Thursday, 21 October 2010

Dragon, IONA and Wakeford

Here's a scan of the front page of the first issue of Dragon, from 1987, the one and, I believe, the only periodical that IONA (Islands of the North Atlantic) published before it transformed itself into the Transeuropa Collective. IONA was formed in the mid-80s by Wakeford associate (and, I believe, mentor) Richard Lawson. Lawson had been the Student Organiser of the National Front (NF), he was involved in the Strasserite wing of the party around John Kingsley Read that split from the NF in 1976 to form the National Party,(though he later drifted back toward the NF and in the 80s was associated with the Official National Front / Political Soldier faction around Nick Griffin, Patrick Harrington and Derek Holland, where he will have first met Tony Wakeford, as he too was a supporter of this wing of the NF), and he has operated over a long period of time as a Fascist ideologue and organiser. IONA was formed as a think-tank for intellectuals on the radical right and was closely associated with Michael Walker's similarly inclined Scorpion magazine, with whom IONA co-operated. In 1989 Lawson set up the Transeuropa Collective, which published the journal Perspectives to discuss "European identities, autonomies and initiatives". Transeuropa replaced IONA organisationally but embodied the same political orientation. Alongside their anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism and their promotion of ethnic regionalism, both Dragon and Perspectives also discussed environmental issues, British Folk culture and history and other topics designed to orient this wing of Fascism toward the Greens, to 'de-Nazify' them and generally give them a Left face. As such it was part of a wider contemporary European strategy of Fascist realignment ('convergence') toward, and infiltration of, Left and Green campaigns and organisations. Perspectives was criticised by Searchlight for its anti-Semitism and for infiltrating the Green movement. Others commented that Perspectives "says 'Green' but means 'White'". In 1995 Lawson launched Fluxeuropa, a website producing 'postmodern' cultural reviews and exploring "the creative tension between tradition and modernity". Lawson was also later involved in Alternative Green alongside ex-NF, ex-ITP (International Third Position) and now 'National-Anarchist' (and leader of the neo-classical martial group, H.E.R.R), Troy Southgate.

At the bottom of this page of Dragon you'll notice an article written by Wakeford, about whom I've already posted a series of articles detailing his involvement in Fascism (and I can guarantee there will be more of these in future). The reason I'm posting this page now is simply to note Wakeford's active participation in Lawson's project of the time. The relationship between Wakeford and Lawson continued (as detailed by Stewart Home) and has coloured Wakeford's thinking ever since (notice IONA and Transeuropa's concern for 'British Folk culture'). One of the main claims of this site is that there is an essential continuity between Wakeford's early overt political engagement with Fascism and his later involvement with what Anton Shekhovtsov, in an excellent article, called 'Apoliteic Music'. This continuity is driven by Wakeford's acceptance of the ideas promoted by Richard Lawson in his various guises. Wakeford's article here about Henry Williamson - the author of Tarka the Otter but also an admirer of Hitler and member of the British Union of Fascists - is itself probably of little intrinsic interest, though it does tend to confirm the old observation that authoritarians are commonly also drawn to the maudlin, the kitsch and the banal.

Hat-tip to Anton Shekhovtsov for the use of the scan.


  1. The headline at the top of this publication also tells us something about Wakeford's ongoing commitment to the 1980s ideology developed for British fascists by Lawson and Michael Walker of The Scorpion - his openly fascist Above The Ruins album features a track called "100 Flags". The idea of a Europe of 100 flags was something frequently discussed in such circles.

  2. I have just read the scanned page from 'Dragon' and could not find anything that could be possibly construed as racist or Nazi within it. In fact, i find the writers' encouraging people to learn about the folk customs and history of their localities to be a positive thing!

  3. Anonymous of 5 Feb 2011 is either extremely naive or else complicit with Wakeford and Lawson's fascism. The text accompanying the scan puts the piece in context, as does the first comment underneath, so Anonymous has little excuse for being so naive. I do find it telling that those comments posted here which might be taken as supportive of Wakeford, always ignore the overwhelming bulk of material on this site which demonstrates that Wakeford has yet to break with fascism. In other words Wakeford's claims that he is no longer a fascist are so transparently disingenuous and self-serving that they just don't stand up to any kind of scrutiny. No one is claiming that at the stage this was produced Wakeford or Lawson were Nazis, just that they were fascists. All Nazis are fascists but not all fascists are Nazis. This is a neo-fascist text, not a Nazi one, so Anonymous claiming they can find nothing Nazi in it misses the point completely. And read with even a tiny amount of background knowledge (like that provided beside the scan), then it is readily evident that the publication emerges from racist discourse as well.

  4. ohhhh... the caption above this box should read "don't be posted as 'anonymous' because people will think that you are the twat who posts idiocy like the one above does' - obviously 'Scorpion' is here because it was a right-wing poncey vanity press - and theres more to it than one page - but 'anonymous' knows that - and more - and deserves [or maybe wants?] an article all about will undoubtedly come, 'anonymous' - have you looked out of your window lately? times a' changin'....

  5. I note one particular criticism is the historical nature of all this - people change etc.
    Well, I have to say that whilst browsing on the web recently I found one Eddy Butler [see 'failed leadership challenge, the BNP, VERY recently] bragging that he still was in touch with one Richard Lawson....but I suppose they only exchange
    knitting fuck!


Please at least use a pseudonym so it's possible to follow your argument if you make multiple posts