If you are a flag-waving, megaphone toting, fist waving member of Australia’s far right, the worst thing you can do is call someone a Nazi.

In this highly fractious subculture, one constant is that Nazis have no street cred and no political clout. Within the far right, it is used primarily as a term of derision, implying an immature obsession with a time and murderous movement that has come and long gone.

As Blair Cottrell tells Inquirer, “If you dress up as a brownshirt you are setting yourself up to be laughed at.’’

Cottrell, the hulking, blue-eyed, blond-haired chairman of the United Patriots Front, has been called Nazi more times than he can count — usually by his natural enemies on the left, sometimes by his friends on the right. He rejects the term and denies any National Socialist sympathies. In the same breath, he encourages suspicion by inviting everyone to read Mein Kampf.

“If you want to learn about that era of history it is essential reading,’’ he says during an adjournment in court proceedings where he and two fellow hard-right activists are on trial for religious vilification of Muslims.

 

Read the full article by Chip Le Grand at The Australian (subscription only).

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