You are viewing blog items for March 2017.
posted by: Sarah Archibald | on: Wednesday, 29 March 2017, 08:59
Fixture congestion is this week causing much anger among the far right's perpetually struggling teams.
For it's game on this weekend for the English Defence League (EDL), Britain First (BF) and South East Alliance (SEA).
The cramped schedule is already causing difficulties. This is partly because many key players are unable to make the squad. For them its more insult than injury that's caused them to withdraw, jail, bail or licensing conditions meaning they'll have to sit it out.
Meanwhile dummies are being spat out as the fascist kids argue over who was on the pitch first. Crying "foul" is Emma Foreman, who has previously played for the long relegated EDL and Pegida, but has since signed on a free with non-leaguers, SEA.
Emma is mightily upset because in announcing two months ago this Friday's pro-Brexit do, she says SEA had laid down its jumpers for goalposts.
What's more manager Paul Prodromou (aka Pitt) had a meeting last week with veterans of the Dismal Demo league, the National Front. It went "facking great, the boys done good" said the gaffer, allegedly.
But then what should happen? Rival managers Alan Spence and Paul Golding only go an announce their own Saturday fixture.
Veteran far right winger Gil Gould is also sick as a parrot. In fact he seems almost as sick as a famous Norwegian Blue, his symptoms (boiling p*ss) suggesting quite the severe urinary tract infection. Have you tried cranberry juice Gil?
Given his loss of form and fitness Gil is now looking to join the National Front in the fascist Sunday league. Well at least you still get to down some pints.
Here we might need to ditch the football metaphors. Boxing might be more apt. BF and the EDL get along about as well as Tony Bellew and David Haye at a pre-match press conference. Flying fists are another similarity.
As the mysteriously named 'Brexit Brummie' notes too, the two factions are likely to enjoy the very close attention of the Metropolitan Police's finest tactical aid officers.
At least one hooligan is also shouting maniacally from pitchside/ringside (choose your favoured metaphor). Jacek Miedlar, the Polish extremist priest denied entry to the UK last month has released a video on YouTube calling on Poles who live in Britain to attend the Britain First clash.
That's right. He's calling on Poles who have emigrated to Britain to join a march against people emigrating to Britain. Knock-out.
Posted: 29 Mar 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Sarah Archibald | on: Thursday, 23 March 2017, 22:02
Edinburgh is once again preparing itself for a visit from Scotland's far right, much of which these days embarassingly seems to come from England.
Yes, its time for a small bunch of podgy and pasty middle-aged men to assert their "racial identity" as White Pride World Wide Day comes to the Scottish capital.
This is, as you can imagine, a big deal. Massive. Huge. Sometimes WPWWD has attracted as many as 40 heavily tattooed specimens. I think you'll agree that's a pretty impressive percentage of the global population of white people.
Among the small gang expected, rows have already erupted. The Scottish National Front - a group probably into single figures now - has been attacked for failing to seek permission to march. This has led to calls from locals and politicians for the whole thing to be called off.
Ah but, say the SNF, going all Baldrick, we don't need permission because this is not a march. It is certainly true that official permission is not needed for a static protest.
However, the publicity for the shindig states that the Nazi hordes should meet first at Waverly (sic) station and then 30 minutes later be in the Grassmarket. Now unless they're going to get Scotty to beam them up, that's going to involve a walk. Together. Like, as in a march.
This may not please Police Scotland who will already be wary of those attending, many of whom will be, as they say, known to them. We're not sure if the more prominent of England's fascist fraternity will be crossing the border, but members of both the North East Infidels and Bishop Auckland Against Islam could be found at the Scottish Defence League's tiny Alloa gathering last week. My colleague mentioned earlier that convicted coke dealer Warren Faulkner's was there, for example.
Arguably the most interesting - and probably only interesting - thing to note will be if we'll see any of Ben Raymond's post-National Action flags appearing, as they did in Alloa. Things have moved on a bit since then, so we'll just have to see how brave/stupid this lot are.
Previous WPWWDs have also earned notoriety. In 2013 when this momentous event was hosted in Swansea, it ended up with Darren Clifft being jailed for - and we're not making this up - hanging a golliwog doll whilst dressed in a KKK outfit.
