Jim Saleam PhD – Chapter Five: The Radical-Nationalist Face Of The Extreme Right 1982-95

in ‘The Other Radicalism: An Inquiry Into Contemporary Australian Extreme Right Ideology, Politics And Organization 1975-1995’

by Dr. Jim Saleam, http://home.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/otherradicalism/05.html

(14726 words)

Introduction

This Chapter shall examine a number of organizations which are recognizable by their ideological and propagandist reference to the Australian labour, republican and nationalist heritage. These movements are described as the ‘Radical-Nationalists’, an appropriate label given their rejection of the political legitimacy of the Australian State whether in its imperial, American-alliance or client-internationalist phases. Several questions shall be resolved.

This Chapter explains:

  • How the Radical-Nationalist position revamped itself out of the political failure of the Extreme Right 1975-82, to achieve permanence as one of its typological faces;
  • How the new ideological initiatives integrated the Radical-Nationalist mythos with strategic-tactical ideas drawn from Australian and foreign Left and Right ideologies.

This Chapter analyses this Radical-Nationalist effort as achieving concrete results.

First, it discusses:

  • How and why Radical-Nationalists participated in international Extreme Right politics?
  • How Radical-Nationalists integrated the new ideological syntheses with political action?

Second, it asks:

  • Did the new militancy have an effect such that it necessitated State/para-State reaction?
  • Did the propaganda use of the labour heritage push the co-optation of the Left on the issues of race and national political-economic independence, during the period of its crisis and decline?

The Chapter advances data on the membership of Radical-Nationalist groups and integrates this information with questions of politics and organization.

Lastly, the continuing Radical-Nationalist activism shall be shown as an influence on the Extreme Right’s evolution.

1. The Emergence Of Australian National Action 1982–5

The foundation-circumstances of ‘National Action’ (NA) in Sydney have hitherto been described inaccurately.

Denis Freney asserted:

In April 1982, Saleam launched his fourth political organization: National Action … [and] … determined to keep it on the straight and narrow as a pure neo-nazi activist group, with an updated ‘Oz fascist’ ideology … [its] political programme is … an extension of earlier nazi party programmes … [1]

Freney continued:

National Action has its origins in the post-war nazi parties set up in Australia.[2]

The NA membership records[3] discount any continuation from 1960’s–1970’s neo-nazism, with 1 per cent attracted from that pool.[4] Between 1977 and 1981, National Action’s predecessors distanced themselves from neo-nazism.[5]

David Greason maintained he was both an intellectual influence and “founder”[6] who established NA in his “living room” in March 1982.[7] Yet he also cited a February establishment date.[8] Freney ignored Greason’s 1984 claim, first raised in material published by the International Socialists.

In truth, NA was founded by seventeen persons in Sydney’s Glebe[9] in February 1982 with an inaugural assembly on April 25 1982.[10] A committee of Saleam, Azzopardi, Boris Link (24, security guard) and David Merrett (22, public servant), was appointed to draft a programme and constitution, and hold a conference two years later.

Support was slim. Eugene Donnini’s Melbourne PNP section joined, as did individual PNP activists from other sections, such that by the close of 1982 an embryonic national structure was emplaced. In January 1983, Sydney NA opened a bookshop headquarters in Tempe.

The direction this new Radical-Nationalist organization would ultimately assume was suggested in the early period.

Although NA worked with other anti-immigration groups, such as Linke’s Perth Immigration Control Council, Dique’s ICA(Q) and Maina’s Sydney ‘Patriotic Lobby’ (PL) (formed in 1981 from NAA’s wreckage) in the July 1982 immigration consultative process, NA criticized lobbyist methods. A series of chaotic town hall meetings in state capitals focused public attention upon immigration issues,[11] but for NA its function remained one of organization-building. It subsequently signed a ‘Declaration’ for co-operation with the Sydney PL,[12] but avoided other Right entanglements.

National Action considered Australian National Alliance had pioneered correct ideology, but concluded that its strategic and tactical planning was stunted. However, its criticisms of the Right were supported:

… National Alliance was not simply an anti-immigration movement. When … [it] … insisted on tactics, strategy, ideology these patriots looked on us as if we had come from the moon … [13]

Those divisions in ANA referred to in Chapter Four were ascribed to rightist contamination:

One side wanted an ‘acceptable’ party of ordinary Australians led by democratically chosen leaders; the nationalists urged the forging of a closed activist union of militants led by a closed leadership which refused to open the party to public scrutiny and disruption.[14]

National Action formally condemned the Right’s legalism, ‘Menzies-ism’, Anglophilia and pro-American anti-communism, in the same breath as it denied the marxist Left was its main enemy.[15] Rhetoric directed at the Right would become more critical as NA argued it would break from the Right:

Have you ever met cranks? Crazy old men obsessed with religion? Old men who argue anti-semitic doctrines, informing us China is run by Jewish capitalists?[16]

Nonetheless, NA’s aim was to gain dominance over the other anti-immigration groups; its enforced public profile was intended to sideline them and act as a magnet for their approachable elements.[17]

The NA leadership appreciated the importance of controversy. Its earliest activities at Sydney University were occasions for Left demonstrations and ‘exposure’ literature.[18] Although weak, NA initiated a provocative propaganda against the overseas-student program (1982–4).[19]

The organization won extensive publicity and confronted Leftist groups which, in rallying unconditionally to these bourgeois ‘victims of racism’, were lured into defending the de-skilling of Australia, displacement of the native-born and backdoor immigration.[20] However, when tested in campus politics in 1983 a candidate for President of the Student Representative Council at Sydney University, polled just 2.1 per cent.[21]

Andrew Guild, Victorian Chairman (1984–90), described a basic propaganda group:

Melbourne NA activities 1982–4 were centred on gaining a visible public presence and promotion of the name ‘National Action’. We distributed 200,000 posters, stickers and leaflets with the popular slogan ‘Stop The Asian Invasion’. This campaign resulted in a couple of hundred enquiries.[22]

The subsequent ‘Blainey Debate’ (1984) on immigration and multiculturalism was partly sparked through Blainey’s sightings of this repetitive message.[23]

During 1983–4 National Action did, in the battle for political space, strike at the Left. The amorphous Sydney Skinhead movement was enthused by NA’s presence; Skinheads operating from a derelict warehouse off Elizabeth Street, sallied forth to burgle the Maoist bookshop, arson Gould’s Left bookshop and intimidate ‘anti-racists’.[24] An ephemeral youth movement in Sydney’s depressed western suburbs – the ‘Western Guards’ – distributed NA propaganda, daubed walls and may have been responsible for the bashing of an anti-racist activist.[25]

Like the former ANA, National Action laboured to confuse opposition and create a ‘mystique’ around the new force. Here National Action employed an agent to dupe Denis Freney of Tribune into publishing reports of NA’s “connection” to the French Party of New Forces and the South African “AWB”, of its access to firearms and South African money.[26]

National Action affected a Janus-faced methodology. To affirm its legitimacy, National Action contested the February 1984 Hughes by-election (966 votes).[27] To intimidate opposition, it occupied the student union offices at Macquarie University as retaliation for an ‘unfair’ television confrontation with its President on the overseas student question.[28] Consequently, National Action became the first organization banned from a campus.[29] The organization interfered with State interest when it produced evidence that liberal aid organization Community Aid Abroad was a sanctioned-conduit for funds for Pan-African Congress and African National Congress terrorism.[30]

The political atmosphere of 1984 was race-charged. On March 22, Foreign Minister Hayden stated his preference for an Australia of 50 million people of Eurasian ethnicity,[31] while Professor Geoffrey Blainey soon after initiated an ‘immigration debate’ which saw marxists disrupt his public meetings and academics question his intellectual and moral integrity.[32]

By late 1984, National Action’s propaganda and physical force campaigns had created an organization of a few hundred supporters with additional mailing lists. NA was nationally known and pre-eminent over other organized ‘anti-immigration’ groups. As discussed below, its activism brought brushes with the law. National Action’s methods had damaged liberal and Left groups while bluffing them as to its resources and strength. Participation in the 1984 Federal poll brought results considered somewhat optimistically as a ‘breakthrough’ for its radical message.[33]

Table 5.1 National Action 1984 Election Results[34]

Candidate

Electorate

Result

J. Saleam

Reid (NSW)

2803 (4.72%)

M. Ferguson

Wills (Vic)

1360 (2.33%)

J. Van Tongeren

West. Aust. Senate

861 –

It remained to be seen how a ‘fighting organization’ could locate a coherent strategy, systematize its journalistic outpourings and create cadres from members.

2. Structural Weakness, New Radical-Nationalist Organizations And Their Strategic Options

Vanessa Coles’s limited research into National Action – in favour of neo-nazism as the axis of Extreme-Right study – had a harsh conclusion:

… [NA was] … incredibly undecided … on basic beliefs … to such a point where policy formulation was practically impossible … [35]

While an inappropriate description of NA as it developed, this description was accurate at a particular point.

Certain divisions in NA, and the birth of new Radical-Nationalist and other formations (1984–5) are germane to an appreciation of ideology and style on the Extreme Right. They demonstrated that the Australian case validated Griffin’s analysis of neo-fascism’s[36] achievement of “ideological and organizational innovation” marred by “chronic structural weakness.”[37]

Certainly, NA rendered obsolete Al Grassby’s argument that the ‘racist Right’ was dominated by Anglophiles, conspiratologists and racial-haters.[38] In challenging the old-Right, NA and its forebears in ANA, had opened themselves to influence by European ‘revolutionary-nationalist’ ideological, political and organizational models.[39] Griffin has rightly characterized this enormous corpus as “highly nuanced”.[40] Under disciplined assimilation any ideological corpus could fertilize the indigenous product, whereas under other circumstances this penetration would result in division. The evidence will show both results.

The first expression of foreign influences conformed microcosmically to Leonard Weinberg’s analysis of Italian neo-fascist terrorism. He noted that some student activists would progress through stages: from campus activism, through ‘populist’ agitation towards frustration in failure. Recrimination would lead some to armed struggle.[41] Certain NA activists grouped around Merrett and Link reviewed the ‘failures’ of ANA/PNP and imagined success in an ‘armed party’ similar to French and Italian ‘black terrorism’. Efforts were made to acquire weapons – and funds via marijuana cultivation. The scheme collapsed in early 1984 when two Toronto men were arrested on drugs charges.[42] Trace evidence is available to suggest members of the group became informer-provocateurs for Special Branch after 1985.[43]

The early 1980’s witnessed considerable fermentation on the international Extreme Right. Husbands recorded the ‘survival’ of the British National Front as a sub-culture in working class areas.[44] Thurlow and Eatwell noted the strategic-tactical divisions in early 1980’s ‘British Nationalism’ over the class orientation of the movement.[45] National Action was part of this international debate encouraging the NF’s ‘working class’ faction and receiving their reciprocal endorsement.[46] The NF’s release from ‘neo-nazi’ control had a particular dynamic occasioned by the intervention of Canadian neo-fascist, John Jewell. Through his Direct Action bulletin he introduced an ‘anti-virus’ – “Strasserism”.[47]

Jewell’s revisitation of the ‘pan-European-socialist’ Strasser faction of the NSDAP, and its struggle against Hitler’s ariosophical anti-Russianism and “betrayal” of the working class in the Rohm purge,[48] had little to do with rehabilitating Nazism (although some neo-nazis attempted that[49]), but with disintegrating the neo-nazi infiltration of Extreme-Right organizations in several countries.[50] Jewell argued that neo-nazis were ‘right-wing’, part of President Reagan’s anti-Soviet politics, negative quantities with irrelevant programmes for activism.[51] Other researchers have ignored Jewell’s influence. Yet, his Strasserist critique of the “Hitler cult” destabilized international neo-nazism, drawing frenzied rejoinders. National Action’s preventative use of the “anti-virus” also caused disputation.

