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Mohammad goes to Brighton

When Ian Buruma visited the Referendum party conference, he expected to find latter-day Mosleyites. Instead he met nostalgic, mild-mannered members of the middle class

By Ian Buruma   December 1996

There are few sights more off-putting, just before lunch, than that of Andrew Roberts’s jowls quivering with glee, as John Aspinall launches into a speech about the sound instincts of English football hooligans. For those not in the know, Andrew Roberts is the young historian with the voluminous jowls and very rightwing opinions. Aspinall, or “Aspers,” is the zoo-keeper, casino owner, and romantic friend of warrior tribes and endangered species. At the Referendum party conference in Brighton, Aspers, who is a parliamentary candidate for the “Refs” in Folkestone, spoke on “that great endangered species,” the Englishman. It was the closest…

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