Whatever happened to the Young Britons Foundation? That’s the question I was hoping to answer when I entered the words into the search engine yesterday. By chance, I discovered a group calling itself ‘Young Britons for Liberty’, but who are now calling themselves the Young Chartists (yeah, I know). Readers will know that any group that either claims to be for ‘liberty’ or ‘freedom’ is, more often than not, a group of like-minded right-wingers, who believe they have a natural monopoly on those concepts. Libertarians, as they like to call themselves, tend to fall into two camps: the hardline free-market cultists (anything can be sold) and the libertines (anything can be fucked). Right-wing libertarians will usually fall into the former camp, while the LM Network, which pretends to be Marxist or even left-wing, occupies both. The Young Chartists, who, while not being a successor organization to the YBF, share the same libertarian ideals and certainly tread the same ground.
Two years ago, I called for a 21st Century People’s Charter, the Young Chartists have done the same thing, but although they have adopted the name, the demands they make aren’t too dissimilar to the usual shopping lists knocked out by the spoilt rich brats of the British bourgeoisie.
In the ‘About’ section on their website, we find this under the heading ‘Our Struggle’ (Unser Kampf?). Forgive me for not linking directly to the site. Here is a broken link, feel free to copy and paste it into your browser’s search field. http://peoplescharter.org/about/
The People’s Charter Foundation is a non-partisan British identitarian campaign group run by a diverse group of passionate Tory, UKIP, and other patriots. We demand for proper Brexit, and for Britain to ban Sharia law. We work closely with the Bruges Group, Gays Against Sharia, the Campaign for Independent Britain, UK Against Hate, the Bow Group, MBGA News, and Better Off Out.
Any group that goes out of its way to call itself “non-partisan” is usually the opposite. Here, without much pause for thought, the writer of this page then tells us that the Young Chartists are comprised of Tories, Kippers and “patriots”. But the list of groups they work with is informative, for here we find a real ragbag of free speech warriors, whose far-right, anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, Little Englander discourses masquerade as ‘common sense’. You’ll also notice that they describe themselves as “British identitarians”. Identity politics on the right? Really? Isn’t that the very thing, along with ‘political correctness’, the far-right most frequently tilts against? What British identitarianism is, in essence, is British nationalism that pretends to be more inclusive than its neo-fascist cousins.
Further down the page, we come to their “People’s Charter”. You will notice there is no mention of electoral reform, voting rights or the structure of Britain’s governance.
1. Leave the globalist EU: a points-based migration policy, and leave the ‘single market’. Merkel’s open border experiment with fake refugees is simply intolerable;
2. Government to interfere in our lives as little as possible, to be downsized: the national budget must be balanced and taxes lower;
3. Stop multiculturalism: To regain our British identity, rather than be ashamed of British national flags. Ban Sharia law;
4. A strong military is essential, including a tough approach on Islamism;
5. Migrants to integrate into British nation-state, i.e. to require English as our core language, ban Sharia law, resist multiculturalism, and oppose political correctness;
6. In the spirit of the 1838 Charter’s sixth point that was never realised, for the right to recall bad MPs;
Only once does this ‘charter’ mention the original People’s charter but only in relation to its demand to” recall bad MPs”. The rest of it is shot through with Islamophobic claptrap, libertarian mumbo-jumbo, militaristic machismo and the kind of paranoia that comes with a deep-seated suspicion of the Other.
On their ‘Beliefs’ page, we find some questions posed by themselves to themselves.
What do you think of Nazism?
We are opposed to Nazism – it is a horrid, racist ideology, which promoted radical socialism. We are capitalists. We respect the right for Israel to exist.
You’ll notice how this paragraph repeats the by now familiar ‘Nazis were really socialists (or vicariously left-wing)” slur. This passage exists as a form of disclaimer, but it’s the way Israel is tacked onto the end of this that puzzles me. It’s almost as if it was written during a late night coke binge. Like other right-wing libertarians, they rail against figments and phantoms: cultural Marxism©, ‘political correctness’, feminism, they’re all there.
Do you support women’s rights?
