Far-right podcast hosted by West Lothian butcher airs extremists 6

Far-right podcast hosted by West Lothian butcher airs extremists

A far-right podcast hosted by a West Lothian butcher that features convicted criminals and extremists has been condemned by anti-racism campaigners and politicians.

P.A. Talk, a podcast by the far-right group Patriotic Alternative (PA) Scotland, is hosted by Simon Crane, the group’s organiser and an employee of the Broxburn-based butchers, Tailford Meats.

Crane’s show has broadcasted Australian far-right extremist and convicted criminal, Blair Cottrell, as well as numerous PA members linked to the banned neo-nazi terrorist group, National Action.

Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said Crane’s podcast is “at the heart” of the far-right group’s multimedia strategy, claiming it aims to “indoctrinate listeners and viewers of all ages.

Crane and PA told The Ferret: “Patriotic Alternative repudiates these ridiculous claims and is unequivocally [sic] in our condemnation of violence and terrorism.

“Our organisation unapologetically stands up for the rights of the indigenous people of this country. We are determined to gain registration as a political party. Rights and safety of our people are paramount.”

Scottish Labour deemed PA “extremists” and said Scotland had “repeatedly rejected far-right candidates at the ballot box”.

Crane, who operates under the pseudonym Si Borg, has been with Tailford Meats for 12 years, the butcher’s website says. Crane is a “family man”, it adds. The company did not respond to our repeated requests to comment.

Far-right podcast hosted by West Lothian butcher airs extremists 7
Simon Crane

In September, Crane hosted the Australian far-right extremist, Blair Cottrell, a convicted criminal charged with offences including arson, burglary, and inciting contempt, revulsion or ridicule of Muslims. Cottrell once said he had “manipulated” women by “using violence and terror”.

In November, Crane hosted Kevin MacDonald, who the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) describes as “the neo-Nazi movement’s favourite academic”.

PA Scotland has filmed young people attending its events for use in promotional videos and Crane has featured two members of his group’s PA Young Scots youth wing on his podcast.

The butcher’s current co-host uses the monikers ‘Mean Peem’ and Jimbo. In an earlier P.A Talk stream, he deemed Kyle Rittenhouse – the teenager who fatally shot two people during the 2020 unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin – a “saint”, according to Hope not hate.

CAA deemed PA “among the savviest of far-right groups on the scene”.

“It uses popular platforms and mediums to indoctrinate listeners and viewers of all ages” and “the PA Talk podcast is at the heart of this twenty-first century multimedia strategy,” said Binyomin Gilbert, CAA programme manager.

“Patriotic Alternative uses these platforms to present its followers with some of the most odious people on the planet, with long records of racism and even criminal convictions. No streaming platforms should want their brand associated with this podcast.”

PA links to National Action

Several PA members including its leader, Mark Collett, share links with National Action – the first UK far right organisation to be banned since World War Two ended.

Kris Kearns, who regularly co-hosts P.A. Talk with Crane, is an alleged former National Action member and a founder of a ‘Fascist Fitness’ movement. We previously reported Kearns’ apparent aspirations for PA, which emerged in a leaked voice recording.

He said: “I want a cult. I want fanatics, people who are willing to die for this cause. That’s the level of commitment I want and expect… We want a hardcore group of people who know exactly what they want. It’s that simple.”

In an undercover ITV investigation, which found former National Action members were still meeting in secrecy, PA leader Collett was filmed combat-training at a camp.

Collett, who appeared on P.A. Talk with Crane in December, was pictured with the activist Garron Helm. Helm was imprisoned for telling a Jewish MP that Hitler was right. Collett has previously denied involvement with National Action.

My view of what it means to be Scottish is very simple. If you’ve chosen to make this country your home – if you want to live here – you’re Scottish and a valued part of the community of Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

PA’s deputy leader, Laura Towler – an admirer of British fascist leader Oswald Mosley – is reportedly married to Sam Melia, PA’s Yorkshire organiser. Hope not hate revealed that Melia had marched with National Action at a 2016 rally. Towler appeared on P.A. Talk in March, while Melia was a guest in November 2021.

National Action’s co-founder and head propagandist, Ben Raymond, was jailed for eight years in December for his membership of the group.

Raymond was also charged with the possession of a manifesto by Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik – who murdered 77 people –  and a guide to making homemade detonators.

In December we revealed that co-founder Raymond had links to Scottish Dawn, a National Action offshoot which was also proscribed in 2017 following an undercover investigation by The Ferret.

We secretly filmed members of the Scottish Dawn admitting that it shared members with National Action.

During Raymond’s trial the court heard that National Action members had access to rifles, a pump-action shotgun, machetes, a crossbow and teargas. Its members praised the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was stabbed to death by the Kilmarnock-born white supremacist, Thomas Mair.

National Action supporter Jack Renshaw, a child sex offender, was jailed for life in 2019 for plotting to assassinate an MP. Another supporter, Zack Davies, was convicted of attempted murder for trying to decapitate an Asian man in north Wales.

Davies posted an image of himself with a large knife and a National Action flag hours before the attack.

‘Extremists’ trying to sway Scots

On 30 March, PA Scotland shared a video on its Telegram channel of Nicola Sturgeon speaking at a recent Scottish Council of Jewish Communities event.

“How we welcome and treat refugees in my view is indicative of the wider country we want to be,” the First Minister said. “Scotland should always aspire to be a country where we are inclusive, open. Where we respect each other regardless of culture, faith and background.”

She added: “My view of what it means to be Scottish is very simple. If you’ve chosen to make this country your home – if you want to live here – you’re Scottish and a valued part of the community of Scotland.”

Commenting on the video, PA Scotland’s leader and former children’s sports coach, Kenny Smith, said: “Yet again she has appeared at a Jewish event, this time for the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities. She would not answer questions from a Council for White Communities would she?”

Smith previously called PA a “racial nationalist organisation” which would not be active if “our country was an ethnostate”.

Telegram user, Eagle of Alba, said: “Scotland for the Scot’s [sic]. We’ve only got one home and one people. We’d like to preserve that.”

Another user, called DEAN, said: “I highly suspect she’s not even a Scott [sic] herself.”

We previously revealed that supporters of PA, which emerged in early 2021, posted racist and anti-Semitic comments and disturbing images in a private group on messaging app Telegram.

PA Scotland last year compiled a list of around 60 organisations and individuals in Scotland who oppose racism and fascism, and two women formerly involved with PA told The Ferret they suffered suicidal thoughts after abuse and threats by its supporters.

Scottish Labour stressed that “extremists have been trying to sway supporters in Scotland for years.”

“Last May, the people of Glasgow rejected the far-right candidate and said loud and clear that white supremacists have no place in Scotland,” said Sarah Boyack, a Lothians MSP.

“Scotland has repeatedly rejected far-right candidates at the ballot box and have rejected the far-right’s hate and prejudice. In Lothian, we will do the same and join forces against hatred and bigotry.”

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