Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ex-Dulwich College 'fascist' seeks your protest vote

Channel 4 news reported this week that when UKIP leader Nigel Farage was a pupil at Dulwich College in the early 1980s teachers complained about his appointment as a prefect on account of his apparent 'fascist' sympathies. A letter written in June 1981 to the college head by teacher Chloe Deakin states that the matter had been discussed at a staff meeting where: 'Another colleague, who teaches the boy, described his publicly professed racist and neo-fascist views; and he cited a particular incident in which Farage was so offensive to a boy in his set, that he had to be removed from the lesson. This master stated his view that this behaviour was precisely why the boy should not be made a prefect. Yet another colleague described how, at a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) camp organised by the college, Farage and others had marched through a quiet Sussex village very late at night shouting Hitler-youth songs'.

Some other interesting details in that report- the letter states that the head often told the 'senior boys' that they were 'the nation's future leaders' - what a horrible thought in this case. It also mentions that during the Brixton riots - just 6 weeks before this prefect row - Dulwich College 'offered its facilities freely to the forces of law and order'. Apparently parts of the College grounds were used as a base by police in April 1981.

Whether Farage has moderated his views since or just got better at concealing them I don't know, but his publicly professed position is still essentially that of the most reactionary, Powellite fringes of the old school establishment. The kind of thing you imagine old generals, Monday Club Tory MPs and public school headteachers coming out with while drunkenly fantasising about a military coup in the 1970s.



Yet somehow this privately educated right wing stockbroker with his very big house in the country gets to be presented as some kind of 'common man' alternative to the status quo. Writer Tony Parsons has said that:  "I've felt that politicians are just completely removed from any kind of life experiences in a way they weren't when I was growing up" and complained about the lack of opportunities for social mobility for working class kids. Fair enough, but what's that got to do with Farage and UKIP, who Parsons says he will be voting for in forthcoming elections

I can only assume Parsons has taken too many blows to the head down at the boxing gym to think straight. Back in 1977, he was a bit clearer, coming to New Cross to oppose the National Front march in what became known as the 'Battle of Lewisham'. He once said that his relationship with Julie Burchill started that day- "I gave her a flick knife and my telephone number. I think she threw away the number and kept the knife.". His 2005 novel 'Stories we could tell' includes an account of that day, with Parsons writing:

'Flags waving, bricks flying, policemen on horses riding into the crowds, the battle lines ebbing and flowing - screaming, righteous chaos all around. Orange smoke bombs on Lewisham High Street, the air full of masonry, dustbins, bottles and screams, taunts, chanting. The sound of plate-glass windows collapsing.... This wasn't about some little style option - the choice between long hair or spiky, flared trousers or straight, Elvis or Johnny Rotten. It was about a more fundamental choice.... the choice between evil, hatred, racism, xenophobia, bigotry, and every­thing that was their opposite'.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Parsons has a book just published - he's trying to get a bit of newscover so he can flog a few more copies

Transpontine said...

That's true, I saw his BBC-sponsored advert for it - a Culture Show special presented by Parsons nominally about boxing but basically about his book. I might add that what he said about boxing was sloppy and inaccurate, claiming that boxing as global phenomenon was killed off at the end of the 1960s as a result of peace and love, when in fact it didn't even peak until mid-1970s with the Ali-Frazier fights.

But leaving that aside, sure he's looking for publicity but bet his publisher groaned when he mentioned UKIP, linking yourself with an outfit so reviled by many (even if supported by many others) is not good for selling books.

The Deptford Bounder said...

Great post exposing this fraudulent and odious narcissist and his fake 'man of the people' schtick. It's quite something when even the founder of the party you purport to lead (Dr Alan Sked)describes you as a 'dim, racist alcoholic' (amazingly headlined in the Daily Mail 20th April). And as for rent a gob pretend street pugilist and self regarding drone Parsons, well he and Farage are clearly made for each other...

Anonymous said...

Would anybody happen to know where I can read the letter sent by Chloe Deakin or whether or not it still exists? The content of what was suggested has been quoted in a number of news sources however I have yet to read the letter myself.

Transpontine said...

The letter is here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/169454715/Nigel-Farage-1981-school-letter

The original Channnel 4 story is here:

http://www.channel4.com/news/nigel-farage-ukip-letter-school-concerns-racism-fascism