Make Britain Great Again (partially found articles and YouTube videos of defunct British nationalist news channel; 2015-2019)

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This article has been tagged as NSFW due to its depiction of violence.



Make-britain-great-again 41460.jpg

One of the numerous logos of the organisation.

Status: Partially Found

Make Britain Great Again, otherwise known as the Red Pill Factory and The People's Charter, was a news website and campaign group with a British nationalist slant, dedicated to promoting stories and causes of which those involved would do as the name suggests, taking inspiration from a slogan much popularised by Donald Trump's successful 2016 Presidential campaign. It was founded in 2015 by the then university student Luke Nash-Jones, and had many other prominent members throughout its brief history, including its co-leader and treasurer Martin Costello and its youth leader Edward Howard, with a bunch of other writers and video producers in tow.

Due to much internal conflict and problems with clashes from both the far-right and far-left, the outlet folded in mid-2019. This in turn has left much of its subsequent media missing, including many of its articles on its website and videos on its YouTube channel, even if much of it has been recovered in the years since.

Early History[edit | edit source]

Make Britain Great Again was initially founded in 2015, by university student Luke Nash-Jones. Nash-Jones (of who was a conservative politically at the time, and later complained about discrimination for his views at university in a Vice piece)[1] set it up in order to promote his political views. The initial website, called The People's Charter (named after the 19th century movement of the same name which attempted to get broader voter enfranchisement for the British public)[2] was dedicated to this aim.

In 2016, especially following the British vote via referendum to leave the European Union of which Nash-Jones had backed,[3] the organisation morphed into Make Britain Great Again, of which Nash-Jones became the leader of in October of that year.[4] The group focused on many British right-wing causes like opposition to mass immigration,[5] exposing grooming gangs,[6] critising high-crime levels in areas like London,[7] attacking the European Union[8] and seeming efforts to scupper the aforementioned referendum decision (better known as 'Brexit')[9] and heavily attacking Labour,[10][11] among other things. However, the organisation was also different in that it championed some left-wing policies as well, most notably economic protectionism, of which Nash-Jones attributed to his growing up in a post-industrial Welsh village.[12] This attitude also shaped the subsequent objection to what he called 'hyper-individualism', something also reflected in the site's output - not least of which in a now-lost video of both Nash-Jones and Costello heavily criticising the influence of conservative Tufton Street-based thinktanks on the right-wing movement, especially in their support for well-known libertarian writer Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy.

The organisation and Nash-Jones in particular took influence from many corners. Beyond the Chartists, there was much American influence felt, from both the recently elected Donald Trump to the populist-right Tea Party movement of which had emerged in the late noughties and early 2010s to oppose previous President Barack Obama's policy agenda[13] - Nash-Jones took so much from the latter that he later admitted in an interview with the aforementioned Howard that he wanted to replicate them with MBGA in the United Kingdom.[14] From Britain, the late Conservative MP Enoch Powell and right-wing commentator Peter Hitchens were also key to their outlook too - so much so in the latter case that Nash-Jones once joked that his ideal world would be one whereby Hitchens was 'king of Britain'.[15] The then UKIP MEP Nigel Farage (and the biggest face during much of the EU referendum and the Eurosceptic movement as a whole) was a more obvious one, with both Nash-Jones and Costello being members of UKIP during MBGA's existence.[16]

The organisation had much in the way of output. It had its website (of which in mid-2018 changed its name to the Red Pill Factory, taking inspiration from the famous scene in The Matrix on that matter), of which generated much views and traffic - so much so that even in its decline in late 2018, was still accumulating record views of over 23 thousand on one article alone.[17]. It also had a fairly popular YouTube channel, with nearly 50K subscribers at its peak, and over 1 million views on some of its videos.[18] Meanwhile, it also conducted many rallies for its causes, including two against the BBC, several pro-Brexit, one in support of victims of grooming gangs in Telford (described as the worst area for the phenomenon by the Daily Mirror)[19] and one in support of Donald Trump during his 2018 visit to the United Kingdom. The Trump one in particular received much news coverage by the likes of the BBC[20] and London Live,[21] despite alleged police efforts to undermine the proceedings.[22] It also worked with other groups to achieve such ends at protests, such as those of the Football Lads Alliance and other pro-Brexit marches.

