An influential group of young leaders, including the Chair of UKIP’s youth wing have been exposed as members of a Facebook group which spews antisemitic content.
Hope not Hate, a controversial anti-racism group, has revealed that a 200-member Facebook group entitled “Young Right Society” (YRS) has been found to be awash with antisemitic, Holocaust denying and racist material.
According to Hope not Hate, the group boasts a membership including known fascists, neo-Nazis and figures on the alt-right, such as Colin Robertson, alongside mainstream Conservative Party activists and the Chair of UKIP’s youth wing, Jamie Ross McKenzie. YRS positions itself as “a place for those who are on the Right (basically anything right of centre) to discuss politics, philosophy, and general Right-wing stuff with as little censorship or government intervention as possible” but this investigation suggests that the group is being used by some to propagate white supremacy, antisemitism, homophobia and other forms of hate.
One of the group’s moderators, Michael Brooks, wrote that he was “14 and 88” a shorthand code for “Heil Hitler” and the 14-word Nazi phrase: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” Mr Brooks has been pictured posing with notable politicians, including the former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, who has himself come under fire in recent weeks over comments on his radio station alleging Jewish disproportionate power over US politics. Mr Brooks was also allegedly part of a YRS contingent at a conference run by the far-right Traditional Britain Group (TBG). Three weeks earlier he had managed to have his photograph taken alongside Theresa May at the Conservative Party conference.
Mr Brooks’ disturbing views were on further display within the group in a series of racist comments he allegedly posted on the group, including a racist caption to a graph showing supposed population growth in sub-Saharan Africa stating: “Planet of the Apes isn’t science fiction, it’s a warning”. In another comment attributed to Mr Brooks by Hope not Hate, he allegedly wrote: “There is a riot happening in Dalston in North East London. In this thread we discuss the ethnicities and theories as to why they are biologically destined to engage in this behaviour :^)”. He also allegedly wrote that a “white identitarian, paramilitary organisation known as the ‘white shirts’ sounds kinda cool, even if it is larpy”, and posted supportive messages regarding the now infamous antisemitic, racist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in May.
Mr Brooks is further alleged to have argued for the changing of the YRS group banner into Nazi iconography to “weed out the weak and keep normies away” to which Jack Hadfield, a well known Breitbart writer and one of the group’s administrators reportedly replied: “Swastikas are unbritish [mate]. You’ve got the right aesthetic but it’s too autistic”. This is further supported by comments elsewhere within the group where he wrote: “you f***ing right wing faggots need to knock off the nazi/ethnonat stuff. It drives off Civics who I keep adding and are open to nationalistm [sic]”, further claiming: “I am 14 and 88, but even I know optics and recruiting normies.” “Normies” is often used as a word for people who are not yet fascists but might be targets for persuasion.
Another group administrator, Philip Donaghy, is also under fire. He is said to have posted an article from the Daily Stormer, a virulently antisemitic, far-right website, as well as giving tips to members on how to engage in racism and homophobia without detection from Facebook.
Another group administrator, Jack Hadfield reportedly described YRS as “a Fascist-Juggalo group with traditionalism interest”, claiming: “we tolerate other ideologies but make no mistake if you don’t like it, you know where the door is.” Mr Hadfield is alleged to have posted a picture of a book by Julius Evola, a keen admirer of the SS, with the caption: “Got me some good new summer reading.”
Posts within the group are alleged to have included Holocaust jokes, antisemitic conspiracy theories and open admiration for the late British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, alongside other offensive material, including sickening references to the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.
Some members are even alleged to have written in support of the extremist far right group Scottish Dawn, a faction of the proscribed neo-Nazi terrorist organisation, National Action, with one member said to have shared an article from a National Action-linked website.
Meanwhile, Cian Jones, who provides security for the Holocaust denying, far right London Forum, allegedly posted the prison letter of Lawrence Burns, a National Action member currently behind bars for inciting racial hatred, which was described by Mr Jones as “inspiring.”
Other alleged members of YRS included Tom Cormack, leader of the hardline racist group, British Imperative (BI).
These views were not limited to a fringe collection of users within YRS. For example, polls within YRS revealed the widespread support of racist views with 72% of respondents agreed that the “disparity between the average IQs of different races” was caused primarily by genetic factors. An additional poll showed 72% agreeing that a “racially diverse society is undesirable”. Over half (53%) of YRS poll respondents claimed that giving women the right to vote was “a mistake” and 78% voted positively when Mr Brooks posed the question: “would you unironically support the immediate liquidation of all communists, communists organisations and enablers of communist subversives”.
The group has organised several meetings in London, Manchester and Belfast. Meetings have been attended by Mr Brooks, Chris Ram and Paul Griffin, a Canadian-born far-right activist instrumental in the organisation of Legion MAC, a far-right “survival camp” which taught street-fighting training. Sorcha Ní Bhuaigh, who has attended meetings of the London Forum with Mr Griffin, also attended the YRS social events.
Campaign Against Antisemitism expects that the Conservative Party, UKIP and Facebook will all now take urgent action.