KEITH THOMPSON AND
Three Disparate Victims Of
Gerry Gable’s Technique
Gerry Gable may be one of the prolific smear-merchants who ever walked the Earth, but no one could ever accuse him of subtlety. In this short dissertation I will give examples of three of his victims together with the appropriate documentation. Regular readers of Searchlight and genuine “anti-fascists” are asked to take special note of the third victim, Dave Roberts, who twenty years after his death was rewarded with two short sentences of unsustainable innuendo in return for the valuable work he did for Searchlight in the mid-seventies, in particular for helping to create the myth of Column 88, the Nazi Underground. We begin with
In the January 1995 issue of Searchlight, a short, uncredited article on page 12, Former NF officer assaulted - which was probably written by Gable (1) - informs the reader that:
Two West Country men have been charged with an alleged assault on Mark Cotterill, the former southwest regional organiser of the National Front.
The article goes on to claim that Cotterill was recently “under police investigation” for allegedly making threats to “local anti-fascists and their families”. Exactly what the phrase “under investigation” means is not made clear. Certainly Cotterill was never charged with any criminal offence in connection with this investigation - if it existed.
Gable - or whoever wrote this article - goes on to accuse Cotterill of theft: “Cotterill runs a mail order service which peddles not only nazi filth but also occasional back numbers of Searchlight that appear to have fallen off the back of a lorry.”
For the benefit of overseas readers, the phrase “fell off the back of a lorry” is a well known colloquialism which refers specifically to the trade in stolen consumer goods. The article adduces no evidence that Mark Cotterill or any of his associates has stolen any issues of Searchlight - back issues or otherwise, and indeed “the comic” as it is widely known (2) is read by many people on the “far right”, so it is hardly surprising that back numbers of it occasionally come onto the market.
Next follows some innuendo as to why Cotterill was assaulted; the reader is told that: “A number of nazis were not too happy when he was discovered going through the desk of a party member with whom he was staying in the early hours of the morning.”
Again, no evidence is adduced in support of this claim, for the obvious reason that in the time honoured tradition of the muck-raking journalist, Gable simply made it up. The article concludes: “One of the men charged with assaulting Cotterill has a serious knife wound to his arm. We watch developments in this case with some interest.”
Anyone reading this article might conclude that Mark Cotterill had been attacked by two far right activists who suspected perhaps that he was some sort of spy. In fact, Cotterill’s assailants were not right wing extremists but left wing extremists, as Gable well knew when this article appeared.
Shortly after this attack, Cotterill forwarded to the current writer - and doubtless many others - an A4 sheet made up of three uncredited press cuttings, presumably from the local press. Three photographs were included, one showing the bruised face of the 34 year old Cotterill; his alleged attackers were also pictured: they were named as 23 year old Richard Hanbury of Exeter and 32 year old Richard Heyes of Paignton. The two men were charged with unlawful wounding, and were, surprisingly, remanded on bail, until December 22, 1994. Torbay magistrates agreed to a defence application not to publish their full addresses. Both men had impeccable left wing credentials.
In an editorial in the March 1995 issue of his short lived magazine British Patriot, (3) Cotterill himself reported that the case had been adjourned four times and that the next hearing was set for March 27 at Torbay Magistrates Court. (4) Cotterill was not pleased with Gable either. He wrote thus:
Finally, Gerry Gable...editor of Searchlight magazine, reported in his January issue “One of the men charged with assaulting Cotterill has a serious knife wound to his arm”. This is of course a blatant lie and a copy of his magazine has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. He also claimed in that same issue and in a number of previous issues, that I am a member of the UKIP. I would like to state here that I am not now and never have been a member of the UKIP, and I do not intend to be..."
By November 1995, the attack on Cotterill by two right wing extremists had transmogrified into an attack by Cotterill on two “anti-fascists”. An article in that month’s issue Cotterill fails to show up in witness box made some extraordinary claims.
Cotterill had taken to making strange phone calls, and one of the recipients - whose wife was pregnant - had complained to the police. Although they had plenty of evidence against Cotterill, the CPS decided not to prosecute, for “some unexplained reason”.
This came as no surprise to Searchlight because after he was caught going through the desk of “another fascist”, Cotterill was suspected of working either for the state or for the Searchlight Organisation itself!
