Another defeat for London Holocaust Memorial plan – is it time to scrap the scheme?

The vast ‘Holocaust Memorial’ which has now been rejected three times by planning authorities and courts, but which the British Government still insists on promoting

Vastly expensive plans for a huge Holocaust memorial in London, next to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, have suffered another defeat after the Court of Appeal refused to hear the case.

In April this year the High Court blocked the plans, and this week an appeal by the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation fell at the first hurdle.

Former prime minister David Cameron launched the plan in 2014 by appointing a Holocaust Commission which reported the following year, recommending a prominent new memorial with attached “learning centre”. The plan soon acquired cross-party support and in July 2016 Victoria Tower Gardens – a park adjacent to Parliament – was chosen as the site.

Architects David Adjaye and Ron Arad were chosen for the project. Their initial budget of £50 million has since risen to a current estimate of £102.9 million.

In 2019 Westminster City Council’s planning authority rejected the proposal. The two leading politicians who co-chaired the project – Conservative Lord Pickles and Labour’s Ed Balls – wrote to the council complaining that planning officers were “giving excessive weight to the number of objections lodged on the planning portal”.

These objections lodged with the council included a detailed report by H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton (who now also writes the Real History Blog). His report to Westminster City Council was based on detailed research into the planning history of the original London Holocaust memorial in the 1980s – click here to read.

The late Richard Edmonds recorded a film with Lady Michèle Renouf on the site of the proposed memorial. Click here to view this film.

Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Carrington, who had won the Military Cross for his bravery during the Second World War, wrote of the original plans for a London Holocaust Memorial: “The whole idea is preposterous”.

Government ministers sought to override Westminster Council by appointing a Whitehall inspector who recommended acceptance of the plan. Housing minister Chris Pincher officially approved the scheme in July 2021. (Pincher has since been disgraced after a series of alcohol-fuelled sexual assaults on young men; his downfall led to the recent resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.)

In April this year Mrs Justice Thornton in the High Court ruled that Pincher had acted unlawfully, because Victoria Tower Gardens is protected by a statute dating back to 1900 which specifically prevents it being used as anything other than a garden open to the public.

This week the Court of Appeal ruled that there was no realistic prospect of the High Court judgment being overturned, so it would not hear the case. “There is no real prospect of successfully arguing that the judge’s construction of the 1900 Act was wrong… On the contrary, it was plainly correct.”

The Appeal Court judges rebuked the Holocaust Memorial Foundation for arguing that objectors to the proposal should not have been allowed to raise one of their successful legal points: “It is extremely unattractive for the losing party to argue that his opponent should not have been allowed to introduce a legal argument that turned out to be correct.”

In a typically shameless and arrogant gesture, government minister Paul Scully and Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock insisted this week that they still support the project, despite it now having been rejected three times – by city council planners, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal.

Lord Pickles, seen here with former Prime Minister Theresa May, is co-chairman of the Holocaust memorial project. He also advocates introducing a law to ban “Holocaust denial” in the UK.

H&D understands that the only realistic possibility of forcing through the project now would be for the government to introduce legislation (which would have to be passed by both Houses of Parliament) repealing the 1900 law and allowing Victoria Tower Gardens to be used for something other than a park.

If such a law is proposed, we shall use this as an opportunity for a long-overdue debate on the whole principle of whether London should be forced to have a vastly expensive Holocaust memorial. Such a debate must ask the central questions:
What was the ‘Holocaust’?
What did British intelligence and British ministers know (or think they knew) about the ‘Holocaust’ during the 1940s, and what was the factual basis for their knowledge?
What was the relationship between international Jewish organisations and the British war effort, including propaganda and subversive warfare organisations?

If the British taxpayer is expected to pay more than £100 million, and sacrifice a large chunk of the nation’s capital city, to memorialise the ‘Holocaust’, then we have a right to expect answers to these questions.

Sir Henry Wilson honoured on centenary of his murder

Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson (1864-1922)

A great British hero was belatedly honoured this week, a century after his murder, by the unveiling of a plaque at the House of Commons and a ceremony at Liverpool Street railway station.

Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson was shot dead by IRA assassins outside his home in Eaton Place, Belgravia on 22nd June 1922. Two hours earlier – in full uniform but armed only with a ceremonial sword – he had unveiled a war memorial at Liverpool Street, and had no police or other bodyguards on his return.

Wilson had served the British Empire in various quarters of the globe. For most of his life he bore severe facial scars incurred when (armed only with a bamboo cane) he tackled axe-wielding bandits in Burma.

And his political courage was equal to his physical courage. At the start of 1914 he was one of the most prominent of the senior officers prepared to defy Asquith’s Liberal government when it was prepared to betray Ulster to Irish ‘Home Rulers’. Wilson and others made it clear that if (or rather when) Ulstermen resisted such betrayal, the British Army would not be prepared to take up arms against patriots in order to deliver a political surrender to traitors.

The ensuing ‘Curragh Incident’ or ‘Mutiny at the Curragh’ prevented such a betrayal (although more recent governments in London have done their best to complete the sell-out).

Crowds line the streets for Sir Henry Wilson’s state funeral

In 1921 Lloyd George’s postwar coalition government suddenly resumed a policy of surrendering the Union to Irish terrorists. Wilson – though at that stage a soldier rather than a ‘democratic’ politician – was regarded as the possible leader of a ‘real’ Conservative opposition, and in preparation for such a role he became an MP for the Ulster constituency of North Down.

Despite (or perhaps because of) his own distinguished war record, Wilson was no ‘Little Englander’, but a bold visionary: a staunch defender of both the Union and the Empire, but someone with close ties to European leaders including the French and Spanish governments, and an advocate of a merciful and rational peace with the recently defeated Germans.

A year before his murder, Wilson had a private meeting with King Alfonso of Spain where they discussed the possibility of an Anglo-Spanish alliance (to be the basis of a broader European alliance) against the growing power of the USA. Unlike the rabid Germanophobes who infested the Foreign Office, he viewed Germany as a crucial potential ally and bulwark against the aggressive schemes of newly Bolshevised Russia.

In 1922, it would not be unreasonable to view Sir Henry Wilson as a potential British Mussolini (who became Italian Prime Minister four months after Wilson’s assassination) or Miguel Primo de Rivera (who came to power in Spain in September 1923, backed by King Alfonso): someone who in the national and imperial interest was prepared to sweep aside shabby parliamentary manoeuvres and compromises. Or what his enemies would have viewed as a potential ‘dictator’. In fact arguably the only realistic potential ‘dictator’ Britain ever had during the 20th century.

So it’s not surprising that there have been many ‘conspiracy theories’ about Wilson’s death.

A wreath laid at Liverpool St station this week by Ulster Loyalists in memory of a great British hero

Many (then and now) suspected that the notoriously unscrupulous Prime Minister Lloyd George and his cronies were happy to see his assassination.

What we do know is that two IRA assassins were lurking at the street corner as the Field Marshal’s taxi approached his home. Their first shot missed. Then, as one of Wilson’s biographers Basil Collier puts it:
“At that point he made a brave man’s blunder. He could have run into the house and saved his life. He might even have scared the men away by shouting at the top of his voice…But he was still the Henry Wilson who had faced the bandits in Burma with a stick. He did not retreat into the house. He did not shout for help. He drew his sword and faced his enemies. They fired again quickly. Then seeing him fall, they ran away. He tried to speak as he was lifted up, but the words would not come. In a few minutes it was over. A man who understood him wrote his epitaph when he said that even in his death, he showed he was a soldier.”

A new biography of Wilson has just been published, and will soon be reviewed in Heritage and Destiny.

Today we salute the memory of a Great Briton.

17th June 1953 – still relevant to us in 2022

This is a translation of a perceptive article posted online yesterday by the fast-growing German nationalist group Der III. Weg (‘The Third Way’ – no connection to the 1980s / 1990s UK organisation of the same name). Photos added by H&D: any errors in translation are our responsibility.

Almost 70 years have passed since people in central Germany rose up against the Bolshevisation of their homeland by Moscow’s GDR puppets and fought desperately against oncoming Soviet tanks, which finally violently crushed the uprising. 34 demonstrators lost their lives in the anti-Soviet uprising (Volksaufstand) that day. Subsequently, more insurgents died as a result of death sentences by Soviet court-martials or as a result of the conditions in the communist prisons.