Norwick under his pen name Saunders, authored The Social Revolutionary Nature Of Australian Nationalism which covered Strasserist ground with novelty. The ideologies of German non-nazi fascist Conservative Revolution and National Bolshevism were introduced to Australian readers to justify anti-Americanism, a Russophile ‘tilt’ and a critique of liberal-western “cosmopolitanism”.[52] Such references had been invoked by influential European ‘think tanks’, and researchers have assessed this as an aspect of ‘New Right’ discourse.[53]

At NA’s Easter 1985 Conference, Perth Chairman Jack van Tongeren raised certain strategic-tactical demands. This covert neo-nazi had joined to achieve NA’s nazification and affect its ‘turn’ towards the Conservative Right.[54] Saunders wrote of van Tongeren’s plan:

… [he] … purported to be able to recruit patriotic members of the old order based upon some conservative ideology … such as Bruce Ruxton … We wish … [him] … well … but … groups such as IRC, NAA, ICA, PCP, PNP …. often had the patronage of conservatives such as Bob Menzies and Bruce Ruxton … and achieved nil …[55]

When van Tongeren demanded an end with the Eureka Flag, the republican working class reference and NA’s criticism of the anti-communist Right, [56] he was essentially arguing for the Rosemary Sisson programme of 1978 and the British neo-nazi method which looked to conversion of the Tory Right.[57] His ‘Australian Nationalists Movement’ (ANM) split from NA. The continuing quest by some neo-nazis for accommodation with the Conservative Right demonstrated a strategic misreading of historical fascism’s method. Significantly, coded debate had also raged which would continue thereafter, with the ghosts of Strasserism and Conservative Revolution in contention with neo-nazis. Australian researchers have essentially ignored these strategic discussions.

Other splits from NA also brought loss of cadre, but the creation of new breeder-pools for Radical-Nationalist organization with new discursive forms. An ‘Australian Populist Movement’ (APM) was formed in December 1984 from a rupture in van Tongeren’s “conservative” Perth NA. A magazine – Stockade – appeared and a ‘radical’ red Eureka flag was raised. Under Eugene Donnini’s direction, APM published a leaflet, Fight For Australia! which espoused anti-nuclear neutralism.[58] The ‘green’ pretense underlay the Australian Populist Manifesto which argued also for direct democracy.[59] APM’s generalized condemnation of “America” as the progenitor of consumer-culture,[60] brought APM recruits amongst the Perth anti-foreign bases and environmentalist groups and from Melbourne’s sizeable ex-Maoist milieu. The immigration issue was sanitized. The Stockade proudly announced its link with English New Right journal The Scorpion,[61] whose right-to-racial-difference argument merged into ‘Green’ economic perspectives on sustainable growth and contra-globalization.[62] The idea of national independence would be remarketed to an alternative oppositional sector. The strategy was a challenging one for Australia where the marginalized Extreme Right was under constant scrutiny by Left-liberal forces. The APM’s kinship to NA brought warnings from Tribune and allegations that APM militants vandalized the CPA’s Perth offices.[63]

Clearly, APM’s plan to intersect with traditionally ‘Left’ movements predated the similar effort of Australians Against Further Immigration described below. However, APM disintegrated in early 1986, unable to penetrate its targets successfully – and amass resources for organizational intensification.

Another Radical-Nationalist initiative which promised much was that of ‘Australian National Vanguard’ (ANV) / ‘Australian People’s Congress’ (APC) in the years 1982–88. This Brisbane effort was directed by Robert Pash (born 1962). From an unstable family with a history of psychiatric illness, Pash was attracted by religion, finding a berth with the U.S. ‘Church Of Jesus Christ Christian’ (or Aryan Nations). His paper Vanguard had announced: “Jewry rules the West … “ and “ … only the pure aryan race … (can) … achieve His Noble Purpose.”[64] A transition was made to Libyan “Third Universal Theory” in 1983, with funding provided by the Libyan Embassy for distribution of Gaddafist propaganda.[65] In 1984, Pash approached National Action with promises of “unity” and Libyan support for anti-American propaganda, but arrangements were forever provisional.[66] When van Tongeren launched ANM, Pash decided to reconstitute ANV.

The ANV claimed to be “known within Trade Union circles, sections of the ALP and to overseas National Revolutionary governments”.[67] Pash argued for anti-imperialist national independence “in the same way as the CPA(M-L).”[68] The ANV used the Eureka Flag and NA’s labour-nationalist utterances via textual “plagiarism”.[69]

However, it was the overdone loyalty to Libyan strictures which brought ANV attention from Jewish, police and Left organizations. Pash’s courtship of Libya was original. He had outmanoeuvred the pro-Libyan Socialist Labour League and Bill Hartley’s Australian Libyan Friendship Society and despite Tribune’s suggestion that he had “conned” Libya[70] and Hartley’s denunciation as a “provocateur”,[71] he led various “delegations” to Libya and retained a Libyan stipend.[72]

Whatever Pash’s organizational initiatives, his contorted personality wrecked the enterprise. In 1984, he had infiltrated the Queensland Nuclear Disarmament Party, acquired its mailing list and passed it to Special Branch.[73] Pash organized 1985 ‘Green Book Reading Nights’ in the Brisbane rooms of the League Of Rights and printed a 1987 ‘Joh For Canberra’ magazine,[74] while also simultaneously working with the Socialist Workers’ Party. Saunders – who received a Libyan trip – argued that Pash was a “fraud” and “chameleon” whose political machinations implied multiple personalities.[75] Remarkedly, Pash could assimilate conflicting programmes and had a compulsive desire to explain his activities to Intelligence operatives. Not surprisingly, the organization became lost in its contradictions. In 1987, ANV became the Australian People’s Congress, and after arranging a 1988 Libyan trip for the British NF leadership[76] (and then the Australian SWP leaders), Pash became less of an activist and more a Libyan information agent (1988–91), surrounded by a heterogeneous circle. He went on to found New Dawn magazine.

The projected syntheses of Australian labour-nationalism, Third Universal Theory and Maoism required a nimble ideologue and a real base of support. The less than 100 recruits (1984–8) were not a cadre. Despite similarities to British NF and 1970’s Italian revolutionary-nationalist schemes, Pash either mismanaged or under-exploited the potential for foreign funding and developed little structure.

It is concluded that various doctrinal innovations-cum-initiatives of NA, APM and ANV were intellectually energetic, but foreign ideological inputs incited leadership ruptures as cadres searched for winning strategies. As the other groups faded, only National Action turned some ideas to profit.

3. The Strategic–Tactical Perspectives Of National Action 1985–90

Fractionalization amongst Radical-Nationalists brought a new ideological energy in National Action and a serious effort was made to codify strategic–tactical principles. A synthesized rationale for militant activism was formulated which governed practice until 1990:

(i) Australia was portrayed as a capitalist dictatorship with business organizations, courts, police, media and education integrated as a machine.[77] Illusions of a neutral State, arising from good-society “corruption in our own minds”, delayed this realization.[78] State power did not reside in parliament but was diffused throughout State organs and connected repressive and intellectual/cultural apparatuses.[79] Electoralism, lobbyism, terrorism and the infiltration of existing party structures were condemned as ineffective, enervating options. The alternative was the ‘combat party’.[80]

(ii) The combat model was neutrally adopted from the Leninist vanguard literature. No faith was placed in the Australian people being able to freely choose against the consumer order; nor was it expected a mass party could emerge under normal conditions.[81] The combat party would wage war against liberalism.[82]

(iii) The political struggle was conceived as a friend/enemy discourse and in Maoist style partitioned into antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions.[83] The antagonistic oppositions were the repressive and ideological State apparatuses and those aspects of the civil society where the writ of State power ran, where people were well integrated into structures conducive to the maintenance of liberal-capitalism.[84] Consequently, the marxist Left became a secondary non-antagonistic opponent. Capitalism would receive the main blow.[85]

(iv) The organization practised an unchristened Democratic Centralism. Membership was carefully divided into supporters and (cadre) members. The latter had voting rights.[86] Secrecy became obsessive and the authority of the committees absolute.[87] While no organization was immune to disruption or penetration, announcements of political police interest in destabilization were to encourage discipline.[88]

(v) In sectarian fashion, National Action was described as the party of Australian nationalism. It refused to treat equally with ostensible-nationalist groups, neo-nazis or conservatives, but intolerantly proclaimed its special character and mission.[89] It would win the best of useful formations and not permit territorial competition. This implicit threat brought counter-criticism from the League Of Rights, the Anglo-Saxon Keltic Society, the Constitutional Heritage Protection Society and the ANM. The LOR referred to “a number of psychopaths and misfits who can be exploited to foment extremism … a power movement.”[90] Rightist whispering campaigns centring on NA’s “republicanism” and “violence” – unfolded.[91] The sectarian method demanded sacrifice in the ‘competitive’ struggle and zealous political campaigning.

(vi) The propagandistic use of the national-republican-labour tradition was developed. First, NA sought an effective reply to the ‘fascist’ name-calling of media and the Left. It was said:

It is interesting to note that Nationalists are attacked in the media as ‘fascists’ … The good values of the old ALP flow into … [our] … stream … If we are to be characterized as alien fascists … then Australia’s greatest Prime Minister was a fascist. Good company?[92]

Second, NA proceeded to absorb the tradition into its everyday work.[93] It struggled to acquire legitimacy for its anti-immigration, republican and ultra-nationalist perspectives and provide a framework for energetic propaganda against New Right liberal-capitalism then hegemonic over the Liberal and Labor parties.[94] In language reminiscent of Lawson and Lane, NA claimed that the State:

… denounced the eighty percent of Australians who question Asian/coloured immigration as “racists”. This dictatorial attitude matches up with … ‘master race theories’. The ideal race for Australia is supposed to be mixed from Asian and Australian; he is supposed to ‘work hard’, never join a trade union, follow the ‘future’ as laid out by Big Business blindly and consume the products of industry. This mindless herd is to be ruled over by a ‘master class’ of local traitors and Asian businessmen. The Australian People reject this reverse-Nazism …[95]

National Action wanted a working class following by occupying the position the Left once possessed. The Left was proclaimed the bully-boy of capitalism given its anti-protectionist open-immigration principles, the old national-Left superceded by liberals.[96] The nationalist labour position could challenge the Conservative Right over its links with Bjelke-Petersen and anti-union ‘Asianizers’; old style anti-communists would be criticized as ‘anti-Australian independence’ through subservience to U.S. imperialism.[97] An umbilical chord was said to exist between the Conservative Right and the free marketeers, albeit through conduits.[98]

(vii) Youth and “inner-city and outer-suburban working people of the big cities” were the targets for recruitment.[99] Regrouped cadre from other organizations and some professionals and business people would provide direction and financing. Those unintegrated into bourgeois life would become the political soldiers (cadres) for change.[100]

(viii) The new strategic-tactical method was dubbed ‘Political Guerilla Warfare’, an application of a military technique to civil society, against a state stronger in physical and intellectual-cultural power.[101] While other Extreme-Right groups were ‘lost’ in generalist public education campaigns and self-advertizing, NA noted its limited resources and chose to ‘cut off the tentacles’ of the State in civil society, to cause disruption in important areas.[102]

Political Guerilla Warfare involved: creating ‘tension’ around targetted individuals and persons, developing mass slogans around specific issues, utilizing defamatory and intimidatory propaganda to destabilize ‘targets’, developing an intelligence capability to sustain propaganda, creating an atmosphere of ‘struggle’ within NA so that its independence and initiative would be maintained.[103]

This method implied ‘psychological action’ designed to engender an impression of strength and power, to intimidate ‘weak’ liberal opponents.[104] The atmosphere of soft violence was to be educative of militants who were to visualize success and assimilate ideology ‘on the job’. Metcalfe observed of such ‘terror’ within organizations:

A terror is the enforcement of a pledge. The insistence anyone disloyal is an enemy … terror closes the group. It involves sanctions against both enemies and members of a group and the sanctions are commonly but not necessarily violent …[105]

The new dispensation made political change conditional upon a Gramscian battle of position fought against dominant ideas and representative persons, a political bloodsport with enemies humbled by visceral attack.[106]

‘Political Guerilla Warfare’ was similar to the method of the CPA(M-L) and the Builders’ Labourers’ Federation (BLF) – which was not accidental. The Australian Maoist method is discernable from various works.[107] The BLF long committed itself after “cold hard political thinking” to “the development of guerilla tactics … most harm to the boss, least harm to ourselves”.[108] A Royal Commission confirmed the BLF’s plan was “to create an image of irresistible power”.[109] Vanguard observed of NA:

One of their leading people tried to associate himself with the Worker-Student Alliance before he openly committed to the Extreme-Right; he was well known for … [taking] … full account of the tactics of the Left in promoting … fascist terrorism …[110]

Saleam “admired” Ted Hill and the CPA(M-L),[111] while Donnini had been an Independence Movement cadre. The interest shown by Extreme Right organizations in Chinese Maoist doctrine and tactics has been noted by researchers.[112] National Action’s 1980’s liaison with the British NF deepened this interest, particularly when the NF drew inspiration from the Italian Terza Posizione, a “revolutionary-nationalist” party (1970’s) [113] indebted to Mao and Gramsci for its organizational model for “counter-power”.

