From the Le Pen gathering a new right wing emerged within the Conservative Party. Its first political operation was the Revolutionary Conservative Caucus and a publication called Conservative Review.
"This magazine", its first issue read, "is more forceful than The Times Literary Supplement, too extreme to be anything more than raw meat for effeminate liberal sensibility, and too nakedly Fascistic to be easily bracketed with the Salisbury Review. This is our attempt to influence intellectual life, to engage in struggle at the level of raw and pure ideological abstraction."
Politically the RCC was an attempt to promote Revolutionary Conservatism in Britain, drawing inspiration from the French intellectual Old Right, principally the Action Français led by Charles Maurras, and the German Conservative Revolution, which was driven by Oswald Spengler and Ernst Junger. However it saw the need to place this within a very Anglo-American environment.
While the RCC did not survive long, being too provocative for its own good, it managed to redraw a right-wing nationalist agenda. As one RCC leader said at the time: "This increasing spirit of nationalism led to a certain proximity between elements of the radical and Young Tory Right and the nationalist wing of ex-curricular Right-wing politics beyond the Conservative Party. Such a development led several of the leading figures in this tendency of youthful Tory nationalism to join the British National Party, a decision that was later repudiated by some of their number. This was not an unimportant development because it brought a tradition of Tory authoritarianism albeit in youthful guise and the tradition of 'fascistic' Old Right beyond the Conservative Party into some sort of meaningful engagement."
This new engagement, continued in Right Now, saw the fusion of the two political traditions. From the nationalist wing of the Conservative Party came Sam Swerling, Richard Bowden, and Allan Robertson, while from the neo-nazi right came Steve Brady, Turner and Mark Cotterill.
Central to this fusion was an acceptance of the failings of the 'fascistic' Old Right in Britain, which tended to combine British nationalism with national socialist trappings. They also roundly condemned the conspiracy theories of the far right. In one RCC publication the Jewish conspiracy was dismissed as "essentially a fiction; a sort of sub-poetic image, an intellectually second-rate way of apprehending reality whose origins are to be found in High Catholic integralism and the various occult ideas which the Nazis took from the Thule Society. Such ideas are essentially magical notions of reality."
The RCC brought together a number of people who were to later reemerge with Right Now, including Turner, Adrian Davies, Swerling, Peter Gibbs and Cotterill.
Now at its twentieth edition, Right Now has secured its position as the leading publication on the Conservative right. Its patrons include the MPs Andrew Hunter and Peter Robinson, Professors David Marsland and Anthony Flew, and the journalist and self-confessed spook Brian Crozier. It has been linked to almost 20 MPs and holds regular meetings within the House of Commons. It has interviewed Charles Moore, editor of the Sunday Telegraph, the Sun columnist Gary Bushell and the fiction writer Frederick Forsyth.
The political maturity of its organisers is presently enabling it to alter the political landscape within the fringes of the Conservative Party in a similar manner to the way in which the Salisbury Review helped shape Thatcherism during the 1980s. In the process they have also been able to legitimise the debate about racism in a way that the BNP will never achieve.
Race has long been a central issue for Right Now, with a vast array of articles deriding multiculturalism and immigration. In issue 3 Michael Harrison "provides us with a most sobering glimpse into the future", a London where at least four boroughs "will have ceased -even in the broadest sense - to be an English city". In a later issue Robert Henderson, who is better known for his stinging outburst against black English cricketers in Wisden, argued that the fault for the Oklahoma bomb lay not with the American far right but with the "governing liberal elites".
"The remorseless promotion of multiculturalism", he continued, "is equivalent to settlement by conquest accompanied by an ethnic cleansing of the original inhabitants."
Derek Turner's protestations about being labelled racist are greatly undermined by a quick glance at those involved in Right Now. Attending a Right Now meeting on "Law and Order" addressed by Ann Widdecombe, then a Home Office minister, were Lady Jane Birdwood and Joy Page, two veteran racists. More significantly Right Now's US distributor is Mark Cotterill, a former NF regional organiser. Cotterill remains in close contact with Nick Griffin of the BNP and neo-nazi organisations in the USA, including William Pierce's National Alliance.
In later issues Right Now has toned down some of its more overtly racist articles. Recognising that most people are genuinely appalled by the crass racism and stereotyping of the sort pushed by the BNP, Right Now seems to be favouring a more sophisticated form of racism in the guise of eugenics. Not only does this give a pseudo-scientific justification for racist beliefs, it also helps justify an anti-welfare agenda.
One eugenecist interviewed was Professor Richard Lynn, the Ulster-based academic who has specialised in IQ studies. "There is solid evidence that, on average, blacks have smaller brains than whites," Lynn told Right Now's editor Derek Turner. "Higher intelligence of the Oriental and Caucasian peoples was probably an evolutionary adaptation to the problems of survival in cold northern environments. Human beings first evolved in tropical Africa where survival is relatively easy. Then some of them migrated northwards into Eurasia and they found life wasn't so simple. They had to survive through cold winters, build shelters, make clothing and fires and hunt animals in order to survive. They had to become more intelligent to survive."
Race has not been the only issue taken up by the eugenecists. Lynn also supports the notion that poverty is a result of low intelligence: "Poor education attainment, poor vocational skills, high unemployment, high rates of crime and single motherhood. Low intelligence is a major cause factor in all these social pathologies."
