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Hope Not Hate & Searchlight: civil war?

Heidi Svenson | 08.11.2011 21:37 | Analysis | Anti-racism | Other Press | Liverpool | World

In the last few weeks there have mean major cracks developing between Searchlight magazine & their cash-cow dummy front organisation 'Hope Not Hate'. Clearly, arguments about money are not exclusive to the BNP...

(the article below is taken from the Notes From the Borderland magazine web-site). We fully realise that as winter nights are drawing in, trolls get drawn to their keyboards, and fully anticipate phalanxes of the same will descend on this thread. Note well, in advance, these trolls will not deny the facts, but ignore them. Whatever! Ciao!


by Larry O'Hara 4/11/11

What delicious irony! After a concerted campaign accusing the British National Party (rightly) of financial shady practice, inside sources inform us Hope Not Hate, Searchlight's dummy front campaign (headed by Nick Lowles), is in the process of declaring organisational UDI from the overall organisation, headed by Gerry Gable (proprietor). Reports coming in are sketchy (if amusing: like the one about Fitzpatrick heard in a Victoria Park pub!) and to safeguard sources what follows is not as detailed as it could be, but the need for this may well change.

The main cause for the split seems to be money: the HNH franchise has been very successful raking in money from gullible punters under increasingly tenuous pretexts. A recent classic was the call by Lowles for people to email in protest about BNP financial chicanery. Shortly thereafter, he boasted on the HNH blog (14/10/11) how after he emailed petitioners they donated £250 "within minutes". The problem for Nick Lowles has not so much been raising cash, but getting access to it. We have already drawn attention (NFB issue 9, also on this web-site) to the totally undemocratic nature of HNH, including the fact that money is (or rather was until the split) still payable to Searchlight, sent to the Ilford PO Box directly under the control of Gerry Gable and his tax-scheming wife, the charming Sonia, who still hasn't answered my questions of 15 years ago about setting up Irish Left Republicans for assassination (never too late S, how about it?). In alliance with Blue State Digital, HNH has been bringing in large amounts of money, but as donations began an (inevitable) drop off after the General Election last year, this declined. Or maybe not: one point of contention seems to be Lowles complaint he has not had access to all financial records. The suspicion was that the Gables have been creaming it off, and at best diverting it into funding a glossy full-colour Searchlight which Lowles edited until he downed tools following a furious expletive-filled argument in September. Another sub-text is differential attitudes towards Islamist militancy: more on this later.

We should be clear about one thing--neither side give a fig about the supporters, or lack of democratic participation in HNH. Both are fully in bed with the political police: Gable with his 'Lone Wolf' project, and Lowles with his increasingly shrill calls for police to ban ever-more demonstrations. Following the row, it seems, recognising where the (fresh) money is, most of the vaunted Searchlight 'team' have jumped ship with Lowles: Graeme Atkinson & Matthew Collins to name but two. After all Gable has done, safeguarding Collins and refuting nasty rumours about his connections to Loyalist paramilitaries in London (although not those about MI6), for Matty to betray Gable so brings tears to the eyes. Tears of laughter that is...

The people I feel sorry for (genuinely!) are those who see Searchlight as the anti-fascist movement's journal of record. Rather less sorry, but still slightly, for those subscribers who in September 2011 received a magazine titling itself 'International magazine of the Hope Not Hate Campaign', complete with 4 pages of HNH news and the invitation (p.35) that to "learn about the HNH campaign around the country you should subscribe to Searchlight...the essential magazine for Hope Not Hate organisers". By October's issue, in true Stalinist fashion, with a few exceptions reference to HNH had vanished, the logo certainly had. It is as if, like that erased photo of Trotsky next to Lenin on the podium, HNH had never existed. Two references to HNH were in the editorial though. First was Gable's admission Lowles "creator of the very successful Hope Not Hate campaign, decided to stand down as editor". A hint, if very slight, money was involved, came when Gable stated "the editor of Searchlight has never been a paid position but one held on a voluntary basis" (p.4). The second reference followed the announcement Searchlight was no longer going to be produced in full colour, and was very plaintive. "When the call goes out from Hope Not Hate to take part in campaigns against the BNP, EDL or other far-right threats, do respond, but please also talk to your friends colleagues and families about raising regular support to keep Searchlight in print" (p.5). Still, Gable has maintained Searchlight's reputation for accuracy: in an astonishing feat of post-mortem magic that Himmler would have revelled in, "John Tyndall, who died in July 1975, founded the British National Party and led it until Nick Griffin became chairman until 1999" (p.6).

