The origins of Britain’s far right movement

Godwin’s law states that the first person to call their opponent a Nazi loses the debate. That’s because the word Nazi (the short-form of the German NSDAP or ‘National Socialist German Workers’ Party)’) is so over-used today. It’s become the go-to insult for those whose intellectual abilities have run dry and they find themselves unable to counter a well-thought out argument. In that sense, Godwin was right – the first person to call their opponent a Nazi has indeed, lost the debate. But what if the person you’re talking about or interacting with really is a Nazi?

edl nazi.jpg

That’s when Godwin’s law starts to come apart. It becomes even more confusing when your verbal sparring partner subscribes to Nazi policies (see groups like Britain First, UKIP and Liberty GB) and yet genuinely believes that they’re not Nazi at all. What if they actually see themselves as ‘anti-Nazi’?

The leadership of the British far-right have been so diligent in redefining themselves that they really have convinced their supporters (and perhaps even themselves) that their policies, although often exactly matching those of Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s, are actually anti-Nazi.

Here we chart the descent of Nazism through the generations as we might track the passage of the runners’ baton in an Olympic relay race. Here the track is measured in years, not metres but the principle is the same. The same baton that was touched by the hands of Hitler, Franco and Mussolini now finds itself carried just as reverently by Weston, Griffin, Yaxley-Lennon, Hopkins, Golding, Fransen and Dowson.

Hitler, Mussolini, Franco

It’s no secret that these three mid-twentieth century dictators knew each other. Hitler and Mussolini even fought together against the Allies during World War 2. Before the war both men sent troops, funds and equipment to support Franco’s fascist cause in the Spanish Civil War. They were the three most prominent fascist dictators of the period, matched in ruthlessness only by Stalin in Communist Russia. What isn’t so well known is the way that these dictators interacted with British High society.

Mosley, the British Union of Fascists

Oswald Mosley was the leader of the British Union of Fascists, a party he formed in 1932 immediately after visiting Mussolini in Italy.

mosleyMosley’s followers dressed in black military style uniform, shared Hitler’s hatred of Jews and socialists and even had their own army of street thugs, the infamous ‘Biff Boys’. These violent, black-shirted gangs spent their time terrorizing and assaulting Jews, homosexuals (the word ‘gay’ meant something rather different back then). Socialists and non-whites. Their methods and their targets were exactly the same as those of Ernst Rohm’s brown-shirted SA in pre-war Nazi Germany. There’s a reason for that.

Mosley and the Mitford sisters

Mosely had very real links to the fascists of Europe. As well as Mussolini he also visited Nazi Germany and married his second wife, Diana Mitford in the home of Joseph Goebbels. There were only around half a dozen guests in attendance including Adolf Hitler himself. Mosley’s new sister in law, Unity Mitford was known to be extremely close to Hitler and even got to attend high level strategy meetings with the Fuhrer. Unity killed herself when war was declared, so heartbroken was she at the rift between the two nations.

William Joyce Lord Haw HawDeputy leader William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw)

Deputy Leader of the BUF was William Joyce, later to defect to Nazi Germany and broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda across the channel throughout the war. Nicknamed ‘Lord Haw Haw’ by the British he was captured in 1945 and hanged for treason shortly afterward.

Defence regulation 18B

In late May 1940, Mosley and his wife, along with several other prominent members of the British Union of Fascists were imprisoned under Defence regulation 18B. This was an emergency power used to prevent any British citizen suspected of undermining the British war effort from aiding the enemy. The BUF itself was disbanded a few days later. However its legacy lives on.

Archibald Ramsay & The Right Club

Archibald RamsayArchibald Ramsay was a Scottish aristocrat and Conservative MP. He was a staunch supporter of Franco’s fascists during the Spanish Civil War. In 1935 he collaborated with German Nazi agents to found the Nordic League, an aristocratic version of Mosley’s BUF. Like the BUF, the Nordic League was deeply anti-Semitic and committed to establishing and maintaining a racially pure Britain. Ramsay was responsible for instigating a number of attempts to have Jews barred from political life in Britain.

In 1939 he founded The Right Club, a secret society of upper class Nazi sympathisers and anti-Semites whose stated aim was to expose and oppose organised Jewry. Members included Mosley, the traitor, William Joyce along with Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent who were subsequently imprisoned for passing classified information to the Nazis during wartime.