The police having failed to take action against Cotterill, two gallant “anti-fascists” went to his home to ask him to desist. Yes, dear reader, they went there to ask him. But wait, it gets better...
An “exchange” on the doorstep left one of the visitors with a stabbed or slashed arm, and Cotterill “slightly the worse for wear”.
In spite of the serious nature of this assault, it was not Cotterill but the other men who were charged.
Cotterill is said to have published details of the two alleged assailants, implying that he had interfered with the course of justice. In fact, the details Cotterill published were clearly well within the Contempt Of Court Act, 1981, which allows for fair and accurate reporting. The same details were published in the local press, (see above).
Now it is implied that the usual unnamed persons in high places were looking for an opportunity to drop the case “so that Cotterill would not have to go into the witness box and be cross examined over his ‘state’ connections”.
Even if Cotterill had any state connections, whatever that means, it remains to be seen what would be the relevance of any such cross-examination. It is a criminal offence to wound even spies, or serving prisoners for that matter, and any defence counsel who made such a suggestion would be doing his clients no favours at all because he would be providing a motive for the attack.
Shortly before the trial of the two “anti-fascists” the CPS tried to persuade them to plead guilty “in another attempt to keep Cotterill out of the witness box”. A more likely explanation is that in view of the weight of evidence against them, they were advised to plead guilty and throw themselves on the mercy of the court.
“How odd then that when the case was called the key witness, Mark Cotterill, was not present.” The case was dropped.
This grossly defamatory article concludes by ridiculing the suggestion that Cotterill was too afraid to attend court, and that thousands of pounds of public money were wasted on the unwarranted persecution of “two innocent men” while the omniscient secret state tied to protect one of its assets. Of course, if Mark Cotterill had been such a vital asset to the state, it remains to be seen why he emigrated to the United States when he could have put away two of the state’s sworn enemies for two or three years apiece.
Searchlight’s reporting of this affair is in any case a total fiction. In a telephone conversation with the current writer shortly after the attack, Cotterill gave a somewhat different, and far more accurate, version of events. Two left wing thugs turned up on his doorstep and attacked him; one of them had a knife. He managed to escape into his kitchen, armed himself, and beat them off. The two were arrested shortly.
Sensing more trouble, the police fitted his premises with a panic button. Panic button or no panic button, another attempt was made to get Cotterill, this time late at night or in the small hours. The would-be attackers didn’t manage to effect entry, but Cotterill, who might already have considered himself lucky to be alive, was left a nervous wreck, indeed as he related this part of his tale, he sounded close to tears. So when he was offered a job in the United States, he jumped at the chance. Regrettable though this was, this led to the case against his attackers being dropped. Yes, his attackers, not his alleged attackers.
The current writer contacted Cotterill in the first instance because of what he considered to be a series of strange coincidences. After he himself was libelled in the November, 1993 issue of Searchlight, he was the victim of a clearly politically motivated attack on his doorstep on the morning of November 28, 1993.
A photograph of Michael Newland, the then current press officer of the British National Party, appeared on pages 12-3 of the April 1994 issue. Shortly after this - on April 29 - Newland too was assaulted by a well organised gang, in his own home. (5)
Cotterill’s photograph had appeared in the November 1993 issue, and Gable’s hate sheet was not exactly shy about publicising him. Other people who have featured in Searchlight have been the victims of attacks and attempted attacks, albeit less serious than the potentially fatal attack on Mark Cotterill. In the words of American conspiracy theorist, William Hoar: “...the long arm of coincidence can only stretch so far.” (6)
This brings us to
Keith Thompson styles himself proudly “an old Mosleyite”, and was at one time a member of Sir Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement. One of the more literate individuals on the far right, Thompson is also extremely learned about this area of fringe politics. In the July 2001 issue of Searchlight, Gable claims of him that he was “exposed in the full light of a court room a few years ago as a paid informant of this worthy journal”.
Two months later, in the September issue, writing in the same news from the sewers column, (7) Thompson - who is not named - is said again to have “found himself exposed to the judge and jury, as well as a public gallery full of nazis, as having been in the pay of Searchlight and other parts of the media for several years. After his evidence and that of his fellow nazis was revealed to be a total pack of lies, the judge stopped the case.”
