Facebook has removed the pages of Britain First and banned their leaders. In some ways this seems like a victory and it is. There's no doubt that Britain First made very effective use of Facebook to peddle their brand of nationalism and racism. Cynically interspersing their predictions of Islamic based doom befalling our green and pleasant land with appeals to stand up against cruelty to dogs because no one likes cruelty to dogs. Denied the platform of Facebook Britain First are very likely to wither away to nothing. Paul Golding, who looks much older than his 36 years, clearly racism takes it out of a person, will likely soon be forgotten, another foot note in the history of the British far right like Nick Griffin and that other one, Simon what's his name.
In other ways though the banning of Britain First also feels like a threat. After all, they only peddled an over heated version of the output of sections of the mainstream press so the ideas haven't gone away or become any less widespread. The removal of their pages by Facebook also highlights the importance of Facebook as a platform for political discourse, this isn't a victory of community anti-fascism, this is the decision of an executive somewhere aligning with anti-fascism and not necessarily motivated by it. If it's an attempt to sterilise the platform are we going to see other pages with a more left wing view removed, Red London, Nobody Likes a Tory? We just don't know.
After the vote in parliament last night if you're poor you're probably more concerned with how to feed your children than the vagaries of Facebook decisions over far right pages. For all their bluster and hate, the far right aren't the ones waging a war of attrition on the poor and the vulnerable. The Tories are the real vermin. As they always have been.