AK Chesterton

AK ChestertonAK Chesterton (not to be confused with author, GK Chesterton) was a prominent member of the British Union of Fascists, The Nordic League and The Right Club. Like his fellows he was staunchly anti-Semitic and pro-fascist. He left England during the second world war and went to live in Africa, presumably to avoid being forced to fight against his ideological brethren. However he maintained his far-right, anti-Semitic and openly racist views throughout his life and was instrumental in passing the baton of fascism down to the next generation of British Nazis – The National Front.

 

Chesterton, Tyndall and the National Front

John TyndallChesterton’s most prominent protégé was John Tyndall. Through Tyndall and his fellow acolyte, Colin Jordan the ageing Nazi sympathiser passed the baton of extreme right wing politics to the next generation. Tyndall joined his mentor, Chesterton in the League of Empire Loyalists, The National Labour Party (mirroring Hitler’s National Socialist Party) and The National Socialist Movement (with Jordan) until eventually the pair co-founded The National Front in the late 1960s.

The early years of The National Front, steered as it was by Chesterton and Tyndall saw the introduction of many better known modern neo-Nazis who also carry forward the baton of British fascism first brandished by Mosley, Joyce and Ramsay. Under Chesterton and Tyndall’s stewardship the NF nurtured the early political careers of people like Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons (later to become British National Party MEPs), Holocaust denier, Martin Wingfield and even Tommy Robinson. Tyndall and Colin Jordan eventually formed the White Defence League before uniting with John Bean to found the British National Party.

Andrew Brons had been a member of Colin Jordan’s National Socialist Movement, an affiliation he has repeatedly had to distance himself from in later years. In 1965 he joined the National front led by John Bean. This is not the same National Front that Tyndall and Chesterton founded in 1967 although its aims and ideology were the same – anti-Semitism, racial purity and neo-Nazism. Only in 1967, following a merger with Tyndall and Chesterton’s League of Empire Loyalists did the current National Front come into existence. With this merger, a critical mass of new-generation Nazis was re-established in UK and Mosley’s baton became a truncheon once again.

Combat 18 and Column 88

Combat 18 nazi

This newly imagined National Front gave rise to some of the most violent street warfare of the period. Groups like Combat 18 were as much the NF’s enforcers as Mosely’s ‘Biff Boys’ had been for the BUF. Named after letters of the alphabet, Combat 18 stood for A & H (Adolf Hitler). Column 88 whose initials stood for HH (Heil Hitler) was led by former British National Party stalwart Leslie Eric Lutz Vaughan. The column was a paramilitary Nazi group whose CO of operations was a former Black Watch Major called Ian Souter Clarence. The ‘good’ Major used to run military style training camps and was widely thought to have stockpiled weapons acquired after demobilisation of WW2 servicemen.

 

Both groups  have a string of convictions for intimidation, assault, harassment and even murder to their credit. More modern groups like The Pie and Mash Squad and the EDL’s breakaway ‘Infidels’ groups have their own links with these early bands of politicised street fighters.

Nick Griffin

Nick Griffin NF White PowerNick Griffin was mentored by Tyndall and followed his far-right tutor from the National Front into the newly formed British National Party. This erstwhile NF Street fighter rose to prominence in the BNP and eventually ousted his old mentor to take the BNP chair for himself. There he steered the party from relative obscurity to become the most successful British far-right party since Mosley’s BUF before financial irregularities and a string of law-suits brought his newly-built empire crashing down around his ears. Now the BNP is a shadow of its former self with many of its members defecting to join the ranks of street movements like the English Defence League and Britain First.

The BNP gives birth to the EDL and Britain First

BF East London Mosque ELM Robin Lomax political uniformchief of staff head of national security

Paul Golding had once been a member of the National Front but he followed his mentor, Nick Griffin into the BNP when still a teenager. With Griffin’s mentorship he rose to become Communications Officer on the party’s National Executive and was widely tipped to rise high in the organisation. That was until things started to fall apart.

