When the International Third Position (ITP) emerged in 1989 as a result of a final disastrous split in the turbulent NF, it eschewed the old mass membership for a small, tight-knit network which would build a new "counter-power" and achieve its aims through influence and infiltration rather than street activism. There was some logic behind this. The success of the rallies and marches that dominated the NF in the 1970s had suddenly collapsed with the 1979 elections that swept Margaret Thatcher into office. The conservatives stole some of the NF's thunder as a "protest vote."
The 1989 break-up resulted in the creation of two groups. Holland and Griffin (leading the neo-fascist wing) headed the new International Third Position while Pat Harrington (leading the liberal "centrist" wing) formed the Third Way. In the same year that the ITP was formed, Derek Holland and other comrades decided to put their "counter-power" ideas into practice by creating a nationalist commune on inexpensive land purchased in the French countryside. This endeavor, known as "News from Somewhere," which I participated in briefly in 1991, straggled along for many years but by 1995 had collapsed.
This period also saw the establishment of the "Catholic" wing of the movement headed by a quarterly journal called Catholic Action (later renamed Catholic Order). It was intentionally aimed at traditional Catholics with a mixture of genuine Social Teaching and covert fascism and anti-Semitism. The ITP also created a "Catholic charity" called the St. George Educational Trust (SGET) [see earlier post] as an unofficial ITP affiliate. It was part of their Marxist style "entryism" by which they sought to recruit potential sympathizers or influence other groups in their direction.
Efforts to infiltrate traditional Catholicism by means of the St. George’s Educational Trust is confirmed by former ITP member Troy Southgate, who split with the movement to form the National Revolutionary Faction: "The ITP… tried to influence traditional Catholics grouped around The Society of St. Pius X…" ("Transcending the Beyond, From Third Position toNational-Anarchism").
Other groups were targeted as well. In the late 1980s, the Political Soldiers sought to work their way into the violent Welsh nationalist group "Meibion Glyndwr." According to a report in The Times:
There are growing suspicions among police and Welsh nationalists that the extremist group Meibion Glyndwr (Sons of Glendower) is being infiltrated by the so-called Tripoli Faction of the National Front. The Sons have claimed responsibility for a series of arson attacks on estate agents throughout the country, the most recent of which occurred two weekends ago when fire-bombs were planted in premises in London, Liverpool, Stockport and Sutton Coldfield.... For propaganda purposes, it has been targeting areas of high unemployment among the young, notably the valleys.... Leaflets distributed in the streets call on the jobless young to "join the national revolution and fight for a spiritual rebirth" ("A Front for the Front," The Times, March 29, 1989).A decade later, the same people in the ITP tried to enter Scottish politics, attempting
to infiltrate the Scottish National Party. The far-right group, calling themselves Scottish Phalange, are linked to the International Third Position.... The Phalange claim to have activists within the SNP, spreading their extreme views.... The organisation says they plan to use the elections to the Scottish Parliament to "agitate within the SNP".... It is headed by a former senior member of the National Front, Derek Holland ("Racists Target Nats: The Fascist Organisation Scottish Phalange Have Launched an Attempt to Infiltrate the Scottish National Party," The Daily Record, October 3, 1998).The contortions the Political Soldiers have undergone to pursue this infiltration tactic sometimes result in amusing contradictions of their own party line. For example, with the outbreak of the Balkans Conflict in the early 1990s, the ITP supported Croatia (namely, its revival fascist parties), and bitterly denounced Serb atrocities against the Bosnians. A story from The Observer in 1993 told of how
Thousands of small posters appeals for donations to "Emergency Aid for Croatia" have appeared near the Houses of Parliament in London, and in Cardiff, Newcastle and Belfast.... The only clue to the identity of the appeal’s organisers is three letters "ITP" in the address on the poster. "ITP" stands for International Third Position... (The Observer, January 4, 1993).Ironically, a few years later, when President Clinton was waging war on Serbia amid the Monica Lewinski scandal, the movement found itself endorsing the same Orthodox Serb nationalists they had opposed a few years earlier, all in the name of anti-Americanism.