Some Notes on Claims about Thomas Mair

At this stage, it would be unwise to draw firm inferences from what has been said about the political links and mental health of Thomas Mair (var. Tom Mair, Tommy Mair), who is alleged to be the murderer of Jo Cox MP. However, with snippets of information and counter-claims being bandied back and forth across social media, in some cases like some grotesque game of Top Trumps, it may be useful to gather some details in one place.

(1) Britain First

From LBC:

A sign in a shop by the spot Jo Cox was killed states the claims that the gunman shouted “Britain First” are untrue.

The message in the landerette’s window says: “Please note, I did not tackle the gunman. And no one shouted Britain First at any time.”

LBC’s reporter in Birstall Bethan Davies spoke to Ahmed Tahir, the owner, who insisted he has not spoken to anyone who heard that phrase.

There seems to be a lot of fog around this particular issue. Tahir was contacted by the media because he was thought to have been at the scene. It turned out that he hadn’t been, but he offered a quote anyway based on what he’d heard:

He said: “The lady I work with heard two loud bangs but I wasn’t there, I was stuck in traffic at the time. I wish I was there because I would have tried to stop him.

“The whole street thinks it was me but it wasn’t.

“Apparently the guy who did it shouted ‘Britain first’ and if I had been there I would have tackled him.”

Media reported this second-hand account, but caution then prevailed and some sites decided to withdraw the claim (as did Maria Eagle MP, who deleted a Tweet on the subject). It’s difficult to see how Tahir can now state with such certainty that “no one shouted Britain First at any time”, unless he’s conveying the testimony of “the lady I work with”.

Meanwhile, Breitbart News has a quote from a second person:

Local restaurant owner Hicham Ben Abdallah, widely quoted across the media as having claimed Mr. Mair shouted, “Britain First” has told Breitbart London “No, no. I did not hear that”.

That’s less definitive than Tahir’s statement. There is also video of an eyewitness, who may be one of these two people or someone else, saying “I never heard that”.

However, two other individuals say that they definitely did hear the gunman shout “Britain First”, or perhaps “put Britain First”. The Guardian:

Graeme Howard, 38, was among at least two witnesses who stated that Mair was shouting “Britain first” as he carried out the attack.

And the Mail:

Eyewitness Clarke Rothwell, 42, who was working near to the murder scene, said the man – named locally as 53-year-old ‘loner’ and handyman Tommy Mair – shouted ‘Britain first’ as he launched the attack on the mother-of-two, which occurred at around 1pm.

‘The words I heard him say were Britain first, or put Britain first,’ Mr Rothwell told BBC Newsnight.

‘I can’t say exactly what it was but definitely Britain first is what he said, what he was shouting. He shouted it at least twice.’

Some more details on Britain First here.

(2) Mental health

The Telegraph has a 2010 quote:

In 2010 the Huddersfield Daily Examiner wrote that Mr Mair had started volunteering at a local park atfer learning about the opportunity through the Mirfield-based Pathways Day Centre for adults with mental health problems.

He told the newspaper at the time: “I can honestly say it has done me more good than all the psychotherapy and medication in the world.

“Many people who suffer from mental illness are socially isolated and disconnected from society, feelings of worthlessness are also common mainily caused by long-term unemployment.

The Examiner article is not online, but a shorter version was published by the Batley & Birstall NewsIt contains just the first line of Mair’s quote, and “psychotherapy” has become “physiotherapy”. It seems reasonable to conclude from the full context that “psychotherapy” is the correct version.

(3) The Springbok Club

Mair is mentioned in a Springbok Club e-newsletter from 2006:

WHERE ARE THEY NOW ?

No.86 : Mr. THOMAS MAIR of Batley.

Thomas Mair, from Batley in Yorkshire, was one of the earliest subscribers and supporters of “S.A.Patriot”. Recent correspondence sent to him has been returned to us, however, as he has evidently moved from his last known address in the Fieldhead Estate district of the town. If anyone knows of his new address then we would be very grateful to learn the details.

This suggests that the association had ended at some point before 2006, so it’s a bit misleading of the Independent to write that “the link between Thomas Mair and the Springbok Club goes back ten years”, which could be read as meaning that the link is current and has been ongoing for ten years. The Springbok Club has featured on this blog previously. One South Africa Patriot newsletter describes Clive Derby-Lewis, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of Chris Hani, as being a “political prisoner”.

(4) The National Alliance

The Southern Poverty Law Center has published receipts that show Mair

sent just over $620 to the NA, according to invoices for goods purchased from National Vanguard Books, the NA’s printing imprint. Mair purchased subscriptions for periodicals published by the imprint and he bought works that instruct readers on the “Chemistry of Powder & Explosives,” “Incendiaries,” and a work called “Improvised Munitions Handbook.” Under “Section III, No. 9” (page 125) of that handbook, there are detailed instructions for constructing a “Pipe Pistol For .38 Caliber Ammunition” from components that can be purchased from nearly any hardware store.