Tommy (EDL leader) RobinsonStephen Yaxley-Lennon was a member of the British National Party under Griffin’s leadership. It’s unclear how well he knew Griffin personally but they certainly had shared contacts and their ideologies are broadly the same. It was Robinson who took the far-right baton in a new direction and abandoned politics, albeit temporarily to form the English Defence League, a street movement that once boasted up to 5,000 ‘foot-soldiers’ at its largest demonstration.

The English Defence League still exists but without Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) who has since been associated with the Muslim-led anti-terror organisation Quilliam and then the UK Branch of the anti-Muslim group, Pegida. More recently in a desperate effort to avoid a much-deserved obscurity he’s pretending to be a journalist. In truth he’s generally found causing trouble, getting into fights and then filming the retaliation of others whilst pretending to be a victim. These days he tries to assume an air of reasonableness but underneath he’s the same bigotted thug he always was.

British National Party fundraiser, Ulster Unionist and long-time pro-life campaigner, Jim Dowson became involved in a spat with Griffin over allegations of sexual misconduct. Dowson left the party in less than amicable circumstances and Golding went with him. Together they formed the anti-Muslim party, Britain First in 2010. They were later joined by former EDL ‘Angel’, Jayda Fransen and spend much of their time campaigning against Islam and ‘invading’ Mosques and Halal businesses. The pair regularly find themselves in court for harassment, breaches of bail and ironically for wearing political uniform, an offence under the Pubic Order Act of 1936, originally created to kerb Mosley’s black-shirted British Union of Fascists.

BF beyond UKIP cabaret invasion

Having recognised their ideological soul-mates in Nigel Farage’s UKIP, Britain First even set themselves up for a time as UKIP’s attack dogs. They harassed their opponents and mounted unofficial ‘patrols’ to ensure would-be demonstrators against UKIP were intimidated. They were a much less effective and actually quite laughable parody of the German Nazi party’s violent, brown-shirted ‘SA’. Golding, Fransen and the rest of the BF leadership have repeatedly called for their supporters to vote UKIP, presumably having noted the many similarities between UKIP’s extreme right policies and their own.

Most recently both Golding and Fransen have been imprisoned for racially motivated harassment and their organisation has been banned from the largest social media sites. It is this double-whammy blow to Britain First that has prompted EBF to rebrand itself and broaden our horizons. Britain First is dying but British fascism is not – so we continue.

BF Paul and Jayda Kent police mugshot

Godwin’s law revisited

It’s clear that step by step, generation by generation the British fascist baton has been passed down without interruption from mentor to student, from racist to racist, Anti-Semite to anti-Muslim, Nazi to neo-Nazi for almost a century now. As this series continues we’ll start to look at how the very same policies and ideological beliefs have withstood the test of time. Some have remained unchanged whilst others have adapted slightly in the face of modern attitudes and current events. But however they might have been adapted, disguised and given the superficial appearance of something far more moderate than they really are, the core of  fascism and Nazism remains unchanged.

Remember – Godwin’s law only applies if the people you’re talking about aren’t actually Nazis. In this case – they really are!

EDL Nazi salute swastike tattoo.jpg

 

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Biffers, Islamists, God and me

I’m not really very religious but I thought perhaps I should have a little word in God’s shell-like. Too much stuff didn’t make any sense. So I sat down in a quiet room with curtains drawn and meditative candles duly lit, all set to talk to my maker.

It wasn’t a long conversation but it seemed to straighten a few things out for me. It went like this…

dear-god-biffers-isis-never-knew-me

Biffers bested by Bedfordshire Bobbies

Britain First have managed to get their own way for once…

The Britain First manifesto is a document that they shamelessly copied from Adolf Hitler himself in the shape of the German NSDAP’s 25 point plan. It calls for consequences for all those who knowingly publish lies to mislead the public. Today they learned just how attentive the British legal system has been to their plagiarised demands.

BBC3 BF WWOCB Barstool combo banner high court

The High Court delivered a ruling today that extends Fransen and Golding’s ban from Luton for a further 3 years. That might seem like small potatoes at first glance but it really isn’t. It’s a precedent in law that can only be overturned by appeal to the judicial chamber of the House of Lords, The Supreme Court or, ironically enough, the European Court of Human Rights.

In the absence of such appeals which take a lot of time and money to mount there’s a handy precedent available to local authorities and police forces all across the UK to have the Biffers banned from their areas.  There seems to be nothing now remaining to prevent similair actions from other Biffer targets like Rochdale, Rotherham, Dover, Gillingham and the rest.

