The Not So Stealthy Sausage in the North West
The end of the pandemic has arguably distilled the conspiracy movement: as it lost numbers it became broader in focus and in militancy, while also drawing more in from the far right and its associated milieu. While some conspiracist elements have maintained some sort of opposition to fascism, or at least pretended to (looking at you Students Against Tyranny, we all saw James sharing a stage with Alek Yerbury in Norwich), the North West has had a particular tolerance for the far right, with Drag Queen Story Hour in Bolton last year drawing in members of the North West Infidels and PA, as well as seeing vile literature imported from the US-based antisemitic Goyim Defense League. In light of this, we are pleased to reveal that a key activist in both Manchester and Liverpool conspiracist chats known as “Stealthy Sausage” is Billy Howarth, of Rochdale. Billy heads up Parents Against Grooming, as well as an admin for both the Manchester Truthers and Rochdale 5G Action Telegram chats: truly a cornerstone of the “Freedom” (read: crank) movement in the North West.
Parents Against Grooming is arguably one of the last standing products of the grooming gang scandals that made headlines around a decade ago, and to Billy’s credit, maintaining a project for 9 years is more than can be said for the EDL/FLA/DFLA etc. It obviously goes without saying that the team over here at Antifascist Research Collective are opposed to grooming and peadophiles, but the problem is that Billy’s group have been riddled with racists from the very start. Whether this is from migrant hunters Active Patriot and Yorkshire Rose providing “prevention alarms” for PAG or PAG demos being a great place to spot Britain First and Patriots of Britain members like Sam Neary and Chris Burrows. It seems like a vast majority of the people involved in PAG are for more invested in the deportation when they say “deport the pedos!”
Likewise, as Drag Queen Story Hour has become the latest battleground of queerphobic culture wars, Billy made an appearance down at Honor Oak, where Patriots of Britain have been (unsuccessfully) campaigning with Turning Point UK against Drag Queens “grooming” children. Of course, Billy himself is no stranger to saying the transphobic quiet part out loud either.
And with his brother Lee having a criminal record from his days back in the EDL , it seems Billy’s charitable work and now rumoured bid for MP has never strayed too far from good old fashioned Civic Nationalism.
However, where Billy is different from his friends over in the Patriots of Britain and the assorted gammon hooligan groups is again, his tendency to say the quiet part out loud, especially within the confines of the now private Rochdale 5G action group that he leads. Of course, it goes without saying that 99% of the time, the conspiracies pushed by these groups are structurally antisemitic, referring to “them,” the “cabals” with deep and unknowable powers that walk among us all. In the much larger Manchester Truthers chat that he admins, this usually looks something like repeating that “BBC/The Media/ whatever is the virus.” Billy speaks a bit more loosely behind the closed doors of Rochdale 5G Action, getting a hearty round of emoji-based support for referring to Robert Peston as “jew.”
5G Rochdale Action Group is also a source for other notable racists and antisemites such as Brian Lomas, who targeted antifascists at recent Student Against Tyranny protests in Manchester with antisemitic rants and throwing coins towards Jewish activists. Also present is Michael Chaves who is a part of the Independent Nationalist Network and a key organizer of Drag Queen Story Hour protests across the UK last year, and the Sheffield streamer known as “Harv” who has been streaming at protests organised by the Neo nazi National Support Detachment.
Billy, despite his clown-like actions and his tendency to lose bikes, is a far right activist that should be monitored by antifascists.
He frequently radicalises conspiracists in private chats where he holds significant influence. His charity acts as a legitimate body in the eyes of many and allow him a wider platform to spout his racist beliefs like on GB News. His tactics combine the widely disproven “Asian grooming gangs” narrative utilized by the EDL and North West Infidels with the “Queer grooming” conspiracies applied in the US by Moms For Liberty and Gays Against Groomers.