Not just a 'loner': the Jo Cox murder and fascist terrorism

Not just a 'loner': the Jo Cox murder and fascist terrorism

Labour MP Jo Cox's murder was the act of a fascist terrorist inspired by relentless nationalist, anti-immigrant campaigning from mainstream politicians and the media; not, as he's portrayed, merely a 'loner' with 'mental health issues'.

A man reportedly shouting 'Britain first' has shot and stabbed a Labour MP to death. Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen in Yorkshire, was shot with a home-made pistol and stabbed multiple times by Tommy Mair, a 52-year-old with a history of far-right sympathies.

In a statement, the Southern Poverty Law Centre say

Quote:
Mair was a dedicated supporter of the National Alliance (NA), the once premier neo-Nazi organization in the United States, for decades. Mair purchased a manual from the NA in 1999 that included instructions on how to build a pistol.
Mair, who resides in what is described as a semi-detached house on the Fieldhead Estate in Birstall, sent just over $620 to the NA, according to invoices for goods purchased from National Vanguard Books, the NA’s printing imprint. Mair purchased subscriptions for periodicals published by the imprint and he bought works that instruct readers on the “Chemistry of Powder & Explosives,” “Incendiaries,” and a work called “Improvised Munitions Handbook." Under “Section III, No. 9” (page 125) of that handbook, there are detailed instructions for constructing a “Pipe Pistol For .38 Caliber Ammunition” from components that can be purchased from nearly any hardware store.

Mair’s attack comes against a backdrop of increased militancy from the far-right. Hundreds of neo-nazis engaged in running battles with anti-fascists at the end of January this year (though more recent demonstrations have seen their numbers dwindle down to as low as 30) while fascist group Britain First recently held a training camp, which involved knife-fighting, and have previously threatened to target elected officials. Indeed, Britain First are not the first far-right group to have held combat training recently, with about 80-100 individuals related to various neo-nazi groups thought to have undergone similar training in 2015.

The response among fascists has been varied: some are claiming it to be a set up by the state while others are openly gloating about it.

However, the event says more about the political mainstream than Britain First or the wider far-right.

Compare the reaction to when Lee Rigby was murdered. Both Jo Cox and Lee Rigby’s murders were apparently cases of lone wolf attacks by perpetrators with mental health issues who also subscribed to terrorist ideologies, which were expressed in the course of the attack. With the Lee Rigby murder, the ideology was immediately seen as the cause: there was no uncertainty, no discussion of the mental health aspect, or that they did the weekly shopping for their mum or liked to do gardening for the neighbours. Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, the attack was also portrayed as characteristic for the group they belonged to, Theresa May saying there were "thousands" more Muslims being radicalised and that surveillance of Muslims needed to be extended.

With Jo Cox, there is no similar emphasis on Tommy Mair's ideology, it's only mentioned as part of his "history" of mental health problems. He is not called what he is: a fascist terrorist. His attack doesn't tell us anything about the group he belongs to (i.e. white British people) but rather is in conflict with how the media/politicians like to present it and so needs to be portrayed as an aberration. No one is speculating on whether there could be loads of white British blokes quietly sympathising, no one is worrying about internet radicalisation (despite Britain First having almost 1.5 million Facebook ‘Likes’). Finally, no one is demanding that Farage and other Brexit leaders condemn political violence; indeed, the idea that they (and white British people in general) should have to account for Tommy Mair’s act is hilarious in its ridiculousness. The same cannot be said when similar calls are made upon the Muslim community.

Indeed, the stark difference in how the media have portrayed the killers in the two murders can be seen from a quick look at the Daily Mail:

Lee Rigby's murder

Jo Cox's murder

Ironically, shortly before the murder, the media story was all about how Labour had betrayed its natural constituency because supposedly it didn't pander sufficiently to white working class racism (which apparently the media think is characteristic of the white working class whose voice isn't heard). Couldn't the Labour Party promise to crack down on immigrants? Couldn't there be some really quick negotiation with the EU seven days before the referendum to abolish free movement? Then a racist white bloke murders a Labour MP, prominent campaigner for Remain and Syrian refugees and all of a sudden this act is no longer characteristic of the white working class and can only be explained in relation to his mental health.

Similarly, this attack comes less than a year after Cameron said the Labour Party was a threat to national security, just over a month after the Conservatives ran a campaign for London Mayor claiming the Muslim Labour candidate was sharing platforms with ISIS (a campaign judged “outrageous” for its divisiveness by the Conservative group leader on the Greater London assembly). It comes a month after Farage saying the UK had lost complete control over immigration, and that violence was the next step if voting didn't help. It even came on the same day he revealed a poster of a flood immigrants coming to destroy the UK, which looked extremely similar to the imagery of an old Nazi propaganda film.

