The National Front are one of the longest running far-right, racist and fascist political parties in the world. Formed in 1967 it’s first leader; A.K. Chesterton was Political Secretary and biographer to the wartime Nazi Sympathiser and founder of the British Union of Fascists; Sir Oswald Mosley.
The elderly Chesterton resigned his post in 1971 and by 1972; John Tyndall gained control to become leader. Tyndall had served time in jail for firearm offences and was openly supportive of Hitler and his Nazi Party, having been pictured in full Nazi uniform in front of a portrait of Adolf Hitler. Even Tyndall realised that outright Nazism did not win votes, so instead decided on a strategy of hiding behind the Union Jack in the form of ‘Racial Nationalism’.
Conservative, Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in 1968 had helped the NF lay out it’s political ideology in the form of ‘Racial Nationalism’ and when expelled from the Tory Party by Ted Heath; many Powell supporters joined the NF as a result; although Powell himself never did.
In 1972 Ugandan War Criminal; Idi Amin gave 90 days notice to Asians who were not Ugandan citizens to leave the country. Many thousands were British passport holders and arrived in the UK only to be met by assaults, firebombing of their new homes and businesses. Instigated and carried out (with help from others) by Tyndalls National Front Party.
This violent pattern continued throughout the 70’s with the NF having around 17,500 members at it’s peak. Emboldened by their numbers; demonstrations, paper sales and marches were conducted deliberately through areas of ethnic populations and areas of racial tensions such as Leicester and Bradford, Lewisham, Islington and Brick Lane in London; often resulting in violence between ethnic minorities and anti-fascists. The NF plan was to to stir up hate and divide communities by using violence and intimidation to anyone who stood in their way.
Anti-Fascists, communities and the labour movement did stand in their way, and won. Successful counter demonstrations, the formation of the Anti-Nazi League and initiatives like Rock Against Racism challenged the racist and intolerant attitudes of the NF and successfully got the anti-racist message through to the general public and politicians. The sacrifice made by anti-fascists cannot be underestimated. Kevin Gately and Blair Peach both died during violent confrontations with NF and Police.
1976-1980 had seen Tyndall and right-hand man; Martin Webster become household names but throughout the 80’s and 90’s the NF was racked, yet again, with internal discontent and factionalism. Membership had steadily declined from the 70’s and factions like Nick Griffin and Rod Harringtons’ Political Soldiers’ group further added to the decline of the neo-Nazi party.
More recently, near the end of 2013, internal feuding saw Ian Edward resign and replaced with Kevin Bryan. Edward changed his mind declaring that the vote for Bryan was void. Edward is the signatory with the Electoral Commission and therefore has kept his role as NF Chairman as he has not informed them of the change in Chair. Kevin Bryan also claims to be the real NF Chairman.
John Hutchins Tyndall (first on the left) in full Nazi uniform
The National Front has provided almost every other UK far-right organisation with Senior members; both past and present like; BNP’s Nick Griffin. Rod Harrington and MEP Andrew Brons, The National Front, now a shadow of it’s former self regularly link-up with other far-right groups who share the same ideologies, such as ultra-nationalism, fanatical racism and out-right nazism. Affiliates include:
Individuals of the English Defence League
Scottish Defence League
Blood & Honour
Combat 18/Racial Volunteer Force
I Combat 18 / Racial Volunteer Force British Movement