“New” London Swinton Circle Announces Break from Springbok Club

As I have blogged several times over the past few months, the right-wing London Swinton Circle has been riven by factional strife, which has now led to there being two Circles of Swinton: one is led by Alan Harvey, while the other is chaired by a certain Allan Robertson. The latter groupsicle insists that Harvey has been expelled, while Harvey declares that he is now in charge of the “official” London Swinton Circle. A few weeks ago I noted that the Robertson faction’s website included a message directed at Harvey, berating him for getting into certain arguments and warning him not to “pass yourself as acting on behalf of the Swinton Circle or allow anyone else to do so”; that message has now been removed, and Harvey’s rival website (which has been running for some years) carries the notice that

An Emergency General Meeting of the London Swinton Circle, at which the crisis resulting from the events of July 22nd will be discussed and the appropriate decisions taken, is planned for next month…After this EGM it is anticipated that normal regular activities of the organisation will be resumed.

Unfortunately, however, he also promised that last month…

The Robertson faction website does now include a notice that

The London Swinton Circle is not associated or affiliated with “The Springbok Club”, nor does the Swinton Circle hold joint meetings with “The Springbok Club”.

Harvey, by contrast, tells us that there was another joint LSC-Springbok Club event in November:

…at which the guest of honour was Mr. Michael Shrimpton, the famous barrister and national security consultant. In his most revealing and powerful address Mr. Shrimpton told something about the international forces which lay behind the abandonment of the British Empire post-World War II, which culminated in the betrayal of Rhodesia, and also gave an in-depth account of some of the little-reported facts about those involved in the recent US Presidential Election.

There was also a “joint event” in October.

I have blogged on the Springbok Club in the past; as Alan Harvey himself puts it:

In a nutshell our policy can be summed up in one sentence: “We want our countries back, and believe this can now only come about by the re-establishment of civilised European rule throughout the African continent”.

The Springbok Club website also has a page dedicated to Harvey’s S.A. Patriot magazine, where he declares his support for “separate racial development” and “global white leadership”. A few indistinct sample covers are given; here’s an older one that Harvey removed from the site a while ago:


Clive Derby-Lewis is currently serving a life sentence for his part in the assassination of communist politican Chris Hani; he told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1997 that his action was religiously motivated:

As a Christian, my first duty is to the Almighty God before everything else. We were fighting against communism, and communism is the vehicle of the Antichrist.

Despite Harvey’s far-right and racist background (he was also formerly in the National Front), the Springbok Club has had a stream of fairly high-profile speakers, although it is not here alleged that any of them were aware of the views propounded on the Springbok Club website, or that any of these speakers sympathise with Harvey’s opinions in any way.

However, some of the speakers are preposterous: the barrister Michael Shrimpton, for instance, boasts of how he “expose[d] propaganda operations such as the faked ‘hood’ Abu Ghraib photo”, which was supposedly created by the Syrian secret service. There’s also the disgraced ex-MP Neil Hamilton, who is shown on the Springbok Club website posing in front of the apartheid-era South African flag; Harvey tells us he “gave a riveting keynote speech in which he recalled his own fond memories of South Africa during the era of civilised rule” (that was in 1998; ten years on, as Oliver Kamm has noted, Hamilton and his wife appeared in a London pub performing a “camp cowboy act” as “second billing to a chain-wearing, whip-lashing S&M duo called Topping and Butch”).

Also on the list is the historian Andrew Roberts, who in 2007 half-heartedly – and vulgarly – threatened to sue journalist Johan Hari for “tens of thousands of pounds” for (among other things) suggesting in the New Republic that his praise for the Springbok Club reflected poorly on him; and Anthony LoBaido, who writes pieces on South Africa for WorldNetDaily.  Intriguingly, the Springbok Club website has also recently been updated to include the names of some past speakers which had previously not been publicised.

UPDATE: How’s this for timing? Hugh Muir in the Guardian reports on the latest from the Robertson faction of the Swinton Circle:

we see that in February, the Swintonites [Harvey] left behind will have as their guest speaker Alistair McConnachie, who, in 2001, triggered resignations from Ukip by writing to the Scottish press saying the Pope had been duped over the Holocaust. Clarifying his position, he later wrote, “I don’t accept that gas chambers were used to execute Jews for the simple fact there is no direct physical evidence to show that such gas chambers ever existed.” No one can guarantee similar controversy when he speaks, but we guess he won’t be dull.

There’s more on McConnachie here.

15 Responses

  1. I’d quite like to see the 500 or so members of this backward thinking collective to try and seize Africa back for the white man.

    It would make for bloody but brief entertainment.

