British Movement: A Short History

British Movement: A Short History

British Movement today has grown, developed and evolved from an idea and the need to restructure British National Socialism in the post-1945 era. Contrary to what a number of left-wing sources have claimed, British Movement is not some kind of “splinter group from the National Front”, nor is it a “breakaway faction from the BNP”, nor is the present day British Movement a different organisation from the BM founded in 1968; it is not BM Mark 2, Mark 3 or whatever label is invented by lazy journalists. British Movement (British National Socialist Movement) is a continuation of the original organisation founded by Colin Jordan.

The British Movement was founded in the summer of 1968 by Mr Colin Jordan and a handful of comrades after the earlier National Socialist Movement had been disbanded in May 1968. The legal pressures and prosecutions of the NSM leadership, internal disputes and changing ‘Race Relations’ laws had called for the need for a new approach.

Initially BM relied on the notoriety and media high profile of Colin Jordan to gain newspaper headlines and media coverage, dwarfed by the larger, populist Nationalism of the National Front, BM remained small and relatively obscure as an organisation on the fringes of so-called ‘Far-Right’ politics. At this time in its history BM stood candidates in both local and national elections, but only in a handful of seats in the West Midlands and Merseyside.

In 1975 Mr Jordan resigned his leadership of the Movement in the face of increasing family pressures and the consequences of the infamous ‘Tesco Case’. None the less he continued to support BM and wrote occasional articles for its publications. The leadership post of BM National Chairman, fell to the former BM National Secretary and Merseyside organiser Mr Michael McLaughlin.

Mike McLaughlin moved the BM national office to Merseyside, and then some months later to a donated premises in Shotton, North Wales. When Mr McLaughlin took over the Movement he found the organisation to be at a low ebb, little in the way of funds, an active membership of less than 100 people, few resources and no influence. He resolved to build up the membership, generate a higher media profile for BM and to create an image of BM which would appeal to youth.

Over the next five years British Movement grew and expanded, by the beginning of the 1980’s British Movement had become the face of racial British National Socialism on the streets, on the football terraces and across urban Britain. BM continued to stand occasional candidates in local elections but the main focus was on high profile marches and street demonstrations. This raised profile had a downside to it. The high profile drew violent confrontations on the streets between BM and militant left-wing groups as well as violence from organised non-whites and immigrants. The State also cracked down hard on BM and prosecuted many BM activists at every opportunity.

After a short prison term on charges of ‘inciting race hate’, Michael McLaughlin found himself under pressure from both the State and from planted ‘anti-racist’ infiltrators. McLaughlin sought to change the Movement image; without warning he expanded the Party’s name to BNSM: British Nationalist and Socialist Movement. A name change that was not popular with the membership and was opposed by many BM organisers.

However BRITISH MOVEMENT remained the organisational campaign name. Then, almost without warning in late 1983 Mike McLaughlin announced his resignation from the BM leadership, he closed down the BM National office in Shotton but did not appoint a successor, stating that he was going to put ‘the Movement on ice’.                     This situation was rejected by the remaining BM organisers and BM Leader Guard who came together in 1984 to salvage the Movement, to rebuild and re-organise what remained of BM and to resurrect the organisation. The sacrifice, and losses of previous years would not be abandoned and from very little remaining resources British Movement began to revive. The campaign name BRITISH MOVEMENT was restored, BNSM was re-titled as the British National Socialist Movement, the highly unpopular word “and” was dropped. A new governing body was in place, the 1984 Committee, named after the year of BM’s rescue. In 1985 the first Annual General Meeting of the revived British Movement established a new structure to BM, set out a development programme in the form of Project 2000, and set out a series of fund raising and low-profile activities to get BM back on track. As time progressed it was determined that the new BM National Chairman would remain anonymous to the outside world and a new BM National Secretary would build up a new BM administration based outside London, eventually settled in Northern England. BM would no longer contest elections and would operate as an extra-parliamentary organisation.

British Movement has continued to develop, campaign and carry the torch for modern, British National Socialism and maintains a tradition first set down by Colin Jordan in July 1968.  In the summer of 2018, British Movement celebrated Fifty Years of being an active British National Socialist Movement.

 

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