Mark Taha at Springbok Club

Interesting news from Alan Harvey’s Springbok Club:

 The Springbok Club celebrated the Day of the Vow in December 2009 with a special commemoration gathering. Events commenced with devotions and musical entertainment by Mr. Robin Willow, following which the meeting was addressed by Mr. Mark Taha. Mr. Taha is an expert in post-WWII South African literature, and analysed the predictions made in several works of fiction which prophesised the end of civilised rule in southern Africa. In a lively debate which followed it was emphasised how although none of these predictions became true exactly, they established an atmosphere of pessimism and defeatism which led eventually to the appeasement and surrender of 1992/1994.

One imagines there were some subjects Harvey and Taha chose not to discuss: for instance, Taha sued Searchlight (and various distributors) for libel in the 1996, while Harvey takes a surprisingly positive view of the magazine; indeed, Hugh Muir reported in August last year that

Harvey is accused by his detractors, we see, of being a mole for the anti-fascist group Searchlight. (“No comment” is Searchlight’s reaction. So we’ll have to watch him closely).

These “detractors” are members of “the Swinton Circle”, which split into two factions following a dispute between Harvey and Gregory Lauder-Frost. There now exists two Swinton Circles, each of which has anathematized the other; I have blogged on the subject a number of times (e.g. here).  According to Lobster magazine, back in the 1980s Taha was employed as a researcher by Andrew VR Smith, who is close to Lauder-Frost.

Taha’s name has been linked with a number of political groups over the years; one association which can be confirmed independently is with the Libertarian Alliance, albeit as a self-described “sympathiser” rather than a member. The LA, and “right libertarian” groups such as the Greater London Young Conservatives, took the view that apartheid was a form of “racial socialism”, and should therefore be opposed; however, measures such as sanctions should be 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 spoken at Springbok events, such as the sociologist David Marsland.

(1) One LA activist of the era, Paul Staines, has since said that he thinks he and others “were taken in” by South Africa’s claim to be an anti-communist bulwark; I have a fuller discussion of the general context here.

2 Responses

  1. I have,at various times,been a member of the Conservative Party,UKIP,Monday Club,Campaign for an Independent Britain,Swinton Circle,Bow Group, Anglo-Rhodesian Society,Campaign Against Censorship,National Campaign for Reform of the Obscene Publications Act,Anti-Soviet Society,British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection,World Wildlife Fund,Constitutional Monarchy Association,and National Anti-Vivisection Society.They’re the political ones I can remember!

  2. […] of evolution”, while Harvey’s groups have had speakers such as the libertarian activist Mark Taha and the occultist John Pope-de Locksley. Some speakers at the Springbok Club have chosen to keep […]

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