On June 17th 1953, Germans had gathered in East Berlin, Halle, Magdeburg, Leipzig and Dresden with the Deutschlandlied on their lips and, in addition to social improvements, also demanded national goals such as the dismissal of the GDR government, which was dependent on Moscow, the withdrawal of Soviet troops and the Reunification of Germany. This uprising against the corrupt Soviet system, together with the “Prague Spring” of 1968, symbolises the resistance of the oppressed peoples in the Eastern Bloc countries against the Muscovite tyranny, against which the nations of Europe fought heroically in the years 1941-45, before they finally had to kneel before Moscow thanks to the alliance of Churchill and Roosevelt with Stalin.

Until recently, awareness of the Muscovite threat seemed to be shared only among the older generations among us. Too far away in the past was the time when the oppressive Stalinist regime in central Germany shot down rebellious workers who wanted a united German fatherland. The idea that Moscow could again reach out to Europe to seize parts of it and impose its system on them, as the Soviet predecessor system of today’s Russian Federation practiced against all western neighbouring states and on itself since the beginning of its existence, was too unreal. Though with the help of the Allies from 1945, it was even able to subdue the entire eastern half of Europe.

In the years that followed, Russia joined the ranks of the “democratic states” in the world. From then on, the USA and its allies were considered the only imperialists in the world who, with their wars of aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and the continued presence of American military bases in Europe even after the collapse of the Eastern bloc, rightly earned the status of occupiers and warmongers . That changed when the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine on February 24th 2022 under the pretext of “denazifying” Ukraine, but actually wanting to reincorporate it into the Russian Empire. What had been hidden for years before was now openly apparent. The restoration of the old imperialist Soviet Union is a declared goal of the Kremlin’s policy under Putin.

Vladimir Putin with his old KGB boss Lazar Matveev

What happened almost 70 years ago in the cities of Central Germany, we are experiencing again just 2000 km to the east, in cities like Kherson and Melitopol, where the civilian population is making life as difficult as possible for the Russian occupiers, blocking the progress of military vehicles and gathering for mass protests on the streets under waving national flags, even at the risk of being gunned down by Putin’s troops. In Kherson, however, the Russian occupiers are planning to install another separatist bandit republic under the leadership of puppets loyal to Moscow – in the spirit of Ulbricht, Pieck and Grotewohl at the time of the early GDR – after the removal and arrest of local Ukrainian politicians.

A statue of Lenin reinstalled by Russian occupiers in Henichesk, Kherson Province, Ukraine

And the so-called “victory flag” of the Russians has not changed compared to then. The red flag with hammer and sickle is now waving in central squares in Russian-held cities where the national symbols of Ukraine have been removed. The Bolshevik monster was never dead, just slumbering for the past 30 years. Europe’s struggle for freedom against the old enemy did not come to an end after the fall of the Soviet Union, but is now experiencing a resurrection. Reason enough to commemorate June 17th 1953 and its freedom fighters more consciously than ever this year, because our people still have a long way to go before they have paid the last bloody toll in the fight against Bolshevism and Muscovite imperialism.

German patriots commemorate their REAL day of national unity: 17th June

Berlin patriots on the front line against Stalinist tyranny, 17th June 1953

Yesterday German patriots commemorated their real day of national unity – 17th June – anniversary of the 1953 uprising that shook communist rule in so-called ‘East Germany’ (the DDR). Until 1990 this was celebrated in non-communist Germany as a public holiday, but it was then replaced by a politically correct ‘German Unity Day’ on 3rd October.

Just eight years after the cataclysm of 1945, the courage of those who took part in the Volksaufstand of June 1953 is a tribute to the German people’s indomitable faith in a better Europe: a Europe that once existed and that will come again.

German workers defying their communist rulers on 17th June 1953 by marching from the Soviet-controlled sector of Berlin into the western sector.

17th June 1953 is the real day of German unity. A unity of the German spirit, not a corrupt deal stitched up by ‘elites’. A European unity that contrasts with the corruption of recent German Chancellors such as Angela Merkel and Gerhard Schröder, with their squalid surrender to Putin and his oligarchs.

Günter Deckert on 17th June 2020 at a demonstration on the main road of Weinheim, commemorating the 1953 Volksaufstand

H&D‘s great friend and comrade Günter Deckert regularly commemorated the 17th June uprising, beginning from his first days of political activism in the 1960s.

Günter died in March this year but again was with us in spirit yesterday and with all European racial nationalists as we remembered the heroism of 17th June 1953.

Tony Blair’s favourite oligarch hit by sanctions: ex-PM and ‘Holocaust’ lobby under scrutiny

Moshe Kantor hosting a conference in Terezin, Czech Republic, where he demanded that laws against ‘Holocaust denial’ be extended across Europe

As far back as 27th February H&D raised questions about former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his favourite oligarch Moshe Kantor, a close friend of both the ex-Labour leader and the Kremlin godfather Vladimir Putin.

We pointed out that since 2015 Blair has been chairman of Kantor’s ‘European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation’, which campaigns for ‘tougher laws against extremism’.

Naturally the extremism Blair and Kantor wish to criminalise involves such things as publishing a magazine or running a bookshop. For this type of extremism the likes of Blair and Kantor endorse the approach of Spanish prosecutors, who wish to jail Pedro Varela for twelve years, or German prosecutors who wish again to jail the 93-year-old Ursula Haverbeck, or German border guards who defy their own laws and their country’s obligations under the European constitution to deport the 19-year-old student Isabel Peralta.

Invading a neighbouring country is, by contrast, not ‘extreme’: not if the invader is Moshe Kantor’s close friend Vladimir Putin.

Moshe Kantor has founded and sponsored Jewish lobby groups and ‘academic’ foundations around the world: he is now under sanctions for his ties to the Kremlin’s campaign of propaganda lies and brutal aggression against its neighbours

Yesterday – more than five weeks after we raised these questions – the British authorities belatedly acted against Kantor, adding him to their sanctions list.

Kantor’s many leading positions in international Jewry and Zionism include President of the European Jewish Council; Vice President of the UK’s Jewish Leadership Council (a registered charity); Chairman of the Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress; and President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation.

In many of these roles he has worked closely with Tony Blair, who was one of the most pro-Israel Prime Ministers in UK history.

In 2015 Kantor organised a conference in the Czech Republic where he called on European governments including the UK to adopted standardised laws criminalising ‘Holocaust denial’. Defying the views of scholars and legal experts who wish to repeal these ‘historical memory laws’ that jail people for their opinions, Kantor wanted to make the laws stricter and the punishments harsher.

Tony Blair joined Kantor in promoting these arguments and demands for legal crackdowns on opinion-crime, via a major article in The Times newspaper.

The main vehicle for demanding these new debate-denial laws was the ironically named European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, with Kantor as President and paymaster, and Tony Blair as chairman.

Now Kantor himself is facing legal sanctions – not for opinions, but for his documented ties to the Kremlin’s war machine and lie machine.

Moshe Kantor and Tony Blair honouring Prince Albert of Monaco for his obeisance to the Holocaust lobby

It is now beyond dispute that for the past twenty years or more, Vladimir Putin has used Holocaust propaganda as an instrument of Russian diplomacy and as a justification for Russian military aggression.

Now is the time to ask the forbidden questions. Whatever European courts might say, it’s time to demand historical truth.

Back in 2007 – in a letter prominently published in a national newspaperH&D‘s Peter Rushton discussed the way that Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir had used Holocaust propaganda to pressure US governments into allowing Israel to get away with nuclear proliferation. His letter ended: “Should a self-interested version of 1940s history be allowed to dictate the nuclear power politics of the 21st century, with potentially disastrous consequences?”

In 2022 the same question becomes more urgent, and we can no longer allow the risk of prosecution in many European countries to silence that question.

In 2015 Tony Blair and Moshe Kantor demanded new laws to crack down on ‘antisemites’ and ‘Holocaust deniers’.

Therefore this week H&D will launch a new website section – Real History and the True Europe – in which over the coming months we shall ask the important questions about Europe’s history and culture, including the ‘Holocaust’.