We support human rights for all, including women. As an organisation opposed to cultural Marxists, we do not support feminists who push concepts such as “patriarchy theory”, because all they want is destruction of the family unit. We work closely with Liberty Belles to oppose feminism.
A picture is beginning to emerge of a group of right-wing white men, who blame feminazis (sic) for their inability to get laid. I think Wilhelm Reich wrote about this kind of thing. The Liberty Belles are an “anti-feminist” group of women, who organized a campaign, called L4PD, to support Philip Davies, the misogynist filibusterer and MP for Shipley. Hope Not Hate says:
Davies first met with members of ‘The Liberty Belles’, an anti-feminst group consisting of Elizabeth Hobson, Natoya Raymond, Paula Wright, Catherine Kitsis and Belinda Brown, at the International Conference on Men’s Issues in London in July 2016. Davies gave a talk at the event, which was organised the men’s rights activist (MRA) group, Justice for Men and Boys, and promoted by now-disgraced former Breitbart figurehead, Milo Yiannopolous.
In March 2017 the Liberty Belles launched the sub-campaign L4PD, which describes itself as “a group of ladies who support Philip’s campaign to infiltrate the Women and Equalities Committee, change the name and make it truly work for equality for all as well as his championing of men’s issues.”
Human rights? Who needs those? It’s men’s rights we want! Women who hate feminists? What next? Black people who want to be re-enslaved? Libertarians don’t mind slavery. Just ask any ‘scholar’ from the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
The director of the Young Chartists is Luke Nash-Jones (pictured), who was recently one of the subjects of this Vice article, which tells us he’s the chair of the Birkbeck Conservative Association. So not at all “non-partisan”, then. Nash-Jones, like the rest of those interviewed, lays the victimhood on with a
shovel JCB . He’s also involved in a group calling itself Make Britain Great Again. Here he repeats the usual canards of the right in relation to a perceived leftist indoctrination in Higher Education.
Research shows that most university professors are left-wing, and their lectures reflect that. Moreover, student unions are basically Marxist madrasas which use Orwellian “no platforming” policies to silence original thought, because their emotion-driven positions cannot stand up to fact-based, logic-driven argument. The manager of our student union is actually on the Labour Party payroll, and non-student trade union staff dominate freshers entrance with stalls.
Remember if you argue for tolerance, in the mind of the libertarian, that’s being “emotional”. This is an idea that has come from the American right, who will dismiss any argument coming from the left (or liberals) as “emotional”. I saw it a lot in 2001 – 3 on Delphi Forums where hard right types would routinely dismiss any argument they couldn’t handle as ’emotional’. But what this specious claim to moral and intellectual superiority demonstrates is the lack of humanity on the libertarian side. Perhaps Nash-Jones is telling us something about his own character? What he seems to be forgetting is that one has a right to their opinions, but not the facts. If his “fact-based logic-driven arguments” are like the quote above, then he needs to construct better arguments (the YBF used to organise workshops in debating skills that would teach trainees how to talk over their interlocutors and use character assassination instead of arguments). Indeed, the “research” he talks about comes from the Adam Smith Institute, which is hardly a source of peer-reviewed evidence. Most of the student unions I’ve been to are full of undergraduates getting tanked up. Madrasas, my arse. But what qualifies as “original thought”? A visceral hatred of the left? Misogyny expressed as an irrational hatred of feminism? Mistrust of foreigners? Hatred of Islam? Those are hardly the products of original thinking.
As President of the Conservative Association, after I requested a debate with the Labour Society president, in the style of the mayoral hustings, I received threats of violence from student union officers, including in writing, a threat to “destroy” the office I work at and verbal threats to kill me. The officer who made this threat resigned after I threatened legal action against the student union. I was marched off campus by university staff for “threatening the safe space” after I set up the pre-approved Conservative stand, with a Union Jack backdrop. Labour students, who clearly display no appreciation of free speech promoted by J.S. Mill, tore up posters and burst the Conservative Party branded balloons.
I just wonder what kind of language Nash-Jones used in his request? I get the feeling there’s more to this story than meets the eye. You will also note how he drags the name of John Stuart Mill into his diatribe. “Free speech? That’s where I say what I want and you shut the fuck up”. I’m sure that isn’t what Mill had in mind.
