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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33, No. 6 6 May 1970

Fronting up to the

Fronting up to the

Anthony Armstrong-Jones

Anthony Armstrong-Jones

"There still resides in the British people, albeit hidden under the visible surface of contemporary softness and spiritual decay, those fine qualities of courage, steadfastness, and endurance which have enabled Britons to thrive as a proud breed of men throughout the centuries."

This extract, from an article entitled "New Zealand's British Destiny" in Counter Attack ("published in support of the New Zealand National Front"), perhaps conveys the essence of National Front ideology. The National Front was formed almost two years ago as an amalgam of a number of small nationalistic organisations such as the League of Empire Loyalists. According to the New Zealand National Secretary B.B. Thompson, the Front is "as yet small in numbers". The New Zealand development follows the growth of the parent British body which has the stated aim of rebuilding a new British World System, based upon Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia and Eire.

As might be expected in the light of this aim, the Front has often been described as racist. ("There is an old Anglo-Saxon word that is fittingly synonymous with moderation. It is the word Gutless Ness"—Candour). If regarding negroes as the heathen force of darkness and Anglo-Saxons as angels of light (Rhodesia and South Africa being the last non-gutless bastions of honour and civilisation), constitutes racialism then the suggestion that the Front is a racist organisation would be correct. The Front's publications would have us believe that page 15 Commonwealth countries, unlike South Africa and Rhodesia, "our kith and kin", are beset by a chronic decadence that is hiding the true qualities that in other circumstances would further British destiny.

The New Zealand Front takes its tone from its British counterpart. The two principal evils of international communism and international finance preoccupy National Front thought. Wall Street, it is maintained, is the birthplace of an international conspiracy which has as its aim the submergence of the British Empire. Further, Wall Street is in league with international communism and liberal internationalism. Communists, fellow travellers, liberals and idealists ("the ideal is the enemy of the real"—Spearhead) are often unwitting pawns in this one-world power game and are possessed of the sort of weakness that is likely to poison the tea in British pots.

As an example of the machinations of world finance, international National Front "prophet and patriarch" A.K. Chesterton (to quote a reprint in his magazine Candour—"a speaker of great talent, a man of great culture and remarkable author and journalist"—"A.K." is also the beneficiary of the A.K. Chesterton seventieth birthday fund) maintains that de Gaulle and Pompidou were, and are, puppets of the "Rothschild freres" who are, of course, pro-Soviet.

Other conspirators are the BBC (a subversive organisation dedicated to undermining the sort of patriotism that would inspire a mother to say "If by his death my son could serve England I would not lift a finger to bring him back."—Candour) and Colin Davis who, on following Sir Malcolm Sargent as Master of the Proms, celebrated his promotion by "decreeing that the Proms would no longer terminate with the singing of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory." The BBC is also suspect for "advocating the recent changes in the law against homosexuality."

National Front publications are imbued with a certain Old Testament flavour: "The death of Brian Jones, the infamous rock and roll star," wrote Avril Walters, Candour columnist, "is not unjust . . ." Miss Walters also had "the feeling that if Harold Wilson is consigned to hell at some, one hopes, not too distant date the Devil will have a dickens of a job holding on to his position." The Front's publications seem at times to follow a British Israelist line. Nowhere, it is true, can one find the assertion that the British people are one of the twelve lost tribes of Israel. Nor is it baldly stated that God's chosen reside exclusively between Lands End and John O'Groats (with small outposts on the Dark Continent) but much is made of the destiny of the Anglo-Saxon people. Lengthy reference is made to the manifest and innate superiority of Britons. These assertions are constantly justified by reference to the inferior nature of other races and ominous conspiracies such as World Jewry.

It would be easy to dismiss the National Front as an unimportant and unattractive minority group more suited to a world of brass rubbings, cricket and cucumber sandwiches than to modern politics. However, there is every indication, judging by the technical standard and sheer volume of its publications, that the Front, in the United Kingdom at least, is surprisingly strong and becoming stronger. The New Zealand Front appears more uncertain and self-conscious than its strident British counterpart but there is evidence to suggest that it is more than a pale imitation. Much is made, in the Front's publicity here, of the danger of closer involvement in Asian affairs. This will result in "our present culture vanishing under an Asiatic tide".

Policy Objectives
1.To replace what is known as 'The Commonwealth" by a modern British world system which, while ensuring the sovereign independence of each nation, would work for the closest co-operation between the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. Canada, and Rhodesia, and in which, if they so desired, the Republics of South Africa and Ireland would each occupy an honoured place.
2.To permit the association with this new world system of approved Afro-Asian countries on terms acceptable to all the foundation members.
3.To work to achieve for this new world system adequate economic and agricultural self-sufficiency and the financial and military strength needed to guarantee this British world system its freedom both from Communist domination and from coercion by the power of the international money-lending houses and their financial and political agencies.
4.To work with the British National Front and affiliated bodies to help in the promotion within non-Communist Europe and elsewhere suitable alliances which would replace involvement in treaty organisations destructive of national sovereignty, and would resist hostile interference by the United Nations and similar organisations.
5.To give unremitting support to British and other European communities overseas in their maintenance of civilisation in lands threatened with reversion to barbarism.
6.To eradicate the present malaise of liberal internationalism and to imbue New Zealand's people with pride in our past and future.
7.To preserve our British way of life and to prevent the emergence of a race problem by ensuring that New Zealand accepts as immigrants only persons of selected European stock.