The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement – A Book Review

Skinhead 1It is always a source of great interest and pleasure for me when someone I am acquainted with, and have built up some degree of friendship with, surprises me by doing something remarkable and something that makes them stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons, as a person of substance, and it has therefore been with keen interest that I have recently devoured the kind of book that I would not normally have paid much attention. The book to which I refer is the newly released, ‘The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement UK & USA 1979-1993’, co-written by one, Robert Forbes and a man who insulted me the first time we met, but who I have come to regard as a friend, one of the ‘bad boys’ of British nationalism, the greatly misunderstood, Eddie Stampton.

The first impression one gains of this book, is that it is not a cheaply produced ‘skinny’ volume of the kind that is so often characteristic of books produced by the publishers of dissident material, particularly those associated with the skinhead music scene. This book has been published by Feral House, an apparently well-healed boutique publisher specialising in counter cultural material that will normally only be of interest to a specialised clientele, or academics researching such material. The book is a sizeable tome extending to over six-hundred pages and is available through all of the normal mainstream sources (ISBN 978-1-62731-024-6), and can be found on sale for example, through Amazon or at Waterstones for £24.99. Also, a limited number of books signed by both authors are available via the following email address: better-off-crazy@live.co.uk.

It should be understood that this book is not a political testament or nationalist call to arms, but a documentary history of the white nationalist skinhead movement; the culture; the politics; the characters and the music. It is written objectively, and the authors have skilfully crafted a vast amount of historical and biographical material, with literally hundreds of vignettes and anecdotal accounts, into an evocative and readable history that will both inform the academic reader and provide a feast of nostalgia for anyone who was there and lived through those times at the heart of the Skinhead music scene.

The introduction begins in typical punchy style with an account of a young skinhead, simply referred to as ‘Colin’, but presumably the ‘Colin H’ referred to in the acknowledgements at the rear, who was set upon by a mixed race gang while on his way to visit his girlfriend, kicked unconscious, and left for dead.

The introduction concludes: “This book is the story of Colin and like-minded nationalists who were involved with Rock Against Communism between the years 1979 and 1993, the story of those who played in the bands, the story of those who produced fanzines and, last but not least, the story of those who went to the concerts.”

Skinhead 3Eddie Stampton tells of his childhood and his introduction to political activism in 1977-78 when with a few mates he pelted Anti-Nazi League demonstrators with empty milk bottles from the walkways of the multi-storey flats in Stockwell where he lived.

One aspect of Eddie’s past which struck a chord with me was the account of his father; who was a Bren-gunner during World War Two, just as my father was; who suffered serious injuries during that war, just as my father did; and who had understandably acquired a visceral dislike of National Socialism as a result, but who came realise later in life that he and his comrades, many of whom gave their lives or suffered lifelong disability as a result of their injuries, had fought on the wrong side, and would have cheerfully welcomed Hitler if they could have foreseen how Britain would change for the worse as a result of the Allied victory.

Much of the book deals with the history of the archetypal skinhead rock band, Screwdriver, and their charismatic leader and founder of the Blood & Honour skinhead movement, Ian Stuart Donaldson, and among the many songs whose lyrics are published in this book, are those of the Skrewdriver anthem, ‘White Power’ released by White Noise Records:

White Power

I stand and watch my country going down the drain
We are all at fault, we are all to blame
We’re letting them take over, we just let them come
Once we had an Empire, and now we’ve got a slum

White Power! For England!
White Power! Today!
White Power! For Britain
Before it’s too late

Well I’ve seen lots of riots, we just sit and scoff
We’ve seen a lot of muggings, and the judges let ’em off

Well we’ve gotta do something, to try and stop the rot
And the traitors that have used us, they should all be shot

Are we gonna sit and let them come?
Have they got the White man on the run?
Multi-racial society is a mess
We ain’t gonna take much more of this
What do we need?

If we don’t win our battle, and all does not go well
Then it’s apocalypse for Britain, and we’ll see you all in hell.

-o0o-

Skinhead 2There are lots of anecdotes featuring Eddie Morrison and his ‘Punk Front’ fanzine; extensive references to bands like the Dentists, the Ovaltinees, Screwdriver, and the amusingly named Splodgenessabounds. The friendships between Suggs from Madness and Ian Stuart; and between Ian Stuart and Joe Pearce of NF Bulldog magazine, are all covered, as is the role played by Gary Bushell in the promotion of Oi music that came to supersede punk, and much, much more.

This volume ends in 1993 in the aftermath of the death of Ian Stuart in a car crash on A38 near the Toyota factory at Burnaston after night out in Burton-on-Trent, and there will obviously be a second volume to be published at some time in the future to bring this history up to the present day.

This is a ground-breaking book in that sense that its production is a recognition that there is developing a legitimate White subculture with such wide appeal that it can no longer be completely ignored by the mainstream media.

The authors’ success in getting a book of this kind published and distributed through mainstream channels, lies in the skilful way in which they have presented the material covered in an engaging and readily readable form and not as a political testament or polemic, but as a cultural history, documenting for the first time the musical genres and sub-culture that have had widespread appeal in many countries, extending back over two generations. They have produced a product that will prove highly marketable and therefore profitable for the publishers and distributors with whom they have collaborated, and both Robert Forbes and Eddie Stampton are to be congratulated.