That bit of racist theatricality took place at the Blood & Honour gig that traditional rounds off the day for the curiously proud white bloke (strangely, or perhaps not, it's almost exclusively blokes).
Plans are afoot for more truly atrocious music to be laid on by B&H after the troops have been escorted from Grassmarket in an equally traditional police kettle.
Whether this happens is open to speculation. Last time the HOPE Not Hate research team successfully got the plug pulled on the gig. Eyes and ears are again on the ground.
Posted: 23 Mar 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Duncan Cahill | on: Thursday, 23 March 2017, 10:07
Fresh from his televised harassment of an ITV reporter, North East Nazi Warren Faulkner is making plans to man a charity stall at an Armed Forces Day event.
Faulkner recently announced he was retiring from the far right scene so he could devote his energies to supporting the Shoeboxes for Our Heroes charity. Indeed his pals at the North East Infidels (NEI) threw the great leader a leaving do at Stockton's Don Bar which it seems is a popular NEI drinking hole. The do even included a modern Nazi artworks auction.
"The last thing I want is for the charity to be blackened because of my beliefs" Faulkner loftily declared just before Christmas as he announced he was stepping down.
Fast forward to March 11 and there's the retired leader on the streets of Alloa for what turned out to be a very damp squib of a Scottish Defence League demo. Unfortunately for Wazza, so was ITV's security editor who was there filming the closing piece to an expose of the UK's extreme far right. Click this link and you see him pop up at the 5 mins 56 second mark, face covered by a scarf, being somewhat lairy. He denies it's him of course.
So, if he's back with his little street gang, then he's given up the charity work? Remember, he doesn't want their name blackened - although it's our understanding that they have already been informed of his past activities with the NEI (though possibly not of his cocaine bust).
No, of course he hasn't.
Worse, he wishes not only to besmirch that charity's name but Seaham's Armed Forces Day. He himself has arranged for the charity to take a stall at the event. Let's hope a man who is not averse to throwing the odd salute, is a convicted drug dealer and self-proclaimed right wing extremist, doesn't think his presence will be welcomed by those attending.
As many have pointed out to him, our armed services are much better known for fighting facsicts than hosting them.
Meanwhile should Shoeboxes for Our Heroes or the organisers of Seaham Armed Forces Day want any further background on Mr Faulkner, they should feel free to contact HOPE Not Hate. We'll be happy to provide a reference.
Posted: 23 Mar 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Sarah Archibald | on: Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 10:33
The bonehead was the latest to be sent down for his role in violent disorder at last year's ill-fated National Front demonstration in Dover.
Yesterday, Crane was sentenced to eight months, a sentenced minimised by his early guilty plea. It turns out that surrender is the new no surrender.
Unlike some though, he still got a custodial sentence. That must smart given the organiser of what bore all the hallmarks of pre-organised violence walked free.
The jailing is a mortal blow to the Right Wing Resistance (RWR), a major international revolutionary National Socialist force. Or yet another tinpot gang of fascist uniform fetishists. You decide. You probably don't need the help, but there's a bit of a ready-reckoner here from the days when the UK's butchest gang of homoeroticists threatened my colleague Matthew Collins
Gaz is world leader, as appointed by, well, himself. But he doesn't just self-anoint. He's also given leadership positions to the great and the good of the mighty RWR, aka everyone he's mates with.
That list doesn't include Brett Vaughan of the North West Infidels who took the right hump with him over some grassing-to-the-Reds scandal.
Mick Wakefield, who was jailed in January for his own Dover misdemeanours, is also not in the fan club. Crane is, he proclaims, a "meth head." We could neither confirm nor deny this allegation.
Gaz's current beau Abby Timms - he fled to Yorkshire leaving Mrs Crane in Kilmarnock - was given the second in command gift-wrapped. Such a rapid rise. She was but a lowly corporal when she jumped into Gary's bed, sorry, when she joined the RWR just last year. But with Gaz so unfortunately indisposed she now actually sits on the Glorious Leader's chair. This may prove controversial among the, er, rank and file.
