Lately, it has become clear that another attempt to establish white nationalism in the UK has crashed and burned. Colin Robertson (best known by his YouTube alias Millennial Woes) has been expelled from the new political organisation Patriotic Alternative for sexual harassment. This, in addition to evidence of Mr. Robertson doing inappropriate things online, has thankfully left this movement in tatters.
Now while it’s admittedly humorous to find out that a so-called ‘traditionalist’ has engaged in such behaviour, the movement he represents is no laughing matter. That being of the neo-alt-right; a new generation of alt-right activists who while more blunt with their views, are more (possibly) savvy with PR.
They want to acquire power, but do so through subversion rather than force. While they’ve dropped their more controversial stances for image purposes (like those of a white-only ethno-state), they shall still enforce such views if they gain power.
Now that should be the end of the story; a party that has a problem with cranks involved that will never gain political prominence. This is especially true for Patriotic Alternative. After all, how can anyone take seriously a party headed up by the far-right Mark Collett (a self-confessed Nazi sympathiser who has questioned the Holocaust, praised Nazi Germany and was even expelled from the British National Party for threatening to kill its leader), and Laura Towler (an open racist who supports repatriation, is a former Defend Europa member and admires the British fascist Oswald Mosley)? That’s not even going into the other disgraced members of the organisation either, such as James Goddard and anti-Semites like Shazia Hobbs.
Well, there is cause for concern, especially given the recent split in the populist right community, post-Brexit. Whereas that was the cause célèbre for the entirety of the British populist right, now that’s over, what is there to focus on?
It has split like this; between the more mainstream populist right (who support Boris Johnson, bash the left and are socially conservative on issues like crime and immigration) and more fringe elements such as ethno nationalists.
The latter may be far smaller in scope and reach, but there is a possibility for it to grow beyond a few YouTube channels and the likes of Patriotic Alternative, which are the BNP lite. This is because many of the British alt-right’s big players are throwing their weight behind this movement, including YouTubers like The Iconoclast and Way Of The World.
British alt-right figureheads like Collett and Robertson also make up the backbone of this new mutation, co-opting it to gain a wider audience, through the likes of Patriotic Alternative. They are also spreading their message through social campaigning, including hanging posters around, or ringing in radio hosts to gain more supporters (including a now infamous session with TalkRadio host Mike Graham).
The possibility for it to get bigger shouldn’t be underestimated. One only needs to examine things Stateside to know this; the alt-right grew from a tiny fringe movement to capturing the national attention through President Donald Trump’s election (despite his campaign denouncing them).
And despite the tragedy of Heather Heyer’s death at the Unite The Right rally, they are now arguably more popular than ever in their neo-incarnation, with Nick Fuentes picking up support from more mainstream reactionaries such Paul Joseph Watson and Michelle Malkin.
The British neo-alt-right plan to do the same, and with very few mainstream figures covering some of the more important issues at this time (like British culture and mass immigration), they could just be in season.
It’s rather dangerous, and is one of the main reasons I left the British populist right as a movement. The idea that working with anyone to fight an important cause, optics be damned, is one that dominated the mindset of it, and to its peril.
An activist group I was involved with (called Make Britain Great Again) got into a lot of trouble for refusing to work with fringe figures who could damage the nationalist cause; this included that of the aforementioned Goddard, of who sent us death threats as we refused to stand alongside Neo-Nazis.
People in that group were also confronted by other extremists, like the Pendragon movement and the group Generation Identity, along with former BNP youth wing leader Jack Buckby, who clashed with us as we refused to work with him.
Buckby himself is an interesting example of how mainstream alt-right figures can become. After leaving the BNP he tried to portray himself as a supposed ‘moderate’, which got him British TV coverage, an interview on the YouTube channel Triggernometry, and a book published called Monster Of Their Own Making.
This is despite him still displaying more than questionable rhetoric ; like telling the black Mona Chalabi that she wasn’t English because she wasn’t ‘native’, and wishing another black woman that she wouldn’t get ‘raped’ by advocating bringing in Syrian refugees. If people can be so easily convinced of his supposed moderation, how is it not possible for more fringe figures to do so?
This is why the mainstream British right needs to embrace nationalism. If we leave such mainstream positions to the fringes, the fringes will eventually become mainstream. That is why we should celebrate our country, all the while addressing the legitimate problems that it has.
We need great nationalist leaders to take up this mantle, and not cranks who have their own agendas. Those who draw on a civic approach to our shared virtues, language and history. We need people like Ian Paisley and Nigel Farage; great nationalist political figures who became icons of their day. What we definitely don’t need are fringe Neo-Nazis who tarnish the cause, all the while associating it with extremism and ethnic nationalism. And we especially don’t need are the supposedly ‘pure’ who are happily entertaining the worst behaviour to champion a supposed common cause.