On this website, in our magazine, and in a book to be published later this year – The Dogs That Didn’t Bark: British Intelligence, International Jewry and the Holocaust (the first of a series examining aspects of Britain’s secret history with the aid of new archival discoveries) – we will examine whether, just as Moshe Kantor and Vladimir Putin have exploited ‘Holocaust’ stories for propagandist purposes, other official and unofficial propaganda agencies were behind parts of the original ‘Holocaust’ narrative in the 1940s.

We shall re-examine the work of revisionist scholars including the late Professor Robert Faurisson, including work newly available in English translation.

We shall have interviews and court reports from across Europe, as politically biased judges seek to jail nonagenarians for ‘criminal’ opinions.

And we shall reveal other political abuses of the judicial system, where a new generation of European political activist is threatened with prosecution to distract from government treachery and failure to enforce immigration laws.

This online project and publishing venture will look at many other topics besides the ‘Holocaust’, but we shall not be afraid to challenge the establishment consensus. Europe is again at war. Historical and political truth is too important for us to tolerate its restriction by the courts.

Vladimir Putin and Moshe Kantor during an ‘international forum’ that Kantor sponsored on the 60th anniversary of the Soviet ‘liberation’ of Auschwitz

British historian condemns ‘moronic’ wokeness of US National Archives

British historian Andrew Roberts has ridiculed the US National Archives for its latest display of wokeness, after Washington officials placed a ‘trigger warning’ notice next to its historic copy of the 1776 Declaration of Independence.

‘Trigger warnings’ and ‘safe spaces’ have become commonplace in academic and public institutions in recent years as wokeness has taken over. The idea is that minority groups (or just people with ultra-woke ideas) might be offended by any contact with people or writings that convey different ideas, even in a historical context.

As Roberts (biographer of the wartime British Ambassador to Washington, Lord Halifax, and more recently of King George III against whom the Declaration was written) pointed out last weekend to an audience at the Oxford Literary Festival: “Anyone who thinks an 18th century document is not going to be outdated, biased and offensive is frankly a moron. When you go to see the Declaration, you read what it says about Native Americans and so on, you won’t be so offended that you can’t stand up.”

The really interesting thing about this row is what it tells us about American notions of ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’. While liberals like to parrot the Declaration’s phrases about “all men” being “created equal” with “inalienable rights”, they ignore that in practice this meant White men.

The rotunda of the US National Archives in Washington, where the Declaration of Independence – and now the absurd ‘trigger warning’ – are displayed

Hence the words that are now found objectionable, where the Declaration complains that King George:
“has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

Rather than focus their complaint on the word “savages”, the woke brigade might do better to reflect on what this tells us about American values than and now, and about the broader values of liberalism.

Red Indians – now known as Native Americans – supported the British Crown because they knew that the Empire offered them a better deal than they would get under liberal capitalism. The same applied half a century later to the British working-class, exploited as footsoldiers by the liberal middle-class in their campaign for ‘reform’, but then left worse off then ever under the ‘free’ capitalism of early and mid-Victorian England.

As for ‘racism’, Americans might find it uncomfortable to reflect on the fact that their famous Olympic athlete Jesse Owens was treated far better by Adolf Hitler in national-socialist Berlin in 1936 than he was by his fellow Americans!

And the American “rule of warfare” – despite the implication of their own Declaration of Independence, has turned out to be truly destructive “of all ages, sexes and conditions”, from Dresden to Hiroshima to Baghdad.

What this ridiculous fuss about ‘trigger warnings’ really tells us is that it is absurd to try to force history into our 21st century preconceptions. In Washington this absurdity takes the form of placing warning notices next to the Declaration of Independence, in modern Germany it takes the form of locking up 93-year-old Ursula Haverbeck for expressing forbidden historical opinions and daring to ask forbidden questions.

American Olympic gold medallist Jesse Owens (above right) with fellow long jumper Luz Long, a German who won silver at the same 1936 Olympics in National Socialist Berlin. Luz Long was killed while fighting with the Germany Army in Sicily in July 1943, aged 30.

Putin’s London oligarchs: the dishonouring of Britain’s ‘elite’

The story as it appeared in early editions of today’s Sunday Times

This morning’s Sunday Times front page reports that MI5 and MI6 – Britain’s security and intelligence services – objected to the peerage awarded 18 months ago to Evgeny Lebedev, Russian owner of London’s Evening Standard.

Lebedev owes his fortune to his father Alexander, a prominent oligarch and former KGB officer who was in charge of the KGB’s station in London at the end of the Soviet era in the late 1980s, the period when a young Vladimir Putin was number two in the equivalent station in Dresden. As is often the case in the complex politics of post-Soviet Russia, Alexander Lebedev was briefly an enemy of Putin’s but then changed sides and became what one former MI6 officer has called “a craven supporter” of the Kremlin godfather.

Evgeny Lebedev (above centre) with the Prime Minister and his sister Rachel Johnson

Lebedev junior has been a good friend of Prime Minister Boris Johnson for more than a decade, ever since his strong support for Johnson first term as Mayor of London and his re-election campaign in 2012.

According to this morning’s Sunday Times, Johnson exerted pressure on MI5 and MI6 to withdraw their objections to Lebedev’s peerage, and they duly did so. His elevation was announced in July 2020 and he officially took his seat as Lord Lebedev in November that year.

Maundy Gregory, the first of several sinister intermediaries who have fixed the sale of honours on behalf of British political leaders

The blatant sale of honours (up to and including knighthoods and peerages) has been an intermittent feature of British political life since the early 1920s, when Prime Minister David Lloyd George marketed such baubles to political donors via a shady coterie of corrupt businessmen including Maundy Gregory, a theatrical producer and newspaper owner who used his network of homosexual associates to obtain blackmail opportunities for British intelligence.

These schemes became so notoriously disgraceful that a special law was brought in to criminalise such behaviour: the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925. Maundy Gregory himself is the only person to have been convicted under this law – he was jailed for two months in 1933. Gregory’s death remains mysterious. He was reportedly captured by German forces after the French surrender in 1940, and possibly died in an internment camp the following year, but there has never been any official confirmation.

For forty years after Lloyd George there were few if any scandals surrounding honours, until the arrival of Britain’s most pro-Zionist Prime Minister, Labour’s Harold Wilson and his notorious political secretary Marcia Williams (herself ennobled as Lady Falkender).

Harold Wilson (above right) with his political secretary Marcia Williams, later Lady Falkender: the 1976 Honours List that they compiled was until today the most notorious in British history

Wilson and Falkender lavished honours upon corrupt Jewish businessmen who had either donated money to the Labour Party or provided them with personal favours. Many of the beneficiaries had ties to Israel’s intelligence service Mossad, and at least two of those elevated to the Lords – Joseph Kagan and Rudy Sternberg – were suspected of links to the KGB or other Soviet bloc services.

Heritage and Destiny has carried out extensive investigations into the Wilson-Falkender ties to Israeli interests, as readers will learn in a forthcoming book by our assistant editor.

In one important respect, Johnson’s government is even worse than Wilson’s, whose most notorious apparent sales of honours followed his still-mysterious resignation in 1976 – known as the “Lavender List” because Lady Falkender supposedly compiled it on her personal notepaper.

Despite their corruption, Wilson and Falkender did give in to pressure from the honours scrutiny committee and removed three names. One of those removed was the boxing promoter Jarvis Astaire, who was one of many Jews with shady connections who had donated to Wilson’s party coffers and had been suggested for a knighthood. A later pro-Zionist Labour Prime Minister – Tony Blair – eventually gave Astaire a slightly lesser honour, an OBE, in 2003.

Blair’s own government was for some time embroiled in allegations surrounding the sale of honours, involving several prominent Zionist lobbyists close to Labour’s then-leader.

Joseph Kagan – Jewish tycoon and suspected Soviet agent – was among those ennobled by Wilson and Falkender. Official files on Kagan requested by H&D remain secret

Another name that Wilson agreed to remove was Illtyd Harrington, deputy leader of the Greater London Council, whom he had suggested for a peerage. In Harrington’s case there were probably two problems: first he was openly homosexual (which in those days was considered more scandalous than it would be today), and secondly his father had been an active communist who fought with the communist-controlled International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War, and would certainly have had an MI5 file.

