The North Eastern Scottish town of Inverbervie (colloquially shortened to Bervie) is sort of a quiet, unassuming place. Not quite Twin Peaks or Summersilse from The Wicker Man, but it's a village definitely with a Ballykissangel vibe – pretty, but not a lot happens. There's your typical countryside fare – a big Protestant church, a post office, the relatively famous The Bervie Chipper and an annual gala that has a football tournament that I was never invited to play at. There's a beach that stretches on forever; there are nice country walks. It's just a quaint, cosy place: near enough Aberdeen's oil jobs to make it worthwhile as a commuting community, and not far enough from Dundee to rule it out as a viable option for people to travel there to and from work. All in all, nice enough. Except now, it's being targeted by the weirdest white supremacists you've ever encountered.
As reported in the Mearns Leader by the excellent Lee McCann, a group called Creativity Alliance have taken Inverbervie into their melanin-deprived arms as a bastion of white supremacy. Creativity Alliance, which purports to be a quasi-religion, stemmed from the Midwestern US in the early 1970s, living by a rule that what is good for the white race is the ultimate good, and what's bad for the white race is ultimate sin. Why they've chosen to go under a name more apt for an arts charity is probably best explained by their FAQ, which states that "White people are the creators of all worthwhile culture and civilisation". To summarise: Creativity Alliance are a whole new level of fascist fantasists.
The Creativity Alliance attempts to recruit from the working class, primarily. This makes Inverbervie somewhat of a strange choice, with a population largely indebted to the North East oil industry and a decent standard of living, all-round. Aberdeenshire is represented by a strange mix of Tory, Lib Dem, Labour and SNP. Sure, some wacky racists have run for election here before – Britain First and the like – but they've never stood a chance. Politically, Aberdeenshire isn't ready for white supremacy.
Creativity Alliance have been hanging their flag in the town and putting stickers onto bus stops, including one particularly delightful effort, which is of a white, blank-faced man, putting a razor-blade to his closed eye with the caption, "Sometimes opening your eyes might be the most painful thing you have to do". Mate, ever queued for a jumbo haddock in Bervie on a Saturday evening? You don't know pain.
Let's be real – Inverbervie isn't really the place to start a race war. It wouldn't be so much Brixton Riots as "Kerfuffle outside the Chipper". Bervie is overwhelmingly white and Scottish. While you could argue that's perfect for recruitment, you're talking about an educated populace who never really experience any of the so-called negative effects of immigration. Nobody from a war-torn country in the far-flung corners of the world ever packed their belongings and told their family "my loved ones, we're going to start a new life in Inverbervie". It's a bit like looking to start an Enya fan club at an Agoraphobic Nosebleed concert. A needle in a stack of chips.
"We actually had a different story in Bervie that week", McCann explained to me, over a black cup of tea. "The Bervie gardening group is going to be taking part in the BBC programme The Beechgrove Garden. So it's a bit of a ying and yang, if you want to call it that, to have really positive news about gardening and then this group sticking flags and stickers about white supremacy up here out of nowhere."
"Bervie's just a lovely wee Royal Burgh. You wouldn't expect anything like this at all."
Whether it's your typical "lone nutter printing out stuff from the deep web" or a concerted approach from a group of American white supremacists who make American History X look like Frozen, the supremacist propaganda machine definitely came out of nothing. The Creativity Alliance are also anti-Semitic (again, not really a big "thing" in Aberdeenshire) and believe in a form of socialism that doesn't punish private property. They encourage, charmingly, "total war against the Jews and the rest of the goddamned mud races" (!!!!) and commemorate the British landings on Australian soil in 1788. Essentially, then, they're pissed off white guys on a very dangerous scale.
Thankfully, Bervie residents have met the half-hearted Fourth Reich with zealous negativity.
"The general reaction has been one of disgust. It's worth mentioning that some locals have taken down – and I mean scratched – these stickers off of bus stops. They didn't want anything like that to be associated with the town," McCann added.
It's not clear whether this is all just a bit of a big racist laugh, or it's a conscious attempt to provoke race war in a village that's almost universally white. Either way, it's not sticking. The office of Nigel Don, MSP for Angus North and Mearns, told VICE that he, "strongly condemns any form of racism – it is never acceptable. We would encourage anyone with information to contact the police."
So, in summary: there's now a police investigation about a white power group from the USA inciting racial hatred in a Scottish town with a population of less than 2,000 people.
For Creativity Alliance's part, a representative from the church, Reverend James Mac, contacted the Mearns Leader to refute claims that the church promotes white power. "On the contrary," he said, "adherents to Creativity advocate Racial Separation – the very opposite of 'white supremacy' – and that white people, both locally and on a global scale, simply look out for the best interests of their own kind. We call this Racial Loyalty and Solidarity."
"I would further like to note that the content of the stickers that appear in the piece is perfectly legal," he added. The stickers are legal, people.
Whether the Creativity Alliance's attempts at Bervie occupation are coming from CA HQ or just a lone Scottish wolf, it's heartening to see locals standing up to it – there's been a concerted campaign of scratching out stickers and complaining about them on Facebook. Of course, you'll get the odd internet commentator espousing the need for a "frank and open discussion about race", but for now it seems that this small Aberdeenshire town isn't about to embrace an obscure mid-western US philosophy on white supremacy.
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