This claim did not emerge first in 2001, nor in 1998, when the October issue of Searchlight referred to “Keith Thompson, a veteran nazi and one-time beneficiary of Searchlight’s financial largess.” To find where it first reared its ugly head we have to turn back to 1992. On July 24 that year a small article in the Guardian reported Anti-fascist editor cleared of violence. The “Anti-fascist editor” in the dock was none other than Gable himself. The story behind this is as follows. (8)
In May 1991, Keith Thompson was organising a meeting in Kensington Library. A room had been hired either under his own name or that of Steven Books. Regardless of the politics of those concerned, it was what might be termed a literary evening. One of the speakers was Jeffrey Hamm, who had been a leading member of not only the post-war Union Movement but of the pre-war British Union of Fascists. The hall had been rented from 7pm; Thompson and his fellow organisers had been admitted, but it was a condition of its hire that the public were not admitted until 7.30. It was an all-ticket affair; altogether Thompson sold about seventy to eighty tickets.
Thompson was sorting out the recording equipment, when five or six people - he refers to them as thugs - entered the building. Gable was with them. Thompson says that he had never seen Gable in the flesh before, although he recognised him from TV. Gable sat down, and the others pretended they had come to the meeting bona fide. They had forged tickets; Thompson is adamant about this, because he issued all the tickets personally. The unwanted guests said they’d got them on a march. This was a reference to a British National Party march in Erith. Thompson said he obviously realised there was trouble brewing but was playing for time, because he didn’t know what would happen. One of the men had a mobile phone - the reader should bear in mind that this was in the days when mobile phones were a comparative rarity.
The following is Thompson’s own account of how Gable’s thugs gained entry; in a recent E-mail he wrote:
“Gable, with a small team of about 6 gained entry by subterfuge and force. Claiming that they were news reporters invited by me.”
“This failing to convince my doorman, they used force. He managed to shut the door after they had got in but he had no means of securing the door except by his own weight. The Kensington Library security/caretaker man had gone off for his break and would not leave us keys although we asked for them. We just had a small piece of wood to put through the handles. I could and should have packed the place with our own people, but I was prevented from doing so by the council who insisted that only three people could be on the premises before my period of let. Once the advance guard of the intruders saw this, they used their mobile phone to call in the main mob who smashed their way in. They then ambushed any early arrivals and my staff. They put up a fight and two or three of them were badly hurt.”
It had clearly been Gable’s idea to prevent the meeting taking place with the de rigueur Jewish duplicity and commitment to democracy that has brought so much hatred onto his entire race over the course of the Twentieth Century.
With regard to the fighting downstairs in the lobby, some of the invaders were armed with iron bars. It would later be claimed that these had been brought by “the fascists”, though it remains to be seen why they would bring offensive weapons of that nature to such a low key social/academic event.
Thompson says that when the violence spread to the hall, Jeffrey Hamm ended up on the floor. Thompson is adamant that he didn’t see Hamm fall, and says that he probably stumbled. Literally hours after the meeting, another eyewitness told the current writer that Hamm was knocked to the floor. Hamm couldn’t find his glasses; Thompson said he may not have brought them with him. The elderly Hamm was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, so this is not unlikely; he died shortly before the trial. A few people were hurt, and at least one of the invaders was laying into “fascists” with vigour. At this point, Gable realised where things were headed, and tried to stop the violence. (9) It remains to be seen if Gable should take any credit for this, but it is a matter of record that he did try to stop the violence, and appears to have had some success.
At some point, Thompson had a brief conversation with Gable, and accused him of burgling his house and taking away some aviation log books. Then someone announced that “the skinheads” were coming, and the invaders left in a hurry. Skinheads or no, the police certainly turned up; they made sixteen or eighteen arrests. The meeting went ahead on time, and later, Gable, and Gary O’Shea of the pro-IRA violent Red Action group, ended up in the dock together charged with causing the affray. Keith Thompson was called as a prosecution witness, if only by virtue of the fact that he had been there.
