Tag Archives: The Monday Club

Friends Like These…

Jacob Rees Mogg flanked by Jack Buckby (L) and Gregory Lauder-Frost (R).

It’s a sure sign of the Conservative Party’s dearth of talent that Jacob Rees Mogg should be talked up as a possible successor to the hapless and utterly useless Theresa May.  Many people find Moggy endearing. They love his plummy RP accent. They love his double-breasted suit jackets. They love his fustiness. They love his toffee-nosed demeanour and they love his apparently Waugh-esque wit. At Nowhere Towers we take a different view:  we find him tiresome and representative of an ages old problem with Britain. Namely, he reeks of privilege and his accent and ‘eccentric’ charm masks a ruthlessness and cruelty that is common to many members of his class.

When it comes to loving one’s oppressor, the Brits have both rationalized and elevated their oppression a fine art. We love our posh bastards. Don’t we?  Remember how people fawned over Bozza? I haven’t forgotten. Both of them went to Eton and Oxford. Both of them are seen as rather buffoonish, though for very different reasons. And both are seen as thoroughly British eccentrics. But that’s the problem: many people refuse to see through their media-constructed façades and choose to see oh-so-disarming posh twits instead. Please, wake up!

That Moggy should be touted by some Tories as a counterweight to Jeremy Corbyn’s soaring popularity speaks volumes about the parlous condition of his party and the dire health of our media. Take this gushing article from self-styled libertarian Mark Wallace, late of the Crash Bang Wallace blog and now executive editor of Conservative Home:

Moggmentum has gathered online – a fondly satirical Twitter account purporting to be him has 18,000 followers (and is often mistaken for the man himself), supercuts of his best moments attract hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube, and his outings on Question Time attract an enthusiastic following. His Instagram account, accompanying photos of him out and about with his children with dry wit, has a sizeable cult following, and there’s now even an unofficial campaign to elect him Prime Minister.

“Moggmentum”. Geddit?  I’ve seen the Twitter account and it’s genuine. Moggy’s tweeted twice and currently has 25,000 followers. Why?

I’ve read three articles recently that have warned against being taken in by Mogg’s posh charm.  These were, in no particular order, in The Canary  The New Statesman and  The New European. The last one was written by Victor Lewis Smith and was published in February.

Lewis-Smith writes:

Eccentricity is like catnip to television, and all it takes is a bowtie, a twirly moustache, a bouffant hairstyle, a monocle, or merely an upper-class accent to enable shameless privilege to pass itself off as harmless and even amusing oddity.

Lewis -Smith reminds us that Moggy is partly a media construction.  For his part, Moggy plays to television’s and the public’s expectations of a posh oddball, and he’s more than happy to do so. It provides the perfect cover for his reactionary views, which are anything but harmless and amusing.

Posh people have always provided comedy writers with a rich source of amusement. George Leybourne’s Champagne Charlie character is but one example of how the posh were routinely sent up in the music halls. But that’s part of a problem that won’t go away. We can send up the posh,  who are also authority figures, as much as we like but when it comes down to it, they’re still kicking us in the face and laughing while they’re doing it. The Tory cliché of “We’re the natural party of government” is, in reality, an unwitting admission of their arrogance, their conceit and their overweening sense of entitlement.

At the end of his article, Lewis -Smith puts the boot in:

Rees-Mogg is an Edwardian man who still seems to believe Harold Macmillan’s dictum about the US (first uttered in 1943), that “we are Greeks to their Romans”. But Britain couldn’t control America in Macmillan’s day (as we found out to our cost a few years later, over Suez), and we cannot control it now, because the relationship is not between two equals, but between a small country that continually boasts of a “special relationship,” and a large country that barely needs or notices that relationship at all.

Rees-Mogg’s patrician tones and classical references won’t work in Trump’s harsh business world, and we’ll soon find ourselves in the position of a small child in the back seat of the parental car, operating a toy steering wheel and always steering in the same direction as the real driver, just so we can pathetically pretend to ourselves that we still have some control over our own destiny.

Though all three articles mention Moggy’s  filibustering and his less-than-contemporary social attitudes – namely, his opposition to equal marriage and a woman’s right to choose, none of them mentions Moggy’s 2013 appearance at a black tie dinner organized by The Traditional Britain Group (TBG), a hard right pressure group that’s well to the right of the Tory Party. “Traditional”? “Britain”? Those two words are enough to get him tumescent with anticipation.

