Talk:Conservative Monday Club/Archive 1

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Far right

To call the Monday Club "far-right" is opinion, not fact. It consisted almost entirely of card-carrying members of the Conservative Party, although it was not "within the Conservative Party". I have therefore removed these two false statements. You will see in the text of the article that former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson referred to the Club as the Guardian of the Tory Conscience. Robert I 09:16, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

"You will see in the text of the article that former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson referred to the Club as the Guardian of the Tory Conscience"

He was being sarcastic. Anyway, both the BBC and the Economist refer to the Monday Club as "right wing" (neither call it "Traditional Conservative") so we'll go with "right-wing". I know, the BBC is the "Bolshevik Broadcasting Corpoation" but surely you see The Economist as credible even if it doesn't rise to the journalistic standards of The Sun. Homey 16:11, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

  • He was not being sarcastic. He said this on several occasions. He was right.Robert I 21:36, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

The Economist is just copying something already written. I doubt that the journalist concerned has any real knowledge of the club at all. The fact remains that the Club was established by High Tories to oppose the liberalisation fo the Conservative Party. How can you deny that and how can you deny that it is not traditional conservatives at work? Your knowledge appears to be entirely based upon journalists opinions. 15:08, 9 December 2005 (UTC).

You don't think terms like "white minority rule" are absolutely biased? This is a post-1960s term designed to be thrown as a smear at the people who had run governments in these countries ever since they were established. How many natives do you have in the Canadian government? Just insulting. 19:31, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Since you asked, the current Lt. Governor of Ontario is aboriginal, as are the government leaders of two territories, one federal cabinet minister, and a number of cabinet ministers in other provinces (particularly Manitoba and Saskatchewan). There's still a problem of under-representation, but this is not the result of formal restrictions on political participation -- unlike certain other countries I could name. CJCurrie 19:36, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

"You don't think terms like "white minority rule" are absolutely biased?"

The term "white minority rule" was used throughout the time that the Monday Club defended it, ie the 60s, 70s and 80s. I can't think of a more accurate term. Would you prefer "pro-apartheid"? That term was coined in the early 20th century and was the official term used by South Africa from 1948 on. The problem is it really is South Africa specific and the Monday Club defended white rule in Rhodesia as well. Homey 21:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Interestingly enough, it was a Conservative government, that of John George Diefenbaker, that finally extended the franchise to Native Canadians in 1960. Diefenbaker also led the campaign within the Commonwealth against South Africa's apartheid policy (South Africa applied to remain in the Commonwealth after it became a republic in 1961 (or thereabouts), Diefenbaker led the opposition to this). So no, I don't think "traditional Conservative" values need include support for racism. Homey 21:25, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Just following you about at the moment to see what your saying. I would say your perspective of matters was entirely left wing, whether liberal or just left I am not entirely sure. But definitely biased in that direction as everyone appears to be wrong except you and CJCurrie. You clearly know little about the Monday Club. Doubtless your knowledge is based upon the little gang of left wing media people here who see anyone to the right of Ted Heath as a fascist. (They used to call Margaret Thatcher a fascist in the "Tribune"). The Monday Club supported first and foremost European rule in Africa. That was not seen as a sin until at least the 1970s and then only by the broad left. Secondly they believed that kith and kin in Africa (and anywhere else for that matter) deserved the absolute support of the British people at all times. Europeans in South Africa and Rhodesia voluteered for British military service in both world wars. For two centuries the Colonial Office encouraged immigration to the colonies. So the Club felt that they had an absolute duty to our people first and foremost. How does that make them "far right"? Robert I 21:36, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

If the Monday Club had existed in the 19th century you'd have a point - but given that it was promoting these views in the 1970s and 1980s and continues to defend them today, ie given that the Monday Club is a modern institution, their positions are on the far right wing given that they are so far right that the Conservative Party severed its links to the group in 2002 and banned MPs from belonging I don't see how you can argue that simply saying "right-wing" or "conservative" is an accurate description.

Also, the term "European rule" omits one glaring fact, that the Europeans were a minority in these countries.

