(Continues from Part 2)
Steelcapboot was not a popular moderator on Stormfront Down Under, but Paul Innes displayed none of his brother David’s negative tendencies. Trouble was, he had enough of his own. For one, he was officious, what the Brits call a jobsworth — infraction happy. Innes would infringe members on the most trivial pretext feeling he was duty-bound to behave censoriously. He wasn’t too knowledgeable, either — he once became suspicious because members were discussing Sharpies. Sharps were Australia’s skinheads of the late 1960s to mid-1970s, and a subculture unique to Australia. Innes thought the chat was about S.H.A.R.P skins or Skinheads against Hate & Racial Prejudice, an international creature of the late 1980s to early 1990s.
While some may wonder how that matters, it was a sign that young Australians were losing the link to their history and what they lapped up on Stormfront, usually, US-based issues, became more significant to many than those facing their people. Their Australian-self was being lost to a myth about a pan universal white identity. It was a white nationalist’s Rome for the digital age. For many Australians who became Stormfront users and who might have chalked up their post count by commenting on SFDU threads, becoming a part of the Stormfront world meant adopting a new homeland situated in a virtual world stuck between reality and their technology interface. It wasn’t exactly America, but it was undeniably American space. Nowadays, that disconnect is more pronounced, and the US is still holding a greater influence over young WNs than what is happening in their backyard. To argue the point might be to draw a response along the lines of “it’s the same everywhere, it’s the Jew”, and to have reduced critically complex matters to such simplicity has not helped them to become useful nationalists in the struggle for their own “blood and soil.” This, by any other name, is globalism; the same we are supposed to be defying. Mono-franchising leads to monoculturalism which, in the sense of the diversity of white peoples, is a sin. Stormfront was the head office of the WN franchise. Those who joined assimilated into a monoculture. But SF was always more than that — it was a livelihood for its creator, Don Black.
Innes paid $1000 to Stormfront for a Lifetime membership. Those with LMs had larger avatars than others, and their usernames displayed in rich bold red, projecting a perception of seniority. Unlike his brother, Paul Innes didn’t seem deluded by his SF status. Then, one day in about 2011, he disappeared; vanished, just like his brother. Putting his disappearance aside for a moment, think about that useful grand that he would never obtain anything practical from.
The Sustaining Membership system was so-called because it purportedly kept Stormfront’s servers running. An increased demand, a rise in traffic such as the massive surge that came with the election of Barak Obama in 2008 (the Obamanation) drew higher running costs. This is understandable. To defray said expenses, the SM program offered the illusion of a reward for donors by providing them with a meritorious membership tag to show off and the privilege of a Sustaining Member section, free from the hoi polloi of the rest of the board, where they could chat among themselves. Don Black and other seniors often dropped in from time to time. Some seldom came down from SM except when activity was slow and they were bored. One of those on SM fairly constantly was an Aussie nationalist named Max.
We now delve deep into Max’s past and background because not only is it an interesting story but his intersects with that of Wayne “Bovver” Smith; the first nationalist to be killed indirectly by the state in its war against the movement. Exploring Max’s background and Bovver’s story enables us to understand how a true nationalist comes about. At the same time, we observe the state in action, and will come forward in time in the next instalment to watch it again; only this time it is attacking Max and a moderator who he helped appoint on SFDU. We warn our readers, this is a very long article.
THE MAKING OF A NATIONALIST
In 2008, among the influx of thousands of new members, Max began posting on SFDU, and his energetic style drew attention. He was posting on his work computer since he didn’t have the Internet at home. Gifted with words, the newcomer was witty, intelligent (traits that weren’t necessarily an asset on SF), and had seemingly found an online hangout. He would play a pivotal role at a certain point of the SFDU story hereafter, but due to unique circumstances, we shan’t be revealing his online identity, and have changed his name for legal reasons. For our writing, we shall call him Max.
On Stormfront, there are several ways to graduate from a rank-and-file forum member to hobnobbing it up in the top of the board with the ‘cool kids’, as it were. One was to donate in $5 increments, to seal a ‘sustaining member’ status for whatever monthly period you could afford, or else be lucky enough to have someone else sponsor you. The quality of Max’s posts ensured sponsors. Not that he was tight with his money, and he sponsored himself often. To cut a long story short, Max travelled around the board. He began receiving private messages from people representing groups in Sydney that wanted to ‘meet-up’. Max wasn’t keen to step outside the board as he had no idea who was on the other end of those messages. It might’ve been Antifa, anarchists, the police, or just a group that he didn’t agree with politically.
After Steelcapboot’s sudden unexplained departure from the board, a new moderator had to be found. At first, an American with the username Unermüdlich was given the job. But he didn’t well understand Australia or Australians, and a petition was made to Jack Boot to find a local WN to fill the position. Max was told that he wouldn’t be appointed moderator, given his previous behaviour. See, Max had once ‘suicided by a moderator’, that is, posted material calculated to have him kicked off the board. He did this because he felt that he was starting to stick out and this might swing back on him.
As it turned out, he should have trusted his instincts. Instead, after a break from this online time sink, he returned to SF with a new username, created a fresh profile, and built up his post count all over again. He did so because his political convictions compelled him. This sense of purpose overpowered his desire for self-preservation. His past transgression, while forgiven, was not forgotten by the management. Nevertheless.
