The Evening Standard Says “Skrew You!”

Below, Saturday Night has received and reprinted an article from a British magazine, The Evening Standard, dated April 1989. Its focus is one that has been controversial within the scene for over 30 years now.

The subject: Ian Stuart and Skrewdriver.

Saturday Night does not endorse, condone or promote the ideologies or beliefs of political extremism, no matter what side of the fence they fall on. The views presented below represent those of the author, Ian Stuart and the subjects the author has interviewed, and nothing more.

Why then is this article being posted?

By way of brief explanation, it exists as a historical document and a snapshot of a part of England’s skinhead subculture, delivered from an English point of view from an established and respected periodical. It is of journalistic and historical importance, if only to those few who actually make the study of youth driven subcultures near academic. Though reviled by many, Ian Stuart’s life, the movements he participated in and the records that he recorded have become part of the history of the subculture, and continue to be analyzed to this day.

There are several interesting subtexts to this article, including the “weariness” the author implies exists in Stuart’s tone near the end of the interview. Suggesting what? Perhaps nothing. But there are accounts from friends and enemies alike that, between the lines, Stuart may have been growing tired of everything his infamy had saddled him with – that perhaps he was tired of the notoriety his name and actions had brought him. Had he become worn down? Had he accepted that his actions were to bring about the fate that awaited him? No one will ever know, but articles like these spurn such debates, and can be looked back upon now in several different ways; as a cautionary tale, as the outline of the political manifesto of a controversial figure or possibly just a simple sensational news article to sell copies of a magazine.

That decision is the reader’s own to decide.

THE EVENING STANDARD MAGAZINE. April 1989.

Cover of EVENING STANDARD

Ian Stuart is the figurehead of Blood and Honour, the radical Neo-Nazi movement whose influence in London is disturbingly on the increase. Inciting young people to racial hatred through its strident music, and forming strong links with a number of terrorist organizations, the movement is attempting to vindicate and revive the “vision” of the Furher.

By Keith Dovkants.

Photographs by John Rogers

Ian Stuart ran a fingertip gingerly over a recent wound that glistened like a splash of ketchup on his shaven skull. We were in one of the few West End bars from which he has not been banned, discussing his role model.

‘I admire everything Hitler did, apart from one thing.’

Really? And what was that?

‘Losing.’

There is nothing compromising about Ian Stuart. He is a Nazi, a racist and according to his record, a thug. He is also at the centre of a Nazi revival that has prompted excoriation from the Left and profound unease elsewhere. ‘He and his movement are turning London into a Mecca for Neo-Nazis and fascists from all over the world. It is extremely worrying.’ This view, expressed by a senior member of the Board Of Eputies Of British Jews, is just one criticism levelled against Stuart and his organisation, Blood And Honour. He also stands accused of inciting racial hatred and peddling recycled nazi propaganda. These are among the charges Stuart would be hard pressed to defend.

In a series of pickets and demonstrations earlier this year the London-based Anti-Fascist Action drew attention to two boutiques in Carnaby Street, which were selling Blood And Honour literature and paraphernalia. It was noisome stuff: cartoons depicting violence against blacks, records with songs extolling white power, pictures of youngsters making Seig Heil salutes. Walking out of one of the shops with a copy of Blood And Honour’s magazine, emblazoned with its swastika-variant emblem and bearing a cover picture of a skinhead joining hands with a ‘Wizard’ of the Ku Klux Klan, it was hard to believe that such ideas could take hold in a city that still bears scars inflicted by the Third Reich. But the evidence suggests that ian Stuart is sowing his seeds of hatred in fertile ground.

He was born Ian Stuart Donaldson, 30 years ago in Pulton-le-Fylde, a middle-class suburb of Blackpool. His father, a toolmaker, owns a small factory and his mother is a civil servant. An early aversion to communism led to the espousal of right-wing politics and membership of the National Front at the age of 20. But he broke with the National Front three years ago after a row over money earned by his rock band, Skrewdriver. Skrewdriver was one of the star turns of the National Front’s White Noise Club, a lucrative sideline run by former north London Polytechnic student Patrick Harrington. White Noise organises concerts and sells records by bands that reflect its political stance in their material. It is considered an important fund-raising element in Harrington’s faction of the National Front. Harrington’s outfit is despised by Blood And Honour followers who call it the Nutty Fairy party. The animosity is common to both sides.

Skrewdriver is at the leading edge of the Blood And Honour movement. The band combines hard rock music with the lyrics written by Stuart to encapsulate his vision of a racially ‘pure’ National Socialist Europe: Our pride is our race and our enemies scatter and run. The songs are a thinly-disguised call to arms, delivered in an angry, rebellious style. They are extremely successful within the widening cadre of skinhead-Nazism. Skrewdriver has recorded six albums, a similar number of singles and sells through a German company which markets them energetically. If it were not for the success of the music and the following it has attracted, concern over Blood And Honour would not be running at its current high level. And it is high.

