The Times Profiles HOPE Sussex “Unregistered School”

The Times takes a look at what it calls an “unregistered school” run by HOPE Sussex near the village of Netherfield in East Sussex:

A full curriculum of subjects is taught, albeit through the prism of conspiracy. In a history lesson, children were taught that the US government knew in advance of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, and discussed the possibility that stars were not real and were in fact lights.

…Last year, Ofsted sent inspectors from its illegal schools team to visit Hope Sussex, but they were stopped at the perimeter by two “obstructive and unco-operative” members of staff…

HOPE Sussex maintains that they are not in fact running  a school, but rather “a community centre that hires its facilities to allow home-educating families to supplement their children’s education with wholesome and critically thinking tutors”.

The group also held a music festival at the site last summer, which was covered by Vice and which I discussed here and here – participants included the novelty pop-duo and conspiricists Right Said Fred, and also James Delingpole in conversation with antivax activist Michael ChavesVice also noted children taking “classes” at the location, some months ahead of the UK’s newpaper of record, and the involvement of Matt and Sadie Single. As The Times now reports:

Hope Sussex was founded last year by Sadie Single, 44, and her husband Matthew, 51, both former members of the British National Party (BNP) who were expelled in 2009 for leaking the names and details of thousands of party members online after an internal dispute. Before joining the BNP, Sadie had lived in Australia where she was linked to a neo-Nazi group, according to Hope not Hate, the anti-fascist organisation. (1)

The Times also writes that the alleged school “has won the endorsement of Mike Fairclough, the head teacher of West Rise Junior School, a state primary in Eastbourne”, and that his wife is involved. It adds that Fairclough

gave a talk last month in which he spoke about a plan by “globalists” to “disempower people and take away their freedoms”, and praised the “global freedom movement” — the term used to describe the loose conglomeration of anti-establishment conspiracy theorists worldwide.

Fairclough has semi-celebrity status for his approach to teaching, which involves an emphasis on outdoor skills; he also has an unusually rugged and informal appearance, and he was described by the Daily Mail in 2021 as “the hunky headmaster”. Despite making occasional media apppearances (including, inevitably, on GB News), and also a being profiled for The Times last July (“comes across as both wildly unconventional and eminently sensible”, according to the paper’s Anna Maxted), in this instance he “did not respond to a request for comment”. On Twitter, John Bye notes that Fairclough is involved with UsForThem; he “was credited as contributing to their book [The Children’s Inquiry] last summer, and was the lead education signatory on their ‘Not For Them’ campaign against vaccinating children” (2).

The Times article also refers to Sadie Single addressing “an activist meeting in Bexhill last summer” – this detail comes from a video upload to YouTube that can be seen here. The event appears to have been an outside booking at the Bexhill Conservative Club for a group calling itself the 1066 Assembly, and she co-presented with Katy-Jo Murfin, who is also mentioned by The Times. Murfin (daughter of the actor Karl Howman) introduced herself as coming from “an awake family, on my mum’s side”, having been given her first David Icke book to read by her aunt at the age of 17; a second video from the same event shows her in conversion with Dr Niall McCrae, a senior mental health lecturer at Kings College London and Brexit activist who appears to concur with Murfin’s assessment that Dolly Parton’s pro-vaccine adaptation of Jolene is evidence that she has gone through “MK-Ultra mind control”.

Another speaker in Bexhill who is also involved with HOPE Sussex was the DJ Danny Rampling, who spoke about how he became bankrupt after a property development project fell through due to the credit crunch (3).


(1) To repeat something I noted previously, Larry O’Hara wrote about Sadie Single (formerly Sadie Graham) in Notes from the Borderland magazine during her BNP period (issue 5 [2003], p. 62 and issue 7 [2006], p. 32). He described her as having “surfaced in the mid-1990s hunt-sabbing and anarcho-punk scene” and as having worked for a Brighton law firm specialising in animal rights and briefly even the GANDALF case. Her BNP activism brought her some attention, but Larry noted an odd lack of media interest in her unusual history (including at Searchlight magazine). In 2008 it was claimed that “she was one half of an anti-Nick Griffin split last year”. Matt Single was expelled from the BNP in 2007; he told the Mail he had been “naive” to have joined in 2001, and they have both since repudiated the far right.

(2) UsForThem was co-founded by one Molly Kingsley (“Parent, Entrepreneur, Campaigner”). She is critical of the Times article, complaining that by describing the “global freedom movement” as comprising conspiracy theorists the paper is identifing the idea of freedom with conspiracy theories.

(3) Rampling is also involved with the #Together group; another YouTube video shows him in a #together t-shirt chatting with Matt Gubba, who has recently been restored to Twitter shortly after his friend James Melville got some personal attention from Elon Musk. Like Melville, Gubba is a World Economic Forum obsessive, and Rampling expressed his support for Gubba’s grandiose anti-WEF “International Liberty Forum” project.

One thing I’ve noticed is that “anti-globalist” conspiracy rhetoric seems to have a special appeal for people with entrepreneurial backgrounds: when capitalism brings rewards disproportionate to effort, this is the natural order and a just reward for superior business acumen; but when the result is loss rather than profit, this is due to the machinations of globalists rather than because of how the system works.

One Response

  1. Very interesting: and of course my take on Graham that she has most likely worked for Special Branch (and their successors) for a long time, including when she was in the BNP. That she is so immersed in this scene will gratify her secret state paymasters. I strongly surmise she will at the very least not be dissuading others from acting illegally. I also wonder: has Tim Matthews (formerly Hepple) played piano at any of her musical soirees?

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