Scattered across this site, and in more detail in this section, you will find various references to Searchlight (the magazine/related organisation) and their former front campaign, 'Hope Not Hate' (hereafter HNH). Mostly, these references are critical--and given we are resolutely anti-fascist, that might strike some as strange, contradicting our aims. Therein lies a tale, however.
In the shadowy world which HNH/Searchlight inhabit, at the 'business end' of the tangled undergrowth where the secret state, media organisations, and fascists/anti-fascists collide, the 'team' as they style themselves have long been significant yet plausibly-deniable players/outlets for spook disinformation and all round dodginess. Suffice to say, anti-fascism, especially of a non state-compromised variety, was never high on Searchlight's agenda, indeed it has often seemed their agenda to at the very least suborn, and latterly crush, such anti-fascism. A large claim, hopefully substantiated by the articles/further references in this part of the site. It might explain, though, why Searchlight, and even more HNH, are so anxious to prevent street mobilisations against the English Defence League (EDL) and the likes of Blood & Honour today--not as the result of reasoned reflection, but as the reflex actions of low-grade police pimps.
This section is very much a 'work in progress', and will be added to as time permits. We hope to include a segment listing where sources critical of HNH/Searchlight can be found--in time, some hitherto unavailable ones we will put online. Feel free to send us (anti-fascist) suggestions.
In the interim, especially as many will have only come across Searchlight via 'Hope Not Hate' (HNH) it might be a good idea to glance at the critique of HNH, extracted from Notes From the Borderland issue 9. This hopefully establishes both the continuities between the former Searchlight front HNH, and the extent to which this new form of 'virtual politics' raises troubling questions in itself, not least when the Obama Presidential Campaign in the USA, the BNP's on-line efforts, and HNH use very similar software and often terminology.
However glitzy and web-wise Searchlight's (and even more Hope Not Hate's) current incarnations might be, there is no getting away from it--their politics remains, as it has always been, state-compromised to the core. There have been virtually no depths to which Searchlight will not stoop to undermine, spy on, and help crush genuine Leftist dissent. If you doubt that for one minute, take a peek into the malevolent universe, and world-view, uncovered in 'At War With The Truth' (still available from our shop--click 'other publications' once you get there), the introduction and foreword to which are summarised here, as too the antecedent 'A Lie Too Far', concerning the antics of Searchlight/state provocateur Tim Hepple (who later became Tim Matthews) and fellow Searchlight thug/racist Ray Hill. There are many incontrovertible sources for what he got up to, with Searchlight's knowledge & connivance, not least extensive letters in Hepple's own handwriting.
Just to show there are few things new under the sun, savour the extract from the highly-publicised text 'Searchlight for Beginners' (visit shop, same location). This deals with the similarities between Searchlight's two big stories/operations involving sinister far right mobilisation over the years--in the 1970s 'Column 88', the 1990s 'Combat 18'. Over and aside the downright lying, mendacity and factual somersaulting revealed by these two stories alone, reading them the thought cannot fail to cross anybody's mind--is Searchlight's coverage of the English Defence League straightforward, and uncompromised by other agendas? We think the answer to that will be obvious. On past form, Searchlight do their best build a group up in the media and amongst potential supporters/opponents, using its activities as a reason (cover) for extending state powers, then much later purport to 'reveal' such a group was a honey trap for the state all along. They did this with C88 & C18, and may well intend to get away with it regarding the EDL. At the very least, an informed perusal of Searchlight's past track record shows nothing Gerry Gable or the equally dishonest Nick Lowles (now HNH CEO) say on the subject of state connections of any far right (or indeed far left) groups should be given even a morsel of credibility.
The entire text of 'Searchlight Fiction Pulped' (SFP) is here online for the first time--albeit one for the connisseur perhaps. It was written after a hysterical two page attack on Larry O'Hara in the January 1997 edition of Searchlight, which though a response to 'Searchlight For Beginners' signally failed to outline, never mind refute, once sentence therein. A true product of what Trotsky memorably termed the 'Stalinist School of Falsification'. Although a historical offering, it has contemporary relevance because the tired lies and ludicrous claims SFP refutes in detail are still trotted out occasionally behind the scenes by Searchlight/their fellow-travellers in order to evade this or that argument raised in/by Notes From the Borderland.
This introduction has talked a lot about Searchlight with good reason: they are the poisoned well from which the now much higher profile Hope Not Hate has sprung. As it happens, NFB had a well-placed and courageous anti-fascist operative inside Searchlight when the internal friction led to outright civil war in 2011-12 between what is now Hope Not Hate and Searchlight. This has been extensively chronicled both in articles here and the definitive treatment in NFB issue 10. Things have been brought bang up to date with a follow-up piece in issue 11 and an accompanying critique of HNH's #MoreInCommon campaign on this site.