Monday, 14 July 2014

The history of the "Englisc" nationalist movement, part 3: The grassroots fail to grow

This is the third and (for the time being) final post on the history of what I have termed the Englisc nationalist movement.

In the first post, I looked at the foundations of the movement, laid in large part by a writer named Tony Linsell. In the second post I charted how an online forum, the Anglo-Saxon Foundation, had provided a gathering point for the members of the movement. In this post, I will look at the movement's unseuccessful attempts to reach out to the public with grassroots organisations.

English Shieldwall (established 2010)

The English Shieldwall is a campaign group that was founded by "Youngy" (discussed in the previous post) along with Lee Ingram, a man whom I wrote about here. If Englisc nationalism had a Mt. Rushmore, then Ingram would be the fourth face - the other three being Tony Linsell, Wulf Ingessunu and Anglo-Saxon Foundation webmaster Seaxan.

Lee "Ingy" Ingram, possibly Tony Linsell's most active protege.

 Excerpt from Lee Ingram's blog, archived here.

For a complete history of the English Shieldwall and its activities, see RationalWiki. Suffice to say that it intended to be a campaign group similar to the EDL but focused on Englisc nationalism rather than anti-Islamist protests (although it dabbled in the latter as well).

Both of its founders were, at the time of the organisation's creation, members of the Anglo-Saxon Foundation, although Ingram is no longer a member of either group. The ASF also hosts the official Shieldwall forum. So big is the overlap that the ASF and Shieldwall may as well be considered two arms of the same group - one active on the Internet, the other active on the streets.

Formerly active, at least. The English Shieldwall appears to have wrapped up its activities in 2011, although it was never officially dissolved. In short, it was an attempt to create a grassroots organisation that simply never got off the ground.

The English Shieldwall website claims that "We have been fortunate to have benefited from a generous grant from the Steadfast Trust". In turn, the English Shieldwall has donated money to the Anglo-Saxon Foundation:

"I'd like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the ES for their recent donation which is outlined below. This has already been put to good use towards the running costs of the site for the next year. So once again, you have my thanks.

'Please accept this donation of two hundred pounds from the English Shieldwall.

We appreciate the constant, often unrewarding work you do through the Englisc Gateway and the Anglo-Saxon Foundation, and felt it was time that your work and effort was recognised. As we don't produce awards or medals, we have done the next best thing - a donation towards a website that we wouldn't exist without.

We will also take this opportunity to update you on our aims and objectives for 2012.

Our current aim sees us working towards encouraging folk to set up English Community Groups, such as the piloting group in Leicester, as well as promoting and celebrating English festival days. We will be promoting and where possible, supporting groups and organisations that we feel represent the best of English tradition, culture and heritage, as well as presenting opportunities for folk of English ethnicity - especially with regard to the traditional family setup.

As ever, we stay away from political matters, English religious debate and the monarchy, leaving these issues to the individual. Our focus is bringing the folk together in traditional ways.

We hope that you agree with our aims as we do yours, and look forward to the rest of 2012 and its many events and gatherings.

English Shieldwall'"

From this, it would appear that the Steadfast Trust's money has indirectly been spent on funding a racist Internet forum. The Charity Commission really should look into this.

Incidentally, since writing the previous post in this series, I have found out the English Shieldwall co-founder Youngy/Bretwalda Randwulf is actually named Paul Young, thanks to this quotation from Lee Ingram (written after the two men fell out with each other):

A typical posting by Paul "Youngy" Young. This is a man whom the purportedly non-racist Steadfast Trust thinks is deserving of funds.

English Community Group (Leicester)/English Advocates (established 2011)

Somewhere along the line Lee Ingram got into a dispute with his fellow Anglo-Saxon Foundation and English Shieldwall members, resulting in him being banned from the former and leaving the latter. In the tried and true tradition of fringe politics, this bout of infighting resulted in the creation of a knock-off organisation.

As noted previously, the Steadfast Trust hoped to inspire its supporters to create "English community groups" around the country. A few of them tried, but most got little further than starting up Facebook pages (see RationalWiki for an overview); the only one that had anything remotely resembling success was the Leicester group, which at least made it into the local paper a couple of times.

Clive Potter, the "ordinary Englishman" who thinks that grey aliens are warning us about the effects of interracial marriage.

