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on 30 November 2015
It would have been nice if the author had told us more about the links between the UDA and the far right than he does. Reading this book, one may well feel that the UDA has always given its full support to the National Front (NF) and other far right groups which is not the case. Throughout the troubles there was many a UDA member and commander who objected to the racial polices of the British far right: Jackie McDonald for example, the brigadier of South Belfast UDA was one. That said, this is a very good book which provides an fascinating insight into the British far right and I recommend it for anybody with an interest in the subject.
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on 12 June 2015
great service great book
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on 22 October 2012
What a rollocking read for anyone who was in touch with what the far right were up to in the 80s/90s. I'm ashamed to say I flirted with right wing politics, but I don't think I could describe the lack of direction, emptiness, and stupidity that took me over at this time half as well as the author. Very entertaining and thought provoking.
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on 23 August 2014
A passable insight into a pathetic & nasty group of individuals.
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on 28 November 2011
The teenaged Matthew Collins was an angry misfit, suffering sexual frustration, early signs of alcoholism and a general sense of alienation and disempowerment. He was also about a hundred times more intelligent, sensitive and sane than the crowd he mixed with: the Far Right of the 70s and 80s, the architects and predecessors of rise of the organised, PR-heavy BNP and EDL of the last decade. Collins' essential humanity led to him working as a mole for the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, later taking a leading role in the HOPE not hate campaign that ensured the BNP never saw the political success they had been forecast.

It's not always an easy read, requiring an attentive reader to enter a world that they (if they're lucky) know very little about. It's also disturbing, sometimes disgusting. But it is also important, not only as a reminder of the stupidity and brutality of the far right, but also as a warning about how extremism can provide a sense of identity for people who feel they have nothing else.
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on 20 February 2013
I bought this as, although I have little sympathy for the National Front and similar organisations, I was interested to find what goes on inside the heads of their followers. After I had ploughed through chapters after chapter of turgid prose, the picture that emerges is one of a fairly disorganised rabble that seems to comprise of bitter old men and vacuous youths, spoiling for a fight. It doesn't give any insight and even fails to make the hackles rise. Give it a miss.
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on 21 January 2015
I don't like the left or the right & have no understanding of why people from the same back-ground go to war over people who don't care about them (The left) or hate them (The right)

My reason for buying this book was to get an understanding of it all. I didn't. Basically the author appears to be a drunk who flitted between sides. 'Traitor' i think is the correct terminology!

It's one of those easy to read books with BIG print for the idiots like me who want to read about this rubbish.

Why the left constantly interfere with the right?? Just let them get on with it, people fought wars for free speech. That said does anyone listen to the NF these days - Is there even one still about?

Poor book - Don't waste your money giving the author another pot of gold to waste on booze. Buy a moronic football violence book instead....!
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on 13 February 2015
I'm sure I've read this before......
Oh yeah same book, different author
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on 14 August 2013
This is a very important book that should be studied in British schools throughout the land. It is essentially the memoirs of Matthew Collins, a South London born son of Irish immigrants, who as a teenager and young man drifted into the seedy and violent world of the British far-right political movement. More than this, however, it is a testimony to human growth, and proves that people can and do change for the better, as Collins (now a friend of Billy Bragg) eventually came to abandon his former beliefs, and worked with the anti-racist Searchlight magazine to undermine the National Front (NF) and the British National Party (BNP).

The 2012 paperback edition contains 308 numbered pages and is comprised of a Foreword, an Introduction, an Epilogue and 34 untitled chapters (Collectively called 'HATE'), and 8 pages of photographs.

Foreword (By Billy Bragg)
What is What
Who is Who
34 Chapters (HATE)

Matthew Collins (b. 1970) developed an interest in far-right politics from a teenager living in South London, and slowly got involved in the National Front in the mid to late 1980's. This book charts his progress and activities as a violent and racist thug supporting the fascist cause, and records his remarkable metamorphosis into what may described as a very decent human being. This book is a crucial study of the inner workings of the British far-right, and conveys the events of the late 1980's and early 1990's, that simultaneously saw the demise of the National Front and the rise of the British National Party. What Collins has to say is important as he was with the upper echelons of both movements as the events unfolded, and witnessed the racism, violence, rape, drug addiction, alcoholism, drug dealing, and arms procurement, which are everyday occurrences in the British far-right. Collins makes the point that virtually all far-right members are filled (and motivated by hate) have served time in jail, come from backgrounds of various types of abuse, are alcoholic, and addicted to drugs.

The turning point for Collins was when the NF attacked a meeting of predominantly Asian men and women (including old people and pregnant women) at welling Library in South London. This was a meeting about the rise of far-right inspired racial violence in the area. The NF ran into the library and beat men and women mercilessly - and tried to breakdown a toilet door to get their hands on a young pregnant woman who was obviously scared for her life and the life of her unborn child. The book is a catalogue of similar seemingly pointless, but hate-filled episodes of manic violence, inspired by limited intellectual and carried-out by young, shaven-headed British males. Collins points out the opportunistic manner in which the far-right would harass and intimidate non-white people, and any white people they deemed to be betraying the pure white race. This included attacking Socialists as they were selling their newspapers, taking over entire tube trains and expelling black and Asian people, as well as hiring the York Hall in London for NF rallies.

It is obvious that the British far-right is motivated purely by hatred, and that this hatred is a product of an impoverished youth, either culturally or materially. Collins says that as a 'political' party the far-right did not have any coherent policies - other than the need to start a 'race war' on Britain's streets. This general approach of racist inspired 'anti-immigration' rhetoric is often aided by the Conservative Party (and newspapers such as the Sun, Mail and Telegraph) which has members who are sympathetic to the far-right and are sometimes even members of far-rigt groups. Collins tells how the far-right go in and out of fashion with those who hold casual racist attitudes throughout the UK, and how the far-right has created relative power-basis in areas such as Torquay - where immigration is very small, etc. Matthew Collins is a brave man. In a very real sense, the fact that he saw the errors of his ways, and actively took action against his former misguided colleagues, marks him as a true British hero.
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on 18 August 2012
If you are interested in the politics of the margins and recent British social history you will find this a compelling read.
One question, who is the mystery well-known person with NF links alluded to throughout the book? I think it's obvious.
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