Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Faces Behind Race War in UK; Neo-Nazis Dreamed of Creating a 'Whites-Only' Homeland in Essex

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Faces Behind Race War in UK; Neo-Nazis Dreamed of Creating a 'Whites-Only' Homeland in Essex

Article excerpt


AN INVESTIGATION into Britain's neo-Nazis has revealed how racist thugs in Combat 18 dreamed of creating a " whitesonly" homeland in Essex and were party to a plot to assassinate Ken Livingstone.

The extremists grew from a BNP security force called the East End Barmy Army into Britain's most notorious racist faction. Key figures mobilised football hooligans from across England and courted loyalist terrorists, handing over guns bought in the south London underworld.

After their violent takeover of the lucrative Nazi-punk music scene C18, which took its name from the initials of Adolf Hitler - the first and eighth of the alphabet - helped to inspire racist violence across Europe. This culminated in a bombing campaign and the murder of two policemen in Scandinavia.

The racists started with crude propaganda in a magazine called Redwatch - urging followers to "undermine, demoralise, destroy" by targeting Left-wingers and antifascists with hate mail and abusive phone calls. One London teacher tells how skinheads marched into his classroom to present him with a death threat.

A new book on C18 charts how the group's tactics moved from street fights and rampaging through Brick Lane and Kilburn to plotting a campaign of letter bombs against celebrities and Leftwing rivals.

The plot to kill Mr Livingstone was hatched by the loyalist paramilitary UDA in the early 1990s but was aborted, claims author Nick Lowles, after a C18 member compromised the operation.

C18 founder Charlie Sargent - who is serving life for murder - dreamed up the idea of an Aryan homeland in Essex. He set an example-by moving out of London to Chelmsford. But the squat, balding man known mockingly as the Ginger Pig, found other East Enders unwilling to follow suit.

Lowles, editor of the anti-Nazi magazine Searchlight, who has had remarkable access to C18 insiders, describes how the organisation collapsed into murderous feuding over money.

In spite of the group's reputation for racist violence, C18 leaders were preoccupied by turf wars with other Rightwing factions like the British Movement and British Hammerskins, vying for control of the lucrative neo-Nazi music scene.

Lowles details the attempted assassinations of rivals allegedly plotted by members of C18 as the group all but collapsed.

After two years of disarray, Lowles warns that this summer's riots in Oldham demonstrate C18's potential to exploit racial unrest, buoyed by the BNP's best general election results yet.

The investigation also reveals how the racists raised funds through illicit cross-Channel bootlegging and pornography, as well as dealing in drugs and organising badgerbaiting and dog fights.

White Riot: The Violent Story Of Combat 18, by Nick Lowles, is published next week by Milo Books, price [pound]7. …

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