Even better, depending upon the exact nature of future demonstrations, Fuhrer Golding and Frau Fransen might have scuppered the whole demo set up for other fash groups like Pegida and the English Defence League. They were already hated by the rest of British fascism. Now they’ll be total pariahs!

Well done Bedfordshire police. We salute you!

The EDL are getting despondent… again

Ever since their original Fuhrer, Tommy Robinson and his ‘cuz’, Kev Carrol defected to Quilliam the EDL has been in disarray. Like a snake without a head the toothless, remaindered racists and Nazis have represented the very epitome of ineffectual fash, running around trying to find a purpose and resorting to factional fighting as different elements of ‘the Master race’ vied with each other for dominance. Who can forget the infamous car park Kettle wherein coachloads of frustrated regional ‘Defenders’, unable to get to any brown people simply made the best of a bad job and battered each other instead? Ah… happy days!

EDL kettle scrap.png

Now we hear that the divisions within the ranks have grown so serious that a small group of EDL rebels have decided to form their own, rival organisation, the United People of Britain. Just like the gang of four who left the labour party to form the Social Democratic party (now part of the LibDems) these turncoats look likely to split the EDL’s dwindling support, making both organisations even weaker. We wonder what motivated them to split their numbers even further. We wonder what might motivate any established EDL footsoldiers to join them in the inevitable destruction of Robinson and Carroll’s erstwhile ‘baby’. We wonder how long it will be before both groups disintegrate into the irrelevance they so richly deserve.

That’s the beauty of far right groups like this. They split every so often. Paranoia and mutual resentment gets in the way of any cohesion they might otherwise enjoy and before you know it their numbers fall exponentially as new groups constantly poach from each other.

So – to Andrew Edge and his (very) little band of rebels – we at EBF wish you well. We look forward to your ranks swelling as the EDL membership diminishes and new inter-fash rivalries take root. We especially look forward to the next time you find yourselves in a police kettle together. Now that will be a scrap worth watching!

Britain First and the history of European Nazism

The problem with making historical comparisons is they’re never precise enough to satisfy the pedants and rarely obvious enough to catch the attention of most people. That’s because the majority of us have enough to deal with just coping with the necessities of everyday living. People haven’t time to go around studying political history and most don’t have the inclination to search for comparisons and similarities between modern UK and the worst of European thought.

EBF understands that. We know that to many this article will seem like an over-reaction to current events. But we think it important that we highlight the broad trends of 21st century ideologies even if the exact details differ from the precise events of the past. Modern Europe is very different from that of 80 or 90 years ago. Mass communication is easier and less controlled which accelerates the speed of social change. Deceitful propaganda is more easily spread and ideas, even dangerous ones can take hold of a population like wildfire.

EBF BF Wake up and rise up.pngBut people are still essentially the same. Their fears are the same, their vulnerability to manipulative ideologues is the same and their tendency to look for scapegoats to blame is the same. Our species hasn’t evolved at all in a few decades. We are as we were and what we were was frightening.

In 1920s Germany economic hardship was rife. People were literally starving to death as food became more and more expensive and wages, even for those lucky enough to be employed at all couldn’t keep up. Many felt hopeless and helpless.

In post 2007 Europe whole countries went bankrupt and others, like UK saw the weakest citizens, those suffering from disabling conditions or those who were unable to find work stripped of their incomes, sanctioned by civil servants or forced to work for nothing to ease the wage burden on large companies like Tesco, Asda and even’ the Biffers’ favourite’ – Gregg’s the baker’s. Many argue that this was little more than state-sponsored slavery designed to increase private, corporate profits at the expense of the public purse as several employers cut jobs, replacing paid employees with unskilled, forced (workfare) labour instead. Many at the bottom rungs of society felt hopeless and helpless.

In Post WW1 Germany a group of veterans calling themselves the Frei Corp (Free Army) began releasing propaganda explaining that Germany’s predicament was all the fault of international Jewry. This wasn’t true but it suited the emotional need of some of the people to scapegoat someone other than themselves.

