The publisher of Searchlight anti-fascist magazine has received an honorary doctorate from a British university; his achievements include marrying a former Nazi, criminal libel on an asylum seeker, and solving a murder that never happened.
The August issue of Searchlight, a magazine that styles itself “against fascism and racism” reveals that its publisher Gerry Gable has recently received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Northampton. According to the article, which is credited to Sonia Gable, this is in recognition of his “defence of liberal society against the scourges of racism and fascism”.
The article also reveals that the Searchlight Organisation has published a major new work Lone wolves: myth or reality? The pamphlet has its own website, and can be downloaded in Portable Document Format totally free of charge, with one very minor qualification: caveat emptor.
Who is Gerry Gable? Those who know anything about extremists in Britain and those who monitor them will know the answer to that question, but he was described concisely by Andrew Billen in the November 17, 1996 edition of the Observer newspaper as “a conspiracy theorist who could spot Nazi architecture in a kindergarten sandpit”. His magazine is also alluded to as Gable’s Fables, and sometimes by an even less flattering name. All will be revealed shortly with irrefutable documentation.
Mr Gable’s obsession with Nazis is so great that he married one, the former Sonia Hochfelder, his fourth wife and the author of the aforementioned article in the August issue of his magazine. Another “former Nazi” associate of his is the man who alludes to him as “my mate, Gerry”.
Yet another former member of a “Nazi” organisation is the magazine’s current editor, Nick Lowles; Mr Lowles made that admission in the January 1999 issue of Searchlight when he was a current member (and may still be one) of the BNP.
We will not mention here Searchlight’s first “mole” (read agent provocateur) Dave Roberts, convicted murderer Charles Hanson, self-confessed thief Tim Hepple, or fantasist Matthew Collins; we shall though review briefly the others.
During her student days, Sonia Hochfelder was extremely active in far right politics, but later had a total change of heart; this is nothing unusual or shameful of course; Whittaker Chambers and many others of lesser infamy have performed such an about face, but while Communist turned Roman Catholic Chambers, and Black Panther turned cook book author and ice cream rep Bobby Seal, never made any attempt to deny their antecedents, the future Mrs Gable and her husband did, concocting an elaborate but nebulous tale of her undercover work deep inside illegal far right organisations as the reason this former Nazi is now an “anti-fascist” and magistrate.
To his credit, Nick Lowles has never attempted to weave such a duplicitous weft about his personal life; as well as Editor of Searchlight, Mr Lowles is the author of Mr Evil, a biography of the psychopath and murderer David Copeland. This book is well worth reading, unlike some of the ravings Mr Gable’s magazine has published over the years.
Ray Hill joined the British Movement as a young man in Leicester, and was soon in trouble with the law, assaulting a café owner – who just happened to be Jewish – and then a photographer before departing hastily for South Africa with his wife and young family. A decade later he returned after jumping bail and leaving the country on a false passport, although fortunately for him, there was no attempt made at extradition. This time it wasn’t violence but credit card fraud that led to his hasty departure. There can’t be that many people who can boast of having fled two Continents with the police in hot pursuit; Dr Mengele perhaps, or as the man from SongFacts calls him, the Running Man.
While he was in South Africa and for some time after, Mr Hill had a nice little sideline in anti-Semitic rhetoric, but in Britain he showed actions speak louder than words. In the March 25, 1984 edition of the late and unlamented News of the World, Mr Hill boasted : “It all started as a bit of a game - the odd night out attacking a few Pakis. I even desecrated a synagogue.”
This was after he “came out” as a “mole” read agent provocateur who had offered his services to Mr Gable on his return to the UK. Although he claims now to have regretted his hatemongering, he does not appear to have gone the whole hog and given the police any details about these violent acts or this act of criminal damage.
In February 2000, Mr Hill appeared at the High Court along with his mate Gerry where the two of them and the holding company Searchlight Magazine Limited defended – and lost – a libel action brought by Derbyshire accountant and former serviceman Morris Riley. [A scan of the order on judgment can be found here and here]. Mr Gable did not mention this at the time, but in September 2001, after Mr Riley’s premature death, he wrote in his magazine:
"Strangely, Jones seems to think that Searchlight paid out £9,000 to somebody over a libel action. That’s news to me, but I am only the publisher. Perhaps he is getting confused over a case brought by a character called Morris Riley, which ended up with him several thousand pounds worse off and dropping dead from a heart attack a few months later."