No doubt it is these racist narratives across the mainstream political spectrum that legitimise murderous violence and make it socially acceptable in the minds of fascist lone wolves. Indeed, Tommy Mair and others like him are not aberrations from the political mainstream; rather, they’re just reading between the lines of it.

Based on comments, particularly from libcom user no1, on the libcom thread discussing the event.

Posted By

Ed
Jun 17 2016 14:58

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  • Indeed, Tommy Mair and others like him are not aberrations from the political mainstream; rather, they’re just reading between the lines of it.

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Comments

Steven.
Jun 17 2016 17:05

Fantastic blog, thanks for writing. Also worth a mention is this helpful guide for the media on how to describe people who carry out attacks like this:

petey
Jun 17 2016 19:07

"The response among fascists has been varied: some are claiming it to be a set up by the state"

you hear this vile stuff in the States too: rightwing killings are "liberal false flag operations": see freerepublic e.g. it makes me physically angry.

petey
Jun 17 2016 19:08

dp

Capsaicin
Jun 17 2016 19:21

I'm also concerned about the attempts to say that Tommy Mair is mentally ill rather than a terrorist. Reading http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Oakwell+Hall+thriving+with+help+of+volunte... suggests his mental illness is on the depressive spectrum and similar to mine. Even when I was at my angriest at Iain Duncan Smith I never considered killing him, partly because I'm a pacifist but also because I knew it would be a stupid, counterproductive act.

Tommy Mair was more than likely fully aware of what he did and his actions should not be said to be because of his mental illness.

Schmoopie
Jun 17 2016 23:49
Quote:
"The response among fascists has been varied: some are claiming it to be a set up by the state"

you hear this vile stuff in the States too: rightwing killings are "liberal false flag operations": see freerepublic e.g. it makes me physically angry.

No, our secret services have never inculcated nationalist terror. Oh, except in the case of the Omagh bombing:

Quote:
In 2001, a double agent known as Kevin Fulton claimed he told his MI5 handlers three days before the bombing that the RIRA was about to bring a "huge bomb" across the border.[69] Fulton claims he also told them who he believed was making it and where it was being made.[69] He said that MI5 did not pass his information over to the police.

Steven.
Jun 17 2016 22:14
Schmoopie wrote:
No, our secret services have never been inculcated in nationalist terror. Oh, except in the case of the Omagh bombing:

Unless your point is that this killing was a "false flag" operation, then this is completely irrelevant.

FAO other readers, we have an existing discussion about this topic already here in our forums: http://libcom.org/forums/news/britain-first-assassinate-mp-16062016

Schmoopie
Jun 18 2016 00:22
Quote:
Unless your point is that this killing was a "false flag" operation, then this is completely irrelevant.

So if it transpires that the killer was a double agent of MI5 or one of his comrades from Britain First was an MI5 informant this would have no bearing on this matter. I'm sorry Steven, and I have no intention of offending you, but I think you are being somewhat naive or perhaps you are simply unaware of the existence of the deep state.

My only point was that in the past the British intelligence services have been known to be involved with nationalist terror organisations. Far be it for me to suggest anything further. He who keepeth his mouth keepeth his life.

We should bear in mind that we in the UK are ten days away from a vote that the political representatives of the grande bourgeoisie were as of yesterday showing all signs of going against them. In these critical times anything is possible.

Fleur
Jun 18 2016 00:37

Schmoopie:

Why don't you take your tin foil hat off and hang it up. The man had at least a decade's worth of associations with neo-nazi groups. ffs, not everything is a conspiracy. Sometimes the obvious explanation is the obvious explanation.

factvalue
Jun 18 2016 07:10

Comparing this suggestion to e.g. Operation Gladio, where a motivation was to put 'communists' in the frame, what would be the advantage in this for the 'deep state'?

Battlescarred
Jun 18 2016 08:27

Really got pissed off with this tosh that you can't actually be a fascist AND mentally ill too. You can be, you know.

Steven.
Jun 18 2016 08:27
Fleur wrote:
Schmoopie:

Why don't you take your tin foil hat off and hang it up. The man had at least a decade's worth of associations with neo-nazi groups. ffs, not everything is a conspiracy. Sometimes the obvious explanation is the obvious explanation.

Exactly. Not only that, but there will be absolutely no motive for the state to do this.