The NA may be best-known for the work of its now-deceased founder, William Pierce, a former physics professor who also wrote racist novels. One, The Turner Diaries, tells the post-apocalyptic fictional story of a white man fighting in a race war that may have provided inspiration for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Mair made his orders in December 1999 and in 2003. It should perhaps be recalled that December 1999 was just a few months after David Copeland’s far-right bombing campaign in London.

19 Responses

  1. The slain MP would probably agree with putting Britain first but would argue that remaining in the European Union was in deed putting the best interests of Britain first. I would disagree with her on that, but that is what peaceful politics is all about. Some would avow that we should not put Britain first and that there are values that transcend mere national politics and interests. I would go along with that, but would hold that we should still leave the EU because it is bad for liberal democracy too, and not just for our national interests.

    There is so much violence now on matters of national or moral import, as we have so recently seen in Orlando, and as we regularly witness in the Middle East. We need to heed the words of Paul to Timothy in 1 Tim 2: 1-4 and pray for all who are set over us in authority.

  2. We were of course appalled and sickened to learn of the murder yesterday, of Ms. Jo Cox, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen.

    We understand that a gentleman named Thomas A. Mair has been arrested for this crime, though as the case is now undoubtedly sub judice we will have to be very careful in what we say.

    It is true that a Mr. Thomas A. Mair from Batley in Yorkshire subscribed to our magazine S.A.Patriot when we were still published in South Africa itself. Although we can’t be certain, his subscription number seems to suggest that he initially subscribed sometime during the mid-1980s, and his expiry number suggests that he only sent a nominal payment which we credited for only a few editions rather than for a full 12-issue subscription. He never renewed his subscription in any way, and we had no further contact with him after this brief correspondence during the mid-1980s.

    After we re-established our magazine as S.A.Patriot-in-Exile in the UK we tried to stage several events to drum-up support for the publication around the country, including one planned meeting in Yorkshire during late 2005 (although this event actually never came to fruition). In order increase interest in this event we circulated all those whose address details we had from Yorkshire dating back all the way to our South African days in the 1980s – including Mr.Mair. His invitation was however returned “no longer at this address”, so as we often do in such cases we asked readers of our on-line publication, the Springbok Cyber Newsletter, whether anyone knew anything about him and where he was now. We received no responses whatsoever to this enquiry.

    We can confirm therefore that we have never met Mr.Mair, and apart from brief contact way back in the mid-1980s when he briefly subscribed to our magazine we have had no contact with him. All attempts to try to link our magazine with him during more recent years are therefore completely without foundation.

    Our sincere condolences are extended to Ms.Cox’s family and all connected to her at this most harrowing time.

    Yours sincerely,

    A.D.Harvey – editor, S.A.Patriot-in-Exile.

  3. Mair doesn’t appear to have moved house, so we can assume that when he returned his 2005 SA Patriot correspondence “not known at this address” it was a deliberate decision.

    The receipts published by the SPLC show that Mair took out a subscription to National Vanguard magazine which would have run to issue #125 – which came out in 2005. Assuming the SPLC doesn’t have anything more recent on Mair, this would again suggest a loss of interest in radical right-wing politics in the mid-2000s – and, if we take it that Mair’s political commitment was fuelled by anger and frustration, this in turn would be consistent with being in a better place emotionally in 2010, as the HDE quote suggests.

    This appears to be the text of the Huddersfield Daily Examiner piece. There’s an odd bit of punctuation in the quote, just at the point where Mair’s comment seems to shift from personal reflection to a more corporate register –

    …all the psychotherapy and medication in the world. “Many people who suffer from mental illness…

    – but this may just be a missing carriage return (the Daily Telegraph quote normalises it).

    The whole story shows how impoverished our vocabulary of ‘radicalisation’ is. If A.D. Harvey is correct, Mair was radical(1) – a believer in extreme and marginalised political goals and ideals – as long ago as the mid-80s, when he was in his early 20s. He then appears to have become radical(2) – converted to a belief in revolutionary or direct action tactics – in the late 90s, and even become radical(3) – engaging in or preparing for political violence – by getting (or rather making) himself a gun. Rather than take it any further, he then seems to have become de-radicalised within a few years, perhaps even to the point of losing commitment to his radical(1) right-wing beliefs (or, more probably, just losing interest in politics). If the HDE story is anything to go by, he seems to have been happy that way. But something seems to have re-radicalised him, in senses (1), (2) and sadly (3); we don’t know what it was or when it started, but it’s a good bet that it involved feeling really angry about something he was powerless to change, and feeling that he was *right* to feel angry and frustrated.