Downfall[edit | edit source]

Despite its initial successes however, the movement faced several setbacks from mid-2018 onwards, of which hampered much of its efforts and support.

The instigator of this is debatable among its former members, but there are some significant events leading up to it. In August 2018, the organisation was invited by the far-right group Justice For Our Boys to speak at an event. The group, previously championed by the likes of noted anti-Islam rabble rouser Tommy Robinson among many others, were campaigning to get a longer sentence for Jaynesh Chudasama who had killed three children (Josh Kennedy, George Wilkinson and Harry Rice). The group felt that his sentence of 13 years (later reduced to 10 by the Court of Appeal) was lenient, and felt that the killing was an act of Islamist terrorism (despite Chudasama coming from a Hindu family).[23]

Nash-Jones and much of the MBGA committee had been initially happy to come, sympathising with their plight, and had advertised the rally extensively on their channel. This quickly changed however once it was brought to the attention of them that former soldier Timothy Scott was going to be speaking - something of which concerned Nash-Jones and the others, given Scott's co-running of the neo-Nazi Liberty Defenders group, as it was also run by Jack Sen, a man who had links to the former British National Party leader Nick Griffin[24] and who had been expelled from UKIP for anti-Semitic tweets towards Labour MP Luciana Berger.[25]This then caused the group to unanimously decline the invitation on such grounds. This then led to many death threats and other calls for violence against MBGA by the aforementioned Scott and the event's organisers James Goddard and Glenn Schaffer.[26]

Following this, at MBGA's second BBC rally in that same month (the last one in general that they would ever conduct) saw them make national news for all the wrong reasons.[27][28][29] It was because a prank that had been devised by many of the third parties that attended (whereby they would enter a communist bookstore, that being Bookmarks in central London, and yell pro-Trump slogans before leaving in a peaceful manner) went very wrong,[30] leading to a commotion within the store, which in turn saw Nash-Jones, Costello and former UKIP NEC member Elizabeth Jones expelled from the party, with Nash-Jones' being the only permeant one. Nash-Jones in turn banned many of those third parties from attending future MBGA events, and apologised for the matter on his YouTube channel shortly after in a now-lost video. Despite this, the reputation of the outfit never recovered from the ordeal, and former members all agreeing that it was the beginning of the end for the group as a whole.

The final event that came was the division between Nash-Jones and Costello over the far-left Yellow Vests movement rising in France and much of Europe over the span of late 2018.[31] The latter supported it (going as far as to organise several Swindon marches for the group), and the former being heavily against it, a notion shared by much of the MBGA team who were against much of the violence it spawned. The rift, according to the aforementioned Howard in a 2021 piece he wrote for the conservative youth-orientated outlet The Mallard noted that the rift and Costello's subsequent expulsion led to Nash-Jones 'to go down a completely counterproductive direction' with the organisation.[32] This mainly consisted of bashing UKIP during the 2019 European Elections, of which Howard felt was part of a spiteful grudge against the party's current leader Gerard Batten for expelling him and in another piece noting that it led many of the group's Facebook followers (on a page with over 100K of them) to question whether the group was funded by billionaire George Soros.[33][34]

Despite an intended relaunch of the brand in early 2019 (according to Nash-Jones),[35] the website and YouTube subsequently folded in mid-2019, with the former's final article being about the aforementioned Robinson concerning his ban from social media giants Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram.[36] While Costello blamed the bookstore incident for the collapse in a 2020 interview with British populist right commentator David Poulden,[37] Howard would blame all the above aforementioned incidents in a 2021 interview with Poulden.[38]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Since the organisation's closure in mid-2019, a large proportion of its media has been lost, especially with much of the YouTube channel having made all its content private. In some cases however, it is accessible via archive and alternative sites. For the articles, many of them are accessible through the former,[39][40] while the videos were often done so for the latter, including through the likes of YouTube and the now defunct shock site Live Leak, as well as general archive sites also. In late 2019, Howard released the book Arguably, Probably[41] which examined MBGA and reprinted many of his articles, followed by a 2020 companion piece Rule, Britannia. Neither are now available however, as he felt not enough people were buying them.

