Old hands of the radical right who visit this site will know of Searchlight magazine. It has been running for fifty years on and off and since 1975 under the editorship of a now elderly Jewish Marxist, Gerry Gable. He has devoted his life to ‘exposing the evils’ of the diverse racial nationalist movements and individuals which range from fully jack-booted Neo-Nazis to more outspoken members of UKIP. The original Searchlight organisation supplied ‘information’ of the wicked doings of the above to the media including to the BBC, of course. But since it cost the BBC £40,000 in a libel case, the Searchlight organisation decided to split from the magazine.
Nevertheless, Gable and his mainly Jewish Marxists pals, such as the late Maurice Ludmer, were the first sponsors of the Anti-Nazi League and HOPE not hate campaign, with Searchlight splitting from them in 2011. It also fell out with Unite Against Facism (UAF), although I understand that David Cameron, our beloved Prime Minster, has not fallen out and is still a member.
In Searchlight’s Spring issue there is an article by Dr Paul Jackson in which he reviews some of the literature now being put out by the ‘extreme right’ which ‘conveys a sense of purpose to a wide range of more dedicated followers.’ After dealing with a new book on Colin Jordan and then on another on The History of the League of Empire Loyalists and Candour by Hugh McNeile and Rob Black, he has some interesting comments to make on John Bean’s new novel. Paul Jackson writes:
“The history of extreme right activism in the 1950 and 1960s era has also been given a more clearly fictional interpretation by one of the real stalwarts of the British extreme right. John Bean. His new novella, Blood in the Square: Love, Life and Political Conflict in Sixties Britain, sets out a ficticious nationalist group of the early 1960ss, called the National Action Movement, and gravitates around the activities of its General Secretary, Victor Blackwood. The role played by this fictional party is an echo of the British National Party of the era. The narrative gravitates around setting out how this fictional fringe party in the 1960s sought to create a profile and activism distinct from the openly neo–Nazi figures.
“The book plays with the issue of the damaging impact that openly neo-Nazi groups have had on the ‘nationalist’ movement more generally and so on one level it acts as a cautionary tale. The novella also has a level of idealisation of street violence and confrontation, presenting anti-fascists of the era, such as the 62 Group, particularly negatively – which is, perhaps, not too surprising. The book does have a clear propagandistic element to it too, and it is worth noting that Bean is a seasoned author of nationalist materials. For example, he served as editor of the British National Party’s magazine Identity until 2010.
“For followers of the extreme right who are going to read it as a novella rather than an example of extreme propaganda, Blood in the Square does try to develop some literary qualities too. Reviewers of the book from within the movement, such as Colin Liddell writing in the Occidental Observer, have even commented on a level of depth to its characterisation. Whether or not this is actually true is less important than the point that for those active within the extreme right, the reception of Bean’s fictional take on 1960s fascism and anti-fascism has been warmly received, seen by some as a modern classic of the genre of extreme right fiction. “