    There’s always a danger of pathologising individuals like this: just as a purely ‘personal’ explanation makes them out to be completely unpredictable psychotics, a purely ‘political’ explanation turns them into monomaniacal Manchurian Candidates, helplessly driven into violence by political messaging. Mair had clearly embarked on a political journey long before yesterday, and it was a journey of his own choosing; nothing takes away his responsibility for the choices he made, up to and including yesterday. But we can all fall into a rut of hatred, resentment and self-righteous anger. Perhaps more importantly, what that Huddersfield Daily Examiner piece says to me is that we can all get out of it, too – even someone who’s gone so far as to get a gun can decide that life’s not so bad if you can tire yourself out doing work you enjoy. And, like an alcoholic falling off the wagon, we can all fall right back in, given the right or wrong combination of stimuli. Tell a man who used to be angry that he ought to be getting angry again, and after a while he’ll agree with you. To borrow a Private Eye vicar-ism, in a very real sense, we are all Manchurian candidates.

    • The fact that Mair never renewed his subscription to S.A.Patriot would certainly suggest that our brand of neo-Conservatism/neo-Imperialism was not nearly Right-wing enough for him!

  4. ” if we take it that Mair’s political commitment was fuelled by anger and frustration, this in turn would be consistent with being in a better place emotionally in 2010,”

    If Phil is right about that, then perhaps Mair had his benefits sanctioned, or his MH support taken away. It’s happening to thousands of mentally ill people.

  5. Clarke Rothwell is a BNP supporter, they hate Britain First, so how much veracity can be accorded to his statement?

    • The BNP are of course overtly neo-fascist, and that is probably why they hate the Swinton Circle so much, as we of course are neo-Imperialists (i.e. PRO-British and pro-Commonwealth). We know very little about “Britain First”, but they seem to consist of basically good and genuine people – albeit perhaps a little too extreme for our liking. Dirty tricks on the part of the BNP in relation to the Mair atrocity therefore CANNOT be ruled out. The Swinton Circle has certainly experienced some dirty infiltration attempts from them in the past.

  6. The person posting as “The Swinton Circle” and “S.A. Patriot” is Alan Harvey.

    “apart from brief contact way back in the mid-1980s when he briefly subscribed to our magazine we have had no contact with him. All attempts to try to link our magazine with him during more recent years are therefore completely without foundation. ”
    “The fact that Mair never renewed his subscription to S.A.Patriot”

    Harvey is as usual lying.

    S.A. Patriot-in-Exile No.35 – published 1999/2000(?) there is a letter from Thomas Mair of Batley – perhaps he renewed his subscription afterall – in which he says and I quote “In my opinion the greatest enemy of the old Apartheid system was not the ANC and the Black masses but White liberals and traitors”

    “White liberals and traitors” – maybe we’ll be seeing more of that quote, what do you reckon Alan?

    • I never denied that I had posted under the title of “S.A.Patriot” – indeed my name appeared on this posting!!!

      Our records show that Mair’s subscription expired with issue No.34 – consistant wih him writing a letter which appeared in issue No.35. I had completely forgotten about this apparent subsequent letter from him, which must have been written abouut 20 years ago now. So he contacted us twice rather than only once as I originally thought. So what? I can no more remember correspondence from 20 years ago than I can from 30 years ago when he initially made contact.

      I am NOT a liar!

      I wonder who “Elsa” is however, and why he/she is too cowardly to reveal their full identity?

  7. Mr Harvey,

    Using the Internet Archive, when I check the copy of the Springbok Cyber Newsletter as it appeared in December 2014, the Blog Archive sidebar indicates that there were *no* posts for the whole of 2006 and 2007. This period of course included the now-famous Thomas Mair post. Can you indicate why these posts have been added since 2014, and where these posts were previously published, if anywhere?

    The Internet Archive page I base my comments on may be seen here:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20141219030641/http://springbokcybernewsletter.blogspot.co.uk/

    Thank-you,

    Crosbie

    • Alan’s gone quiet for the moment.

      The Springbok Cyber Newsletter is something Harvey emails out to his associates, it is only recently that Harvey has also published them online – – – perhaps the media were given, or were already in possession, of a copy of the original email from 2006 rather than a link to a blog page?

      One for the conspiracy theorists methinks …

    • Thank-you Elsa. After posting my question to Mr Harvey, it occurred to me that the site maintainer had simply been posting the existing emails to the blog as convenient, and back-dating them to the date of original email publication as he did so. This seems to be a plausible and sensible thing to do, so I suspect I have answered my own question.

