INTERVIEW WITH TROY SOUTHGATE

CONDUCTED BY GRAHAM MACKLIN

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1) Firstly I suppose I should ask what you about the demise of the NRF as a political entity, how and why did this come about.

From the mid-1990s onwards, the NRF was becoming increasingly influenced by the Anarchist ideas of Richard Hunt and Alternative Green. I was also researching the history of Anarchism itself, studying both the theory and the practice. In fact it was around this time that we gradually moved away from the English Nationalism of the ENM – something which had been strongly influenced by the Radical Socialist tradition of Blatchford, Morris et al - and towards National-Anarchism. However, Anarchism itself – or at least what passes for Anarchism – is rather an unattractive proposition for the average English Nationalist and therefore we had to be careful in case we alienated our supporters. The transition, therefore, was to be very slow and gradual. I soon became quite impatient with this process, as well as completely disillusioned with the fact that we were describing ourselves as a ‘movement’ when, in fact, we obviously had little more than a few dozen supporters around the country. This is why we disbanded the NRF and set about describing our National-Anarchist position as ‘a tendency’ or ‘a current’. We no longer wanted to pander to the masses and started pursuing a far more elitist strategy aimed at the few. It was also a more realistic and honest way of looking at things.

2) I see also that you appear to have parted company with Michael Lujan, or at least he is no longer listed as the web contact on your website. When and why did this happen?

Michael and I are still very good friends, it’s simply that his increasing work commitments meant that he was unable to update the Synthesis website as often as we would have liked and he has been forced to take a back seat. I have a great deal of respect for what he achieved with the WOT and Crossing the Abyss magazine in the 1990s – as well as making Synthesis what it is - and we are still in touch. So we haven’t ‘parted company’ in any way, Mike totally supports what we are doing.

3) How would you gauge the reception of national anarchism in the intervening period (i.e. since we were last in contact)?

I think the interest is growing all the time. There was certainly a gap on the market for National-Anarchism, so to speak. I am in touch with hundreds and hundreds of people who support National-Anarchism, but the key to success is linking everybody together and getting them to move in a similar direction. The area where National-Anarchism is having the biggest impact is in the cultural sphere.

4) I was most interested to see that you had joined H.E.R.R. Could you tell me a little bit more about how this came about and a bit more about the band.

H.E.R.R. is a completely non-political entity and unrelated to National-Anarchism. At the same time, of course, the kind of field in which H.E.R.R. tends to operate does not conflict with my own personal beliefs. I am interested in the spiritual and cultural values of Europe, so therefore to be involved in a group which essentially concentrates on the discussion of such topics as European history and all the triumphs and tragedies that go with it is a great privilege.

5) I note the 'mission statement' on the H.E.R.R. website certainly has to my mind an explicit political-cultural resonance, would you mind telling me a little more about the band's aims and also your views on the importance of music in what one might term the counter-cultural struggle.

Once again, the other four members of the group are not involved in any political or metapolitical activities and their interest is primarily cultural. But the fact that we are performing neo-classical music with cultural themes is, for me, at least, part of a wider phenomenon that is essentially designed to combat the degenerative influence of Americanisation and the plastic pop industry. We like to think that we are getting people to think about their heritage and identity, something which today is increasingly coming under threat. But H.E.R.R. is simply a droplet in a counter-cultural oasis of European revival. There are hundreds of groups in the musical underground which are beginning to explore similar themes.

6) Presuming that the answer to the above question is affirmative as it were could you give me your view on how successful you think H.E.R.R. has been in conveying its' message?

I think we have been very successful indeed. So far we have performed in Belgium, Holland, England and Switzerland with fresh offers coming in all the time. Our current album, ‘The Winter of Constantinople’, has appeared on two record labels (Cynfeirdd and Cold Spring) and released in three different formats. We have played to audiences of all ages and have an expanding fan base consisting of people from a wide variety of backgrounds

7) Are you the only member of H.E.R.R. to combine musicianship with political activism?

Yes. But I wouldn’t describe myself as a political activist. These days I’m more of a cultural and intellectual agitator.

8) I have been particularly interested by the formation of the 'New Right' in Britain - can you tell me about the background to its formation and how it has been progressing

Jonothon Boulter and I had discussed the fact that, apart from the worthy efforts of Michael Walker and Scorpion magazine, the European New Right had had very little impact in the British Isles. On the Continental mainland, of course, the New Right had grown steadily from 1968 onwards and managed to influence a great number of intellectuals and academics. These days, on the other hand, it seems to have run its course to a certain extent, something which hasn’t actually happened over here for the simple reason that it never really took off in the first place. So in January 2005 we launched the New Right in England and, thus far, have organised seven highly successful meetings in just fifteen months. We also have the next two or three meetings planned already. The people who attend our meetings come from various parties and organisations, including the British National Party, National Front, Alternative Green and the Populist Party. The great beauty behind the New Right is that it’s a metapolitical phenomenon and therefore people leave their party colours at the door and can mix freely with other people who potentially share their ideas at a more transcendent level.