Max came from a media background. He was employed by Australia’s largest magazine publisher as editor of a men’s title. But he was profoundly disillusioned with both his job and his colleagues. The environment was meretricious and the people were phoney. He describes it as the most morally corrupt environment he has ever worked in — more honour and maturity were to be found in the factories among the workers where he toiled as a young man. Nonetheless, having a background in media made Max more easily identifiable than an unemployed lone-wolf with no past. Max had rubbed shoulders with established journalists. Being defamatorily outed as a ‘Nazi’, as nationalists invariably were, wouldn’t auger well for his career path.
A less noble reason for him not wishing to be found out was that his aged father was a British WW2 veteran who fought the Germans in Europe. Max wanted to keep in good just for the sake of his inheritance. While they were never close, and in fact, he hadn’t visited his father in over 20 years, he wasn’t about to pass up his rightful share of the “Pommy bastard’s” estate. That much he was owed.
Nationalism had been calling Max since he was a kid. Growing up in a suburb of Sydney that became heavily populated with migrants, especially those from the middle east, he watched his neighbourhood change overnight from Australian to Lebanese; a culture shock that was as infuriating as it was jarring. His maternal grandfather was a man of property; an Irish-Australian battler made good. When he died of cancer while Max was a nipper the property that he owned around the neighbourhood was sold to migrants. Max resented the sale of his granddad’s assets since the “wog buyers” invariably established greasy kebab bars or convenience stores that charged double what everyone else did. Then came the gangs.
From the moment the Lebanese males outnumbered the Australians they asserted their strength. While these were Christian Lebanese, they had more in common with their Moslem cousins than with Australians. They felt tough and acted so and Max was completely outnumbered. Except for a young Irish lad who lived around the corner, and that lad’s Greek neighbour, he was alone in the neighbourhood without any backup.
Max ditched school at 14 thanks to these ‘new arrivals’ and the cultural nightmare they brought with them. The problems with the multicultural school got so bad that Max found himself a job at a fast-food joint on the beach and stopped attending classes. So shambolic was the school management that it took them several weeks to figure out Max’s absenteeism. Returning home one afternoon in August 1983, dressed in the school uniform that he changed in and out of when he got to work, his mother calmly confronted him. This was unusual for her since the woman was crazy. She had received a call from the school that Max hadn’t been to class in two months. But a defiant Max coolly replied, “Well, the good news is that I’ve found a job.” He was not due to turn fourteen and nine months (the legal school-leaving age) until August. This was May, but the department didn’t care. He never set foot in that or any other high school again.
From that point on he became his own ‘man’ and only went home to grab an occasional meal or to ‘crash’. His bedroom was a granny flat out the back of the house, so unless raiding the fridge or taking a shower, he and his parents seldom crossed paths. Max changed jobs frequently, moving to another fast-food shop, and then into a factory. Friday and Saturday, he joined the underage drinking scene, skipping along to suburban venues to catch bands like The Angels and The Divinyls play. One night in the summer of 1984, while out at the annual beach fair with his two other friends, a fight erupted. One of the local Lebanese gang had a run-in with his Greek friend, who was older than Max by five years, and violence flared. Although Max had nothing to do with the inciting incident, he was beaten along with the rest. As he described it, “There were three of us and only thirty of them.”
Later that night, still nursing his injuries but fuelled by a race-based rage, Max walked into the main shopping strip with a tin of spray-paint stolen from his father’s garage. He sprayed “DIRTY LEBS OUT!” across the wall of a kebab shop that once belonged to his grandfather. Word of the beating travelled. The barman at the hotel where he and his underage friends frequented even heard about it. As Max and his two mates discussed the night in question the barkeep leaned in and said, “So you’re the three guys!”
After this incident, Max would not be able to freely walk the streets of his neighbourhood again without the constant threat of being attacked. Max was again assaulted by another group of non-Australian youths outside his corner store, but the owner looked the other way when he could have stepped in and helped. The migrants backed each other up, regardless. He chose to find a way out of the neighbourhood.
Life improved when he underwent a total change of style and became involved in the mid-1980s mod revival around the time of his father’s retirement. Max had contacts into a more hep world than that of his two mates. No longer did he wish to be one of these suburban rats but set his sights on a much cooler lifestyle. The old man bought him a Vespa scooter before breaking the news that he, his mother and older brother were moving to the country. They were fed-up with the city. When Max refused to move his father said, “That’s fine, because we don’t have room for you.”
Despite his brother’s outrageous behaviour, his drinking, drugging, stealing cars, flipping out and involvement with bikers, he was the parents’ favourite. He was their firstborn and, being left partially brain-damaged after a serious car accident, they felt protective toward him. Max, on the other hand, was superfluous to home life; particularly since he insisted on flouting the ‘no alcohol’ rule. At 14, Max was a member of the local Leagues club, having used a fake ID to buy his membership. The next club he became a member of was the legendary Trade Union Club in Surry Hills at 16 years old. Then, when he turned 17, he was thrown out of home. The only time he ever got asked for ID was when he turned the legal drinking age of 18 and “some fag bartender” asked to see it.
