The Hipster Fascists: Meet Britain’s most sinister far-Right group
The Hipster Fascists: Well-dressed, highly educated and from respectable families. Why this new British far-Right group is the most sinister and dangerous yet
Parked outside a block of flats in the leafy suburbs of North London yesterday was an old Honda Concerto. ‘The former owner was Enoch Powell,’ its new owner, Tom Dupre, declared proudly after emerging from the building.
Not everyone would be so keen to advertise this fact. Powell was one of the most divisive British politicians of modern times. His ‘Rivers of Blood’ anti-immigration speech back in 1968 remains as controversial today as it was then.
But not to Dupre. The 23-year-old university graduate is an ardent admirer of Enoch Powell, he revealed during an impromptu interview with the Mail outside his flat yesterday — hence the decision to buy Powell’s last car (which he’d owned until his death from Parkinson’s disease in 1998) from a collector.
Tom Dupre is the leader of the far-Right group Generation Identity (GI UK) and is openly an admirer of Enoch Powell, the Tory minister best known for his 1968 Rivers of Blood speech
It is no surprise to learn that Dupre is a fan of the late politician. The former junior city banker is the leader of a new far-Right movement in Britain called Generation Identity (GI UK).
Unlike the traditional image of the far-Right, epitomised by shaven-headed thugs from groups such as the English Defence League and National Action, Tom Dupre is well-spoken, educated, polite and personable. It makes him more plausible and, ultimately perhaps, more dangerous than the easily-dismissed stereotypes from this end of the political spectrum which we have become accustomed to.
He was smartly dressed in a business suit during our encounter with him, but slick publicity photos of him and his fellow ‘patriots’, as they like to call themselves, show them in skinny jeans, trendy trainers and sunglasses with some sporting upswept hair and beards.
The Sunday Times has described them as the ‘Hipster Fascists’. They’ve been accused of using modern branding and sophisticated coded language to ‘normalise’ extremist views.
But Dupre insists Generation Identity is neither fascist nor racist, despite the fact that it is campaigning to preserve ‘our ethnocultural identity’ against what it describes as the ‘great replacement’ of white people in Britain’s cities with black and minority ethnic people.
The group, which includes Benjamin Jones, pictured, has been dubbed ‘Hipster Fascists’
The rhetoric echoes Powell’s infamous speech, in which he recounted a conversation he’d had with a middle-aged constituent who had voiced his fear that ‘in this country in 15 or 20 years’ time, the black man will have the whip hand over the white man’.
The words, spoken 50 years apart, might be different, but the message delivered by Tom Dupre and Enoch Powell is the same.
Posters in Manchester last week reinforced that message, declaring that ‘each new census heralds the end of England and the English. By 2061, we will be nothing more than a footnote in the history books.’
The group, which claims to have members in every major city in the country, was launched last summer in the UK with a banner being unveiled on Westminster Bridge reading: Defend London — Stop Islamisation. It was emblazoned with the ‘lambda’ symbol, the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet, which has become the official logo of GI UK.
The lambda is synonymous with the ancient military republic of Sparta, famous in battle for being ‘a patriotic army defending its native soil’.
The symbolism is obvious.
Jordan Diamond, pictured, who is a leading member of the group, has been previously filmed expressing his concern about being ‘swamped by the third world’
GI UK members come from ‘all walks’ of life, the promotional material informs us. However, the leadership is exclusively middle class, as are many of its activists. Universities up and down the country have been targeted for potential recruits.
Tom Dupre himself grew up in a six-bedroom £1 million home in Sevenoaks, Kent. His parents were co-directors of a firm of insurance brokers; his mother, a volunteer with the Samaritans, ran a local children’s choir. Both his brother and sister, an opera singer, went to Cambridge. A more unlikely family background for a far-Right leader would to be hard to imagine.
Dupre studied psychology at Bristol University, speaks several languages and is an accomplished clarinet player.
Until this week, he worked for Standard Chartered in the bank’s glass-fronted HQ in the heart of the City, near Mansion House, where a bright future beckoned until his political activities came to light last weekend. He was dismissed a few days ago following an internal investigation.
Dupre’s closest associate is Ben Jones, the 24-year-old co-leader of Generation Identity. At first glance, his life is a picture of suburban respectability. He lives in the Midlands with his fiancée and two border collies. Jones has a degree in journalism and works in marketing.
A third key figure within the organisation is Belfast-born Deirdre McTucker, 38. She graduated, she says in her online CV, in business management and economics from prestigious University College Dublin, before joining a number of firms in the U.S. including the Federal Aviation Administration and Saab. She has also run her own video production company.
‘We want to bring a revival to our culture and our way of life,’ she said in a recent newspaper interview. ‘Our biggest concern, of course, is becoming a minority in our own country.’ GI UK founding members also include the son of an accountant and an IT specialist with a leading cyber security firm.
So, the demographic make-up of GI UK could not be more different from the English Defence League or the banned National Action. The tactics of this group are very different, too. There have, for example, been no provocative marches, no clenched fists and no violence.
Still, in under a year, Generation Identity has become the most active far-Right organisation in Britain.
In place of rallies, they like to spread their message through meetings, leaflet-drops, recruitment drives and ‘study circles’.
It is within these seemingly civilised gatherings, which have been held in towns and cities from Luton to the Lake District, that activists discuss ‘identitarian’ ideology. Word of these meetings tends to be featured on GI UK’s Facebook page.