  2. Who do you think has more pointless, ego driven rubbish going on in their organization, ultra right-wing pseudo-intellectual terrorist front groups, or your average community theatre troupe?

    Does the analysis change if you limit the discussion only to right wingers who abuse their moustaches and to troupes that specialize in performing Rocky Horror?

  3. […] is not the only person he recommends who has promoted anti-Jewish propagandists. As I noted a few days ago, Harvey is also a supporter of Clive Derby-Lewis, who once hosted David Irving in South Africa. […]

  4. […] are having arguments, in part apparently facilitated by this blog’s recent entries on the Springbok Club and the London Swinton Circles (sic). It’s somewhat bitty, so I’ve divided the post […]

  5. Alan Harvey claims to have only been a member of the NF in 74/75 yet according to his American friends in the Nationalist Movement he is stated as having attended the NF AGM in Birmingham in 1989 where the New Atlantic Charter between the NF and the Nationalist Movement was presented.



    Surely only fully paid up members get to attend AGM’s?
    He might not have signed the Charter but what position was he in to even be asked to?

  6. Interesting, thanks!

  7. Thank you for the clarification, but surely anyone could have guessed what an NF meeting in 1989 would be like? Particularly an ex-member?

  8. Here is a report about Harvey’s support for Israel:

  9. Was the speaker that Alan Harvey did not know nor have any further contact with Richard Barrett, the editor of All the Way newspaper which in ,er, 2001 stated that Alan Harvey claimed that the ‘obscure American organisation called the “Nationalist Movement”’ were his “best contacts in America”?


    And wasn’t the ‘Patriotic Forum’, of which Alan Harvey was the representative for South Africa, led at that time by Mark Cotterill who was at that time the South West Organizer for the National Front and who was the person who “welcomed Richard Barrett to England” at the NF AGM and who “helped promulgate the New Atlantic Charter” of which Alan Harvey ‘knew nothing, and indeed still knows nothing’?


  10. Thank you for that clarification. So Mark Cotterill was not involved with the Patriotic Forum when it started in South Africa in the late 80’s but he became its leader when it relocated to England at the beginning of the 90’s? Whilst not a member of the Springbok Club Cotterill was involved in the precursor to the Springbok Club, the White Rhino Club, at least according to this oddly-edited account on the Springbok Club’s own website:

    Which also reveals as a another associate Kelvin Sanderson – the former National Front Overseas Liasion officer who, er, was also involved in the New Atlantic Charter initiative of which Alan Harvey ‘knew nothing, and indeed still knows nothing’?

    If the Nationalist Movement was so “obscure” why did the National Front choose it as its American contact?
    Was Alan Harvey’s contact with the National Movement established during the time when the National Front sought to make links between the British and the American Right , a time when Harvey has been shown to have been associating with two of the National Front activists prominently involved in that initiative?

  11. “Confused” seems to be an apt name for the above poster. Neither the London Swinton Circle nor its current Chairman, Alan Harvey, have ever had any connection with this obscure American “Nationalist Movement” – except for a chance meeting way back in 1989. Isn’t that clear enough!

  12. […] has featured on this blog in the past; in 2008 I noted that he had been a guest speaker at a joint “London Swinton Circle” and […]

  13. […] rejected, and support instead given to organisations such as the Inkatha Freedom Party (1). That does not appear to have been Harvey’s own perspective, although various “right libertarians” have […]

  14. Harvey has now confessed that he was “in written contact” with the NF during the 80s and that his involvement with the NF in 1989 included more than just attending the AGM, that he actually “spoke at a couple of NF meetings”


    Verschillende mensen vertelden over het bezoek dat Nelson Mandela toen hij president was geworden bracht aan de Zuid-Afrikaanse rugbyclub ‘Springbok’. Mandela ging er naar toe en droeg een shirtje van die club.

    Zowel in een BBC-tv-interview (9/12/2013) met een speler van die ploeg – die overigens de krop in de keel kreeg – als in het Britse ‘House of Commons’ werd verwezen naar die opmerkelijke gebeurtenis.

    Maar even opmerkelijk dat niemand in het Britse Lagerhuis de fairplay had te verwijzen naar het ontstaan van de apartheidswetten: die door het Britse bewind werden ingesteld en nadien overgenomen en aangepast door de Zuid-Afrikaanse regering.

    Groot was onze verwondering toen wij onderstaand bericht op 6/12/2013 kregen toegezonden uit Zuid-Afrika. Wij oordeelden dat wij onze lezers dit bericht niet mochten onthouden.


    Re: 68 * Mandela

    Springbok Club

    Verzonden: vr 6/12/2013 14:08

    Aan: redactie Tscheldt

    Mandela was an evil terrorist. May his soul rot in hell.

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