Summed together, these perspectives were an admonition to strife. National Action became unique on the Extreme Right because it desired to answer the hegemony of liberal ideology and the implied threat of State sanction with physical action. ‘Patriotic’ elements would prospectively be attracted and through individual struggles, a ‘mass party’ would be constructed.[114]

National Action had drawn in the palingenetic style upon the old nationalist-labour tradition, and synthesized it with particular Left strategic-tactical doctrines. A further ‘modernizing’ synthesis with the European Third Way ideology was undertaken, as shall be examined.

4. Militant Radical-Nationalist Sect Politics 1985–90

‘Political Guerilla Warfare’ was practised energetically after 1985 upon the supposition that authoritarian-State measures would issue to restrict opposition to economic-political ‘Asianization’. Since NA was neither an electoralist nor educationist nor lobby force, it had more energy to direct at its ‘targets’. With militants encouraged to action collectively and individually, NA desired to “swim as the fish in the sea of the people”.[115]

A chronicle of NA’s activism where relevant is recorded as testimony.

Michael Brander, (born 1961), son of a Spanish migrant, was an occasional university student when he took charge of NA in Adelaide. He commented:

[Paragraph removed. Error of fact located. Paragraph subject to revision.] [116]

Victorian National Action specialized in economic harassments and political stunts. Chairman Andrew Guild recorded:

Our branch leafletted McDonald’s outlets accusing the company of supporting Asianization [1986]. We picketed Myer stores which promoted ‘Asianization through Advertizing’ [1986]. We demanded that one city council permit us to celebrate Eureka Stockade Day and fly the flag in the city centre [1988]. Against chosen targets we used exposure leaflets and flying pickets.[117]

National Action’s propaganda effort was reflected in national office figures for distributed-recruitment items (inclusive of ideological documents and magazines):

Table 5.2 Distributed Recruitment Items, 1985–89[118]

1985 – 169,000

1986 – 149,950

1987 – 254,700

1988 – 228,000

1989 – 123,000

(An understatement by 20 per cent on these figures would allow for specialized local material.)

National Action contested some elections. It chose Labor electorates. In reintroducing voters to nationalist labourism, NA chided the ALP for abandoning its legacy. With leaflets, posters and stickers festooned with Eureka Flags and labour movement ‘icons’ – Lang, Lawson, Lane, Curtin and others – the ALP was condemned for its subservience to international banking capital and as a creature of the business lobby and think tank – the Committee For The Economic Development Of Australia (CEDA).[119] Labor’s deregulationist, rationalisation, and anti-tariff policies were decried as a CEDA conspiracy, and mass immigration as the means to break unionism.[120] National Action’s scores were modest, revealing at best a minimum clientele:

Table 5.3 National Action Election Results 1986-1988[121]

Seat

Election

Score

Adelaide

Federal 1988 (by-election)

409

Port Adelaide

Federal 1988 (by-election)

438

Canterbury

NSW State 1986

513

Rockdale

NSW State 1988

520

The vote tallies had not lifted beyond the scores of Extreme Right groups of the 1970’s. Nonetheless, it was considered that electioneering had a limited purpose: public familiarization and resource-assembly to justify and carry on corrosive propaganda.[122]

Financial means were limited. Membership fees, sales of material and general donations to the National Office/NSW section between 1985 and 1989, totalling some $47,438, are recorded.[123] Allowing that Victorian and South Australian fundraising was each about 40% of this figure,[124] and with other areas estimated, the combined income for the period was over $90,000. These figures however, did not reflect the mobilized atmosphere of a sect that engendered significant donations of second-hand books, computers, printing and typesetting equipment, a rent-free national office and an array of other unpaid services and offerings reasonably in excess of $150,000.

A different sort of dedication was demonstrated by the willingness of members to risk arrest, imprisonment, media stigmatization and personal ostracism. The monthly newsletter – Ultra – extolled this aspect of National Action.[125]

In the battle for legitimization and political space, National Action built on its links with the international Extreme Right, and after 1985 participated in the loose ‘International of Nationalism’.[126] It managed this connection in two ways: first, by developing ideological positions against “U.S. imperialism” and economic globalization, and for anti-imperialist revolution in Third World countries, the anti-Zionist ‘Arab Revolution’ and the ‘Nouvelle Droit’ principle of ethno-pluralism – or ‘right to racial-cultural difference’;[127] second, by wielding the cudgel of ideological innovation against competitor groups and sidestepping media “smears” of racism and intellectual poverty.[128]

National Action recognized neither any contradiction between an Australian ultra-nationalism and participation in an international movement directed at common enemies, nor in synthesizing European ‘revolutionary-nationalist’ anti-capitalism with the nationalist-labour mythology.[129] The international relationship was natural since National Action’s ‘neither Left nor Right’ rhetoric approximated the European ‘Third Position/Third Way’ style, ostensibly demonstrating the co-operative nationalist vision as the alternative to internationalism.

Members of the German Young National Democrats and the French Third Way party addressed NA functions[130] and close links emerged with the “cadre based” British National Front (1986-89) whose “political soldiers” adopted positions on environmentalism, worked with “racial separatists” from coloured migrant groups while repudiating their former Commonwealth unity myth.[131] The NF’s new palingenetic vision was one of European unity and cultural rebirth within a universal solidarity of “peoples against systems”.[132] These NF positions, echoed by French Third Way, the Dutch Centre Party 86 and the Belgian Party of New Forces, were advanced with academic-recognized ‘sincerity’[133] in order to win public acceptance.

The vociferous condemnation of neo-nazism through Third Position’s counter-ideology – which excluded racial hierarchies and vilification – also appealed to National Action. A 1984 pamphlet Neo-Nazism was reissued in which neo-nazis were parodied as the disruptive “Trotskyists of the Right”.[134] The ANM was continually criticised for anti-semitism, the leader cult, and race-hate propaganda.[135] Two Sydney ANM activists were bashed, and a threat made that neo-nazism “be exorcised from those areas where the Nationalist(s) … (operate) …”[136] Sectarian logic was clearly present in this element of NA’s policy.

A special ideological-political link was formed with the New Zealand Nationalist Workers’ Party (NWP). Under NA’s influence, the NWP authored texts predicated upon that country’s labour tradition.[137] The trans-Tasman bond was regarded symbolically important in terms of the ANZAC legacy and NA’s Programme.

Whatever National Action’s ideological initiatives, the line of march was governed by the requirements of the political guerilla model. The Sydney branch’s targets grew to encompass Japanese (“Honorary Aryans”) property investment, particularly real estate agent “collaborators”, one of whom reported loss of business.[138] A front, the ‘South African Defence Campaign’, published detailed “exposés” of aid groups, anti-apartheid journalists and community figures, inciting public reply.[139]

A pamphlet – Heavengate: Sodomy And Political Gonorrhoea In The Uniting Church – ‘outed’ lesbian reverend Dorothy McMahon, accusing her of networking “anti-racists” at the State’s behest.[140] The developed campaign was a national scandal, occasioning the December 1988 award to McMahon by the Governor-General, of a Human Rights Medal for her “stand” against “racism”.[141] Media ‘heroicised’ McMahon and accused NA of criminal conduct against her,[142] which invited counter-propaganda aimed at journalists as ‘props’ of State propaganda.[143] National Action’s public attack on media was unique on the Extreme Right and indicative of the personalist politics it pursued.

The “red herring” of Liberal Party criticism of the Hawke government’s immigration policy in July-August 1988,[144] encouraged an intensification of NA’s propaganda directly leading to political attack. Labor M.P. Clyde Holding urged “racists become outlaws” and the Prime Minister rebuked NA on Perth radio.[145] In early 1989, Mr Hawke went further:

… dark and sinister forces … such as National Action … were … also a threat to Australia’s trade, tourism and investment interests. They are a danger to our social harmony and stability … to Australia’s standing in the eyes of the world …[146]

The political periphery around NA expanded. The Patriotic Lobby became a channel for conservative-Liberal funding. The equivocal Skinhead groups provided occasional street muscle. Clandestine cells such as ‘AWB-Australian Command’, ‘Sons Of Kokoda’, ‘Bicentennial Australian Revolutionary Kommandoes’ and ‘Australian People’s Army’ let loose waves of violence.[147] Journalist Adele Horin wrote for innumerable others:

The brick through the window, the smashed windscreen, the slashed car tyres and the early morning bomb threat have become common experiences for a widening circle of Sydney-siders who dare to make known their anti-racist views … The terror is insidious. It strikes at the roots of democracy …[148]

The identity of the ‘violence-cells’ has been disputed[149] but whatever their motivation and origins, National Action had incited considerable discord. ‘Violence’ was directed at the Human Rights Commissioner,[150] NSW M.P. Helen Sham-Ho[151] and the Gay and Lesbian Immigration Task Force[152] with an array of ‘victim’ academics, journalists and ‘anti-racists’ crucial movers in the promulgation of a ‘National Inquiry Into Racist Violence’ in December 1988. Pressure mounted in NSW for ‘anti-racial vilification legislation’[153] and Dr. Gerard Henderson, a supporter of economic Asianization, demanded the “baying” of the “Lunar Right” – should be muzzled.[154]

National Action’s ‘political-guerilla warfare’ had been conducted without substantive alliances and in isolation from real community sympathy. A para-State suppression operation would follow.

5. Radical-Nationalism And The Crisis And Satellitization Of The Left 1982-89

The Australian Left weathered the seven years after Fraser’s ‘coup’ very poorly. The CPA(M-L)’s bid for hegemony over the Left failed, partly due to a debilitating cadre split (1977-8) when a faction followed the ‘Gang of Four’ and repudiated Hill’s narrow anti-Sovietism.[155] Maoist sectarianism had created an intra-Left rancour undiminished until new mid 1980’s alliances were struck during the New Right attack upon the BLF,[156] but the CPA(M-L) had already imploded. Meanwhile, Australian Trotskyism stayed divided, failing to fill this early-1980’s void. Fraser’s anti-Sovietism had battered the CPA and SPA into peace-movement blocs which limited their independence.[157]

The 1983 election of a Labor government which quickly embraced economic rationalist principles, caused additional problems for the Left. A reformist impulse in face of the ALP ‘Right’ was self-defeating. Broad Left conferences were held with little tangible result.[158] Attempts to unite Left parties failed and declarations of common action remained dead letters.[159] The Prices-Incomes Accord of the 1980’s marginalized the divided Left, just as ‘betrayal’ of the BLF by some fractions showed bad faith. Some Trotskyists clamoured for a regrouped class struggle Left, but potential allies like the CPA were drifting in the liberal direction.[160] By the mid- 1980’s the CPA had degenerated into a collection of environmentalists, homosexual-activists and social democrats, implicitly adopting the Bernsteinist position ascribed to it years before by the CPA(M-L).[161]

Into this Left-sunset came the Radical-Nationalist groups (and ANM) to enlarge upon the destabilizing effects of Australian National Alliance 1978–80. The new contest had two inter-related aspects: the Radical-Nationalists challenged for possession of the labour-nationalist heritage; through their agitation against immigration/multiculturalism the Radical-Nationalists would goad the Left into subservient ‘alliances’ with liberals and State agencies – and thereby deny it ideological and political independence.