  • The Europeans were always a minority in these countries. Robert I 11:00, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Yes, but that's not evident in the term "European rule" is it? That's why white minority rule is more accurate.Homey 13:23, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Really, would you prefer it if we just said "The Monday Club was a racist institution made up of British imperialists and "Colonel Blimp types out of touch with the modern world"? We are trying to be NPOV which is why we don't say that - I don't think you appreciate the difference - rather you object to any deviation from the Monday Club's self-promotional view of itself as "left-wing bias". As such, you make it clear that you don't know what left wing bias is. Homey 21:42, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

It is an accepted fact in Britain that the Conservative Party has lost its way politically. Its membership has absolutely plummetted and it is deeply in debt. It is widely accepted (although possibly not by the Guardian and the Independent) that over the past 25 years its traditional Tory element has evaporated, death, or defeat at elections, and the rump that remains is largely liberal in content as opposed to Tory. Their comments about the Monday Club were just a meaningless publicity stunt in an attempt to gain the "middle ground" of politics in this country, but in fact that "middle ground" is already the preserve of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Labour Party. The Monday Club has stood its ground on standard patriotic grounds and High Toryism. It remains a bastion of true conservatism. "Colonel Blimp" is a standard left wing smear and I will ignore it. What I will say is that unless you are here and politically involved you really don't know what you are talking about. How would you like it if we over here started making comments like you on Canadian politics? Robert I 10:59, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Accurate quoting

Robert I made the following edit, a few moments ago:

The Conservative Monday Club is a right-wing pressure-group in Britain described as "an organisation which proselytized the more ancient and venerable conservative traditions of paternalism and imperialism" [cf.Levitas, p.60] [...]

The actual quote is as follows:

"And there were groups -- like Aims of Industry (founded in 1942) and the Institute of Economic Affairs (1957) -- which advocated economic liberal ideas, and others (like the Monday Club, founded in 1960) which proselytized the more ancient and venerable conservative traditions of paternalism, imperialism and racism."

David Edgar, "The Free or the Good", in Ruth Levitas, ed., The Ideology of the New Right, (Polity Press, Cambridge, 1986), pp. 59-60.

I await Robert's response. CJCurrie 21:35, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

  • My response remains absolutely the same. You have a very clear left-wing demonising agenda and you and your friend are working very hard at it, even though you are in Canada. Why is it that people in North America think they know everything? Never mind. The Correct, official name is the "Conservative Monday Club". You may not wish to accept that but its on all their letterheads and their Constitution. Robert I 21:55, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

So, do you have anything to say about your flagrant distortion of a published source, or not? CJCurrie 21:56, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

  • No. Edgar is very left-wing and I left off one word, 'racism'. That is all. My quote was one word short. Clearly you see that as truly shocking. I do not. Your agenda remains absolutely clear. Robert I 21:58, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
    A quote is a quote. If I missed the word not out of a quote, it would change the meaning. If a quote is to be elided, you can use an ellipsis ... to fill a gap. It should be used wisely. Wizzy 19:19, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

(i) If he's left-wing, why did you quote him?

  • Why not. Its rather ironic. Robert I 22:06, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

(ii) Can you not understand that the "one word" you left out was the pivot of the quote? CJCurrie 22:00, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

  • No I cannot. I always expect words like that to creep in to otherwise accurate descriptions. You're on the Left so you'd understand what I'm talking about.Robert I 22:06, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Robert, your intellectual dishonesty is not doing your cause any favours. First you distort an academic quotation (by removing the word "and racism" and misrepesent it, now you try to pass off a sarcastic comment by Harold Wilson as unadulterated praise. Do you think Wilson was trying to support the Monday club or do you think he was trying to embarrass the Tory Party? Do you have any shame at all?Homey 22:01, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I did not misrepresent anything. I gave an accurate quote. Maybe not the full quote (one word left off the tail end) but a fair quote in my view. You cite me the very clear evidence that Harold Wilson was being sarcastic - for whatever reason. We don't know of it this side of the Atlantic, but possibly some Guardian journalist said that too, eh? Robert I 22:06, 10 December 2005 (UTC)


You don't seem to realize that your credibility (such as it was) is now completely shot.

You gambled that no-one would notice your flagrant distortion of a published text, and you lost.