Rees Mogg was warned of the TBG’s ideological leanings by Searchlight’s Gerry Gable a day before he was due to take part. For reasons best known to himself, Moggy didn’t heed his warnings.  When Liberal Conspiracy revealed his speaking engagement the following day, Moggy claimed he was shocked by the group’s views and distanced himself from them. He dutifully donned sackcloth and ashes and toured the studios to offer his sincerest apologies.

Moggy told The Telegraph’s Matthew Holehouse.

“It’s undoubtedly embarrassing. I feel very silly. This was clearly a mistake,” he said. “I try to accept invitations from most people who ask me to speak. I could limit myself to just speaking to Conservative Associations, which would be safe but politics, is about speaking to a variety of views. But I wouldn’t want to be caught out in this way again.”

Let’s put it this way, if I’m invited to a black tie dinner (no chance) by a group that I know little or nothing about, I’m going to do a little research into them. Could it be… is it possible that the posh accent conceals a fundamental stupidity on Moggy’s part, or is it the case he knew exactly who these people were and merely feigned surprise when he was caught out? We may never know. In any case, it’s highly likely that some of his views and those of his hosts intersected. Why else would he have been accepted the invitation?

TBG has a very interesting backstory that’s firmly rooted in Britain’s far-right landscape and while it may deny that it’s fascist or far-right, the TBG’s position is barely discernible from that of other hard right groups, most notably The Monday Club or even The British National Party (BNP). It came to public attention for its views on Doreen Lawrence’s peerage and although it may claim that it isn’t racist, these are weasel words. As recently as March, the Bow Group, a Tory think-tank that’s on the hard right, invited the TBG to attend a three course dinner. According to the IB Times.

IBTimes UK has obtained an email circulated to members of the far-right Traditional Britain Group, informing them that they have been granted a special concession.

“They [the Bow Group] have kindly extended to Traditional Britain Group members a discount to join either the reception or the reception plus the 3 course dinner,” says the email, signed by Traditional Britain Group vice-president Gregory Lauder-Frost.

And there’s more:

Lauder-Frost was previously chairman of the foreign affairs policy committee of the Monday Club, a pressure group within the Tory party that was later banned by Iain Duncan Smith because of its views on race. He is UK CEO for Arktos Media, which has been described as the publishing wing of the alt-right white nationalist movement.

In 2013 the group’s annual conference was addressed by white nationalist ideologue Richard Spencer, before he was barred from 26 European countries including the UK after being deported from Hungary for holding a far-right conference. The 2013 gathering also hosted Austrian anti-Islam activist Markus Willinger.

Lauder-Frost et al may deny they’re fascists or Nazis but they clearly provide publishing support, if not, succour, for the alt-right, which encompasses all manner of extreme right positions.

Labour’s Louise Haigh, who was successful in getting Britain First proscribed, said:

“Assisted repatriation of anyone in the UK not ‘of European stock’; calling on brilliant, courageous women like Doreen Lawrence to ‘go back to their natural homeland’; these are the views of white nationalists and should never be normalised. Rather than inviting them to their anniversary bash, the Bow Group should treat the people who hold these views with the contempt they deserve.”

How could Moggy not have known what the TBG was about? It’s time to have a closer look at some of the people who are involved with the TBG.

In the image at the top of this article, Rees Mogg is flanked by Jack Buckby on the left and Gregory Lauder-Frost on the right. Buckby is a former member of the BNP and the founder of the “National Culturalists“. He’s also press officer for Liberty GB, a far-right party that opposes, among other things, immigration. He stood as his party’s candidate in the Batley and Spen by-election that was held after the murder of Labour MP, Jo Cox. Nice guy, huh?

Here’s the odious Buckby in action on Channel 4 News.

This is Lauder-Frost being interviewed by Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London. You will notice how he gets agitated by the idea of a prominent black woman like Doreen Lawrence being elevated to a peerage. Remember that all of Britain’s hereditary peers are white.

To say that Lauder-Frost is a Nazi admirer is something of an understatement. A former member of the Monday Club (he chaired their foreign affairs committee), Lauder-Frost is the vice president and treasurer of the TBG.  Prior to this, he was on the steering committee of the Conservative Democratic Alliance (CDA), a forerunner of the TBG. The CDA, for what it’s worth, was formed by disaffected members of the Monday Club.  TBG’s other vice president is Professor John Kersey, who describes himself as an “educationalist, musician and clergyman” (sic).  The site, ‘The Imaginative Conservative’ describes him as:

…an interdisciplinary historian whose scholarly work spans the three principal areas of music, education and traditionalist Catholicism. He currently serves as President, Director of Academic Affairs and David Hume Interdisciplinary Professor at European-American University.

