Well, according to an anonymous reviewer for Blood & Honour Australia anyway…
An historian as well as a thinker, the bonehead in question begins his appraisal with an account of last year’s Ian Stuart is Fat, Round and Six Feet Underground Celebration, also held at The Birmy. It’s described as a “modest affair”, which I think means that basically nobody went — much to Gary ‘Holocaust? What Holocaust?’ and B&H’s disappointment. In contrast, 2004’s effort attracted the Bully Boys (authors of such pop hits as ‘Fire Up the Ovens’) all the way from the USA. A tremendous effort on the part of local pinheads, but still a financial flop.
Being very slow on the uptake, this year the boys apparently tried to lure Steve “Stigger” Calladine (ex-string plucker with Skrewdriver) from the UK, but, being organisationally incompetent (as well as politically pathological), he never made it. (David/Steve Calladine (“Stigger”) is a neo-Nazi musician who, as well as being a former member of Skrewdriver, performed at the BNP‘s “Red, White and Blue” festival 1989-1993, and from 1994-1998 was a strong supporter of Combat 18, appearing at concerts and being interviewed in several C18 videos.) And, to be honest, even if the neo-Nazi piece of shit lived in, say, Perth, I doubt B&H would have managed to arrange for him to prance about at The Birmy in any case.
Which brings us back to 2006 and ‘The Red Reaction’:
The day of the gig started as per usual, the early starters started early and the out of towners began to trickle in as the day progressed. Surprisingly it was a rather poor showing from the Melbourne locals and a good portion of those in attendance had traveled from interstate… For a good many of them it was their first B&H concert. The evening progressed well despite the Melbourne red community getting up to their usual tricks.
For those unaware[,] The Birmingham is in a very “multi-cultural” (aka shitty) part of Melbourne. The reds seem to have taken affront to our presence and having not so cunningly deduced the whereabouts of the event, proceeded to post the location and contact details of the gig on various red websites. Some bottom touching wag then proceeded to call the pub manager and claiming to be a spokesman for the CFMEU[,] stated the pub would be closed down by violence due to the assault of a union member by [boneheads] the previous evening. Full points for originality and credit where credit is due, this story was better than the usual bomb threats[,] and did cause some nervousness on behalf of the pub management. Of course it was all bullshit that came to nothing[,] and prank calls and hang ups were the order of the night throughout the evening. Of the reds themselves however there was never any sign…
In a footnote however, many left wing punks[,] feeling betrayed by The Birmingham (traditionally a punk hangout)[,] called for a boycott of the pub from [sic] their annual pub crawl the following week due to their “support” for the Nazis. The pub crawl ended at The Birmy as per usual, red punks in tow, probably grumbling drunkenly into their beer about Nazi sympathi[s]ers.
Comments: The Birmingham Hotel is located at 333 Smith Street, on the intersection of Johnston Street and Smith Street (03 9417 2706). As such, it lies on the Fitzroy side of the border of Fitzroy and Collingwood. The pub itself was established in the late nineteenth century, tho’ Gary, the current proprietor — the license is actually held by Eighth Thelos // W. Simeoni Nominee — has only been (badly) managing the venue for the last 5-10 years (as far as I’m aware anyway).
Gary’s flirtation with fascism extends back at least as far as 2002, if not further, when he agreed to B&H holding a gig to celebrate Hitler’s birthday (April 20, 1889). Incidentally, ten years previously, in April 1992, members of the bonehead gang the Aryan National Front murdered a homeless black man in Birmingham, Alabama, after attending a Hitler birthday party — see also A Tale of Two Birminghams — while locally, in 1990, Dane Sweetman chose to celebrate the occasion by stabbing a fellow neo-Nazi to death.
As for the bonehead reaction to the reaction of the so-called ‘reds’: monitoring of the gig started early, as per usual, and much valuable information was gained as a result. The location of the event was obtained less than 24 hours prior to it, and I posted details on Melbourne Indymedia that night at 9:41pm, and again on this blog.
So much for “various red websites” (sic).
The “usual tricks” the bonehead claims “reds” engage in with regards neo-Nazi gigs is a fraudulent one: there has been very little organised opposition to any gig organised by B&H, and even less with regards their annual ‘Ian Stuart is Dead’ celebration. This is attributable to two factors. First, B&H is a tiny presence in Australia, largely ignored by most of those in a position to oppose its activities. Secondly, information regarding the network’s activities is largely dependent on the existence of opposition and, given B&H’s political marginality, this has largely been absent. More energy has been focused on the activities of other fascist groupuscules such as Dr. James Saleam‘s Australia First Party, its now defunct ‘youth’ wing the Patriotic Youth League, Scumfront Down Under, and other failed attempts at fascist organising such as the still-born Australian National Front and the train-wreck that was Peter Campbell‘s White Pride Coalition of Australia.
Speaking of such groups, and Gary’s pinheaded mate’s claims regarding the CFMEU:
SYDNEY: WHEN the Branch got a call to bolster defences for an expected onslaught by neo-Nazis on the CFMEU on February 19 , they were quick to respond.
Assistant Secretaries Warren Smith and Paul Garrett rallied troops and helped confront the Patriotic Youth League demonstrating outside the CFMEU’s offices.
The neo-Nazis alleged the union was involved in importing foreign workers.
“The far right have regrouped and the general shift to the right in the community arising out of the last election has no doubt buoyed their enthusiasm for action,” said Warren Smith. “It was pleasing to see that upon being greeted by a group of unionists and left-wingers in Hyde Park the fascists went running.”
The neo-Nazis re-grouped outside the CFMEU building where their numbers dwindled to four. They were protected by about 30 police as the group of unionists and anti-fascist demonstrators protested their racist and intolerant views.
The branch is calling for vigilance in combating the extreme right.
Which is all well and good, but in Melbourne the response of unions has been negligible, and organised opposition has been left to the ‘reds’: in reality, youthful anarchists, feminists and, of course, punks. Not that the response of local ‘punks’ has been uniform, some bands — The Assailants and Standard Union (SA) and Marching Orders and Slick 46 (VIC) electing to scab on a boycott of the pub. Next Saturday (November 18), they’ll be joined by Bulldog Spirit and Charter 77.
No surprises there, unfortunately.
When all’s said and done however, and whatever local scabs might think, Gary’s mates certainly don’t add much to the amenity of the area, in my opinion. Although not, it seems, in the opinion of either the Liquor Licensing Board, Yarra Council, or the scabs who drink and play at his bunker.
Don’t c r a c k under the pressure, Gary.