Media smear merchants find new target

The decline of the BNP has left the well-financed anti-fascist industry searching for a new target to justify their existence and stimulate their donors.  While UKIP (thanks to the undeniable eccentricity of several leading activists and candidates) has been the main victim, Channel 4 News this week discovered a new scandal of supposed covert “racism” – the tiny and imperfectly formed National Liberal Party.

In one sense the media smearmongers are correct: the NLP is a remnant of the National Front splits of the 1980s.  In 1983 a young radical faction (which included future BNP chairman Nick Griffin) ousted the NF’s de facto leader Martin Webster, only to suffer their own split in 1986.  Half of the Front (including Griffin) became the “political soldiers”, following various continental ideologies including the “long live death” cult of Romania’s Corneliu Codreanu. The other half took a more pragmatic, populist line and became known as the Flag Group, named after the party newspaper they created after losing control of National Front News to their rivals.

The “political soldiers” hit the headlines for seeking funds from the Libyan dictator Col. Gadaffi – Griffin and his then allies Derek Holland and Patrick Harrington even travelled to Libya in pursuit of cash but returned only with copies of Gadaffi’s tract The Green Book, which was sold for years to come at NF meetings.

Then in 1988 the “political soldiers” themselves split: Griffin, Holland and their Italian mentor Roberto Fiore went on to form the International Third Position, increasingly influenced by traditionalist Catholic theology; while Harrington formed Third Way with a handful of allies including Graham Williamson from Blackpool, and David Kerr from Ulster.

Eventually Third Way spawned the National Liberal Party, but Harrington later drifted back to the BNP, rejoining his old ally/enemy Nick Griffin.  The NLP became ever more multiracialist, and Williamson built especially close alliances with Tamils and Sikhs.  In some ways this was consistent with 1980s NF “third position” ideology, which focused on building coalitions with oppressed Third World minorities against our common enemies.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and we reach the latest “exposé” by Channel 4 News.  The National Liberals are probably right to conclude that this was inspired by their powerful enemies in India, since the NLP isn’t significant enough to have attracted the attention of the more usual financiers of “anti-fascism”.

But Channel 4 have missed the real scandal: the Nat Libs’ Griffin-style “donate now” button, which features images of their supposed political heroes: Lord Rosebery, Joseph Chamberlain and Leslie Hore-Belisha.

It’s weird enough to base your politics on an imagined early/mid 20th century tradition, throwing Rosebery, Chamberlain and Hore-Belisha together as though they form an ideological continuum.

But if you are going to idolise early/mid 20th century politicians (which isn’t entirely unknown in nationalist circles) it’s a good idea to spell their names correctly!!!

The Nat Libs manage to misspell two of the three: referring to “Roseberry”, Chamberlain and “Hoare-Belisha”.

As we’ve seen recently, it’s easy to make errors on websites, but even so….

And ironically the NLP’s founders probably imagined they were being smart by proclaiming admiration for Rosebery and Hore-Belisha, since they both had Jewish connections. Rosebery married a Rothschild heiress, while Hore-Belisha was born a Jew (Isaac Leslie Belisha). Harrington and Williamson presumably hoped this kosher piety by proxy would disarm media attacks: it didn’t work too well, did it?

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