From HOPE not hate magazine March / April 2015
National Action: Young, Nazi and Dangerous
Matthew Collins explores National Action, the new kids who are taking the British far right by storm.
“I’m not a lunatic for embracing martyrdom, I’ve just accepted that I could be more use in death than life. People need a reason to fight.”
These are not the last written words of a young Islamist wannabe martyr, but a statement by Garron Helm, a 21-year-old nazi from Liverpool, earlier this month.
When Helm was imprisoned last year for sending antisemitic hate messages to Liverpool MP Luciana Berger, his colleagues and supporters in the tiny group National Action (NA) rubbed their hands with glee.
His conviction was met with one of the most intensive and sinister antisemitic hate campaigns in recent British history and the resulting publicity was a fitting climax to a year of activity and antagonism and, importantly, part of a wider strategy to become the dominant and most ideologically pure force on the British far right.
For a group that boasted only a couple of dozen activists at the beginning of the year, NA had planted itself on the map.
The origins of the small but increasingly significant group lay in the ruins of the British National Party and in discussion clubs outside the party that came together to discuss the future of the British far right.
A forerunner to NA was the English National Resistance (ENR), led by former BNP youth leader Kieren Trent, with the help of another former BNP organiser, Matthew Tait.
The ENR was to be short-lived after Trent was beaten to a pulp by BNP activists before rather desperately and stupidly trying to join the IRA on the steps of Conway Hall in London.
At the same time, some of the self-defined “intellectuals” on the British far right, many of whom had been marginalised for many years, began to gather in London pubs to pontificate on the future direction of the movement.
The focal point for these discussions was to be the New Right, led by former BNP officer Jonathan Bowden and Troy Southgate. It was Southgate who formed the New Right in 2005 after being influenced by The “Manifesto for a European Renaissance”, which had been written by Frenchmen Alain de Benoist and Charles Champetier in 1999. The move was part of his own trek through the far right that saw him paying visits to the National Front, the International Third Position, Brown Anarchism and National Bolshevism.
The two men were joined in organising New Right meetings by Jeremy Bedford Turner, a former violent National Front activist who went on to be an officer in the Royal Corps of Signals, becoming fluent in Pashtun and other tribal Afghani languages.
Southgate and Bedford-Turner were eventually to fall out and the latter went off in the huff to form the IONA London Forum (Islands of the North Atlantic), which had similar goals and audiences. He was joined in organising it by Larry Nunn, a financial adviser and a former BNP organiser who began the Internet discussion group Western Springs and various fora - together with the Traditional Britain Group - that became cultural hothouses for race haters, fantasists, political adventurists and other fascist riff-raff.
Following developments closely was Bognor Regis-based Ben Raymond, who had set up the Integralist Party, an outfit based on Action française, a French far right movement established in 1899 as a nationalist reaction to the influence of left-wing intellectuals and in opposition to the secularist, republican legacy of the French Revolution.
A vicious antisemite and future double glazing salesman, 23-year-old Raymond spent several years exploring and expanding on his political beliefs through a series of websites and social media discussion pages.
At the same time, Alex Davies, a Welsh schoolboy who had been a member of the British National Party’s youth wing, began agitating on social media against the BNP’s economic policies.
The duo agreed that the BNP was finished and what was needed was a new movement.
“Only a movement of strength lives in appreciation for the task of survival and the victory that will come,” Raymond wrote. “Only when you establish a power relationship with your enemies do you exist in a state of struggle and have any bargaining power ... Our people don’t think emotionally or spiritually in that way, for us, strategy is a matter of constitution, of numbers, opportunities, and most of all strength, in relation to the adversary - what I propose is coming to the game with agame (sic) plan to inspire the confidence we need.”
Raymond was drawn to inciting online conflict with anarchists, with whom, like Southgate, he felt he shared some strained idealism.
In Davies, a younger, more restrained but serious character with an extraordinary belief in his own intellectual and leadership capabilities, Raymond found a confident fellow traveller.
They agreed that, for a new movement to succeed, the old nationalist established had to be destroyed and simply divided up the fractured British far right into simple “good” and “bad” camps.
The “good” ‘nationalists’ were experienced stalwarts, like those around the group that would become the British Democratic Party (BDP); the “flawed” included the likes of John Tyndall, the National Front, Blood & Honour and Oswald Mosley.
Added to that were the far right discussion clubs like the New Right and London Forum.
The experience and knowledge of these groups and their members were considered useful for new recruits while the “bad” groups, like the BNP and the drunken and pro-Zionist EDL, had to be swept aside. In 2014, at a demonstration in Rotherham to protest about the grooming scandal, NA physically clashed with the EDL and came off second best.
Ultimately though, for Raymond, the “struggle” boiled down one of a war against Judaism.
