The Searchlight on Searchlight    
    Ian Buckley dissects the 'anti-fascist' lie magazine    
    Gerry Gable Searchlight's Editor & Chief

The name of Searchlight magazine will be familiar - if hardly popular - with most readers. Personally, I had never so much as looked at an issue until a few weeks ago, but now that I have done so I'd like to share some impressions with our readership.

One initial surprise was the rather backward-looking nature of the magazine. Recent numbers have carried interminable material about the Spanish Civil War, or the nefarious and violent activities of the '62 Group. Forty-year-old anecdotes of street battles and the overturning of a car of a 'fascist' are cheerfully related.

But woe betide anyone on the 'other side' who is thought even slightly to emulate these people's bad behaviour! Then Searchlight will let fly with all the venom at its disposal, with references to 'Nazi rat nests', 'terrorists', 'maniacs' and 'thugs.' In a Searchlight article of March 2003 by Thomas Reynolds entitled 'Disciples of Blood', even a prominent Roman Catholic anti-abortion activist, Thomas Monaghan, was accorded this treatment. We are informed that a giant 220ft crucifix outside a college run by Monaghan is 'arrogant'. Well, you can't please everybody!

Searchlight's distortion of the language and its fantasist tendencies are very reminiscent of the propaganda of the Israeli Government. The demonisation of British Nationalists follows the same pattern, whereby an elderly Christian Arab bell-ringer shot by troops becomes a 'terrorist' who was 'holed up' in the Church of the Nativity.

The reaction of Searchlight to the September 11th attacks was well worth studying. According to the magazine, these were 'murderous terrorist attacks'. Such an attitude is very different to these writers' previous standpoint on terrorism. Twenty-odd years ago they would doubtless have greeted the news of bomb attacks on South African oil refineries or railway stations with barely suppressed glee. They would have run the story in terms of the brave resistance of the oppressed to a tyrannical government.

But now they sing from a different hymn sheet, and write in terms that would not be out of place in the Daily Mail or Daily Telegraph. But that is just one contradiction. As is well known, the editor and staff of Searchlight are all Marxists to a man (and woman). Now, disregarding moral considerations which, as we've seen, don't interest Searchlight very much - the destruction of the World Trade Centre was indeed an assault on the symbolic and actual centre of global capitalism. But these far-leftists not only disapprove of the attack, but also give a guarded welcome to the ensuing so-called 'war on terror'!

Remote from the British people

The Searchlight crew claim to be leftists, but what exactly have they achieved for the working classes by all their 'anti-fascist' activities? Mistaken trade-unionists like John Edmonds may contribute articles to Searchlight denouncing the BNP as a 'threat'. But I would like to ask Mr. Edmonds what ordinary British people fear most: the BNP or the collapsing, failing, crime-ridden society created by his erstwhile friends of New Labour? Searchlight magazine is symbolic of the way the healthy element on the Left has been neutered. The siren song of today's left has been followed for years, so that there is no more talk from that quarter of jobs and a fair society, but of 'gay' rights and more immigration!

This was made explicit by Steve Silver in a piece entitled 'Anti-fascism and globalisation' when he said that: "We need to find ways to address the contradiction that in a world where capital can traverse the planet with less restrictions than ever before, labour has never had less freedom of movement."

This 'leftist' suggests that because of the unfettered movement of capital - which any nation in full possession of its senses should have prevented by law - we must allow in even more and more asylum-seekers as cheap labour! I wonder how John Edmonds' members in the neglected heartlands of old Labour would react to that suggestion?

Quite apart from any 'racist' consideration, such a mass influx would have an even more deleterious effect on living standards than the economic sabotage of Thatcher, Major and Blair. The Searchlight scribblers should be aware that their proposal of further flooding the country with asylum-seekers, will, to put it mildly, never be popular or accepted. Indeed they should realise that the general public is seething with rage over the issue.

Indeed, all educated, mainstream nationalists are, if anything, more moderate than that public. A vox pop in my local pub on the BBC's risible 'Asylum Day' came to the conclusion that asylum-seekers should be shot at by troops as they attempted entry. To which my rejoinder was that it would be a better idea to do something along those lines to the politicians responsible for allowing this folly - and so many others.

The guys at Searchlight would class this as horrific racism; but, really, is it as bad as Israeli Transport Minister Avigdor Lieberman's statement that Palestinians should be drowned in the Dead Sea, as this was the lowest point in the world? Truly, the policy of 'Racism in One Country' would seem to apply!

Selective view of nationalism

'Anti-fascism and globalisation' further goes on to state that: "Nationalism is not a monolithic entity and should not be viewed as such: it is not necessarily a bad thing." Basque or African nationalism are considered to be 'progressive', but we are cautioned that some forms of nationalism must be considered dangerous. The reader will be agog with boredom to find that British Nationalism is placed in this category.

While, of course, the main thrust of Searchlight has always been against nationalists, recent essays have begun to target the sceptical left. People like John Pilger or Tam Dalyell are accused of "an emotive response bordering on hysteria" in their reaction to the Jenin slaughter. The essay goes on portentously to warn the dissenters that: "Anti-semitism, like other forms of racial hatred, does not always come from the fascist right." So just remember, when you see a bulldozer in Gaza crushing a protestor, always to examine your conscience and make sure you're not suffering from an emotive 'anti- semitic' response!

But Searchlight also has its amusing side, demonstrated when Gerry Gable says in the course of an attack on David Irving that Irving was "praising the SS and attacking Britain's heroic wartime fliers as little better than war criminals" in his first book The Destruction of Dresden.

As to the first part of this statement, Mr. Gable must have read a unique printing of one single copy of The Destruction of Dresden to which no-one else has had access. As for the RAF, regrettably on this particular occasion they did behave like war criminals - or at least carried out the orders of such people. But it is a great laugh to hear the Marxist Gable sounding just like Biggles author Captain W. E. Johns!

In spite of all its talk of features, investigation and such-like, Searchlight seems to operate very much on the principle of what we say goes, just as did the East End gangster and 'anti-fascist' Jack Spot. Sceptical elements in the media should take note of the fact that it's not normal journalistic practice to go for stories to the bitterest opponents of a particular political grouping or individual. They don't ask Sinn Fein for the full story on the Rev. Ian Paisley, so why on earth do they rely on the inaccurate and distorted ramblings of Searchlight whenever they want information about nationalism?

    Spearhead Online