Anyway, you have said on multiple occasions that you find this topic boring and irrelevant, so why on earth do you still feel the need to keep commenting nonsense?

Steven.
Jun 18 2016 08:31

BTW, London Black Revs have posted this photo which they say is the killer at a Britain First demo, and they say neighbours of his have verified it is him (although it is not independently confirmed):

petey
Jun 18 2016 11:35

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/18/thomas-mair-charged-with-of-mp-j...

"Thomas Mair has given his name as “death to traitors, freedom for Britain” during his appearance in court charged with the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox."

ajjohnstone
Jun 18 2016 11:42

baboon
Jun 18 2016 14:53

I'm no expert on mental illness nor the details of this case but I think that having some form of mental illness is no great barrier to belonging to or supporting a far right or any political organisation of the bourgeoisie for that matter. From testimonials already public it seems that the alleged murderer was quite lucid in places about alienation and long-term unemployment and, within the current decay of capitalist relations it's not a surprise that he fell for this particular ideology - an ideology that's been promoted far more extensively by both the Labour and Tory governments in their demonisation of muslims and their fundamental racism.

This is a terrible tragedy for this young woman and her family. In the same 24 hours a mother and her daughter were murdered, an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD was tasered to death by police in Wales and yesterday a miner was blown up deep underground in Cleveland. Absolutely no point in the bourgeoisie whipping up a campaign for any of them.

The brutal killing of this MP, who supported the bombing of Iraq and its extension to Syria, i.e., British imperialist policy, has immediately exploded into a celebration of democracy and the democratic state where members of parliament bravely represent their constituents and fight for "good". It's a very effective campaign particularly given the present disorientation and weakness of the working class. The "values of British democracy" and the cynical and hypocritical campaigns now being unleashed around them are far more dangerous to the working class than any individual brutal killer, his possible mental illness or his far-right allegiance.

Auld-bod
Jun 18 2016 16:18

Baboon 15:53:

‘The "values of British democracy" and the cynical and hypocritical campaigns now being unleashed around them are far more dangerous to the working class than any individual brutal killer, his possible mental illness or his far-right allegiance.’

Sorry, but this is over egging the pudding. Liberal democracy is not more dangerous than any murdering fascist or his friends. The ruling class are in the middle of an argument over how to run UK capitalism and this murder has thrown a spanner into the works, as no one knows how it’s going to play out. Their fallback position is to call a truce and ‘brace the main sail’. No one, including MPs like individuals taking them out permanently.

Schmoopie
Jun 18 2016 16:56
Quote:
Anyway, you have said on multiple occasions that you find this topic boring and irrelevant, so why on earth do you still feel the need to keep commenting nonsense?

Partly because you and your clique keep insulting my intelligence and partly because the story is beginning to pique my interest. I thank you for that at least.

Noah Fence
Jun 18 2016 18:25

I don't think baboon is over egging the pudding in the least. Murdering fascists are bad news but liberal democracy is by far the biggest, most widespread and importantly, the most effective anti working class entity we face.

jef costello
Jun 18 2016 19:01
Schmoopie wrote:

So if it transpires that the killer was a double agent of MI5 or one of his comrades from Britain First was an MI5 informant this would have no bearing on this matter. I'm sorry Steven, and I have no intention of offending you, but I think you are being somewhat naive or perhaps you are simply unaware of the existence of the deep state.

My only point was that in the past the British intelligence services have been known to be involved with nationalist terror organisations. Far be it for me to suggest anything further. He who keepeth his mouth keepeth his life.

We should bear in mind that we in the UK are ten days away from a vote that the political representatives of the grande bourgeoisie were as of yesterday showing all signs of going against them. In these critical times anything is possible.

There's no evidence so far for state involvement, and in general the state is too busy drawing support from that spectrum to want the extreme end to make them look bad.

The state didn't collude with the IRA, at some points they ignored spies and informants for a variety of reasons. You could have mentioned that the state, or elements of it, did collude with loyalists at times.

As the state has plenty of 'legitimate' power I tend to assume that it will use it, as we see it happily doing constantly, rather than enter into convoluted plots with unclear results. So while it's true that things like westmoreland new post and all that stuff were slightly unbelievable they were at least understandable and brought out as a result of actual research rather than just assuming for political reasons that anythin that doesn't gel with your point of view is secretly the other side, it's often compounded by the fact that they, at least rhetorically, tend to advocate the kind of actions that they claim are false flag operations. Weirdly enough the people who constantly go on about conspiracies tend to miss the most important point, if the government actually was running a massive secret operation they might crack down on people who are exposing it. It's a bit like people who start endless threads on internet forums complaining about not being allowed to express themselves.

