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The Untapped Resource

by Tom Acton

IN MID-APRIL a photo-copied letter was sent to a number of local newspapers, up and down the country. It purported to come from a Mr Andrew Williams, a would-be author with no "political axe to grind". The cutting below is taken from a North London newspaper, who reproduced 'Mr Williams' missive in full, in their correspondence columns.

Readers of this letter will notice that the address given is that of Vanguard magazine, an odd address for someone with 'no political axe to grind' to use. So what is going on? Is Vanguard engaged in an ingenious, if underhand, campaign to find out the identities and addresses of those with strong opinions on the subject of immigration? The answer to that is a strong and emphatic NO!

On behalf of this magazine I should like to make it clear that we have no knowledge of 'Mr Andrew Williams', and have never given consent for this magazine's address to be used to solicit the opinions of members of the public in this way. Nor would we ever do so. Mr Williams is, in short, a phoney, and this letter a con. As far as I can tell about seven or eight local newspapers fell for 'Mr Williams' glib appeal, and published his letter.

What his motivations were one can only guess. But if he thought to embarass us - perhaps seeking 'Front in con the public outrage' type headlines - then he must have been greatly disappointed. The only significant consequence of the Williams letter has been the response to it from the British public - and significant that certainly has been.

Just one small letter, published in a few obscure local newspapers - the Penrith Herald, the Swindon Advertiser etc. Would anyone notice it, would anyone reply at all? In fact PO Box 634 has been bulging at the seams of late, with mail generated by the non-existent Mr Williams - as this issue goes to press the number of letters received is well into three figures, and climbing steadily.

SIGNIFICANT

And the contents of these letters is as significant as their volume. The William's letter itself is exceedingly unbiased - it does not solicit specifically pro- or anti-immigration opinions. But the response was far from unbiased - virtually all those who wrote in were opposed to the mass Afro-Asian settlement that has taken place in Britain.

To be more specific: about 10% of the letters that were sent to PO Box 634 expressed no, or contradictory, opinions. Only a handful of letters have come in from people actually praising mass coloured immigration: like that from a lady who wanted "a mix of every type of person in every street" - she then described herself as a 'fervent' supporter of the Labour Party, a Guardian reader and a Jewess. Well I suppose we all have our problems...

In only one instance did we receive a letter from an apparently British person praising multi-racialism.

So what of the rest, the remaining 85-90%? Well broadly they divided in roughly equal numbers into two camps, which might be termed the 'soft' and the 'hard' opponents of immigration.

The soft epitomised the "I'm not a racialist, but ...' brigade. They were at pains to emphasise that they had nothing to do with any extremist politics, and had nothing against coloured immigrants themselves, of course, but alas so many other people do, and multi-racialism just isn't going to work, it will end in violence etc, etc.

The soft opponents also emphasised the non-racial case against immigration - many people commented on the ecological havoc that further mass-immigration would cause - specifically to the remnants of the green belt in the South East.

The hard opponents were more honest and forthright in their opinions. Amongst older writers the view was frequently expressed that politicians had betayed their wartime sacrifice, by permitting the 'invasion' - as most put it - of Africans and Asians. Time and time again the viewpoint was expressed that such a massive settlement threatened the very identity of the British people - "It's not the country I was born in", "My home town's not British anymore".

IGNORED

Many writers wrote to the effect that this was the first time anyone had asked their opinions on immigation: that politicians simply ignored the opinions of ordinary people was a common complaint. As one couple wrote, immigration "is a matter of much concern and heated discussions amongst our families, friends and working colleagues, to a degree which we do not think any political or racial party realises."

The letters sent in reply to 'Mr Williams' surely represent just a very small tip of a large iceberg of submerged public opinion, which no Nationalist party has - yet - succeeded in mobilising.

Like the British public as a whole few of those who wrote to PO Box 634 were deeply political. Like the British public as a whole they were ordinary, respectable people; few of them would have any sympathies for 'extremist' politics. Rather they had an instinctive, deep-rooted patriotism, and are very sincerely worried at the threat to this country, and future generations of British people, posed by mass immigration.

UNTAPPED RESOURCE

At present I doubt if more than a small handful of those who wrote in would seriously consider voting for a racial nationalist party. Yet they remain an untapped resource, an unharvested field, a potential mass support base for the first Nationalist party that can present itself to them in the right light. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the success of Le Pen in France - he has succeeded in building a party with which the ordinary patriotic Frenchman and woman can identify.

In conclusion: we remain less than impressed with the anonymous 'Mr Williams' for the shabby trick he has played on hundreds of people. However his activities appear to have done little harm - rather they have only helped illustrate, once again, the vast reservoir of potential support that there is for a serious movement in Britain.