No one need take anything you say seriously from now on. CJCurrie 22:11, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Robert, you didn't just leave off one word, you took out the word racism, moved the "and" so the quotation read "and imperialism." to cover up the fact that you removed the word. I've banned you for two weeks for dishonest and fraudulent editing. Differences of opinion are one thing but it's unacceptable to have people knowingly falsify a quotation. It means the wikipedia community cannot trust you to edit in good faith. Homey 22:15, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

A quotation may be a word, a sentence, a paragraph or even a whole page. There is nothing wrong with that quotation because apart from the final word of the sentence, which in my view was rightly dropped, it an entirely accurate description. As a former member of the Club I am deeply offended at being classified as far right, regardless of what a few left-wing journalists may write. 08:50, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

The Telegraph and The Times have also used the phrases "far right" or "hard right" to describe the Monday Club so your and Robert's claim that it is some sort of leftist smear is not sustainable unless you want to claim that these two papers are socialist as well? And if they are, what does that leave you with, the Daily Sport?Homey 15:45, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

"White Minority Rule"

The Daily Telegraph uses the phrase "white minority rule" to describe the situation in Rhodesia:

"Sir Stephen Hastings, who died yesterday aged 83, had a good war in the SAS and SOE and later joined MI6; but he was better known as the Conservative MP whose trenchant support for white minority rule in Rhodesia brought him the hostility of Socialists and the polite disapproval of his own party."[1]

Don't know if this is another example of Communist writers infiltrating the venerable Telegraph, as Robert I would like us to think, but given that articles are vetted by copy editors etc I suspect this is a matter of the Telegraph accepting the phrase as an accurate description. Given that Conservative and liberal papers alike use the phrase I see no basis on which Robert's objections to the phrase as "biased" and "left-wing" can be seen as having merit. Homey 15:42, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Journalists move around all the papers now. Its not the old days when aristos owned the Telegraph or the Times. the Times has long become a liberal organ and the Telegraph at best libertarian. Certainly its has adopted the sensationalist and populist approach to articles which 15 years ago would not have been tolerated. 16:40, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


What's with the vast and superfluous list of publications? Rd232 talk 16:24, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

  • The publications list give an indication of the Monday Club's various policies. Its a pity they havn't been read by the few journalists Homey refers to. 16:30, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Not superfluous. There is a convention that longer lists in articles are put on pages of their own. This would be a case in point. Charles Matthews 17:04, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


What is the reason for renaming this page ? There was no conflict at Monday Club. Wizzy 19:01, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

According to the Club's Official site the proper name is the "Conservative Monday Club". Homey 19:04, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Enoch Powell & Far Right

Enoch Powell was a very strong supporter (though not a member of any political groupings) of the Monday Club over a period of thirty years. He travelled up and down the country to address their meetings and formal dinners until he became unable to do so. Many are catalogued in Simon Heffer's biography of him. So the question is, was Powell "far right"? Doubtless if I spent endless hours trawling through the Guardian and Independent or even the Tribune, I could find exactly that reference. But is it accurate? If its not, how does the Monday Club, which was arguably more mainstream than Powell who went off to become an Ulster MP in the 1970s, get that appellation? Robert I 11:18, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


Charles Matthews: Sir Harry Lauder is a very famous and prominent Brit. He was also a strong supporter of the Conservative Party to whom he gave significant donations. Virtually every newspaper report which mentions Lauder-Frost cites him as Lauder's great-nephew, because it ties him into a prominent family. This is pretty normal in Britain. 12:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

But this can go in the Harry Lauder and Lauder-Frost articles. We write hypertext - journalists in a newspaper can't. It is much better to add to articles on people than add epithets every time you mention them. In fact I see that the Harry Lauder article has nothing about support for the Tories, so your time would be better spent adding that and the Lauder-Frost connection there, once and for all. Charles Matthews 13:35, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Excessive referencing