9) How would you situate it or rather how would you describe its function as an organisation?

The New Right is a purely intellectual organisation which hopes to have an influence upon those people who are already politically or culturally motivated to some extent. We are soldiers in the battle of ideas.

10) I note that one of the regular speakers at New Right meetings is Jonathan Bowden, the British National Party (BNP) cultural officer. This struck me as rather odd given that to my mind many of the esoteric concerns of the New Right were rather different from those of the BNP and I wondered therefore where you felt the New Right stood in relation to the BNP.

I think I’ve answered this above to a certain extent, but needless to say I do not personally support the BNP or its aims and objectives. We so share some of the same concerns, of course, but National-Anarchists use different methods when it comes to finding solutions.

11) Which leads me to another semi-related question ... I was wondering what your views were on the BNP's own counter-cultural project; Great White Records and the like.

I don’t really have a great deal of interest in what the BNP is doing. Similarly, I don’t find a great deal of interest in the kind of music that the party is trying to encourage. Personally, I have a far more elitist approach and these days the sight of several hundred skinheads leaping around bare-chested at a white power concert doesn’t really fire my imagination. This kind of scene is very hedonistic and plebian, there is no aesthetic backbone to it all and it doesn’t really contribute to European values. I also believe that to create superior individuals you have to change people’s behaviour and attitudes. This certainly isn’t happening in England and for me the BNP is simply a reformist and populist grouping which is seeking to appeal to the masses.

12) It was just a thought but I was wondering to what extent, if any, you were involved with the Alter-media website - I only ask because I was struck by the fact that there were only two links, one to the Terra Firma on-line site and the other to the Folk and Faith site.

The people at Alter-Media are very sympathetic to National-Anarchist ideas and support our work.

13) i was wondering if you wouldn't mind giving me your views on the essential similarities and differences between the New Right today and the New Right organised around Michael Walker and The Scorpion sought to achieve in the early 1990s and why it was you think that their ideas failed to take root (if you think they did)?

I think Michael Walker had a really positive influence between 1983 and 1986, when the ‘political soldier’ and ‘Rising’ factions were active within the old National Front. But when he packed up and moved to Germany the whole thing seemed to fall apart. But I think that’s a reflection of how difficult it is to make progress in such a conservative country like England, because on the Continent these ideas took root decades ago and people identify with them more closely. The rest of Europe has a revolutionary conservative tradition which you simply don’t find over here. A lot of the intellectual and philosophical luminaries are German, for example, people like Strasser, Juenger, Niekisch and Moeller van den Bruck. The reality is that a mere handful of us who, united by a single vision, came through the NF, ITP, ENM and NRF represent the only visible current which has kept these ideas going over the last twenty years. It is no surprise, therefore, that we eventually went on to form the New Right. In England, we are the sole heirs of this small tradition.

14) Leading on from this I was wondering if you could give me your view on how important you thought Richard Lawson's FluxEuropa website was both for you personally and more widely for the 'scene' itself?

FluxEuropa didn’t have much influence on me directly, although it’s a fantastic resource and I do often use the website when I’m researching various musical and cultural issues. Another good resource is www.brainwashed.com Strangely enough, I first got into the Neofolk/Industrial scene when a neighbour lent me his Current 93 collection. At the time I had just rejected Catholicism and was looking for new reference points in areas which, due to my former Christian faith, had previously been out of bounds. From there I went on to discover groups like Allerseelen and Blood Axis, as well as to delve into the older, formulative material such as Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV.

15) Could you give me your appraisal of the current Traditionalist movement as presently constituted in Britain?

If, by ‘Traditionalist’, you mean Evolian or Guenonian, then it is fairly minimal. Again, people like Jonothon Boulter and myself are among the few people in this country with an interest in such matters. At least in metapolitical circles, because both authors are increasingly being studied by people with an interest in the Occult and at London bookshops like Atlantis and Watkins you can regularly find their work sitting on the shelves. But England is many years behind the rest of Europe when it comes to Traditionalist and Perennialist concepts. This is another reason why we organise meetings and try to stimulate intellectual discussion.

16) Finally, I was interested by the frighteningly long list of your favourite authors on your MySpace website and was wondering if you felt there was any common theme perhaps uniting them all?

Not really. In fact many of them are quite disparate because rather than digest information which supports or enforces my own position I like to explore all angles. But I wasn’t always this open-minded. As a Catholic I had a very closed mind on certain subjects and it was only after 1998 that I discarded the self-policing morality that plays such a large part in this religion and acquired the freedom to explore. Life is all about learning and self-development, something which lies at the very core of National-Anarchism. We are not dogmatists, bigots or control-freaks, we really do want people to find their own path in life and break away from this awful mass-society that enslaves and controls us all.