This is reminiscent of the man who boasted to a friend that he had finished runner up in a boxing match.
Let us now turn our attention to Mr Gable’s free pamphlet about lone wolves. It mentions here David Copeland, and points out that Mr Gable contributed to a Panorama programme on the case, which is true. Panorama has put out some excellent programmes including a recent one on the great PPI rip off; not so excellent was the one that he “researched”. According to the Radio Times, Maggie’s Militant Tendency, was screened by BBC Television at 8.10pm on January 30, 1984. The BBC ended up shelling out damages and costs estimated at a quarter of a million pounds.
Mr Gable does not appear to have slipped up in his commentary for BBC Television re David Copeland, but in December 2009, when he and Sonia were interviewed by John Gulliver of the Camden New Journal, he told a whopper; it was his “intelligence” if not Mr Gable himself that had brought Copeland to justice, rather than a workmate of the terrorist who had identified him from CCTV during a police appeal. There is no mention of this in either the Nick Lowles biography Mr Evil nor Lone wolves: myth or reality? but in the latter, Mr Gable has repeated his biggest and most persistent lie, one that he can’t stop repeating, except, curiously, to the police.
In the 1960s, before he authored the libellous Gable Memorandum but after his conviction for burglary artifice at the home of (then respectable) historian David Irving, Mr Gable claims to have brought to justice a gang (actually two gangs) of synagogue arsonists. In the version related here, he has watered down the lie somewhat, so that “One attack on a theological college in Stamford Hill left one student dead and another with serious spinal injuries...The theological college attack was never investigated by the police but the killer was unofficially identified as an NSM activist”.
Bah, humbug! In October 1987, Mr Gable told the Jewish Chronicle that he personally had brought the arsonists to book, in his own words: “I stood in the burnt-out shell of that yeshiva at four in the morning and made a private vow to get the people who’d done that”.
As recently as 2008, Mr Gable instructed his solicitors that this was indeed the case, after threats from the British Nazi leader Colin Jordan to sue him for defamation. By that time, Mr Jordan was both very old and not in the best of health, and he died in April the following year, whereupon the Guardian commissioned Mr Gable to write his obituary, in which he repeated this same grotesque lie which was rubber stamped by the Guardian until it was forced by the Press Complaints Commission to publish a retraction.
Later in the year, Mr Gable was forced to admit to a senior New Scotland Yard detective that he knew nothing about this (accidental) fire, which contrary to his facile assertions was of course investigated thoroughly at the time, a fact that was confirmed by the local MP. For the record, the person who “inspired” the other fires – in which no one was killed — was Jordan’s fanatically anti-Jewish ex-wife (without his knowledge). The maiden name of Françoise Jordan was Dior; she was the niece of the famous designer; it is this which probably accounts for the sensitivity of the House of Dior to the drunken rant of John Galliano which came to light earlier this year.
One final example should be given of Mr Gable’s technique from his new publication. He alludes herein to Roberto Fiore as “a convicted Italian terrorist”, just prior to which he hints that a Mr John Gaster died “in mysterious circumstances in 1998”. Elsewhere, he has been less guarded in his statements, and has in fact accused Mr Fiore of murdering both John Gaster and another elderly “right winger”. This begs the question, if Mr Fiore is such a dangerous terrorist and a double murderer, why did he serve as a Member of Parliament in his native Italy from May 2008 till June 2009, and why is he still active in politics?
Mr Gable’s report makes a number of recommendations; it goes without saying that on the evidence presented here, anything he recommends, indeed anything he says, should be taken with a grain of salt, or maybe a boulder, a fact that, sadly, no one at the University of Northampton seems to have realised.
[The above article was published originally August 13, 2011. In January 2021, I noticed it had been removed from the Web. For some reason, the associated photograph did not archive, nor did the caption, so I have left this blank].
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