Aside from the problems posed for Searchlight's continuation, there is a dilemma for HNH. If the BNP is currently in the doldrums (which it is, though this may not be permanent: see my article in forthcoming NFB issue 10), then the EDL is the main 'far right' threat. However, Lowles and company are very clear that it is the state who should ban the EDL, thus there is little actual activity for HNH supporters to engage in other than tedious 'e-petitions' and clicking the 'donate' button. All very exciting, not.

In any acrimonious split, the first question is who has control of the assets. In the case of Searchlight these are

1) Subscriber lists: Gable has them, but so does Lowles, precipitating Gable to switch postal distributors for the October edition. The far bigger number of HNH contact email addresses Lowles has, Gable hasn't. So, in tennis parlance 30-15 Lowles

2) Assets inside groups/internal documents spanning decades: Gable has access to these, indeed it is noteworthy HNH had no report from inside the BNP's AGM 29/10/11. Regarding internal documents, my source commented "everybody knows the area round Gants Hill tube station". 30-all

3) Control of the Hope Not Hate web domain, and PO Box 67476 London NW3 9RF through which HNH are now soliciting direct donations, resides with Gerry Gable. Despite HNH having a cable London telephone number under their control, (02076818660 if you want to commiserate) , they are further hampered, by Hope Not Hate being "the campaigning name of Searchlight Information Services Ltd". Would be an interesting court case..True, HNH now have a direct Pay-pal account, but regarding infrastructure the initiative lies with Gable: 30-40 in Gable's favour.

4) Media links: Gable has hitherto sought to keep these very much under his thumb, but quite frankly in public he comes across as an increasingly sad shambolic meandering figure. Lowles has contacts of his own at the BBC and on the Daily Mirror. So, a difficult one to call: we'll replay that point. Still 30-40.

5) International contacts: previously, a Gable trump card, but Lowles & Atkinson have just returned from a successful visit to Sweden, where they sought to build a future collaboration (not involving Searchlight) with EXPO, the magazine set up by police ally & sometime fiction writer Stieg Larsson. Cheekily, patently directed at Gable, Lowles on his blog (4/11/11) praises EXPO as "clearly the most professional anti-fascist magazine in Europe". Given there have been two periods when it hasn't even published, it only comes out four times a year (to Searchlight's 12) and it is any case heavily state-subsidised, that's a bit rich, but still...Until this move, I'd have said Searchlight held the balance, by a whisker, but this evens thing up: 40-40, deuce. All still to play for.

In the current situation, might I be forgiven a little schadenfreude, as both factions are reprehensible, especially from my personal point of view. Gable has printed lies about me being involved in Loyalist/Nazi drug-dealing etc, but so has Atkinson (see Searchlight Fiction Pulped on this web-site). Lowles was the coward who took my photo for later publication in Searchlight. Putting personal issues to one side, if a genuinely democratic anti-fascist campaign comes out of all this (which HNH patently isn't) like a revived Anti-Fascist Action/Antifa, that would be good. Equally, if Searchlight's death-grip monopoly on anti-fascism was broken, that would be too. There will be further regroupment, and alreaqdy Searchlight are scraping the barrel. Gable is pursing his cow's lip and even thinking of giving Tony Robson unheard of responsibilities, for example. It is difficult not to reflect that after nearly 50 years in this business, Gable has been rewarded with all the loyalty his behaviour deserves. Atkinson, for example, first became involved with Searchlight in the mid-70's, at the precise time Gable was wheedling his way into radical journalist circles (the Aubrey/Berry/Campbell defence campaign) pretending to support them against state persecution yet in reality spying on them for MI5 (as revealed in the infamous Gable Memorandum). In the years since, Gable and Searchlight have lied constantly about anti-fascists of every stripe, it is little surprise then, that he has gathered around him such a bunch of shysters, turncoats and weasels devoid of no principle but self-aggrandisement.

