The internet and international support from far-right movements across the globe, particularly MAGA America, has allowed British nationalists to become ever bolder in their visibility and confidence, the successful subversion of Brexit and undeniable support from sections of the British national press allowing racist rhetoric to pass what Baroness Warsi called “the dinner table test”.
It was just this September that Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu identified the far-right as the biggest growing terrorist threat in Britain, the police and security services said to be carrying out 80 investigations to prevent violence fuelled by white supremacy and Islamophobia.
But just who are Britain’s ultra-nationalists?
A new documentary by Journeyman Pictures, directed and presented by journalist Aran Tori, seeks to find answers as he travels across the country to meet with members of Britain’s far-right. Tori’s approach is friendly and relaxed, the documentary interspersed with upbeat jazz music as he avoids confrontation, in turn placing the subjects of his interviews at an ease in a manner reminiscent of Louis Theroux. The approach allows the full horror of their ideological extremism to shine through.
We meet Anne Marie Waters, founder and leader of the Islamophobic For Britain party who, failing to support her own assertions based on the “great replacement” theory, becomes hostile toward the interviewer, viewing Islam as incompatible with western values. Like many in the far-right, she fails to identify what exactly those values are.
The great replacement is a theme that runs throughout the documentary, with Tommy Robinson and Martin Sellner being chief proponents of the debunked idea, another young interviewee giving an analogy to the preservation of the white rhino. We also see how far-right movements refuse to identify their ideology as such. The National Front is not fascist, they are “white sanity”, the old “just common sense” mantra long weaponised by nationalists.
Perhaps the saddest segment of the documentary is when Tori meets with Jack Williams, a university student and newly promoted head of propaganda for the NBU, a group basing its ideology directly on Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Williams proudly describes himself as a fascist, yet seems unsure in much of what he is saying. The sense that he is merely repeating lines fed to him by others in the organisation is inescapable. While “grooming” by Islamist terror groups is a regular topic for the mainstream media, few seem willing to confront the same strategy applied amongst the far-right.
Williams speaks of bringing unity to the country, of bringing social change to a broken society, a belief which exposes the profound damage that the absence of socialism has done to Britain, allowing the far-right to step into the void of representing the working class. The lasting effects of neoliberalism are plain to see throughout, with Paul Pitt adamant that the political establishment of the past 40 years had “sold out” the British public. Instead of channelling this anger at disenfranchisement against the elites of capital power, however, Pitt prefers to excuse violence, demanding that Muslims at large take responsibility for terrorist atrocities.
The documentary also highlights the internationalism of the new far-right movement, Anne Marie Waters speaking in defence of Martin Sellner while ironically condemning globalisation, Tommy Robinson broadcasting on Canadian website The Rebel and planning to give a speech originally intended to be made by Sellner. Williams idolises Italian fascist Benito Mussolini, Jack Sen speaks of his links to Richard Spencer and the American alt-right, emboldened by the racist rhetoric of Donald Trump.
While Britain’s Ultra Nationalists shows the hate speech rhetoric of the likes of Waters and Jack Sen, it also ends on a hopeful note as Aran interviews Tommy Robinson’s uncle Darren Carroll, one of the former founders of the EDL. The interview shows that it is possible for die-hard nationalists to move away from the ideology and away from violence, engaging in conversation with other communities and undertaking projects to alleviate poverty and promote dialogue.
Running at an hour, the documentary is accessible and digestible, yet perhaps worthy of a longer run-time to delve deeper into the rhetoric and personalities of those featured, including the absent Britain First. Britain’s Ultra Nationalists hits all the relevant points of the far-right movement, from Identitarianism and “white genocide” to political disillusionment and the involvement of the international alt-right. Thoughtful and informative, Britain’s Ultra Nationalists is an excellent must watch for all those seeking an understanding of what is developing into the biggest political and social threat of our age.
Britain’s Ultra Nationalists is available to watch now via Amazon.
Britain’s Ultra Nationalists
Journalist Aran Tori travels across Britain tracking down the nation’s Far Right Extremists. The combination of BREXIT and Donald Trump presidency has empowered the Ultra Nationalist cause, leaving communities more divided than ever. Aran enters the world of White Nationalism with a friendly curiosity and open approach, reflecting on his own beliefs of British identity.