Ray Hill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the American football player, see Ray Hill (American football).
Ray Hill
Born 1939
Mossley, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Stamford Secondary School, Ashton-under-Lyne
Occupation Labourer
Known for Far-right activist turned mole
Notable work(s) The Other Face of Terror- Inside Europe’s Neo-Nazi Network (1988)
Home town Leicester
Title Deputy leader of the British Movement
Term 1980-1982
Political party
British Movement
South African National Front
British National Party
Movement Racial Preservation Society
Spouse(s) Glennis Hill

Ray Hill (born 1939) was a leading figure in the British far right who went on to become a well-known informant. A sometime deputy leader of the British Movement and a founder member of the British National Party, Hill also secretly worked for Searchlight in feeding information about the groups' activities.

Early years[edit]

Born in Mossley, Lancashire, Hill was educated at the local Church of England primary school and in Stamford Secondary School, Ashton-under-Lyne until his family moved to Leicester in 1955.[1] He spent three years in the army and then worked in various labouring jobs.[2] He married his wife Glennis in June 1966 and their first daughter Susan was born a year later.[3]

British Movement[edit]

Hill made his first steps in the far right in the later 1960s with a local group called the Anti-Immigration Society (AIMS), promptly switching to the larger Racial Preservation Society to which AIMS was closely linked.[4] From here he met Colin Jordan and soon became a member of the British Movement, being appointed Organiser for Leicester in 1968 as well as Jordan's election agent for his campaign in the 1969 Birmingham Ladywood by-election.[5] Although his wife largely tolerated his political involvement Hill's arrest for actual bodily harm in late 1969, after he attacked a Leicester University at a cafe, led to his disengagement and the couple deciding to emigrate.[6]

South Africa[edit]

He emigrated to South Africa the following year and became disabused of his former views after becoming friendly with members of South Africa's Jewish community. He was asked by a friend to infiltrate the South African National Front, an organisation for ex-pat whites, eventually rising to the chairmanship as well as undertaking a series of speaking engagements for the Afrikaans Herstigte Nasionale Party (a radical breakaway from the ruling National Party).[7]

Return to Britain[edit]

Hill returned to Leicester in 1980 where he became associated with Anthony Reed Herbert, initially in the National Front, then in the British Democratic Party. Hill didn't actually join either group; instead he renewed his membership in the British Movement.[8] Around this time Hill also began to work in secret for Searchlight, helping to foil an alleged gun-running plot by the BDP.[9] Hill's presence as a double agent in the BM also ensured that their activities were disrupted and that they were subject to several police investigations regarding allegations of planned violence.[10]

By then deputy leader of the BM, Hill clashed with leader Michael McLaughlin in 1982 and succeeded in splitting the party.[11] Hill, a former boxer in the army with a reputation as a street fighter, had the support of the BM's large skinhead following and took them with him when he joined in the newly launched British National Party in 1982 (also convincing Reed Herbert to bring his BDP on board).[12] Indeed Hill claimed that he had contacted BNP leader John Tyndall, at the time leading a group called the New national Front, as early as 1981 to discuss forming a new united party. Hill contended that he hoped to bring disparate far-right groups together in order to sabotage their activity and that ultimately he hoped to challenge Tyndall for the leadership and fight a dirty and highly divisive campaign in order to increase the sabotage.[13] Hill's activities on behalf of the BNP included a June 1982 attempted takeover of the BBC radio show Any Questions? when Hill and some supporters disrupted a broadcast by shouting pro-BNP slogans from the audience.[14] In the 1983 general election, he contested Leicester West for the BNP, receiving 469 votes (1.0%).[15]

Revealed as a mole[edit]

Hill revealed himself to be a 'mole' in 1984 in a documentary for Channel 4 which focused on the links between the British far right and international terrorism, as well as plots to launch bomb attacks in London, said to have been planned by the National Socialist Action Party.[16] Column 88 and the League of St. George were also heavily implicated in Hill's claims.[17] As well as the British far-right, Hill's revelations also included claims about terrorist involvement of their Italian counterparts and Fédération d'action nationale et européenne leader Mark Fredriksen.[18] Hill's revelations sent shockwaves through the British far-right and encourage a culture of suspicion. Indeed soon afterwards when Joe Pearce approached Tyndall about bringing the Young National Front en bloc to the BNP Tyndall rejected his overtures for fear that Pearce might also be a "mole".[19]

Subsequent activity[edit]

Hill became a regular columnist for Searchlight from then on, and in 1988 published a book about his experiences, The Other Face of Terror, with the journalist Andrew Bell. Called as a witness before the European Parliament's Commission on Racism and Xenophobia, Hill's evidence included the claim that within the neo-Nazi underground a system of "brown aid" existed for fugitives and those defined by the movement as political prisoners.[20] Hill contended that he personally had been involved in "safehousing" several far right Italian fugitives during his political involvement.[21]

Hill has also been elected as an Honorary Vice President of the National Union of Students due to subsequent work he undertook with students.[22] He no longer writes for Searchlight although as of 2012 he was still speaking on their behalf.[23]

Elections contested[edit]

Date of election Constituency Party Votes  %
1983 Leicester West BNP 469 1.0

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 23-25
  2. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 25-26
  3. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 27
  4. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 29-32
  5. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 36-39
  6. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 39-40
  7. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 52-73
  8. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 97-115
  9. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 101-115
  10. ^ Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity, New York University Press, 2003, p. 40
  11. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 120-147
  12. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 165-181
  13. ^ Nigel Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, p. 23-24
  14. ^ Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism, p. 30
  15. ^ The Guardian, 11 June 1983
  16. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 281-283
  17. ^ Richard Thurlow, Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1985, Basil Blackwell, 1987, p. 288
  18. ^ Geoffrey Harris, The Dark Side of Europe: The Extreme Right Today, Edinburgh University Press, 1994, pp. 125-127
  19. ^ Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism, p. 29
  20. ^ Martin A. Lee, The Beast Reawakens, Warner Books, 1997, p. 204
  21. ^ Lee, The Beast Reawakens, p. 206
  22. ^ J.S.O.C and the Josephine Butler lecture series present: Ray Hill
  23. ^ Ray Hill still hitting the nazis

Bibliography[edit]

  • R. Hill & A. Bell, The Other Face of Terror- Inside Europe’s Neo-Nazi Network, London: Collins, 1988

External links[edit]