Digging once more into his superannuation, Max’s father gave him money for a lease, just to be rid of him. Max secured a place within a day, and as he overstated the cost to his old man, a small tidy sum was leftover. Except for one or two visits over the years, Max would never see his parents again, but only ever talk to them by phone: just to make sure that the probate lawyers had his contact details in the unthinkable event that his parents passed away — the unthinkable part being they might not know where to send his cheque. However, Max was free of the migrant-gang infested neighbourhood where he grew up. A new and exciting time awaited him on the streets of mid-1980s Sydney.
As members of the thriving Sydney mod subculture, Max and his new housemates lived in Newtown, on a back lane where the two-storey terrace overlooked King Street above the old Kentucky Fried Chicken, just down the road from Wayne “Bovver” Smith.
Larger than life, Wayne was a legend in the alternative world of Sydney’s Mod/Rude Boy/Skinhead scenes, which gravitated to the Sydney Trade Union Club in Foveaux Street, Surry Hills, and didn’t mix well. A character reminiscent of Vivian from The Young Ones, Wayne was a ghoulish ‘mutant’ whose standard uniform consisted of his signature denim jacket sewn over with patches, rolled-up skin-tight jeans, and 12-hole Dr Marten boots. Owing to numerous scooter accidents, one of his legs was shorter than the other, and he used a cane to walk. That stick was a nasty weapon in Bovver’s hands.
During those heady days, Max and the rest of his ‘scene’ seldom slept. These were wild times. Max’s house became a drop-in. One of those who frequently popped around unannounced was Bovver, who given his older years and status exerted a powerful influence over the younger ones. Late on Sunday morning in 1985, Bovver banged at Max’s door at three in the morning. Max was the only one awake. Bovver told him, “Come on, we’re going stickering.”
Max had no idea what that meant, but he had heard how Bovver was a member of the infamous National Action. He handed Max a bundle of anti-Asian immigration stickers and ordered him to cover telegraph poles on the opposite side of King Street. Max didn’t mind. At that stage, he was apolitical tending towards mistrusting foreigners. Max’s experiences with “New Australians” hadn’t been encouraging.
Another ‘race issue’ arose a year later when one night he was riding his scooter with a pillion passenger. Max had never bothered applying for his Provisional license. He was riding about on L-Plates, which he never displayed. His indifference to the road laws cost him in fines that, to this day, he doesn’t remember paying. Needless to say, he wasn’t insured. So, on this weeknight when the plan was to travel to his Welsh mate’s place in Bankstown, raid his mother’s fridge and watch TV, a major lesson in race relations was about to be learned.
Cruising down New Canterbury Road in Sydney’s west, a motorist powered through a red-light, colliding with Max as he travelled at 60kph. Max had no time to take evasive action; he sailed through the air, landing with a meaty thud on the opposite side of the road, outside a row of shopfronts. Jock landed not far behind him. They might’ve been killed. As Max lay there, his head spinning inside his helmet, an Asian boy approached from the offending vehicle. Without a hint of concern for either victim, the Asian kid demanded, “LET ME SEE RICENSE! YOU SHOW RICENSE!”
Max remembers hearing his pal growl, and then scream, “I’M GONNA KILL HIM!”
At least Max knew that Jock was OK. Charging towards the Asian, who had been sent by his father who couldn’t speak English, sympathetic pedestrians came between them, more to save the Asian kid, as Jock was fuming. They ushered the Asian kid away back to his father waiting by his undamaged car. Meanwhile, Max’s scooter lay mangled on the other side of the road. A kindly shop owner handed Max a drink. An ambulance arrived and both lads were taken to the nearby hospital where police interviewed them for a statement. Both had been lucky, they escaped with only bruises. Released soon after, Max had to come down to the reality that his beloved Vespa was a write-off and he hadn’t the money to repair it.
The police sent Max instructions to visit the nearby station. When he did, the following day, they fined him for not displaying his plates, and for riding with a pillion passenger which was a no-no on a learners’ permit. Then, a strange thing happened; the sargeant took him aside. The old cop towered over Max. Passing him an address written by hand on a page torn from a notepad, he grizzled, “That’s the gook’s address. We want you to get a hold of this gook bastard and make sure he pays up for all the damage. Have you got that? Don’t let this gook get away with this, that’ll be his first instinct. Remember, we want you to do this.”
Max deduced by the sargeant’s language and tone that careless Asian drivers were far from a one-off nuisance at the station.
Max wrote to the driver but never received a reply. He had no means of pursuing the matter. His scooter was lost, salvaged by the Italian mechanic who he bought it off. The mechanic, who was also Sydney’s main Vespa dealer, fixed it up, and Max later found out, sold it to somebody else. Max would never forget the indifference the Asian driver and his son had shown him, his passenger, and his property; as if he was from another world with consequences that he was immune to. All they cared about was being freed from their problem and were impatient to do so. Australians weren’t real to them. The fact they created the trouble was of no consequence. He knew right then that Asians had no soul. As it was, he was no fan of them . . . While passing through Chinatown one morning in 1983 he was followed from behind by a kid on a bicycle. After a while, when he could no longer ignore this person, he turned around and found himself facing an Asian youth threatening him with a very long bladed fold-out knife. Thinking quick, as he could tell this Asian kid was intent on proving himself with the knife, and George Street was deserted, he bolted across oncoming traffic, going Lotto if you will, but made it across safely. He would use this strategy again some years later when he set upon by blacks late at night not far from where this incident occurred.