So too might be the post below which we fear may raise hackles among, in particular, the few northern fascists still at liberty whilst the Crown Prosecution Service in Kent and Merseyside plough through weighty caseloads.
Posted: 21 Mar 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Matthew Collins & Bernard Rorke | on: Monday, 20 March 2017, 10:18
Jim Dowson, the man who once raised millions of pounds for the British National Party (BNP) and later formed the ultra-religious and ultra nationalist Britain First, has said he will throw his weight (and social media resources) behind the campaign for Scottish independence.
The Scotsman with numerous Belfast and Budapest-based business interests has made his name and living for over 30 years fronting various bodies campaigning against abortion and gay groups. However, in the last decade Dowson has cemented his profile as a hard-line Ulster Unionist helping finance controversial and confrontational far-right British political parties.
In 2015, Dowson was given a three-month suspended jail sentence for offences linked to union flag protests in Northern Ireland. He was considered by both the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern Irish public as one of the major ringleaders in the dispute that brought Belfast to a violent standstill on a number of occasions, after Belfast City Council voted in December 2013 to remove the Union flag from Belfast City hall.
Now working and living in Budapest, Hungary, Dowson has once more linked up with former BNP leader Nick Griffin to help support a number of central and eastern European far-right militias.
Dowson made the comments exclusively to HOPE not hate outside a conference in Budapest on Saturday afternoon, which was being addressed by Griffin and other far-right activists, Dowson claimed he would use his considerable social media resources to back the campaign for an independent Scotland, if and when a second referendum is agreed.
Although this appears a massive U-turn for Dowson, a hard-line Unionist originally from Cumbernauld in Lanarkshire, both he and Nick Griffin are determined to quit the United Kingdom, believing the country is “finished” as a result of immigration.
At the conference, held in central Budapest, former BNP leader and MEP Griffin also confirmed that he is approximately “six months” away from moving to Hungary permanently.
Neither side in a Scottish referendum debate would welcome Dowson’s divisive intervention. A recent report by the New York Times revealed the attempts made by Dowson’s Budapest-based operation to influence the American elections last year, via several sites.
And Dowson plans to use bigotry to spearhead his campaign again, in the hope that it further divides the country. Despite claiming he remains a “firm believer” in the “Union”, he believes Scotland should “separate” from England on the basis of England being “stuffed.”
“England is stuffed, England is stuffed totally,” he told us. Arriving at the conference surrounded by uniformed Hungarian fascists, Dowson described himself as “nihilist” who believed a free and Independent Scotland “would protect us from the excesses of Muslim domination.
“In an independent Scotland, the whole political landscape would change,” he claimed and also, he hoped, remove First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and what he described as the Scottish National Party’s “gang of criminals.”
Dowson further claimed he would put in the same amount of effort to affect the Scottish independence debate and referendum as he did for the US Presidential elections.“If I believe in something, you know me, I’ll go for it full blast…” he said.
He refused to deny that he may have had some impact or sway in these election results, bragging there was an “element of truth” that he poured time and energy into the campaign, though is adamant he did not run fake news stories as he has been accused.
“I had an influence, but did I get Trump elected? I don’t think so. They [‘left wing American media’] said I did.”
However, Dowson seems determined to influence this new election from afar. “I will be backing Scottish independence 100%,” he said. And then, just to remind us what it is that drives him, he went further, saying his planned intercession would be based on “patriotism, sense and survival.”
“I will be very specific,” he said. “I will be anti-immigration from countries that are alive with terror suspects…. If people want to come in from Eastern Europe, fine. If you [they] want to come in and freeload they won’t be able to do that anyway, because they [the Scottish government] won’t be able to pay for Somalis as they will be broke.”
Dowson topped the list earlier this year of HOPE not hate's list of influential far-right activists.
Hardly the picture for Scotland anybody would want – whichever way they are planning to vote.
Posted: 20 Mar 2017 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Sarah Archibald | on: Friday, 17 March 2017, 14:32
South Yorkshire Casual Dale Kelk has gleefully admitted sabotaging fence posts laid by fellow workers on a Bedford construction site.