For whatever reason, the prosecution did not prepare the case very well, something with which the police were said to be none too happy. (10) According to Thompson, the police said that the Crown Prosecution Service lawyer (ie the prosecuting barrister) had been changed the night before, and the new man had therefore had little or no time to prepare the case. Probably regardless of this rather than because of it, the case against Gable was dismissed after legal argument and before the opening of the case for the defence.
As Gable claimed (see above) that the trial of Mark Cotterill’s attackers was sabotaged by mysterious unnamed persons in high places, a cynic might suggest that Gable was himself the recipient of “Secret State” protection on this occasion. (11)
When Thompson was called to give evidence, instead of lying through his teeth, he stated openly that he had not seen Gable attack anyone. This is in stark contrast to Gable’s claim in the February 2002 issue of Searchlight, at page 14, that Thompson insisted that “everyone should claim they had been assaulted by Gerry Gable”. Now this brings us at last to the claim that Thompson was in the pay of Searchlight.
For those unfamiliar with legal proceedings, one way to attack the credibility of an eyewitness, or any other witness, is to suggest that he is unreliable, or simply lying. This is known as cross-examination as to credit. Usually the witness is not actually accused of lying in so many words, that inference is left to the jury.
It is of course just as valid for one side to attack the credibility of a witness as it is for the other side to establish his credit. The testimony of an unbiased witness of good character should certainly be given more weight than that of a proven liar with serious convictions for dishonesty and an axe to grind, even though habitual criminals can tell the truth, and seemingly upstanding persons can lie through their teeth, or simply be mistaken. That being said, some of the stupid games that go on in courtrooms have little or nothing to do with probing the veracity or accuracy of a witness’s testimony.
Probably the most outrageous and well known example of this sort of cross-examination occurred during the O.J. Simpson trial where the accused, facing a double murder charge and overwhelming incriminatory forensic evidence, was in a tight spot indeed. About the only way Simpson could be cleared was if the forensic evidence was discredited, and about the only way to do this was by convincing the jury that it might have been planted by racist police officers, in particular Mark Fuhrman. (12)
Fuhrman was asked under oath if he had ever used the dreaded n word in the past ten years, to which he answered with a firm negative. He was also asked if he had ever framed anyone, which, obviously, he denied just as emphatically. Then as if by magic a tape fell into the hands of the defence which not only showed Fuhrman using the word nigger repeatedly, but perhaps even more damningly talking about planting evidence to incriminate suspects.
In English courtrooms, where cross-examination as to credit is far more restrictive, Simpson’s legal team would not have been permitted to get away with such nonsense; the tape would have been inadmissible, and the defence would have been bound by Fuhrman’s denials, which would surely have resulted in Simpson’s conviction. That being said, both prosecuting and defence counsel here still play clever games intended to score points against the other side, so Gable’s barrister tried to portray Thompson as a man with an agenda.
He accused Thompson of being both a Nazi (13) and a member of the Ku Klux Klan; Thompson said he’d never been a member or even to a meeting of the Klan in his life. What conversation had occurred between him and Gable beforehand, he was asked. Reluctantly, Thompson told the court he had asked Gable:
“When you burgled my house, did you take any aviation log books; because I’d like them back.”
Or words to that effect.
At this point, sensing where this cross-examination was leading, Gable’s counsel asked for an adjournment in order to take further instructions from his client.
When the trial resumed, the allegation was put to Thompson that he had come to the TV studios where Gable was then working with a sackful of goodies that he had handed over for cash. And that somehow his aviation log books had been mixed up with the information on the far right that Thompson, the venal, untrustworthy traitor, had sold to Gable. The whole story is of course the most absolute piffle, and in any case totally irrelevant. Indeed, it might be argued that if Thompson had really sold information to Gable he would be inclined to give evidence that would bolster his defence.
Whatever, Gable claimed, through his counsel, that Thompson had sold information to Searchlight on two occasions. For his part, although he isn’t certain about the date, Thompson is adamant that the burglary actually happened some time in 1987. He didn’t report it because only a small amount of largely political literature was stolen, and it was obviously politically motivated.
In the September 1992 issue of Searchlight (ie after Gable’s acquittal), the reader is told: “The court went on to hear how in 1979 and 1982 Thompson had sold extremely valuable information about the League of St. George’s domestic and international structure, including membership and subscriber lists, to Searchlight for £480 on one occasion and £500 on another.”