The list of publications is way too excessive. Can it not be trimmed back only to include those pamphlets which made a serious impact when published or are otherwise notable? David | Talk 23:28, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I think that once you start eliminating the publications the Monday Club's remit on a whole range of issues becomes narrowed. As it stands it gves an excellent over-view of what the Club was about. This was discussed, briefly, above. 09:22, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Look at Fabian Society - a society famous for its pamphlets has none listed. This issue can be covered in the text. Meanwhile, see What Wikipedia is not: ".. excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of Wikipedia." David | Talk 09:53, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but as I wrote above, the conclusion is 'move out the list to own page', not 'cut'. A comprehensive list of Fabian pamphlets would be useful. Charles Matthews 10:12, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
There is a difference here. The Fabian Society is fundamentally socialist. Generally speaking socialism is doctrinaire. The Monday Club brought together a lot of different conservatives, many of whom did not agree with each other on certain issues. Tory approaches to different subjects have not been doctrinaire like socialism. Also, The Left have generally smeared the Monday Club as a more-or-less single issue group opposing immigration. This is a distortion of the truth, as they had a vast interest in a variety of political subjects. This is reflected in their publications. If you remove the publications we are left with a rump which will give a warped view of the club's activities. 14:45, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I still think the right thing is to move (not remove) them, in line with ordinary good practice here. Charles Matthews 16:24, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Wilson's comment

No evidence that he was "speaking sarcastically". Please provide proof. 09:27, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Unless you are suggesting Wilson admired the Monday Club the fact that he was sarcastic is self-evident. Homey 01:58, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Winds of Change Speech

There is not the slightest indication in this speech of Harold MacMillan's opposition to apartheid or the then government in South Africa. It is a generalised speech in which MacMillan speaks about rising national consciousness throughout the various colonies across the world and in Africa. In fact his only mention of South Africa relates to how brilliantly their economy was going. See the text of the speech here: 18:25, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

It seems the South Africans didn't see it that way, nor did anyone else for that matter:

"Responding to Harold Macmillan's "winds of change" address that called on South Africa to embrace equality, Verwoerd agreed with the sentiment but argued that "we believe in balance, we believe in allowing exactly those same full opportunities to remain within the grasp of the white man who has made [modern civilisation] possible"." [2]

"Yet, as a radical realist, Macmillan re-orientated British foreign policy, repairing the "special relationship" with the United States, and, with his "winds of change" speech at Cape Town in 1960, distancing himself from apartheid."[3]

"THE anniversary of two speeches, 30 years apart, both of which had a profound influence on the African continent and South Africa, falls this week. Both speeches were made in Parliament in Cape Town, although in vastly different circumstances.
On February 3, 1960, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan delivered his “Winds of Change” speech. Speaking of an emerging African nationalism, Macmillan said:
“The most striking of all the impressions I have formed since I left London a month ago is the strength of the African consciousness. In different places it may take different forms, but it is happening everywhere.
“The wind of change is blowing through the continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of political consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact. Our national policies must take account of it.”
Macmillan went on to state that Britain could not support apartheid because “there are some aspects of your policies that make it impossible for us to do this without being false to our own deep convictions about the political destinies of free men, to which in our territories we are trying to give effect”.
Understandably the NP government of H F Verwoerd and white South Africa in general was not frightfully impressed. Verwoerd said South Africa was a “true white state” that was willing to grant the “fullest rights” to blacks in areas that “their forefathers had settled”." [4]
"To show the utility of this integration, I offer a close reading of one of the twentieth century's important cases of policy change: British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's "winds of change" speech of 1960, proclaiming Britain's decision to support majority rule in Africa, including the Union (now the Republic) of South Africa."[5]

Homey 01:55, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

"To show the utility of this integration, I offer a close reading of one of the twentieth century's important cases of policy change: British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's "winds of change" speech of 1960, proclaiming Britain's decision to support majority rule in Africa, including the Union (now the Republic) of South Africa. In making this statement, Macmillan marked a decisive change in the direction that British policy, and especially the policy of the British Conservative Party, had followed in Africa for more than one hundred years. " (...) "In addition to showing understanding of the political difficulty South Africa's leadership must face if and when it moves toward majority rule, this line of argument leads to a general statement of Britain's position on what Macmillan often called "non-homogenous societies." He does this by quoting a statement made by the British Foreign Minister six months earlier at the UN, declaring Britain's unequivocal rejection "of the idea of any inherent superiority of one race over another." The sweeping nature of this statement serves the purpose of minimizing the magnitude of change Macmillan's speech is requesting of South Africa by making it a fortiori: if Britain rejects racial superiority everywhere, then it follows that Britain must disapprove of racial dominance in South Africa. The quote also serves to restate Britain's commitment to racial equality for the whole world to hear. It is a declaration that places British policy directly in line with the democratic egalitarianism of the Commonwealth and the United States."

