Jordan and Françoise Dior on their wedding day
|3rd Leader of the World Union of National Socialists|
1968 – 9 April 2009 (41 years)
|Preceded by||Matt Koehl|
|Succeeded by||Matt Koehl|
|Leader of the British Movement|
1962 – 1975 (13 years)
|Preceded by||Position established
(Was formerly the National Socialist Movement)
|Succeeded by||Michael McLaughlin|
|Leader of the National Socialist Movement in the United Kingdom|
1962 – 1968 (6 years)
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished
(Succeeded by the British Movement)
|Born||John Colin Campbell Jordan
19 June 1923
|Died||9 April 2009
Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire
|Political party||British Peoples Party
|Spouse(s)||Françoise Dior (m. 5 October 1963; div. October 1967)
|Alma mater||Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge|
|Occupation||Teacher, politician, activist, writer|
John Colin Campbell Jordan (19 June 1923 – 9 April 2009) was a leading figure in postwar Neo-Nazism in Britain. In the far-right nationalist circles of the 1960s, Jordan represented the most explicitly 'Nazi' inclination in his open use of the styles and symbols of the Third Reich.
Although later unaffiliated with any political party, Jordan remained an influential voice on the British far right.
The son of a postman, Jordan was educated at Warwick School from 1934 to 1942. During the Second World War he attempted to enlist in the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Air Force, but, after failing the tests for membership of both, enlisted in the Royal Army Educational Corps. Demobilised in 1946, he went on to study at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, graduating in 1949 with 2nd class honours in history. The same year he became a teacher at Stoke Secondary Modern Boys School, Coventry. He joined the League of Empire Loyalists and became their Midlands organiser.
At Cambridge Jordan had formed a "Nationalist Club", from which he was invited to join the short-lived British Peoples Party, a group of former British Union of Fascists members led by Lord Tavistock, heir to the Duke of Bedford. Jordan soon became associated with Arnold Leese and was left a house in Leese's will, which became the Notting Hill base of operations when Jordan launched the White Defence League in 1956. Jordan would later merge this party with the National Labour Party to form the British National Party in 1960, although he would split from this party after a quarrel with John Bean, who was opposed to Jordan's advocacy of National Socialism.
Jordan then founded the National Socialist Movement in 1962 (later this became the British Movement in 1968) with John Tyndall. A meeting in Trafalgar Square on 2 July 1962 of supporters was disrupted by opponents Jordan described as "Jews and Communists" leading to a riot. He was dismissed by the board of governors from the Coventry school where he taught in August 1962, after a period of suspension which had begun after the events in Trafalgar Square.
In August 1962, Jordan hosted an international conference of National Socialists at Guiting Power in Gloucestershire. This resulted in the formation of the World Union of National Socialists, of which Jordan was the commander of its European section throughout the 1960s, and at which he was elected "World Führer" with George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party as his deputy. On 16 August, Jordan and Tyndall, together with Martin Webster, Denis Pirie and Roland Kerr-Ritchie were charged under the Public Order Act 1936 with attempts to set up a paramilitary force called Spearhead, based on the SA of Nazi Germany. Undercover police had observed Jordan leading the group in military manoeuvres. He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment in October 1962.
In October 1963, while John Tyndall was still in prison, Jordan, who had just been released, married Tyndall's fiancée, Françoise Dior, the former wife of a French nobleman and the niece of the French fashion designer Christian Dior. This hasty marriage, on 5 October 1963, was ostensibly to prevent her deportation as an undesirable alien. When Tyndall was eventually released, the marriage caused friction, and he split with Jordan in 1964 to form the Greater Britain Movement. Jordan's marriage to Dior proved short-lived though, and she announced the couple's separation in January 1964. Jordan, she claimed, had become "bourgeois."
During the Leyton by-election of 1965, Jordan led a group of about 100 fascist demonstrators at a Labour Party public meeting, and after taking to the stage to berate the audience, was punched by Denis Healey, then Secretary of State for Defence. The fracas came about because the far-right were using the by-election to stir up inter-racial hatred to defeat the Labour candidate (and Foreign Secretary) Patrick Gordon-Walker. He had been defeated in the October 1964 general election in the Smethwick constituency after racist campaigning tactics were employed by the successful Conservative candidate, Peter Griffiths. On 25 January 1967, Jordan was sentenced to 18 months in prison at Devon Assizes in Exeter for breaking the Race Relations Act 1965 by circulating material likely to cause racial hatred. At the same time, Jordan was prosecuted and convicted under the Public Order Act 1936 for distributing a leaflet "The Coloured Invasion", "a vituperative attack on black and Asian people".