In post-recession UK groups like Britain First began releasing propaganda blaming Muslims for all the country’s problems. This isn’t true either but it suits the emotional need of some of the people to scapegoat someone other than themselves.

EBF extremist Jayda no moderate muslim BF court lie

In 1920s Germany Adolf Hitler joined a small group of far right nationalists and quickly rose to prominence within what was one day to become the Nazi party.

In 2010 a relatively minor official in the British National Party (a far right nationalist group) broke away from the party to form his own rival group – Britain First.

In 1920s Germany the government largely ignored the Nazis. They were only one of many far right factions and they seemed too busy fighting amongst themselves to be of any significance.

In 2010 the UK government largely ignored Britain First. They were only one of many far right factions and they seemed too busy fighting amongst themselves to be of any significance.

In 1920s Germany Hitler’s Nazi party made very little impact. The demonstrations they held were violent armed conflicts and so the authorities eventually acted. When Hitler tried to begin an armed revolution and held hostage two government officials he was overwhelmed, tried and imprisoned for sedition.

In modern UK, Britain First incites violence against Muslims and immigrants but Golding et al have learned from history and never personally involve themselves in such crimes.

In 1930s Germany the Frei Corp became the Brown Shirts – the organised street fighters who persecuted Jews – their most infamous incident was ‘The night of broken glass’ or ‘Kristalnacht’ during which Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues were attacked in a domestic atrocity ordered by Hitler himself.

In modern UK we have not seen anything on the scale of Kristalnacht yet. We have however seen attacks against Muslim shops, Mosques and businesses, including arson and several Muslim deaths. At least one 81 year old Muslim was beaten to death by Britain First supporters whilst on his way to his local Mosque for morning prayers.

From the 1920s onwards Hitler and his cronies used dehumanising propaganda to isolate and encourage violence against German Jews.

From 2010 onwards Britain First has used dehumanising propaganda to isolate and encourage violence against British Muslims.

EBF BF Nazi dehumanisation

The German Nazis relied upon nationalism and a sense of ‘taking back control’ to fuel their hatred.

Britain First relies upon nationalism and a sense of ‘taking back control’ to fuel its hatred.

BBC3 BF WWOCB Title page

The internet and the speed with which social media spreads ideas around means that the popular nationalism that took the Nazis 15 years to achieve has taken Britain First with its social media savvy operation a third of that time. What they lack is political clout but there’s time for that and they’re certainly trying hard.

And it’s not just Britain First. There are other, equally disturbing groups at work in the UK. Nationalists organisations echo the same message of hate. Groups like the English Defence League and countless others also rely upon the same propaganda to fuel a nationalism that seems hell bent on taking this country back to a past that only really existed in their imaginations. Respectable political groups like UKIP seem almost to legitimise the nationalist agenda and may well be the key to political influence for all the other nationalist groups.

Brexit send them back T shirt

It’s no coincidence that ‘Vote UKIP’ is a common refrain from the racist nationalists we interact with across social media. Britain First is unlikely to gain any political power but that doesn’t mean they can’t support UKIP. Golding and Fransen have already created something like a Frei Corp in waiting. Their own website describes Britain First as a ‘Street defence organisation’ and their regular calls for civil war against Muslims and their (admittedly laughable as yet) attempts to train their members in combat skills seems to point very clearly in one particular direction. Might they become UKIP’s Brown shirts in time?

EBF BF fight club

If the problem was only UK based that might be less of a concern but similair trends can be seen across Europe. Some countries are further along this dark path and it’s not hard to see where we’re all being driven. This week in Austria a far right party using the slogan ‘Austria First’ (there’s a coincidence) narrowly failed to become the ruling political party in the country’s national election.

EBF BF Austria far right Nazi election.pngIn the style of their Austrian predecessor, Adolf Hitler they are now forcing a new election. Hitler’s Nazi party also forced elections until they got the result they wanted. We’d hoped that Austrians would know better, given their country’s part in WW2 but seemingly not. Like Brits and many other European nationals they have short memories. It remains to be seen how prophetic the result of the UK’s recent ‘Brexit’ referendum may be. The result (48% v 52%) is strikingly close to the Austrian result after a campaign that was fought much more along nationalist and racist lines than any other issue. We believe that there is very real cause for concern both here in the UK and abroad.

