State’s public order

Last week we saw the state’s ‘anti-racist’ legislation in full swing. This means we will be deprived of the pleasure of listening to a CD called Barbecue in Rostock, as recorded by the neo-Nazi skinhead band, No Remorse. After an intensive campaign by Searchlight magazine, Nimbus Manufacturing UK - one of Britain’s largest CD manufacturers, counting Oasis as a client - threw in the towel, after being threatened with prosecution under Section 23 of the 1986 Public Order Act.

There seems little doubt that No Remorse are part of the Blood and Honour skinhead music network, which is closely linked to Combat 18. Yes, the lyrics and songs are deeply unpleasant - “Shoot the Niggers! The Pakis too! Hang the Reds and we’ll gas the Jews”, and so on.

However, we should not jump to the conclusion that the suppression of this CD is a triumph for anti-racism and anti-fascism. In reality, we are witnessing a disturbing act of censorship. The 1986 Public Order Act, section 23 or otherwise, can be deployed against any act/event/book/magazine/CD etc which the state deems to be “offensive” or “extremist”. The authorities would not hesitate to use this power against anti-racist/communist groups if necessary. In fact, her Majesty’s Royal Mail attempted to use this section to censor the CPGB’s 1992 election address which called for “workers’ defence against racist attacks”.

We should be clear that Gerry Gable is playing with fire. His campaign to combat racism and fascism by invoking a whole battery of oppressive state laws and legislation only helps to sow the illusion that the bourgeois state is the answer, as opposed to being the problem.

Eddie Ford