White Defence League

The White Defence League was a Britishfar-right political group. Using the provocative marching techniques popularised by Oswald Mosley, its members included a young John Tyndall.

British far-right political organisation
Political party in the United Kingdom

White Defence League
Leader Colin Jordan
Founder Colin Jordan
Founded 1957
Dissolved 1960
Preceded by League of Empire Loyalists
Succeeded by British National Party
Headquarters Arnold Leese House, Notting Hill, London
Newspaper Black and White News
The Nationalist
Ideology Neo-Nazism
White nationalism
British Fascism
Political position Far-right
Colors white, red, blue

. . . White Defence League . . .

The WDL had its roots in Colin Jordan‘s decision to split from the League of Empire Loyalists in 1957. Jordan had wanted a ban on Jews and non-white members enshrined in the League but this had been rejected by League chief A. K. Chesterton, due to the group’s links to the Conservative Party. Jordan further called for the building of a mass party but this too was rejected due to the Tory links.[1] At the time Jordan was also close to the Britons Publishing Society and both groups ran out of Arnold Leese House, the name given to 74 Princedale Road, the Notting Hill home of the late Imperial Fascist League leader which Leese’s widow Mary allowed Jordan to use as his base of operations.[2] Mary Leese also provided most of the group’s funding.[3] Because of this shared space with the Britons the WDL was able to publish its own magazine, Black and White News, as soon the group was founded, and it reached a circulation of around 800 with a focus on anti-immigration rhetoric.[4] A further WDL paper, The Nationalist, appeared in 1959, focusing more on anti-Semitism and the desire for racial purity.[5]

Unlike the LEL, which stressed British identity and patriotism, the WDL was fairly open in its admiration for Adolf Hitler and Nazism.[6] Seeking to distance itself from LEL conservatism and to build links with like-minded groups in continental Europe, the party’s journals became notorious for their rabid racial hatred.[7] By personal conviction Jordan’s main belief was in anti-Semitism but, whilst the WDL did stress the Jews as an enemy “out-group”, the League also emphasised anti-immigration rhetoric.[8] However the WDL has been contrasted with the Union Movement, a contemporary group led by Oswald Mosley as, whilst the Union Movement had a coherent ideology that sought to remodel pre-Second World War fascism, the WDL was more crudely racist and had a much less developed political programme.[9] Hans-Georg Betz has characterised the WDL as part of a tendency within British fascist extremism to place a “recidivist or radical neo-nazism” as the ideological core rather than the populism of Scandinavian protest parties or the “hybrid appeal” that fuses elements of fascism to populism typified by the likes the Front National (italics are after Betz).[10]

. . . White Defence League . . .

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. . . White Defence League . . .

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