It may, or may not, take a little time for festering internal conflict to break out into open war, but if and when it does, NFB will be, as always, on the case. Lowles, contacted by NFB, was non-committal. Considering the even distribution of assets, it is in the objective interest of both factions (especially HNH) to keep a lid on things as long as possible and establish a modus vivendi lucrative for both sides. Outraged feelings, especially on Gable's part, might hinder that. We shall see. The expected response from Searchlight to our revealing their problems will be denial, and hurling abuse/evading the arguments. Yet some things cannot be gainsaid: Lowles no longer edits Searchlight, in October Searchlight dropped presenting themselves as the magazine of HNH, Lowles has taunted Gable by elevating EXPO to leading status magazine-wise, and HNH now have their own conduit for processing donations. All this, apologists hope you haven't noticed. Yet the facts are clear to see.

As for our sources, well done, keep the information coming!!

Heidi Svenson
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Hide the following 18 comments

Nice one

08.11.2011 22:51

While some IM readers wili undoubtedly see this article as irrelevant to the struggle against fascism, that is only because they may not appreciate the hugely malign influence Searchlight have had on antifascist politics for decades. NFB deserve to be congratulated for continually exposing Searchlight, and more recently Hope Not Hate.


For all their faults

09.11.2011 00:31

Sounds like a load of scurrilous shit-stirring to me. For all their faults Searchlight / Hope not Hate have inflicted far more damage on the BNP and EDL than anyone else, ever, while, over the last few years, the main priority as regards the "militant" anti-fascists who habitually post smug and boring shit about Searchlight, is to keep them largely OUT of visible anti-fascist politics, to stop them steaming-in, breaking BNP heads, and delivering the BNP tons of free / sympathetic publicity. Scuse me for asking, but what has Lara O'Hara EVER contributed to Anti-Fascism, in terms of actively damaging the NF, EDL or BNP? So far as I'm aware all he's ever done is find fault with people who, for all their faults, were at least focussing pro-actively wrecking the campaigns of the real enemy.


Don't make me laugh

09.11.2011 00:35

The "undemocratic nature of HNH"? Since when was Borderland "democratic"? The real issue here isn't the (manifestly imperfect) financial aspects of Hope not Hate, it's the raw jealousy of people whose magazines never attract ANY donations... get a life

Swing Kids

This article's so full of shit it's surreal

09.11.2011 00:45

"Putting personal issues to one side..."? - the one thing this article NEVER does is put personal issues "aside"

"Searchlight's death-grip monopoly on anti-fascism"? - if this writer hasn't noticed there are MANY anti-fascist groups and freelancers - from One MIllion..., Emma's Trust, Nothing British, UAF, EDL News, Antifa, CSC, CST, Expose and some very potent freelance campaigns on You Tube - then clearly they don't know what they're talking about.

Demi Moore

Mad Larry

09.11.2011 02:03

Searchlight has been a bug up Larry's arse for years and he's always tried to attack and destroy it. Tough shit, Lazza, it's here and it's staying here, along with the many other anti-fascist groups it has supported and which work with Searchlight. So what if HnH split off? Decent anti-fascists will work with them, too. Funny that hardly anyone cares about working with Larry O'Bonkers though.


As predicted

09.11.2011 05:50

...none of those hurling abuse have attempted to engage with the substance of the article. Says it all really.

Heidi Svenson
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09.11.2011 08:53

"Hurling abuse"? WHO, exactly, is "hurling abuse" here? As for engaging with the substance of the article, the bottom line is this article's one person's opinion, presented with zero real hard evidence, purporting to come come from a publication so historically biased it makes my cat wince


What a load of crap

09.11.2011 09:33

Strange how HnH's latest ad (of many) for Matt Collins' book was advertised on its Facebook page just yesterday with the following tagline.

"All proceeds from copies bought from HOPE not hate will go to the Searchlight Educational Trust."

Not much evidence of this great split there.


Wilful misreading?

09.11.2011 12:42

Regarding the above comments: yes, there are deep ongoing links between the two factions: PO Boxes, control of domain name to name but two. Yet none of these connections, including a lack of full distenglement, means there are no frictions between the two camps. As the article states, it is in the interests of both factions to reconcile. Yet, again as the article states, there are undeniable tensions: Lowles resigning/Searchlight no longer being HNH magazine (or selling Collins' book) etc. Apologists want instead to focus on the ongoing links, while hoping onlookers forget that the things indicating rupture are not merely "opinion" but fact. Of course, Searchlight/HNH dupes wouldn't begin to understand the difference.