When you go to Nash-Jones’s Twitter page, you’re greeted with the following message.
This account’s Tweets are protected.
Only confirmed followers have access to @lukenashjones‘s Tweets and complete profile. Click the “Follow” button to send a follow request.
Free speech, eh?
Back to the website and at the bottom of ‘The Team’ page, we find a list of patrons. Do you recognize anyone?
Donal Blaney, Chief Executive of Margaret Thatcher Centre
Anthony Vander Elst, Founder of the Selsdon Group
Vít Jedlička, President of Liberland
Ian Geldard, Former Researcher for Institute for the Study of Terrorism
Peter Whittle AM, Founder of the New Culture Future, UKIP Deputy Leader
There’s our old friend, Donal Blaney, late of the YBF and now apparently ensconced as Chief Executive of the Margaret Thatcher Centre, even though he isn’t listed on the site. Regular readers will know that the Selsdon Group is a hard right free market cult that was formed in 1973. Their honourable president is John Redwood. But who is Vít Jedlička and what and where is “Liberland”? The Independent says:
Vit Jedlicka, a member of the Conservative Party of Free Citizens, is the self-appointed president of “Liberland,” a 7sq km “country” (only the Vatican and Monaco are smaller) where taxes are optional and there is no military.
Okay, so where is it?
It is situated on the banks of the Danube between Serbia and Croatia in an unclaimed no-man’s land, or terra nullius territory, meaning that neither country has ever held full sovereignty over the area.
So it’s some kind of libertarian utopia? Attempts at creating libertarian paradises – nightwatchman states or whatever you want to call them – have ended badly- though not for the oligarchs who benefit from the chaos. Honduras anyone? Of course, the libertarians themselves, when presented with the evidence, deny Honduras was run as a nightwatchman state. A libertarian experiment in Chile ended in acrimonious failure. Indeed, not being the kind of people to accept responsibility, they’re more likely to claim these experiments have failed because of ‘socialism’ or even ‘feminism’.
In fact, things aren’t going too well for Liberland. A year after its founding, it has no citizens.
Thanks to the efforts of the Croatian border police, Liberland has still technically not got a single inhabitant, and its 7 sq km of boggy wetlands boast just one dilapidated building, an abandoned hunting lodge.
GQ magazine gleefully mocked them as “Just a bunch of white guys on a tiny island”.
The Young Chartists, YBFL or whatever they’re calling themselves, has planned a “Last Day of Silence” for 23 September, which will be…
…a silent and powerful march through the London streets by all those who oppose terrorist extremism, the implementation of Sharia (FGM), and Islamist grooming gangs and terrorism. (Genuine racists NOT welcome.)
Their Facebook events page tells us that they want to “stand up to grooming gangs and Islamic terror” (sic). So far, only 45 are going and 128 are “interested”. Such is their ignorance and bigotry that Sharia (Law) is deliberately conflated with female genital mutilation (FGM), despite the fact that the practice crosses religious and ethnic boundaries, and is still practised by white fundamentalist Christians in the United States (yes). In Britain, it was seen as a remedy for female masturbation during the late 19th century and early 20th century. In the United States, the practice is more widespread than first thought with more women coming forward to tell their story. Naturally, the far-right and their libertarian buddies will have their fingers in their ears.
In the below the line comments, there’s a message of support from someone claiming to represent Britain First.
Birds of a feather, so to speak. It should surprise no one that, in spite of their protestations, there has always been a close relationship between right-wing libertarians and fascism/right-wing authoritarianism. For example, Marinetti’s Futurist Party merged with Mussolini’s fascists and, more recently, libertarians have praised Pinochet’s so-called ‘Chilean Miracle’. The weeping Nazi, Christopher Cantwell was a libertarian before he became a neo-Nazi.
I almost forgot: the YBF is no more. The site link is dead. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the YBFL or any of its fellow travellers.
Reich, W., & Carfagno, V. R. (1970). The mass psychology of fascism (p. 1520). New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Continue reading