By the time, Raymond and Davies decided to form NA late in 2012 the pair had already started on its manifesto. Raymond’s idealism drew heavily on the National Renaissance Party, a fascist party in the US that enjoyed thirty turbulent and violent years until 1980 and on Raymond’s other obsession with the obscure Sebastian Ernst Ronin of the modern party with a similar name in Canada.
From the beginning, NA’s leaders saw the need to be the centre of attention in terms of content, activity and style. In an interview with an American Holocaust denial website last year, Davies talks of the need for witty cartoons, humour and a distinctive style and clothing to attract everyone from “Goths, skins, punks.”
Attracting headlines was one focus of their work but so were generating antagonisms with other groups (in particular, the National Front) and those of similar stated political ilk but who are ideologically “impure”, the exclusion of petty nationalists tied to the idea of protecting domestic borders from other whites, people who take drink or drugs (like the EDL and the NF) and, ultimately, those incapable of advancing the cause.
The group established a series of blogs and a website that was virulently antisemitic but which also encouraged others to undertake tasks, like a building project for a white homeland.
The new organisation prided itself on being secure, confident and brash and outrageous.
In Feb 2013, in the first of a series of recorded discussions, Raymond entertained Davies and former BNP youth organiser Danny Lake on a skype conference call. Raymond became so weighed down by droning on about his favourite obscurities and showing a astonishingly bleak knowledge of the modern British far right that so exhausted and traumatised Lake that he quit fascism altogether.
Raymond’s demands were that a movement he had very little contact with or actual understanding of, be swept clean of gossips. He also, bizarrely, bemoaned the lack of an “officer class” in the British far right, a view more in keeping with Mosleyism than the Young BNP from which NA hoped to recruit.
An impatient Davies responded almost immediately by naming Larry Nunn as their “Mr Fix It”. “He’s got the money, he’s got the vision, he’s got the ideas”, Davies chirped excitedly.
In September 2013, Raymond launched the National Action website and introduced the organisation as an exciting new project “which has promising foundation, backing, and willing organisers”.
One of the latter was Paul Hickman, the former BNP organiser for Birmingham, who acted as the conduit for Davies into the New Right and the London Forum and made the introductions to Nunn.
Davies, meanwhile, like many others on the British far right, was particularly excited by the Greek nazi party Golden Dawn and, in November 2013, he and other NA activists travelled to London to meet up with Young BNP members for both the NF Remembrance Sunday parade and a demonstration in support of Golden Dawn.
In London, despite their best efforts to appear invincible the group were forced to drop their banners and run when confronted by anti-fascists outside the Greek embassy.
In 2014, NA moved away from the need for intellectualism and demanded the group became “brutes”. Having spent the previous six months engaging in low-level stunts like actions on campuses and in city centres, this new phase centred around increased violence and tension.
Certainly for a group that has fewer than sixty committed adherents, it has achieved inflated and sensationalist press coverage for little more than political pouting.
In April 2014, Raymond folded the Integralist Party and set about unveiling Stage Two of his plan, which was to make NA a confrontational group and to become more combative towards other far right groups, in particular the National Front. Raymond also sought to cut ties with the New Right and the London Forum.
“The value of what I have to offer is based on the fact that during those five years, with my own efforts and those of many others, I have seen a doomed non-movement of complacent sentiments and autism already rise to become an exciting new interpretation of nationalism which is alive and now accepted by thousands of young new converts.”
We alone have survived having outlived and seen off every other rival contender which have all dropped out into bleak obscurity; To name them, The National Anarchists, The anti-racist fascists, National Bolsheviks, the New Right, and various other grouplets with no sucessors (sic), they exist today only as an embarrassing memory.”
Meanwhile, Davies was busy trying to recruit what was left of the Young BNP in response for Griffin’s defeat in the European Elections and his subsequent removal as leader.
With its on-going publicity NA was attracting new members and this in turn enabled it to carry out one major activity per month. In addition, members were also encouraged to “agitate” in their own recreational time.
The day after Raymond announced the Integralist Party was finished, 20 NA/BNP activists held a protest outside of the South African embassy in London, where among other things, they stuck a banana on the Nelson Mandela statue down the road in Parliament Square.
This action was, however, nothing compared with the BNP members who had actually taken hammers to the Mandela statue on London’s South Bank or the physical attack on anti-Apartheid activists by the National Front in the late 1980s.
Emboldened by media coverage of the group’s activities, NA entered 2015 by declaring on its website that it “will be another year of carnage” and an “even worse year for ZOG” (Zionist Occupied Government).
It was helped by an influx of new recruits from other far right groups who were little more than violent racist thugs and it was not long before many began getting involved in acts of violence.