Of course, we have only Gable’s word for this. It is true that even Gable does occasionally tell the truth, but let us look at this claim a bit more closely. How were these transactions made? If he had paid Thompson by cheques there would be a paper trail; there is no paper trail, so did he pay Thompson in cash? Did he withdraw money from the bank especially for this? On how many occasions did he meet Thompson? At least twice, presumably. Where did he meet him? At Gable’s place of work, we are informed. So who witnessed this meeting? We know that Gable and his gang are not averse to taking covert photographs, but there are no photographs to support this claim, no anything in fact.
The final word on this point goes to Keith Thompson, who writes: “I also did not keep files on membership or League Review subscriptions as that was not my function in the LSG.”
Again, the only evidence we have of this alleged treachery by Thompson is the unsupported assertion of a notorious, much practised and many times proven liar. And a liar with a vested interest at that.
Let us return to the September 2001 issue of Searchlight: Thompson “found himself exposed to the judge and jury, as well as a public gallery full of nazis, as having been in the pay of Searchlight and other parts of the media for several years.”
Now it is also other parts of the media; as is usually the case, the lies grow with every retelling.
“After his evidence and that of his fellow nazis was revealed to be a total pack of lies, the judge stopped the case.”
No Gerry, in the first place, Thompson is not and never was a Nazi; he was a Mosleyite; in the Second World War, Mosley supporters served with the British Army while your hatemongering co-racialists were murdering British citizens in Palestine - never let that be forgotten.
In the second place, Thompson’s evidence was not found to be a pack of lies; the credibility of witness evidence is a matter for the jury; clearly the judge felt that the evidence of affray against Gable in particular was not sufficient. This was because Thompson gave truthful evidence; had he and others given perjured testimony, the trial might have had an entirely different outcome. Of course, none of this alters the fact that Gable and his cronies invaded a lawful meeting where the thugs under his control began roughing people up, and that whatever he personally did when the violence broke out, Gable was walking the thin line between what might be called legitimate protest and criminal thuggery. But that comes as no surprise as he has been inciting the gullible goyim to such violence since the 1960s.
It is interesting to see how scurrilous allegations made by the barrister of an accused in a tight spot mutate from unsupported assertions to proven facts, but they are not proven facts. Keith Thompson was not a Searchlight grass, “mole”, or anything else.
Ironically, in the July 1996 issue of Searchlight, Gable provides evidence of this himself, as far as his word can be trusted (which in truth is not far). On page 13 he publishes a photograph of Thompson’s (stolen) Union Movement photo-ID card while on the previous page, Thompson is described as “a senior salesman with quirky sexual interests and past connections with Italian and other foreign terrorists”. As well as this bit of sniping, Gable chips in that the League of St. George “went into decline after it was infiltrated by Searchlight intelligence officers, resulting in a long series of exposés about its secret and internal operations.”
If “Searchlight intelligence officers” had “infiltrated” the League of St. George, it remains to be seen why Gable would have bought information from Thompson regarding its activities. As is so often the case, Gable tells one lie blissfully unaware of the fact that it refutes a previous lie.
In reality, this nonsense about infiltrators and intelligence officers is all part of Gable’s seedy Kosher James Bond fantasy world. As Thompson pointed out to the current writer many years ago, the League of St. George was never a secret organisation; it was a private one in the same way as your local chess club or amateur dramatic society. It may have had a restricted membership, but it operated legally, above board, and in the open as far as do most other private political organisations.
There is though a grain of truth in Gable’s claim that his gang had “infiltrated” the League. This is that a man named Charles Hanson, an occasional contributor to the League’s theoretical journal, had spied on the far right for Searchlight for money for many years. At Winchester Crown Court in 1996, Hanson was convicted of murdering his wife, whereupon the anti-Searchlight magazine Target published an exposé of him. It may be that spite and malice aside, Gable’s attack on Thompson was a smokescreen to divert attention from the real sneak thief in the League’s nest.