One photograph on Facebook shows young Tom Dupre and two supporters, wearing bright yellow waterproof tops with the lambda logo, handing out food to the homeless at King’s Cross and Moorgate stations in London.
‘Warm pork suppers’ were deliberately chosen to exclude Muslims, claim anti-fascist campaigners.
Dupre strenuously denies this. ‘It had nothing to do with being anti-Muslim,’ he insisted to the Mail.
But he did go on record to confess that he does not regard Mayor of London Sadiq Khan as European. Not because he is a Muslim, he says, but because ‘he’s against British values’.
Belfast-born Deirdre McTucker, who attended University College Dublin, said in one newspaper interview ‘our biggest concern is becoming a minority in our own country’
You may well not know this, but last December, GI UK staged a tasteless publicity stunt to embarrass Mr Khan. Someone playing the part of the Mayor, accompanied by two people in niqabs, went to Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral to ask people to sign a petition to ‘ban Christmas’. Thankfully, the stunt received little publicity.
Generation Identity’s first British conference was held last month — in Tom Dupre’s home town.
The gathering at The Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks, Kent, ended with the police being called when anti-fascist protesters, in black balaclavas, descended on the venue. Witnesses described how a young GI member was chased across the car park by masked men — proof that extremism, even when it is clothed in middle-class normality, almost always breeds more extremism.
The conference was news-worthy for another reason. Two senior GI figures from Europe — one of them was Austrian Martin Sellner — were detained and deported as they tried to enter the country to attend the event. This is evidence, if any were needed, that the authorities are not taking the potential threat posed by GI UK lightly.
GI UK is part of a 13-nation European network which claims to have thousands of supporters in France, Germany and Austria, and an extensive infrastructure including branded bars and gyms.
Unlike their British counterparts, the methods employed by European ‘Identitarians’ are far less subtle. They have mounted missions to ‘defend Europe’. They have chartered boats to disrupt operations in the Mediterranean to rescue refugees, and have conducted ‘patrols’ of the French border in the Alps.
Sellner, a student of law and philosophy, who makes a living as a graphic designer, is the leading GI figure on the Continent. Often seen wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses, he has strong links with his counterparts in Britain.
After being prevented from attending the conference in Sevenoaks, he instead spoke to Tom Dupre, live on stage, via a video link.
The European experience of this group offers a salutary warning for Britain.
‘Identitarians’ argue that globalisation has created a homogenous culture with no distinct national or cultural identities. This can only be reversed, they claim, by ‘remigration’.
In Britain, critics insist, this would mean the forced removal and repatriation of non-white and Muslim immigrants who GI UK believe shouldn’t be resident here. Such a credo took hold in France around six years ago and has grown stronger following the wave of ISIS terror attacks across Europe.
What is happening in Europe was exposed by undercover reporters from ITV last year. In a documentary, members of Generation Identity were seen practising hand-to-hand combat at an ‘Identitarian Summer University’ in France.
This was, in effect, a military-style training camp. Members were also filmed taking part in a mock demonstration (complete with pepper spray) before ‘passing out’, wearing uniforms bearing GI’s distinctive lambda logo.
Jordan Diamond, one of the early leaders of GI UK, has been filmed attending other GI events with Martin Sellner. Diamond, smartly-suited and in his early 20s, who was brought up in a picture postcard village in the North- West of England, has been recorded talking about his fears of being ‘swamped’ by the Third World.
‘Would you,’ he has asked rhetorically, ‘be happy, honestly, if white people didn’t exist? Because naturally, at the rate it’s going, we’re not going to.’
Diamond insisted, however, that he was not racist, arguing that no indigenous population should become a minority in its own land. He has said that he does not condone violence.
In other footage online, Diamond has spoken about the need to mobilise ‘99ers’. These are young people born since the Millennium, whom he wants to be taught to protect what he describes as their ‘white heritage’.
‘We’ve not got much time,’ he said in one address. ‘When the 99ers turn 30, our fate will be sealed. It’s down to our generation to make some change.’
Diamond’s childhood home is in a millionaires’ row of mock Tudor houses and gated walled mansions. Diamond’s father is an accountant with the NHS and his mother is a music teacher. A sports car was parked on the drive earlier this week. Neighbours of the family say their son went to university.
On Twitter, where he has 2,500 followers, Diamond describes himself as an ‘identitarian’ and quotes Winston Churchill: ‘There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England.’
Back in Sevenoaks, Tom Dupre, described by one who used to know him as ‘a lovely lad from a very liberal family’, declined to say what his friends, parents and extended family think of his views.
However, he insisted: ‘We reject racism. We are not fascist.
‘We do not want to throw all foreign people out of England. We’re not against all immigration or all immigrants at all.
‘But my generation is much more concerned about the issues we are raising than people who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s.
‘We have grown up with terrorist attacks in London. I was just seven years old when I saw the Twin Towers collapsing on the TV. It did not make sense to me. A lot of people my age feel the same way.’
Yet, critics claim that behind the slick branding and expertly produced promotional videos of Generation Identity lies an ugly message of white supremacy and ‘racial separatism’.
These young men might look the picture of respectability with their snazzy suits, fashionable labels and super-cool haircuts. Their rhetoric, however, tells a different story.
One of Tom Dupre’s big questions during a recent address to a GI convention was: ‘Are we a threat?’ Compared to the bomber jackets and beer bellies of the English Defence League, the answer, quite possibly, is very much, yes.
Additional reporting: Stephanie Condron and Mark Branagan
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