The reason? The work had been done, he says , by "Roma lads."
So whilst they were on a break Dale says he and unnamed pals "booted" the work of workers he described as "right arrogant bastards."
He may perhaps have confused arrogance with pride in a job well done, a job the Barnsley boot-boy spitefully wrecked.
Whilst Kelk was delighted at the response to his actions by those he targeted, it's unlikely the site manager shared his enthusiasm. After all, deliberately undermining the work of others simultaneously undermines progress of the project as a whole.
Kelk, who trades as DCK Pipe Fitting Solutions, might also want to ponder how his wider reputation might be affected. After all, who would want to employ someone who destroys work in progress?
Should the work dry up as a result of his idiocy then he will have more time to pursue his other interests. These largely involved feuding with South Yorkshire Police and trying to stir trouble with the local Romanian community.
We've reported before on how he sought to target a Romanian hip-hop gig (and then hooked up with Britain First when they came to town). Last month we clocked that he was planning on organising another (costly) demo against Barnsley's Romanian community.
This wouldn't be a racist gathering you understand. Oh no. Kelk says that whole racism thing is not good for attracting a broader audience to his cause. Besides, who could accuse a man who sabotaged construction work simply because it was undertaken by foreign workers of being a racist? Who?
Still, despite claiming the local media were slavering at the very thought of his plans, they've failed to move on from idea to action. Let's hope things stay that way because Barnsley and indeed the rest of South Yorkshire have suffered enough from the frequent, pointless and costly attentions of Britain's withering and often drunken far right.
Posted: 17 Mar 2017 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Duncan Cahill | on: Thursday, 16 March 2017, 12:18
In the wake of the centre right VVD party's victory in the Dutch elections, fresh-faced fascist veteran Jack Buckby has tweeted that "only terror attacks can save the Netherlands now."
Buckby has form when it comes to trading on terror for political purposes. In the wake of Jo Cox's murder he declared that "The Labour Party has blood on its hands." Apparently responsibility for that horrific act lay not with Thomas Mair, the far right terrorist convicted for it, but Labour Party policy.
He also suggested her murder was a "false flag" by the Remain campaign.
The one time BNP activist, founder of weird sect the National Culturists and Liberty GB candidate in Jo's former Batley & Spen constituency subsequently deleted the contentious tweet. It's almost as if he recognised his words were what you might polititely label as injudicious.
He then claimed that those who spotted it had got the wrong end of the stick . They were "thick enough not to understand" the simple words he'd tweeted. So he explained....
All clear now?
His apparent advocation of violence over democracy is not something that should be taken lightly. Buckby has plenty of form when it comes to associating with people even more undesirable than himself.
He happily posed with Nazi sympathiser Craig Cooke, a young Liverpudlian later jailed after he threatened a man with Molotov cocktails.
He also hung with Jack Renshaw, the former BNP activist and supporter of National Action, the now proscribed Nazi terrorist group.
His comments also come not long after his former mentor, Nick Griffin, was found (by HOPE not Hate) to be hanging out with a militia in Bulgaria.
So it's chilling to hear him talk of "terror attacks" as being the only way to save the Netherlands from whatever it is he thinks it needs saving from.
On the plus side the proscription of National Action and ongoing investigations suggest the UK's counter terror services are keeping a very close eye on Britain's far right.
Posted: 16 Mar 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Sarah Archibald | on: Monday, 13 March 2017, 17:03
Further to our exclusive expose of Ben Raymond's new "Nationalist Socialist Network" (NSN) we can reveal that the first flag-wavers for his "fluid movement" appeared in Scotland on Saturday.
Distinctive yellow flags bearing the Norse Yggdrasil 'Tree of life' symbol were hoisted above a tiny protest organised by the Scottish Defence League in Alloa.
Designed by Raymond the flag represents Scottish Dawn, the first - and given our earlier revelations possibly the last - in a series of groups supposedly set to form Raymond's Nazi network.
HOPE Not Hate found the flag design among a library of images created by Raymond to which we gained access as part of our earlier expose.
That Raymond's distinctive flag with was waved by masked followers who looked and behaved no differently to National Action will be a cause of concern.