Joseph Kay
Jun 19 2016 17:15

There is no genocide against the population of Britain. That's a white supremacist meme.

Battlescarred
Jun 19 2016 19:39

The guy aboove looks like a fash to me,( not you JK), even if his discourse is expressed in a fairly intellectual way

fingers malone
Jun 19 2016 19:51

There's some seriously horrible stuff getting posted on the forums last few days, what is going on?

libcom
Jun 19 2016 20:14

Admin: fashy post unpublished.

Entdinglichung
Jun 20 2016 12:14

a well-connected loner?

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/06/19/accused-british-assassin-...

Quote:

Thomas Mair, accused of murdering British parliamentarian Jo Cox last week, attended a 2000 meeting of British white supremacists that was aimed at building a leading American neo-Nazi’s white power music empire, Hatewatch has learned.

In late May of that year, Mair was one of between 15 and 20 racist activists who convened in a private room at a pub near the Strand, a major thoroughfare in central London, according to Todd Blodgett, an American who was then a paid informant for the FBI and also met with MI5. Blodgett had helped arrange the meeting at the request of William Pierce, then head of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, and paid close to 800 pounds for the space and the food and alcohol that was served.

“Pierce wanted to make inroads with the European market in terms of the music, distribution and getting bands signed,” Blodgett told Hatewatch. “I had started working with the FBI in March of that year and that was one of the first things I told them, that Pierce wants me to convene a bunch of people in London.” Blodgett was sent to London with a group of federal agents who were his controllers, he said.

“From what I could surmise, Tommy Mair was loosely affiliated with the Leeds chapter of the National Alliance,” Blodgett said. “He was a working class kind of guy who I think was very well read. He was self-educated. I remember he talked about a book he read by [David] Irving,” an infamous British Holocaust denier. At one point, Blodgett mentioned Winston Churchill to Mair during the two- to three-hour meeting. “As soon as I said that, he kind of made a face and he referred to Churchill as a kike-loving bastard,” he said. “I still remember that.”

Blodgett’s revelations are only the latest suggesting that Mair, whose alleged victim was a liberal, pro-immigrant member of Parliament, was a dedicated neo-Nazi. Hatewatch published copies of receipts last week that showed Mair had purchased several weapons handbooks and a Nazi book from the National Alliance, which is based in West Virginia, between 1999 and 2003. British media have reported that Mair also subscribed to a pro-apartheid South African publication and that, in the words of The Guardian, police “are believed” to have found Nazi regalia at his home.

Mair is also reported to have shouted “Britain first” as he allegedly stabbed and shot Cox last Thursday. Britain First is the name of a far-right party that is urging Britons to vote to leave the European Union (EU) in a June 23 referendum. British white supremacists despise the EU for facilitating Muslim and nonwhite immigration.

The May 2000 meeting included a number of well-known British racists, Blodgett recounted. One of them was Stephen Cartwright, who was affiliated with the Scottish branch of the British National Party (BNP), an extreme-right party that at the time only admitted whites. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which publishes Hatewatch, has reported that Cartwright spoke to a 1999 meeting in Arlington, Va., on behalf the American Friends of the British National Party (AFBNP). He gave a speech asking for donations to help support the BNP in British elections.

A better known participant in the 2000 meeting, Blodgett said, was Richard Barnbrook, a BNP member who in 2008 won election to a seat on the London Assembly, which has the power to amend the London mayor’s budget and investigate matters of interest to Londoners. At that time, after coming in fifth in the London mayoral race, he was Britain’s most visible far-right elected politician.

Blodgett said that the meeting, although requested by Pierce, was largely organized by Mark Cotterill, a Briton who was in the United States as the head of the AFBNP and working to raise funds for the BNP. (He was later deported for his activities.) Cotterill’s racist network in the United Kingdom arranged most of the details.

At the time of the meeting, Pierce had recently bought Resistance Records, which quickly developed into the world’s leading purveyor of racist and neo-Nazi white power music. He could not enter Britain legally because of his views, but sent a message with Blodgett to the gathering telling them that he would soon be releasing an electronic game to be called “Ethnic Cleansing.” The game involved shooting black and other non-white people in New York City subways to win points.

“Everyone there was giddy about this game,” he said. “Mair was also plainly excited re the efforts that Pierce was making to further penetrate the UK market and his planned purchase of NORDLAND, which was the Swedish equivalent of Resistance Records, LLC.” Pierce did later buy that and another racist European label.

