Harry Hatchet

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Harry Hatchet is the founder of the blog Harry's Place.[1]


Harry Hatchet is a pen-name adopted on 25 March 2003, to replace another pseudonym, Harry Steele:

This is all rather tedious but let me get it out of the way, Harry Steel (without the 'e') was the pen-name used by a writer in a very obscure marxist journal back in the 1980's and I adopted the name as little more than a wind-up on a Trot mailing list about three years ago. It worked, it stuck with me and I thought nothing of it.
However I was recently informed that this obscure journal is still publishing (although I believe with less emphasis on Soviet agricultural production statistics these days) and indeed that there is still a Harry Steel column in it. This is has understandably caused some confusion.[2]


Hatchet is originally from Burnley:

I don’t live in Burnley anymore but was born in the town and have spent most of my life in the area. My family and friends are still in the Burnley area and I return regularly.[3]

As Harry Steele, he has written of his youth:

In my home town there have been no-go areas for whites for at least a decade - they developed while I was in my teens. I was stoned for entering one at the age of 12.[4]

Hatchet wrote in December 2002 that he had been an expat for nearly a decade.[5]


Hatchet trained in Marxism as a student.[6] He joined the Communist Party aged 18:

I’ve never really gone into much depth about the relationship between that, thankfully brief, period when I was a member of the Communist Party and the politics I have put forward on this blog. I entered politics as a Labour Party activist and, after a brief departure to the CPGB, Labour is where I have remained and where I broadly belong. But the couple of years sabattical in the CP did have an important influence on the development of my ideas.[7]

Accused of being a Stalinist in 2002 on the Alliance for Workers Liberty website, he commented: "Stalinism, which I now reject totally, was certainly responsible for generating anti-semitism in Russia, Poland and elsewhere - and still is in many cases."[8]

On the Oldham Riots

Steele criticised the Socialist Workers Party-backed Socialist Alliance over the Oldham riots in May 2001:

For the SA to describe the police in towns such as Oldham as racist might sound radical and win a few easy recruits but it is far too simplistic - we are not talking about Brixton or Toxteth in the early eighties. Most white people think that the police have been letting Pakistani youth get away with actions that white youths would be banged up for without a second thought - and they have a point.[9]

Harry's Place

Hatchet founded Harry's Place in November 2002 for reasons which he later described on the Guardian website:

I began blogging in earnest in November out of a mixture of curiosity, frustration with the crank-dominated discussions on internet and email forums and the classic motivator in politics - the desire to express a minority opinion.
I was, and am, a democratic socialist who supported the war to remove Saddam and my blog swiftly attracted people of a similar outlook and a loose, informal network of likeminded soon people took shape.[10]

Hatchet announced he was stepping down as a regular contributor to Harry's Place in September 2005.[11]


on Allianza Nazionale

in March, 2005, Hatchet challenged the Guardian's description of Italy's Allianza Nazionale and its leader Gianfranco Fini as neofascist:

As well as making clear repudiations of Italy’s fascist past and calling for votes for non-citizen immigrants, Fini has taken up other positions that run contrary to the fascist tradition in Italy. He is pro-European Union and pro-US - neither of which fit easy with the claim that he is still a fascist. After September 11, AN posters across Italy declared ‘Solidarity with the United States’ - Italian fascists despise the US for obvious historical reasons.
He is also explicitly in favour of capitalism and the free market. Again this is a break not only with old style Italian corporatist fascism but also the later post-war concept of the ’social right’ which believed in large scale state ownership and nationalisation etc.
AN also supported the liberation of Iraq, a position that I am not aware of any of Europe’s genuine fascists taking. The BNP were certainly opposed to the war and Le Pen also took the same line.[12]


External Resources


  1. Harry Hatchet, Comment is Free, guardian.co.uk, accessed 13 August 2009.
  2. Harry Hatchet, Farewell to Comrade Steele, Harry's Place, 25 March 2003.
  3. Harry Hatchet, WE ALL KNOW WHY PEOPLE VOTE BNP, Harry's Place, 2 May 2003.
  4. Harry Steele, [UK_Left_Network Re: [UK_Left_Network SOME UGLY TRUTHS ABOUT THE RIOTS IN OLDHAM], UK Left Network, Yahoo Groups, 30 May 2001, via redaction.org
  5. Harry Hatchet, Going Native, Harry's Place, 17 December 2002.
  6. Harry hatchet, Welcome to Harry's Place, Harry's Place, 24 November 2002.
  7. Harry Hatchet, If it means anything at all…, Harry's Place, 28 September 2005.
  8. Debating in mysterious ways, Alliance for Workers Liberty, 11 October 2002.
  9. Harry Steele, [UK_Left_Network Re: [UK_Left_Network SOME UGLY TRUTHS ABOUT THE RIOTS IN OLDHAM], UK Left Network, Yahoo Groups, 30 May 2001, via redaction.org
  10. Harry Hatchet, A blogger writes, guardian.co.uk, 15 July 2003.
  11. Harry Hatchet, If it means anything at all…, Harry's Place, 28 September 2005.
  12. Harry Hatchet, Fascism real and imagined, Harry's Place, 17 Match 2005.