The Sydney Morning Herald has today published an article on ‘John Marlowe’, the alleged author of the Australia First Party blog afbluemountains (March 2010–). The article concerns the fact that there is some question over whether or not Marlowe is real or fictitious. Apparently, AF leader Dr James Saleam refuses to confirm or deny Marlowe’s existence — partly on the basis that he feels aggrieved at some of the journalists and others who work at the paper.
See : Mystery over Australia First’s manifesto man, Kathy Burke, September 6, 2012.
The article also notes that:
In addition to the three candidates in the Blue Mountains, Australia First is also fielding three candidates in Sutherland and six in the Hawkesbury…
Mr Saleam spent three and a half years in the 1990s in prison, for supplying a gun to two skinheads who shot up the home of an African National Congress representative while his young family was inside. He was jailed for a further two years for insurance fraud. In the 1970s, he was involved with Australia’s Nazi Party – the Nationalist Socialist Party of Australia – and has been photographed on several occasions wearing swastika armbands. He also had links to the Patriotic Youth League at the time of the 2005 Cronulla riots.
In which context, a few things.
1. The party is running candidates in a number of councils. In Blacktown (Ward 5) the party is standing veteran candidate Terry Cooksley, George Atkinson and Joseph Ferguson; when AF ran in 2008 (Cooksley, Atkinson and Tony Pettitt) the party gained a total of 1281 votes (5%). In the Blue Mountains (First Ward), AF is standing Matt Hodgson, Anne Mathews and Mark Slater. In Hawkesbury, Tony Pettitt is being joined by Patricia Crawford, Ted Crawford, Colin Doddrell, Robert Fraser and Trevor Hill: six of 62 candidates vying for 12 seats on Council.
In Penrith (East Ward) the party is standing Maurice Girotto, Michael William Saunders, Geoffrey Thomas Hutchin, Majorie Joan Thomson and Shaun Adams. In Sutherland (Ward A) Australia is First with Michael Chehoff & Co (Martin Augustine and Karl Glas) while in Wollondilly (North Ward) Australianism is being represented by James Carmody, Ray Smith and Gloria Watling: the trio will be battling 14 other candidates (all Independents) for just three Council seats. Chehoff has previously been a serial candidate for Australians Against Further Immigration (AAFI) in NSW state elections: in Ku-ring-gai in 1999 (0.94%), Fairfield in 2003 (2.27%) and Wollongong in 2007 (1.87%).
2. Dr Jim has indeed been jailed for his crimes, though he insists that his conviction for supplying a gun to some boneheads to play with was the result of an ASIO conspiracy against him. On Jim’s previous criminal and political convictions, see : Troy Whitford, ‘A political history of National Action: Its fears, ideas, tactics and conflicts’, Rural Society, Vol.20, No.2, April 2011. (David Greason’s book I was a teenage fascist (McPhee Gribble, 1994) is also highly useful in terms of understanding fascist politics in Australia during this and the preceding era.) In addition to these, in the Judgement handed down by Newman, Studdert and Hulme in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on October 12, 1999 (R v Saleam , NSWCCA 342), Hulme notes that:
On 28 September 1994 the appellant was charged before Judge Viney:-
“For that he between 1 June 1990 and 9 July 1990 did conspire with John Rex Anderson to maliciously damage, by means of fire, a motor vehicle, the property of Peter Coleman”.
3 The appellant pleaded not guilty and the trial, with the consent of the appellant, was by Judge alone. The evidence adduced by the Crown consisted of a number of statements, one by Mr Anderson, one by Mr Coleman and a number by police officers. It also included two affidavits by the appellant and some evidence he had given previously and also included two publications written at least partly by him entitled “We Accuse” and “You’ve Got to be Joking”. There was no cross-examination and no challenge to this evidence. If accepted, it established that the appellant had made an arrangement with Anderson whereby for the sum of $400 the latter would create a “little fire” to cause some damage, but not destroy, Mr Coleman’s car.
4 The appellant made an unsworn statement in which he admitted committing the offence but said he was trapped into doing so by his former wife and, he believed, a fourth person. Not surprisingly, both on the basis of the information contained in the material tendered by the Crown, and on the basis of the appellant’s unsworn statement, he was convicted on 6 October 1994 and sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment for six months to date from 29 July 1994 and to an additional term of eighteen months during which period he was to be released on parole and supervised by the probation service. In backdating the sentence his Honour took into account approximately two months pre-sentence custody referable only to the subject offence.
5 His Honour found special circumstances, in particular that at the time of sentence the appellant was serving a sentence of a minimum term of three years and six months dating from 9 April 1991 and an additional term of one year for offences of malicious injury to property and possession of a firearm. The appellant was indeed on bail for those offences at the time he committed the offence presently under consideration.
6 The appellant had earlier convictions recorded against him. In 1984 he was convicted of stealing. In 1985 he was convicted of defacing walls. In 1986 he was convicted of possession of a prohibited article and, on appeal, sentence was deferred upon him entering into a recognisance to be of good behaviour for three years. In 1987 he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of twelve months on charges of receiving and obtaining money by a false statement. With this record, the sentence imposed on the appellant was not obviously excessive…
In any event, Dr Jim’s attempt to obtain an extension of time within which to appeal his conviction for conspiring to set fire to (sometime political rival) Coleman’s car was refused, and the appeal dismissed as incompetent.
3. The PYL was an attempt by AF in the early noughties to create a yoof wing: it collapsed in a heap not long after it was born, with members gravitating towards membership of Sydney-based neo-Nazi skinhead group ‘Volksfront’. More recently (early 2010), the party re-branded the PYL as the ‘Eureka Youth League’. It managed to generate some media earlier in the year (2012) by purportedly spreading stoopid on a handful of University campuses, but has seemingly had almost no success in eliciting real interest from White racist yoof.
See also : Australia First Party ~versus~ Australian Protectionist Party (2012 Edition), February 8, 2012.