British Movement

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British Movement
British Movement.png

Sunwheel Flag

Political position Jordanite National Socialism
Skinhead subculture
Leader Colin Jordan (1961—1975)
Michael McLaughlin (1975—1983)
Stephen Frost (1984—present)
Country United Kingdom
Existence 1961–present
Affiliation World Union of National Socialists
Blood and Honour
Colours Red, white, blue

The British Movement (originally known as the National Socialist Movement) is a Jordanite National Socialist political party founded by Colin Jordan in 1961 in the United Kingdom. Jordan was the successor to Arnold Leese of the Imperial Fascist League and inherited his property. Originally known as the National Socialist Movement, it changes its name to the British Movement in May 1968 after Jordan had been incarcerated on hate speech charges.

In the earlier period of Jordan's leadership, the British Movement campaigned on an NS platform: with members wearing the Swastika symbol, and party literature featuring pictures of Adolf Hitler. However, in the late 1960s it dropped this Rockwellian-inspired eccentricity and used the sunwheel.It published two journals: British Patriot and British Tidings. After Jordan left, Michael McLaughlin became the leader of the party in 1975.

The British Movement contested the UK general elections in 1970 and in February 1974. The party failed to attract much support in those elections. Most of the nationalist vote went to the National Front (NF). The group's highest result was the 2.5% share which Jordan captured in Birmingham Aston in 1970.

Support for the British Movement grew in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the National Front fragmented. The British Movement was particularly popular with youths and skinheads who had previously supported the National Front.

History

National Socialist Movement

NSM poster from the famous Free Britain from Jewish Control rally at Trafalgar Square in 1962.

The organisation was founded as the British National Socialist Movement by Colin Jordan on Adolf Hitler's birthday April 20, as a splinter group from the British National Party. Impetus for the formation of the NSM came from a 1961 letter to Jordan from George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the ANP. Rockwell stated that he agreed with the BNP, except over their lack of mimicking German National Socialism outright. Jordan, feeling that a link-up with Rockwell could be beneficial, left the BNP to launch the NSM, and soon after formed the World Union of National Socialists with the ANP (and later other groups).

The NSM tried to organize an armed wing, Spearhead, which was shut down by the police when Jordan and John Tyndall were imprisoned, along with Martin Webster, Denis Pirie and Roland Kerr-Ritchie. The movement was effectively put on hold until Jordan was released from prison in 1963, when he assumed the leadership again.

The NSM was further weakened in May 1964 when Tyndall formed the Greater Britain Movement. Tyndall objected to the "non-British flavour" of the NSM, and bore a personal grudge against Jordan and Françoise Dior, Tyndall's former fiancée who hastily married Jordan while Tyndall was still in prison simply to avoid being deported from Britain as an undesirable alien.

The Movement entered its last phase of activity in 1965 when it launched a campaign against the "race traitor" Patrick Gordon Walker. The NSM used the slogan, "if you want a nigger for a neighbour -- vote Labour." The campaign highlighted the spiralling tensions. Membership fell to almost zero overnight after the arrest of several members accused of burning synagogues but the NSM momentum was brought to an abrupt halt when Jordan's wife Françoise Dior finally decided to leave him once and for all in March 1966, thus cutting off his main source of financing. Later he was imprisoned for attempting to arrest Harold Wilson for treason over Rhodesia.

Jordan was arrested under new hate speech laws and jailed for eighteen months in January 1967 for distributing "offensive literature" which was nothing more than a four page publication entitled "The Coloured Invasion" which consisted of extracts taken from the British press, mostly the Daily Telegraph, which put immigration into a bad light. As a result Jordan missed the launch of the new nationalist umbrella group the National Front that same year. It seems unlikely, however, that the NSM would have been invited to join because of the reluctance of both A. K. Chesterton and the Racial Preservation Society to admit open National Socialists, and because the bad blood that existed with the BNP. The NSM finally collapsed without leadership, and the remnants of the group were reconstituted as the British Movement in May 1968, following Jordan's release.

Decline of the British Movement

In 1980, Ray Hill, who had been a leading member of the British Movement under Jordan before emigrating to South Africa, rejoined the group and soon became one of its leading figures. Hill was later revealed to be a mole for the Jewish communist magazine Searchlight. Soon after rejoining the BM, Hill criticized what he claimed was McLaughlin's dictatorial style of leadership, and accused McLaughlin of wasting BM funds on himself. Hill was expelled in 1982 and immediately sued McLaughlin. Hill fought the case with the legal services of his ally Anthony Reed Herbert. McLaughlin was forced to call on party funds, leaving the BM in a shaky financial situation.[1]

About half of the members followed Hill out and joined the newly-launched British National Party in 1982.[2] The party failed to contest the 1983 general election, although a single candidate had attempted to stand in Peterborough as a Labour Party candidate; he was barred by the returning officer after several signatures on the nominating papers were found to be invalid.[3] The BM failed to recover from the split and the financial hardships, and McLaughlin announced the group's liquidation in September 1983.[4]

1984 to the present day

A group calling itself the British Movement continued to operate after McLaughlin folded the initial BM. The new group attempted to act as a rallying-point for skinheads, although this role was later filled more successfully by Blood and Honour. The new BM re-emerged during the mid 1990s by becoming heavily involved in the distribution of white power music.[5] Although a British Movement still exists, it has a tiny, largely inactive, membership. It holds an annual general meeting, occasionally publishes a pamphlet, sometimes (usually quarterly) publishes the magazine Broadsword, and maintains an Internet-based publication, Sunwheel.[6]

See also

Gallery

References

  1. Hill & Bell, op cit, pp. 137-141
  2. Hill & Bell, op cit, p. 146
  3. English election results
  4. Hill & Bell, op cit
  5. N. Lowles, "1990-1999 Ballot-box to Bomb - Fighting On All Fronts"
  6. Searchlight, January 2006

External links

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.