  8. One of Alan Harvey’s chum’s has posted one of Harvey’s old South African newsletters on line here:

    http://alandharvey.blogspot.co.uk/1984/01/adhs-january-1984-newsletter.html?view=flipcard

    I like the bit about Harvey going to a fancy dress party in a Klu Klux Klan outfit! Perhaps not the only time the outfit was worn back in those days?

    The John Hiddleston who is mentioned as the original editor of S.A. Patriot is now a TUV candidate.

    Brendan Willmer was an NF fund raiser in South Africa who ran various organisations with Harvey for several years until they fell out (Harvey is affectionately calling him Bumler because he was homosexual).

    The bit about Harvey getting beating-up is intriguing … ?

  9. The letter from Thomas Mair, published in Issue 35, page 6 of the South African Patriot in Exile:

    PATRIOT AND TRAITORS
    Sir,
    Thank you for sending me my copy of S.A.Patriot-in-Exile No.34. It was heartening to see that you are still carrying on the struggle, quite frankly I would not have blamed you if you had given up in despair. I was glad you strongly condemned “collaborators” in the White South African population. In my opinion the greatest enemy of the old Apartheid system was not the ANC and the Black masses but White liberals and traitors.
    Yours etc.,
    Thomas Mair,
    Batley, U.K

  10. The above letter was from 1999.
    This following snippet is from 1991 (Issues 30-32):

    “Despite everything I still have faith that the White Race will prevail, both in Britain and in South Africa, but I fear that it’s going to be a very long and very bloody struggle.
    Yours etc.,
    Thomas Mair,
    Batley, U.K.”

  11. I smell a rat here,it looks like Thomas has been framed,for political gain and Mrs cox has been the sacrificial lamb for the elite to further their sickening aims.

  12. OK, I’ve suspended comments from after this date, as legal proceedings are now active. I’ll put them back when this is no longer so, but in the meantime I don’t want to risk contempt of court.

  13. Whilst I accept your suspension may I point out

    The posting made by Alan Harvey above is one he made in a tweet and has been published elsewhere, eg –

    Huffington Post
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/tommy-thomas-mair-far-right_uk_5763a3c2e4b0a4f99adbaad4
    Olly Barrett
    https://twitter.com/ollybarratt/status/743533256033853440/photo/1

    The removed postings made reference to letters from Thomas Mair published by Alan Harvey in the 1990’s contradicting the claim made by Alan Harvey that “apart from brief contact way back in the mid-1980s when he briefly subscribed to our magazine we have had no contact with him. All attempts to try to link our magazine with him during more recent years are therefore completely without foundation.”

    Those letters from the 1990’s have now been published by the Southern Poverty Law Center and are a matter of public record (as they were already) –

    https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/06/20/here-are-letters-thomas-mair-published-pro-apartheid-magazine

    • In view of some recent most disturbing revelations about the extent of our connection to the unspeakable Thomas Mair, we have issued the following subsequent Press Release :-

      “Following the tragic murder of Jo Cox MP I was contacted by large sections of the media as it had come to light that I had once had brief written contact with her alleged murderer, Thomas Mair. As I had to act fast in order to answer so many urgent media enquiries I issued my initial Press Statement entirely from memory, and at the time honestly believed that the magazine which I used to edit in South Africa, S.A.Patriot, had only received one piece of correspondence from Mair, this being back in the mid/late 1980s.

      “It has subsequently been drawn to my attention that we must have received at least two pieces of correspondence from Mair, as two letters from him were published in the pages of our successor publication, S.A.Patriot-in-Exile, the first in edition No.31 (published in 1992) and the second in edition No.35 (published in 1999), though I had completely forgotten about this when I issued my initial Press Statement. In order not to make any further inadvertant mistakes I have subsequently gone back through all the past records and documents concerning the magazine, and have discovered that Mair actually wrote to the publication on three separate occasions, the first on 15th February 1988 (which I answered on 16th June 1988), the second on 2nd August 1988 (which I answered on 2nd January 1989) and the third on 20th January 1997 (which I answered on 10th February 1997). Scanned copies of all three of these letters from Mair are available on request.

      “I therefore apologise for initially being slightly mistaken about the extent of my written contact with Mair, but I believe even so that these subsequent revelations have still confirmed that this contact was very tenuous and ancient. Furthermore my central conclusion at the end of my initial Press Statement, namely ‘All attempts to try to link our magazine with him during more recent years are therefore completely without foundation’ still holds good – indeed I am now able to give a precise date to our last contact with Mair: 20th January/10th February 1997 – i.e. 19 and a half years ago.

      “In view of these recent revelations about the extent of our written contact with Mair my outrage at the crime which he allegedly committed is even greater, and the sympathies which I extend to the family of Jo Cox MP ever more heartfelt

      “.Alan Harvey – editor, S.A.Patriot-in-Exile”

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