It is little wonder then that when Max and his circle of Dr Marten-shoed, British-Mod dressed friends were sat on the border fence of Hyde Park one Saturday afternoon in 1986 and Ross “The Skull” May approached them they accepted his invitation to the Domain to hear him speak on his soapbox. They already knew who Skull was. Max remembers him telling a small but angry crowd that “…we should demolish the department of social security, demolish the department of immigration, and just have the department of deportation.” They laughed at that.
WAYNE “BOVVER” SMITH
Aside from kidnapping Max for sticker pasting, one day while he was visiting Bovver’s house, Wayne decided that he and his two housemates would go “skinhead bashing” with him. Naturally, Max was in a bind, since there was no way that Bovver would allow him to bail, and yet, what if they ran into skinheads? Max could handle himself, but he wasn’t a creature of violence. He preferred to avoid bother rather than seek it out. On the other hand, Bovver was Bovver. The only ‘skinhead’ they encountered in Newtown that day wasn’t even a skinhead. Douglas McKenna was one of those ‘mutant mods’ who had grown out of the clean-cut preppie look and embraced a quasi-skinhead presentation and attitude. He was also a proud member of NA and gained a reputation as a hard bastard. Even though they looked like skinheads, this lot made a sport out of getting into fights with whatever skins they encountered. The thing to remember is that Douglas, like Bovver, would end up dead in a few short years. Douglas would be killed in a car accident in 1990, while the following year, Bovver was murdered in the National Action headquarters, while ASIO creepily listened to his killer as he taunted Wayne on a telephone they had tapped.
Douglas was leaning at the gate of his rented Newtown terrace house when Bovver and the boys appeared all dressed in tartan-lined Harrington jackets, jeans and polished Dr Marten shoes. He grinned knowingly at the lads when Bovver explained the day’s mission. “Good luck with that,” he said, chuckling as he bade farewell and went back indoors.
Wandering a few more streets, with skinheads being in short supply, they gave up and spent the day at the pub.
Coming back from work one afternoon in 1985, Max was approaching Bovver’s rented house on King Street. It stood betwixt a row of two-storey terraces just along from the Union Hotel. He rode with his head raised so that he could see out underneath the gap of his helmet’s visor. However, what used to be another pub was set a way back from King Street, and Max saw Bovver being confronted by two skinheads in Crombie overcoats. The afternoon traffic was heavy and Max was forced to slow down. One of the skinheads raised a bottle over Bovver’s head and brought it crashing down on his skull.
“Yikes,” thought Max, who didn’t wish to involve himself. No doubt Bovver had started the whole thing. He intended to twist the throttle of his Vespa and glide away before Bovver turned around and saw him. But … too late. Before he could get enough speed up, he watched as Bovver reached out before collapsing to the ground, and almost in slow motion just like at the movies he heard Wayne yelling his name.
“Damn,” he cursed. “Now I’ll have to go back to him.” Still, with the traffic like it was, and the lack of places to turn, and the skinheads no doubt yet to finish, he had plenty of time to let nature take its course before doing his duty. Riding two blocks down, he turned his scooter around and rode slowly back to where Bovver was lying bloodied on the footpath. Max helped him onto the back of his scooter, and struggling for balance, managed to ride with him down to Jeffrey Edelstein’s medical centre at Broadway, where he left him. Then he rode back to Wayne’s house to tell his girlfriend Dimity the news, but she just brushed it off and said, “Yeah that happens to him a lot.”
A favourite item of streetwear for Wayne was his black leather motorcycle jacket with a large red swastika painted on the back. He rode about on his distinctive battered orange Vespa dubbed ‘Oi Destroyer’; projecting his Sid Vicious impression. Max would not have been caught dead in it, but one day he found himself facing death if he didn’t wear it. Bovver had decided, during a boozy afternoon at his place, that more beer was needed. Max had no money but Bovver’s social security payment had come through. Trouble was, the nearest ATM was in Camperdown. Bovver lived down the far end of King Street towards St Peters.
Bovver was over the limit, so he told Max (who was also over the limit) to take the ‘Oi Destroyer’, his key-card, ride to the ATM and withdraw a sum of cash. Simply riding Bovver’s scooter gave Max the willies since his enemies might mistake him for Wayne and run him off the road. But if that wasn’t bad enough, Bovver insisted, “Take my jacket. Wear it.” He was in one of those brutish humourless moods in which to have questioned him would have resulted in a whack in the mush. Max decided it might be fun … well, more fun that copping Bovver’s cane across the bridge of his nose, so he did as he was asked, and they drank the afternoon away.
A time came when Max found himself in Bovver’s crosshairs for not participating in a scooter rally that Wayne had planned for a Saturday’s outing. Had Max taken part, he would’ve been the only rider besides Wayne, since nobody else showed up. Max stayed in bed. When he encountered Bovver at the Hip Hop club on Oxford Street that night, a regular hangout for the mid-80s Mod revival crowd, Wayne was gunning for him. Max cobbled together an excuse about his scooter having mechanical difficulties. In those days the mods parked their scooters on the footpath outside the club. When Max told his lie, Bovver went over to his blue Vespa and began kicking its wheel, working his way up to booting Max. But at that moment he was rescued by Ben Watts who stood between the two and told him, “If you beat him up, he’ll never go on another of your runs.” As a note of interest, Ben Watts is the brother of Naomi Watts, the Hollywood star. Occasionally she was present at mod nights during this era.
