Searchlight

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For other uses, see Searchlight (disambiguation).
Searchlight
Searchlies.png
Existence 1975—present
Type surveillance, propaganda
Location London, United Kingdom

Searchlight is "anti-fascist" magazine and organization in the United Kingdom. It is in involved with surveillance and propaganda and has some similarities with the ADL and the SPLC.

Contents

Founding

Founders included the communist Jews Maurice Ludmer and Gerry Gable[1]. Ludmer was the first editor and a member of the steering group of the first Anti-Nazi League. Gable, who stood for the Communist Party (UK) in several elections, is the current editor.

The logo of the organisation is similar to a 1919 well-known image by the Jewish El Lissitzky which is intended to illustrate the supremacy of the Red Communists over the White anti-Communists.[2][3]

Activities

Searchlight's main focus is to survey and attack groups such as the British National Party, National Front, the New Right and others, although it has also published criticism of UKIP, sections of the Conservative Party and, lately, the Traditional Britain Group. Its obsessions border on paranoia.

Some of the claims made by the organization derive from unsubstantiated claims made by hostile infiltrators and defectors, who are often non-neutral and unreliable sources. Some claims have even been stated to be from agent provocateurs. Se the "External links" section on more on this.

The veracity of some of Searchlight’s claims has been called into question in court, occasionally resulting in legal damages, notably in the cases involving Alexander Baron.[4][5]

Publisher Gerry Gable is known to have links with MI5. His leaked 1977 London Weekend Television memo stated that he had "given names I have acquired to be checked out by British/French security services".[6] A 1987 profile referred to Gable's "wide range of contacts, including people in the secret services".[7]

In November 1963, David Irving called the London Metropolitan Police with suspicions he had been the victim of a burglary by three men who had gained access to his flat claiming to be General Post Office (GPO) engineers. Gerry Gable was subsequently arrested and admitted breaking in with intent to steal private papers. At the trial, counsel for the defence claimed that this was no ordinary crime, telling the court, "they hoped to find material they could take to Special Branch". The case was reported in the Daily Telegraph, 17 January 1964 and other newspapers.[8]

In 1984 Gerry Gable was commissioned by the BBC to produce research for a BBC Panorama programme "Maggie's Militant Tendency". The episode was to focus on a claim of right-wing extremism in the Conservative Party. Gable claimed that his research drew upon the information previously published in Searchlight.[9] The claims by Gable that two Conservative party politicians, Neil Hamilton and Gerald Howarth, were secret extremist "Nazi" supporters was met with libel action against the BBC. The programme had alleged (not admitted as evidence in court) that Hamilton gave a National Socialist salute in Berlin while 'messing around' on a Parliamentary visit in August 1983. The Guardian reported that "Writing for the Sunday Times after the collapse of the case, he admitted he did give a little salute with two fingers to his nose to give the impression of a toothbrush moustache. "Somebody on the trip clearly did not share our sense of humour," he wrote."[10] The BBC capitulated on 21 October and paid the pair's legal costs. Hamilton and Howarth were awarded £20,000 each and in the next edition of Panorama on 27 October, the BBC made an unreserved apology to both. Costs of £1,000,000 were awarded against the BBC.

Questioning Funds

At the insistence of the British National Party, Searchlight and its associated Searchlight Educational Trust were investigated by the British Charity Commission as a result of a complaint that claimed that the Educational Trust had been engaging in political activity incompatible with its charitable status.

The Commission's report stated that, in its opinion, the Searchlight Educational Trust had gone beyond the Commission's guidelines on political activities, and found there was a need for a greater distinction between the public activities of Searchlight Magazine and the educational trust. No action was taken as the charity agreed to follow the Commission's recommendations.

Infighting

In 1962, after 10 years' membership, Gable left the Communist Party to "concentrate on anti-fascist work and because the party had begun to adopt an anti-Israel line".[11] Gable's son has served in the Israeli army.[12]

Searchlight earlier had a close relationship with CARF, the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, whose magazine was published as an insert from 1979. This arrangement was put under strain by the perception that Searchlight maintained too close a relationship with pro-Zionist groups. This strain came to a head in 1991 when Searchlight editor Gerry Gable was accused of excluding leading Asian anti-racists and when he published an article promoting the openly pro-Israeli/pro-Zionist Jewish Action Group in the pages of Searchlight. The CARF editorial group decided to end their relationship with Searchlight.

The British anarchist website www.libcom.org has a number of articles critical of Searchlight.[13][14][15] The magazine Green Anarchist has also been critical.[16]

Factions & splits

Searchlight was earlier part of the steering committee of Unite Against Fascism but split after a falling out over tactics.

Hope not Hate was founded in 2004 by Nick Lowles, a former sub-editor of Searchlight. Hope-not-Hate functioned as part of Searchlight until 2011, when the two organisations split.[17] As a separate organisation, Hope-not-Hate took with it two of the three units of Searchlight: Searchlight Educational Trust (SET), a charity; and Searchlight Information Services (SIS), its research and investigative function.[18]

External links

The Website Of Alexander Baron

Article archives

References

  1. http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/gerry-gable/
  2. Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge. University of Southern California. Retrieved on 14 March 2012.
  3. “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge” by Lissitzky (1919), “Books!” by Rodchenko (1923), and “Electrification of the Entire Country” by Klutsis (1920). Art as Inspiration and Source of Meaning. Retrieved on 14 March 2012.
  4. Alexander Baron Alexander Baron v.Gerry Gable and Others: Summary of One of the Libel Actions of the Decade (and Related Legal Actions) ITMA, ISBN 1871473195 (1997)
  5. The Independent 22 June 1996
  6. First published in the New Statesman 15 February 1980, reproduced in Lobster magazine, issue 24 December 1992
  7. Jewish Chronicle 23 October 1987
  8. You must specify title = and url = when using {{cite web}}.. Kate Sharpley Library. Retrieved on 20 September 2009.
  9. Searchlight, No.130, April 1986, p2
  10. Wilson, Jamie (December 22, 1999). "Who will listen to his story now?". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/1999/dec/22/hamiltonvalfayed.jamiewilson3. 
  11. The Review, February 1999
  12. Jewish Chronicle, October 23, 1987
  13. http://libcom.org/library/searchlight-for-beginners-larry-o-hara
  14. http://libcom.org/library/bash-the-fash-anti-fascist-recollections-1984-1993/appendix-1-searchlight
  15. http://libcom.org/library/searchlight-and-the-state
  16. At War with the Truth The True Story of Searchlight Agent Tim Heppl http://www.spunk.org/library/antifasc/sp000525.html
  17. Lowles, Nick. The Future of HOPE not hate. Socialist Unity. Retrieved on 29 October 2012.
  18. Hope not hate structure. Hope not Hate. Retrieved on 25 April 2014.}
Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.
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