Mark Jones and Kevin Layzell from the Young BNP joined NA as did Ashley Bell from Leeds, a fitness fanatic who was behind an attempt to form a ‘Straight Edge’ movement in the UK.
Using the name Tommy Johnson, Bell had a history with both the EDL and the NF but had fallen out with them both, the latter in turn accusing him of theft.
Others to have got involved included former “Klanman” Darren Clifft and internet stalker Joshua Bonehill, both with the ability to shock and offend. Clifft had the other advantage of being a kickboxing instructor.
Recruits to the “movement” are regularly grilled by Paul Hickman, who also doubles as Davies’ bodyguard and chauffeur. Hickman also hosts long and virtually unbearable skype talks with Davies on his own website, which highlights NA’s absolute devotion to National Socialism and its complete lack of real understanding of what it is.
In August 2014, full of confidence and growing in bravado, NA produced a report into its own activities, proudly boasting: “In the six months since our first public demonstration National Action has succeeded in turning a web based idea into an authentic real world organisation.”
It went on to give a blow-by-blow account of its past activities and signalled that it was entering a more militant and daring phase: “Commentators on the left are so shocked that as of yet none of them believe we are actually for real ... One thing that can be depended on is the rock solid stupidity of many in overestimating their abilities and intelligence - it is these people who cannot ‘get it’.”
The group became immersed in mixed martial arts, largely under the guidance of one of its supporters, a martial arts instructor from Middleton in Greater Manchester, and headed to the hills for training and education seminars.
Additionally, it confronted an EDL march in Rotherham, partly because of old animosities between individuals within both groups but also because NA objected to the waving of the Israeli flag by EDL supporters.
NA came off worse but at least they fought back, due to the efforts of Wayne Jarvie, a Leeds-based thug with a penchant for knives and guns.
The outdoor camps, much to the delight of its leaders, created a lot of media interest in NA and this only strengthened their its that 2015 would see them become the dominant force on the British far right.
The group has since begun to adopt an even more hardline approach, with increasingly open and quite disgusting displays of antisemitism and violence.
Jarvie and others now advocate openly murdering Jews whilst Helm, their “Horst Wessell”, is derided and criticised for writing an apology to Luciana Berger.
Davies stood down as leader in February after another police raid on his home, but he is still very much with the group. Despite this, NA continues to thrive and create headlines largely because of its shocking antisemitism and harassment of people it does not like.
National Action set itself up as an intellectually based, pure national socialist movement with a mission to sweep aside the old, morally corrupted organisations but, of course, its followers are more interested in crude racism, antisemitism and violence.
As a result, the threat from NA is less political than physical. The organisation appears hell-bent on continuing its provocative actions and the individuals within it are becoming increasingly erratic, unpredictable and potentially violent.
Wayne Jarvie and Garron Helm are just two of the NA members who appear on collision courses with trouble.
Another is 19-year-old Stephen Dumont, who first got involved with the far right when he was just 13 and is described by those who know him as “highly motiveated and disturbed”. He has already been locked up for his part in a vicious attack on anti-fascists in Liverpool and his time inside has done nothing to reduce his anger.
And it is the danger from individuals such as these that makes the organisation such a cause for concern.
National Action: key figures
“Operation Filthy Jew Bitch”
The conviction of National Action member Garron Helm for sending offensive Tweets to Labour MP Luciana Berger last October sparked one of the most intensive and unpleasant online antisemitic campaigns ever.
Helm’s imprisonment triggered “Operation Filthy Jew Bitch” whereby the MP was inundated with hate messages from across the globe.
Twitter told HOPE not hate that they had not experienced anything like it.
The hate campaign was driven by the American Nazi website, The Daily Stormer. Amidst several disgusting antisemitic images, the website encouraged its supporters to target the Labour MP.
While it told people not to advocate violence, it did encourage the following:
“Call her a Jew, call her a Jew communist, call her a terrorist, call her a filthy Jew bitch. Call her a hook-nosed yid and a ratfaced kike. Tell her we do not want her in the UK, we do not want her or any other Jew anywhere in Europe. Tell her to go to Israel and call for her deportation to said Jew state.
“Do it over, and over, and over and over again.
“Tell her that “#HitlerWasRight,” and then tell her that six million more times.
“Flood her with these images (or make some of your own).”
Luciana received 20 death threats and over 2,000 hate Tweets directed at her.
National Action followed up the online campaign with a demonstration outside her constituency office in Liverpool at which police arrested 1twelve NA activists and then raided the homes of ten of them.
In a sign of the growing militancy within National Action, Helm has been strongly abused by fellow members for having apologised to Luciana. This, however, could be worrying as it might propel Helm into some extremist stunt in order to regain his reputation within the group.