IT IS WITHOUT a scintilla of regret that Searchlight reports the death of lifelong fascist and racist Sam Swerling, at the age of 83.
He first came to prominence in the 1970s as a member of the far-right Monday Club. He had earlier been a member of the League of Empire Loyalists, one of the founding organisations of the National Front (NF) in 1967. In the Monday Club, he was in the faction that, in alliance with the NF, tried to take over the club and install racist and anti-Semite George Kennedy Young as chairman in 1973. When Young lost the election Swerling’s chums were expelled and various club branches they dominated were shut down.
This led, later, to the formation of the Traditional Britain Group, which, of course, Swerling teamed up with and of which he was vice-president when he died. He also remained a member of Monday Club and was its president in 1980-82. He was elected a Conservative councillor to Westminster City Council for 1978-82.
In the 1990s, Swerling was linked to Western Goals (WG) which, posing as a group standing for the preservation of ‘Western values’ was, in fact, a private intelligence-gathering organisation snooping on opponents of the state and passing information to the authorities. One of its UK luminaries was Clive Derby-Lewis, later jailed for his part in the murder of South African communist leader Chris Hani.
In November 2000, Swerling organised a WG event in London to mark the anniversary of the death of Spanish dictator General Franco.
For the next 20 years, he immersed himself in the panoply of right-wing organisations that hovered on the borders of the far right of the Tory party and fascist groups: the Bloomsbury Forum, Traditional Britain Group, London Swinton Circle, the Iona London Forum, the Conservative Democratic Alliance and the Bruges Group.
For a quarter of a century Swerling taught law at City University in London and some years ago, bizarrely, contacted Searchlight’s editor Gerry Gable asking to meet. He explained, over coffee at a hotel near Liverpool Street station, that his lectures were being disrupted by anti-racists and he was seeking our help to put an end to it. Our response was predictable …
In 2009, Searchlight revealed that, under the pseudonym Peter Strudwick, he had joined the British National Party (BNP) and was speaking to activists on legal matters. He was unmasked by Searchlight mole Duncan Robertson, who identified him from photographs in the Searchlight files. Apart from his UK affiliations Swerling boasted of his membership of the French Front National and frequently spoke at meetings to excuse Jean Marie Le Pen’s anti-Semitism. Most recently, he was a founder member of the British Democratic Party with Andrew Brons and Adrian Davies.
He will not be missed.