In early 2022, Nash-Jones started to make some of his old MBGA videos available on YouTube account, alongside news clips and old archival clips of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. To what end this was to serve is unknown, given the content is now private again as of September 2022.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Poulden's interview with Costello, MBGA's co-head and treasurer, released in March 2020.
Poulden's interview with Howard, MBGA's Youth Leader, released in October 2021.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://www.vice.com/en/article/59zpez/what-its-like-to-be-a-tory-at-a-left-wing-university
  2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/victorians/chartist_01.shtml
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoNqF8b2XI0
  4. https://en.everybodywiki.com/Luke_Nash-Jones
  5. https://archive.ph/xhwkd
  6. https://archive.ph/DJshG
  7. https://archive.ph/zS0RH
  8. https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://mbganews.com/2018/02/23/can-the-eu-survive-the-populist-takeover/embed/
  9. https://archive.ph/3fQhr
  10. https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://mbganews.com/2017/11/30/noel-gallagher-fck-jeremy-corbyn-hes-a-communist/
  11. https://archive.ph/G7kp1
  12. https://www.mixcloud.com/edward-howard3/debates-and-discussions-4-luke-nash-jones/
  13. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/09/07/how-the-tea-party-paved-the-way-for-donald-trump/
  14. https://youtu.be/_HCbqMnmsXM?t=4963
  15. https://www.mixcloud.com/edward-howard3/what-would-your-ideal-world-be-3-luke-nash-jones-pr-interview/
  16. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ukip-gerard-batten-tommy-robinson-b1786768.html
  17. https://web.archive.org/web/20190427164108/http://redpillfactory.uk/2017/09/pathetic-cps-hypocrisy-on-terror-and-hate-crime-2/
  18. https://web.archive.org/web/20190216115705/https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoWe8JjDi-0wrdzo--2htHw
  19. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/britains-worst-ever-child-grooming-12165527
  20. https://youtu.be/ud_RJl6Neiw?t=824
  21. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQXRNItIO9E
  22. https://web.archive.org/web/20181116055320/http://redpillfactory.uk/2018/07/british-trump-rally-will-go-ahead-despite-ban-by-london-mayors-police/
  23. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdPt-zLRG2Q
  24. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8468466/jack-sen-far-right/
  25. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/01/ukip-suspends-election-candidate-jack-sen-over-racially-charged-comments
  26. https://www.dropbox.com/s/j5r0nteh5qz6f2x/Video%2031-07-2018%2C%2019%2019%2023.mp4?dl=0
  27. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-45113889
  28. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/aug/06/socialist-bookshop-support-after-rightwingers-attack-bookmarks
  29. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/ukip-members-suspended_uk_5b6936bbe4b0b15abaa66424
  30. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZIfDSkCiv0
  31. https://www.thelocal.fr/20211117/whatever-happened-to-the-yellow-vests-in-france/
  32. https://mallarduk.com/whatever-happened-to-the-british-populist-right-edward-howard/
  33. https://mallarduk.com/whatever-happened-to-the-british-populist-right-edward-howard/
  34. https://www.politicalite.com/latest/exclusive-inside-britains-nastiest-now-defunct-news-factory/
  35. https://www.mixcloud.com/edward-howard3/what-would-your-ideal-world-be-3-luke-nash-jones-pr-interview/
  36. https://archive.ph/t7wzt
  37. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oOQ-0RnfrU
  38. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w5ynmdEzJE&t
  39. https://web.archive.org/web/20220000000000*/mbganews.com
  40. https://archive.ph/redpillfactory.uk
  41. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49130708-arguably-probably?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=uBNjmKcZOA&rank=2