Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lewisham 1977

I attended many anti-National Front demos in the 1970s, but not the most famous/infamous/violent one. Too far for us Northerners - and there was probably a party on.

Tottenham Lad did.

Thirty years ago, while I was still at school and in proto-left-wing mode, I attended the anti-NF demonstration, witnessing its violence at first hand, ending up the day lying unconscious, beaten, head bleeding, in a grave yard just of Lewisham High Street; oh the folly of youth.

What did "Smash the National Front" mean ?

The nearest English lad crashed to the ground unconscious as he was viciously bottled. The second lad went down initially as he was hit, but tried vainly to get back to up to his feet by crawling along the pavement on extended all fours. A further brutal blow from a bottle sent him down again, to leave him lying on the ground with all his limbs twitching wildly like some grotesque children's wind up toy. The last English lad, turning to see the fate of his two mates, and outnumbered, sensibly made a dash for it, out pacing his would be attackers.

All this happened, literally, in a flash. Having been born, bred, and brought up in Tottenham I can't say I was shocked at what I saw, even though it was the first unprovoked violent attack I had ever seen by grown men. From the silence of the middle class SWP members I think it might be safe to say that more than a few of them were slightly disturbed by what they had seen. Even then I felt sorry for the lads who had been brought down and thought it was unsporting to attack, unprovoked, three strangers blindly from behind.

The Lad now wonders what happened to those three lads. His politics have changed since those days and it shows, but he writes it as he sees it, with hindsight.


Fran said...


I'm not quite sure what conclusion you wish me to draw from your post, but I hope it's not that TL has now seen the light.

I attended some anti-NF protests too during the '70s, and did some research on the leaders of those groups.

They really were supporters of Hitler. Tyndall and others at the top of the NF were famously photographed parading themselves in Nazi uniforms, and they had extensive connections with the remains of the Nazi old guard, of whom there were still plenty, and with Nazi groups across Europe.

Tottenham Lad's story also does not reveal the virulent Jew hatred with which 'English Nationalist' movements were - and still are, in my opinion - riddled, however much Nick Griffin tries to distance the public face of the BNP from it. Melanie Phillips comments on this here

What's so sad about this story is that both sides had their thugs. You know it, I know it. and Tottenham Lad knew it at the time but in his anger has forgotten it. Had he been caught isolated and lost by Tyndall's henchman, he would have ended up with the same bruises - possibly worse ones.

In fact the post reads to me like a case of anger transferrence. TL was an angry lad and is now an angry man. The target of his anger has transferred, that's all. Once he hated 'Fascists' now he hates 'Muggers'.

Poor sod.

JohnM said...

I can't say I disagree with Fran. I went on that demo too, along with Wood Green and Southall the same year. I didn't get involved with any violence but I saw plenty of running and stone throwing.

The change for me is that I now regard the SWP as equally vile as the NF/BNP. It's hardly a binary issue, except in the sense that the solution to one group of collectivist anti-democrats is not another group of collectivist anti-democrats.

Anonymous said...

I agree with both comments on TL. I like his site. He has done good stuff on the number of policemen killed by black or other ethnic criminals but like most of Laban's readers I loathe the BNP.

However, I also think that the anti-white racial politics that dominates our 'discourse' must be broken. But how will it come about, that is the question. We Brits will never go near Nick Griffin and his ilk.

Perhaps, perhaps, if the Tories get thrashed again at the next election on a very low turnout and the EU gets even madder, latest whiz, we need 20 MILLION immigrants and an economic recession, will do the trick.

recovering liberal said...

An interesting and illuminating set of replies in the three comments above.

I admire Melanie Phillip’s Jewish ethnocentrism but I wish she'd reciprocate and admire ethnocentrism in us. We English are tied down by our overdeveloped sense of decency; we won't do or say anything to upset Jews or our mixed-race friends and family. We would rather commit national suicide then risk giving offence. The three comments above are great examples of this. I just wish that Melanie, and my mixed-race friends, would realise that when we go down the tubes, they go down after us. British nationalism (at least as a mass movement, rather than a movement of outcasts and cranks) is not something that they should be frightened of. In fact if they (Melanie and my mixed-race friends) want their children and grandchildren to continue to live in the culture they claim to enjoy, it is vital that they release us from our self-imposed censorship of anything smacking of English ethnocentrism.

