In 1998, American researcher Laird Wilcox published The Watchdogs. This large format pamphlet is a sequel to his seminal study Crying Wolf, (1) which catalogues the fabrication and exploitation of “hate crime” hoaxes in the United States. The Watchdogs is a study of:
private agenda-driven organizations who, as a primary function, watch, observe, surveil, spy upon or “stalk” a particular class of individuals and/or organizations for the purpose of gathering intelligence and reporting upon their values, opinions, beliefs or actions with reference to a particular issue for the purpose of exposing, defaming, degrading or otherwise impeding the furtherance of their objectives. (2)
Wilcox was active in the left during his student and younger days, and still professes a leftist bent, but over the past decade or so he has become deeply suspicious of many such organisations, particularly those operating in the race relations field, and with good reason.
One reason for the widespread belief in all manner of conspiracy theories is distrust of the government. The official position on flying saucers is that they don’t exist, which is as good a reason as any for believing in them. The official position on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is that he was gunned down by a lone, deranged assassin; the documentation for this theory (3) is impressive, yet an entire industry has sprung up around the Kennedy assassination. Most of what passes for research on this subject is highly speculative, much of it is based on ignorance, (4) and some on outright fraud.
People are right to be distrustful of the government, of all governments, and especially of the British Government, which has an obsession with secrecy that would put the former Soviet Union to shame. But governments are not the only liars out there.
Since the 1970s the self-styled “anti-racist” industry has mushroomed in Britain. One could be forgiven for thinking that Apartheid has been disbanded, that state-enforced segregation is a thing of the past, or even that slavery was outlawed in the British Empire in the 19th Century; the problem of racism we are told grows worse with each passing day if not with each passing hour. By incessant lies, dishonest lobbying and all manner of dirty tricks, the “anti-racist” lobby has succeeded in foisting more and more Draconian race laws on Britain (and other countries), suppressing free speech, legitimate debate, and causing widespread resentment amongst the broad masses of ordinary white people. And they are still not satisfied, nor will they be until the last white woman has passed child-bearing age. If this sounds like paranoia, the reader is referred to the genocidal pronouncements of Paul Kurtz, and of other like-minded individuals, who welcome the end of the white world with open arms. (5)
In Britain, a large number of “anti-racist” watchdog groups are active in the private sector, in the public sector, and in between (ie in the voluntary sector where they may be funded by a mixture of funds from national government, local government, foundations and private subscription). To list them all is beyond the resources of the current writer, but a few of the more active, together with their publications, are listed below in alphabetical order. Like every organisation from the United Nations to your local pet shop, most of these groups have their own websites, or at least a few web pages here and there, so point your browser at Yahoo! and key in a few relevant search terms for more detailed information. (6)
Many of these groups have ideological differences, the most notable and controversial being between the passionately pro-Zionist Anglo-Jewish Establishment (which does not concern us here) and the anti-Zionist left. The fact that these groups often oppose or even attack each other (sometimes with vehemence) does not prevent them from co-operating in a popular front against the mythical fascist menace. Many “anti-fascist” and “anti-racist” groups have overlapping memberships: the late Hilary Arnott was both a member of the CARF collective and on the editorial staff of Race & Class. And it is the world’s worst kept secret that the Anti-Nazi League is basically a front for the Socialist Workers Party.
The techniques of watchdog groups include:
Outright lying - which however blatant and readily falsifiable seems always to be extraordinarily effective.
Scaremongering: exaggerating the scale of racially motivated attacks, blowing up trivial incidents out of all proportion, and (as in Ram’s case) manufacturing racial attacks out of incidents which have no real racial angle.
Ad hominem attacks and smears of guilt by association.
Pressure behind the scenes based on all of the above.
A full discussion of all the dirty tricks these groups engage in would take us far afield, but one brief example will suffice.
In 1992, the Jewish cemetery in Brighton was said to have been daubed with swastikas. As a result of this outrage, three hundred people took part in an Anti Nazi League sponsored march which was addressed by the town’s Jewish mayor. The swastikas were removed by the gardener - who didn’t exist! (7)
None of the above means that every single act, project or campaign undertaken by such groups is counterproductive or even totally worthless, whatever the motivations of those running them. As well as endorsing Ram’s lies uncritically, the “loony left” championed the victims of many gross miscarriages of justice when it was neither fashionable nor profitable to do so. Although it is greatly exaggerated, racially motivated violence does exist and should not be tolerated, but organisations that ruthlessly subjugate ideology to truth on the premise that the end justifies the means have no place in shaping social or legal policy in any civilised society.
April 18, 2001.
Anti-Fascist Action: probably the most violent of legal “anti-fascist” organisations in Britain today, it produces little in the way of propaganda and regards most other “anti-fascist” organisations with contempt. It publishes a magazine Fighting Talk, the title of which speaks for itself.
Anti Nazi League: known on the far right as ANAL, this organisation is one of many that operates a no-platform for racists and fascists. And remember, they decide who is a racist and/or fascist. ANAL is, and always has been, the child of the Socialist Workers Party. In spite of its heavy Jewish membership, it has no friends in the Jewish establishment; the one thing that can be said in its favour is that it condemns Zionism as loudly as it condemns “fascism”.