If poverty is the result of low intelligence, as Murray and Lynn argue, then government assistance cannot enhance the lives of the poor. Praising The Bell Curve, George Warwick wrote in Right Now: "Benefits for the poor, single mothers merely fuel the problem by allowing them to reproduce without the need to get married and worry about maintaining the child. We are clearly subsidising women to have a lot of dumb children: is this a sensible policy?"
For some conservatives, who have long been hostile to the concept of a well funded welfare state, this argument is becoming increasingly appealing, especially when all politicians seem obsessed about reducing the tax burden for the middle class. One of the most important influences on Ronald Reagan's welfare strategy during the 1980s was Charles Murray.
Crime is another area keenly discussed by eugenecists in Right Now. Again they believe it is another result of lower intelligence. "This is partly because the unintelligent have less to lose by being caught because they generally have poor jobs, or are unemployed, and partly because they can't figure out so well the likelihood and consequences of being caught," argues Lynn.
J Philippe Rushton, a leading eugenecist from North America, has also written on the subject of crime for Right Now. Largely agreeing with Lynn, he also offers the view that black people commit more crime because of a higher testosterone level.
With black people having a lower IQ than whites because of genetic rather than environmental factors, Lynn argues that the future for the United States is bleak. His solution of a white-only homeland appears to echo the apocalyptic visions of US nazis.
"The only solution lies in the break-up of the United States," Lynn argues. "I believe the predominantly white states should declare independence and secede from the Union. They would enforce strict border controls and provide minimum welfare, which would be limited to citizens. If this were done, white civilisation would survive within this handful of states."
So important have the eugenecists been to Right Now that Hans Eysenck, one of the central figures on the postwar eugenecist scene, even became a patron of the magazine. On his death last year his obituary was written by Chris Brand, another eugenecist, who was recently sacked from his job at Edinburgh University for his views on intelligence and paedophilia.
Not everyone in Right Now fully supports the eugenecists. Deep down many hold the same racist views that they have always had, fuelled by their simple dislike of black people. "If you say that I am a racist, yes I certainly am and proud of it," says Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, another patron of the magazine. "I'm an Anglo-Saxon and want to keep this country Anglo-Saxon."
Even Right Now's editor, Derek Turner, is sceptical about Social Darwinism. "I'm against it because I'm distrustful of scientists. I'm particularly distrustful of social scientists. The very worse families can throw up the very best people and vice versa. I'm also against people who just become brains, super IQs who can't even do their shirts up and stay on the Internet all day."
While Turner doubts the validity of their work, he also thinks it is impossible to implement. "The theory is too cold and inhuman for it to become widely acceptable.
"Certainly Governments should never encourage improvidence or mental retardation but it should never discourage it in the way that eugenicists try to do. Delinquents need to be policed and held in line by moral authority, they don't need to be sterilised."
Another eminent writer for Right Now has been Victor Serebriakoff, an Honorary International President of MENSA. In an article entitled "Evolutionary Choices", Serebriakoff argues for "a voluntary, compassionate method of genetic amelioration", otherwise known as genetic selection.
"The need is to return to the Darwin natural selection that got us where we are, he writes, "but to eliminate much of the suffering and the vast and growing expense involved". What he proposes is "parental genetic choice". This would not only create a better future stock but also alleviate the pressures on the health and welfare systems by reducing the number of ill people.
Despite his general aversion to eugenics, Turner does believe this is a possibly viable proposition.
Serebriakoff argues that "it is time to return, much better informed, to the idea of replacing the natural selection which mankind has partially cancelled. Too many are born to suffer and to be a heavy burden of sorrow to their parents and trouble and expense to their societies."
While Serebriakoff is at pains to state his opposition to Hitler's "ghastly, genocidal version of genetics", surely that is the logical conclusion of what he is advocating. This point is clearly made by another leading postwar eugenecist, Roger Pearson, a British anthropologist and founder of the neo-nazi Northern League. Pearson, who later emigrated to the USA and became editor of The Mankind Quarterly, once argued that the white race is endangered by inferior genetic stock, but with proper use of modern biological technology "a new super-generation" descended from "only the fittest" of the previous generation can be produced. The first nation to adopt such a scientific breeding programme, Pearson contends, "would dominate the rest of the world".
And that is the basic problem. However much scientists and other commentators argue for compassionate use of genetic science, some perhaps quite sincerely, there will always be some people wanting to manipulate it for their own political ends. Developing the technology will inevitably lead to misuse.
While eugenecists are still marginalised on this side of the Atlantic, the coverage given to the issue within the pages of Right Now is alarming. Despite Turner's personal opposition to eugenics, a position not held by everyone within Right Now, the airing given to the issue within the magazine is disturbing, and will inevitably give the ideas more credibility. Trying to emulate the role of the Salisbury Review on Thatcherism during the 1980s, the people behind Right Now are attempting to influence the right's agenda, and as is obvious from the contributors, they are having some success. With the debate over the future of the benefit system, the National Health Service and pension reform set to ignite over the next few years, how many of Right Now's readers, who include several MPs, will start looking to the likes of Murray for solutions. The example from the United States does not bode well.
Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, an important influence
on the thinking of those who produce Right Now
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