Macmillan abruptly interrupts this criticism of his immediate audience by offering reassurance that he is "well aware of the peculiar nature of the problems with which you are faced here in the Union of South Africa. I know the difference between your situation and that of most of the other states in Africa." Once this show of understanding is accomplished, Macmillan concludes this idealistic section of the speech by saying, of Britain's position on what Macmillan often called "non-homogenous societies." He does this by quoting a statement made by the British Foreign Minister six months earlier at the UN, declaring Britain's unequivocal rejection "of the idea of any inherent superiority of one race over another." The sweeping nature of this statement serves the purpose of minimizing the magnitude of change Macmillan's speech is requesting of South Africa by making it a fortiori: if Britain rejects racial superiority everywhere, then it follows that Britain must disapprove of racial dominance in South Africa. The quote also serves to restate Britain's commitment to racial equality for the whole world to hear. It is a declaration that places British policy directly in line with the democratic egalitarianism of the Commonwealth and the United States.[6]Homey 03:04, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

The simple fact is none of this was contained in the speech. So your long arguments with the OPINIONS of others is irrelevent because Wikipedia is supposed to avid persobal opinions and interpretations and stick to facts. It seems you people are media luvvies. 15:39, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

"The simple fact is none of this was contained in the speech."
Absolute nonsense. First of all, the link you gave us does not contain the full speech so how you can conclude anything based on that is beyond me. The paragraph below, which was in Macmillan's speech, makes clear that he is not just talking about decolonisation but is also talking about South Africa:
"As a fellow member of the Commonwealth it is our earnest desire to give South Africa our support and encouragement, but I hope you won't mind my saying frankly that there are some aspects of your policies which make it impossible for us to do this without being false to our own deep convictions about the political destinies of free men to which in our own territories we are trying to give effect."
The simple fact is that everybody, including Macmillan and the South African government knew that Macmillan was referring to apartheid as well as decolonisation. Sure, he used diplomatic language but given the response to the speech and the universal interpretation of it at the time and ever since as being a criticism of apartheid, your denial of that basic fact beggers belief and is literally incredible.Homey 18:58, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Couple of points: the speech deserves a page of its own (few political speeches are so remembered) and then discussion could be hived off; and also the article organisation is currently skewed, with too much in the lead section. Charles Matthews 16:43, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

The problem is, as Robert I and GLF made clear in their version of the article, the Monday Club was founded in reaction to Macmillan's speech. It is therefore literally a whitewash to now pretend his speech did not signal a change in the government's attitude on apartheid, particularly when sources are unanimous on that point. Homey 19:03, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

"The simple fact is none of this was contained in the speech. So your long arguments with the OPINIONS of others is irrelevent because Wikipedia is supposed to avid persobal opinions"

1) as has been pointed out you are wrong as to the contents of Macmillan's speech as your "transcript" is flawed 2) wikipedia is supposed to avoid including the personal opinions of editors. Opinions of others are fine as long as they are cited. Do you have any published sources that deny Macmillan addressed apartheid in his speech? 19:27, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Accurate quoting (part 3)

(see Talk:Gregory Lauder-Frost for part two)

Robert Isherwood wrote:

An article in The Independent (24 February 1991) described it as "the biggest Tory Party pressure group".

My responses:

(i) It wasn't the Independent, it was the Observer.

(ii) Here is the context:


The running of the Monday Club, the biggest Tory Party pressure group, has been taken over by extreme right-wingers, some of whom have close links with fascist and racist groups abroad.

An Observer investigation has established that a prominent member of the new ruling faction is Stuart Millson, who has rejoined the Conservatives five years after leaving for the British National Party. He said then: 'I would describe myself as a fascist. My main aim has been to drum up as much support for racialism as possible.' [Note: It's possible that there was subsequently a defamation lawsuit concerning this quote; it is presented in this instance as part of the original article, not as a direct accusation against Millson.]