Jordan reorganised the National Socialist Movement as the British Movement in 1968, but in 1974 he was obliged to step down from the leadership in favour of Michael McLaughlin. His demise was further accelerated by his arrest for shoplifting three pairs of women's red knickers from Tesco's Leamington Spa branch in June 1975. Magistrates fined him £50 for the offence.
Jordan maintained ties to groups led by Kevin Watmough, such as the White Nationalist Party and the British People's Party as well as the American National Socialist Workers Party. In 2000, he expressed scepticism over the efforts of the British National Party to soften its hard right stance.
In the 1980s, Jordan revived Gothic Ripples, originally Leese's publication, as his personal political project. He once declared there was "no reliable evidence whatsoever" that six million Jews died in the Holocaust. In 1989, he stated his belief that Jesus was "counterfeit", and that Hitler was the real "messiah" and "saviour", whose eventual "resurrection" would make him "the spiritual conqueror of the future". Democracy, he thought, was really a form of dictatorship because it prevented the defence of the Aryan people.
Jordan was in court again in 2001, charged with publishing racist literature, but the judge ruled that his serious heart condition made him unfit to stand trial.
- Gothic Ripples Newsletter
- Fraudulent Conversion: The Myth of Moscow’s Change (1955)
- The Coloured Invasion (1967)
- Merrie England— 2,000 (1993)
- National Socialism: Vanguard of the Future, Selected Writings of Colin Jordan (1993, ISBN 87-87063-40-9)
- The Uprising 2004
- Gerry Gable Obituary: Colin Jordan, The Guardian, 13 April 2009
- Martin Walker, The National Front, Fontana/Collins, 1977, p. 27
- "The day a Coventry fascist gave Nazi salutes near the Cathedral", Coventry Telegraph, 30 September 2009
- Goodrick-Clarke (2001), pp. 32-33
- " Colin Jordan: leader of the far Right", The Times, 16 April 2009
- Sykes, Alan The Radical Right in Britain Palgrave (2005), p99
- Sykes, Alan The Radical Right in Britain Palgrave (2005), p100
- "Leader of British National Socialists Suspended From Teaching Job", Canadian Jewish Chronicle, 13 July 1962, p.7
- Transcript of interview with Jordan, MIdlands News, ATV, 5 July 1962, Media Archive for Central England website.
- "Colin Jordan to Lose Teaching Job", Glasgow Herald, 30 August 1962
- Sykes, Alan The Radical Right in Britain Palgrave (2005), p101
- Goodrick-Clarke (2001), p. 38
- David Botsford "British Fascism and the Measures Taken Against It By the British State" (.pdf file)
- "Jail Ordered For 4 Britons", Spokane Daily Chronicle, 15 October 1962
- "Mrs Jordan Confirms Separation", The Age (Melbourne, Australia), 9 January 1964, p.3
- Obituary: Colin Jordan, Daily Telegraph, 27 April 2009
- Clayton Goodwin "'If you want a nigger for a neighbour vote Liberal or Labour'", New African, October 2004 as reproduced on the Find Articles website
- "Colin Jordan Sent to Prison for 18 Months on Race Act Charges", The Glasgow Herald, 26 January 1967, p.7
- David McKittrick "Obituary: Colin Jordan", The Independent 28 April 2009.
- Griffin (1995), p. 325
- Colin Jordan "National Vanguard ~ Part 1 - Democracy Brings the Police State", Gothic Ripples, Issue 22-23 [c.1994]
- Coogan, Kevin (1998). Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International. Autonomedia. ISBN 1-57027-039-2.
- Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (2001). Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity. New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-3155-4.
- Griffin, Roger (ed.) (1995). Fascism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-289249-5.
- Schmaltz, William H. (2000). Hate: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party. Potomac Books. ISBN 1-57488-262-7.
- Terry Cooper (2013). Death by Dior. Dynasty Press. ISBN 978-0-9568038-6-3.
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