The skinhead music scene isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and to be honest it isn’t really mine, but I appreciate the role it has played in many people’s lives and if you were involved in the skinhead music scene between 1979 and 1993, and retain a love of that subculture and the music of those times, richly imbued as it is with the politics of White survival, then this encyclopaedic historical record of ‘The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement’, will be something you will not want to miss and I recommend it to you.

By Max Musson © 2016

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12 thoughts on “The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement – A Book Review

  1. The Original Skinheads started in London 1968…We was not political …But we saw what was happening around us with Mass immigration.. and had major race Wars with Black West Indians…I would say we wasn’t particularly racist but we did live in a racist sociaity..we knew no different. ..immigrants had no say in our lives, all that was to change with later various Race relation laws.
    The later Skinheads came out of The Punk seane in the late 70s….and had nothing in common with us Originals.
    Most people today associate Skinheads with that period.
    By the way their is still a small Skinhead seane today.

    1. I would say there were actually four waves of skinheads in the UK. The originals of the late 60s and early 70s who listened to everything from Ska to Slade and then the ones you mention in the late 70s that were an offshoot of the Punk movement that was looked on to have become taken over by the middle classes and left-wing; and in doing so losing much of it’s original essence and becoming “trendy”. The skinheads formed and watched their own brand of Punk in the form of Sham and early Skrewdriver. Sham had a direct influence on the Oi! bands like the Cockney Rejects and then Next up was the 2 Tone skinheads and bands like Madness and the Specials. 2 Tone declined as Skrewdriver reformed heralding the fourth wave of skinheads. Of course a few had been skinheads through every phase since the second wave. Either way you look at it, skinheads in this country have always held “patriotic” views.

  2. An excellent book. A lot of effort must have gone into researching and writing it. Would highly recommend it to all Nationalists. Robert Forbes writes from a neutral position while Eddie Stampton is an active Nationalist. They have both done a good job. Would love to see the fury of the opposition when this book is sold in bookshops throughout Britain!

  3. Sounds like a good read especially for younger Nationalists who were not around or even born back then.Sadly its a bit on the expensive side if like me you cant afford it I recommend ordering it at you’re local library.

  4. I see little point in reminiscing about a movement that so completely failed to save this nation and beyond. Those of us born into this failure have no reason to want to even look at it. The book symbolises failure. In fact to think that so many from that time are still running the so called nationalist movement, given their history of failure, is disconcerting.

    1. Yes mate, I agree. In fact when the book was given to Max for review, I actually said it is a manual in how not to do things in the future. In the book I also tell it how it is about groups like BM, C18 and Blood & Honour. Looking forward to your future success in winning the race and nation back…..

      1. Thanks for the response Mr Stampton. Unfortunately there is unlikely to be any success in winning the nation back in the future, the time for that has long passed in my view, it passed before I was even born. Most of the solutions Western Spring have should have been applied at least three to four decades ago. The only outlook for whites now is the white enclaves Western Spring speaks about, but just getting those will be hard enough never mind hanging onto them.

        1. I can appreciate why you feel as pessimistic as you do Folkvar, however our situation is not quite as bad as many, yourself included, might imagine. All that is required is that when people realise they would like to see our plans come to fruition, they then do what is required of them and play their part to the full.
          As I have said on many occasions, if people put aside any doubts they might have about what others might do or think and simply took action themselves, and did what is required of them as an individual, we could have the organisation we desire, at RevCon 1, within five years.
          Henry Ford is famous for saying, “whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can’t, you are right”. And what he meant is that action combined with the power of positive thinking is all that is needed in order for us to continue taking the action needed for us to achieve our dreams. Without positive thinking, we eventually stop taking action and failure is then the inevitable outcome.
          So set aside your doubts, force yourself to take action, believe in our eventual success and everything we dream of will become a reality.

  5. As a former skin back in the 80s I can relate to some of the above comments. It was in fact too defensive and had no real focus other than trying to be ‘hard’ usually beating up other skins over various insults real and imagined. What should have been an organised army became a drunken rabble at best. Many former skins going on to a life of crime and drink or drug abuse.

    However it did introduce tens of thousands of young guys to right wing ideology. This was the biggest failing in that new radical cultural paths could and should have been taken. Heathen, ancestral or racial traditional Christianity replacing or more likely blending with working class culture. Instead the old footie, telly and beer culture continued with the disastrous consequences we see today.

    People like Varg Vikernes have the right idea although ironically he came from a heavy metal long haired background, the type despised in my skinhead days. In a way skins were or appeared to be, too stupidly brutal for their own good. A lost opportunity but then it will take a massive effort to change things for a real future for the White race and in the end skinheads played their part however small and that has to be a good thing.

  6. Whilst the skinhead movement did fail in the past, I would give ANYTHING to see a similar movement arise today. It is beyond depressing to walk past a group of our young men nowadays. There will undoubtedly be either a black or mulatto in the alpha role with the white boys wishing they had been lucky enough to actually own that skin instead of just making do with imitation. They dress black, talk black, even walk black. It breaks my heart thinking that rather take pride in the successes of their white ancestors they eagerly follow the fail culture of niggerdom. I myself eagerly left football hooliganism to join the drug fuelled world of Acid House in the late 80`s. Black culture has taken a hold of white working class youth and so far as I see shows no sign of letting go.

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