On another evening in the late 1980s, Max was walking to a party at Fisher Street, Petersham when he encountered Bovver who was also making his way there. They met on New Canterbury Rd, across from the police station where Max had reported over his accident three years earlier. The two stood at the intersection outside the Oxford Tavern, with its topless waitresses, and strip shows. Slumped across a public bench in the glow of the tavern’s flashing green and red neon lights was a negro sailor who Max believes to have been from a French navy ship that was in port. The black sailor was drunk, loaded, stinko, ratted and three sheets to the wind. He was out cold. All that was missing was the sound of a saxophone wailing sleazily in the background. Bovver took exception to this coloured gentleman availing himself of this public space so uninhibitedly that he reached down, grabbed him by his collar, and lifted him to his feet. “Hit the button,” he told Max, indicating the pedestrian crossing. Max did so and moments later Bovver was dragging the unconscious black sailor across the road, into the police station, where he dumped him in a heaving pile on the floor in front of the reception desk; the sailor’s cap miraculously still on his nodding head. What a civic conscience he had, thought Max.
Bovver led a double life, one with NA, while his other was lived out of their view in the ‘scene’. Irrespective of his ominous reputation most didn’t take him seriously. When dealing with extreme personalities, especially those with bi-polar tendencies it’s hard to.
By 1989, the times had changed. The scene had splintered and for those like Max, Bovver was a face from the past. Given his lifestyle, nobody expected Bovver to live till a ripe old age. Max saw Bovver one last time at the old Journalists Club at Central in 1990. He was sitting on a metal stool dropping a large insurance payout down the coin slot of a poker machine. Bovver never did know how to handle money. When he saw Max, his face lit up. A wave of relief swept over him like a man who had not seen a friendly face in years. They exchanged a few words — Wayne slapped his back — then he resumed his seat at the poker machine and Max bought a drink and sat down next to whoever he was with.
In early 1991, Max was in the eastern suburbs drinking with some old school punks who had known of Bovver’s reputation. Stories were being shared about him. He told them of Bovver’s troubled demeanour at their last meeting. The mood sobered. Rumours were already circulating that Bovver had informed on NA, that he was likely to be bumped off. Grimly, but flippantly, Max gave Bovver three more years to live. “He’ll probably be shot dead,” he darkly joked. “There’d be no other way for a guy like Bovver to go out.”
Friends of Bovver’s reveal there was more to him than met the eye, and then again, much less. A close friend we shall call Ken suggested that he didn’t have an intellectual grasp of political issues, even though he wrote surprising stuff for the National Action bulletin ‘The Australian Nationalist’, which he “typed on one finger”. We learned that Bovver was a gifted artist, and would keep his best illustrations at home in his old bedroom at the family home in Merrylands, west of Sydney. Any notion of Wayne coming from a broken home or the Munster Mansion were dispelled when visiting his parents and sister who exuded hospitality and were the epitome of old Australian charm. Upon entering the family home, one was warmly greeted by Bovver’s elderly mother carrying a tray of elegantly laid out tea and biscuits. Likewise, Bovver could be generous to a fault. Yet, he could be a snake, too. Ken, who was a very close friend, told of how during their last meeting he was mad at Wayne for trying to sleaze onto his girlfriend. Given Wayne’s appearance, it was a surprise that he got the number of women that he did; once even sleeping with both the girlfriend and her mother. One thing’s certain, and that was Bovver suffered from an undiagnosed case of ADHD; the boy could hardly sit still and grew bored very easily. It was this more than anything that got him into trouble, but he was particularly bad when he drank. Bovver was also best avoided when he was impecunious. One night at the mod drinking hole The Native Rose in Chippendale he brought along a pile of Big Brother fanzines; a mod-themed photocopied one-and-only-issue scene journal that he had created. Nobody was interested in buying off him, so before long he was angrily strong-arming the younger mods into coughing up $2:00 for a copy. Then again, Bovver could be hilarious. Another friend, we’ll call Tom, remembers he and Max cruising past Bovver’s place one Xmas eve. Somehow Bovver recognised them driving slowly by in the small red Toyota and ran out onto the road, waving them to a stop. He insisted they come in for a beer. Just before they left an hour or so later (and no doubt the reason they did) he decided to taunt his neighbour, who was a progressive priest involved with the gay community. Bovver slid out a vinyl copy of Hitler’s Nuremberg Address, cued it up on his record player at full volume, pulled on a Pope’s robe and hat that was hanging on a rack of colourful outfits, opened up the balcony doors (this was the top storey) and as Hitler’s raucous speech blared out over the street he proceeded to urinate on the priest’s balcony. This was Bovver at his most amusing. Yet, during our interviews, his status as a hard nut was called into question. Ken described how once at a party two burly brothers made those walking through their part of the house run a gauntlet of punches. A young Wayne went to pass, but he was singled out for a particularly hard beating which left him screaming and crying out loud. There was an emotional dimension to Wayne that wasn’t so easily understood, for most of the time he was fearsome. Such was the case when in 1989 ‘Father’ Robert Leys was lured to NA’s Tempe Headquarters to get to the bottom of a matter. The ‘Father’ had anointed himself head Creator of Australia but was a 24-carat kook. During an electoral campaign, Leys interfered somehow by singling out a real estate agent in Gordon. He stormed into the office sporting an SS cap and spouting gibberish to harass the owner. His actions brought unwanted attention to NA. But listening to his excuse, Bovver could take no more and clocked Leys. Then he and another physically frogmarched him to the front door and hurled him onto the pavement with the unambiguous warning to never cross their path again.