Indeed the Counter Terrorism Unit is no doubt taking more than a passing interest in those flying that fascist flag given the tightening up last year of the Terrorism Act.
A troubling start to the weekend for Raymond then. Things probably seemed much rosier at the weekend as he enjoyed a little weekend recreation in Lithuania, befgore returning to the UK to discover his secret re-branding plan was no longer quite so secret.
Meanwhile Saturday's shenanigans proved yet again how little appetite exists for the fascist agenda promoted by Raymond and his ideological partners. At least four groups - two of them English - took part in a demo that attracted less than 40 fascists, none of whom could work the PA.
Posted: 13 Mar 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Sarah Archibald | on: Monday, 13 March 2017, 14:18
Elmley jail was today welcoming another far right activist after the English Democrats' Steve Uncles was handed a seven month sentence.
Uncles was found guilty last month of seven charges relating to nomination forms submitted during local elections in 2013. That his fraud was discovered is hardly surprising given his nominations included an "Anna Cleves" and "Rachelle Stevens", the latter seemingly an homage to the S Club Seven singer.
Whilst we may snigger at his stupidity, the judge did not see a funny side and when handing down the sentence commented:
“I want to make it absolutely clear to you this was not some form of April Fools joke.
This was you acting well fine in the knowledge that what you were doing was wrong and unlawful.
"I have had the opportunity to see the manner in which during the investigation and trial you trivialised that which had occurred. “These were acts of criminality that hit at the heart of the democratic process.”
When the guilty verdicts were handed down the judge warned Uncles to expect a custodial sentence and suggested he get his affairs in order. It seems that Uncles may have heeded that advice in that he has now either cleaned or tightened up a Facebook page which we previously exposed for its vicious hatred.
On top of his seven months, Uncles received a further 14 days for failing to turn up for a trial that he'd already successfully delayed. He was charged in June 2014 but in one of those bizarre quirks of British democracy and justice was able to stall proceedings due to the fact he was then a candidate for Kent's Police & Crime Commissioner post.
In addition to his jail time he will also need settle a £1,000 court bill and is barred from standing for public office for the next five years.
Posted: 13 Mar 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Matthew Collins | on: Friday, 10 March 2017, 16:49
Lawrence Burns, the Cambridge man who was active in the group National Action, and something of a poet, has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Lawrence Burns, 23, was convicted of stirring up racial hatred at a trial at Southwark Crown Court in December 2016.
The trial heard Burns had referred to Jewish people as “sub-human animals” on Facebook and in another post said he wanted to “hang the black race”. He also expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler.
Deborah Walsh of the CPS said:
“Lawrence Burns advocated extreme racial violence and hatred through both speaking in public and from behind his keyboard.
“The prosecution put forward compelling evidence detailing Burns’ abhorrent views which left the jury in no doubt he was guilty of stirring up racial hatred.”
* With credit to Cambridgshire CPS press release
Posted: 10 Mar 2017 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Matthew Collins | on: Wednesday, 8 March 2017, 15:35
I am not one to often accuse the extreme far-right of being dense. If you have not worked that out by now for yourselves...
My blog yesterday about a story emanating from the book of London UDA chief Frank Portinari had a strange reaction however. Some began a witch hunt to find out who was the source of Portinari's story- yes, despite reading my blog and then The Daily Star on Sunday article, (or the other way round) one or two bright sparks demanded an investigation into who the 'leak' could be! Need I explain it?
But it was quite a day for stupidity, anyway. Davey Russell, the booze addled English Defence League (EDL) beggar and boor actually complained that we use the expression "knuckle dragger" so often to describe the likes of him that it has almost lost all meaning! Just to clear that up, Davey, the Urban Dictionary describes it as "an insult used against those of extremely low intelligence." How on earth could such a superlative be misused when describing someone who spends so much time and effort attempting to rip-off armed forces charities instead of getting a job?
Here is Russell in action in case you wanted to see what a Knuckle Dragger looks and talks like.