The ECG(L) was originally chaired by a very strange man named Clive Potter, an ex-BNP member and ufologist who is no longer affiliated with the group. Other key members include Paul Brant and Gary Thompson. However, from the get-go, the true driving force of the organisation seems to have been Lee Ingram.

Our pal Lee Ingram again.

The ECG(L)'s roots as an English Shieldwall splinter group are pretty clear. Just compare this page on the English Shieldwall website…

...with this page on the ECG(L) website:

Clearly, one is lifting from the other.

The ECG(L) has received funding from the Steadfast Trust. It stands to reason that the charity would back activities in this city, given that the Steadfast Trust's events co-ordinator Mark Taylor has declared Leicester to be "the country's worst town", apparently because "they are soon going to outnumber the ethnic English".

"This far and no further OR ELSE", he threatens:

The ECG(L) apparently could not sustain itself as a local group, however, and in March this year it rebranded itself as a nationwide group called English Advocates.

In my earlier post about Lee Ingram I concluded that he was a rather simple-minded fellow who had allowed himself to become a useful idiot for racism, but was not necessarily a racist himself. I'm reconsidering that position after seeing that he posted (or allowed to be posted) this image on the official English Advocates Facebook page:

The photograph, from 2006, shows a gang of machete-wielding guerillas from East Timor acting as part of a rebel campaign against the country's government (exactly what a lot of people in Englisc nationalism want to carry out here in England, in fact). It seems doubtful that Ingram knows or cares about the exact political situation behind the image: the photo shows dark-skinned people with weapons, and that is apparently enough to suit his needs.

Also relevant is this posting:

The blog post linked to here, written by an anonymous author, lists 34 non-white people "who have killed, raped and otherwise violated British men, women and children in Britain". Exactly what this is supposed to prove is unclear - surely no sensible person has argued that such crimes are only ever committed by white people? - but considering the links to various sites such as Stormfront that can be found at the bottom of the blog, I think it's clear what ideology the author subscribes to.

But watch out - if you are an English person and object to such postings being made by your self-proclaimed representatives, then you are a "big-baby", "Judas" "betrayor" [sic] and "frit", amongst other things:

It goes on. Here's the group linking with approval to an article on the openly neo-Nazi website Metapedia:

At the time of writing, this post is still there - three weeks since it was first made. It has six "likes", and none of the group's supporters have objected to the English Advocates promoting a Nazi website.

Ingram often boasts about his group consisting of "non-stereotypical" English nationalists, implying that he is staying away from the bigoted elements of the movement. Despite this the English Advocates are not above soliciting support from the Anglo-Saxon Foundation, as evidenced by this posting that the group made on the ASF's Facebook page:

On a similar note, the group has previously enlisted one Darren Clarke for its activities:

Darren is one of the people who engages in the charming practise (which I discussed in the first post in this series) of referring to ethnic minorities as "orcs":

There is at least one organisation that Ingram has condemned for its bigotry, however: the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

While Ingram is right to condemn the Bangladesh Nationalist Party for its "hatred" and "intolerance" (the party has associated itself with Islamist groups such as the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and the Islami Oikya Jote), it is interesting to note that he appears never to have used such terms to describe the Anglo-Saxon Foundation or similarly racist English outfits.

The reason seems clear enough: the ASF is run by English nationalists, while the Bangladeshi Nationalist Party is run by "orcs".

Meanwhile, the group has also offered some frankly rather facile comments on the Israel/Palestine conflict:

Incidentally, given that Gandhi was a racist, he probably isn't the best person to turn to if you want to justify your views on race relations.

Moving on, here is an example of the rather pitiful attempts at grassroots activism which the group endorses:

Yes, the group's supporters are going around putting up flyposters with catchy Old English slogans such as "Ende ecynnslæht of þá Englisc" and"Stepe scéadwínesse togeagnes þá Englisc". Do they seriously believe that anybody other than a few linguists will actually understand this stuff?

Notice, by the way, that the English Advocates have "liked" Julia Howman's description of Nelson Mandela as a "black African terrorist":

And finally, things go full circle:

Tony Linsell's An English Nationalism is something I discussed right at the start of this series: its influence permeates the entire Englisc nationalist movement.

These people claim to represent the interests of ordinary English people - but at the end of the day, all they represent are the interests of Tony Linsell.