Left responses to Australian National Alliance were mixed. Ironically, most of the Left initially opposed Vietnamese refugee arrivals. Establishment conservatives and anti-communists were more enthusiastic.[162] Violence between Left groups and anti-communist Vietnamese occurred as late as 1985.[163] Some leftists could appreciate the logic of restricting admission of right-wing refugees.

An Australian ‘National-Left’ favouring ‘national independence’ and industrial-protection was a lingering strategic option.[164] Ted Wheelwright’s political-economy group questioned the Pacific Rim Economic Order scheme.[165] CPA theorist Laurie Aarons previously urged that Maoist extreme “nationalism” should not cause the Left to repudiate national sentiment and identity.[166] These wistful reminders of historical Left efforts at adapting internationalism to Australian realities might explain Freney’s rage at National Action:

When National Action tries to appropriate the Eureka Flag, Henry Lawson and William Lane for their fascist cause, they represent another provocation against the Left.[167]

Freney argued that the ‘racism’ of Lane was long expunged from the socialist movement. Yet nostalgia for the native-socialist tradition was even registered by a prominent Trotskyist who warned against NA’s campaign, pragmatically and realistically urging that the class-struggle aspects of the old tradition (particularly Eureka) be subsumed into modern socialism.[168]

Radical-Nationalists had a broad interest in labour tradition. Saunders wrote at embarrassing length on the Eureka Flag, Lane’s classless socialism and White Australia nationalism, while contriving a tendentious linkage between Lane, Moeller van den Bruck and Nietzschean ideals.[169] The Left quietly ignored the tradition after 1985, as National Action in particular rendered it into a marketable propaganda. Boris Frankel’s analysis concluded that the similar rhetoric and iconography of “left” and “right” populism, between Maoist ‘nationalism’ and National Action, expressed a common awareness of the utility of the tradition.[170]

Naturally, Trotskyists reviled the ‘national-socialist’ tradition of the labour movement as chauvinist and racist. Faced with colour questions, the response was consistent. In 1979, the International Socialists stated ‘Boat People Are Welcome Here’,[171] while subsequently, economic nationalism was seen as a concession to patriotism and potential racial exclusiveness.[172] By 1983-4, Trotskyists had commitments to the Overseas Student Program and would even permit Chinese contract labour lest oppositional racism be encouraged.[173] The Spartacist League went further over time and argued Hawke-Labor rested upon the racist-labour legacy. It was then argued that Labor, either by design or fault, encouraged nationalist racism, its pro-Americanism fuelling these tendencies and sustaining National Action.[174] Such zany thought expressed Trotskyist cognitive dissonance.

Capitalism was eradicating national barriers and would hardly ‘import’ migrants just to scapegoat them. Ultimately, the Spartacists contended National Action might produce the “racist contamination” of the working class, its independent violence unopposed by the Left.[175]

As the free-market 1980’s wore on, the entire Left lurched towards internationalism on the issues of free-trade and immigration. Internationalism could be justified by Marx’s schema, wherein free-trade capitalism would hasten the unity of the proletariat by dissolving nations.[176] In that way, immigration controls were ‘racist’ according to International Socialists in 1984.[177] Simultaneously, the CPA ‘surrendered’ national preference:

Although there are some divisions over Asian immigration, the Australian ruling class knows its future lies in Asian markets. They cannot afford a rabid anti-Asian movement here … As for the Left, we mightn’t like the politics of the Vietnamese refugee leaders but we must be in the forefront of their defence …[178]

This retreat left the CPA tacitly accepting that racist-nationalism was anti-capitalist. The CPA quietly abandoned its ‘National-Left’ notion of Australian economic independence. Cynically, its protectionist ‘people’s economy’ projects were designed to bloc with ALP progressives,[179] while Labor’s actual New Right deregulationism modified Australia. Sharp CPA critiques of the New Right would follow,[180] but the party went blinkered associating the new capitalism with ALP ‘Rights’ and the Liberals, judging it ‘racist’ and the Extreme Right its bully-boy manifestation.[181] This confusion was fatal. CPA alliances with Labor ‘Lefts’ induced liquidationism at the very historical moment it was trying its Bernsteinian merger into the radical-liberal social movements from which the socialist future would supposedly crystallize – and as Communists played a role in anti-racist ‘united fronts’.

‘People Against Racism’ groups in Sydney and Melbourne attracted I.S. and SWP activists (1983-4) to combat NA’s anti-overseas student campaign. However, it was Combined Unions Against Racism (CUAR) which best illustrated cooptation. The CUAR, founded in April 1984, sought to expose National Action “attacks” and other racist violence[182] and to oppose ‘workplace racism’.[183] Pro-ALP union officials,[184] and ALP politicians (Frank Walker and Meredith Burgmann) directed the show in which the Left played second fiddle. New South Wales government funding was provided. The Left was admonished not to use violence, run education campaigns, guard its property[185] – and co-operate with police.[186] Special Branch action against ‘racists’ was demanded by CUAR and the CPA.[187] By 1985 a multi-organization ‘anti-racist network’ across Australia had emerged.[188] CUAR activist Bronwyn Ridgeway, the victim of a mysterious Sydney car firebombing in June 1985[189] united various Left groups with CUAR in anti-racist activism.[190]

Between 1986 and early 1988 contention between the Left and the Extreme Right was limited. While the Left grappled for space in Australian politics and exchanged polemics, NA became a small cadre movement, ANM developed a Perth racist campaign and a populist Right (Chapter Eight) developed in the countryside. Spartacists occasionally called for anti-Right ‘labour-minority’ mobilizations,[191] and I.S. members damaged NA offices, but generally the Right operated unhindered by the Left.

By mid-1988, the Extreme Right had become more aggressive. Responsively, a Melbourne ‘Coalition For Multicultural And Democratic Rights’ united ALP, CPA and CPA(M-L) activists against racism. A Perth ‘People Against Racism’ lobbied for anti-ANM ‘anti-racial vilification legislation’.[192] The SPA demanded police close down National Action.[193] In 1989, Sydney CPA members joined ‘Community Alert Against Racism And Violence’, an anti-racist neighbourhood-watch designed to report suspicious persons to police, such that cars and homes of anti-racists could not be damaged by the violence squads.[194] Adelaide’s Campaign Against Racial Exploitation and anti-Apartheid groups rallied leftists to publish against National Action. Like many liberals, NSW leftists co-operated with Special Branch and supported the ‘National Inquiry Into Racist Violence’. Incredibly, the CPA said it would support a parliamentary inquiry into the funding of the League Of Rights.[195] The Extreme Right’s monopoly of violence persuaded Left anti-racists to forego retaliation or independent action. Almost as a postscript, the unexpected collapse of Eastern European communism broke the Old-Left finalizing a period of confusion, co-optation and Right attack. By 1991, the CPA had dissolved, and the SPA wilted.

To give a precise weight to the Extreme Right’s impact on the 1980’s Left is difficult and overstatement must be avoided. Arguably, the Radical-Nationalists took possession of the labour-nationalist heritage shutting off a Left-nationalist option, encouraging Trotskyist and Old-Left internationalism on industrial protection and race. The Left’s anti-racist impulse waxed which pushed co-optation just as Left reformism or Left opportunism (opposite responses to the Labor government) encouraged marginalization. Perhaps the Left cast for an issue to win a new support-base. However, capitalism was the ultimate anti-racist force. Left anti-racism could augment capitalist ideological hegemony, not challenge it. In the discussion of the State and the Extreme Right in the 1990’s, Left-satellitization shall be shown as a normative for post-Berlin Wall marxism.

 

6. The Membership Of Australian National Action 1982-1995

The membership of Extreme Right organizations has been subject to speculation. Tillett estimated NA’s national membership (in 1989) at over 100, males predominating.[196] It was actually just under 500. One journalist argued:

The leaders are invariably well educated middle-class males, often from unhappy families … drawn from universities where they have dabbled in political movements … they have a devastating contempt for ‘the masses’ whom they regard as gullible … The ‘army’ Mr Saleam refers to is drawn from the poorer, less educated ranks of the unemployed … brutally minded young men who often cannot rationalise why they believe something but are seeking opportunities to display their aggression …[197]

Available NA records and other public information will establish similarities to the negative model but also substantial variation.

The NA records were limited.[198] Information existed on only 505 members (1982-91), but 13 Adelaide males had no details recorded against them. Persons who withdrew from membership were eliminated from some branch records. Major branches kept ‘unavailable’ secret lists of members who worked in government agencies or whose interests demanded anonymity. Such ‘professional’ memberships would distort available data.

Table 5.4 Membership By Sex

Males

Females

443

62

Table 5.5 Membership By Age Group

Under 20

20-30 years

31-40 years

41-50

Over 50

83

164

87

78

80

<13 uncertain>

Table 5.6 Membership By Geographical Distribution

Metropolitan

Other City

Country

455

32

18

These tables illustrate National Action’s specificity as an urban construction dominated by younger males. The relationship between political experiences and age distribution was explicable:

Table 5.7 Political Involvements Prior To NA Membership

NIL

Other Right

Mainstream

Left

354

125

10

3

<13 unknown>

Younger members usually had NA as their first political commitment. Some older members (especially women) had been in ANA/ICA/PCP and maintained an evolving commitment, while some moved from perceived less-effective vehicles towards a radical organization.[199]

Table 5.8 Educational Achievement

High School

Matriculation

Tertiary

367

98

27

<13 unknown>

NA was skewed in the direction of the less educated, although in militant activist politics success is dynamically reflexive of the ‘less-complicated’ obeying the leadership. The BLF/Independence Movement activism (1970’s/1980’s) demonstrated this trait was not simply a Right phenomenon.

Table 5.9 Membership By Occupation (at time of joining)

Unskilled Workers

Skilled Manual Workers

White Collar Employees

203

98

127

Students

Professionals

Business

9

28

27

<13 unknown>

Occupational distribution indicated both a working class ‘skew’ and early-career distributions of younger members. The older members, often from Mainstream and Right backgrounds, were disproportionately reflected in business and white-collar occupations and were thus able to sustain the organization financially.

Reputedly, NA members had a low rate of trade-business-professional group membership, keeping compartmentalized work-family-political lives.[200] They also had weak religious interests.

Table 5.10 Membership Of Religious Faiths

Christian

Jewish

Other

None Known

58

3

6

425

<13 unknown>

The ‘Jewish’ members were secularized, ‘nominal’ and unconnected to the community. Interestingly, NA attracted a number of foreign born (evenly divided between Britain and Europe-Continent), some of whom held organizational rank:

Table 5.11 Country Of Birth

Australia

Britain

Europe-Continent

448

20

24

Most migrant members were well-assimilated into native-norms.

National Action’s political tactics ensured confrontation with the law. Few members joined with criminal histories (e.g. Donnini – armed robbery, and some youths – drunkenness, assault) but many earned convictions for assault, violent disorder, firearms offences and malicious damage. An estimate cited 47 members with convictions;[201] this bore no stigma and was explained as a consequence of radical activism. Of course the exigencies of the propaganda war engendered media allegations of criminality.

Data on NA membership 1991–5 could not be examined.[202] There was a break in continuity after 1991 (as below) with the recruitment of new younger members, and some indications of a loss of older long-serving cadre. Conclusions drawn here generally reflect the conditions prevailing until 1991. The cases of other Radical-Nationalist formations must be left to textual commentary. Some groups had dispersed while others would not produce records. Nonetheless, the centrality of National Action to Radical-Nationalism permits general conclusions.

