is the far right still populated by “Cowards, Inadequates and Losers, Faggots, Passing Trade, Sickos and Weirdos and Drunks.”
Cowards, Sickos and Weirdos:
A Quick Drink With The Far Right by ‘Malatesta’
In 1999 or thereabouts, Combat 18 supremo Will Browning wrote a piece in his magazine Strikeforce called “They Ain’t Alright Just Because They’re White.” In it he categorised the various disreputable members of the far right scene, breaking them down into “Cowards, Inadequates and Losers, Faggots, Passing Trade, Sickos and Weirdos and Drunks.” It is an interesting and probably accurate depiction of many of those marginalised extremists who cling together in murky waters from someone who has “been involved in the so-called "right-wing" for a number of years.” It highlights problems that plague the BNP and other far right groups to this day. These groups give shelter to many of those on Browning’s list. There are many who are incapable of maintaining any sense of solidarity and endless factions occur over petty bickering, egos and alcoholism. For all their talk about Aryan supremacy the far right regularly fail to conform to any physical, moral or sexual supremacy and the criminal charges that accrue around members, councillors, would be MPs and leaders are plentiful.
The violent prowess of the far right attracts many to the ‘movement’ but it is more often assumed than asserted. The violence is also the reason many quit after having been bounced by anti-fascists once too often or having got too old to risk the more robust forms of physical disagreement. The popularity of the EDL is based more on the possibility of a fight with the cops or opposition than any legitimate political process. Many ‘hard-core’ fascists have proved to be not so hard when fronted by Red Action, AFA and Antifa. Of course, they always claim they were outnumbered but it is usually numbers that win most things be they football firms or fascist gatherings. The BNP changed their strategy after being booted off the streets by AFA subsequently pledging “no more meetings, marches, punch-ups” in 1994. The myth of Combat 18’s violence, much of it media parp, was dispelled by anti-fascist responses on occasions such as Hyde Park in 1989 and Waterloo station in 1992. C18 finally collapsed into bitterness and infighting following the murder of Chris Castle by Charlie Sargent and Martin Cross in 1997. As did the Wolf’s Hook White Brotherhood gang who were founded by ex-BNP members claiming “We are NOT interested in any 'in fighting' that sadly happens within some right wing organisations.” Then John Pakulski killed Mick Sanderson for canoodling with Pakulski’s semi-naked Mrs in 2006.
Fascism thrives on intimidation and control of the streets and we only have to look at the current tactics of Liverpool BNP against UAF to see this behaviour as endemic. Not all fascists see this positively: Joey Owens sees the LBNP’s behaviour as counter-productive and state-inspired. But there again he says that about a lot of people. And he is often right. The fascists do not understand the broad array of opposition against them, seeing everyone as simply ‘red’: Antifa, UAF and the SWP have very different tactics and reasons for opposing fascism. Often when the fascists harass UAF they think they are attacking Antifa which they are not.
Oswald Mosley once called fascism “this rough game” and violence is a continuous presence. Fascism has been and always will be met with physical anti-fascist opposition and vice versa so the internet is a good place for making anonymous threats: these do not need to be acted upon to be intimidating. However, with legal precedent following the Sheppard and Whittle jailings and the recent arrest of Trevor Hannington and ‘Wigan Mike’ Heaton for internet death threats the situation is now changing. These threats are too easy to make and cowardly by nature.
‘Inadequates & Losers’
British fascism has tended to attract people from the white working class who feel marginalised and neglected in favour of ‘immigrants’, be they Jews, Carribeans, Kenyan Asians, Pakistanis, Albanians, or the more ambiguous catch-all of ‘asylum seekers.’ Many see the BNP as a protest vote but they are most attractive to people who feel they have lost out to some form of ‘multicultural favouritism.’ Many white working class people feel alienated by the major political parties and one of the attraction of fascism is that it gives simple answers to complex questions: no jobs, no housing, global economic recession? Get rid of the ‘foreigners.’ Easy. But not realistic. However, there is a difference between hardcore Nazis and many BNP supporters who are not Nazi in the slightest. That there are a hardcore of ‘racial nationalists’, ‘national socialists’ or whatever in the BNP not in doubt and they are easily identifiable on the various web forums but it is disingenuous to claim all BNP supporters are hardcore Nazis - hardcore racists, maybe but that is not the same as a Nazi.
Justifying the holocaust or the extermination or mass murder of anyone is, to be blunt, psychotic but some of the more extreme Nazis enjoy the shock value of it. Hardcore Nazis like attention and one way of getting this is through fascist trappings, holocaust denial or violence. They have the mindset of the bully at school who needs the attention of the bullied in order to confirm their sense of worth and this method of attention keeps their low self-esteem at bay. For a while. John Tyndall wrote that far right extremists like C18 are “small time gang leaders, class warriors with huge chips on their shoulders, ambitious to build their own little back street empires.” The attention that the extremist pose affords gives frail and damaged egos a vital boost.