Operation English Vote, predicting "thousands of white dragon flags" being flown from English homes in the next two years. Two years have passed since this post was made - so where are all these white dragon flags?

Here is a short summary of the Englisc nationalist movement's history, as I see it.

The literature of Athelney Press and the Steadfast journal, operating under the guiding hand of Tony Linsell, laid the groundwork for the movement. Linsell and his cohorts then set up the Steadfast Trust as a means of putting their ideals into action.

The Anglo-Saxon Foundation managed to build a small community along Englisc nationalist lines, based partly on Linsell's writing but showing a more explicitly racist ideology. Woden's Folk, meanwhile, found a place as the spiritual heart of the community.

Next, the Anglo-Saxon foundation made an attempt to spread its values through a grassroots movement, the English Shieldwall, with The English Community Group (Leicester)/English Advocates spinning out of this group.

However, this is where the movement hit a brick wall. And it is not hard to see why - how could Englisc nationalism ever become a mainstream movement?

To recap, this is a movement which claims to represent the majority of English people - and yet aligns itself with the tiny minority religion of Wodenism, treating England's majority religion of Christianity with contempt.

A movement that condemns immigrants, while celebrating Anglo-Saxon immigration in the early medieval period.

A movement that attacks "multiculturalism" as a deadly foe, while also trying to revive the culture of pre-Norman England by supporting a minority religion, a minority language and even a minority alphabet.

A movement which maintains a "reds under the beds" mentality, but which itself has links to neo-Nazi groups.

A movement which mocks the romantic nationalism of Wales, Scotland and Ireland, while creating an equally daft romantic nationalism for England.

A movement which condemns Islam for its extremist element, while seeking to promote Wodenism - a religion which also has a pretty hefty extremist element.

A movement which condemns anything that it can paint as anti-English racism while ignoring or endorsing racism towards all other groups.

A movement that claims to be based on common sense, but which endorses all manner of mystical mumbo-jumbo and ludicrous conspiracy theories.

In short, it is a movement riddled with contradictions, based on the fallacy of the "enlightened" and the "masses" (which I deconstructed here), destined never to get off the starting line.

So, why did I decide to write a three-part article covering the movement's development over a course of fourteen years? Well, the truth is that I find something oddly fascinating about it all. I honestly believe that, in Englisc nationalism, we can see a microcosm of fringe politics.

How many other movements out there, I wonder, have used the same tactics and made the same mistakes as Englisc nationalism?

Appendix: The also-rans

Englisc Resistance, a Facebook group run by someone who genuinely seems to believe that Wodenism is as large and influential a religion as Judaism.

Here is a quick list of some other groups relevant to Englisc nationalism, ones which I did not think were worth covering in full during this series of posts.

English Defence League: Needs no introduction. Not strictly part of the Englisc movement, as it is focused more on immigration and Islam than on race; however, there is a degree of overlap between the EDL and groups such as English Shieldwall. Generally held at arms' length by the Englisc movement.

English Democrats: If the EDL is held at arms' length, the English Democrats party is widely treated as an outright pariah by the Englisc movement for (to them) abandoning racial matters. Co-founded by Tony Linsell, who has since left the party.

English Movement: Officially, this is a sister group to Woden's Folk. However, the overlap is so large that the two organisations may as well be considered the same group operating under different names.

English National Resistance: A name used by two groups. The first was openly white nationalist and, as I demonstrated in the first post in this series, promoted by Tony Linsell through the Steadfast journal. The second is an EDL splinter group dedicated to anti-Islam campaigns.

Essex English Community Group: Clone of Lee Ingram's Leicester English Community Group with little or no presence outside of Facebook. Openly racist, speaking of "wogs", "orcs", "the yellow peril" and so forth. Possibly related to a website called Saxon Faction.

Forefather: A nationalist heavy metal group with connections to the Steadfast Trust.

Northants English Welfare Society: A Northamptonshire-based outfit with ties to the Steadfast Trust.

Operation English Vote: A nationalist take-off on Operation Black Vote.

Wulfshead: A nationalist band formed by the Anglo-Saxon Foundation posters AelfredSeax and Geþun Hreodpipere. This wiki article gives their real names as Adam Davis and Craig Davis, but does not cite a source for this information.

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