Membership motivation or participant psychology are important but loaded issues. A genre of psychological literature which aims to dissect Right behaviour and belief began with Theodore Adorno’s The Authoritarian Personality. His ‘Fascism Scale’ sought to predict fascist potential from psychological profiling. That study located essential traits of the authoritarian personality: authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression and conventionalist adherence to societal norms.[203] This legacy inspired considerable research. Whatever the idiosyncrasies of Adorno’s study, the discussion was actually about conservatism with underlying assumptions about subjects’ beliefs in anti-semitism and paranoid conspiracy doctrine. With some modifications, Billig applied such an interpretation to the 1970’s British National Front.[204] He relied upon the ‘coded’ publications of this party – which was under neo-nazi manipulation – to set a framework for interview with members. The ‘flawed’ paranoid personalities supposedly maintained the apocalyptic genocidalist tradition of centuries old anti-semitism.[205] A recent American study skirted around the question of whether ‘fascism’ or ‘conservatism’ was under analysis, but its ‘Right-Wing Authoritarians’ came through as rigid protectors of actual conservative values, or seekers for a return to lost standards. It was argued that the Oklahoma Bombers, conservative activists and neo-nazis, were different in degree.[206]

The genre of psychological critical literature confuses Right typologies and tends to limit Right cadre to particular human types. It is tempting to criticise the literature as the State’s discourse-for-marginalization although it can define some individuals in various Extreme Right movements and therefore be relevant.

The evidence presented in this Chapter sustains the argument that National Action was a sect. It claimed possession of a truth, was exclusivist, centrally controlled and employed a special language to express ideology.[207] This status was held in common with the League Of Rights allowing that NA was a “fighting organization” unconnected to the mythic symbolism of satellite conservatism. The organization’s strategic-tactical plan might be compared with the Sorelian ‘revolutionary myth’ contrived to sustain members for the long-term struggle to re-establish community out of decadence and rebirth an identity after revolution.[208] A sect inevitably attracts heterogenous membership and some fringe personality types. Determinatively of National Action’s organizational ‘psychology’ however, must be its anti-State style distilled of the native ultra-nationalist tradition which denigrated State authoritarianism. ‘Authoritarian Personality’ theory would be inadequate in such a case.

Nonetheless, NA did attract a few unstable individuals, not the quaint LOR activist who took vitamins, avoided fluoridated water and was worried about cancer, but victims of personal trauma. David Greason described himself as:

fat, spotty, sexually and socially inept, no money, no job, no self-esteem, polyester shirts, always desperate for a fuck …[209]

There was the odd neurotic and a woman with an invented life (Chapter Nine) but no evidence of membership abnormality in the self-policed organization, albeit with two significant exceptions who created a negative aura around National Action.

Jason Frost, aged 22 in 1989, was a tortured personality who suffered maternal abandonment and paternal violence.[210] He found solace in an organization accused of criminality.[211] In January 1989, Frost discharged a shotgun at the Sydney home of Eddie Funde, a representative of the African National Congress. Frost later testified that Saleam was his substitute authority figure who seduced him into the crime.[212] It was countercharged that Frost, controlled by a Special Branch ‘authority figure’, crafted a false allegation[213] – and that he had obsessional motives for the offence linked to a personal fantasized agenda.[214] Whatever the truth, the youth’s character was flawed in a manner disastrous to National Action.

Perry Whitehouse, aged 36 in 1991, murdered in April 1991, a fellow NA member, the gruesome details captured by an ASIO surveillance device.[215] A psychological report argued that Whitehouse was prone to ignore authority, had endured personal frustration and held resentments against his unemployment and for individual sleights, but no pathology was present.[216] This evidence has been complicated by further argument that Whitehouse had endured two years of Special Branch harassment and was facing a serious charge while a defence witness in the Saleam trial – when he took to alcohol.[217] His ultimate crime had a unique context.

Whether Frost and Whitehouse had personalities that approximated the authoritarian model is problematical. It seems more reasonable to argue otherwise. Alienation seems the key. When the sect presented as a combat group with particular rough-edged human qualities, the danger from the fringe character who could embarrass the group – was considerable.

7. The Radical-Nationalist ‘Tradition’ Survives Para-State Attack 1989–95

As examined further in the context of the State’s interaction with the Extreme Right (Chapter Nine), NA and ANM were equally subjected to multifaceted assault in 1989–91, their ‘terrorist propensities’ the causal factor.

National Action’s ideological position held that Australia was a capitalist State resting upon a liberal civil society. Ironically in 1989–91, this power-nexus operated against the Extreme Right. A Federal government ‘National Agenda’ on Multiculturalism was promulgated in July 1989 while the National Inquiry Into Racist Violence heard witnesses assert the probable guilt of NA and ANM in assorted offences.[218] Ross Garnaut, a CEDA economist, argued that a prosperous Asian future for Australia was threatened by recalcitrant Australians.[219] Media asserted that criminal violence from the Extreme Right was widespread.[220] Sydney Special Branch struck at National Action arresting twelve members for various violence offences, while the Perth ANM leadership was imprisoned from August 1989.[221] Other NA sections were pursued by police without additional prosecutions.[222] Essentially, the Extreme Right was to be eliminated as a political threat to multiculturalism and economic Asianization.

In 1990, ASIO stated:

The only discernible threat of politically motivated violence comes from the racist Right. This suffered serious setbacks in the past year with the arrest of a large number of leading members of the two most dangerous groups. Their capacity to recover … is yet to be shown. However, they appear to have established themselves as fairly durable political entities and will probably persist for some time …[223]

Sustained attack produced faultlines and the weakness of National Action was revealed. Its effectiveness rested upon a thin layer of leaders with its other cadres and members not versed in the methods of a suppression operation. The arrests stimulated a rift with two factions (Adelaide and Sydney) locked in dispute about various organizational problems.[224] Meanwhile, provocateur neo-nazis harassed the leaders some announcing to media that they were National Action.[225]

The period 1989–94 was one of crisis in the Radical-Nationalist camp. In 1988, a well-funded paper The Bunyip Bulletin appeared. It was printed in 20,000 copies, and employed Arthur Smith who moulded its satire, cultural-nationalist line and anti-homosexual rhetoric. Bunyip Bulletin appeared on national newsstands,[226] but it folded broke in 1990. A National Republican Movement (NRM), partly based upon Melbourne NA cadre, formed in 1990. It was hoped to salvage resources from the besieged Radical-Nationalist camp. A hyper-nativist style was utilized,[227] but NRM (1990–95) never recruited beyond 100 supporters. In 1990 also, a group of Melbourne neo-nazi Skinheads inspired by a U.S. neo-nazi group, launched ‘White Aryan Resistance’.[228] By 1993 it had ‘denazified’ – under the Eureka Flag (within a sunwheel) and a new title – ‘White Australian Resistance’ (WAR). Nationalist labour themes including nineteenth century anti-Asian cartoons appeared in its propaganda. [229] However, WAR had limited financial and human resources and remained weak.[230] The clandestine violence groups were a casualty, dispersing in 1989 once National Action as a symbolic point had been broken.[231] One extinction-through-exhaustion was the small ‘National Credit’ propaganda group, the National Technocrat Party, which operated on the fringes of rural populism as a National Action ally (Chapter Eight).

Any semblance of united purpose within the Radical-Nationalist camp was contingent upon a centralizing agent free of destabilization factors. Attendant negative publicity surrounding the NA/ANM arrests incited further division. One group, Phoenix Alliance formed by Perth small businessman Craig Bradshaw (aged 39 in 1989), was a break with ANM neo-nazism.[232] It took on the ‘traditional’ programme of the Radical-Nationalists (independence, native identity and national-credit) but eschewed confrontationalism and violence for a propaganda-electoral method.[233] Such tactics belied the ‘rebirth’ psychology implicit in its name, yet its survival as a sect testified to the dedication this political family inspires.

By 1995, Brander had effectively reintegrated the Radical Nationalist camp within a new environment on the Extreme Right. With Saleam jailed in 1991 for involvement in the Funde offence and the collapse of parts of the organization, Brander’s National Action was an isolated rump competed against by other grouplets and by new Extreme Right formations – Confederate Action Party (CAP) and Australians Against Further Immigration (AAFI). As is argued in Chapters Seven and Eight, the CAP catered for radicalized conservatives chiefly in Queensland and particular rural areas, while AAFI in Melbourne and Sydney accustomed suburbia to ‘anti-immigration voting’. Effectively, Radical-Nationalism was shut out of some geographic areas and social sectors by credible competitors.

Brander however, proved the durability of Radical-Nationalism through a policy of street agitation and confrontation with Left sects (1992–95) in Adelaide and Melbourne,[234] coupled with a localized successful agitation on issues such as the MultiFunction Polis,[235] Asian property investment[236] and ‘anti-racial vilification legislation’.[237] National Action’s Adelaide militancy ‘closed’ that city to other Extreme Right groups, providing Senator Bolkus with a “crucible”[238] focal factor in that ‘city of hate’.[239] National Action in Adelaide was able to reconsolidate a small electoral base as some voting figures show.

Table 5.12 National Action Voting 1995-6[240]

Seat

Election

Score

Taylor

1995 State by-election

921 (5.9%)

Boynthon

Federal 1996

1357 (1.93%)

Hindmarsh

Federal 1996

992 (1.29%)

Makin

Federal 1996

267 (.33%)

After trenchant media criticism,[241] Brander achieved a “complete image overhaul” by 1995,[242] ridding his 500-strong organization of the most tenuous links with the Skinhead or neo-nazi milieu and aggressively asserting the native-nationalist mythos.[243] The tenacity of the rebuilt structure was testified to by Isi Leibler’s 1995 comment:

I’m not saying you have to be put in jail for just saying what you do, but if you try to do anything about it in public, politically, then you should be dealt with … We’ve got to get rid of you people somehow – get you out of the country or something – just get rid of you.[244]

By the close of the study-period, Radical-Nationalism was part of a generalized Extreme Right fermentation and best approached in this integrated context, given that Brander built alliances with smaller Radical-Nationalist groups to provide a cadre factor in the evolution of the Extreme Right.

Conclusion

The evidence shows that the Radical-Nationalist ‘tradition’ initiated by National Resistance/ANA (1977-81) became a fixture on the Australian Extreme Right. Although the core organization National Action assembled a supporter-base from former ‘anti-immigration’ groups which arose episodically after the 1966 ‘putsch’ against ‘White Australia’, it was simultaneously a new departure. This was indicated by the rally of a younger group of working class militants and the considerable energy the Radical-Nationalists demonstrated.

Various syntheses of ideas were developed to support radical action against a ‘State’ delegitimized as cosmopolitan and alien to Australian identity and independence. Here the proto-fascist tradition articulated in Chapter One was reproduced as ideology and propaganda. The process of radicalization produced ‘Political Guerilla Warfare’ with resultant contention.

Radical-Nationalist organizations attempted to fill a space in the 1980’s available as a result of the intensity of the ALP government’s drive to economic internationalization. Ultimately, failure was the reward. Nonetheless, State-internationalization and Extreme Right attack did break the Old-Left which failed to understand the dialectical inter-relationship of Accord-ism and New Right activism. Radical-Nationalism’s success in intensifying the co-optation of the Left implied also that an internationalist Left was thereafter available for the ‘besiege-ment’ of any form of Right militancy.

The new capitalism did not require Right satellites but few conservatives radicalized. Effectively, therefore, the Radical-Nationalist family was isolated and forced upon its own resources. Determinative of its failure and subsequent place in the Right constellation was the responsive para-State attack launched against it in the period 1989-91 and the emergence of new Extreme Right formations with less dangerous presentations. The tradition, sidelined by other formations, could not achieve hegemony over the Extreme Right.

The general problems of Radical-Nationalism seem that of all ideologically motivated movements: the difficulty of acquiring political space, damaging incidents, lack of materiel and some fragmentation.

References

[1] Denis Freney, Nazis Out Of Uniform: The Dangers Of Neo-Nazi Terrorism In Australia, Sydney, 1984, pp. 13, 15.

[2] ibid, p. 2.

[3] Australian National Action, Membership Files For New South Wales, Computer Record; Australian National Action, Card Index and Membership Index. Records held by the author of 505 persons (see below). Other records unavailable.

[4] Confidential.

[5] “Press Council Censures The Australian”, The Australian, October 3 1979, p. 5; “Extremists”, Audacity, No. 12, undated, p. 1.

[6] “Racist Groups Exposed! Ex-Leader Tells All”, The Battler, April 14 1984, pp. 1–2.

[7] David Greason, I Was A Teenage Fascist, pp. 274–5; Verity Burgmann, “Writing Racism Out Of History”, Arena, No. 67, 1984, p. 79.

[8] David Greason, op.cit., p. 276.

