National Action: 'racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic', but not 'concerned in terrorism'

Home Secretary Amber Rudd's decision to ban the extreme right-wing group National Action under the provisions of the Terrorism Act 2000 looks unlawful, writes Christopher Goff.

It would be very wide of the mark to say that Home Secretary Amber Rudd is 'one of the people'. Born in London to a stockbroker father, and educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and Edinburgh University, the phrase 'charmed life' springs to mind. Ms Rudd is clearly an individual who has known nothing other than the cosy middle-class life into which she was born, and in consequence the ideology of extreme right-wing or extreme left-wing groups, or for that matter the ideology of radical Islamist groups, must seem very distant concepts – things which she might readily admit to 'not being able to get her head around'. But given her background, we can forgive her for this. And while Amber Rudd is never going to be able to understand the rationale of young people who might, for example, be inclined to give National Socialist salutes in the street, or for that matter young people who might in response be inclined to give clenched-fist communist salutes in the street, I would kindly like to point out to her that these are the type of things that happen in free societies.

That communism killed far more people than National Socialism ever did is something that the history books at Edinburgh University probably never told Amber Rudd. People like Amber Rudd are conditioned to recoil in horror at the merest notion of there existing in modern-day Britain a group of people who might seek to espouse views that casual onlookers might immediately be inclined to put into the 'National Socialist' category. And in the case of Amber Rudd's recent decision to proscribe the extreme right-wing group National Action as a 'terrorist organization', one can only think at the time that her middle-class sensibilities must have got the better of her. Either that, or she courted the opinion on the matter of whether or not to ban National Action of Shadow Home Secretary Dianne Abbott, and of course if Dianne Abbott were ever to have her way I think even UKIP might end up on the banned list.

Amber Rudd's decision to proscribe National Action as a 'terrorist organization' appears in very large part to be linked to Thomas Mair's murder, in June 2016, of the Labour MP Jo Cox – the Member of Parliament for the West Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen of whom it has been said 'campaigned tirelessly for refugees'. It seems the only reason why the Home Office did not proscribe National Action in the immediate aftermath of Jo Cox's murder was to avoid the possibility of the decision from interfering in the trial of Thomas Mair, and which has now concluded. The Government at the time must have wanted to be seen to be doing something in response to Jo Cox's murder, and the fact that the likes of Amber Rudd have in the meantime had to sit on their hands awaiting the conclusion of Thomas Mair's trial must have been a frustration for them.

Interestingly, during Thomas Mair's trial it emerged that he had never actually had any significant association with any UK-based far-right or extreme right-wing group, including National Action, the membership of which is in any case mostly comprised of young people – a small matter of fact which was never going to prevent the banning of National Action because of just how well the group fitted the profile of an organization that the Government ought to be seen to be banning. And furthermore, a claim which first appeared on a US-based website saying that Mair had in May 2000 attended some kind of 'far-right' meeting in London has also been exposed as a complete fabrication. Apparently, the lie was intended to dirty the name of the US-based group which organized the meeting – National Alliance – and which it of course suceeded in doing because the truth on this matter did not appear until after the lie had done the rounds in the controlled media.

While I do not think that the proscription of National Action will make anyone safer, one thing the ban has managed to do is bring into focus the important issue of exactly what people do with power once they are given it, or put another way, how they choose to use it. Of her decision to ban National Action, Amber Rudd said the group was "a racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organization which stirs-up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology, and I will not stand for it". But if you thought that Amber Rudd was going to say that members of National Action had been found to be engaging in the commissioning of firearms or explosives, or had perhaps been planning some kind of terrorist attack, she didn't because no such evidence has ever emerged against any members of National Action. Instead, Amber Rudd's decision to ban the group seems to be one entirely based on a certain psychology of hers, I think largely inspired by the fear felt amongst her political colleagues and fellow MPs of the possibility of someone else stepping out of the shadows and carrying out another political assassination similar to that of Thomas Mair's murder of Jo Cox. Had Thomas Mair remotely anything to do with National Action, then Amber Rudd's decision to ban the group might have looked a good one. But those decisions in life that people make based on fear rarely tend to be good ones when viewed in the cold light of day, and clearly the Home Secretary is not immune to such failings.

National Action will now been added to the Home Office's List of Proscribed Terrorist Organizations, and which includes the following: ISIS/ISIL; al Qaeda; Somalia's al Shabaab; Boko Haram of Nigeria; the Palestinian groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and [the military wing of] Hizbollah; the Chechen Army of the Islamic Caliphate; the Turkish PKK; and both the Pakistan and Afghanistan branches of the Taliban. That Home Secretary Amber Rudd thinks that National Action belongs in such company beggars belief, and I doubt very much that her decision to ban the group on account of what the Terrorism Act 2000 terms as its 'concern in terrorism' would stand up to a moment's scrutiny in a Court of Law.

There will inevitably exist in any free society a sphere of political activity that members of the liberal-Establishment like Amber Rudd will never quite be able to come to terms with. But of this, one could say that the existence of controversial political groups like National Action is exactly one of the hallmarks of a free society. My point being ... just so long as off the back of this no-one actually kids him or herself into thinking that Britain is a free society, because the likes of Amber Rudd are clearly doing their best to make sure that it is not.

First the liberal-Establishment came for members of National Action, and no-one spoke out …

Copyright © Christopher Goff
Tag: Freedom
Uploaded: 15 December, 2016.