Lord Lebedev is also widely assumed to be a homosexual, but in today’s world MI5 and MI6 objections would not have been related to his private life, unless they were concerned that his famously lavish parties had been used to promote Vladimir Putin’s interests.

When Lebedev’s ex-KGB father first purchased the London Evening Standard in 2009, then Secretary of State for Business Peter Mandelson turned down requests for the British government to intervene. Mandelson is a close associate of another Putin oligarch, Oleg Deripaska.

Peter Mandelson (above second left) – former cabinet minister and then EU trade commissioner – visiting a Siberian aluminium smelter in 2005 with influential friends (left to right): Peter Munk (died 2018), chairman of the world’s largest gold mining company; Oleg Deripaska, prominent oligarch and ally of Vladimir Putin; and Nat Rothschild, billionaire financier. Can readers guess what these four men have in common?

Now that the Sunday Times has made these allegations, and given that ordinary Britons will inevitably pay a heavy price in their shopping and utility bills for Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, it is surely imperative for the Johnson Government to publish all relevant documents about the Lebedev peerage and be completely open about the Prime Minister’s friendship with the Standard owner and fellow oligarchs.

And to show that this is a matter that transcends party politics, we are sure that the Labour Party will support the formal request that H&D is now making under the Freedom of Information Act for similar release of all relevant files concerning the Wilson government and its donors. One such file is catalogued as PREM 19/589/1 – due to be released to us at the National Archives in January this year but withheld, “closed while access is under review” for unexplained reasons.

A formal request for release of this and other documents will be submitted at the start of office hours tomorrow.

We shall of course inform H&D readers of any progress in this long overdue forensic examination of the British state’s decline into dishonour.

‘Holocaust’ memorial appeal judge is wife of leading Jewish politician

Plans for the giant ‘Holocaust Memorial’ dwarfing London’s major heritage sites

Regular H&D readers will know that there has for several years been a plan to build a gigantic ‘Holocaust memorial’ in the heart of Westminster – close to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey – and taking over one of Central London’s few green spaces, Victoria Tower Gardens.

H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton submitted a detailed report in 2019 to the original Westminster City Council planning enquiry, which went on to reject the planned memorial.

However government ministers appointed a central inspector who override the decision of local planners.

Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Carrington, who had won the Military Cross for his bravery during the Second World War, wrote of the original plans for a London Holocaust Memorial: “The whole idea is preposterous”.

Today that central government decision is being challenged in court, reopening the question of whether this monstrous ‘memorial’ will ever be built.

Readers can assess the arguments for themselves by reading Peter Rushton’s fully documented article here.

And we shall of course report on the progress of today’s appeal.

However one strange fact is worth pointing out immediately. The judge in this High Court Appeal is Mrs Justice Thornton – better known as the wife of former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.

Justine Miliband with her husband Ed – then Labour Party leader – on election day. Swapping her political hat for her judicial one, Mrs Miliband – aka Mrs Justice Thornton – is now sitting in judgment on the London Holocaust Memorial plans.

In 2015 her husband publicly supported the initial plan for a London Holocaust Memorial – and now Mrs Miliband (aka Mrs Justice Thornton) is sitting in judgment on the final version of the same project. We have no reason to believe that Mrs Miliband/Thornton is anything other than totally honest and unbiased, but can this be right, when justice must be seen to be done?

Ed Miliband’s grandfather Sam was a committed communist who fled to London as an illegal immigrant from wartime Belgium. He had earlier fled from his Warsaw birthplace after betraying his own country to fight alongside Trotsky’s invading Red Army during 1920. See our report a decade ago.

Ed Miliband’s grandfather Sam (left) and father Ralph were illegal Jewish Communist immigrants. His wife Justine is now sitting in judgment on plans for a giant ‘Holocaust Memorial’ in London.

Latest woke insanity sees Shakespeare’s theatre issue ‘anti-semitism’ warning

In the latest pathetic display of woke ‘sensitivity’, Shakespeare’s Globe has issued a warning to theatre-goers that The Merchant of Venice – currently being staged by candlelight at the Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – “contains antisemitism, colourism, and racism”.

We aren’t quite sure what “colourism” means, but we can be sure it isn’t an apology for the Globe having cast two black men and one Asian women among characters meant to portray 16th century Venetians.

As for “anti-semitism” – can anyone planning to see The Merchant of Venice really be unaware that its central character – the moneylender Shylock – is perhaps the most archetypal Jewish villain in literary history?

If the Globe were really concerned about whether the Shylock image is fair or not, then instead of this pathetic cringe perhaps they would care to sponsor a conference or study day to accompany the production? H&D would be very happy to provide a speaker.

For example we could discuss two statements by one of the greatest figures in British political history, Ernest Bevin, who founded Britain’s largest trade union, took charge of labour relations in Churchill’s government during the Second World War, and was Foreign Secretary for almost six years after the war, when he was the co-architect of NATO.

Bevin told the Trade Union Congress during the 1931 economic crisis: “It is a game of Shylock versus the people, with Shylock getting the pound of flesh every time.”

And at an emergency Cabinet meeting soon after the Second World War, by which time war debt had tightened Shylock’s grip. Bevin said in Cabinet (!) that “we [the British government and by extension the British people] are in Shylock’s hands”. This observation was so incendiary that it was not typed into the official Cabinet minutes, but appears in the handwritten notes of that meeting taken by a senior civil servant.

This was at a time when British soldiers and police were fighting Jewish terrorists in Palestine, and although it took almost three years, ‘American’ pressure eventually forced the British government into acquiescence in the creation of Israel in 1948.

So if the Globe really wants to discuss the question of ‘anti-semitism’ and Shylock in a British context, let’s start with Ernest Bevin and discuss whether his views reflected ‘racism’ or reality.

Or is the Globe interested only in woke posturing rather than scholarship?

Two legends of British Nationalism – John Tyndall reviews John Bean

John Bean – one of H&D‘s oldest subscribers – died on November 9th last year and his obituary by our assistant editor Peter Rushton appeared in our January 2022 issue (#106).

A large part of postwar British nationalist history involves John Bean and his sometime ally, sometime rival John Tyndall, former chairman of the National Front and British National Party, who was a great friend of H&D until his death in July 2005 and remains an inspiration today.

In the November 1999 issue of his journal Spearhead, John Tyndall reviewed John Bean’s memoir Many Shades of Black, and as an addition to our memorial tribute we reprint that review below: it serves as a useful introduction for younger readers to the sometimes tangled history of our movement in the decades after 1960.

MEMORIES AND MYTHS

John Tyndall reviews a political autobiography which revives some ancient controversies

It is often said to be the custom of retired war generals to write their memoirs, justifying their decisions and answering their critics. This is fair enough; we are all human, and we all have a disposition to do it – whether or not the chronicle of events in which we have been involved ever actually gets into print.

One such chronicle which has got into print has recently been produced by John Bean, a veteran nationalist. In the case of the writer, the war has been a political one – to be precise, the same war as that in which I myself have been engaged over a largely overlapping period: the struggle of national and patriotic forces in Britain against those of liberalism, globalism and multi-racialism. John Bean and I have at various times been allies and antagonists in that struggle, mostly the former. Needless to say, the antagonisms have been the consequence of tactical differences rather than ones of principle.

Many Shades of Black is easy to read, quite fascinating to the connoisseur of the history of the British nationalist movement and seldom proceeding far without glimpses of the rich sense of humour that is one of my abiding memories of JB. By far the best in my opinion (although it may offend some) occurs very early in the book when the writer speaks, tongue in cheek, of his part in winning World War II. Alluding to Germany’s führer, he says:–

“Sheltering in his Berlin bunker, he was told that the British and American armies were pouring over the Rhine and the Russians were hammering on the gates of Berlin. Then came the telegram (a month late) that John Bean had joined the RAF. Hitler shot himself.”

Just too late too see any action in the war, John Bean subsequently did his national service in the Royal Navy. But we are running ahead of ourselves. The first chapter covers the author’s childhood and adolescence, spent mainly in the South London suburbs, his experience of the wartime Blitz and his consequent evacuation, first to Devon and later to the Lake District; his rather scampish propensity as a young boy to land himself in trouble; and an early political flirtation with communism, which he soon grew out of.

There then follows an account, with some amusing anecdotes, of the author’s service life, including a visit to Trinidad. This was John Bean’s first acquaintance with the non-White races, and it was instructive. Of it, he says:–

“More than one-third of the Trinidadian population at that time were descendants of indentured labourers from India. The remainder were mainly descendants of African slaves, with a fair proportion of French Creoles, British and Spanish colonists, and quite a few who are a combination of the lot. But it was always the African descendant who ended up as the inhabitant of the shanty hut.
“The Chinese had a virtual monopoly in general stores and the wholesale trade of domestic articles. The Indians controlled all taxicabs, public transport and the cinemas; and the Portuguese the rum industry. In the face of these closed shops the black Trinidadians had nothing left but to labour in the sugar-cane fields, a position that has changed little today.”

Was this the consequence of some kind of ‘racist’ oppression or was it just the natural order? Said the author a little further on:–

“We… began to accept the view of a number of Indian, Portuguese and Spanish-origin Trinidadians that to a certain extent many of the inhabitants of the shanty towns were there of their own choosing. It is all a question of values. Many of them considered it is better to spend their hard-earned cash on a gaily coloured new shirt or a bottle of rum rather than waste it on rent for shelter in such an equable climate…”

John Bean

Back in civilian life, John Bean eventually found employment as a civilian technician in the paint industry, which soon took him to India. Then still something of a liberal, he expected to find the local population amicably disposed to Britons after having recently acquired their independence from the Raj, but: –

“It was a great disappointment to find, instead of goodwill, the honeymoon atmosphere prophesied by liberal journalusts, an abundance of criticisms, open abuse and sometimes precocious advice on how Britain should run her affairs.”

So what had happened? Simple. The young industrial chemist was beholding people who respected power – specifically the power of the White Man. Once this power had been relinquished, that same White Man, far from being regarded with friendliness, was despised for his weakness and treated accordingly.

Speaking of these experiences in exotic parts, the writer says in conclusion to the second chapter in which they are described:–

“I had become aware of the racial differences that had created the various cultures of mankind. This made me a racialist, but certainly not a ‘race hater’. Twenty years of radical right activity were to make me realise that there can be, unfortunately, a rather narrow dividing line.”

Why the need for this concluding statement? Of course, racial consciousness, like every other idea, can be pushed to extremes, but that does not invalidate it. Here we encounter a tendency among racial patriots, by no means confined to the author of Many Shades of Black: a slightly apologetic feeling of guilt for a sentiment over which one should never feel guilty nor apologise but should assert with constant firmness and with no ‘ifs’ nor ‘buts’, while at the same time naturally avoiding language that is crude or insulting.

Returning to Britain after a spell abroad, John Bean appears to have undergone an experience which many share after having been away for a while: a tendency to look at their own country in a new way, often a more critical way than in the past. Perhaps this is just the natural consequence of the vivid reminder that there is a great big world outside, of which we are only a part: a world in which we have to compete, in which not everybody loves us or feels they owe us anything. I recall, as if it were only yesterday, similar impressions in my own case after two years as a national serviceman in Germany.

Here, in a chapter headed ‘Blackshirt apprentice’, the writer relates his concern about the changing human landscape in the country which, like so many others, he irritatingly refers to as ‘England’. It leads him into radical politics, and in 1950 we find him in the party of Sir Oswald Mosley, now called Union Movement.

After a few years came disillusionment. Mosley himself remained a fascinating figure, admired for both his intelligence and his courage; but the types of people he seemed mostly to recruit were a different matter (an impression I myself shared when I began an examination of the movement, without ever joining it, a short time afterwards).

The Mosleyites were under constant physical attack by communists and also by members of a Jewish gang known then as the 43 Group. They quite rightly defended themselves, and fights became a regular feature of their meetings and public demonstrations. Here there arose a problem which has been the subject of dispute on the radical right to this day.

The mass media, even then, had been well drilled to deny publicity to Mosley’s people in any shape or form which focused serious attention on their policies. Their only hope of getting in the news, therefore, lay in the frequent brawls that attended their activities. For this they should not have been blamed. The normal media boycott was not their fault, any more than was the organised violence that pursued them on the streets and in the meeting halls. If the violence served to win them public attention, whereby then people would enquire into their policies and obtain a fairer picture of what they actually stood for, who could blame them for taking advantage of this? An army fighting a guerrilla war in occupied territory, in which most normal rights – including that of receiving a fair hearing – are denied to it, should not be reproached for seizing upon every available weapon necessary for survival. That is the way it is in the world of real politics.

But the weapon was double-edged. The reputation for violence which, in the first place quite unfairly, pursued Mosley’s followers made them acquire an image which gave out a number of wrong signals to would-be recruits. If the perpetrators of the violence happened, as was often the case, to be Jewish, certain further signals would be emitted. Says John Bean, commenting on this tendency:–

“…whenever they received press publicity over some skirmish in the East End, the thinking public were assured just that much more of their hooligan and mob-like character. For the most part, the only recruits such publicity gained were political morons looking for excitement, or those people who suffer from a brand of anti-semitism that is not even ‘blessed’ with a political foundation but is sheerly social anti-semitism often based on jealousy.”

In later years, my own experiences bore out some – though not all – of the author’s conclusions, with the difference of detail that the focus then centred on black and Asian, rather than Jewish, people. John Bean here speaks of “the thinking public”, but I would challenge his use of this term. People who think really seriously about political matters will not be deterred from seeking information about a political group by the mere fact that violence often seems to attend its activities; they will enquire into the source of the violence, taking care to ascertain whether the group that is the object of their interest is responsible for it or merely its victim. When I was leading the National Front in the 1970s, the rowdyism that was almost constantly present when we showed ourselves in public in any prominent way probably did put off some people who would otherwise have been inclined to support us. But there were nevertheless a good many who saw through media propaganda, which tended to lump us together with our attackers as if we were equally responsible for the trouble, and recognised quite clearly where the real blame lay. We attracted large numbers of very decent, intelligent and politically serious Britons to our cause, while also picking up just a few who joined for other, less commendable, reasons.

It must be remembered that back in those times, as today, hooligan behaviour by those on the political left was a familiar phenomenon by no means confined to occasions where nationalists were the targets. In quite recent memory was the Battle of Grosvenor Square, where a left-wing mob besieged the American Embassy, taking its anger and hysteria out on the police who were there to protect it. There was the violent picketing of docks and factories arising out of industrial disputes. There were the Greenham Common disturbances, as well as those surrounding the miners’ strike. Later there were the poll-tax riots, not to forget the racial conflagrations of the 1980s which not even the biased media could attribute to any White ‘racist’ intervention. Members of the British public with anything resembling brains are well used to these left-wing, ‘anti-racist’ and often anti-police tactics, and are perfectly capable of perceiving their presence behind organised attacks on patriots. Our experience of the ’70s was that, when the NF was targeted by the same gangs, that became, in many eyes, almost a recommendation rather than a deterrent. “If that crowd are against you, you must be doing something right!” was a comment that I heard frequently during those years. They were years of quite spectacular recruitment to the nationalist cause, in which the vast majority were ordinary folk not looking for punch-ups, nor motivated by irrational hatred towards other races, but concerned to preserve their country’s identity and prepared to face physical attacks if that was necessary in the excercise of their freedoms.

There nevertheless is some validity in what John Bean has said on this matter, albeit that the issue can be grossly oversimplified. Violence can attract those with a natural disposition towards it, and public discussion of the race issue can appeal to negative sentiments of hate just as to positive ones of love. It is all a matter of how carefully the party leadership exercises a fine-tuning balance on such matters, how it regulates the choice of what is said and what is done. I believe that we got the balance very nearly right in the 1970s – not 100% right, perhaps, but much more right than wrong. It could well be that Mosley’s party failed, in its time, to achieve this balance; and that, at the end of the day, has to be down to Mosley himself.