The BNP received 10% of the vote around here in the last local election. I don't believe that 10% of my neighbours are knuckle dragging, slavering, Jew obsessed, Nazi beasts. If Nick Griffin is leading the BNP away from its Jewish obsessed past towards a more balanced, and mainstream politics then all those who wish the English nation to survive should turnoff their mind control filters, strap on a pair, and do what they can to bring about the acceptance of the BNP as a legitimate political party. Only THEN will “the anti-white racial discourse that dominates our politics”, complained of by the last anonymous, be broken.

And I agree that Tottenham Lad doesn't post often but what he does write is top class.

Laban said...

Fran - I don't wish anyone to draw anything from the post - I just present it as it is. His experiences and mine have been different since those days - he's stayed in Tottenham whereas I left West Yorkshire for the leafy (and mostly monocultural) West Country, so while I wouldn't use his language I hesitate to write him off as a bigoted Nazi, not having walked in his shoes.

How did he get to where he is ? What experiences moulded his views now ? If you read his blog (nowadays updated sporadically) he can tell you himself.

Fran said...


I don't think TL is a bigoted Nazi either. But the leaders of the National Front, such as Tyndall were. Clearly unsanctioned immigration to the UK - unsanctioned by the electorate, that is - has brought its problems. However, I just don't think that referring to black people as 'muggers' and joining the BNP is the answer.

The BNP is already a legitimate party, RL. It has every right to exist and its members every right to their views. But a lot of us don't think that its policies are respectable, based as they are on scapegoating and thinly disguised racial ideology.

recovering liberal said...


If the BNP were a legitimate political party their leaders would be invited on to Question Time, their candidates wouldn't lose their jobs for standing in elections and their activists would not be hounded by the police when canvassing for votes. More to the point , businessmen like me wouldn't need to hide our support for the BNP under mountains of obfuscation.

"scapegoating and thinly disguised racial ideology"
That sounds very much like Melanie Phillips' stance towards the BNP in the article you cited, with approval, earlier. And good luck to her. You don't seem to understand, Fran, that nationalism MEANS scapegoating (to use your word)those outside the nation whilst defending those within it. How are the British supposed to survive if we can't distinguish between those who are British and those who are not!

That portion of public which cannot contemplate the free, ethnocentric self-expression of the British people is condemning the rest of us to national suicide.

Dave said...

You can dislike the NF all you want and I'm no fan of them, but joining or supporting Communist organisations is no alternative.
Communists killed at least 20million Russians 100 million Chinese, and a higher percentage of the population of Cambodia than the Nazis killed Jews. ETC.

So I don't believe it and never have that these leftists and 'ex-leftists' used to join those Commie organisations for peace, love and justice reasons that they pretend, they simply used the NF as a bogeyman excuse to push their own authoritarian agenda. Ofcourse many naive people were tricked, but plenty knew what they were doing too.

I have a distinct distrust of 'ex-leftists' many of these people seem to still believe a very large amount of the worst parts of L3 crap, such as abortion on demand, a drugs free for all, etc, and are only trying to distance themselves from the left because they are frightened of Muslims.

Larry Teabag said...

I hesitate to write him off as a bigoted Nazi, not having walked in his shoes.

How did he get to where he is ? What experiences moulded his views now ?

Quite right Laban: society, not the individual concerned, is to blame. Well, when it suits your purposes, anyway.

alex zeka said...

Dear Fran et al,

One conclusion it might be sensible to draw would be that the NF was not noticeably more violent than its ideological mirror opponents. From this, you might draw the further conclusion that political peacability is a luxury we can no longer afford.

We could afford it back when we had an ethnically homogenous society, where political questions were a matter of what you thought was moral/in the national interest. Now, with politics becoming a proxy for ethnic conflict (as Darwin predicts will happen when racially divergent populations ingle), such a debating society mien is an anachronism.

Laban said...

Touche, Larry.

Larry Teabag said...

Wow. Thanks, Laban.