The “European American University” currently appears to operate under the name ‘The Western Orthodox Academy’ and has branches in the Caribbean and West Africa.  Kersey is also rather nostalgic for feudalism.  As Tony the Tiger says: ” the aristocracy is just gggrrreeeeaaattt”!

What’s rather interesting about these TBG types is their connection to self-styled libertarian groups . Indeed, according to their website, Kersey also occupies the role of ‘Director of Cultural Affairs’ for the Libertarian Alliance but don’t be fooled by words like ‘libertarian’ or ‘freedom’. Their idea of freedom is yours and my slavery. When Moggy apologized for attending the TBG’s dinner, the site Libertarian News swung into action and complained that free thought and free speech were being denied. Oh, the drama!

Anti-fascists will be familiar with the name of Stuart Millson, who is also a TBG member and ex-member of the CDA, who, along with Jonathan Bowden (also a TBG member), formed the Revolutionary Conservative Caucus, a small but short-lived far right pressure group.  Millson was also a former member of the BNP and an officer with the semi-fascist outfit Western Goals Institute.  While he was in the RCS, Millson rubbed shoulders with the likes of Mark Cotterill, a former member of the National Front (NF) and a well-known figure on Britain’s far-right. This is not surprising given Millson’s former membership of the BNP, which itself was formed by a split in the NF. Millson was also once a member of the Conservative Party. Well, sort of…

From The Guardian, 27 August, 2001

Stephen Parker, a Tory member in Hertfordshire, wrote to Mr Ancram in 1999 with evidence that a self-declared rightwing extremist had forged a Tory party membership card. But in a letter to Peter Lilley, Mr Parker’s MP, the former chairman said in October 1999: “There is no further need to correspond with Mr Parker on this matter.” Mr Ancram argued that Stuart Millson, a BNP member in his youth, had merely made a copy of a membership card.

Mr Ancram’s refusal to take any action blew up in his face earlier this year when Mr Millson, who once dined in London with the French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, joined the Tonbridge and Malling Conservative association in Kent. He resigned in May this year after he was exposed by the Mirror.

The disclosure that Mr Ancram failed to take action to root out a known racist will confirm the fears of moderate Tories that the party hierarchy has been complacent about the far right’s attempts to infiltrate the party. It will also embarrass Mr Duncan Smith who has won the support of Mr Ancram and whose leadership campaign was rocked last week when a prominent backer in Wales was unmasked as a BNP sympathiser.

The Tories may deny it, but many of their members are sympathetic to groups like the TBG. Indeed, in the 1970s NF members joined local Conservative Clubs and were members of the Monday Club. Others are members of The Freedom Association, the faux libertarian pressure group that talks warmly about their idea of ‘freedom’, while working hard to deny it to others. Tories may complain about ‘entryism’ in the Labour Party, but for decades extreme-right entryists joined the party and they’re still joining.

Moggy’s antiquated views are only matched by his sartorial style. If you find him amusing or endearing, you might want to ask yourself this: what kind of friends are the TBG? Rees Mogg only apologised when he got caught by Liberal Conspiracy. If that had never happened, Moggy would have got away with it. Makes you wonder…

You can read the original Liberal Conspiracy article here.

 

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The British Freedom Party: who are they?

The short answer to the question is “the English Defence  League or EDL”, the long answer is that the British Freedom Party (BFP) is a small party that has welcomed the EDL to its ranks.  The BFP was formed in 2010 by a group of disgruntled and disaffected BNP members who were unhappy with Nick Griffin’s leadership and the lack of transpatrent accounting of the party’s finances. The self-styled leader of the EDL, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who is otherwise known as “Tommy Robinson” is now the party’s deputy leader. Here’s a picture of Yaxley-Lennon appearing at a hastily-arranged news conference.

BFP Yaxley-Lennon

I first became aware of the BFP when they started following me on Twitter. I’d never heard of them before, but I suspected that they weren’t necessarily just any party that was obsessed with an idea of freedom. I Googled them and discovered what they were and immediately blocked them.

I won’t link to any pages from the BFP website for obvious reasons. Here’s what I found on their “Democracy” page of their manifesto.

The British Freedom Party will return democracy to Britain by:

1. Withdrawing from the European Union.

2. Devolving decision-making power down to the lowest practicable level.

3. Abolishing restrictions on free speech.

4. Allowing British citizens to utilise rights and liberties enshrined in the British Constitution in court cases to challenge laws that undermine, annul or remove those rights and liberties.

5. Re-introducing the parliamentary boundaries, boroughs, and counties as they were in 1960.

6. Introducing citizens’ referenda whose decisions shall be binding on parliament.

7. Ensuring that any issues concerning England only, are debated and voted upon only by English MP’s.*

8. Restoring power back to the British Parliament by repealing all laws and treaties that have allowed other nations and supra-national institutions to impose their laws upon us.

* However: we oppose the break-up of the United Kingdom. Make no mistake; this country is under an invasion graver even than the dark days of the Battle of Britain. The New World globalists backed by wealthy banking cartels, will not stop at the Tweed, Severn, or Tamar rivers, nor will the advocates of a world caliphate stop there. These people want the whole of Britain and what better way than by encouraging a broken up, devolved Britain?

You have to laugh at the way they use the Battle of Britain to evoke images of a nation under siege. Oh, the drama!

Just for a laugh and out of morbid curiousity I decided to take a look at their page on immigration. It didn’t surprise me.

It’s About Space Not Race

Britain has been subjected to mass immigration for several decades and our small island can take no more. It’s about space not race and it’s time to shut the door and stop further immigration.

Culture Not Colour

We believe that it is the obligation of all naturalised migrants to fit in with our way of life and to respect our customs. For our society to be cohesive it is essential that all citizens are integrated fully and that they respect the British way of life. We bear no ill will to the settled minorities who have adopted our culture but this integration is a duty not a choice.

Most immigrants who originally came to the United Kingdom, from the former British Commonwealth in particular, came to Britain specifically because of our British culture and because they wanted to live in a country and culture that they loved. They also now have to live in a Britain where the indigenous British folk, and fully integrated British citizens like themselves, are becoming strangers due to unrestricted mass immigration.

Asylum Seekers

British Freedom would refuse asylum in Britain to those who have passed through safe countries to get here. Britain would no longer accept such people as genuine. The UN charter is quite clear about this in that asylum should be claimed in the first safe country passed and not in the one that pays the most generous benefits.

Foreign Criminals

Rather than releasing our own criminals early to re-offend we would deport the foreign born criminals currently taking up space in our jails.

It is not Britain’s job to pay for their upkeep when prison places are in short supply.

Putting British Citizens First

We would end the scandal of cheap labour being imported from overseas depriving British workers of jobs and put our people first.

There isn’t anything here that truly differs from the BNP or the other racist parties. The BFP and the EDL like to claim that they aren’t racists or fascists but the language that is being used here leaves very few doubts as to their ideological position. They say that “most immigrants came from the British Commonwealth” because of “our British culture”. This is ahistorical tosh. Those who arrived here from the former colonies came here to work in the NHS, the Royal Mail and on the trains and buses. At any rate, the antecedents of the BNP and EDL subjected these immigrants to abuse. Many, if not all, EDL and BFP members would have readily agreed with Enoch Powell.

In addition to their manifesto, the BFP has a “20 point plan”.

1. Introduce a US style First Amendment guaranteeing Free Speech.

2. Leave the profoundly undemocratic European Union.

3. Abolish the Human Rights Act, which benefits only foreign criminals/ terrorists.

4. Halt any further non-Western immigration for a period of five years.

5. Deport foreign criminals, seditious dual nationality Islamists and illegal immigrants.

6. Abolish all multicultural and equality quangos.

7. Halt and turn back all aspects of the Islamisation of Britain, including Sharia finance.

8. Drastically reduce crime – criminals should fear the consequences of their behaviour.

9. Repair the damage wreaked by the progressive educational establishment.

10. Promote British values and assimilation, rather than multiculturalism and division.

11. Rebuild Britain’s Armed Forces to 1980 levels.

12. Diminish the public sector and government interference in the private sector.

13. Withdraw troops from all areas where we are not directly threatened.

14. Cancel foreign aid to countries which do not deserve or need it.

15. End welfare payments to immigrants; they must pay for their housing and children.

16. Ensure no elderly person lives in fear, and can afford both heat and food in the winter.

17. Abolish destructive Political Correctness, promote Common Sense.

18. Promote morality, marriage, the family, the community and the nation state.

19. Allow pubs the freedom of operating as smoking or non-smoking establishments.

20. Live by Christianity’s Golden Rule: “Do unto others as thou wouldst be done by.”

With regards to the 20th point, it is doubtful that many members of the EDL/BFP are regular church-goers. However, like the Tories, they want to abolish the Human Rights Act, destroy  state education (which they accuse of being “progressive”) and shrink the public sector. As for an “American-style First Amendment”, what document are they amending and, given their antipatrhy towards “Americanisation”, does this not smack of bald hypocrisy? But “free speech”? Only those who support the BFP will have that.