Holland, a country defeated by the Nazis and subjected to all the horrors of occupation is currently seeing the rise of its own brand of Nationalism. Even Germany, the birthplace of Pegida has a growing number of fascists within its population. Similair stories can be told about many Western nations from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean. The far right hasn’t won yet but it’s making remarkably good headway.

There’s still time to turn this around. Please help us to spread the word and stop the neo-Nazis from dragging us back into the darkness of former decades.

Further relevant reading from EBF

An overview of Britain First (PDF)

Britain First’s Nazi policies (PDF)

Britain First’s general Nazism (PDF)

Jayda Fransen’s Anti-Islamic propaganda – just Like Julius Streicher’s anti-semitic ‘Der Sturmer’ (PDF)

Britain First has blood on its hands

How Britain First profits from violence

Britain First inciting civil war

Britain first as a uniformed, paramilitary militia

 

EDL sent to Coventry today

The EDL are having a shuffle around Coventry today. We wonder if anyone will speak to them. They don’t seem to be expecting a massive turnout. The organisers for their ‘National’ Demo have chosen a single public house as the Muster point. The pub is a decent size but it’s hardly going to hold the attendees of a respectably-sized national demonstration. It’ll do for a handful of racists to get a few pints and act tough though.

EDL Litten Tree Demo May 2016.jpg

Unfortunately, the Litten Tree doesn’t seem all that sure how to handle the situation. But they are doing the right thing and working with West Midlands police to ensure everything stays peaceful.

Litten Tree Facebook notification about EDL demo May 2016

We say good luck to the management and staff of The Litten Tree. It must be hard when a bunch of EDL thugs decide to go to your pub for a pre-shuffle piss-up. So far as we know The Litten Tree didn’t ask for this and they’re doing the best they can to avoid trouble.

Maybe they won’t all make it. EDLNews were first to point out that at least one ‘patyroot’ (with a fair bit of EDL tat) was unlikely to attend.

EDL demo May 2016 Coventry car stolen

But it gets better. We can see from the gov. website that his car hasn’t had tax or MOT for many years. That’s a worry – especially since our contacts within the far right tell us that the car has been found and returned to its rightful owner, a ‘Mr. English’ (sic) from the North West of England, apparently. Perhaps the police will be keeping an eye out for it in future. Be careful if you see this car on the M6 near Coventry today. It just might fall to pieces and cause an accident.

illegal car EDL demo Coventry

If you do see this car on the road between Coventry and the North West today you might want to call the police. It’s a serious offence to drive a car without MOT or tax on the public highway.

TOYOTA STARLET

P424 SWX

Childish EDL plan to disrupt Birmingham Mosque ceremony

This is a secret so don’t tell anybody!

Using their super-secure private Facebook group, Paul Locke’s ultra-competent English Defence League oafs have hatched yet another cunning plan. In utmost secrecy, without any chance of outsiders getting a sniff of the action Locke’s layabouts have planned yet another piss-up. They’re not known as The Imbibing Brotherhood for nothing!

The excuse for this drunken rampage is a ceremony to inaugurate a new Mosque.Paul Locke EDL Birmingham mosque May 2016

Lots of Imbibers plan to attend but only if they can get pissed first.

Paul Locke EDL Birmingham mosque May 2016 where to meetAs the aspiring national leader he is, Locke has taken steps to ensure his drunken mates will be well-pissed before they get to the Mosque. He’s even promised to make contact with a local pub, attempt to get the landlord to break the law by banning Muslims from his premises and arrange a pre-rampage piss-up venue. We’re not at all sure how successful that will be and for all we know the 3 Horseshoes won’t have anything to do with Locke’s Losers but it may be worth avoiding the place on Sunday if you fancy a quiet meal with the kids.

After all, they’ll be turning up to sully the pub’s atmosphere whether the landlord approves of the EDL’s racist views or not,

Paul Locke EDL Birmingham mosque May 2016 3 horseshoesWe’ll be passing on our information to W. Midlands police so hopefully the imbibing brotherhood won’t manage to cause too much disruption. It’d be a shame if they were allowed to spoil this important event with their loutish behaviour. This looks like a public order offence in the making to us. There might even be a conspiracy charge in there for all we know.

That’s for the police and the CPS to decide, of course.