It is not uncommon for potential BNP members to become rapidly disillusioned by the extremity of some of its supporters. Although they may harbour nationalist sentiment the extremism of holocaust-deniers, rabid racists and overtly violent types is hard for some to stomach. Nick Griffin has been trying to modify this with the suits not boots strategy but as long as he surrounds himself with dodgy types like Tommy Williams, Dave Howard and other security guards a change in attire is going to do little to change perceptions. For others, the BNP is not extreme enough, especially with the recent constitution amendment case, and the recent trickle of supporters to the NF is a result of this.
Far right extremists are known for their homophobia and intolerance of anyone whose sexual behaviour does not conform to the missionary position but a quick look at sexual preference on the far right gives a different picture. One of the more enduring and entertaining rumours about Nick Griffin is that he had a gay relationship with ex-NF leader Martin Webster – which Webster made public in 1999. Some opponents claim he is being blackmailed by the secret services to ‘wreck’ the BNP with this. Others see this sexual ‘misadventure’ as opportunism in order to rise through the ranks of the far right. Webster himself was ousted by the NF for ‘homosexualism’ in the early 1980s. John Howgate of Salford BNP is also allegedly gay and there are undoubtedly others who are keeping it quiet.
More heterosexually, BNP top rankers Mark Collett and Dave Hannam have been accused of attempting to seduce 2 underage girls at the 2006 Blackpool jamboree and Collett had done this type of thing before in 2005. That Nazis and BNPers espouse one thing and do another is frequent, particularly in terms of violence, crime and drugs. A cursory look over Unity’s Crap Councillors list confirms this.
‘Sickos and Weirdos’
We can start with David Copeland the ‘London nail-bomber.’ Sexual inadequacy and fears of being gay helped project this shining Aryan example into urban terrorism. Even C18 claimed he was a ‘nutter.’ Copeland is not alone in his convictions: Tony Lecomber was convicted for explosives in 1985; Robert Cottage was jailed in 2005 for possession of explosives; David Tovey likewise; and the excellently named Lambertus Nieuwhof dabbled with them in South Africa. There are other BNP members who have been arrested for weapons and explosives offences.
David Myatt is both sick and weird: his far-right activities go back to the late 1960s, through the British Movement and into Combat 18. He was also close to Victor Norris, a convicted paedophile. Myatt was also a Satanist and has changed religion several times. He is currently a Muslim. This kind of boat jumping is common in fascism when people get dissatisfied with the tiny groupings and move to another one, start their own or drop out. This frequent realignment creates mistrust on the far right and accusations of being a splitter, a ‘red’ or an informant are rarely far behind. We only have to look at the cases of Eddie Morrison, currently dividing the NF, and Sid Williamson, alcoholics both, who are regularly accused of being all 3.
It is perhaps John Tyndall who should end this section: Tyndall was hardly likely to gain electoral success and it was unsurprising when the ‘modernising’ Nick Griffin took over. Tyndall was all too typical of the fascist extremist having served a jail sentence for racial offences and been photographed in Nazi uniform, which are hardly the things that create voter confidence. His prickly character and general unpleasant demeanour was completely out of step with contemporary politics.
We only have to look at the ‘non-violent, non-racist’ EDL to see that alcohol is the principle fuel of the far right, giving them sufficient ‘bottle’ to get leery with the cops whilst attempting to ‘stop Islamic Extremism.’ The far right tend to meet in ‘friendly’ pubs or under assumed names for fear of landlords booting them out or being attacked by the opposition. And it is this pub culture that drags them down time and again. In a rare bit of self-scrutiny, some members of NWN forum wrote the following about it:
“With booze in their veins they put their hands up and volunteer for all the activities, but when those activities come around you can count the activists on one hand … Plenty of old folk would have come to meetings, but why should they sit there and watch a bunch of idiots talk bollox while getting pissed … I booked a community center and paid with a BNP cheque. There was Tea, Coffee and a buffet, but arseholes still wanted to know where the off licence was.”
“The members themselves vote to keep it in pubs. I remember one meeting in a hall that I put on with a full buffet, tea and coffee. The morons had to go out to the offy and came back with beer cans up their jumpers … To have better you have to want better, and all they want is to drink.”
So Will Browning’s assessment of the far right would appear to still pan out: there are still plenty of “Cowards, Inadequates and Losers, Faggots, Passing Trade, Sickos and Weirdos and Drunks” still on the scene. Yet again, it looks like the key enemies of the far-right are themselves.