Conservative Monday Club
|The white man's burden|
|The empires strike back|
|Veni, vidi, vici|
“”I really cannot bear the Monday Club. They are all mad, quite different from its heyday, when it was a right-wing pressure group at the time of Ted Heath's Government. Now they are a prickly residue in the body politic, a nasty sort of gallstone.
|—Alan Clark MP|
The Conservative Monday Club is a British organisation linked to the British Conservative Party originally formed to oppose decolonization and to campaign for the preservation of the British Empire. It was strongly supportive of the racist administrations of South Africa and Rhodesia, and campaigned against immigration, multiculturalism, "political correctness", and race relations laws. It was suspended from the Conservative Party in 2001 and since then has been on a slow decline.
It was founded in 1961 in opposition to the government of Harold Macmillan, who although a conservative prime minister was seen as dangerously left-wing in his commitment to the welfare state and independence of the former British colonies in Africa. As a result its supporters were closely linked to the apartheid regime in South Africa and to Rhodesia, where Ian Smith declared independence and set up a regime with voting requirements designed to preserve white rule. Its first president was Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury, known as a staunch imperialist and supporter of apartheid.
In the late 1960s it squabbled with moderate elements in the Conservative Party (although even Edward Heath supported voluntary repatriation, including provisions in his 1971 Immigration Act), and in 1969 the Monday Club launched a "Powell For Premier" campaign to make anti-immigration MP Enoch Powell Tory leader. However, despite complaints that it was trying to set up a separate organisation or even establish a separate party, it remained powerful on the right wing of the Conservative Party.
In the early 1970s it faced entryism from the National Front and other extremist organisations, while remaining the mainstream face of anti-immigration sentiment. In the 1970s and 1980s it campaigned against immigration from the "New Commonwealth" (i.e. the non-white bits of the former British Empire) and protested the new wave of legislation protecting black immigrants from discrimination such as the 1968 Race Relations Act. Its 1982 policy document called for the abolition of the Commission for Racial Equality, repeal of all race relations laws, an end to immigration from non-white commonwealth countries, generous payments for repatriation of non-white immigrants, and the renaming of the Ministry of Overseas Aid to the Ministry for Overseas Resettlement. Unlike most of the Conservative Party it opposed membership of the European Common Market, later the European Union.
After its 2001 General Election defeat, the Conservative Party made efforts to appear less of a racist, anti-gay, anti-poor, "Nasty Party", and moved in a more centrist direction. Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith and chairman David Davis took steps to break the Monday Club's links with the Conservative party. Davis said they should "have their constitution amended to stop them promulgating unacceptable views on race" or they would not be readmitted.
Lord Sudely, the former chairman of the Monday Club, went on to become president of the Traditional Britain Group, which attracted controversy after it called for black people including activist Doreen Lawrence to be encouraged to emigrate and referred to black people as "aliens".
Its past or present members include
- George Kennedy Young, former deputy director of MI6 and advocate of repatriation of immigrants. The Monday Club published his 1969 pamphlet Who Goes Home?. Young had also written a book Finance and World Power (1968) which was a crypto-antisemitic text about Jews controlling the world. Young stood for chair of the Club in 1974 with the support of the National Front, but lost and set up a splinter group called Tory Action.
- Paul Williams (1922-2008), imperialist Monday Club chairman 1964-69 and campaigner against British EU membership, he also campaigned in favour of the Vietnam War.
- John Bercow, joined aged 20, later speaker of the House of Commons, formerly secretary of the Immigration and Repatriation Committee of the Monday Club, who took a long and strange political journey from supporter of Enoch Powell to Thatcherite to adviser to Gordon Brown. Despite being Jewish himself, Bercow was accused of racism by the Essex University Jewish Society in the 1980s over his links to the Monday Club and other far-right groups.
- Norman Tebbit, close ally of Margaret Thatcher
- Patrick Wall (1916-1998), Royal Marine commando during World War 2, ex-MP, President of the British UFO Research Association, and also a leader of the similar Western Goals Institute
- Alan Clark (1928-1999), bon vivant, diarist, and Conservative junior minister
- Harvey Proctor (b. 1947), disgraced former Tory MP, he had held various positions in the Club from 1969; in the early 1970s he worked to purge National Front members from the Monday Club, and won election to parliament in 1979 on a platform opposed to immigration and in favour of voluntary repatriation; resigned 1987 after having sex with underage males.