On the rebound from Mosley, John Bean was persuaded by some members of his family to join the Tories, and enlisted as a member in the Barnes branch, in South West London. This venture lasted precisely two months. From the standpoint of his social ideas, JB might have found compatibility with Labour but, as he states, “I had joined the Conservative Party because it was more of a home for patriots and nationalists…” But the tiny horizons of his fellow Tories soon dismayed him. This, he says:

“…was a new world of politics, where my fellow members’ minds seemed dominated by minutes of the previous meetings, points of order related to local drainage and other trivia, and a lack of interest in looking at policies now that the country was ‘back in the safe hands of the Conservatives’ under Churchill…”

Of course, this preoccupation with the minute and the parochial thoroughly suited the party chiefs, as it does down to this day. The Tory rank and file have always been notoriously docile in their acceptance of the party line as determined by their supposed superiors at Central Office. Again, it seemed to have been a case of like calling out to like. Just as the regular brawls in which Mosleyites were constantly engaged tended to attract belligerent spirits addicted to brawling, so did the polite tameness of constituency Tories have the habit of pulling in the equally tame. This has always been the problem with modern Conservatism. Even where glimmerings of the political ‘light’ may occasionally filter through the general fog, the impulse to action is paralysed due to the prevailing atmosphere of genteel inertia and the wholly undynamic types it encourages.

Colin Jordan addresses a Trafalgar Square rally in 1962

Bean was now looking for an organisation outside the political mainstream but not, in his own words, “irrevocably tarred with the brush of anti-semitism and fascism as Mosley’s movement was.” Here we see him pursuing a chimera that has obsessed and frustrated countless thousands of basically sound patriots in Britain, while at the same time serving as a constant source of friction between people who should be united. The truth is that the ‘brush’ he so much rejected – more out of tactical considerations than of personal conviction – is something that is always going to ‘tar’ genuine patriotic organisations as long as effective power in Britain lies with the liberal-globalist establishment and as long as the news media remain in that establishment’s hands.

Of course, those patriotic organisations should not go out of their way to get ‘tarred’ beyond normal expectation. They should exclude, as far as possible, campaigning methods and imagery which positively invite the media to draw such connections. This goes without saying, and I have myself been at fault many years ago, when much younger, in becoming involved briefly with a political group which made just these errors. But, all this having been acknowledged, it remains a fact that the eagerness of patriots to attain the unattainable – a public image 100% free of any taint of ‘fascist’ or ‘anti-semitic’ connections, justified or not – has become a neurosis which has constantly poisoned and enfeebled nationalist parties, and very often caused them to splinter with the result that the factions into which they have divided have all been totally impotent, with or without the ‘fascist’ label.

Some in the nationalist movement have in fact quite cynically exploited this neurosis in the course of power-struggles where it has been their own ambition, rather than any genuine distaste or fear of ‘fascism’, that has been the driving factor. However, in the case of John Bean I believe that his fears on these counts were always sincere, if misconceived.

Bean’s next serious foray into active politics was with the League of Empire Loyalists, which satisfied his quest for a movement with a ‘non-fascist’ pedigree (though in fact led by a former Mosley lieutenant, A.K. Chesterton). The League never had pretensions to becoming a party but was conceived, and operated, essentially as a movement of protest. Of course, protest groups have their place in the political landscape but always as mere means to an end; there is not the slightest point in their activity unless its object is to bring pressure to bear on those who actually wield the power, so that the latter will carry out the policies for which the protestors clamour. If there is not a hope of this happening, the protest becomes a waste of time – except in special circumstances where it serves a covert purpose of preparing the way for the formation of a political party, with a strategy for the eventual winning of power, at a later date.

There never was the slightest hope of any party of political power (which realistically could only be the Tory Party) adopting the policies that the League advocated. But neither was there any preparedness by the League’s leadership to see the League itself as a party in the making. Its activities, therefore, were leading nowhere. Bean saw this – as also did a younger League member who in the meantime had joined a little while after him. That member’s name was John Tyndall.

I enlisted in the LEL for the same reason as Bean did: because it was the best outlet of its time for people of nationalist opinions who wanted to do something active. We came to the same conclusions about the League’s limited future, largely independently but through some discussion. This discussion eventually led, in 1958, to the formation of the National Labour Party, mainly initiated, and subsequently led, by Bean but with me in a supporting role. As a preliminary to the setting up of the NLP, Bean and Chesterton had exchanged letters on the subject in which the latter had said:–

“I do not feel any deep conviction that the League, unless it has a big break, will get very far, but I do think that you are in danger of abandoning the substance for the shadow. The result could well be years of effort without making the slightest impact on the public mind. The loss of you would be grievous to us, and fragmentation of effort might be annoying, but quite honestly I think that you are going out into the wilderness and that nothing more will be heard of you in any serious political connection.”

Chesterton was at the same time right and wrong. There would indeed be fragmentation of effort, and that is always retrograde when people have previously been working together. The NLP did indeed constitute, to a great extent at least, an abandonment of substance for shadow. The result was to be years of the NLP, and other parties of its type, making at least very little impact on the public mind. The NLP was indeed a step into the wilderness.

But such a step was always inevitable as long as Chesterton remained determined that the LEL remain an organisation of protest and nothing more. There were bound to be others – if not Bean and Tyndall, then someone else – who would take the process a step further and form something intended to channel this protest into a party, aiming, however remotely, at political power. What would have been far preferable to the fragmentation of which Chesterton spoke was an agreement that the League should become a party itself, if only in embryo. After all, had he not admitted that the League was unlikely to get very far? The party that should have been formed then was eventually formed nine years later. They were nine years of much wasted time, including some political misadventures which might well otherwise have been avoided.

A.K. Chesterton

‘National Labour’ made some small impact during its two-year career, but it remained very much on the outer fringes of political life in Britain, and largely if not entirely justified Chesterton’s prognosis. In 1960 the NLP amalgamated with another group, the White Defence League, to form the British National Party – which should not be confused with the party of the same name which operates today. Though the NLP brought considerably more members into the merger than did the WDL, it was the head of the latter group, Colin Jordan, who became overall leader of the new combination. This was not unconnected with the fact that Jordan was able to supply a headquarters building as a major bargaining counter. The merger was a positive step forward – a change from the trend of the previous years in that it constituted a move towards greater unity among nationalists instead of greater division. It was also much to Bean’s credit: he sacrificed his position of seniority in the interests of the greater cause – a good example to others which was not always subsequently followed.

But after another two years much of this good was undone. Here I myself must take some of the blame, but so also must Bean. As is usual in political parties, there were different wings: the ‘moderates’ and the ‘militants’. Bean represented the former while Colin Jordan, and I myself in a more junior capacity, were classified as the latter. Had more mature attitudes prevailed, these divisions might have been contained within the party by a spirit of compromise and more readiness for discussion on both sides. As it was, they led to a thoroughly acrimonious split, which occurred in 1962. The consequence of this was that the BNP carried on, now with Bean in charge, while the more ‘militant’ faction reformed as the National Socialist Movement under Jordan.

As Jordan’s main lieutenant, I have taken some ‘stick’ in nationalist circles ever since for this very foolish error. The truth is that I never wanted the reformed party to adopt the name ‘National Socialist’ but went along with the decision once Jordan made it. I blame myself, not Jordan, for my doing so. The fact was that I had had enough of splits. I hadn’t wanted this split in the first place but it was forced by others. I wasn’t prepared to lead people into a further split, but neither did I want to drop out of political activity. In accordance with my view that once the party leader has made a decision it should be followed, irrespective of agreement or otherwise, I went along with Jordan’s scheme for a party under the new name chosen, and subsequently adapted myself to the ‘party line’.

The book under discussion here is John Bean’s, not mine; and this diversion may seem a little like my trying to take centre stage from him. However, as the error involved in the setting up of the NSM, and my participation in it, forms part of a major theme of Many Shades of Black, I have no alternative but to dwell on it a little – with apologies to the author! There will be cause to refer to this subject again.

John Tyndall and Colin Jordan with American national socialist leader George Lincoln Rockwell in what became an ‘infamous’ photograph taken at the NSM’s Cotswold camp in 1962

Naturally, John Bean in his book goes to some lengths to justify his own position in this division, and I certainly do not propose to defend Jordan’s and mine. But more important than the question of where lay the greater blame was the fact that, once again, the nationalist movement had suffered a further fragmentation. Now the movement was splintered into three main strands. There was the League of Empire Loyalists, from which Bean & Co. had split to form the NLP (later the BNP); there was the BNP itself; and now there was the National Socialist Movement – smaller than either but large in the publicity it came to attract. Needless to say, the partisans of each faction strove energetically to explain to everyone why they were right and the others wrong. It was all quite tragic and it was all quite futile. None of these grouplets had any serious political future as they then stood; which was the most ‘right’ of the three was rather academic.

