Strange Bedfellows

When addressing & analysing the skewed nature of the far right, one must take their ideologies & ethos with a pound of salt. When addressing the platforms & histories of these groups, one has to cut through awkward miles of compromises, contradictions & hypocrisies. This is the case with two of Sydney’s most visible factions: the Australia First Party & the Party for Freedom. When addressing both group’s platforms & histories, one needs not look far to understand this.

The Australia First Party, a self-proclaimed white nationalist party, has a well-grounded history in Australia’s neo-Nazi movement. Its leader, Jim Saleam, is Australia’s most visible neo-fascist leader, being a former member of the National Socialist Party of Australia & a former leader of the militant neo-Nazi group National Action.

After taking control of the AFP, Saleam has transformed the party into a political haven for Australia’s marginal fascist movement, embracing a firmly anti Jewish/Zionist platform, having a noticeable bonehead presence within its ranks, partnering with the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn’s Australian chapter & evincing hostility towards multiculturalism & the presence of all non-White Europeans in Australia.

On the other hand, you have the Party for Freedom. This sect of whack jobs, even more marginalised than the AFP, were founded as split from the now largely defunct Australian Protectionist Party. Led by former APP member Nicholas Hunter Folkes – you may remember baby-faced Nick from such TV shows as Living With the Enemy & Insight – the Party for Freedom, who have taken their name from their larger Dutch counterpart, have unsuccessfully attempted to re-launch the APP’s platform in a vain attempt to mirror the success of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands. Catering to a moderate support base, claiming to be a ‘conservative’ party, the Freedom Party has made feeble attempts to distance itself from racism by welcoming those from non-European backgrounds as members, trading on fear & loathing of Islam.

Like other Islamophobic groups, the Freedom Party, like its predecessor, is a supporter of Zionism. Therein lies the rub. The APP was formed by former AFP member Darrin Hodges, who split from the party’s NSW branch after abandoning anti-Semitism & focusing instead on cultivating Islamophobia (in an attempt to emulate the success of Christian Zionists in Europe & North America). Folkes himself is no stranger to the far right, having close associations with Sergio Redegalli, a student/mentor relationship with Canadian-born white nationalist intellectual Drew Fraser, & close friendship with megatroll ADL leader Ralph Cerminara.

On the 26th of July, Party for Freedom & Australia First were noted to be in close interaction with one another & present at both actions on the day. With the protection of police, AFP members were spotted filming anti-fascist activists & Freedom Party leader Folkes was photographed at the The Bunker (home of its leader, Jim Saleam). A question may be raised as to how a pro-Zionist, ‘non-racial’ (sic) party can have such close links with an anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish, White nationalist party: in the final analysis, the pursuit of fascism makes for strange bedfellows.

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