[9] John Birmingham, “Hearts Of Darkness”, Rolling Stone, September 1990, pp. 44–51.

[10] What Is National Action?, leaflet, 1982.

[11] Laurie Oaks, “Racists Attack Mixed Society”, The Age, July 30 1982, p. 13; “Disrupted!”, National Action Bulletin, No. 2, undated, p. 1.

[12] “Declaration”, National Action Bulletin, No. 6, undated, p. 1.

[13] Anon, Our Tasks: Vital Questions For The Nationalist Party, Sydney, January 1983, pp. 2–3.

[14] ibid, p. 3.

[15] “Are We Radicals?”, Audacity, No. 24, April–May 1982, p. 6; “The Enemies Of Australian Nationalism”, loc.cit, p. 8.

[16] J. Saleam, “Break From The Right”, National Action Bulletin, No. 10, undated, pp. 5–7 (actual date June 1983).

[17] “ICA”, National Action Bulletin, No. 3, undated, p. 2; “Mistakes”, National Action Bulletin, No. 6, undated, p. 2.

[18] “No Platform For Fascists! Drive The PNP Off Campus”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 93, April 1982, pp. 2, 6; Stop Racist Attacks On Campus, Maoist campus leaflet, April 1982.

[19] Overseas Students And You, National Action leaflet, April 1983; Jim Saleam, “Overseas Student Furore”, Audacity, No. 19, August 1983, pp. 1, 3.

[20] Adam Fraser, “Group Formed to Fight University Racism”, Tribune, February 22 1984, p. 13; “Sydney Students Battle Racism”, Direct Action, August 22 1984, p. 21; “University Campuses In NSW Have Combatted Strongly Fascist, Racist Propaganda”, Vanguard, September 28 1983, p. 3.

[21] “University Poll”, National Action Bulletin, No. 12, undated, p. 1.

[22] Andrew Guild, Interview, 1995.

[23] Geoffrey Blainey, All For Australia, Sydney, 1984, pp. 14–15.

[24] “Racist Attacks Will Not Be Tolerated”, The Socialist, March 14 1984, p. 3 , for a list of these offences.

[25] “Racist Violence”, Honi Soit, Arena, Newswit, combined edition, August 1984, p. 3.

[26] “French Fascist Invited Here For Speaking Tour”, Tribune, December 14 1983, p. 2; Denis Freney, “Racist Group Has Weapons On its Premises”, Tribune, April 11 1984, p. 11; “Neo-Fascists Try To Woo Skinheads”, Tribune, December 7 1983, p. 15.

[27] “Fun, Filth And Slander: The Hughes By-Election”, Ultra, No. 16, undated, pp. 1–2.

[28] “Racist Incidents At Macquarie”, Australian Jewish Times, March 29 1984, p. 3; “Hot Reception For National Action At Macquarie”, Direct Action, March 21 1984, p. 21; Anti-Semitism Today, Jewish student leaflet, 1984.

[29] “University Bans Racist Group”, publication unknown, dated November 23 1988 in Ultra, No. 56, December 1988, p. 2, when National Action remonstrated over the 1984 ban.

[30] “Campaign Of Fear Stops Aid Group, The Age, July 24 1984, p. 1; Community Aid Abroad: Front For Terrorism, leaflet, May 1984.

[31] Bill Hayden quoted in, “Is Bill Hayden Insane?”, Audacity, No. 22, July 1984, p. 3.

[32] “Liberals Go Migrant Bashing”, Direct Action, No. 478, May 16 1984, pp, 1, 3; Andrew Markus and M.C. Rickleffs (eds.), Surrender Australia: Essays In The Study And Uses Of History, Sydney, 1985.

[33] “A Breakthrough”, Ultra, No. 23, undated, p. 1.

[34] Australian Electoral Commission, House Of Representatives Election: By Division And Polling Place, Canberra, 1984; Senate Election: Western Australia.

[35] Vanessa Coles, “The Continuity Of Fascism In Germany And Australia: A Comparative History”, BA(Hons) Thesis, University of Sydney, 1994, p. 70.

[36] The question of neo-fascism is dealt with in Chapter Ten.

[37] Roger Griffin, The Nature Of Fascism, p. 170.

[38] Al Grassby, The Tyranny Of Prejudice, Melbourne, 1984, pp. 460–2.

[39] See: “French Nationalists Grow”, Audacity, No. 7, undated, p. 4; “Front Nationale”, Ultra, No. 20, undated, pp. 7–9; “International News”, Audacity, No. 22, July 1984, p. 10. Other examples also cover the period 1978 to1984.

[40] Roger Griffin, The Nature Of Fascism, p. 20.

[41] Leonard Weinberg, “The Violent Life: Left And Right-Wing Terrorism In Italy”, in Peter Merkl (ed.), Political Violence And Terror: Motifs And Motivation, Berkeley, 1986, pp. 156–7.

[42] James Saleam, Letter To The NSW Attorney General, September 24 1996.

[43] Australian National Action, File On Boris Link; “Anatomy Of Misfits, Failures And Perverts: Special Branch To Set Up Its Own Sydney National Action”, Ultra, No. 65, May 1990, pp. 3–4.

[44] Christopher T. Husbands, Racial Exclusionism And The City, London, 1983, pp. 93, 98–101.

[45] Richard Thurlow, op.cit., pp. 281–5; Roger Eatwell, Fascism: A History, pp. 270–2.

[46] David Greason, “The Invasion Of Australia”, Nationalism Today, No. 10, June 1982, pp. 12–13; David Merrett, “Are We Radicals?”, Nationalism Today, No. 24, September 1984, p. 13.

[47] John Jewell, Myths That Die Hard: Revolutionary National Socialism Verses Bourgeois Nazi Reaction 1918–34, Toronto, 1980, passim.

[48] J. Jewell, “The Fall Of Nazi Germany”, Direct Action, No. 27, January 1981, pp. 3–11; John Jewell, “Gregor Strasser”, Direct Action, No. 30, Supplement 2, December 1981.

[49] Colin Jordan, “Strasserism: Bolshevism In A Brown Shirt”, Gothic Ripples, No. 7, November 1981, pp. 1–2, for reference to West German neo-nazi “Strasserists”.

[50] “Black Book”, Direct Action, No. 31, February 1982, pp. 1–2. “Letters”, Direct Action, No. 30, November 1981, p. 7.

[51] Black And Red Front, leaflet, undated.

[52] Alec Saunders, The Social Revolutionary Nature Of Australian Nationalism, Sydney, 1984, pp. 5–9. Hereafter Norwick goes by his pen name, and shall be called the same in the text.

[53] Roger Griffin (ed.), Fascism, p. 315; Roger Eatwell, Fascism: A History, pp. 248–52. As noted below, this ‘New Right’ bears no relationship to Reagan-Thatcher ‘New Right’ economics.

[54] Jim Saleam, National Action’s Future On The Line, Sydney, April 1985, passim; Jim Saleam, What Is To Be Done?, Sydney, 1985, pp. 11–13.

[55] Alec Saunders, “Report On The Second National Conference Of Australian National Action”, Eureka, No. 2, March–April 1985, p. 2. Some of Saunders’s suggestions of patronage were inaccurate.

[56] Australian National Action, Second Conference Taped Record, 1985.

[57] John Tyndall, “Crypto-Marxist Claptrap Parading As ‘Nationalism’”, Spearhead, No. 180, October 1983, pp. 5–10.

[58] Fight For Australia!, APM leaflet, 1985.

[59] Australian Populist Manifesto, Perth, 1985, pp. 10–11.

[60] “America”, Stockade, No. 2, Summer 1985–6, pp. 1–2.

[61] “The Scorpion”, Stockade, No. 1, Spring 1985, p. 2.

[62] Werner Olles, “Racial Hatred Verses Multi-Racialism: Time For Another Choice”, The Scorpion, No. 9, Spring 1986, p. 21; “Three German National Revolutionaries”, The Scorpion, No. 4, Spring 1983, p. 11; “Ecology The Growing Dilemma”, The Scorpion, No. 11, Summer 1987, pp. 3–19.

[63] “Arson Attack On Perth CPA Office”, Tribune, August 21 1985, p. 3; “Donations Needed After Arson Attack”, Tribune, September 4 1985, p. 3.

[64] “Hail The New Order”, Vanguard, No. 2, September 1981, p. 10.

[65] Alec Saunders; Ray Gillespie: to whom Pash confirmed Libyan funding.

[66] An Open Letter, ANV members’ leaflet, May 1985; A Reply To The ‘Open Letter’ Issued By J. Saleam, ANV Members’ Letter, undated. These documents argue the opposite view i.e. that NA approached Pash. The question of “petrodollars” however is clear.

[67] “An Open Letter”, The Attack, Vol. 3, No. 4, September 1985, p. 2.

[68] Robert Pash, Letter To James Saleam, October 11 1985; “A New Left”, National Vanguard, Vol. 1, No. 8, August–October 1985, pp. 1–2.

[69] Robert Pash, Letter To James Saleam, September 3 1985.

[70] Denis Freney, “How A Neo-Nazi Conned Libya”, Tribune, May 7 1986, p. 12.

[71] Michael Danby, “Robert Pash: This Is Your Life”, Australia–Israel Review, Vol. 12, May 11–26, 1987, p. 6.

[72] George Wilson and Bruce Jones, “The Disciple Of Gaddafi”, The Sun Herald, May 10 1987, p. 5.

[73] Alec Saunders; Pash personally told this to the author, April 1985.

[74] National Democrat, Vol. 1, No. 6, March 1 1987, p. 1.

[75] Alec Saunders, Letter To James Saleam, July 1985. See: photos of Robert Pash beneath Bjelke-Petersen and Gaddafi portraits, 1987, in possession of author.

[76] Graham Williamson, Letter To James Saleam, January 7 1989. Williamson was an executive member of the British NF. See: “NF Chiefs Visit Libya”, National Front News, No. 11, January 1988, p. 1.

[77] Jim Saleam, The Nature Of State Power In Australia, Sydney, 1987, pp. 8–13.

[78] Jim Saleam, What Is To Be Done?, p. 33.

[79] J. Saleam and M. Slyney, Making Propaganda, NA leaflet, Sydney, 1986.

[80] Jim Saleam, What Is To Be Done?, pp. 18–21.

[81] J. Saleam, Australia’s Road To National Revolution, Sydney, 1984, p. 1.

[82] ibid., pp. 16–17.

[83] Jim Saleam, Address To Sydney Nationalists, Tape Recording, May 1987.

[84] ibid.

[85] “Against The Left: Against The Right”, in J. Saleam (ed.), What Is Australian Nationalism?, Sydney, 1987, p. 22.

[86] Constitution And Rules Of Australian National Action, 1987.

[87] Rules Of Conduct For National Action Members And Supporters, leaflet, 1988.

[88] Jim Saleam, How To Combat The Political Police, Sydney, 1987, passim.

[89] “Third Position Nationalism: The Key To Getting Out Of The Ghetto”, Ultra, No. 58, February 1989, pp. 3–4.

[90] “The League Of Rights And Immigration”, On Target, April 11 1986, pp. 2–3.

[91] Nick Maina, on Sydney conservative criticism of NA.

[92] Kevin McCauley, “The Labor Party, The Labour Movement And White Australian Nationalism”, National Action, No. 32, February–March 1989, p. 9.

[93] “Depression Politics”, National Action, No. 28, January 1987, pp. 1, 3.

[94] S. Lain, “CEDA: The Facts”, National Action, No. 27, May–June 1986, p. 4. For the “Committee For The Economic Development Of Australia”, see below and Chapter Nine; Tom Hume, “Behind The New Right: The Politics Of Big Money”, National Action, No. 28, January 1987, p. 4.

[95] Racists Will Become Outlaws, National Action poster, 1988.

[96] J. Saleam, The Extreme Left: Thugs For Big Business, Sydney, 1986, passim.

[97] C. Barton, “Neither ANZUS Nor Pacifism”, National Action, No. 32, February–March 1989, pp. 6–7.

[98] Jim Saleam, “The New New Guard: The New Right Conspiracy Against Australia – With Special Emphasis On Peter Sawyer: Part Two”, National Action, No. 31, November–December 1988, pp. 6–7.

