Patrick Harrington

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Pat Harrington
Patrick Harrington
Born Patrick Antony Harrington
Kennington, London, England
Nationality British
Ethnicity Gaelic Irish
Occupation activist, politician, trade unionist
Organization National Front
Official National Front
International Third Position
Third Way
Solidarity Union
Religion Catholic

Patrick Antony Harrington (Irish: Pádraig Ó hIongardail; born 24 May 1964) is a British politician, currently General Secretary of Solidarity – The Union for British Workers an organisation affiliated to the British National Party, and a Director of the Third Way (UK) think-tank (since 1989). He was previously a leading member of the National Front in the 1980s.

Contents

Early years and education

Pat Harrington was born in Kennington and his secondary education was at the Pimlico Comprehensive School and Tenison's School. Harrington was born in England to a Catholic family of Gaelic Irish ethnicity, originally from the County Cork area. In earlier times, before changing their name to Harrington, they had been known as O'Hungerdell (Irish: Ó hIongardail). His Higher and Further Education was at Westminster College (1980–1982), Polytechnic of North London (1982–1985), Edinburgh's Telford College (1994–1995), West London Technology Centre (1993), Kensington & Chelsea College (1992–1993), College of the Distributive Trades (1991–1993) and the University of Greenwich (1997–1999).

Past membership of the National Front

Polytechnic of North London protests

In 1984 Pat Harrington was the subject of protests by students at the Polytechnic of North London (later the University of North London, now part of London Metropolitan University), who picketed his lectures to protest his being able to study philosophy while a prominent member of the National Front (NF), which he joined in 1979, and deputy editor of their publication NF News. Students argued that his presence made life intolerable for ethnic minority students. Harrington disputed this and insisted on his right to attend lectures. He obtained a court injunction to stop the picketing; the protestors, backed by their students' union, ignored this.[1] Two student leaders were sent to jail for 16 days for contempt of a court order preventing them from barring Harrington from college.[2]

In December 1984, Dr. David MacDowall, the Polytechnic's director, resigned after pressure from the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) to make a complaint against Harrington for remarks he made in a radio interview. ILEA said the remarks were so-called "racist", which Harrington denied.[3] In his resignation letter, MacDowall admitted that he had acted "in a totally fascistic manner" over the issue, and wished "all the picketing students the best of luck with their campaign."[4] Harrington subsequently faced a college hearing for a television interview in which, in line with NF policy, he questioned the right of foreign interlopers, such as Black Africans to hold British citizenship.[5]

In January 1985, with final exams approaching, the students' union, Harrington and the Polytechnic administration agreed a deal in which all of Harrington's classes would be taught in an annexe away from the main building. His fellow students boycotted these lectures and many lecturers taught them informally.[6] Harrington eventually graduated with a Philosophy degree.[7]

Official National Front

From the right are Patrick Harrington, Nick Griffin and Ian Anderson, who were significant in shaping NF factions.

In the late 1980s the NF underwent a schism. Harrington sided with the Political Soldier group that included Nick Griffin (subsequently leader of the British National Party) and Derek Holland. This group eventually termed itself the Official National Front. Harrington was a regular contributor to NF publications on a range of subjects, including providing research for an article that supported Ernst Zündel.[8] The ideas of Harrington and his allies led to alienation of some NF supporters with the Flag Group splitting off to follow more traditional NF ideas. Harrington was involved in one of the most notorious manifestations of these divisions in the 1989 Vauxhall by-election when, as a candidate, one of his opponents was Ted Budden of the Flag Group

In September 1988 the three men visited Libya as a guest of the Gaddafi government. In November, the Political Soldier NF was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary, Disciples of Chaos; interviewed for the programme, Harrington refused to condemn the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as terrorists.

Relationship with Skrewdriver/Blood & Honour

As an official of the NF, Harrington was involved in administering the White Noise Club, which organised white power music concerts featuring among others Skrewdriver. In 1987, the Political Soldier group fell out with Ian Stuart, the lead singer of Skrewdriver. Stuart responded by setting up his own group, Blood & Honour, whose eponymous publication openly attacked his former NF associates. They in turn denounced Stuart. Harrington and Holland are allegedly the subjects of the Skrewdriver song "A Time of Change", included on their 1988 album After the Fire.[9]

Searchlight attacks

In February 1990 the Ziono-communist magazine Searchlight alleged that Harrington had ongoing connections to Special Branch and MI6.

Directorship of the Third Way

Third Way advocates Direct Democracy along Swiss lines using referenda and citizens' initiatives, and is strongly influenced by distributism and Social Credit. It supports small business and co-operative ownership, while opposing over-centralised government and promoting decision making at the lowest practical level. It is not nationalist. According to accounts filed with the Electoral Commission, in 2004 Third Way had 20 members and cashflow of approximately £1,400.[10] The Third Way constitution distinguishes between 'Members', 'Registered Supporters' and 'Supporting Subscribers', and they also operate through a number of Limited Companies and Associations.[citation needed] In the 2005 General Election they fielded 2 candidates who received 376 votes between them but they have scored far better in elections at local level. (See article on Third Way for more details.)