  • This article, much of it fantasy, is a repeat of an accusation. No two ways about it. Both the Times and the Independent have hadf to pay out-of-court damages to Milson in the past couple of years for calling him a fascist etc. No doubt he will be keep to see this. 18:20, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Millson can take the matter up with the Observer if he wants. I'll note that several papers have described Millson as a past-or-present fascist, apparently without suffering legal consequences.
    • Millson's Wikipedia article indicates that he sued the Times and Independent after they called him a fascist, but not necessarily for calling him a fascist. Perhaps not coincidentally, both papers also repeated as fact Michael Ancram's claim (later found to be erroneous) that Millson forged a Conservative Party membership card. Just what was the out of court settlement for, exactly? CJCurrie 22:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Coming hard on the heels of the row over the selection of a black parliamentary candidate in Cheltenham, the Monday Club takeover will be seen as highly embarrassing, revealing the further extent of racism within the party.

[etc. etc. etc. -- this was a fairly long article]

As Mr. Isherwood was willing to quote from the article, I assume he regards the entire piece as fair for citation. CJCurrie 01:59, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Doubtless he thought if you were going to quote it he could too. Does that signify acceptance of the full article? BTW, this Observer article was the subject of a letter to the Editors from Rubensteins, the Monday Club's solicitors, and a retraction and apology was published the following Sunday. 15:37, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I have mentioned that, above. Who are these self-appointed experts on the British political scene? Guardian, Independent, BBC, hardly reputable sources by anyone's stretch of the imagination - unless you're a Red! 18:20, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Citing the quality dailies and the BBC here is perfectly acceptable. Charles Matthews 23:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Stuart Millson

This is the only reference to Stuart Millson I can find on the UK Press Complaints Commission website. I may be misreading the situation, but it appears as though the Irish Times was not forced to apologize or pay a settlement. I repeat my question: what precisely were Millson's out-of-court settlements for?

  • Complainant name: Mr Stuart Millson
  • Report: 60
  • Paper: Irish News
  • Clauses noted: 1
  • Complaint: Mr Stuart Millson of West Malling, Kent complained that he had been described as an ‘open fascist’.
  • Resolution: The newspaper gave the complainant a substantial opportunity to reply to the description.

  • Retractions and apologies were published in both the Independent and the Times (27 November 2001). You're so clever at spending hours looking all this crap up why don't you find them? 23:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

If you want it included in the article then it's your job to provide a citation. Given the number of quotations and claims provided by yourself and Robert I that have been proven to be false or half-truths I see no reason why any editors should give you the benefit of the doubt.Homey 23:56, 15 December 2005 (UTC).

  • All these accusations are being cut and pasted for further action. 21:19, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I've already found both retractions, and I cited them on the Millson page yesterday. They were about the "Conservative card forgery" story, not the fascist accusations. I've also found four other papers that have called Millson a past-or-present fascist, with no apparent legal consequences. So: did Millson's successful actions have anything to do with the fascist allegations, or were they simply a response to the forgery story? CJCurrie 00:33, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

For the record, here's the Times apology (27 November 2001):

"Stuart Millson has asked us to make clear that, whereas he was briefly a member of the BNP in 1986-87 (report, August 27), he resigned more than 14 years ago. He joined the Conservative Party in April this year and resigned (but was not expelled) in May. Mr Millson emphatically denies forging Conservative Party membership cards as part of a BNP entryist plot. We apologise to Mr Millson for this misunderstanding."

And here's the Independent apology (7 March 2002):

"ON 27 AUGUST 2001, The Independent reported an allegation that Stuart Millson, briefly a BNP member in his youth, forged a Conservative Party membership card in a bid to infiltrate the party. We accept that there is no truth in this suggestion and apologise to Mr Millson."

