British Neo-Nazis Don't Think They'll Get Proscribed
Over the weekend, a prominent report in the Sunday Times has suggested that extremist Neo-Nazi organisation National Action "is likely to be proscribed as a terrorist organisation for the first time following the conviction of a white supremacist for the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox". The Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a petition calling for the Home Secretary to proscribe National Action.
In an exclusive written interview, Ben Raymond, a senior figure in Neo-Nazi group National Action, has said "the chances of NA being proscribed as a terrorist organisation (lol) is 0%". Raymond, who was extremely critical of the Sunday Times journalist who wrote the article, suggested the government doesn't have the willpower or legal means to take action against his organisation.
Raymond alleged that current British counter-extremism law doesn't make allowances for banning an organisation that is not legally incorporated. He said, "You can only ban an organisation that exists. [Islamic organisations that have been banned] were either registered with the electoral commission or company house. With exception of the website (which condemns sedition) NA is an association of friends"
Bognor-Regis based Raymond also suggested that the government lacked the will-power to force through new laws to crack down on his group. He told me "...the main reason why there isn't a move; if the government wanted to crack down on NA they would use or expand other legislation. The extremism bill for example that advocates for punitive measures against individuals who promote 'non-violent extremism' - I think this will be highly controvertial and won't pass."
Raymond claimed that National Action's activities are technically legal under existing laws, and that thus attempts to shut the group down would fail. He stated,"The problem posed is that NA is so within the letter of the law, compared to the vast majority of political groups; Right wing, Left wing, Environmental, Animal rights, etc. If you target the group directly with existing legislation it will fail to secure convictions and there will be heavy attrition, if you expand legislation then you have to define extremism and it becomes the duty of law enforcement to crack down on essentially every left wing organisation, something that senior politicians have pointed out. "
These stunning comments from one of Britain's top Neo-Nazis raise strong concerns about whether weak anti-Extremism laws have turned the UK into a lame duck waiting to be targetted by vile extremists.
There will no doubt be readers who will respond critically to my decision to publish Raymond's comments, viewing it perhaps as giving him a platform, but his points raise an issue of profound public interest that justifies the interview: What determines the effectiveness of anti-Extremism laws isn't what you as a reader think of them, or what lawyers in London know to be their actual meaning, but whether extremists themselves believe these laws could actually be used to restrict their hate activities. If extremists feel a sense of total legal impunity, no one should be amazed when they come up with ever more extremist slogans about "white Jihad", "white zones" and "Hitler was right".
National Action has been spreading Judenhass und Hitlerliebe for years, but has received only a very limited amount of official attention.
Ben Raymond himself once wrote on social media "There are non-whites and Jews in my country who all need to be exterminated". National Action activist Jack Renshaw had written extremist anti-Semitic comments long before the current controversy about his latest anti-Jewish rant. Despite this, officials don't seem to have been doing much to fight back against the radicalisation risk National Action represents.
Meanwhile the Prevent programme, even in its current, very limited form, has consistently been undermined by blanket criticism from left-wing civil society activists; despite the fact Neo-Nazis loathe the programme. National Action has identified Prevent training given to officers as a key reason for why the "police are not on our side".
The problem of the UK's lax attitude to terrorism and extremism goes much further. It isn't just Neo-Nazis who are left free to spread their poison. Even sympathisers of groups actually proscribed by the government have continued to operate with relative impunity. Flags of the murderous Kurdish communist terrorist group PKK (the so-called Kurdistan Worker's Party) have in the past been openly displayed in London, and in 2009, demonstrators reportedly chanted "We are the PKK" right in Trafalgar Square.
The relative tolerance towards such extremist displays comes despite the fact the PKK has left a trail of brutal murder and torture across Europe as it seeks to further its Marxist-Leninist ideology of hate. In 1999, the PKK murdered an 18 year-old girl, and her wheel-chair bound, paraplegic 23-year boyfriend in the Northern German town of Bremen. The disabled man reportedly had his skull bashed in with a metal tool, and was subsequently run over by a vehicle, while the girl was suffocated in dirty mud. Their "crime" in the eyes of the PKK terrorists: to have had a love affair that the group did not permit.
Perhaps the self-professed lefty human rights activists opposing tougher measures against extremism should heed the wise words of Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, one of the world's most noted defenders of freedom.
In 1978 he warned Harvard students about the shameful relucance of Western governments to fight back against terrorism and dictatorship"... they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists. Should one point out that from ancient times declining courage has been considered the beginning of the end?...When a government starts an earnest fight against terrorism, public opinion immediately accuses it of violating the terrorist's civil rights."