Fresh from their drunken and pointless day out in Rotherham the other week, the EDL has now announced it will bring 'struggle against Islamification' to Derby sometime soon. Yep, quiet news day that was. The 'struggle against Islamification' obviously replaces the recent struggle against rape gangs, given that it turns out the EDL's leadership finds raping women and children quite amusing themselves. Once more this war against tourism being conducted by the EDL is a short journey away from Ian Crossland's home in Sheffield. Something you're not telling us, Ian?
Crossland and a few others were down in Bristol on the weekend to hold a protest in memory of Kevin Crehan, the former EDL member who died in prison in December. There are certainly troubling questions to be asked about how Mr Crehan died. We do not take any pleasure in his passing at all. He was serving a sentence for a crime he was found guilty of- namely a rather childish attack on a Mosque in Bristol. As far as we're concerned, that should be job-done.
Prison should be a place where people get to work out their issues, rehabilitate and if possible, re-educate and re-train. That's why what is happening at Forest Bank prison in Manchester is so disturbing. It makes you wonder if some sort of gang in the North West of England are somehow involved, given how much they apparently like smuggling phones and drugs into prison. In fact, to be perfectly honest, somebody's own Mother is currently recruiting women in 'the movement' to take phones into prison for her son and his friends. I kid ye not, sadly. Kent seems to be the place where this is mostly happening, but not all the nazis are in Sheppey. Perhaps it really is time for the Prison Service to revaluate once more what it does with hardened far-right thugs who appear to be going to gaol more regularly then ever before.
On Monday of this week, the Bristol Post ran a very strong piece attacking those who marched for Crehan, demanding he be "respected". Most were masked and or drunk. All were threatening and aggressive. You can access the Bristol Post article here:
The only thing I would say in response to the article is that those who marched had not forgotten at all that Crehan had a string of previously nasty convictions. It was those things that sadly, made him such a hero to those on the march. And is also the reason why local people decided to protest against the march.
Elsewhere, not as (seemingly) daft as their British counterparts are the Polish fascists and neo-Nazis domiciled in this country. Even though their disgraced 'Priest' was banned from coming to visit them (and Britain First) last month, they still managed a rather large (compared to 'our' shuffles, anyway) march through Ruislip on the weekend. Our friends at the Polish antifascist group Never Again were on hand to take photographs of the Polish far-right group Patriae Fidelis in action. This is the same group that hosted a meeting with a leading Polish Antisemite, Stanislaw Michalkiewicz, in Birmingham last month, too.
Never Again have also kindly identified the Polish speaker who replaced the ‘Priest’ at Britain First’s wash-out in Telford as Marian Łukasik. It seems that Mr Lukasik is a former teacher who lived in Germany for a few years before turning to the far-right.
And finally, one Pole we will not be missing is the thug Dawid Czerwonko (main picture) the chef who used to live in Brentford. Czerwonko was fined for an assault on comedian Eddie Izzard last year, and was fated in the newspapers as just some kind of loveable rogue/clown.
Czerwonko was in fact a violent neo-nazi with links to National Action, National Rebirth of Poland and Joe Turner’s Pie & Mash Squad. Having taken part in a violent attack on a squat in Central London last month, Czerwonko went home to Poland to nurse a badly cut thumb. Upon trying to re-enter Britain later in the month, Czerwonko was found to be carrying a stash of nasty nazi materials and refused entry back into the UK.
Posted: 8 Mar 2017 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Matthew Collins | on: Tuesday, 7 March 2017, 19:26
I have known the London boss of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), for over twenty years. I should hasten to add, I've not seen him since 1993!
Back in 1990 I met Frank Portinari and some of his shell-suited associates in a pub in Waterloo, London, where myself and one other were applying to be sworn in as UDA members. At the time, despite the murderous activities of it's nom de guerre the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), the UDA was a legal organisation. It was not, however, the sort of organisation that could or did meet publicly. There was a war going on and we wanted to be part of it.
"Public" meetings of the group in London were normally social evenings held at the school where Portinari was a caretaker and the long, drunken evenings always included a flute band, lots of flags and a whip-round for what were described as "Prisoners of war."