[99] Jim Saleam, “The Strategy And Tactics Of National Action”, in Jim Saleam (ed.), op.cit., p. 3.

[100] “What Are National Action’s Tactics?”, Ultra, No. 53, August 1988, p. 3.

[101] Jim Saleam, What Is To Be Done?, pp. 27–29.

[102] “Towards A National State For Australia”, Renaissance, No. 21, December 1988, p. 3. (Renaissance: newsletter of South Australian NA).

[103] Michael Brander; Andrew Guild.

[104] W.D. Smith, “Getting Square With Media Lies”, National Action, No. 32, February–March 1989, p. 5.

[105] Andrew Metcalfe, For Freedom And Dignity: Historical Agency And Class Structures In The Coalfields Of New South Wales, Sydney, 1988, p. 164.

[106] Jim Saleam, What Is To Be Done?, p. 28.

[107] Anon, Some Ideological Questions, Melbourne, undated; Barry York, Student Revolt At La Trobe University, Campbell, 1989, passim; E.F. Hill, Revolution And The Australian State: A Socialist Analysis, Melbourne, 1974, pp. 8, 18, 46, 119.

[108] “Guerilla Tactics”, B.L. December 1981, pp. 8–9 and Untitled Article, Builders’ Labourers’ Federation Journal, October 1983, p. 5.

[109] Report Of The Commissioner Appointed To Inquire Into Activities Of The Australian Building Construction Employees And Builders’ Labourers’ Federation, Canberra, 1982, p. 22.

[110] “Mobilize Now To Stop Fascist Thugs Attacking Progressive People”, Vanguard, February 1 1989, p. 12.

[111] Andrew Moore, The Right Road?, p. 155. This conclusion is affirmed.

[112] Martin Lee, The Beast Reawakens, pp. 168–177, 182–3.

[113] Derek Holland, “The Suffering Of Terza Posizione”, Nationalism Today, No. 40, undated (1987), pp. 12–13.

[114] “Editorial”, Ultra, No. 33, undated, pp. 1–2.

[115] Jim Saleam, Never In Nazi Uniform, p. 27.

[116] Michael Brander; for some reports of the subjects covered: “Minister Gets Death Threat”, The Sun, April 15 1986, p. 1; “The Political Aerodynamics Of A Brick”, Ultra, No. 36, July 1986, p. 3; “Racist Groups Threaten M.P.”, The Sun, August 26 1986, p. 2; Stop Racist Violence, Campaign Against Racial Exploitation leaflet, 1987; “CPA Bookshop Firebombed”, Tribune, March 25 1987, p. 2.

[117] Andrew Guild; for some reports of the subjects covered: “Racism In China City Row”, Knox Sherbrooke News, March 12 1985, p. 1; “Council Forbids Clocktower March”, Ringwood Post, November 22 1988, reproduced as NA members leaflet, 1988; Ray Bull, “Myers Bows To Racist Pressure”, Direct Action, May 22 1985, p. 19; Bryce Courtenay, “A Racial Mix May Be Just The Cure For National Blues”, The Australian, November 17 1986, p. 13; “McDonalds Loses $50000, Campaign Hits Home”, Ultra, No. 45, September 1987, p. 1.

[118] National Action: Production Of Literature Record; Andrew Guild, National Action Publications, a computer record.

[119] Why You Are Out Of A Job Or Soon Will Be, leaflet, 1986, 1988; Say No To Cheap Asian Labour, poster, 1987.

[120] Restore The White Australia Policy: Before There Is No Australia, leaflet, 1987.

[121] NSW Electoral Commission, Electoral District Of Canterbury By-Election, February 1 1986, Results; NSW Electoral Commission, General Election For Legislative Assembly 19 March 1988, Sydney, 1988, p. 140; Australian Electoral Commission, Annual Report 1987–88, Canberra 1988, p. 97.

[122] Pat Leyman, “Lessons From The British National Front”, in Jim Saleam (ed.), op.cit.; pp. 17-18.

[123] Australian National Action, Account Books 1985-91 (National/NSW). Records for 1990-91 are incomplete. Records prior to 1985 are no longer available.

[124] Australian National Action, Account Books 1985-90 (Victoria); Michael Brander.

[125] “NA Member Sacked For Political Reason”, Ultra, No. 52, July 1988, p. 4; “If The Chairman Is Jailed?”, Ultra, No. 59, April 1989, p. 4. Also: “Frame Up”, White Australia News, No. 6, December 1985 (a mass leaflet).

[126] “International”, National Action, No. 28, January 1987, p. 10.

[127] Jim Saleam, “The Third Way: Origins Of A Term”, National Action, No. 31, November-December 1988, pp. 3, 10; S. Smith, “About The Third Way”, in Jim Saleam (ed.), op.cit., pp. 26-29.

[128] S. Smith, in Minutes Of The Fifth National Conference Of Australian National Action.

[129] See: untitled section, in Jim Saleam (ed.), op.cit., p. 19; “Notes On ‘The Third Way’”, ibid, p. 26.

[130] “German Nationalist Addresses NA”, Ultra, No. 43, June 1987, p. 2; “French Nationalist Speaks At Conference”, Ultra, No. 42, April 1987, p. 2.

[131] Nick Griffin, “The Way Forward: Cadre Hope”, Nationalism Today, No. 40, undated, reproduced in Ultra, No. 42, April 1987, pp. 4-5; “First Inter-National?”, Nationalism Today, No. 43, April 1988, p. 2.

[132] “The NPD: Four Years On”, loc.cit., pp. 22-3; “Dutch Comrades Seek A New Way”, Nationalism Today, No. 87, January 1989, pp. 24-5.

[133] Roger Eatwell, Fascism: A History, p. 270.

[134] Jim Saleam, Neo-Nazism, Sydney, 1984, p. 1.

[135] Jim Saleam, “The Media And Neo-Nazism”, Ultra, No. 59, April 1989, p. 3.

[136] “Japanese Imperialism: The Facts”, National Action, No. 32, February-March 1989, p. 2.

[137] See: K. Bolton, Origins Of NZ Racial-Nationalism, Lower Hutt, 1985; Anon, Radical Origins Of Racial-Nationalism; Lionel Terry, The Shadow, Lower Hutt, 1985; Anon, “The Third Way”, The Realist, No. 35, April-May 1989, passim.

[138] Megabucks For Real Estate Traitor, NA leaflet, 1988; Malcolm Brown, “Private Mail Link To Racist Activities”, Sydney Morning Herald, December 5 1988, p. 4; Oppose The Japanese Property Invasion, NA poster, 1988.

[139] South African Defence Campaign Of Australia, Bulletin. See Number 1, September 23 1985; No. 3, December 1985.

[140] Evan Raftery, Heavengate: Sodomy And Political Gonorrhoea In The Uniting Church, Sydney, 1987, passim.

[141] Paul Chamberlain, “The Egalitarian Dream Inside One Church”, Sydney Morning Herald, December 12 1988, p. 2.

[142] Lyndall Crisp, “Peace Campaigner A Target Of Hate”, The Bulletin, January 24 1989, pp. 110-113; Liz Hickson, “Dorothy McMahon: Gentle Warrior”, Women’s Weekly, January 1989, pp. 10-11.

[143] “The Murder Of Freedom Of Expression: The Media/Political Police Conspiracy To Fabricate Anti-Nationalist Material To ‘Prove’ Complicity In Political Violence”, National Action, No. 33, June-July 1989, pp. 1, 3; W.D. Smith, Heavengate 2: Sodomy And Political Gonorrhoea In The Uniting Church, Sydney, 1989, passim.

[144] Editorial, “Will The Liberal-National Coalition Curb Non-European Immigration?: Ten Questions For Johnny Howard”, National Action, No. 30, Spring 1988, pp. 1-2.

[145] “Bob Hawke Praises National Action”, Ultra, No. 55, October 1988, p. 1.

[146] “P.M. Condemns Threats Against Columnist”, The Australian, April 7 1989, p. 3.

[147] Malcolm Brown, “Thugs Use Terror To Back Apartheid”, Sydney Morning Herald, November 18 1988, p. 20; Elizabeth Wynhausen, “Stormtroopers Who Fly The Eureka Flag”, The Age; Saturday Extra, January 21 1989, p. 9; “Hate Bears A Fiery Message”, Sydney Morning Herald, November 18 1988, p. 1.

[148] Adele Horin, “What Price Freedom Of Speech?”, Sydney Morning Herald, November 8 1988, p. 9.

[149] Jim Saleam, Untitled Taped Compendium Of Radio Interviews, 1988-89; W.D. Smith, Heavengate 2, passim; see also, Chapter Nine.

[150] Malcolm Brown, “Shots And Slogans Used In Race Attacks”, Sydney Morning Herald, January 30 1989, p. 3.

[151] Mark Sawyer, “M.P. More Afraid For Her Family”, Manly Daily, December 7 1988, p. 1.

[152] “GLITF Fights Off Thugs”, Star Observer, April 21 1989, p. 4.

[153] Editorial, “Racial Hatred Is A Crime We Must Prevent”, Daily Telegraph, December 7 1988, p. 10.

[154] Gerard Henderson, “It’s Time To Muzzle Lunar Right’s Baying”, The Australian, April 4 1989, p. 7.

[155] For the effects of this schism, see: “What Is The Red Eureka Movement?”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 53, May 1978, pp. 6-7, 8; “Spartacist League Debates Albert Langer”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 59, November 1978, pp, 4, 7.

[156] “Norm Gallagher Jailed For The Crime Of Militant Unionism”, Direct Action, August 7 1985, pp. 1, 3, for SWP support for Maoist Gallagher. D. O’Neill, “CPA(M-L) Calls For Greater Unity”, Direct Action, November 21 1985, p. 19.

[157] Conclusions drawn from: “The Spectre Of The Russian Question: SPA Faces Split”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 92, March 1982, pp. 3, 7; Jim Percy, “Prospects For Socialism”, Direct Action, February 22 1984, pp. 14-15.

[158] Brian Aarons, “A Strategic Left Response On Current Issues”, Tribune, March 12 1986, p. 7; “Broad Left Challenges Labor Policies”, Tribune, April 2 1986, pp. 1, 2, 16; “Co-operation At Fightback Conference”, Tribune, April 29 1987, p. 15. These talk-fests included ALP ‘Lefts’ and unattached activists.

[159] See: Dave Holmes, “SWP-SPA Collaboration Causes Flurry On Left”, Direct Action, December 13 1983, p. 14; see SPA/SWP/CPA(M-L) contributions to Tribune, December 9 1987.

[160] Roger Miles, “Is Marxism Adequate?”, Direct Action, February 1 1983, p. 5. See also: Peter Beilharz, “Class Struggle And Its Discontents”, Thesis Eleven, No. 18/No. 19, 1987, pp. 166-178.

[161] David McKnight (ed.), Moving Left: The Future Of Socialism In Australia, Sydney, 1985, passim; For the Maoist critique of the CPA: E.F. Hill, The Labor Party’s Dr Evatt. The Petrov Affair. The Whitlam Government, Melbourne, October 1974, pp. 116-129.

[162] Hal Colebatch, “An Analysis Of The Australian Reception Of Political Refugees With Special Reference To The Case Of The Vietnamese Boat People”, PhD Thesis, University of Western Australia, 1994, pp. 338-410; Lyenko Urbanchich, “Reject The Front”, Ethnic Newsweek, June 30 1978, p. 4.

[163] “Stop Rightist Thugs”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 67, September 1979, pp. 6, 8; “Hawke Unleashes Vietnamese Fascists On The Left: Defend The Vietnamese Revolution”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 111, May-June 1985, pp. 1, 6.

[164] Robert Catley and Bruce McFarlane, op.cit., pp. 195-198.

[165] Greg Crough and E.L. Wheelwright, Australia: A Client State, Ringwood, 1982, pp. 60-64, 80, 87.

[166] Laurie Aarons, Australia And The Economic Crisis, Sydney, 1977, pp. 9-11.

[167] Denis Freney, Nazis Out Of Uniform, p. 19.