The NSW Special Branch were dogging National Action. Operation Odessa began; its brief being to determine if members of NA had committed specific criminal offences and if so whether they could bring about a prosecution. More than anything, it was an intelligence-gathering manoeuvre. Sgt Crothers, who Jim Saleam described as his “nemesis” initially led Odessa, which, upon his leaving the police service in August 1988 was taken over by corrupt detective Neville Ireland. The operation failed to yield incriminating intel and was wound up a few months after it began. Yet, Neville Ireland wasn’t about to desist in harassing National Action or Wayne.
Wayne unwittingly sowed the seeds of his destruction when in 1989 he took issue with Special Branch informer and member of Jack Van Tongeren’s Australian Nationalist Movement, Peter Coleman. A militaria (and pornography) dealer, Coleman had agreed to sell certain items Bovver gave him. After some time had passed and no money was forthcoming Wayne requested his property back. Coleman ignored him. In early 1989 Bovver visited his Marrickville apartment, ripped his flyscreen door off its hinges, forced his way inside and ‘bitch-slapped’ Coleman. Then he grabbed his belongings and left. Despite NA members attempting to smooth things over with the ANM, Coleman was not placated. He more-or-less told someone what he planned on doing. Being Neville Ireland’s informer codenamed ‘cabbie’ and assigned the number CC18, Coleman had powerful leverage with his ‘handler’.
Police arrived to arrest Wayne at the Tempe headquarters on a Saturday afternoon in early April. Wayne was charged with offences relating to two incidents: one was assault and robbery over an NA intrusion into a Gay & Lesbian Immigration Taskforce meeting at Humanist House in Chippendale. The other was for burning a “dummy” outside the residence of Reverend Dorothy McMahon, a lesbian Uniting Church minister, who was an ANC-sympathiser and enabler.
Ireland verballed him, threatening to raid Wayne’s parents’ house, knowing that his elderly father was unwell. He taunted Wayne that any misfortune that befell the old man health-wise, as a result, would be his fault. We’re not sure when, but they went ahead with the raid. The police seized an item of camouflaged clothing as evidence, which was supposed to identify Wayne as the ‘culprit’ who’d been photographed on the night the dummy was burned. Ireland’s case collapsed in court and the charges of malicious damage and assault were thrown out as the fatigues didn’t match those worn by the suspect in the photo. In the second matter, that of assault, the magistrate ruled detective Ireland and his partner had forged their notebooks and dismissed the case. NA celebrated its first legal victory of the year. The question of whether Bovver became the main target because of Coleman is speculation, but given that Wayne soon joined Jim Saleam in a state set-up over the shotgun attack on the home of ANC terrorist Eddie Funde it’s apparent that Ireland had Wayne in his sights as much as he did Jim Saleam.
Perry John Whitehouse met NA through Robert Leys, the fruitcake who Bovver had physically ejected from the Tempe headquarters. A man of slight build with cropped brown hair and blue eyes, Perry had trained to be a jockey. But he was sensitive about his stature and spent three years in the army building his self-esteem. Whitehouse drove cabs, and to his credit, was a hard worker. He was also a willing nationalist and dug up dirt on the taxi industry, supplying NA with information about migrant drivers being used to lower pay and conditions. A meticulous individual, he kept his room shipshape and Bristol fashion. Notwithstanding, he was easily stressed, and could be skittery around others, especially if he thought someone was trying to stand over him. He had a definite small-man complex. These latter qualities made him an ideal candidate for Neville Ireland’s mind games.
No one was clear about why Perry Whitehouse was targeted by Neville Ireland for the alleged crossbow attack on a journalist who’d written a snarky article about NA. The predominant theory was that the grass-up had travelled from Leys to Coleman and thence to Ireland. A page from Ireland’s notebook later produced after Whitehouse filed a complaint against the detective showed that Ireland had visited with ‘Cabbie’, known to be Coleman. Yet, in Whitehouse’s thinking, Wayne was to blame. It was Wayne who’d given him up. This was the message that Ireland fed Whitehouse after he was arrested for discharging the crossbow; a charge later dropped.
“Wayne has given you up,” Ireland taunted him. “Wayne’s given everyone up. He started talking. That boy can sure talk.”
This occurred during the spate of arrests over the shotgun shooting of Eddie Funde’s home at Croydon. It was during this verbal that Ireland tried to cajole him into making a deal whereby he signed a statement admitting that he had given Wayne the shotgun used in the attack. Whitehouse responded with a formal complaint against Ireland to internal affairs.
