Pro-Brexit Harasser Becomes Fascist Organiser

Far-right activist James Goddard was recently named as regional organiser for north west England by the new fascist party Patriotic Alternative (PA). Goddard joins a number of leading figures within PA who began their political journeys in the counter-jihad movement, he is one of several former Tommy Robinson supporters who have been radicalised by PA’s leader, Mark Collett.

Collett has grown his audience by courting prominent far-right content creators, engaging them in online debates and gifting them copies of his book. The misconception that “debate” allows for the best arguments to win out in the “marketplace of ideas” is promoted by many on the far right; in reality, many debates are “won” on rhetoric alone.

Goddard rose to prominence on the far right as self-styled leader of the pro-Brexit “yellow vests”. He began to attract media attention at the end of the 2018 for harassing MPs. In January 2019, Goddard filmed himself harassing MP Anna Soubry, who he called “scum”, “Nazi” and “traitor”. Goddard was subsequently given a suspended prison sentence , and was also found guilty of racially abusing a police officer.

In February 2019, Goddard was caught on camera assaulting a photojournalist who was covering a “yellow vest” protest in Manchester city centre.

Later that spring, Goddard joined Tommy Robinson on the campaign trail. On one occasion Goddard referred to Liverpool as a “shithole” and had to hide in a bush after being chased by angry locals.

In December 2019, Collett - a figure then unknown to many of Goddard’s audience - made a guest appearance on Goddard’s YouTube channel for a livestreamed debate on the subject of “civic vs ethnic nationalism”. Following a second guest appearance on Goddard’s YouTube channel, Collett returned the favour and invited Goddard onto his weekly livestream. Three days later, Goddard attended PA’s Spring 2020 conference.

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Last November Goddard was given a restraining order to stop him harassing a journalist. Collett has tried to leave behind the beer-swilling thuggish image of the British far right. Goddard’s appointment shows this is unlikely to be realised.

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Patriotic Alternative North West

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