Two years on from these events, I was forced into doing what I had always wanted to avoid doing: I led a split myself. Seeing that the NSM was going nowhere but not being accepted within the other groups, I and probably the main body of party activists parted company with Jordan and set up the Greater Britain Movement. There were now four mutually hostile factions all splashing about in the political wilderness, doomed to total irrelevance. This had to change, and I was one of those who set about changing it.

By a process that has been documented elsewhere, these factions, excluding the NSM, came together in the late 1960s to form the National Front, thus virtually putting an end to the debilitating divisions by which the nationalist movement in Britain had been racked for the past two decades. Again, John Bean was to be commended for consenting to some loss of personal status in order to make this possible.

All this time, JB had been editing and publishing, on a slightly irregular basis, a tabloid-style paper called Combat. The contribution of Combat to the growth of British Nationalism – small though the movement was by comparison with some others of its kind around the world – deserves some praise. For most of his political life Bean had never been a full-time activist; he had usually had to earn his living outside politics – and support a wife and two children into the bargain. When his input of activity, plus his contributions as a publisher and journalist, are taken into account against this background, it can be seen that his sacrifices for the nationalist cause were considerable. In 1968 he suddenly approached me and informed me he was retiring from active politics and volunteered to hand over the subscription list of Combat to my own journal Spearhead, which had been founded just under three years earlier. This gave the latter a considerable boost, and it should not be forgotten.

On the other hand, JB’s withdrawal from the struggle, at 41 years of age, was a matter of deep regret notwithstanding our numerous disagreements. His book, however, does not end at this point, but goes on to cover much of the story of the National Front and comment on developments beyond.

Some painfully slow and frustrating negotiations preceded the setting-up of the NF in 1967. Here we encountered again the neurotic fear of the ‘fascist’ taint on the part of people who simply could not perceive the ‘bigger picture’. The nationalist right in Britain had been impotent for two decades, not primarily because this taint had rubbed off on some of its factions, but because of its woeful disunity. This disunity meant that no single faction was able to command the membership numbers and resources to make the kind of impact upon public opinion that would lead people to think that nationalism was a serious force and therefore worth joining. Until that primary obstacle had been overcome – which could only happen by way of a merger of the factions and the consequent mobilisation of far greater membership numbers and resources – arguments about ‘fascist’ or ‘nazi’ labels and how to deal with them amounted to spitting in the wind.

That the new, unified movement that was required would need to distance itself from ‘fascism’, ‘nazism’ and at least the cruder manifestations of ‘anti-semitism’ referred to previously by Bean – all this was beyond dispute. What bogged down negotiations towards the merger was the small-minded tendency of so many of the key negotiators to reject the idea of entering into any kind of political association with others who in the past had been connected with groups termed ‘fascist’ or ‘nazi’ – though their own previous groups had hardly demonstrated roaring political success by comparison. What was needed was mutual tolerance, compromise and a preparedness to draw a line under past misadventures and failures and look forward to the future. What the new movement had to do was harmonise all the forces of dynamism, activism and, where applicable, leadership available to nationalism from whatever quarter they came. In fact it took a few more years for it to be demonstrated, in the bracing arena of real national politics, that individuals’ associations previous to their involvement with the NF were completely irrelevant to their usefulness to that party; much more important were their personal attributes of energy, talent, dedication and commitment to the common cause.

In his book John Bean takes us on a journey through the often labyrinthine process of these arguments and obstructions which simply postponed what everyone should have seen as wholly necessary and, if nationalism was to become a real force in this country, inevitable. One excerpt from this narrative was instructive. Describing the Acton by-election, in West London, in which Andrew Fountaine, now the NF’s Executive Director, was the candidate and received 1,400 votes, Bean says that seven days before the poll he saw lots of ‘Vote Fountaine’ posters on view and thought the candidate likely to top 5,000 votes, but…

“He then became the victim of a ‘fascist’ smear campaign: first, from an illegal leaflet distributed throughout Acton by the 62 Group [the successor to the former 43 Group – see review of television drama ‘Ridley Road’ in H&D #107 and #108]; second from Liberal and Labour canvassers; third, from a scurrilous leaflet issued by the Liberals on the eve of poll. The Fountaine posters were soon taken down.”

Here there is a confusion between cause and effect based on facile assumptions rather than serious analysis. In the first place, estimates of voting figures, whether drawn from canvassing returns or numbers of posters in windows, almost always greatly exceed results eventually achieved. Then there is the assumption that all those who removed their posters necessarily changed their voting intentions as a result of the same pressures. Much more likely is that they were frightened of getting bricks through their windows!

And even if votes for Fountaine were significantly affected by the smear campaign, this just goes to show that a candidate like AF, with absolutely no past record of association with ‘fascism’, stands just the same chance of having the ‘fascist’ label slapped on him as does another who does have such a record.

And if it be argued that Fountaine would not have earned those smears had he represented a party with no former ‘fascists’ or ‘nazis’ within it, it can only be said that, ‘earn’ or not, he would still have got them! We have all learned through experience that these smearmongers have not the slightest regard for the truth; if ‘fascist’ or ‘nazi’ connections do not exist in the record of a patriotic would-be politician, his opponents will invent them! John Bean ought to understand this, but his description of these events gives little sign of it.

In the final section of his book, Bean looks back on his years as an active nationalist, and pays particular attention to the rise and fall of the National Front, giving six reasons for the latter.

With the first reason one can readily agree. This was the action of the Tories under Margaret Thatcher of stealing the clothing of the NF by implied promises on immigration put forward at the 1979 general election.

As a second reason, the author cites the “almost continual internal warfare that beset the National Front from its foundation…” Here again, he is substantially correct, though he might have said a great deal more in analysis of the causes of that warfare. As an example of an over-facile dismissal of the phenomenon, he takes the example of one-time Leicester Organiser Anthony Reed-Herbert as one of those who were ‘worn down’ by all the in-fighting. I was able to witness closely the events surrounding Reed-Herbert’s defection. In fact, what he did was lead a treacherous and disloyal faction into a breakaway party, based mainly in the Midlands. In my view, establishment infiltration and internal subversion was a far more significant cause of splits than people being ‘worn down’, though the latter factor did play a part in gaining followers for these treacherous elements. Which category Reed-Herbert came into I cannot say.

As reason No. 3, Bean speaks of marches and demonstrations. He begins by saying that such activities have a part to play in politics when they are held for specific reasons and are disciplined – but, he continues, the famous Lewisham march in 1977, which led to a pitched battle mainly between left-wingers and police, was a step too far in this regard.

Richard Edmonds with the framed photograph of the 1977 Lewisham NF rally, presented by H&D to mark his 45 years in nationalism

Well, my recollection of the Lewisham march is that it was very well disciplined and that all the trouble was caused by the opposition. As to whether the march was held for a specific reason, the reason was a protest against mugging, and the area chosen was one in which that practice had attained epidemic proportions. Arguments as to whether Lewisham was “a march too far” have raged up to this day. We come back to the question of a fine tuning aimed at balance between the need for a party to maintain a high public profile and the need for it to avoid a reputation just for brawling. I have said that in this regard we in the NF in those days got the balance nearly right. Unanimity about Lewisham will never be achieved, but at the end of the day we should keep our sense of proportion. One march attended by a riot did not destroy a political movement; other factors were much more important.

John Bean goes on to cite ‘nazi’ smear propaganda as reason No. 4 for the NF’s demise, but then he as good as answers his own claim by acknowledging that other groups of people, such as Kingsley Read’s National Party, who split from the NF to avoid the smears, still went on receiving them. He is of course perfectly right: It is not a question of whether these smears adversely affect nationalist support; probably they do but just how much will never be quantifiable; it is a question of there being no way of avoiding them and therefore of our having to live with them and not fall out over them.

