Ian Anderson (politician)

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For other people of the same name, see Ian Anderson (disambiguation).

Ian Hugh Myddleton Anderson[1] (1953 – 2 February 2011)[2] was a leading figure on the British far-right in the 1980s and 1990s.

Early background[edit]

Anderson was born in Hillingdon. Anderson's involvement in politics began in the mid-1970s when he was close to certain elements on the right of the Conservative Party, particularly the Monday Club[citation needed].

Anderson viewed himself[citation needed] as a 'respectable' figure in right wing circles and spent some time at the University of Oxford on two separate occasions studying zoology.

National Front[edit]

Anderson joined the National Front in the late 1970s and was initially seen as a supporter of National Organiser Martin Webster. However when the Political Soldier faction, led by figures such as Nick Griffin and Derek Holland, moved against Webster and his assistant Michael Salt, Anderson sided with the rebels and used his casting vote to ensure that Webster and Salt were expelled for mismanagement.

Anderson became a close associate of Andrew Brons and, like Brons, largely indulged the Political Soldiers faction, writing for the Third Positionist party magazine Nationalism Today. He also played a leading role in working with Ian Stuart Donaldson to ensure that Rock Against Communism became the province of the NF rather than the British Movement.[3] As Anderson grew in influence within the NF divisions between the faction led by Brons and himself and the Political Soldiers grew, as Anderson was a strong supporter of electoral participation. He became one of the leading figures grouped around the dissident Flag newspaper (edited by Martin Wingfield) and was expelled by the Official National Front along with the rest of his faction in 1986, reconstituting as the Flag Group. The divisions reached a crisis at the Vauxhall by-election in 1989, where an NF candidate for each faction stood (Patrick Harrington and Ted Budden), splitting support and haranguing one another on live TV as the declaration of votes was made. Anderson, nonetheless, became a powerful figure within the Flag Group and by 1990 was effective leader, Andrew Brons having left the political scene.

In 1987, Troy Southgate and Patrick Harrington, acting for the NF's Security and Intelligence Department (SID), photographed Anderson in Stratford, east London, when it was discovered that his printing business was housed in the same building as the offices of Searchlight,[citation needed] an anti-fascist organisation.

With the Official NF having split into the International Third Position and Third Way, Anderson gained control of the NF in 1990 and attempted to remodel the party back along the lines of John O'Brien in the early 1970s when they had appeared at one stage to be a potential threat to the mainstream parties. The spur for this was undoubtedly the success of the Front National. He had also attempted to gain contacts in the United States and in 1989 he had established a link with Richard Barrett and the Nationalist Movement with a pact known as the 'New Atlantic Charter'.[4] Anderson's NF suffered however from the inactivity and in-fighting of the 1980s, whilst the emergence of the British National Party was also a major check on his ambitions as leader.

National Democrats[edit]

Anderson soon came to believe that the negative connotations of the National Front name were proving a bar to success and so in 1995 he relaunched the party as the National Democrats, after a postal ballot of the members. The launch was not without its problems however: within a month, many activists had joined the continuing National Front run by John McAuley[citation needed].

Anderson maintained contacts in Northern Ireland (which the Flag Group's Joe Pearce had built up during the 1980s), particularly within the right of the Ulster Unionist Party and in the 1997 General Election he stood as a candidate for the Londonderry East constituency. Securing a mere 0.2% share of the vote in the constituency, Anderson soon abandoned his Northern Ireland strategy.

Later activities[edit]

The National Democrats became the Campaign for National Democracy pressure group and ceased actively contesting elections.

In 2004, he become a figure in community politics, campaigning for adult learning,[5] local clean-ups,[6] and more shops and fewer restaurants[7] amongst other local campaigns. He was also involved in setting up the People's Campaign to Keep the Pound, along with Anthony Bennett, a leading member of Robert Kilroy-Silk's Veritas.,[8]

Anderson was the leader of the short-lived Epping Community Action Group, which was registered with the Electoral Commission as a political party in April 2006.[9] The group stood two candidates, including Anderson, for election to Epping Forest District Council in the 2007 local elections, but came third in both wards. He gained 215 votes in the Epping Hemnall ward beating a British National Party candidate by 68 votes.[10]

Anderson was also involved in a number of other groups such as the Conservative Democratic Alliance.

He died in Epping in 2011 from brain tumour.[11]

Parliamentary elections contested[edit]

Date of election Constituency Party Votes  %
Oct 1974 Oxford NF 572 1.0
28 October 1982 Birmingham Northfield NF 411 0.9
1983 Newham South NF 993 3.7
1992 Bristol East NF 270 0.5
1997 East Londonderry NDs 81 0.2
31 July 1997 Uxbridge NDs 157 0.5

References[edit]

External links[edit]