- Rhodes Boyson (1925-2012), close associate of Thatcher since the early 1970s and enthusiast for corporal punishment
- Gerald Howarth, leader of Thatcherite group Conservative Way Forward, he called for a boycott of British Airways when it banned a staff member from wearing a large cross over her uniform, campaigned against gay rights, and declared himself a supporter of Enoch Powell — in 2014. He was returned to Parliament in the 2015 general election but stood down in 2017.
- Ann and Nicholas Winterton, husband and wife Tory MPs; both retired in 2010.
- James Molyneaux (1920-2015), former Ulster Unionist Party leader
- Peter Bottomley, MP, ex-minister and former trustee of Christian Aid, and more liberal than typical the Monday Club member; returned as MP for Worthing West in 2017
- General Sir Walter Walker
- Sir James Goldsmith, deceased tycoon and founder of Referendum Party
- Neil Hamilton, Tory turned Ukip politician
- John Taylor, Baron Kilclooney, former Ulster Unionist Party MP and later life peer
- Colin Campbell Mitchell (1925-1996), a former soldier best known for his leadership in Aden (now in Yemen) in 1967, seen as one of the last actions of British imperial power; he also saw service in World War Two, and combatting Zionists in Palestine; he was briefly a Conservative MP and later worked for an anti-land-mine charity
- John Carlisle, Conservative MP who lobbied for the tobacco industry and against gun control, supported apartheid and opposed sanctions against South Africa, and criticised the widespread praise for Nelson Mandela in the 1990s; retired 1997
- Richard Body, Conservative MP and campaigner against the EU, came second in 1972 Monday Club chairman ballot; retired 2001
- Derek Laud, Jamaican-born black Conservative Party worker, aide to Thatcher and Major, and Big Brother contestant, reportedly the first black member of the Monday Club in the early 1980s Fox-hunter, dog-lover, and collector of golliwogs.
- AVR Smith (Andy Smith), also a member of the Federation of Conservative Students. He later shifted to the hard right and became director of the Western Goals Institute (and good friends with its leader, Gregory Lauder-Frost), hosting visits to the UK by unsavory hard-right figures Jean-Marie Le Pen and Andries Treurnicht. Formerly a member of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (formerly World Anti-Communist League) until 1992, he also espoused a form of British Israelism with the British-Israel-World Federation, writing to a friend that "all those of Anglo-Celto-Saxon descent, are the direct lineal descendents of the Ten 'Lost' Tribes of Israel". Currently a respected advocate for increased defence spending in the UK media as CEO of the UK National Defence Association.
Other Tories such as former prime minister Alec Douglas Home and Enoch Powell were supportive or spoke at its events, without joining.
Target of child abuse conspiracies
The group has been linked to allegations of a prominent pedophile ring in powerful positions in the 1970s and 1980s, but hard evidence is in short supply despite a range of allegations in tabloids and on the lunatic fringe.
- The Conservative party and the extreme right 1945-1975 , Mark Pitchford, p 173
- See the Wikipedia article on Conservative Monday Club.
- , BBC, 2001
- Right-wing group defiant after Tory MP disowns them, Channel 4 News, 8 Aug 2013
- The Conservative party and the extreme right 1945-1975, Mark Pitchford, p 172
- See the Wikipedia article on George Kennedy Young.
- Paul Williams, Independent, 2 Oct 2008
- ‘Rambo’ John Bercow, JSoc and his far-right links, Jewish Chronicle, 25 Jun 2009
- See the Wikipedia article on Harvey Proctor.
- See the Wikipedia article on Gerald Howarth.
- See the Wikipedia article on Colin Mitchell.
- See the Wikipedia article on John Carlisle (British politician).
- See the Wikipedia article on Richard Body.
- , Daily Express, 18 Jan 2015
- See the Wikipedia article on Derek Laud.
- "Mission control". Private Eye (Pressdram Ltd) (1479): p. 40. September-October 2018. . See the Wikipedia article on UK National Defence Association.
- The British Establishment...Pedophiles Everywhere, DavidIcke.com, 2013