Both papers had repeated claims by Michael Ancram, which later turned out to be false. Neither paper apologized for the "fascist" reference (which was originally reported in the Guardian on 5 July 1986, and which too my knowledge has never been the subject of legal action). CJCurrie 22:55, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

... and, as it happens, the Times article didn't even call Millson a fascist. It printed the following line, which was later shown to be false: "Michael Ancram, the former party chairman, is alleged to have been warned about the case of Stuart Millson, a known BNP activist who infiltrated Tory ranks." Meanwhile, the Guardian was not forced to apologize for this: "Mr Ancram argued that Stuart Millson, a BNP member in his youth, had merely made a copy of a membership card." (27 August 2001). I assume that the sole mistake of the Times and Independent in this matter was to print Ancram's speculation as though it were fact.

I will rephrase my question: apart from the Irish Times situation (which has already been covered on this page) has Millson ever taken action against any newspaper for alleging that he once called himself a fascist? CJCurrie 23:09, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Observer retraction(?)

I'm not going to take the anon's word that this exists. Provide a citation if you want the information to stay. CJCurrie 23:28, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Ditto what I've said above, or do you only try and find things that denigrate? 23:54, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


I've found the Observer's response. It didn't show up on a word scan, but I found it on the microfilm version.

The Observer did not retract or apologize for a single word in the original article. They did, however, permit a Club representative to write a blustery response on the LTE page. See if you can spot the writing style:

Membership of the Monday Club

The article 'Far Right takes over the Monday Club', by David Rose (last week) was highly inaccurate.

The Monday Club has not been taken over by anyone. The present Executive Committee consists of mainstream Conservatives, all of whom have been members of the Club for some years.

All were elected by secret postal ballot by the membership, with the exception of branch delegates and a few others who were co-opted in accordance with Club rules by the elected Executives. Is your correspondent saying that the membership, after receiving the canddiates' CVs, had no right to elect whom they did?

There is no 'ruling faction' other than the Executive Committee. Stuart Millson is not a member of the Club's Executive and holds no position within the Club.

The Club's position on immigration has no changed to any significant extent for 20 years. Your comment of 'further racism' within the party is therefore peculiar. Would you consider Mrs. Thatcher a 'racist' for stating, as she did in 1978, that 'the British people fear they were being swamped?'.

Dr. Mark Mayall did not say that 'he was happy for former members of fascist groups to be active in the Club.'

He made it clear, however, that both he and the Executive Committee were satisfied that Mr. Millson, now aged 26, was a confirmed Conservative and had renounced his days at university in 1986 when he was more radical.

It is not possible in this letter to cover every single inaccuracy in your article. We would, however, like to point out that all prospective and existing members of the Monday Club are required to be Conservatives. This is clearly incompatible with the extremism that your article attempted to portray within the Club.

The Monday Club will continue to fight for traditional conservative principles and values for Britain, regardless of media efforts to misrepresent it.

  • Gregory Lauder-Frost
  • (for and on behalf of the Executive Committee)
  • The Monday Club,
  • London WC1

Source: The Observer, p. 50, 3 March 1991.

I don't think this constitutes an apology. CJCurrie 00:48, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

  • What you think is irrelevant. Who the blazes do you think you are?

The Observer were forced to print a letter from the Monday Club pointing out that their article was crap. 21:19, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

That's quite different from what you folks claimed which was that they were forced to retract. How can we take anything you say with a grain of salt when you've demonstrated that you are an unreliable and (deliberately?) inaccurate conveyer of facts? I'm sorry Gregory, you seem to derive a lot of pride from getting letters published and imbue this rather trivial habit with great meaning and signficance but it actually doesn't mean very much. It certainly doesn't mean that a newspaper is admitting it was mistaken. If this was the case than it means every credible newspaper is retracting most of their important and controversial articles each day just because they recognise they have a duty to print a response from those who disagree with them. Homey 22:55, 16 December 2005 (UTC).

  • Political pressure groups rely on a variety of forms of publicity. Constant letters in the newspapers are one of them.

The Observer were forced by the Monday Club's solicitors to permit a full right-of-reply. Otherwise they would not have done that. Memories may be a bit frayed by posters some 15 years after the event but in any case the right-of-reply refuted David Rose's fantasies. 11:04, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Right of replies are rather standard, they are not generally "forced" by lawyers letters (if you don't have grounds to sue for libel and force a retraction, what grounds are there to sue for a "right of reply"?)Homey 23:46, 19 December 2005 (UTC)