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Far right group run by neo-Nazi and exposed by Channel 4 show has foothold in Ireland

The group uses racist memes and games to attract young members
Steven Moore

A NEW far right group run by a self-confessed neo-Nazi exposed in a documentary last week already has a foothold in Ireland - north and south.

Patriotic Alternative promotes a white nationalist ideology, is completely opposed to immigration, promotes repatriation of migrants and believes white people in the UK will soon be in the minority.

They have been accused of meddling in recent elections by producing deliberately misleading and fake campaign leaflets, with some calling for the police to investigate.

During lockdown, the group - founded by infamous neo-Nazi and ex-BNP youth wing leader Mark Collett - promoted several false Covid conspiracy theories.

The 41-year-old, seen here with Nick Griffin, was once Griffin's right-hand man in the BNP.

The extremist, once caught in an undercover sting spouting his hate, now leads Patriotic Alternative which he formed alongside Laura Towler in 2019.

An anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, the university educated Collett was once publicity director during the BNP's heyday before his membership was suspended in 2010.

His new hate group - described by anti-fascist campaign group Hope Not Hate as the biggest far right movement in the UK - was exposed in a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary.

In it, Patriotic Alternative members were filmed making anti-Semitic comments and even calling for footballers who take the knee in support of Black Lives Matter to be shot in the back of the head.

Volunteers are secretly filmed deliberately targeting economically deprived white areas in towns like Rotherham that have large immigrant populations.

But we can reveal the vile group, which the documentary also claimed is using the internet and meme culture to target children into getting involved, has established a support base on both sides of the Irish border.

Using the cross-platform messaging service Telegram, which has enhanced security and privacy due to its extra levels of encryption, people in Ireland are getting involved in Patriotic Alternative.

And we can reveal vile leaflets have already been landing through people's letterboxes in areas around Portadown, Coleraine and the Shankill area of Belfast.

We understand one man has been arrested and quizzed about the race hate literature he was spreading door-to-door.

It's understood they were leaflets similar to one seen here which was posted across England and Scotland which states 'white Britons' will be in a minority by the 2060s.

According to Patriotic Alternatives' own website they have a branch set up in Northern Ireland and have over 100 subscribers to their official Telegram broadcast channel.

We can reveal Collett has reached out to right-wing fascists in the Republic of Ireland to see if they can work together.

Matthew Collins from Hope Not Hate - the group that worked in conjunction with the Channel 4 investigation team - says Patriotic Alternative believe there's significant interest from white nationalists across Ireland.

"Patriotic Alternative have been making contacts with like-minded white nationalists on both sides of the Irish border," says Collins.

"They would immediately set themselves to target migrant communities on both sides in a plan to leave presumably no safe place in all of Ireland for people of colour or people who are gay or who have different religious beliefs.

"Their younger members are totally ignorant as to the wheres and whys of Ireland and Northern Ireland and in as much have been talking candidly with fascists in the Irish republic about working together.

"The young members have used social media platforms to engage with people the same age in Ireland - many of whom were involved in the anti-vax protests and spreading Covid conspiracy theories.

"Mark Collett would need to decide whether to alienate further the traditional British far right by courting Catholic nationalists from Ireland or fall back in step with their long-held sectarian views on Ireland.

"PA and their cohorts would seek to drag Northern Ireland back to its darkest periods by spreading more hatred, more ignorance and more anxiety wherever they went."

In 2016 Collett and his then girlfriend and unashamed Nazi sympathiser, Eva Van Housen hit the headlines when the Vote Leave Brexit campaign ordered them to stop using their material to promote their race hate agenda.

Van Housen - who has a swastika tattoo and describes herself as a "white-national socialist" - had been handing out Vote Leave leaflets and badges from an official-looking stall in Leeds city centre.

Patriotic Alternative say they are a legal organisation that has a code of conduct which condemns racist language from members and say their 'fears' about whites being 'replaced' in the UK are legitimate.

The group regularly organises rambles and mountain hikes where they bring banners to promote their agenda but Channel 4's The Enemy Within: The Far Right exposed how everything is not quite so wholesome.

According to the documentary, organisers of a camping event - pitched as family friendly and attended by children - told campsite owners it was a community group helping the homeless.

Attendees were seen discussing shooting in the head those who take the knee at sporting events in support of the fight against racism.

One uses a racial slur to describe Man City and England striker Raheem Sterling, while another uses the N-word when telling how they refuse to take the knee.

A Scout leader and law student involved in the group appeared on camera during chats at the camp and described Jewish people as "disgusting".

Patriotic Alternative, with Collett leading the charge, use livestreaming services, gaming and memes to target teenagers into getting involved in his politics.

Through his gaming nights Collett has garnered a small army of impressionable young followers, with one prominent teenager from the group recorded as saying he only got interested from watching the race hate memes published online by Patriotic Alternative.

Counter extremism adviser Dame Sara Khan warned in the Dispatches show of the youngsters being drawn into racism, violence and even terror. She said: "We are increasingly seeing more young people being drawn into far-right extremism in this country.

"We have seen how children have gone on to commit acts of violence and in some cases been drawn into terrorism.

"Patriotic Alternative is promoting the same ideology, same dangerous anti-minority narrative as extreme right-wing terrorists. They are fundamentally creating a climate conducive to terrorism and violence."

In response to the Channel 4 programme Patriotic Alternative published a detailed rebuttal on their website labelling the show as "fake news".

They said: "Patriotic Alternative is the largest organisation in Britain that advocates for the rights of the indigenous people of the British Isles, this is something of which we are proud. We believe that the indigenous people of any nation have the right to advocate for the preservation of their culture and traditions, to oppose the erasure of their history and to defend their ethnic integrity.

"According to government census data and Oxford Professor and population expert David Coleman, white Britons will be a minority in Britain by 2066 or sooner - this is NOT a conspiracy theory, but a fact.

"Patriotic Alternative is wholly opposed to this demographic change and it is our constitutional right to organise against the replacement of white Britons - a change that is primarily driven through mass immigration, which under the current Conservative Government is at an all-time high."

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