The fifth reason put forward opens up an intriguing debate. Says the author: –

“People interested in joining the NF did so primarily on the issue of immigration. When they wrote in for further details most found that they also had sympathy for some of the other NF views, such as opposition to Britain’s membership of the Common Market; the return of capital punishment for child murderers and the murderers of police officers; denouncing the international bankers who put profit before national interest and jobs. But when they looked through the pages of National Front News and Spearhead they would see other issues that did not appear in the general leaflets and the usually well-written election addresses. These would be articles on Jewish financial power, alleged Jewish control of the media and Zionist influences over British and American foreign policy…”

Well, no-one can please everybody all of the time! But seriously, was the NF to exclude frank discussion of ‘background’ issues which, in the opinion of its leaders, had a very real bearing on the more obvious issues of immigration, Europe and the economy? I believe not. Obviously, the discussion has to be conducted carefully, and we did attempt to do just this. But always there is something liable to said that upsets someone. A party that can completely prevent this belongs to the world of fantasy. At the end of the day, the items in our publications of that time which John Bean evidently thinks should have been excluded did not prevent many thousands joining. As for putting off voters, hardly one voter in a quarter of a million would ever have read such material.

What John Bean seems wholly incapable of realising is that, just as the laws of internal combustion rule that one cannot indefinitely keep a lid on a boiling kettle without it being blown off, once one permits discussion of certain subjects like immigration, Europe and international banking – as must be permitted in the nationalist movement, one could not prevent the extension of that discussion to origins and causes if one tried. My honest opinion on the matter is that, at the end of the day, people ready in the 1970s to join the National Front (or in the 1990s to join the latter-day BNP) are not likely to be put off in any significant numbers from doing so by seeing references to these subjects in publications or, if they were, would be certain to find some other reason for non-participation even if those ones were not available.

John Bean’s final reason (6) for the waning of the NF (and BNP) vote in their traditional areas is ‘White Flight’. Here he is of course partly right, but this would only indicate the need for some changes in campaign locations. Even here, however, the theory, in as much as it applies to the late 1970s and early 1980s, is rather contradicted by the BNP’s excellent results in East London in the early to mid-’90s.

All this, as the reader will by now have concluded, has become something much more than a book review. There is a reason. John Bean’s analysis of the problems besetting British Nationalism during his and later times gets to the heart of the big questions of success and failure, even when his conclusions are, at least in my opinion, off target. There are moments when, in diagnosing failures and setbacks, we are prone to get a little too close to the picture and become immersed in too much minor detail. Here is where there is a need to step back somewhat, transport ourselves mentally to the mountain-top, so to speak, and take more of an overview.

One of the first things we need to recognise is that the kind of country Britain has become in the second half of the 20th century provides one of the most difficult environments in the developed world for the building of a movement of national awakening. National character and temperament, the erosion of education and the prevailing transatlantic ‘pop’ culture, not least the virtual two-party electoral system, all militate against those engaged in such an endeavour. These things do not make the endeavour impossible, but they do necessitate steely determination, almost infinite patience and perseverance, and a calm, adult attitude towards failures and setbacks – making these latter the occasions for deep analysis and serious discussion rather than knee-jerk emotional reactions.

All too often, these conditions have not been properly understood and the rules stemming from them not followed.

The main result, and by far the most damaging one, has been the division of forces. Almost everywhere in the world, patriotic movements engaged in the fight against the liberal-globalist establishment are grossly under-resourced by comparison with their enemies. This makes it imperative for them to combine and coordinate the resources they do have. Wherever these resources are split, impotence is the outcome.

For a few years in the 1970s, patriotic forces in Britain were about 90% united under the National Front. This, combined with other factors outside the range of our discussion here, made for its strength and success. The moment this unity was broken, impotence for many years was the inevitable consequence.

Gradually, a new unity has been forged by way of the rise to dominance of the nationalist movement by the British National Party – though this has not yet proceeded as far as was the case with the NF two decades ago. It is absolutely essential that this unity be maintained, whatever temptations may emerge for it to be undermined and ruptured.

If this is to be achieved, the lessons of the Front’s break-up must be thoroughly digested. Here it avails us nothing to argue interminably about the responsibility to be apportioned to this or that individual; rather should we be concentrating on particular tendencies of thought and action which were ultimately destructive.

One has been pinpointed, if only by implication: the failure to understand the immensely difficult terrain on which we fight, and thence the need for an acceptance of very patient timescales for the achievement of success.

There was another which cannot be stressed too strongly. This was the unwillingness of people representing certain strands of nationalist thinking to understand and tolerate others representing different, but not necessarily incompatible, strands. Here the ghosts of the past were all too often allowed to haunt and plague the present.

The previous era in which nationalist forces enjoyed power in major countries and prevailed over a substantial part of Europe was the nazi and fascist era of the 1930s and 1940s. The shadow of that era – even if it is merely a negative one – cannot be eradicated, however much we try.

An adult approach to the problems of today and tomorrow must first be based on a recognition that times are different, that history has moved on and that methods that might have been appropriate to deal with problems of the pre-war and wartime period in parts of Europe are not necessarily suitable to the present, also that this previous era carries a popular stigma that requires a firm distancing on our part from its imagery and associations.

But equally, such an adult approach must recognise that there will be individuals comprising a not negligible part of the patriotic and radical right of today who will refuse to see no good at all in those revolutionary experiments of yesterday, however unhappily they may have ended. The idea that such individuals can be totally excommunicated from our modern movement and all the strands of their thinking rejected as if they constituted some latter-day bubonic plague – that is not only in principle wrong but it is also wildly unrealistic. Failure to recognise this truth in the 1970s was a major generator of quarreling and division. It must not be allowed to have the same consequences in the future.

Taking this question a stage further, we have to understand that, whatever distance is established between modern nationalism and former national socialism and fascism, the nazi and fascist labels are going to be slapped on us by our opponents in the media and in other political parties, particularly those of the left. There just is no way to avoid these labels without abandoning altogether every robust principle of race and nation and becoming little better than flag-waving Tories. What we have to do is rid ourselves of that particular neurosis brought on by constant worrying and fretting over the matter and the resultant quarrelling and splitting into which this so often degenerates.

There is one further factor which contributed with immense destructive power to the disasters of the 1970s, and in particular to the eventual fragmentation and demise of the National Front, and John Bean’s failure to mention this in his book might be regarded as a serious omission but, possibly, for the mitigation of limited space in a work of 252 pages.

In every damaging division in nationalist parties that I have witnessed over the years, there has been abundant evidence, if only circumstantial, of enemy intervention – whether one wishes to put this down to government and its political policing agencies of Special Branch and MI5, the Tories, the Left, Zionists or any combination of these. The infiltration of patriotic movements by hostile agents is a worldwide phenomenon and by no means a new one. It has a number of purposes, of which the most obvious is the gathering of information – particularly on activities which might extend into realms of illegality. There is also the trick of incitement of less mature members to actions which, if not illegal, cause political embarrassment and loss of support. But by far the most devastating function of the infiltrator is the promotion of internal discord and division, preferably (from his paymasters’ standpoint) leading to outright splits. This is accomplished by exploiting natural tensions that are going to exist in any political organisation: personal feuds and rivalries; arguments over ideology and tactics; frustration over electoral setbacks or slow growth and progress.

There is no certain way of immunising a nationalist party against the enemy infiltrator. Total vetting is out of the question with the small resources of internal security that are usually available. Trained instinct in the way of character judgement is a useful aid, but it is never infallible. By far the most important and effective defence is to do everything possible to render the infiltrator relatively powerless by ensuring that his most destructive strategy – the sowing if internal conflict and splintering – does not succeed. Even this cannot always be accomplished to perfection, given the human factor that is always present; but awareness of the danger, and vigilance against it, can go a long way.

In Many Shades of Black John Bean has done nationalists in Britain a favour by inducing us to look at our problems and ask ourselves some necessary questions. It is my opinion that he has not by any means supplied all the correct answers. Nevertheless, his analysis does have the virtue that, in the context of present disputes at least, it comes from one who has no axes to grind. This apart, the book seldom fails to entertain. At the end of this counter-analysis which has gone far beyond the length normal to such an exercise, I recommend it!

« Previous PageNext Page »

  • Find By Category

  • Latest News

  • Follow us on Twitter

  • Follow us on Instagram

  • Exactitude – free our history from debate deniers