Monday, 22 October 2012
460: Gay Politics - Hanging to the Right
In extreme contrast to the assumption of natural affinities between homosexuals and the left-wing politics, the 1970s also saw a small but vocal body of gay fascists. These were not skinhead-fancying fetishists, but genuine fascist supporters. A faltering economy and concerns about immigration meant that there was an audience for fascist politics in Britain at the time. The leader of the National Front in the late 70s, Martin Webster, was gay, and semi-openly so. It wasn’t just rumoured – he was actually mentioned in “Gay News”, and there was the occasional photo of him at a gay pub or event with other prominent figures in the party who were also gay – whether straight members of the party knew this is another matter. (Several decades later Webster would claim that he had had an affair lasting several years with the current leader of the British National party, Nick Griffin). Furthermore, when canvassing political opinion among gay men of the time, “Gay News” would take into account the opinions of gay fascists. Whether such political leanings are really some sort of yearning for authenticity I leave to others to ponder.