Whitehouse further embroiled himself in the Funde case when he met with Michael White, 20, the co-accused of 22-year-old Jason Frost, who discharged the shotgun. White acted as the driver. Whitehouse had flown on his own expense to Brisbane to warn him that Ireland had named him for the Funde case and to expect him to be pressured into believing that Wayne had turned dog and given him up. Whitehouse stressed to him the story about Wayne wasn’t true. This is extraordinary given what Whitehouse would do less than two years later.
In Sydney, during August after White had been extradited from Queensland Whitehouse met with him in Parramatta Jail. During that visit, he was handed a written statement by White. Since being arrested and charged, White had received a copy of Jason Frost’s statement. It named Wayne and Saleam as having put them both up to the shooting. Frost had completely given in to Ireland after a series of meetings before his arrest. The actual number of those meetings (6) would later prove to be an important discrepancy. Frost’s false testimony was the product of Ireland’s inducements. White knew this, which is why he wrote a statement and passed it to Whitehouse. A few days later, Whitehouse visited the jail again but now with a typed copy of White’s statement. White signed it. That document had the power to acquit both Smith and Saleam but for reasons that made sense at the time but in retrospect were probably foolish, it was later on not relied on in court. On the other hand, when Ireland learned about the statement from White after his sentencing, he had to react, since it would create a major hole in his case against Wayne and Saleam. In October 1989, Ireland charged Whitehouse with perverting the course of justice.
That year, Perry Whitehouse had begun to believe rumours that Wayne had stolen $500 from Jim Saleam’s wife (now ex). Despite Jane herself defending Wayne, he would hear none of it. He wouldn’t even believe it when the culprit was exposed as Bovver’s mentally-ill girlfriend Rochelle Cohen. Unbeknownst to Wayne, Rochelle was Jewish (she used an alias). Her father had lived in South Africa where he sexually abused her from a young age. She maintained he was killed in Australia during a home invasion but he shot himself in the head in South Africa during a moment of clarity.
Perry was nearly a decade Wayne’s senior; born in 1955, while Wayne was born in 1964. Wayne’s style troubled Whitehouse given his reputation and bluster. Nonetheless, he had moved out of Camperdown where he formerly lived and in 1990 took up lodgings at the Tempe headquarters. Unemployed, be began to steadily drink more and more. Still awaiting court on charges of Pervert the Course of Justice, he was now at the very centre of the Special Branch Psych-Op, which he was not equipped to deal with. Ireland continued feeding him guff about Wayne, and he couldn’t shake from his mind Frost’s statement the naming of Wayne nor accept that it was skulduggery. He had not disabused himself of the conviction that Wayne had framed him for the crossbow incident the previous year.
Nobody could crawl inside Whitehouse’s head with him and hear the cockroaches scratching about.
APRIL 20, 1991
Jim Saleam was not living on-site with Perry Whitehouse in 1991. He and his wife lived in rental accommodation half-an-hour away in the beachside suburb of Brighton Le Sands. Unbeknownst to him and everyone, ASIO had bugged the Tempe headquarters.
Wayne patronised the headquarters and had for many years. He had first met Jim Saleam in 1984 and the relationship continued until the day he died. But Jim, who would surely have calmed the situation, was not present on that fatal day. Caught up with his legal troubles, which ironically the very tapes that ASIO was making would have exonerated him had ASIO ever been concerned with justice or truth, Jim was at a distance.
On the evening of the April 20, Bovver and Whitehouse were drinking at the nearby Tempe Hotel, a few doors down from the headquarters. It was here, with his tongue loosened by the grog, that Whitehouse inferred Wayne had been talking to Special Branch He claimed to have “evidence”. Wayne told him to pull his head in. But the arguing continued as they left the pub and returned to the headquarters. Inside, he told Whitehouse to put up or shut up, demanding, “What have you got to say?”
Whitehouse grumbled, running upstairs. Wayne was in the kitchen. He picked up the phone (which was bugged) and made a call. “I’ll show you what I’ve got to say,” Whitehouse snarled.
He was on the phone when Whitehouse burst from downstairs with a sawn-off .22 rifle, levelled it at Wayne, who had his back to him. ASIO recorded the time at 5.04 pm. Bovver can be heard saying, “All right.”
The tape subsequently records six sharp cracks of the .22 rifle and Whitehouse yelling, “That’s what I’ve fucken got to say, you fucken cunt!”
Shane Rosier, a 43-year-old ex-soldier was also in the headquarters. He can be heard asking, “What have you done?”
Whitehouse replies, “I just killed the prick! I just shot the fucken prick. You wanna know? Yeah, you wanna fucken know. What’ya wanna know? You want me to kill you too?”
Rosier was in shock. He slipped out of the premises but he wasn’t able to concatenate his thoughts into a rational sequence. Thus, confused, he began walking to Brighton Le Sands. Had he stopped to call the police and the ambulance then just maybe Wayne might have been saved. But he wasn’t thinking straight. Instead, he walked to Jim Saleam’s place. Saleam asked him if he had phoned the ambulance and Rosier replied, “No, he’s dead.” They immediately drove to Tempe, stopping halfway to use a telephone box to call the ambulance which in turn, because it was a shooting, brought the law. Police arrived shortly after they checked inside the building, which was all dark inside. A police sergeant stepped out of a patrol car with his hand on his holster. He called Jim and Rosier back. Whitehouse stuck his head out of an upstairs window and called down to the police. Jim and Shane went and stood by the hotel but didn’t see who emerged.