Coming up to date, in the February 2002 issue of Searchlight, Gable’s claim that Thompson sold him information at the former’s place of work looks incredibly dubious indeed, because herein Gable admits what he had in effect denied at his trial; he burgled Thompson’s house! The story related here is that after informing Searchlight that he was going to a League of St. George meeting “to give himself an alibi” no less! Thompson left his back door unlocked “for a couple of the Searchlight team to pop in”. He told them he would leave the relevant documents in the kitchen, but once inside “our intrepid researchers...removed...a couple of wartime publications on plane spotting”, and other highly incriminating material, of course.
In anyone’s language, this is a blatant admission of theft, if not of burglary, removing property which they had no right to remove without the owner’s permission. Of course, the entire story of Thompson conniving in a burglary on his own home (which he didn’t report) is absolute poppycock. After this article came to Thompson’s attention, he informed the police, who in due course interviewed Gable in the presence of his solicitor.
Predictably nothing came of this admission, the facts that only a small amount of property had been taken and that the offence was so long ago would have probably been responsible for the police taking no action. One would have thought though that Gable’s solicitor would have warned his client against shooting off his big mouth in such a fashion in future; if he did, obviously Gable didn’t take heed, because in the July 2002 issue, he confesses to another burglary! On page 23, the reader is informed that “Search teams raided Mosley’s headquarters removing vital documents.” This relates to the activities of the 62 Group - of which Gable was a member - in the 1960s. And this for a magazine which has built its undeserved reputation on exposing Nazi criminals!
Incredibly, there are some people on the far right even today who believe Thompson to have passed information to the Gable gang, for money or for some other reason. As stated, the only evidence we have for this is the unsupported assertions of a notorious, much practised and many times proven liar. We do though have a motive for Gable telling such lies, one which transcends mere politics.
It is not widely known but is a documented fact nevertheless that Gable’s (fourth!) wife, whom he married in 1984, although just as dedicated an “anti-fascist” as her husband, was not always so. Rather, in her younger days, Sonia Gable née Hochfelder, was an ardent supporter of the National Front, and a fairly senior member at that. She was also, to put it diplomatically, very friendly with some of the Front’s male members. One person who took full advantage of Sweet Sonia’s sexual largess was none other than Keith Thompson. Another, somewhat more chivalrous suitor, was Steve Brady, who has himself been targeted over the years by Gable’s hate sheet. The reader is invited to draw his own conclusions. Thompson says that Sonia was just an ordinary member of the NF, though he insists that she was very free with her sexual favours.
One final point with regard to Keith Thompson, Gable’s claim that he has “quirky sexual interests” is one that he admits readily. When Gable, or whoever burgled Thompson’s house, was going through his reading material they found half a dozen men’s magazines, the sort that can be found on the top shelves of most newsagents. Thompson points out that this may seem quirky in the circles Gable moves in (a snide reference to Mr G’s homosexual paedophile chum Harry Bidney), but most people - men and women - wouldn’t find that sort of thing quirky at all. Including your own wife, Gerry, who had no complaints either about Mr Thompson’s sexual habits, or his prowess.
And so dear reader we come to victim number three:
If Gable’s lies and hate directed against both Mark Cotterill and Keith Thompson are understandable from a political/racial perspective, the latest target of his venom is both totally unexpected and a strange choice indeed, because Dave Roberts was not only a dedicated, indeed fanatical, “anti-fascist”, he was also praised to high heaven by Searchlight in the mid-seventies.
In the December 2002 issue of his hate sheet, Gable rails at a recently broadcast BBC TV series concerning the activities of MI5 and Special Branch infiltration of political movements. He says that he himself worked on two similar TV programmes in the mid 80s, the makers of one of which, Spying for the Comrades, were “subjected to harassment by the security services and their friends in the media”.
Gable forgets that as long ago as 1980 he was himself exposed as one of “their friends in the media” when a memorandum he had written to his bosses at London Weekend Television was unearthed by the New Statesman. (14) And as for Spying For The Comrades, this was a pseudo-documentary in which a gullible, low level civil servant was set up as a spy by Gable and his cronies at Channel 4. The programme received sympathetic coverage from the Observer, (15) and was later devastatingly rebutted, again by the New Statesman, a magazine that is hardly an accredited conduit for “Secret State” disinformation. (16)
Returning to his December 2002 Searchlight article, Gable lists what are purported to be a large number of errors in the series. Under Error 6., appears this curious extract:
“...the fascists were from the BM and were arrested for attacking an Indian restaurant after failing to break into the Communist Party office in Birmingham. One of those arrested, the late Dave Roberts, was an SB informer spying on the Communist Party and the Irish community in the Midlands. He was also a thief, who had passed information to a leading NF officer at the time, Steve Brady.”
