The British Far Right Has a New Voice of Unity

Patriotic Alternative is more extreme in ideology and openly promotes racism, with white nationalism replacing anti-Islam rhetoric.
Vasiliki Tsagkroni, Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, UK far right parties, UK far right groups, Patriotic Alternative UK, white supremacy groups UK, Patriotic Alternative ideology, identitarian movements UK, anti-Semitism in Britain, hate speech UK

© Gil C / Shutterstock

January 20, 2021 08:42 EDT

In 45 years, by 2066, native white British people are set to become a minority in the UK. This is the claim, accompanied by census data dating back to 1801, made by the Patriotic Alternative, an organization launched in September 2019 that celebrates anti-Semitism and white nationalism in Britain.

The Patriotic Alternative is run by Mark Collett, a former director of publicity and former chairman for the youth wing of the British National Party, and his deputy, Laura Towler, editor of Defend Evropa, a network of identitarian far-right activists claiming to be guarding Europe’s identity by stopping immigration. Collett’s and Towler’s public profiles and activity reveal ideas of white supremacy, racism, anti-Semitism as well as reverence for fascism, all of which are reflected in the beliefs of the Patriotic Alternative.

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Collett, for instance, has referred to homosexuals as “AIDS monkeys,” declared his admiration for Adolf Hitler and called asylum seekers “cockroaches.” In her articles, Towler often defends Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s tougher migration policies, writes a series on the so-called “white genocide,” and talks in favor of declaring white people as indigenous.

The organization presents itself as a community of patriots and an activist group, aimed at raising awareness on issues such as the demographic decline of “native Britons,” the environmental impact of mass migration and what it sees as indoctrination in British schools. The Patriotic Alternative’s plan includes the protection of “indigenous peoples of the United Kingdom” — the English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh —  and preventing any form of policy that discriminates against them and their “ancestral claim” to the land, replacing white nationalism with the indigenous argument.

Additionally, it calls for a halt on all immigration to Britain, unless in special circumstances or for people of a shared ethnic and cultural background, and argues in favor of deportation for anyone who breaks immigration rules. The Patriotic Alternative defends freedom of expression and supports the idea that hate speech laws are inverted. The organization also targets the LGBTQI+ community as a threat to young people and stands in favor of a traditional nuclear family, highlighting the need to ban anti-white propaganda in the form of references to white privilege and systemic racism.

Looking at the group’s ideas and plan of action, it appears that this “alternative” is more extreme in ideology and openly promotes racism, with white nationalism replacing anti-Islam rhetoric. In doing so, the organization seems to have attracted the attention from various actors in the far-right field. In an effort to mobilize and unite these actors, the Patriotic Alternative has engaged numerous marketing techniques, maintaining a strong online presence with daily blogs, weekly vlogs and social media campaigns like “White Lives Matter,” but also with traditional conferences and events across the country.

Nevertheless, with the exception of the UK Independence Party, the far-right has been rather fractured and hasn’t been successful beyond some local support across Britain, and the Patriotic Alternative may well fall into this trend. However, in a 2020 report, Hope not Hate tried to raise awareness of the threat the group’s extreme views pose to the public given the engagement it managed to mobilize on the far-right scene, especially when it comes to online communities.

It is likely that despite drawing the attention of the wider far-right spectrum and its effort to balance between the different voices of the UK’s far-right scene, the Patriotic Alternative will follow its ancestors to the sidelines of the country’s public attention. But it’s presence there — and the threat its ideas hold — should not go unnoticed.

*[Fair Observer is a media partner of the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

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