Portinari had taken over as the Commander of London UDA only a couple of years before, replacing the then alleged leader of the Orange Order in London, because he could not or would not, recruit enough street "toughs" to violently confront Irish Republicans active in the capital and elsewhere around the country.
Thankfully for the UDA Portinari, a Catholic, had plenty of tough friends as he was an ex- football hooligan. By 1992, the UDA in London was little more than another wing of the wannabe terror outfit, Combat 18 (C18).
The links between the two groups in England were unmasked in a documentary by World In Action (WIA) in 1993. The leader of C18 Charlie Sargent, and Portinari's off-sider and my mate at the time, Eddie Whicker, were both exposed for their activities linking both groups to joint, murderous intent. Sargent even threatened on camera to have the World in Action journalist shot!
Sargent would much later be sentenced to prison for murdering a factional rival He, Sargent, even popped up quite recently but was sent back to jail before he could renew his acquaintance with anyone other than suspected police informant Eddie Stampton. It is our belief that Stampton had his probation restrictions and conditions for nearly beating his partner to death, relaxed as a payment for helping get Sargent sent back to prison.
Portinari was less than happy with him as a result. Stampton (above left) doesn't seem too bothered about it and has now declared himself the current leader of C18.
The murder of Christopher Castle by Sargent and his accomplice Martin Cross in the late 1990's started a feud in the far-right that continues today in both Blood & Honour (the nazi music outfit) and C18. Interestingly, and just as an aside, in the last few days Stampton appears to have declared himself, rather bizarrely, as the leader of C18 in this country. Just more evidence, if it was ever needed, that the group has been permanently compromised.
After Stampton's fall-out with Portinari, somebody we believed to be Stampton, went out of their way to try and feed us information on a UDA meeting being held in Waterloo at a drinking club the group uses. Our photo team went to have a look and the information was correct. Nearly one hundred far-right activists from yesteryear (excluding Stampton) met in a bar on Lower Marsh.
But back in the 1990's and shortly after the WIA program went to air, Portinari and Whicker were then both arrested over a fiasco involving guns being bought and prepared to be sent to the UFF in Northern Ireland. It was an almost deadly comedy of errors as Whicker and Portinari made two journeys to Birmingham with a bag full of rusty old pistols that were meant to be picked up by an Irishman in a pub carpark.
Portinari and the Irishman, James McCrudden, were both sent to prison in 1994. Portinari received five years for his trouble. During the case it transpired that Portinari had hidden some of his deadly arsenal in the school where he worked as a caretaker. Whicker escaped imprisonment on the technicality that he was an incompetent. That same year, Terry Blackham, one of the leading lights in the National Front at the time and a close associate of Portinari and Whicker was arrested trying to drive a machine gun onto a ferry bound for Northern Ireland.
The 1990's were indeed dangerous and murky times. Stories of collusion, entrapment and people being compromised in a very dirty war in Northern Ireland are now very much in the public domain. Help appeared to be at hand for some in some very surprising places and from 1992 onwards as guns seemed to be common place among the British far-right, there was one night at a school in North London, where a dozen masked men marched into a gymnasium brandishing the guns C18 had bought from drug dealers in East and South East London for the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) to wild and rapturous applause.
As well as the murder campaigns being waged by both Republican and Loyalist terror gangs in Northern Ireland and occasionally in Britain, British neo-Nazis were more than willing to facilitate the UDA's attempts to "out score" the IRA at murder. C18 were also attempting to launch their own bombing campaign in Britain. By the time a relative peace fell on Northern Ireland in the later part of that decade the UDA in London and England had very much the same fate as C18. Whicker, who escaped prison, ended up being the best man at the wedding of the notorious criminal Charles Bronson, but was edged out of the scene completely and has since disappeared. Another big name in those circles who still survives, like Portinari publicly to this day, is former NF and BNP official Mark Cotterill who still hangs around selling badges.
But Portinari has survived. His reward for taking part in the 'war' he involved himself in appears to be use of a holiday home in the Greek Islands and over 200 members of the "mainstream" faction of the UDA being ordered to attend the launch of his autobiography 'Left-Right Loyalist' in South East Antrim last year.