[168] Jamie Doughney, “Whose Eureka?”, Direct Action, February 8 1984, p. 21.

[169] Alec Saunders, The Social Revolutionary Nature Of Australian Nationalism, pp. 6-10; Anon, William Lane: Revolutionary, ANV pamphlet, Brisbane, 1985; Alec Saunders, William Lane And His New Australia, Brisbane, 1985.

[170] Boris Frankel, From The Prophets Deserts Come: The Struggle To Reshape Australian Political Culture, North Carlton, 1992, pp. 57, 60-65.

[171] Boat People Are Welcome Here, International Socialist sticker, 1979.

[172] For a discussion of the I.S. position on protectionism: David Greason, “The Left Vs. The Nation: The Opponents Of Protectionism”, Audacity, No. 13, February-March 1982, pp. 6-7.

[173] Cathy Lewis, “Socialists Must Oppose Anti-Asian Campaign”, Direct Action, May 23 1984, p. 14; “China’s Labour Scheme”, The Battler, April 14 1984, p. 4.

[174] See: “Life In A Remote Imperialist Enclave”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 104, Summer 1984, pp. 5, 8; “Hawke’s Cold War ‘Consensus’ Fuels Racist Backlash”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 107, July-August 1984, pp. 1, 4, 7; “Bread And Circuses To Sell Racist Australian Imperialism”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 124, February-March 1988, pp. 10, 12; “Hawke’s Cold War Racism Fuels Ugly Racist Furore Over Asian Immigration”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 128, October-November 1988, pp. 1, 4, 5; “Labor’s Recession Racism”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 137, July-August 1990, pp. 1, 2, 13.

[175] “National Action: Nazis Under The Southern Cross”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 131, April-May 1989, pp. 6-7.

[176] Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Manifesto Of The Communist Party, Peking, 1968, pp. 35, 54-5.

[177] Smash Racist Immigration Controls, I.S. leaflet, 1984.

[178] Editorial, “Blainey Pushes The Racist Bandwagon”, Tribune, March 28 1984, p. 2.

[179] Allen Myers, “CPA/AMWSU Give Hayden A Hand: Helping to Sell A Social Contract”, Direct Action, May 19 1982, p. 5; “Broken ALP Promises Behind Centre-Left’s Emergence”, Tribune, February 22, 1984, p. 2.

[180] Laurie Aarons, Here Come The Uglies: The New Right: Who They Are, What They Think, Why They’re Dangerous, Sydney, 1987; Democratic Public Control Against The Deregulators And Privatisers, CPA pamphlet, Sydney, 1987.

[181] Richard Brass, “Right Splits Over Fascist Allegations”, Tribune, October 8 1986, p. 4.

[182] John Compton, “Unions to Combat Racists”, Direct Action, April 11 1984, p. 2.

[183] “Trade Union Campaign Against Racism Launched”, Tribune, July 11 1984, p. 3.

[184] “It’s Time To Fight Back Against Racism”, Tribune, May 30 1984, p. 4.

[185] Denis Freney, Nazis Out Of Uniform, pp. 39-40; “Another Neo-Nazi Attack”, Tribune, December 7 1984, p. 2.

[186] Denis Freney, “Neo-Fascists On Campus: Behind National Action’s Nationalist Mask”, Honi Soit, No. 4, March 1984; Racial Violence On The Increase, CUAR leaflet, 1985.

[187] Peter Letts, “Trade Unions United Against Racism”, Tribune, February 13 1985, p. 4.

[188] “The Anti-Racist Network”, Audacity, No. 25, August 1985, p. 4.

[189] Bill Mason, “Action Demanded After Unionist’s Car Firebombed”, Direct Action, July 3 1985, p. 3.

[190] Defeat Racism, I.S. leaflet advertising Ridgeway speech, 1985.

[191] Smash White Australia Racism!, Spartacist leaflet, undated; “Crush The NA Fascists”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 130, February-March 1989, pp. 4, 11.

[192] Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech, PAR leaflet, 1989.

[193] “Editorial”, The Socialist, April 12 1989, p. 4.

[194] Stop Racist Violence, CAARV poster, 1989; “CAARV Launched”, Tribune, May 24 1989, p. 12: “pressure applied by CAARV on the State government” led to the NA arrests.

[195] Denis Freney, “League Of Rights: M.P.s Attack Its Millions In Funds”, Tribune, October 19 1988, p. 11.

[196] Greg Tillett, “Organized Racism In Australia”, unpublished paper commissioned by the National Inquiry Into Racist Violence, 1990, p. 25.

[197] Michael Robotham, “Racist Terror Spreads Through Suburbs”, Sunday Telegraph, April 23 1989, p. 36.

[198] Australian National Action, Membership Files For NSW, computer record. Also: Card Index, Membership Forms, Printed Lists.

[199] B. Knight, “Australian National Action Anniversary: Fifteen Years Of Nationalist Action”, National Action News, No. 28, October 1997, pp. 6-7.

[200] Andrew Guild; Michael Brander.

[201] Shane Rosier; Terry Cooksley; the author: from personal knowledge of the persons involved in the organization 1982–91.

[202] Michael Brander declined to produce such records although a minimum of 500 were available in 1998 (after the period covered in this Thesis) to support ANA’s registration as a Federal political party.

[203] T. Adorno, E. Frenkel-Brunswik, E. Levinson, D.J. Sanford, The Authoritarian Personality, New York, 1950, pp. 224–241.

[204] Michael Billig, Fascists: A Social Psychological View Of The National Front, London, 1978, pp. 54, 61, 200–1.

[205] ibid, pp. 308, 315, 320, 322, 327.

[206] Bob Altemeyer, The Authoritarian Spectre, Cambridge, 1996, pp. 1–7, 8–11, 59–62, 305–6.

[207] R. O’Toole, The Precipitous Path: Studies In Political Sects, Toronto, 1977, passim.

[208] Georges Sorel, Reflections On Violence, New York, 1961, pp. 32–35, 49, 148–150.

[209] David Greason, I Was A Teenage Fascist, p. 270.

[210] Jason Frost, in Transcript, R v Jason Roderick Frost, Penrith District Court Registry File, No. 847/89, pp. 1–12.

[211] Jane Saleam, Interview, 1995, referring to Frost’s excited perception of “Racist Signs Splattered Over Church”, Western Suburbs Courier, October 26 1988, p. 1; Anna Grutener, “Holding Links Race Violence To Howard”, The Australian, August 26 1988, p. 4 – and similar articles.

[212] His Honour Judge A.D. Collins, Jason Frost Sentencing, in R v Jason Roderick Frost, passim.

[213] James Saleam, Submissions, in R v James Saleam, NSW Court of Criminal Appeal Registry File, No. 60312/1991, pp. 1–4.

[214] Bradley Flowers, in evidence, Transcript in, R v James Saleam, District Court Criminal Registry File, No. 89/11/1795, pp. 350–400, passim.

[215] Gareth Boneham, “Court Hears ASIO Tape Of Alleged Extremist Killing”, The Age, June 26 1991, p. 1.

[216] Justice M. Allen, Sentencing, in R v Perry John Whitehouse, Supreme Court of NSW (Criminal) Registry File, No. 70 4/91.

[217] James Saleam, Application To The Supreme Court Of New South Wales For Inquiry (Sect. 474 D/E Crimes Act) Into Convictions From The District Court Sydney 14 May 1991, 1999. This document was yet to be filed at the time this Thesis was completed. A public version of this Application was retitled Pardon Me: The Anatomy Of An Australian Political Trial, Internet: http:/www.adelaide.net.au/~national/, April 1999.

[218] Human Rights And Equal Opportunity Commission, Report Of The National Inquiry Into Racist Violence, Canberra, 1991, pp. 220–240, 524–34.

[219] Ross Garnaut, Australia And The North–East Asian Ascendency, Canberra, 1989, pp. 2, 330.

[220] Some samples: Gerard Henderson, “Bigotry A Blight On Australian Politics”, Sydney Morning Herald, December 11 1990, p. 15; Michael Greely, “Jail For Racists Under New Law”, Sun Herald, September 10 1989, p. 5; Serena Williams, “The Ugly Face Of White Supremacy”, The Adelaide News, September 19 1989, p. 12. See section 4 on the ANM case.

[221] Jim Saleam, We Accuse: The State Conspiracy Against National Action And The Australian Nationalists Movement, Sydney, 1990, pp. 6–7.

[222] Michael Brander, Folio Of Legal Papers: Detective Senior Constable Modra; Andrew Guild, for police investigations of Victorian National Action.

[223] Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Report To Parliament 1989–90, Canberra, 1990, p. 60.

[224] Australian National Action, Folio Of Correspondence James Saleam – Michael Brander, 1990–91.

[225] Victorian State Committee NA, Media Release, January 22 1991.

[226] The Bunyip Bulletin, issues 1–6 examined; Arthur Smith.

[227] See NRM leaflets – January 26: The Anniversary Of European Settlement Day; The Eureka Stockade Anniversary – Australia’s True National Day; Ginger Meggs cartoons, Blinky Bill posters and other paraphernalia, in author’s possession.

[228] “Nation’s Largest White Separatist Library”, The White Separatist, Nos. 10/11, 1992, p. 17.

[229] From: use of nineteenth century anti-Chinese cartoons – The Ram, No. 5, June–July 1994, p. 1; The Ram, No. 8, January–March 1995, p. 1.

[230] Simon Dinsbergs, Interview, 1995. Dinsbergs was WAR’s executive officer.

[231] Source: Confidential. Also: “National Action Out Of Action”, Tribune, July 19 1989, p. 12.

[232] “Not Quite The ANM News”, Daily News, September 29 1990, in Phoenix Alliance Members’ Letter, undated; Craig Bradshaw, telephone conversation with author, 1996.

[233] Phoenix Alliance: Main Objectives, leaflet, 1991; “IMF Could Set Rules”, The Patriot, March–April 1992, p. 4; “Iraq/U.S./U.N. Conflict”, The Patriot, September–October 1991, p. 1; Phoenix Alliance: Our Method, leaflet, 1991.

[234] “Asian Community Call For Calm”, Weekly Times Messenger, April 20 1994, p. 1; “A Powder Keg Ready To Blow”, Sunday Mail, April 23 1995, pp, 1, 3; “Cops Protect Fascists In Melbourne”, Australasian Spartacist, No. 153, Winter 1994, pp. 1, 3; “Widest Unity Answer To Fascists”, Vanguard, April 6 1994, p. 12; “Nationalists Rally At Parliament House”, Australian Republican, May 1995, pp. 1–2.

[235] Prominent journalist Greg Sheridan quoted from a radio broadcast in, “National Action Sank Japanese City: Journalist”, National Action News, No. 24, March 1996, p. 2.

[236] “Malaysian Buy Up Of S.A. To Be Fought By National Action: More Pickets”, National Action News, No. 18, September 1994, p. 5.

[237]“No Race Hate Laws”, National Action News, No. 16, June 1994, p. 1.

[238] Senator Nick Bolkus quoted in, “Adelaide: Crucible Of What?”, National Action News, No. 22, June–July 1995, p. 2.

[239] Penelope Debelle, “Adelaide: The Base For Extremists” and “In A State Of Hate”, The Advertiser, October 10 1995, pp. 1, 5.

[240] Australian Electoral Commission, 1996 Election Statistics: Divisional Results, Canberra, 1996, pp. 73, 85, 93; South Australian State Electoral Department, District of Taylor Electoral Summary, 1995.

[241] Michael Pirrie, “The Politics Of Hate”, Herald Sun, April 2 1994, p. 15; Australian National Action, News Video, a compilation of Adelaide television news reports, 1994–5.

[242] “Radical Action”, The Advertiser Insight, April 29 1995, pp. 25-26.

[243] “National Action Keeping The Tradition Of Eureka Stockade”, National Action News, No. 22, June–July 1995, p. 1; Eureka Day Rally, National Action leaflet, 1995.

[244] Isi Leibler at Bureau Of Immigration And Population Research Conference, Adelaide, February 24 1995 quoted in, “National Action Intervenes At Immigration Conference”, National Action News, No. 20, January–February 1995, p. 3.

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