Searchlight Magazine

Editorial: 50 years of fighting fascism and racism

The day I started work with Searchlight in May 1964 was a day I will never forget. I had been hired by a consortium of some old friends joined by an interesting alliance led by Reg Freeson, the Labour MP, and supported by several people from the left who have passed away over the past fifty years. What was startling was who else was working with them in a coalition to work towards the passing of the first race relations legislation in Britain. They included the Conservative MP Norman St John-Stevas, David Steel, leader of the Liberal Party, and a number of trade unionists.

And my first day in the job as research editor of Searchlight was also the day my second son was born.  

You will have noticed that this issue of Searchlight looks very different from our usual magazine. This is because it replicates – albeit with many more pages – the format of the publication we produced back then and reproduces the best front cover of those early publications.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 01 June 2014 23:41

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Strands of ideological fascism in 2014 Britain

The British far right is still in disarray. Consequently, while the large-scale far right organisations that dominated the headlines a few years ago, especially the British National Party and the English Defence League, carry on their inexorable decline, we also see attempts developing within the grassroots to generate alternate configurations. This article compares and contrasts two such emergent groups. Firstly, it looks at the Traditional Britain Group, which continues its attempts to formulate nationalist themes; and secondly it considers the very small-scale, pugnacious group National Action that has developed stunts to try and attract a new youth audience.

Both groupings can be seen to display elements of a fascist-style nationalist revolutionary politics, though this is stronger in National Action. The Traditional Britain Group revels in the ideas of potent figures from continental fascism, such as Julius Evola, while also courting the European New Right. Meanwhile, National Action draws its own radicalism from a combination of historic reference points, especially the Nazi party, as well as emulating elements found in current European youth groups, such as Generation Identity. What is the ongoing significance of these groupings, if any?

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Last Updated on Sunday, 01 June 2014 23:55

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The many rooms of Bishop Williamson

‘In my father’s house are many rooms’1 is one of Jesus Christ’s most important sayings. Reading the discourse about its meaning suggests that Christian authorities are as united as the various Judean independence movements in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. The reason this particular message comes to mind, however, is Bishop Richard Williamson’s purchase of a new property that also has many rooms.

As Searchlight readers know, we have followed Williamson’s attempt to take over the Society of Saint Pius X, and highlighted the extremist antecedents and connections of those associated with him in this attempt. Williamson’s new abode is in the Kent town of Broadstairs. Apparently, Williamson purchased the property via a tax-saving arrangement registered as The Regina Matyrum Trust (TRMT). Williamson is the ‘settlor’ of TRMT, which means he has placed the property at the disposal of the trust. Williamson has acted legally; the idea of special tax arrangements and property disposal might be a moral issue for some, but Williamson has clearly acted according to properly constituted statute.

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Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 00:05

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Italy: The ignorance that feeds historical revisionism

When did Adolf Hitler become Chancellor of Germany? And why is a film about the survivor of a concentration camp being publicised in Italy with the caption: “In which X Factor did Adolf Eichmann take part?” Both questions highlight in different ways the state of ignorance about Nazi-fascist history that has become such a serious problem in Italy and feeds the wave of historical revisionism sweeping across the country.

Not all the blame can be apportioned to the Right. A “Red” provincial administration is currently contributing to turn fascism into heritage culture to give a boost to the tourist industry. Expect a Grand Tour of fascist architecture presented along similar lines to a religious pilgrimage. It would not happen in Austria or Germany with Hitler, but it is happening with Mussolini in Italy where, to make things worse, monuments in public places to remind people of fascist atrocities are extremely rare or non-existent.

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Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 00:10

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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 Sunday, 01 June 2014 23:33

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