I've only had a brief flick through the book. His insistence that he was some kind of "left winger" is a bit bizarre or not very well thought out or explained, as it seems to be Portinari's alleged time on the left or as a "leftie" is defined only as the time he was not actually involved in the extreme far-right. A bit like being a "Cultural Marxist", probably. The early part of his book was the most interesting and less contrived, in particular about his parents and his sibling. It gave a limited insight to a disjointed and rather difficult early life. It's a welcome bit of candour- perhaps not the easiest thing for Portinari to dwell on. But it would have helped. If this is Portinari's self-explanation (as it quite clearly avoids being gratuitous regarding the UDA), some candour about himself would at least fill in the many other gaps that appear during his narrative.
Nowadays Portinari commands his one hundred strong following in Britain in the guise of a marching band with social evenings and small protests that go almost unnoticed. Despite the group still being illegal, last year Frank and his chums were parading around London with the flag of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), and most recently (last month) he and his friends held a protest outside the Union Jack Club in Waterloo- having decided against a protest at Downing Street on the same day as the anti-Brexit protests.
Maintaining your job as leader of a hardened band of (mostly) nearly-men means that one probably can't do a kiss-and-tell. What Portinari offers instead is probably at best, a hurried grope or worst- a story for the boys in the locker room.
The easiest way to do this is perhaps to reinvent an old story. Portinari opens up about the Loyalist plot to kill Ken Livingstone, the former MP, Mayor of London and a long- time supporter of Irish unification. I've mentioned it previously, Michael Stone has mentioned it previously- everybody has mentioned it previously.
According to Portinari, there was another plot to kill 'Red Ken'- this time in January 1993, when according to Portinari, A hitman despatched by the UDA/UFF was ready to shoot Livingstone at a Bloody Sunday demonstration in London. According to Portinari and the Daily Star on Sunday which has run the story, 400 protestors from the far-right were arrested that day as members of the National Front (NF), British National Party (BNP) and Combat 18 teamed up to attack a 'Troops Out' march. It was actually 295 who were put onto coaches and driven away, but that's not the point. The police action on the day (initiated by the then NF leader Ian Anderson informing the police of their plans) allegedly stopped a gunman from doing the job on Livingstone.
It's all a bit of a mystery why having owned up to being party to a planned political murder- an assassination, Portinari fails to mention how later that same evening a thirty strong nazi goon-squad did attempt a "hit" on an Irish pub in Kilburn, North London. Portinari's mate Charlie Sargent, the C18 boss who led the assault, claimed it was an attempt to "ethnically cleanse" the Irish out of North London. Maybe the 'Commander' was unaware of it? Or is it just too mundane?
Despite being trapped in a pub for a good fifteen minutes and under extreme attack, those inside the pub gave a good account of themselves. It was only the eventual arrival of the police that stopped two C18 members attempting to throw a Molotov Cocktail into the pub.
If there was a (second) operation to kill Livingstone, it failed in the main due to Portinari's own people (if it did nearly happen) causing a scene and allowing the police to flood the area.
It's a rare sexy moment in a book that would've had more promise if it had a little more tacit honesty about what the UDA really was up to in Britain, how much Portinari and co raise still for the organisation, what happened to the detonators C18 bought from the UDA and why he no longer talks to Stanley Curry, the Birmingham train driver the UDA ordered to try and kill an associate of Johnny Adair in Bolton in 2005.
According to the Sunday World, Curry now lives a lonely and troubled life in Northern Ireland and not the life he imagined he would when released from prison. One person who could perhaps ask Portinari these sorts of questions, is Daily Star on Sunday journalist Garry Bushell, formerly a big hitter at the Sun newspaper in the 90's. The former English Democrat Mayoral candidate happened to just stumble into Portinari and his chums after their demonstration outside of the 'Union Jack' club in Waterloo last month and appeared to have a drink with Frank Portinari, who is still the Commander of the UDA in England.
Writing an autobiography is never easy. Portinari’s just opened another can of worms. But there's been worse; Eddie Stampton's bizarre literary exercise is worse by a mile... Portinari's effort is just scant disappointment.
Posted: 7 Mar 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments