Robert Henderson (writer)

Robert Henderson (born 1947) is a British writer who has caused public controversy with his views on racial issues and his letters to the British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Henderson spent his early childhood in Cheshire before moving to Hertfordshire, where he was educated at St Albans School, later graduating from Keele University. Since then he has lived in Central London. Before retiring due to ill health he worked for the Inland Revenue, while also retaining a strong personal interest in cricket. In 1995 he became the subject of huge (mainly negative) attention from the British media after "Wisden Cricket Monthly" published his essay "Is It In The Blood?" (originally titled "Racism and National Identity"), which suggested that the England cricket team should only be made up of "unequivocal Englishmen" and called for the non-selection of all non-white cricketers, wherever they were born or brought up, and white cricketers born or brought up outside England (the latter have been a substantial part of the team in recent decades). A legal action taken against "Wisden" by the black England cricketers Devon Malcolm and Philip DeFreitas was settled out of court.

Henderson, claiming media bias against him, and censorship of his views, wrote a number of letters to his constituency Labour MP, Frank Dobson, and later to Tony Blair (then opposition leader) and his wife Cherie. In March 1997 Blair is said to have contacted the police asking for a means to stop this "pestering"; on March 24 1997 a story accusing Henderson explicitly of "pestering" the Blairs appeared on the front page of the "Daily Mirror". Henderson has frequently claimed that Special Branch and the security services have, on Blair's instructions, interfered with his mail and tapped his telephone.

Henderson claims to take his views from all over the political spectrum, and is certainly a supporter of the welfare state and a sympathiser with historical radicals such as the Levellers and Chartists. He supports the general concept of libertarianism but believes that it stops at national borders; he deplores what he calls "liberal internationalism" and is passionately anti-EU. However, his domestic libertarianism leads him to fervently oppose identity cards, which he sees as an infringement of personal liberty and freedom. He displays many tendencies which might be associated with the term Old Right in its British sense, notably his belief that Britain should have retained its "strategic industries" and resisted free trade and globalisation, his opposition to the Iraq war and his particularly strong opposition to immigration and the presence of "racial minorities" in the UK. He is also sceptical of the mainstream scientific consensus on global warming. The only MP to have put forward an Early Day Motion in support of Henderson is the now-retired Sir Richard Body, a Tory MP who was sympathetic to nationalism and rejected the economic rationalism and pro-globalisation slant of the latter-day Tory party, in 1999.

His belief that Britain should be "self-sufficient in all major industries" leads him to criticise strongly Thatcherism and the New Right. The phrase most closely associated with him in many circles is "liberal bigot", which he uses to refer to modern-day "mainstream" left-liberals as a means of describing what he sees as their hypocrisy.

A political hybrid, Robert Henderson has written most frequently in recent years for the political magazine "Right Now!" and the English nationalist/cultural magazine "Steadfast". "Right Now" could be described as of the Old Right, while "Steadfast" has wider political appeal (and is becoming increasingly "green"). He has not written for "Wisden" since the 1995 controversy.

External links

* [ Collection of Henderson's writing]
* [ Henderson's 'Blair Scandal' site]

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