Searchlight Magazine

Editorial: Always look on the bright side of life

The world is a pretty bleak place right now, with millions of people displaced by wars in the Middle East, and parts of Africa ravaged by despotic regimes, famine and disease. In Britain a right-wing Conservative government is now removing its mask of so-called moderation to reveal its true ugliness, with plans – either secret or semi-public – to smash our trades unions, the education system and the NHS, to cause a collapse in policing services and the justice system, and, rather than promote unity among our diverse citizens, to promulgate xenophobia.

The fascists and the increasingly blatant Nazi groups are taking advantage of the turmoil that is being created and encouraged by exterior forces.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 04 October 2015 19:03

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Britain a crossroads for the extreme right

Despite promises from the Prime Minister and Home Secretary to treat far-right extremists on a similar basis to the ISIL Islamists, this is not what is happening in practice. Yet in the few cases that get to court the threat from the extreme right is clearly established.

The most recent is the conviction of Zack Davies for the attempted racially motivated murder of a dentist whom Davies mistakenly thought was a Muslim. Davies attacked Dr Sarandev Bhambra, 24, with a 30cm machete and claw hammer in Tesco’s in Mold, north Wales, inflicting what the judge at the end of the trial described “the most dreadful life-changing injuries”, including almost severing Dr Bhambra’s hand. During the attack Davies, who described “Jihadi John” as an “inspiration”, shouted “white power” and remember Lee Rigby.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 04 October 2015 22:21

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Sexual abuse and murder: the ethos of the BNP / The BNP’s revolting hypocrisy

Sexual abuse and murder: the ethos of the BNP
By George Meddows

The conviction of two former Blackpool British National Party men, Bob Ewing, formerly of All Hallows Rd, Blackpool, and Gareth Dewhurst, formerly of Duncan Ave, Blackpool in connection with the murder and disappearance of 15-year-old Paige Chivers has highlighted the strong seam of violence and sexual deviancy that runs through Britain’s far right like a stick of Blackpool rock.

At Preston Crown Court on 28 July, Ewing, 60, who was well known to local anti fascists, was given life imprisonment with a minimum term of 33 years. He was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice by intimidating witnesses and providing false information to the police. Dewhurst, 46, his co-defendant and fellow Nazi, was jailed for eight years for perverting the course of justice and helping Ewing dispose of the body.

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Media taken in by silly season strike call

For several weeks newspapers had warned of a strike by the UK’s almost 700,000 Polish community on 20 August. A headline in The Mirror read: “Thousands of Polish workers to strike in protest against ‘being blamed’ for Britain’s economic problems”. The idea was to demonstrate how much the UK relies on them by striking for the day and protesting outside Parliament.

The initiative had arisen out of an online discussion among readers of the small Polish language newspaper Polish Express, which then hosted a Facebook campaign to win support for the action. Others, opposed to the strike, called for a mass donation of blood to the NHS instead to symbolise the contribution to the UK made by Poles.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 04 October 2015 23:14

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Transnational exchanges and far right ‘academic’ journals

Far right movements can be narrowly conceived as nationalist organisations, yet often their ideologies synthesise both national and transnational visions. Combining the ‘defence’ and ‘regeneration’ of the nation with transnational ideals is far from a new development either, only developed during the internet age. Interwar fascist movements sought to develop partnerships. After 1945, we see this too. John Bean’s and Colin Jordan’s British National Party of the very early 1960s boasted of its ‘racial nationalist’ credentials, and developed organisations such as the Northern European Ring to foster international exchanges with fellow ‘northern Europeans’ in Norway, Denmark, Holland and Germany. In more recent times, John Tyndall’s and Nick Griffin’s British National Party imported ideas from elsewhere too, drawing on continental reference points such as Jean Marie Le Pen and the Nouvelle Droite, as well as fostering links with America via its American Friends of the BNP organisation.

Transnational exchanges continue today, and are only aided by social media. The theme of studying transnationalism is becoming increasingly important for academic analysis of the far right too. Historians such as Roger Griffin, Andrea Mammone and Caludia Baldoli, among others, have all highlighted the ways extreme right politics has operated across national borders, and protagonists draw on each other’s endeavours to develop their activism. Interest in transnationalism is often explored through studying movement of ideas, how they transfer from one arena to another.

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Last Updated on Monday, 05 October 2015 01:00

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