It is now known exactly what Mair’s relationship to the National Alliance’s reported Leeds chapter was. But the Southern Poverty Law Center has records of a number of Alliance supporters in Leeds and its surrounding north-central county, West Yorkshire. Still, Mair’s home in Batley, West Yorkshire, is just nine miles ­— a 17-minute drive — from Leeds. According to The Guardian, West Yorkshire, whose population is 12% Asian, is a hotbed of extreme-right activity.

Days after the meeting, Blodgett also met with John Tyndall, who had been deposed in 1999 as leader of the BNP and replaced by Nick Griffin. “I asked Tyndall specifically about Mair,” Blodgett told Hatewatch. “Tyndall basically called him a loser on some kind of dole [government aid], something like that.”

Blodgett said that Mair “was a fan of Ian Stuart Donaldson,” who had died in a 1993 car crash. Donaldson was the front man for Skrewdriver, one of the first racist bands of the modern era, and the person who effectively birthed white-power music.

“Mair was easily the quietest, best-mannered guy there,” Blodgett said. “But once he got going — i.e., discussing blacks, Jewish people and other minorities — he was what I’d call ‘all in’ — just like everyone else who attended that gathering.”

Auld-bod
Jun 20 2016 13:04

Noah Fence jun18 2016 19:25
‘I don't think baboon is over egging the pudding in the least. Murdering fascists are bad news but liberal democracy is by far the biggest, most widespread and importantly, the most effective anti working class entity we face.’

Noah, I believe you have got this wrong. Liberal Democracy is a ruling class puppet show, which serves the purpose of diverting the working class revolutionary movement into reformism. Far from being the most widespread political entity at present a bare majority of the world’s states have even a token form of democracy and ‘Liberal’ democracies number only about two dozen. So it is not the dominant ideology of the (competing) ruling classes.

It is a strange sort of comfort blanket to believe, that living in a liberal democracy, we are facing the greatest danger from the ‘values of British democracy’, and so by implication ignore the rising tide of xenophobia in the streets of the UK. These ‘values’ we know are a lie. Unfortunately the ‘challenge’ to them, not only here but worldwide, are not from the pitifully small revolutionary movement, it is from the far right.

So you may charge away at the dangerous windmills of liberal democracy, though I fear the growth of the extreme right, in Austria, Poland, Hungry, Turkey, Russia, etc. Our ruling class will dump liberal democracy and finance populist fascism if it perceives the need to change the political theatre. Ask any of the tens of thousands of refugees, ‘Which poses the greatest threat - liberal democracy or fascism/state terrorism?’

Schmoopie
Jun 20 2016 13:19

Steven:

Quote:
...there will be absolutely no motive for the state to do this.

From today's Daily Telegraph:

Quote:
FTSE 100 rallies and pound heads for biggest daily rise in seven years on reduced Brexit fears

radicalgraffiti
Jun 20 2016 14:04

you know, if brexit was so universally bad for capitalists rather than a depute between capitalists why did it never occur to them to hire a competent team to run the remain campaign, or to counter the anti eu and anti migrate propaganda which lead to this situation, why are they even holding the referendum?

whys they state so competent at these conspiracies but absolutely noting else?

they cant keep it quite that the prime minister fucked a pig, they cant "find" weapons of mass destruction in iraq, but they have complete control over fanatical nazies who would definitely never kill they political enemies without orders from the state

Noah Fence
Jun 20 2016 14:08

Auld Bod- well, that's me told!

Schmoopie
Jun 20 2016 15:10

Disclaimer: I don't think the killer was a double agent. I don't think 'our' intelligence services were behind the killing. I do think that Britain First is saturated with MI5 informants as are many other British fringe political organisations.

Quote:
...why are they even holding the referendum?

Very good question. As far as I have been told the Tories made a pledge to hold this referendum in the run up to the General Election in a bid to gain votes from UKIP. Perhaps it was a surprise to the political establishment that the voting public ignored the overwhelming propaganda encouraging them to vote to stay in. The possibility that the desired outcome was not to be achieved has been having a destabilising effect in market confidence, not just in UK markets but around the globe.

I am not in a position of knowledge that I can say one way or another what circumstances led to the death of this woman MP but neither is anyone else. From the start of this topic first being aired here my point is that speculation should be left to the bourgeois press: they have much more authority when it comes to speculation/information management.

Schmoopie
Jun 20 2016 17:07

P.S. Noah Fence, if you're still chasing 'down' votes I'd be happy to give you a few tips.