Swinton Circles Argue over Hosting of Philip Hollobone

Over the past month, a right-wing website called South Africa Sucks has carried a rancorous thread in which Alan Harvey has engaged with various political rivals on the fringe-right. Harvey, as I have blogged previously, runs the Springbok Club and one of two groups calling itself the Swinton Circle: there is a rival faction run by a certain Allan Robertson. The arguments are interminable and often abusive, but one poster for the Roberton faction took the opportunity to advertise an uncoming event:

Anyway, they’ve got a meeting next Tuesday with Philip Hollobone the MP who wants to ban the burka (about time too!). I told him I was in UKIP and Robertson said it was ok for me and anyone similar to come along even though we’re not members.

Harvey was quick to respond:

Philip Hollobone MP will be speaking for the official Swinton Circle next Tuesday, NOT to Robertson’s fake grouping. Neither Robertson himself nor any of his known associates will be allowed admission to this meeting.

The latest issue of Searchlight (427 p. 20) has one version of what transpired on the night:

The police had been forewarned and were at the door of the meeting in Room T in the building that houses many MPs’ offices. Around 20 people attended but only those whom Harvey identified were permitted entry.

Harvey’s faction thus appears to have emerged triumphant…

In barring members of Robertson’s faction from the room, the police were apparently under the impression that the people trying to “infiltrate” the Swinton Circle meeting were British National Party Members.

Searchlight calls the Swinton Circle “something of a bridge between the far right of the Conservative Party and the hinterland of the extreme right”, and notes some far-right individuals who have been seen at Robertson-faction meetings.  The article also notes Harvey’s self-identification with the “South African resistance movement in exile”, and a claim made by his enemies that he is a Searchlight mole. There is also a reference to Alistair McConnachie, a Holocaust revisionist who spoke to the Robertson faction (on a different subject) in 2009; I blogged this here, noting that the meeting was held in a British Israelite church.

I’ve also blogged on a few other speakers at the two Swinton Circles and at Harvey’s Springbok Club: the Robertson faction has also been graced by the Rev Peter Mullen, who spoke against “the doctrine 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 their association low-key and their names off the Club’s website (for example, a “prominent Ulster-born friend of Israel” who addressed the club a few years ago) – one speaker who perhaps wishes he had chosen anonymity is Andrew Roberts, whose 2001 dinner address to the Club has been cited against him more than once by Johann Hari:

The dinner was a celebration of the 36th anniversary of the day the white supremacist government of Rhodesia announced a unilateral declaration of independence from Great Britain because it was pressing the country to enfranchise black people. Surrounded by nostalgists for this racist rule, Roberts, according to the club’s Web site, “finished his speech by proposing a toast to the Springbok Club, which he said he considered the heir to previous imperial achievements.”

When I first pointed out this connection, Roberts said he gave a “historical speech”, hadn’t realised the Springbok Club was a racist organisation, and didn’t recall anyone saying anything racist. Wasn’t the apartheid flag, and the fact they were there specifically to celebrate the anniversary of a white supremacist declaration, a hint?

Roberts predictably made noises about “libel”.

Another Springbok Club speaker, back in October 2000, was Anthony LoBaido; LaBaido writes articles for WorldNetDaily and has cited Harvey a couple of times (e.g. here and here). However, it seems that the two men fell out in 2003; according to a report from the time:

The Springbok Club in England has severed all ties with the two hikers walking across England to make people in this country aware of the large number of farm killings in South Africa.

Alan Harvey [said that] … it became clear to the club that Malcolm Wren, who calls himself an “English Boer” because of his love for the Afrikaner, and American journalist, Anthony LoBaido, were only seeking sympathy for the “Boer nation”.

2 Responses

  1. Is it any wonder why his enemies claim Alan ‘sexy’ Harvey is a Searchlight mole when Searchlight produces an article where it is contextually clear Harvey must have been the source of the article?! Admittedly it’s hard to see how much of an asset Harvey can now be to Searchlight. Presumably then this is the end for the Swinton Circle?

  2. […] Christianity. Among those listed as members is Philip Hollobone, whom I blogged on a few days ago here, and the former Monday Club members Andrew Rosindell and Bill Cash (1). The majority of the […]

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