The UPF flatly denied knowledge or involvement, and are still playing their engagement with the matter in the third person. However, photos and footage of the incident clearly show Blair Cottrell as a vocal member of their contingent. For the most facepalimingly obvious moment, check this (frustratingly unembeddable) video from Channel 10 News (skip to 1:10). Note Blair (who seems to realise as he’s speaking that he’s blowing his and the UPF’s cover) accidentally letting slip the information that there are current VicPol personnel “in” the UPF before awkwardly correcting himself.
This is pretty interesting for a few reasons. Firstly, a large number of the counter-demonstrators were wearing the matching Wolfsangel patches that we first noticed in Coburg on a bonehead also sporting sometime-absent Blood & Honour/Combat 18 dickhead Danny Krieger’s build and SS belt buckle
The Wolfsangel is a pretty popular symbol with neo-Nazis, occupying a place in Reich symbology that’s reassuringly butch and manly to the knowing observer, but obscure enough to pass without comment around the uninitiated. Anyway, here’s Blair with some of his new mates.
And here’s some suspiciously similarly-dressed neo-Nazis who showed up to hassle the march and rail against immigrants an hour or so later.
Given Blair Cottrell’s colourful history of association with openly neo-Nazi groups and ideologies, and his dismal attempt to claim political legitimacy for his group and ideals, it would make sense that he’s been tactful about worshiping Hitler in the open. He’s made a point of not hating the Jews quite so much and
encouraging people to ditch the blatant neo-Nazi stuff at rallies, and has usually claimed that anybody so attired is either a plant or just some random.
As a result of this, the old-school neo-Nazis who used to provide the foot-soldiering for groups like the UPF had largely vanished into thin air, some decrying Blair as a zio-patriot, others as a traitor to the movement, and were replaced mainly by a very broad church of civic nationalists, garden-variety racists, and crypto-fascists happy to take the third way to white supremacy.
However, with the stop-start of the UPF’s political party Fortitude, and their recent loss of thunder to the younger, savvier, less ideologically demanding and less personality driven True Blue Crew, Blair’s behaviour and allegiances have become more peculiar. The latest in a long stream of departures, Christian fascist Chris Shortis unceremoniously disappeared from the UPF’s page lately, apparently poached by old-school Nazis, the United Nationalists Australia. Civic nationalist Dennis Huts has returned to the fold, and Blair has made a number of increasingly awkward bids for attention, whether being heckled at a Dairy Farmer’s Rally or wandering alone into a crowd of regugee activists to try and punch on before being moved on by police. The adoption by Blair’s nearest and dearest of a slick, black-bloc style aesthetic mimics similar moves by groups in Europe to streamline and modernise the stale neo-Nazi image to get the kids off the couch and onto the streets. British group National Action have become well-loved posterboys for stealing anarchist style to sex up the far right, but it hasn’t helped them much on the streets.
This brings us to yesterday’s shenanigans. Blair Cottrell hooking up with a group of confirmed neo-Nazis to stage an anti-Black demonstration while also advancing an anti-Jew conspiracy theory. During which, he forgets his ruse and admits his presence on national news, and drops some curious info about the UPF. Certainly the latest in a series of unhinged incidents for the dude, but unsurprising. Blair Cottrell has lost his empire and he’s gone back to what he knows. Hanging out with neo-Nazis and hassling innocent people. We guess, given the page’s attempts to cover up Blair’s involvement, that he’s trying to keep a foot in both camps.