The BFP may try to distance themselves from the thuggery of the EDL but their efforts look decidedly piecemeal, if not wholly dishonest. The Guardian says that

a BFP member tweeted his support for Norwegian killer Anders Breivik, while an EDL member defended the 34-year-old, currently on trial in Oslo after confessing to the murder of 77 people last July, and said that if he had “singled out the muslim filth” he would be viewed as a hero.

EDL News (a site that investigates the EDL) tells us

There is was no disguising the party’s love for fascism when BFP joint deputy leader and second in command of the English Defence League, Kevin Carroll, called for the execution of a democratically elected MP at the EDL’s Luton demonstration this weekend.

Stood in front of a baying  mob of drunken shaven-headed football hooligans, Carroll called for Bradford West MP George Galloway, to be dragged to Traitors Gate and hung for treason.

We at EDL News would like to ask Mr Carroll who else would be hung under a future BDP ruling party (If the British public were ever to embrace fascism as an acceptable ideology).

Fascists like the BFP do not only want to execute people for opposing their racist ideologies; many would be attacked and imprisoned for their views. People with long hair, people with glasses, people who are not pasty white enough, people with an education, people who dress differently. History shows the long, long list of the perceived enemies of fascism.

It’s amusing how they can recall the name of Traitor’s Gate, which hasn’t been used for hundreds of years. It has also been bricked up for some time as this image shows.

Finally there is very little to distinguish the BFP from any other far-right grouping. In some respects they resemble the Monday Club of days gone by. In other respects, they look just like another fascist party that’s lying to the electorate about their true intentions.

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Spot the difference

The Monday Club (circa 1970 to 1999):  scrap the Commission for Racial Equality!

The Conservative Party faithful: scrap the Equality and Human Rights Commission!

New Britain [Party]: scrap the EHRC!

Some things never change.

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Tebbit demands justice!

In the immediate aftermath of the Saville Report the Daily Telegraph’s bloggers were mysteriously quiet. Clearly, they hadn’t had time to formulate their twists on the findings. The Chingford Skinhead is already demanding a public inquiry to the Brighton Bombing in 1984. Tebbit says “The victims of Brighton are no less important than those of Londonderry. They should not be treated as second-class victims”. The “victims” in this case were members of the Conservative Party including Tebbit whose wife was left disabled by the blast. But his sense of apparent fair play is undermined by his mean-spiritedness. What Tebbit fails, or does not want, to understand is the fact that there are no secrets vis a vis the Grand Hotel bombing; the Provisional IRA claimed responsibility. Whereas the State, on the other hand, actively sought to hide the truth behind the Bloody Sunday killings.

Not one to respect or acknowledge difference, Tebbit excelled himself in 1990 with his infamous suggestion that one’s citizenship or, rather, dedication to a notion of national pride could be determined by which cricket team one supported (presumably he also meant the Scots by this, because they patently do not support English cricket). Perhaps it is also no surprise that Tebbit was (and possibly still is) a member of the notorious [Conservative] Monday Club who once firmly supported the idea of voluntary repatriation of ethnic minorities – something that they had in common with the National Front and the British National Party. By the way, the Monday Club is working flat out to return to the Tory fold after having their links with them severed in 2001 by The Quiet Man. If their website is to be believed, they appear to have softened their earlier ideas on ethnic minorities but this doesn’t represent a philosophical sea change; they are still as anti-immigration and reactionary as they’ve ever been. They also have a Facebook group with only 7 members. No sign of Tebbit though.

Tebbit finishes his article by whining, “Some victims, the peace process seems to imply, have superior rights to others”. That isn’t the feeling that I get; this is long-overdue justice.

Meanwhile Douglas Murray is as paranoid as ever, muttering gloomily about “handing propaganda victories to people who hate us“. I thought that was just the ‘Islamists’ who did that sort of thing, Dougie? Say, didn’t you go to a prestigious private Catholic School in Ealing? He singles out Martin McGuinness for special attention – as have the usual Unionist voices, focussing on allegations that he was toting a sub-machine gun on the day. McGuiness, of course, denies this but this single-minded interest in what McGuniness was or was not doing is, in my view, an attempt to besmirch findings of the Saville Report. The qualified acceptance of the Saville Report that we see here from Murray and others is not surprising because for all their talk of greater freedom and social ‘cohesion’, they still have a fundamental issue with the exact nature of human rights.

Ah, balance…don’t you just love it?

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