Searchlight Magazine

Editorial: A growing danger to democracy in Britain

The past 12 months have witnessed dramatic changes in the political arena in which Searchlight battles the forces that threaten democratic systems not only in the UK but across Europe. The most prominent of these countries is clearly Greece and we have been privileged to be part of the resistance working with colleagues and comrades in Greece and the Greek media, and in Britain with the two broadly supported resistance groups, the Greek Solidarity Campaign and Anti-Fascist Action for Greece. We have made the pages of our magazine and website open to them and joined them on the streets in protests at the Greek Embassy in London.

The open Nazis of Golden Dawn have attempted to spread their vile message across the world through support groups often linked to their Nazi allies. While they have encountered resistance in some countries, they are now running video and radio services based in the USA in several languages including English with daily broadcasts.

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Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 18:42

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Traditional Britain: The New Revolutionary Conservatives

The Traditional Britain Group is a curious phenomenon, and one of growing significance. Originally founded in 2001, and revived in 2010, the organisation is currently acting as a crucial ideological clearing house for the wider British far right, as well as for more radical conservative figures too. In recent months, Traditional Britain has not only run a significant conference, but also developed aspirations to transform itself into a national network by creating its own grass-roots activist organisation promoting ideas of a ‘traditional’ British identity.

‘Tradition’ in this sense is a useful catchall term for a variety of religious, and even pagan identities, that gravitate around a rejection of the political mainstream. The ideas swirling around the group also include a potent opposition to immigration, steeped in coded ethno-nationalist themes, and a strident Euro-scepticism too. Moreover, its intellectual roots lay in a curious mixture of European neo-fascist ideology, combined with British anti-European Conservatism. As such, the Traditional Britain Group can be characterised as an emergent pressure group within Britain’s far right scene, one that is much deserving of closer scrutiny.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 15 February 2014 15:25

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Catholic far-right extremism and integrity: a year-end tour d’horizon of the SSPX and the Mission

Historians use concepts in their research. Some are obvious, such as race, class and gender, whereas others are more esoteric, including notions of culture and participative spaces. New concepts are always welcome because they provide another tool via which we can understand the ‘foreign country’ that is the past. In December, Northumbria, Durham and York Universities collaborated to produce a workshop on the concepts of ‘integrity and activism’. Cynics may think these strange concepts for historians of the Conservative Party to use, but they would be wrong. Notions of integrity have informed Conservative activism since the party’s formation, and it is a consistent theme in its relationship with the extreme right. That is because arguments about ‘integrity’ are prevalent in extremist organisations. Nowhere is this truer than in the attempted coup by a dissident neo-Nazi group within the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), which Searchlight recently highlighted.1 How, then, does the concept of ‘integrity’ help us understand better the SSPX, and those that seek to control it?

For followers of SSPX, integrity towards the sacrament of the Mass lies at the heart of their disagreement with the papacy. The Society’s founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, tapped a rich vein of discontent among the faithful towards the Second Vatican Council’s findings (1962-5), especially the decision to replace the Tridentine Mass with a new Roman Rite that provides for active participation of the people and is widely celebrated in vernacular languages. For SSPX followers, it is their integrity in conforming to the traditional form of worship and beliefs, and thus the correct route to salvation, that drives their actions. There is no question that SSPX followers genuinely hold these beliefs. There are questions, however, about the nature and consequences of this integrity.

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Golden Dawn links with Italian fascists

Support for the Greek Golden Dawn continues to grow among neo-fascist groups in Italy with invitations extended to its members and the setting up of similar organisations, including Golden Dawn Italy and, more recently, Golden Dawn Europe, which already claims about 5,000 members. Their nationalities are unspecified but presumably most are Italians.

Two months ago it was the turn of CasaPound to hold a meeting at their headquarters in Rome with two leading members of Golden Dawn flown in from Athens. It ended with indications of a political alliance for the sharing of what was described as a “common destiny”.

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Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 20:25

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Why has London become a magnet for the international far right?

Two conferences taking place in London in October are significant to those of us who follow developments on the New Right: one facilitated by the Traditional Britain Group, the other fully organised by them. The first, on the afternoon of 12 October, is entitled “The end of the present world: the post-American century and beyond”, and will feature the infamous Russian fascist Alexander Dugin and Alain de Benoist, the French New Right philosopher and writer who for the past 40 years has tried to influence the extreme-right agenda and organisations internationally. A week later the TBG’s day-long conference entitled “The future of the nation state”, will bring together a range of extremist participants including a young Belgian Nazi just returned from Syria.

The TBG forms a bridge between the far right and the Conservative right. Some of the Conservatives attending past conferences have not been shy to rub shoulders and share ideas with extremists whose political philosophy amounts to the advocacy of hate crime and terrorism.

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Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 18:33

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