Hate: My Life in the British Far Right

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9781849543279: Hate: My Life in the British Far Right

What do you do when everything you know and believe in crashes around you in a hail of fists and boots, flying chairs and broken glass? And not just once, but seemingly every time you leave the house? When it seemed that no one was listening, that Matthew Collins was just another white face from a council estate, and that there was nowhere else to go and nothing else to do, the violence and racism of the far-right offered him an alluring escape from the mediocrity of school, work and boredom. In 1980s Britain, the belligerent sentiments of a few hundred lonely white men went almost unnoticed, but this tiny minority had grand designs. Ignored and marginalised, and fuelled by alcohol and violence, they built a party that would go on to hold seats in council chambers across England and in the European Parliament. Hidden behind those large Union Jack flags were individuals - Collins included - seemingly prepared to bomb and kill to make their violent dreams a reality. But what do you do when you realise that the burning hatred, vehement patriotism and thirst for confrontation that haunts you - from the playground to the pub to the ballot box - stems from your own insecurities and isolation? The answer? You switch sides.

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About the Author:

Matthew Collins is Director of the Searchlight Educational Trust, working with communities to build responses to racism and hatred, and develop greater understanding.

Review:

"Few people have taken a more industrial look at the far right in this country than Matthew Collins. You know it's personal with him and you know by the far right's reaction to him that it runs both ways. Hate is Matthew's personal story, brilliantly told, incredibly funny and occasionally bawdy. It's a stark reminder of waste, but also a skilful and agonising confrontation with life, class, poverty and identity. Reading it leaves a lump in the throat at times, because it will confront you, as Matthew has confronted me numerous times, personally!" Jon Cruddas MP

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