Heidi Svenson
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Answer the question

09.11.2011 22:26

No, really, what has Lara O'Hara EVER contributed to Anti-Fascism?


Which question?

11.11.2011 13:14

Anybody interested in Larry's contribution to anti-fascism can visit and look up/read 'Searchlight Fiction Pulped', plus various other articles answering this non-question.

However, I again draw your attention to the fact that the points riased in this article have not been addressed by the trolls here.

Gratifyingly, if you wait long enough you will see even a worm turn. The Alliance for Workers Liberty have posted an article on their web-site asking very pertinent questions. Excellent! The truth may indeed out...

Heidi Svenson
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12.11.2011 05:18

Why does every generation of activists have to re-discover that Gerry Gable is a conduit to one or another underground political dirty tricks arm of the state? O'Hara identifies his links as being to MI5, and that may be correct. If not, they are to some similar outfit. Cable may provide them with information on fascists, but he also spies on US and is willing to publish smears and lies against sound, sussed-out anti fascists. I, too, once thought the invective against Searchlight sounded like a phantasm from the nuttier fringes. Larry O'Hara's personal and writing styles don't help in that regard. Then Gable came out with the smear that the Stamford Hill Estate squatters (1980s) were a bunch of nazis. Nothing could have been further from the truth, of course, but they were very well organised, highly principled and had clearly got powerful people rattled. This was a very potent way to try to discredit them.

Gable's usefulness to the secret state and his ability to spy on us has probably diminished in recent years, along with his credibility, but it still a mistake to trust this double-dealer any further than you can throw him. Beware the facade of Searchlight. Much of what it publishes about fascists and their organisations may be accurate and useful, but it is the cloak behind which Gable operates, and you never know whether what you're reading has been written to order for a purpose..

No, I am not any sort of conspiracy theorist and think the conspiracy mentality is diversionary, unsound in its analysis and politically damaging. This is experience speaking.

- Homepage: WHY?

Why WHY?

12.11.2011 08:29

"No, I am not any sort of conspiracy theorist and think the conspiracy mentality is diversionary, unsound in its analysis and politically damaging. This is experience speaking." - It may be experience speaking, but it is certainly not backed up by evidence.

"Cable may provide them with information on fascists, but he also spies on US and is willing to publish smears and lies against sound, sussed-out anti fascists. " - no proof provided

" Then Gable came out with the smear that the Stamford Hill Estate squatters (1980s) were a bunch of nazis." - again no proof provided, and in no way can this be seen as proof that the man has links to MI5 or "some similar outfit".

"Much of what it publishes about fascists and their organisations may be accurate and useful, but it is the cloak behind which Gable operates, and you never know whether what you're reading has been written to order for a purpose.." - surely that applies to anything you read anywhere?

Its no wonder that each generation has to find out for themselves if this the level of proof you can provide. But having decried the 'conspiracy mentality' your post manages to embrace its worst aspects.

reflections in the mirror

Answer Part 1: Gable's MI5 links

16.11.2011 04:40

the contributor above denies Gable has any links to MI5. How unfortunate, then, that he seems not aware (or hopes nobody else is) of the infamous Gable Memorandum reproduced in full below. ...Read and savour, especially the penultimate paragraph...


From Gerry Gable
Date 2nd May, 1977
About Agencies
To Julian/Mike Braham/Barry Cox (Please keep these reports secure)

Phil Kelly was a member of the Young Liberals who in the sixties joined what was known as "the Red Guard". Young Liberals like Peter Hain and Peter Hellyer went against the traditional Liberal line and started campaigning along lines more akin to the Radical left. They stood out against the Vietnam War/Apartheid and for the Palestinians against the Israelis. At home they were for direct action on housing and other evils in our society.

In the first place, as I understand it, Kelly was an odd fish in the rather middle class Young Lib circles, he had a strictly working class background.

He was up to his neck in various campaigns in 1967. The Biafra aid set up was one of them. He was also seen frequently during that year at the offices of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign. It was suggested that in either late '67 or early '68 he travelled to Cuba and was trained as was "Carlos" during the same period. Certainly Cuba held a Tri-Continental conference at that time involving many third world and Latin American states where Cuba was active in spreading their own brand of revolution. It is suggested that parallel to the conference, an extensive course of training in Guerilla warfare and Espionage took place. If the latter is true, then certainly Cuba's own Secret Service would have been aided by the KGB on the espionage side of the courses. In the early part of 1969 Kelly was seen at the Soviet Trade Mission in London.

I think that around this time he worked on the Hornsey Journal or another paper in that area, then he moved to work in the new radical press - being a familiar face at Black Dwarf/Seven Days and later Time Out. Hellyer and some other Young Liberals got very involved with the Palestinians around this time and in the summer of 1969 Kelly went to Jordan, not, as he told people, to see the refugee camps, schools and medical aid groups, but to a proper Fatah training camp. Members of the Baader Meinhof group also attended these camps and learnt their bombing and killing skills in them. Kelly was taught firearms/explosives and went out on some treks to the Israeli border with Fatah patrols.

Around this time, returning to London, Kelly acted as a cheer leader on several Arab demonstrations in London and during fighting in one of them he was seen to kick a policeman.

But although he seemed firmly in the left camp, a number of odd things about his attitude towards a person he knew to be hostile to the left are rather strange, on several occasions he could have blown the cover of a man who had infiltrated the Palestinians and some left groups. This man ran into him time and time again, including once at a function organised by the Cuban embassy in London. Kelly was seen on Irish Rights marches the night the Ulster office was attacked, medical aid for Vietnam, Portugese meetings and even a demo over Anguilla.

Wherever he worked on left journals he always seem to get into a position [section illegible, but probably "had access to the"] names and addresses of subscribers. Reports from left watchers state that he has been to Cuba, America, East Germany, Jordan and Sofia in Bulgaria for a Peace Conference. In the early seventies he went to work in West Germany and was away for around two years, I understand that he worked as a sports reporter (he was there at the time of the Munich massacre). He also had a German girl friend whose name is either Gerde Jager, or Jaegar, the daughter of a rich lawyer. She is said to be close to SWAPO operations in Western Europe and tied up with something named "Informist"?

Back in Britain Kelly worked at Time Out and was instrumental in introducing Mark Hosenball to stories that are part or even all of the reason for his deportation order. Around Time Out a group of Americans, Kelly, Duncan Campbell (the technology freak), plus Crispin Aubrey and John Berry (not just a former Army signals clerk, but a former member of British Military Intelligence) began to operate.

More than a year ago Kelly started to work for Interpress Services, a press agency of which he appears to be the sole employee in this country.

Even some of the left watchers here thought that this agency was set up at the time of a Third World Conference held in Colombo in Sri Lanka a couple of years ago and that in some way it is connected with the Yugoslav State Press Agency. However our checks reveal that it was set up in Italy in 1968 as a press co-operative and the directors are South Americans and Italians, one of the original people before Kelly at this end was John Rettie - a man I still have to check out but was in some KGB scandal in Moscow some years ago.

The last return made by the co-op shows an annual turn-over of a quarter of a million pounds sterling, although it preceeds Kelly's joining them (at least officially) salaries are shown as only two thousand per annum.

Hosenball, who to my knowledge was always keen to meet any new contacts, told me that he had refused to meet Kelly's contacts in Germany but would say no more. He was also prepared to tell me that the co-op was, as he understood it, set up by some Chilean Christian Democrats who in more recent times dropped out to be replaced by the Iraquis, although no signs of this appear on the company house records. Hosenball is frightened to tell me more about Kelly and it is almost certain that Kelly could blackmail Hosenball to keep silent. Since the Agee/Hosenball expulsion notices were issued, Kelly is often being seen more and more running round organising things. When Hosenball made it clear that he did not wish to be used as political cannon fodder, Kelly wrote an attack on him that appeared in the Leveller, a radical magazine.

This is not all that Kelly has done for the Leveller, he has also produced material on West Germany for them about the trials of the Terrorist groups.

The arrest of Campbell/Berry and Aubrey has caused a civil rights row, but according to my top level security sources, they inform me in the strictest confidence that for about four years Campbell, Berry and Kelly and others have been systematically gathering top level security material. Campbell, who claims to have only an interest in technological matters in as far as the state in involved, had done four years detailed research into the whole structure of the other side of not only our Intelligence services but those of other NATO countries. He has also gone to people who work on top security contracts and started off by asking them about open commercial work their companies do and then gradually asked them for information on top secret work, including that on under-water detection hardware, which he clearly knows is beyond the pale.

Politically it appears that the group have no one political guiding light or line, but Kelly is suspected of being the KGB man who reaps the goodies gathered by people who are possibly as disapproving of the KGB as they are of the CIA. [Two words illegible but probably "Other teams"] like this have been operating in France and Sweden. (Agee has been in contact with the Swedish set up.) The security services feel that once the real nature of this case begins to emerge they expect people like Jonathan Aitken will fade away fast. The security service accepts that a number of decent people have been signed up to support these people on civil rights grounds and they also unofficially accept all the short-comings of the act that they have been held under, but they say they are sure this has gone well beyond the bounds of Press Investigation.

Hosenball, although supposedly having his differences with Kelly, was party to a strange chat between Kelly and Steve Weisman at Granada's Christmas party. They were going through a list of contacts and what Hosenball's reaction would be be if he were asked about them. I could not catch the names but when one name came up all three of them seemed very keen to keep it out of the hearing.

Hosenball got extremely angry with Malcolm Southam of World In Action when asked about a man named Karl Von Metre, thought to be an American living in Paris, and would not talk about him. Hosenball's Paris trips are a mystery.

He told me two years ago that the reasons for his Paris visits were to go through files taken from a Portugese office of an extreme right wing group that used a press agency as a cover. At the time of the army take over in Portugal they had been seized and taken to Paris. However, my own investigation showed that the files were not in Paris at all had had never been taken out of Portugal, so why lie? His contact in Paris is Frederick Laurent, a young man who works for the left wing paper Liberation and who lives in very grand style in a huge Paris apartment.

When Hosenball and Kelly had hold of the Crozier material they were very keen not to check out right wing connections but to trace phone numbers they felt belonged to Secret Service establishments etc. Hosenball also went to Spain, I think to track down one of the people mentioned in the Robert Moss letters, but despite all this research most of what they got was not appearing in print anyway. Kelly was not happy about Searchlight using the documents and I think Hosenball, who had done work for Searchlight on various occasions, felt embarrassed by his attitude.

Kelly's current girl friend is Dorothy Jones who works for the People's Press Service or News Service, a sort of Agitprop outfit. Kelly moved into a house in Hemmingford Road, Islington, some time last winter. He shares it with Richard Fletcher who is on the London Co-op Education Committee, (strong links with East Germany) this is at 104 Hemmingford Road, N7.

I went to the house one dark winter night just after they had moved in. I was with Mark Hosenball and the reason for our visit was to get some more photocopies of the Moss letters.

When we arrived, a man who I thought must Fletcher came to the door. The building is a shop, basement and upper part, it was in a bad state of disrepair and the man was plastering or something like that. He said to Mark "there is a caucus meeting, Phil's up top". Mark told me to hang on and ran upstairs to the top floor. Being a nosey bugger I followed and in the top floor front room were about seven or eight men, no women, all seated on cushions on the floor with no centre light.

They were a mixed age group. I didn't recognise any of them and they did not seem to know me. Kelly looked at me staring in over Hosenball's shoulder and leapt up and pushed us out of the room. He said to Mark in a low voice "Why did you bring him here?" and Mark waffled on about not being able to contact him in advance and I needed the letters that very night as Searchlight was going to press on the next day. Kelly took us to the basement and produced the papers and then ushered us out as quickly as possible.

I have now given the names I have acquired to be checked out by British/French security services, especially the French and German connections and the South American stuff is being checked by Geoffrey Stewart-Smith's institute. He has strong CIA links. I may try somebody in the Israeli Foreign Office that I know for some checks on Kelly. It is now a time of waiting for feed-back and also further checks here.

I have attached a number of documents including a transcript of Kelly's interview with World in Action. It goes without saying that I would like this kept strictly secret.

Heidi Svenson
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Stamford Hill revisited

16.11.2011 04:49

January 1988 (p.2) & March 1988 was when Searchlight smeared anarchist squatters there as fascist. Given you can't credibly deny that either, is your new line going to be they were fascists?

Either way, now you're in a hole, keep on digging: the earth will be richer for your permanent presence there..

the only 'reflection' you are, is of a cracked disinformation record: back to the drawing board for you...

Heidi Svenson
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12.06.2012 18:20

Those following this debate (which ground to a halt when I cited chapter and verse above) might be interested to know that Notes From the Borderland issue 10 has just published the definitive account of this dispute. The main site has (free) a detailed time-line, and introduction to the article. Our additional site is where you can buy the whole thing from

Heidi Svenson
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Interesting article

13.06.2012 21:51

Most of the comments or criticisms of this article are nonsense and nitpicking. As a former member of the Executive of Anti-Fascist Action, from 1985-90, I can state without any doubt that Searchlight sought to destroy the organisation at the behest of MI5 and Special Branch because of the involvement in it of Red Action primarily, who were supporters of Irish Republicanism.

The primary means by which they achieved this was the false story that Class War anarchists were conspiring in their Stop the City protests with the National Front to target Jewish businessmen. Class War was suspended from membership and a Committee of Inquiry was set up. Despite repeatedly writing to them for evidence Searchlight produced nothing whatsoever. Because of course there wasn't any.

I suspect the politics of HnH are not dissimilar to Searchlight's but, and that is the major criticism of the article, it has to be seen other than via Larry's personal prism. Does the split signal a more healthier approach in terms of not e.g. trading information on the left for state titbits? The fact that individuals have done things in the past which one deprecates is irrelevant. It's what they do now and to be honest the malevolent little scorpion at the centre of Searchlight is Gable and his wife.

HnH seems to be a continuation of Searchligh's bourgeois anti-fascism but I detect it is slightly more open (Searchlight never printed criticism, even from CARF, who had a section for years in it as to why they were leaving, still less from the dozens of Black organisations who Searchlight attacked, insulted and in the case of one meeting, assaulted).

I wrote an article over 20 years ago for Palestine Solidarity campaign newsletter 'Searchlight - Undermining the Anti-Fascists' the link to which is below.

Oh and one other point. According to Demi Moore the CST (Community Security Trust) a Zionist goon squad is anti-fascist. So anti-fascist that they have looked the other way while EDL members participated in the Zionist demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in support of the murder of 9 activists on the Mavi Marmara. they work closely with the Metropolitan and Greater Manchester Police. They are a group with multi-million pounds in assets. They use ex-Israel security and most recently helped protect the meeting of Avigdor Lieberman whilst targetting Jewish anti-Zionists.

The one thing they are NOT is anti-fascist and being bankrolled by Gerald Ronson, who is on the far-right (Herut) makes that likely to continue.

Tony Greenstein
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A far wider prism

19.06.2012 17:04

Mr Greenstein, your comments are welcome. We will in time place a link to your article on the NFB site

Having co-authored the article, I can assure you it is far more broad-ranging than Larry's "prism".

As regards criticism, probably due to the altered power relations, Searchlight now does allow critics, at least on their web-site. Hope Not Hate does not.

There are many similarities between the two, as well as important differences. The article is fully substantiated, not least by many internal documents.

Heidi Svenson
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2nd - 8th November: Wrexham, Wales, UK & Everywhere: Week of Action Against the North Wales Prison & the Prison Industrial Complex. Cymraeg: Wythnos o Weithredu yn Erbyn Carchar Gogledd Cymru

Ongoing UK
Every Tuesday 6pm-8pm, Yorkshire: Demo/vigil at NSA/NRO Menwith Hill US Spy Base More info: CAAB.

Every Tuesday, UK & worldwide: Counter Terror Tuesdays. Call the US Embassy nearest to you to protest Obama's Terror Tuesdays. More info here

Every day, London: Vigil for Julian Assange outside Ecuadorian Embassy

Parliament Sq Protest: see topic page
Ongoing Global
Rossport, Ireland: see topic page
Israel-Palestine: Israel Indymedia | Palestine Indymedia
Oaxaca: Chiapas Indymedia
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