Anti Racist Alliance: one of the more moderate groups, it has a large black membership, but is still not to be trusted.
Asian Times: this is a weekly newspaper. It is not an agenda driven organisation/publication as such, but its uncritical endorsement of the Ram campaign’s lies bring it within that category as far as this case is concerned.
Board of Deputies of British Jews: this organisation has a “defence committee” which has been responsible for some of the more subtle and damaging anti-racist propaganda going back to the 1930s.
CARF: The acronym stands for Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, which is also the name of its bi-monthly magazine. This group, which is run as a collective, appears to be made up mainly of whinging, white middle class campaigners. Its disrespect for truth is absolute; nothing it says about race issues is to be taken at face value. An uncritical supporter of Ram.
Commission for Racial Equality: all the more perfidious in that this was a statutory body. Its perfidy has been well documented by such newspapers as the Daily Mail, and even by its own employees. (8) The nadir of the CRE’s perfidy came in 1998 when it ran a series of high profile, racially offensive advertisements which it intended to follow up with posters asking people why they hadn’t complained about the original ads!
The campaign backfired, not least because of the lunatic waste of taxpayers’ money.
[The CRE no longer exists; it was merged into the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2010].
Institute of Jewish Policy Research (formerly the Institute of Jewish Affairs): an extremely influential and at times perfidious organisation; Jewish Policy Research is an academic think tank which publishes a journal, Patterns Of Prejudice.
Institute of Race Relations: founded in 1958, this body styles itself a think tank, and is a registered charity; in the name of combatting racism it has produced some of the most subtilely insidious anti-white propaganda known to man, in particular a series of pamphlets on the theme of “roots of racism” which it published in the 1980s. It publishes a theoretical journal Race & Class. The IRR is an uncritical supporter of Ram.
Labour Left Briefing: also known as Labour Briefing, London Labour Briefing or just Briefing, this is a monthly magazine/pressure group run by extremist elements within the Labour Party. It has a reasonably heavy emphasis on race with the usual lack of critical faculty about alleged black injustice and white racism. Its main target though is the Labour leadership; it has a particular distaste for Tony Blair but to its credit it has made a principled stand on Palestinian rights and has opposed the ongoing sanctions against Iraq.
National Assembly Against Racism: formed only in 1994, it describes itself as an umbrella organisation. It has a larger black and non-white membership than most. The NAAR has given space to the Ram campaign, reporting its lies uncritically.
National Civil Rights Movement: a relatively new organisation which runs a number of campaigns. Ram’s photograph has appeared on its website. According to their report, Ram stabbed Clarke Pierce [sic] with “a little Stanley knife”. The canard that the victim refused to be treated by a woman doctor, went home and died, is also repeated. It is difficult to take seriously as a champion of civil rights any organisation that rehashes such easily falsifiable, blatant lies. The Observer of February 6, 2000 reported that it had elected Ram a vice-president.
When the current writer visited this site in June and July 2001, it struck me that [almost] all the campaigns listed by the NCRM were on behalf of non-whites, ranging from the Reel campaign and the Stephen Lawrence campaign to Ram and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Of these four, the only one who was definitely a victim of an attack was Stephen Lawrence, who was stabbed to death by one member of an all-white gang while waiting for a bus in April 1993. Lakhvinder Reel was drowned, the best evidence indicates that he fell in the river while relieving himself; he was probably drunk at the time. Neither Mumia Abu-Jamal nor Satpal Ram can be honestly described as victims of anything, both men are the wilful authors of their own misfortunes.
Newham Monitoring Project: a long standing project which monitors alleged racially motivated violence and the policing of ethnic minorities in East London. Its leading light is Suresh Grover, who seems to have a finger in every pie when it comes to combatting racism. Grover is an active Ram campaigner.
Revolutionary Communist Group: this organisation publishes a bi-montly newspaper Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! which has probably given more space to Ram than any other left wing or “anti-racist” publication over the years as part of its campaign against the penal system. It also supported John McGranaghan, who was eventually cleared of a series of sex attacks by the Court of Appeal.
Searchlight: this is a generic term for Searchlight magazine, the Searchlight “Educational” Trust (my quotes) and Searchlight Information Services. The current writer has published numerous documented exposés of the Searchlight Organisation. (Click here).
Originally I wrote here “Curiously, Searchlight appears never to have reported on the Ram case, which for once is hardly to its discredit.” This wasn’t quite correct because the bibliography included then mention of a small report (three paragraphs and a photograph) of a picket of Birmingham Legal Aid Office. I have since found another report, in the August 1999 issue.
Socialist Workers Party: the parent organisation of the Anti Nazi League; it publishes a weekly newspaper, Socialist Worker, which has given space to Ram.
Southall Black Sisters: in “anti-racist” parlance, black means anyone who is not white, of course. This is more of a pressure group than a watchdog; it is dedicated to securing the release of women who have been convicted of murdering their husbands. Sexual solidarity is as important for its supporters as racial solidarity, and the group lobbied on behalf of white murderess Sara Thornton.
Student Assembly Against Racism: this is the student wing of the National Assembly Against Racism (see above). As well as repeating the lie that Clarke Pearce died because he refused medical treatment and discharged himself from hospital, the SAAR has called on its members to make Ram “an honorary President of your Students Union”.
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