Searchlight Magazine

July 2012 - Editorial: Investigating, analysing and campaigning

This month we focus on the influence of Enoch Powell’s ideas on organised racism to mark the centenary of his birth, examine the eurosceptic UK Independence Party and explain why its growth should concern democrats and antifascists, revisit the Traditional Britain Group which we exposed in May, look at the relationship between academic analysis and the antifascist movement and, as every month, investigate the British National Party and report on developments outside the UK. In short, another issue packed with strong investigation and analysis covering the whole span of the far right.

We do more than report: our investigative work inside the two political motors of fascist thinking today, the New Right group and Iona London Forum, has again borne fruit with the halting of a meeting at the House of Lords that was to have been addressed by a close associate of Holocaust deniers and antisemites. Searchlight passed the story to the Jewish Chronicle and the Labour peer Lord Nazir Ahmed, who was to chair the meeting, cancelled it as a result of learning about the backgrounds of those who had been invited. And our exposure of the various people with extreme views who run the Traditional Britain Group, which has pretentions to being an acceptable rightwing think tank, caused consternation.

Searchlight has scratched below the surface of what appears to be a set of disparate organisations, ranging from Nazis to ultra-conservatives, and revealed the links between them. Such things are important to those of us who wish to defend democracy, so we will stay the course in exposing this murky area of British politics.

Long-time readers have told us that they welcome our return to our traditional role – for nearly 50 years – of exposing and combating racist and fascist organisations, being a strong voice in defence of democracy and freedom, and putting the intelligence gained from inside the enemy camp to good use in the magazine and our website, which we relaunched late last year.

We also attend a range of political and cultural events, provide briefings for the media, academics, parliamentarians, lawyers and trade unions, and support the growing, active resistance by grassroots antifascists to the violence coming from the various groups on the far right, which are increasingly linking up on the streets.

Bad signs from Europe

Open admiration of those who collaborated with Hitler’s SS in the mass murder of Jewish and Roma people and others has become shamefully common in a number of East European members of the European Union. Now this sickness has spread to Spain and Italy. In Madrid, as we report on page 29, the right-wing Partido Popular has renamed a street after the fascist general Emilio Mola and is removing financial support from organisations that research into the “disappeared” of the Franco era. In Italy the mayor of Rome intends to rename a street after Giorgio Almirante, Mussolini’s henchman who championed biological racism.

Spain has just requested an £80 billion bailout from the EU and Italy may soon follow. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel should be embarrassed about helping governments that engage in, or at the very least tolerate, the rehabilitation of Nazism and fascism, but we won’t hold our breath.

Nazi paramilitaries

In April we exposed the continued nazi infiltration of Britain’s armed forces and raised the issue with government ministers and others, looking for action. Shortly after our June issue went to press we received a positive response in one case but nothing meaningful from the coalition government or opposition. Our performance mark for these politicians who clearly do not understand their brief or do not care enough to respond is: “could do better” – a lot better.

© 2013 Searchlight Magazine Ltd, PO Box 1576, Ilford IG5 0NG

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