The truth about Jo Cox’s killer, and his links to the far-right political establishment

Tom Coburg

Thomas Mair has been found guilty of the murder of Jo Cox MP. Cox was a lifelong campaigner for human rights and spearheaded many humanitarian causes. Mair has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mair’s neo-Nazi links not only span decades, but also countries. That network links up with organisations that boast leading figures of the far-right political establishment. Mair may also have been known to MI5 and the FBI as far back as 2000.

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Mair’s far-right links

Mair has a long history of links to racist and far-right organisations. He was fascinated by Nazi ideology, and receipts show he possessed a manual on Nazi practice authored by Adolf Hitler. His links to far-right organisations included the Springbok Club (white supremacists) and, via that organisation, to similar supremacist organisations in the USA – notably the National Alliance (NA).

According to records obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mair was a supporter of the National Alliance (NA) – which the centre calls “the once premier neo-Nazi organisation in the United States”.

Mair bought works that instructed readers on the Chemistry of Powder & Explosives, Incendiaries, and a work called Improvised Munitions Handbook, which includes detailed instructions for making a pipe pistol.

(Details of more receipts are given here.)

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Links to the political right?

Mair had affiliations to an organisation called the Springbok Club and is described as “one of the earliest subscribers and supporters of S.A. Patriot“, the magazine of Springbok, now independent. The motto of the Patriotic Forum (an umbrella grouping of patriotic organisations which the Springbok Club is part of) is “Out of Europe and into the World”. Basically, Springbok is a British-based pro-white supremacist, South African organisation. In 1998, UKIP’s Neil Hamilton spoke at the Springbok Club.

According to the World Socialist Web Site, Springbok has associations with the Swinton Circle, which was set up as a Conservative Party fringe group in the 1960s by backers of Tory right-wing xenophobe Enoch Powell. Swinton Circle’s publication, Tough Talking from the Right, held a special readers’ meeting and buffet in the City of London, where the guest speaker was UKIP (now interim) leader Nigel Farage.

Swinton is anti-Europe, but has been involved with the far-right Pegida movement and has attended demonstrations and meetings with other far-right organisations. In February 2016, the Swinton Circle was contacted by Pegida UK and asked to support its ‘Silent Walk‘ in Birmingham, to protest against ‘Islamisation’ throughout Europe.

In 2014, Liam Fox (now a Conservative government cabinet minister) and Owen Paterson MP (Conservative) addressed separate meetings of the Swinton Circle.

Did MI5 know about Mair’s fascist connections?

In May 2000, Mair and several other fascists met in a pub near the Strand, London. According to Hatewatch, this meeting was confirmed by Todd Blodgett, an American who was a paid informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and who also regularly liaised with MI5. Blodgett helped to arrange the meeting at the request of William Pierce, the head of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. According to Blodgett, Mair was affiliated with the Leeds chapter of the National Alliance.

Others who attended the meeting included Stephen Cartwright, who was affiliated with the Scottish branch of the BNP (British National Party), and Richard Barnbrook, another BNP member. In 2008, Barnbrook won the election for a seat on the London Assembly.

The meeting was organised by Mark Cotterill, a Brit who lived in the USA while head of the American Friends of the British National Party, and who helped raise funds for the BNP. It seems likely that details of the meeting, including Mair’s attendance, would have been provided to MI5 (and the FBI) by Blodgett.

(Note: Cotterill denies Blodgett’s entire account of the above meeting.)

Hate and nationalism

Mair’s cause was that of nationalism; his deed, one of hate.

And the deed must be seen in the context of a climate of hatred fuelled by swathes of the media (The Daily Express among the worst offenders – see image below) and certain political parties – particularly UKIP, which bombard the British public with lies and disinformation about refugees. And in the lead up to the EU referendum, this campaign of hatred reached fever pitch.

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Mair’s dreadful act of terrorism has left the nation reeling.

But the establishment far right in the UK, the US, and continental Europe are still working relentlessly to mainstream the ideology that led to the death of Jo Cox. Their promotion of hate provides succour to the neo-fascist organisations that people like Thomas Mair so admire.

Get Involved!

– Read more about the far-right from Hate Watch.

– Support Hope not Hate.

– In honour of Jo Cox, help fund refugee support organisations such as Help Refugees UK or Citizens UK.

Featured image via Flickr Creative Commons

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