Dossiers on Blood And Honour are to be found in Scotland Yard and the Nazi-monitoring organisations of Germany and the United States. Two elements provoke anxiety: the movement’s appeal and influence on the young and, at least as worrying, links with foreign Nazis and paramiltary organisations. An inquiry into Blood And Honour’s background shows well-established connections with European extremists and the Ku Klux Klan in the United States. Thule, the Belgian group which sprang from the now proscribed VMO(Vlaamse Militanted Orde), represents Blood And Honour in Gengium. Ian Stuart has formed a line of communication with the Ulster Defence Association in Northern Ireland. The Federal Office For The Protection Of The Constitution, West Germany’s Nazi watchdog, has a file on Blood And Honour that suggests involvement with the FAP, a German Neo-Nazi party that campaigns for a return to the Third Reich.

ian

In one recent issue of Blood And Honour’s magazine, the No Remorse movement was advertising T-shirts and badges, including one bearing a portrait of Hitler on a swastika and the words: ‘Adolf Hitler Was Right’. No Remorse is another Nazi skinhead band, which sells its albums by mail order from a London post office box number. Its songs have violent, inciting, racist lyrics. Six Million Lives, for example, claims the Holocaust did not happen. The Board of Deputies Of British Jews says: ‘Blood And Honour was formed by people who broke away from the National Front because they were not Nazi enough. They are patently Neo-Nazi and you only have to look back in history to see it’s a worrying development. ‘Their contact with European extremists suggests that they are becoming involved with groups that have a track record of terrorism: Italian fascists, for example, have been behind bomb outrages and we know of at leaset one bomb plot hatched by right-wing extremists here to bomb the Notting Hill carnival. ‘Blood And Honour go straight to young people through the music. This is what makes them dangerous. While we don’t think they havea a mass following at present, they do have support. The long term risk is that young people are growing up withougt a direct link to the horrors of Nazism. They are being introduced to it from a differetn perspective and, if we don’t couteract it, the consequences could be appalling.’

Unmesh Desai, a community leader in East London, believes Blood And Honour followers are responsible for attacks on Asians and blacks, prompted by the overtly racist doctrine preached by the new Nazi-skinhead bands. ‘They are more dangerous than the National Front and British National Party in this respect because they are a movement, not an organisation. They have cultuvated these links with groups abroand through the music network and they are clearly urging young people to make racist attacks. Blood And Honour is becoming a mass movement and the authorities don’t seem to be doing anything about it.’

Ian Stuart and other Blood And Honour personalities are based in the King’s Cross area. It has now become difficult territory for Ian Stuart. The entrance to his tiny flat in a square near the station has been daubed with pink paint and pickets have been organised by Anti-Fascist Action at pubs where he and his cronies meet. He is appalled by this: ‘The reds talk about civil liberties… what about my civil liberties? I can’t go into a shop round here because the communists have told the shopkeepers not to serve me. The only ones who will sell me anything are the Asians…’ He claims that his movement is not active politically and seeks only to promote ‘white pride’. That gash on his head, he said, came from a clash with ‘Reds’: ‘They found out we were doing a gig near Swiss Cottage and I was having a quiet drink in the pub with my mates and about 15 of them came storming in. They had baseball bats. They tried to smash my elbows and knees with the bats and I got this cut on the head…’ It needed 26 stitches, he said. He admits that he has served six months in Wormwood Scrubs for an assault on a Nigerian.

Is he, as his enemies claim, a thug? ‘I’ll defend myself if I have to. But these Reds have had it all their own way so long, they are worried now because someone else is prepared to stand up to them. Rock stars have been peddling the Left’s standpoint for years and no one has complained. All I’m doing is putting forward the nationalist, patriotic view. ‘Blood And Honour is not really a political. It’s a white pride movement. What really upsets me is that record shops won’t stock our records but you can go in and buy pro-IRA or ANC songs without any problems. ‘Yes, I do believe Hitler was right in many ways. He suffered for his beliefs the way we are suffering now. We know lots of people are against us, but there are a growing number who can see the truth of what we are saying.’

That number is probably something over 2,000. Ian Stuart claims he could fill the Albert Hall with supporters, if he were able to hold a concert without interference from ‘the commies’. That may be so, but for the moment he is the bête noire of the anti-fascist movement and any move he makes can be expected to attract at least a picket. ‘We have to advertise our gigs by word of mouth,’ he complained. ‘If they get to hear about it, they want to turn it into a bloodbath.’

A pained cadence enters his voice, suggesting the weary patience of a man whose Kampf is against an unjust world. But when night falls on his paint-splashed bedsit, the curtains he draws to shut out that world is a six-foot-long flag bearing a swastika.

 

Advertisements

One Response to “The Evening Standard Says “Skrew You!””

  1. schoscho42@gmail.com Says:

    Green Day started out as a Nazi band as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: