Sleepwalking to fascism?
The British government is “sleepwalking to fascism” according to a speech Scottish MP Mhairi Black gave in the House of Commons. Black cited the prioritisation of “a manufactured culture war”, the “terrifying” scrapping of the Human Rights Act and the government’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda as examples of the shift.
At the end of May, Home Office officials announced the first Rwanda deportation flight would happen on 14 June. Around 130 migrants, including Syrian refugees, who arrived in Britain after ‘illegally’ crossing the channel, have been issued with notices telling them they will be on the flights. There is no ‘legal’ route for these migrants to enter the country and claim asylum.
The PCS union has said Home Office staff are working in a “culture of fear” and are concerned they may be asked to act illegally. An investigation has found the Home Office is housing asylum seekers in areas of far-right activity.
“Fucking Nazi bullshit”
Around 400 supporters attended Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson)’s Telford protest in early May, a big fall from the 900 attendees in January. During the protest, Yaxley-Lennon confronted members of the fascist party Patriotic Alternative (PA), telling them their “fucking Nazi bullshit” was “not welcome“. PA was violently ejected from the protest.
Far-right political parties performed badly in the local elections at the start of the month, with none of them winning any council seats. Britain First (BF)’s Ashlea Simon was the best of a poor bunch, winning 508 votes and coming second in her ward; neither of BF’s other two candidates did as well. For Britain failed to get more than 50 votes in seven of the 14 wards they contested. The British Democrats stood in four seats and the National Front only two.
Neo-Nazi terrorism is believed to be on the rise. Since 2017, 12 far-right plots to cause mass casualties have been stopped by police. The founder of two neo-Nazi terrorist groups, Alex Davies, was found guilty of remaining a member of National Action (NA) after it was banned. David Musins was sentenced to three years in prison for remaining a member of NA.
PA was the subject of a Dispatches documentary, featuring undercover footage shot at the group’s events. Far-right groups, including PA, were told they are “not welcome” in the campaign against plans to open a centre for asylum seekers in Linton-on-Ouse, by an MP.
An inquiry heard police leaders took a high-level decision not to infiltrate far-right groups at a time when fascists were intimidating and attacking ethnic minority communities in the 1970s.
Looking for America
An MI5 spy, described by the BBC as a “right-wing extremist with a violent past”, used his position as an intelligence agency asset to abuse his British partner. The spy was moved abroad to continue working, while under investigation. Despite posing a threat to women, the foreign national can’t be named as the government used the courts to block publication.
A private Telegram group chat, called Scottish Identity, was exposed by investigative news website The Ferret. The chat was used by neo-Nazis to discuss weaponry and plans for violence. Among the members of the chat are PA organisers and activists, including national administration officer Kenny Smith. In the chat, some members posted photographs posing with weapons, shared bomb-making instructions and quoted Brenton Tarrant.
One key chat member, Hadden Adam, of Elgin, Moray, bragged about his connections with the American far-right group Patriot Front. Adam said: “[PF] advise me on organisation with their group and stuff like that, so I think we could do something like that.”
Another member, identified by The Ferret as Shaun McAlonan from Stirling, claimed to be active in PA and said he had links with a loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland.
In May, PA leader Colletts’ livestream guests included American anti-Semitic propagandist Adam Green from Know More News, American fascist Warren Balogh from the US-based National Justice Party, and American white nationalist Greg Johnson from Counter Currents Publishing. Collet also made a video offering advice to Nick Fuentes and America First. Collett continued his appearances on David Duke’s livestreams.
Teenage neo-Nazis are being inspired by US school shootings and mass murderers like Breivik, Tarrant and the Buffalo shooter, according to the senior national coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing. The trial of two alleged far-right podcasters, accused of calling for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ son to be ‘put down’, heard that they glorified Tarrant.\ A 14-year-old boy from Darlington was sentenced to complete a “high-intensity” referral order for 12 months after plotting a Columbine-style massacre. The boy became interested in neo-Nazi politics aged 11 and downloaded bomb-making instructions from the dark web.
Byline Times published a leaked recording of popular British ‘alt-light’ Youtuber Paul Joseph Watson, who has 1.9 million subscribers and has worked for the American Infowars website since 2002. In the recording, Watson could be heard saying he would like Jewish people to be ‘wiped off the face of the earth’ followed by racist and homophobic slurs.
Britain First leader Paul Golding’s ‘Long History of Pro-Putin Propagandising‘ was written by Hope Not Hate. Golding has previously travelled to Moscow to meet with Russians.
American author Scott Dragland appeared on a Hearts of Oak livestream to promote a book.
Buffalo shooting generates column inches
The Buffalo shooting on 14 May, where Payton Gendron killed 10 Black people and injured three other people, received extensive coverage in the British media. There is a dark web ‘scramble’ over the Buffalo attack, amid fears of post-pandemic attacks, according to an article published by London’s Evening Standard. Far-right attacks like the shooting are a consequence of unfettered free speech says one columnist at The Independent. The shooting was an example of ‘how white replacement theory keeps inspiring mass murder’ according to another columnist at The Guardian. Inews.co.uk published an explainer titled ‘What is eco-fascism?‘, telling readers about the ideology held by the gunman.
The Financial Times Rachman Review podcast ran an episode about Ukraine’s nationalists and the Azov battalion. Reuters ran an article about the Russian Foreign ministry accusing Israel of supporting neo-Nazis in a row about Ukraine.
Far-right American anti-abortion activists are coming for abortion laws in Europe after ‘victory in the US‘, says one writer in The Guardian.
The banning of a CasaPound march through Rome was reported by The Independent.
VICE World News ran a story about the impact Spanish far-right party Vox is having on people delivering workshops about gender identity and LGBTQ rights in Madrid’s schools.
Far-right conspiracies are going mainstream
Far-right conspiracy theories are becoming increasingly mainstream in the UK because of journalists promoting such ideas and government politicians embracing extremist rhetoric, according to an opinion piece published by Open Democracy. The author notes the idea that the “West is being overwhelmed by foreigners” will be familiar to anybody who “has read a tabloid, listened to a politician or watched a TV”.
Dated demagogues send video messages
In his capacity as the deputy chairman of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom (APF), former British National Party leader Nick Griffin sent a video message to a ‘Forum de la nation et de l’Europe’ organised by the French far-right group Jeune Nation on 7 May in Paris.
The American Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held its first event in Europe in Budapest, Hungary on 19 & 20 May. The keynote speaker was Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán. The University of Kent-based co-founder of the Revolutionary Communist Party Frank Furedi was among the speakers. George Farmer, the husband of American conservative influencer Candace Owens, also spoke, as did Owens. Farmer was previously chairman of Turning Point UK. Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage sent a video message.