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“Official” Swinton Circle Holds Joint Event with Springbok Club

A few days ago I blogged once again on Alan Harvey and the London Swinton Circle. Harvey has apparently been suspended as chairman and member of group due to what he claims are the machinations of extremists. Harvey writes:

As you are probably aware, a quite scurrilous attack has been made against me in the so-called London Swinton Circle Members Circular No.69, which contained many factual errors…The question before you therefore is whether you wish the LSC to become a mere appendage of the BNP – or whether like me you wish it to remain loyal to true Conservative and Unionist principles. I trust that I can rely upon your support.

Harvey is not going quietly, and it looks as though he maintains control of the Swinton Circle website. He’s also claiming that certain events taking place at the Springbok Club, which he also runs, are in fact “joint” events with the “official wing” of the Swinton Circle. There was one just the other night:

The Springbok Club/ELC staged a special joint meeting with the official wing of the London Swinton Circle in October 2008, at which the guest speaker was Mr. Bob Vinnicombe. Mr. Vinnicombe is a leading NSW official of the Australian One Nation party, and stood as an independent candidate for the Bankstown Municipal Council earlier during the year, receiving a very creditable vote. In his extremely well-received speech Mr. Vinnicombe detailed much about the current Australian political and sociological situation, emphasising specifically the great problems caused by ethnic minorities (particularly Muslim Lebanese)  being allowed to enter Australia. He also laid great stress on the importance of Australia remaining a monarchy, and that links between kith and kin from the core Commonwealth should be strengthened.

Vinnicombe is an odd choice of speaker from someone who wants to contrast “true Conservative and Unionist principles” with the far right, but hardly surprising if you investigate what the Springbok Club really stands for, which is a return for white rule over Africa (see Johann Hari’s article here). The One Nation Party is notorious for its anti-immigrant views, and Vinnicombe has complained in particular about Africans in Australia:

“They are too different to us. The culture they come from is too different to ours. We don’t know their background. They could have diseases. They could have T.B., they could have AIDS. They could have criminal records. They come from war-torn countries,” Vinnicombe said. 

Asked where people like these should go, Vinnicombe says countries where the people are similar to them – other black African countries, for instance.

On the other hand, though, while Harvey is in ardent supporter of the invasion of Iraq and deposing of Saddam Hussein, Vinnicombe is more of a paleo-con:

The truth is we should have left the Sadaam Hussein regime in power. The Sadaam Hessein was a bulwark against islamic fundamentalism. When Hussein was in power, all the fundamentalists were either dead or in jail, he wouldn’t tolerate them. There were no car bombs going off in Baghdad when he was in power. I understand workers weren’t even allowed to take time off during the day for muslim prayers. The Christians in Iraq had freedom to practice their religion.

Previous speakers at the Springbok Club have included “Master of the Black Arts” John Pope-de Locksley, and right-wing sociologist David Marsland. Some other speakers, for whatever reason, are not identified by name on the Springbok website.

4 Responses

  1. Thanks for the interesting postings on this subject and for the link to the article by Hari. In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Michael Portillo said a number of things (in the House of Commons, in a little article in the Guardian) that are very similar to the kind of things Roberts is quoted by Hari as saying: invade Iraq, show that the West has a strong military, the Arabs will then respect the West, less terrorism. What is of particular concern is that almost no-one tried to counter this argument, and that quite a lot of politicians used arguments that had an echo of this line of thinking (invading Iraq will make us safe from terrorism).

  2. […] perspective on all this is given in a comment he left on my blog here. His enemies, meanwhile, have established a rival London Swinton Circle website, with a better […]

  3. Postings in which anonymous members of the two Swinton Circles attack each other have been removed. The reasons: (a) I don’t want to be liable for any comment that “crosses the line”; and (b) there have been allegations of impersonation. Members of the two groups are still welcome to provide information about their activities that either adds to or clarifies anything I have written.

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