Who the hell is Steve Blake?
So, who replaced Patriotic Alternative’s Chris Mitchell, the now much reviled ex-regional organiser for the East of England?
Introducing Steve Blake…
Now, lets take a deep dive into his murky past; Many older antifascists will remember the Scotsman Steve from his BNP days. Steve Blake’s involvement in ethnonationalism reaches all the way back to the 1980s where he was busy importing nazi and paramilitary material from the US through his company Aurora Promotions. Into the 1990s he ran a nazi book club and in 1994 founded his own IT support consultancy firm. Blake was involved in the British National Party since the early 2000s, his main role there had been as a website administrator and assistant regional organiser. He also hosted the website domain for the BNP front group Civil Liberty ran by convicted criminal and former regional organiser Kevin Scott. The BNP would be under intense legal scrutiny in 2007 when it emerged that Steve had set up Civil Liberty as a method of funnelling international donations into the BNP, circumnavigating UK law. The party was investigated for fraud as a result of this but the party would collapse spectacularly well before anything went to court…
Ironically, Blake would end up in a completely separate court case along with another ex-BNP and now Patriotic Alternative activist Kenny Smith. This was due to their involvement in the leaking of the BNP membership list in 2008, allegations which Nick Griffin is maintaining to this day despite eventually losing the case against Blake and Smith. What remains curious to virtually everyone is why these two would join Patriotic Alternative? After all, Blake and Smith were among the BNP rebels campaigning relentlessly to expel Mark Collett. This waslLargely due to an incident at the 2006 BNP conference in which Mark Collett, along with the now deceased Dave Hannam, made sexual advances towards two underage girls. It begs belief why Blake would join a group run by a man he believes to be sex-offender. One can only assume that his anxieties regarding the Aryan race will always hold more value than sexual violence against women, particularly children in this circumstance. Steve Blake would be expelled from the BNP in 2008 while the court case was ongoing.
After his time in the BNP and narrowly avoiding jail, Blake had left Stirling for the tiny village of Wattisfield, Suffolk and started a generally quieter life. He would set up a puzzle room company that barely got off the ground before failing and had become relatively politically inactive by 2016.
It’s not yet quite known whether Mark Collett reached out or if Blake himself had joined of his own initiative. The paper-trail suggests that Steve Blake became involved in Patriotic Alternative around late 2019. In an almost unbelievable move by Collett, Blake was made a website administrator once again. This was swiftly proven to be a mistake after names and emails of nationalists involved in or supporting Patriotic Alternative were accessed and leaked on multiple occasions. The decision to put an individual previously accused of leaking or contributing to the breach of the BNP membership list is foolish at best and downright suspicious at worst. It has been made clear in the past two years that Patriotic Alternative is too irresponsible to hold private individual data but to the benefit of antifascists this continues to be a repeated mistake. Blake also volunteers his time with Laura Tyrie to edit the many article submissions for the website. We do not envy that job. As the saying goes, “you cant polish a turd”. Tyrie recently bragged on telegram that they had published over 500 articles. Quality, not quantity guys.
Steve Blake gave himself further unnecessary attention when he and Kenny Smith circulated a document to Patriotic Alternative activists to help them improve their online security. But, in a not so operationally secure way, both Blake and Smith put their phone numbers on the document that even states how to protect personal data from police including counter-terror police. This document was leaked along with a couple of others and has since become a headache for Steve Blake. Among the documents leaked was a file compiling Scottish left-wing groups and the individual facebook profiles of left wing activists. This move was widely condemned by senior politicians.
Former Patriotic Alternative activist and far right streamer Fraser Hudson who we previously wrote about spoke in detail about attempts made to identify infiltrators inside Patriotic Alternative gathering details such as names and addresses.
Steve Blake, according to Fraser, was among a group of activists including Mark Collett and Kenny Smith in a now not-so-secret group named SAAF (Scottish-Anti-Anti-Fascists). This was intended to target Patriotic Alternative infiltrators, gather information on left wing groups and to monitor their activities. This of course is not entirely surprising, Collett along with many other former BNP members were known to pass information to Redwatch which was a hit list of left wing activists. This lead to multiple instances of violence and eventually multiple arrests in the nationalist camp.
There is a curious observation to be made of the involvement of the ex-BNP activists in PA, particularly the anti-Collett faction that have joined. This is most noticeable in the Scottish branch of Patriotic Alternative which has at least five former BNP members, some of which held senior positions in that party and now senior roles within Patriotic Alternative. With Blake as the Eastern regions new organiser, it would mean that two regional branches of Patriotic Alternative are heavily influenced by two former enemies of Collett. The question remains as to whether they will stand under Mark Collett or make a move against him?