of far right extremists after speaking at a rally in Trafalgar Square, who spat down my face and repeatedly tried to punch me.
Far right extremists yelled homophobic abuse such as "Jonesy is a homo" (original!) and "rent boy"
In March 2019, far-right activists from the DFLA stormed the Guardian's headquarters and demanded to see me
In May 2019, an ex-soldier and a founder of the far right Pegida UK group took pictures of me at a pub and attached threatening messages
He then posted a video threatening to expose my address
Also in May 2019, I was asked by police to leave a Brexit Party rally because staying there threatened public order, because of increasingly angry extreme elements (some of whom you can see towards the end of the video)…
In September 2019, someone graffitied a farm gate in Thanet calling for me to be hanged.
These incidents have been accompanied by ever more extreme and graphic threats of violence and worse.
After the attack last August, several high profile right wing commentators spread a lie that it never happened and that I had invented the whole thing: some with viral videos. That led to an avalanche of threats and my phone number doxxed by far right extremists.
I'm just one case study. Last month, @AyoCaesar was subjected to an online avalanche of threats of violence and death after she posed with an orange ice lolly. She is relentlessly targeted by the far right: but others help fuel their hatred.
Far right extremists have been responsible for murder, attempted murder, terrorist plots and violence. That threat is not taken seriously because it means having to ask searching questions of who is responsible for radicalising them. That must end.
The left are often portrayed as an abusive rabble, largely because of tweets. Yet left wing figures being hounded and targeted by the far right does not merit public discussion.
Remember the punch against a Tory advisor during the election that never happened? It got far more coverage than two Labour activists in their 70s being beaten up, one a woman with possible cracked ribs.…
The moral panic about "cancel culture", too, does include celebrities being criticised on Twitter. It does not include a self-evidently violent far right targeting people on the left because of their opinions.

It is gaslighting on an epic scale.
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