Earth to Gable! Earth to Gable!
For anyone familiar with the Searchlight backfile from the mid-70s, this is an absolutely incredible allegation for Gable to make. Briefly, Richard David Roberts (1949-82) was the adopted son of time-serving Communist parents (17) and himself became both a die-hard Communist and a fanatical “anti-fascist”. Roberts joined the Communist Party himself, then entered the Appeal Group, which was formed in 1971. (18) After joining the National Front in the Midlands under the pseudonym Ralph Steven Marshall, Roberts was reported to have made a none too polite racial remark at a meeting in East Anglia a couple of years previously: “WE have more than our fair share of Blacks in the urban Industrial areas, now if we had enough tree’s they could swing on them to their hearts content.” (19)
It remains to be seen if Roberts really did make such a remark; at that time, Searchlight was edited by Gable’s co-racialist and collaborator Maurice Ludmer, who made this claim, clearly, to boost Roberts’ credibility with the lunatic fringe of the far right.
At page 4 of the May 1976 issue of Searchlight it is claimed that Searchlight’s “information” about the Nazi Underground surfaced “as a result of two years of undercover work by a man who decided to devote himself to finding out about the extreme right from the inside.” That man was Dave Roberts, aided and abetted by Maurice Ludmer; they wrote the script together. The government of the day was not so impressed; that same month, when Column 88 had been fully investigated by the authorities, it was dismissed by the Minister of State for Defence as “a small drinking club of neo-Nazi nut-cases.” (20) Until then however, its invisible hoards were said to be on the verge of starting a violent revolution, if not actually taking over the country.
Almost all the stories about Column 88 that filled both the tabloid press and the broadsheets in the mid-70s are traceable directly or indirectly to Maurice Ludmer and Dave Roberts. In July 1975 however, the Walter Mitty Roberts went too far when he was arrested together with two Nazi fantasists, David King and John McLaren. (21) The three men were caught down an alleyway in Birmingham, tooled up, the worse for drink, and clearly up to no good. They were suspected of trying to break into the nearby Key Books, but were charged with conspiracy to assault and rob the staff of The Bombay restaurant.
All three were remanded in custody, but Roberts was shortly granted bail. Facing a gaol sentence, he sang like a canary. He was not, he said, a Nazi but an anti-fascist infiltrator (read agent provocateur). Subsequently, he handed over to the authorities a large quantity of documents, including tapes, which exposed the sinister machinations of Column 88.
This had some effect, for although Roberts was duly convicted, while his co-conspirators (and fellow drunkards) were gaoled, he escaped with a suspended sentence. He was subsequently to serve that sentence, or part of it, after being convicted of assaulting National Front members.
Although he was just as odious as Gable, unlike his successor the then editor of Searchlight was not entirely devoid of loyalty towards his Gentile collaborators. (22) After Roberts’ conviction, as well as singing his praises for saving Britain and the world from the hordes of Column 88, the magazine protested his innocence.
The following articles were published in Searchlight in the wake of Roberts’ March 1976 conviction at Birmingham Crown Court:
MR. R.S. MARSHALL AND THE N.F., May 1976 issue, pages 12-3.
This is part one of a three part serialisation. Roberts is described therein as “a very ordinary working class young man with a strong sense of justice and a flair for seeking out knowledge.”
What was that about his being a thief and a spy, Gerry?
THE ROBERTS STORY part two, June 1976 issue, pages 9-11.
THE ROBERTS STORY part 3, July/August, 1976 issue, pages 6-8.Which “concludes our serialisation of the valuable work done by Dave Roberts during his short spell in the extreme right” Thief? Spy?
DAVE ROBERTS JAILED - Documents of Original Trial Show Innocence, issue 26, page 7-9.This issue is undated, but issue 18 was dated October 1976, so it can be seen that Dave Roberts was no shooting star. And again, what was that about his being a thief and a spy, Gerry? And a “fascist” ?
