- 30th October 2009, Civil Liberty correspondent
(Left: Communist criminal and publisher of Searchlight - Gerry Gable )
On the 25th of October an unnamed spokesman for the left-wing Searchlight organisation was quoted in the Observer newspaper saying the following about political opponents: "The BNP hoped the 'Question Time' appearance would mark their entry to the political mainstream, but instead they have pushed themselves back to the violent, extremist political fringe where they belong."
The fact the Searchlight spokesman remains anonymous is curious since the group is usually not shy at putting itself forward when talking about political rivals and opponents. Over recent months, the number of attributable quotes by named Searchlight spokesmen has grown rapidly with comments appearing almost daily in newspapers and other media on various matters. Why the sudden reticence from Searchlight to put a name to an incendiary quote about political extremism and violence?
To our knowledge, no mainstream newspaper or journalist has examined the background and antecedents of the individuals involved with the Searchlight organisation. Despite close links to a number of trade unions and Labour politicians, including an appearance by Gordon Brown at one of their events in Scotland, no investigation has been published about the Searchlight organisation which details their political heritage and links to political extremism and violence over the years.
In the interests of fairness and impartiality, Civil Liberty thinks that investigation is long overdue and in order to help that process along we are happy to publish some well-established facts about the men and women behind Searchlight.
In the October 2009 (Issue No. 412) of "the international anti-fascist monthly" magazine, 'Searchlight', four individuals are identified on page two as the people involved in the production of the magazine. Other individuals do write for the magazine, but they are either nom de plumes or reports gleaned from equivalent magazines across Europe and the United States. A National Front turncoat, Matthew Collins, who never wrote anything of substance prior to joining the Searchlight organisation, also writes a monthly column called 'News from the blogs' and occasional articles for the magazine, but the main bulk of the work is done by those four named individuals, who are listed as follows:
Editor: Nick Lowles
Deputy editor: Sonia Gable
European editor: Graeme Atkinson
Publisher: Gerry Gable
The political life of Nick Lowles seems to have started in an obscure far-left sect organised around a weekly newspaper called the Socialist Organiser. A splinter group from the trotskyist Workers' Revolutionary Party, which was led by the recidivist sex pest and rapist Gerry Healy, Socialist Organiser specialised in 'entryism', a device whereby small, unrepresentative groups of far-left activists attempted to infiltrate and influence a far bigger and much more moderate political party. In the case of Socialist Organiser the bigger target was the British Labour Party, which is ironic when you consider Searchlight's close operational links with Labour MPs such as Jon Cruddas, a former contender for Deputy leader of the Labour Party.
Lowles was also active in the violent anarchist Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) group in the early 1990s in Yorkshire and in an article entitled 'Secrets and Lies', published by a faction of AFA, his turbulent involvement was described in the less than glowing terms.
It says: "Lowles (or Knowles) had indeed been active in anti-fascist circles in the Yorkshire area in the early 1990s as alleged. However following a public confrontation with a AFA organiser over tactics, which to his evident chagrin he lost, he named and identified the organiser as a fascist in an article in Searchlight and slipped away in the night."
Whatever the proposed change in tactics which was the source of the argument, they were unlikely to be pleasant for those on the receiving end!
As indicated in that brief snippet Nick Lowles (who was extremely camera shy until very recently) has a habit of changing his name or using pseudonyms, though he is the named author of a couple of books on football hooliganism and the Special Branch honey trap, Combat 18, which Searchlight was at pains to hype prior to the writing of the book via its contacts in the media.
Gerry Gable's association with Searchlight goes back to Searchlight's early days in the mid-1960s when it was established by a Jewish left-wing Labour MP, Reginald Freeson. He was the magazine's first "research director" and later became the editor of the magazine. Gable had joined the Young Communist League in 1952 and later worked for the Daily Worker, the official organ of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), renamed the Morning Star in 1966. In May 1962, he was a CPGB candidate in local elections in North London, but finished bottom of the poll, thereby prematurely ending his political career and subsequently leaving the party at the end of the year, in his words, "to concentrate on anti-fascist work, and because the party had begun to adopt an anti-Israeli line."
In November 1963, Gerry Gable was arrested following a break-in at the London flat of the young historian David Irving. On January 14th, 1964, Gable pleaded guilty to breaking into the flat with intent to steal and was convicted by the courts.
In the same period, Gable was linked to the Zionist 'anti-fascist' 62 Group, an alliance of Zionists and Communists that concentrated on violently attacking and spying on political opponents. The 62 Group was set up by Gerald Ronson (and some Jewish friends) who is a property developer and dodgy businessman later convicted over the Guinness insider share dealing scandal. Ronson is now the chairman of the sinister Community Security Trust (CST), which works closely with the police and intelligence agencies to combat 'anti-semitism', despite Ronson's dubious past.
As Ronson details in his recent autobiography, 'Leading from the Front', co-authored by journalist Jeffrey Robinson, he was in charge of 62 Group finances. Gerry Gable's fines and legal costs were paid via the 62 Group, out of the fund controlled by Ronson.
Between 1977 and 1983, Gable worked as a 'researcher' on a London TV programme and in a New Statesman article published in February 1980 his alleged links with Special Branch and the security services were discussed after an indiscreet memo by Gable was circulated to political rivals who had been the target of misinformation and smears.
Later Gable was involved in the BBC Panorama libel case in 1984 which resulted in two Tory MPs suing the BBC after claims of right-wing 'extremist' links were falsely made by the programme. The total cost of the trial and awards to the MPs cost the BBC about £1 million.
In 1991, Gable was arrested after an extremely violent attack on a political meeting organised by the League of St George at Kensington Library in London by members of AFA and Red Action. In March 1993, two leading members of Red Action, Patrick Hayes and Jan Taylor, were convicted of bombing Harrods in London on behalf of the IRA on the 24th of January, 1993.
Gerry Gable stepped down as editor of Searchlight in 1998, but remains the publisher of the magazine and intimately linked to the affairs and activities of the organisation to this day.
Sonia Gable is Gerry Gable's fourth wife. In the 1970s, using her maiden name of Hochfelder, Sonia was a promiscuous party political bed hopper, becoming involved with a Maoist Communist Party faction, the National Front, the National Party and the "neo-nazi" (in the words of her husband) League of St George. A qualified accountant, she has now finally settled in a new political home, probably less stimulating than her previous attachments, but, no doubt, far more worthy, the Liberal Democrats.
Atkinson in 1989 was Searchlight's sales manager boasting a circulation of fewer than 4000 copies at the time. Thanks to the magazine's close and burgeoning links to the trade union movement, that circulation has since grown and moved forward, just like Atkinson, who is now described as the magazine's European editor, producing arguably the most interesting part of the publication. No surprises are in store when discussing Atkinson's political history. For many years, he worked as the district reporter for the Communist Party's Morning Star newspaper in Yorkshire and the North East of England. He was later dismissed by the newspaper following an employment tribunal spat over alleged spying shenanigans following an all-expenses paid trip to Bulgaria in 1985.
As any casual reader can see, the background and political antecedents of the individuals who move and shake within Searchlight would be a cause of concern in normal circumstances and in any normal organisation. What prevents mainstream newspapers and journalists from revealing this information which is widely available and easily accessed via the internet?
Civil Liberty would like an answer!
For those interested in reading more about the lies and machinations of Searchlight over the years, an independent researcher, Alexander Baron, has compiled an archive which lists their activities in some detail and which we strongly recommend.