General Secretary of Solidarity union

In January 2006 Pat Harrington was appointed General Secretary of Solidarity. In November 2007, following independently scrutinised elections, he was returned unopposed for a five year period.

The current Union Executive consists of Pat Harrington (General Secretary), Simone Clarke (Treasurer), Gary Aronsson, David Durant, Mark Walker, Adam Walker (President) and David Kerr.(See article on Solidarity for more details.)

Expulsion from RMT

Harrington ascribes his involvement in Solidarity to his expulsion from the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) on June 27 2003.[11] The RMT claimed in a press release that he had joined under a false name and was expelled when his 'identity' was discovered; Harrington responded that he joined under his married name and that he was known to the Union by both names and challenged the grounds for expulsion. He has claimed that the reasons given for his expulsion were a pretext to cover a political motive and accused the RMT of supporting a 'New McCarthyism'.[12][13]

Ideological development

Harrington claims to have undergone substantial ideological change since he voted to disband the NF in 1989. In his profile on the Third Way website,[14] he cites a Jew, Rabbi Mayer Schiller as a particular influence on this development. Schiller is also the subject of a biography on the Third Way website, although his role in the party is unclear.

In an interview with Wayne John Sturgeon of Alternative Green magazine, Harrington said:[15]

"I voted for the disbandment of the National Front in 1989 which I think speaks for itself. Since that time I have worked with my Third Way colleagues for harmony and progress in our country. There are aspects of my involvement with the NF which I deeply regret. I wasted a lot of time trying to move people to more positive, inclusive positions. I should have broken with them earlier. The past, however, is gone and cannot be changed. I have rethought, rejected or refined many of my past positions. This is a process which has led me to where I am now. I hope that people would judge me on my current ideas and actions rather than re-fight the battles of the past."

Wayne John Sturgeon has been closely associated with Troy Southgate's various nationalist-anarchist groups, from the National Revolutionary Faction (NRF)[16] to the New Right,[17] which describes itself as "opposed to liberalism, democracy and egalitarianism".[18] Alternative Green was founded by Richard Hunt, who has also been associated with the NRF[19] and once featured both Southgate and Sturgeon, as well as fellow NRF/New Right activist, Jonathan Boulter, on its editorial board, but they are believed to have left the board before the issue which published Sturgeon's interview with Harrington.[citation needed]

In "I Rejected National Front",[20] an article written for The Voice (a publication aimed at the British Afro-Caribbean community) and apparently published on February 13 2006 (but reproduced on Third Way's website), Harrington wrote:

"Third Way, which I helped form in 1990, advocates harmonious relationships between all communities. Third Way welcomes the vibrant contribution that this variety brings but we are also aware that there can be friction between communities.
"We must be honest about these difficulties and work to solve problems together in a spirit of unity. Third Way policy is very different from that of the BNP which we have stood against in elections."

Ongoing connection to Nick Griffin and the BNP

Harrington continues to be associated with Nick Griffin and the British National Party, but he denies that these associations imply ideological agreement. In September 2005, he edited, and Third Way published, a pamphlet entitled Taking Liberties (see below), featuring an article by Griffin. In the editorial of this issue Harrington wrote:

"Let me nail my colours to the mast. I believe that speech (and other forms of expression) should be protected regardless of content or viewpoint. I am against any law that seeks to discriminate against any religious, racial or political group. I'm also against any law that favours one such interest group over another."

Harrington defends his decision to publish an article from Griffin on civil liberties grounds. His role as General Secretary of Solidarity, and its association with the BNP, is discussed above.

Currently

Patrick Harrington works for Nick Griffin as a European Parliament employee with his wife, Mish. He holds a teaching qualification from the University of Greenwich. He is a committed and lifelong vegetarian. He has two children and lives in Edinburgh[citation needed] and runs the nationalist trade union, Solidarity.

Publications

Harrington's published works include:

References

  1. Searchlight magazine, June 1984
  2. The Times, November 29 1984
  3. The Times, December 8 1984
  4. Nigel Copsey, Anti-Fascism in Britain (Macmillan 2000), p. 156
  5. The Times, December 15 1984, December 19 1984
  6. The Times, January 8 1985, January 12 1985
  7. For more detail on the Harrington/PNL affair see Copsey, Anti-Fascism in Britain, pp155-157
  8. "The Holocaust Myth - it's been a millstone around the necks of Racial Nationalists everywhere for forty years." - Tom Acton & Pat Harrington, "Trouble Shooting: Zundel vs Zion (2)" in Nationalism Today (30 June 1985). A correction in a later issue stated that Harrington had researched the article but that the text was written entirely by Acton.
  9. Searchlight magazine, February 1988
  10. http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/files/dms/ThirdWay_17161-12597__E__N__S__W__.PDF
  11. http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php4?article_id=3980
  12. Guardian Unlimited Politics | Comment | Friendly fire
  13. [1][dead link]
  14. Third Way Biographies
  15. Welcome to Third Way
  16. National Revolutionary Faction - Interview with the NRF
  17. New Imperium Magazine [Archive] - VivaMalta.org
  18. Yahoo! Groups : new_right
  19. Hunt has contributed to NRF publications, for example, "Why Anarchism?" in The English Alternative 10 (1999)
  20. Welcome to Third Way

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