When Roberts was released from Stafford Prison on March 17, 1978, after serving ten months of a fifteen month sentence, he was met at the gate by Maurice Ludmer. (23) This information comes straight from the cow’s mouth, as it were: Daphne Liddle, Robert’s lover. Liddle is not only a dedicated Stalinist, but a photo-journalist and ongoing contributor to Searchlight. (24) She referred to Roberts as a Searchlight researcher.
After Maurice Ludmer’s death, Gable decided, for whatever reason, to distance the Searchlight Organisation from Roberts. On the back page of the August 1981 issue appeared this statement:
“We wish to make it clear that Dave Roberts is not and never has been a member of Searchlight’s editorial group and is in no way associated with the work of the magazine...nor would we wish him to be.” signed Veronica Ware - Editor, Gerry Gable - Former Editor.The pretext for this was that after Ludmer’s death, Roberts had been trading off his and/or Searchlight’s name. Many years ago, the current writer was informed by Steve Brady that Roberts actually edited Searchlight at one point; whether or not that was the case, by their own admission he compiled an index for them.
One can only speculate as to the real reason for Roberts’ sudden fall from grace; it may have been that he was too fanatical even for Gable’s liking; whatever, by August 1981 the saviour of the Western world had been relegated to a very minor footnote in the struggle against fascism. A careful study of the magazine for the intervening 21 years reveals no trace of Roberts’ name. Roberts died in 1982, unlamented, and indeed forgotten by not only Searchlight but by the “anti-fascist” movement in general, until Gable’s outrageous slur on his memory in December 2002.
Whatever one may think of Dave Roberts, he deserved better than this. The claim that he was a Special Branch informer may well be true, but so what? (25) Maurice Ludmer died of a heart attack on May 14, 1981. According to Gable himself, he was in the middle of a phone call to a senior Special Branch officer at the time! (26) The claims that Roberts spied on “the Irish community” and that he passed information to Steve Brady are to be treated with contempt, as is anything Gable says or writes unless it can be verified independently.
Apart from this very minor blip, Dave Roberts is not the only person from Searchlight’s formative years to be consigned ignominiously to the memory hole. Also forgotten is the 400 strong army of Column 88! The nonsense about Column was even taken up by brain-dead academics who parrotted the Searchlight line uncritically. Thus we are informed by Paul Wilkinson’s The New Fascists that “A recent authoritative study found evidence that Column 88 had infiltrated military units and established weapons training-camps and exercises.” (27)
As late as 1991, Gable himself wrote that the main reason John Tyndall was ousted from the leadership of the National Front is that he had reneged on his oath of allegiance to Column 88, into which he had been inducted at the tender age of nineteen, (28) while in the May 1978 issue of Searchlight it was stated that Column 88 was founded around 1970 as a result of a split among Colin Jordan’s followers. As Tyndall was born July 24, 1934, there is obviously more than a little discrepancy here, but Gable hasn’t just lost the plot, he is making it up as he goes along, because in the April 1993 issue of Searchlight, Column 88 was said to have been “a honey-trap organisation controlled by British intelligence”.
No Gerry, you lying, scheming, duplicitous, untrustworthy Kosher crazy, Column 88 was a small drinking club of Neo-Nazi nut cases which your co-racialist and fellow hatemonger Maurice Ludmer in collaboration with his goy sidekick Dave Roberts built up into the British Nazi equivalent of the IRA. Now that Roberts is long dead and Column 88 has served its purpose, you consign both to the memory hole and find other shills to promote your Aryan-hating agenda.
The title of Gable’s Jews from the sewers column in which he spits on the corpse of Dave Roberts sums up him and his magazine ironically: True spies or real lies? The documentation herein has come largely from Gable and Searchlight themselves. The intelligent, critical reader is asked to verify the contents for himself; this dissertation gives an insight into not only Gable’s sick Jewish mind, but into the mentality of those who are, in Gable’s own words, at war with society. A society he and they hold responsible for the historical persecution of their race, Final Solution, gas chambers and all. It is even more ironic that the real cause of eternal anti-Semitism is not the mythical, all-pervasive, international Nazi conspiracy that Gable seeks to demonise at every turn, rather it is, and has for the past forty years, indeed for the last two millennia, been the man in the mirror.
January 14, 2003
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