Back at Tempe, while Rosier slogged by foot to alert Jim, Whitehouse rambled on, “I just shot the fucken prick. I just shot the cunt. Wanna know because he’s a fucken arsehole, that’s why I shot him. Right. Do you think I’m fucken scared of fucken goin’ to jail? I don’t give a fuck. I’m not scared. Right. I shot the cunt dead. That’s what it’s all about, boy, that’s what it’s all about, fucken have a look. That’s what it’s about, right. You ain’t got the guts, guts to fucken face up to that, you’re fucken weak as piss. Right, he’s fucken dead. Now we gotta get rid of that body or I’m gonna get rid of the fucken body, right!”
Later, it would be determined that Wayne was shot eight times to his head, stomach, and other parts of his body. Greg Jorgensen, 21, had been in the house at the same time, out the back. At some point, he wandered indoors to be confronted by the carnage.
“Is that you, prick?” he ranted. “Eh, you fucken arsehole. Looks as though your brains are coming out.” By now, Whitehouse was circling Wayne as he lay on the kitchen floor.
“Isn’t that bad luck, you police informer cunt, eh? Bit of bad, eh mate? Eh, the old brain come out the back?”
Wayne could be heard on the audio heaving and panting as his lay dying. He then began gurgling, fighting for breath. His death throes excited Whitehouse.
“Hope you die, you dog bastard. That’s right.”
Then, completely off his tree, Whitehouse walks away and begins to sing, “When I was 16 … just a young boy going round and round in circles.”
He then stands once again over Wayne, telling him, “Hurry up and die!”
Whitehouse’s ranting continued: “Well, Smith, you thought you were pretty smart, didn’t you? Now you’re dead, dead as a fucken doornail. Bad luck … Hey Smith, you’re dead. Dead, dead, dead.”
A panicked Jorgensen can be heard asking, “What are we going to do, mate?”
“Get rid of the body first. Here, grab hold of that will you?”
The tape records the sounds of rustling and other movement and then Whitehouse orders Jorgensen to collect the cartridges as he places a knife into Bovver’s hand. All the while Whitehouse is muttering to himself, running over a contrived sequence of events he plans to tell the police.
“That’s not too bad,” Whitehouse continued. “Hurry up and die, you prick. Think he’s dead now. That’s right, you are, aren’t ya? You’re dead, prick. Mmmm. Poor old dead cunt.”
“They wouldn’t have saved you anyway. Eh, wouldn’t have saved you, Smith. They wouldn’t have saved you.”
The police can then be heard entering the building. Whitehouse then lies about Wayne have a knife while Jorgensen offers his account.
The greatest irony, and one that would hit the gun lobby, was that at the time of his murder Bovver was wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Say No To Gun Control Laws.” He was 25 years old.
The cops had Whitehouse bang to rights. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 years in jail. He served the full stretch. Ireland attempted to have Rosier prosecuted for withholding information since in his confusion he gave an inconsistent version of events. The charges were thrown out later that year. The narrative to come out of this indicted NA as an “extremist organisation” and suggested that this tragic event typified the membership profile. Violence was an inexorable result of involvement in such “hate groups”. Paranoia ultimately festered. What they didn’t say was that the whole thing had been orchestrated by the state, who, thanks to their recordings etc, knew well who had done what and who hadn’t. ASIO’s transcripts, since released, have been selectively edited and heavily redacted. They know the truth about the Eddie Funde case and had all along. But their mission was to break up National Action. Simple facts that could have exonerated Smith and Saleam were never presented at court. Yet, the myth about this pointless shooting continues to define Australia’s godfather of nationalism. Wayne’s murder was another goal for the state since his testimony would have proven their innocence. But he did not live to contest the charges. Special Branch was subsequently investigated, and it became the last police structure to be investigated by the Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service before being disbanded. Neville Ireland was quietly removed after assisting the commission. He knew too much to be cast asunder and was quietly let go. After all, Ireland was their beast: he had followed their orders.
Jim Saleam disputes any reports that Wayne Smith had admitted to a “friend” that he’d been supplying info to police. Max cannot believe this either since he contests that in the time that he knew him, Wayne never discussed any of NA’s business. The ‘friend’ is believed to be the rat, Peter Coleman.
Jim Saleam says of Wayne that he is a rough diamond, a hero of the Australian nationalist rebirth. He is also a martyr and should be recognised as such; he must not be forgotten. The Special Branch had Wayne shot as sure as if they had pulled the trigger themselves; on their order Ireland ran a black op that sought to sow mistrust and paranoia between NA members. Perry was chosen because he was of a weak mind, and knowing this, Ireland poisoned him against Wayne. Almost certainly, Perry had been profiled. Doubtless, they counted on him snapping. But this is the price of challenging the established order. These are the “good guys” and that is the ‘system’ they are protecting.
Wayne Smith 1964 – 1991
This four-part series concludes shortly – stay tuned!