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Thread: Oswald Mosley: British Politician and Philosopher

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    Thumbs Up Oswald Mosley: British Politician and Philosopher

    Diana Mosley was a fascist and an anti-Semite. But our obsequious culture still tolerates her

    David Aaronovitch - Sunday August 17, 2003, The Observer


    If the word 'culture' famously had Goering reaching for the handle of his revolver, then the word 'charming' does the same for me. A person can be dishonest, amoral and corrupt, but as long as he or she is 'charming' then you are entitled to like, and in some way forgive, them.

    Lady Diana Mosley, who died last week, was invariably described by her visitors as 'charming', as well as being 'witty' and 'intelligent'. These attributes were regarded as an entertaining paradox in the wife and chief supporter of Britain's very own would-be Führer, Sir Oswald Mosley. Her only slightly qualified admiration for Hitler (great man, shame about the anti-semitism and the tendency towards violence) was partly offset by her also being one of the fabulous Mitford sisters, and the friend of many a poet, artist and novelist.

    The indulgence shown towards her is itself revealing. Her autobiography, A Life of Contrasts, was first published in 1977. Leaving aside the 'We lunched with Violet Trefusis in Cannes' type demi-Bloomsbury bilge, which makes up the bulk of the book, there are also some of her reflections on that great puzzle: how could someone as essentially wonderful as Hitler, leader of such a civilised nation, preside over the attempt to wipe out an entire race of people?

    Diana's answer, broadly, was that it was the Jews' own fault. What had happened was that, due to pogroms in other less-enlightened East European countries, 'thousands of Jews poured into Germany from the East, and made an acute Jewish problem there_' (Diana did not go into detail about what this problem was. Was it overcrowding? Cooking smells? Klezmer music replacing Wagner? A proliferation of beards?) '...nothing much was done, either by the League of Nations or by world Jewry, and they were left to their fate.'

    The Jews went to Germany, the other Jews did nothing, the Jews met their fate. Not that the Germans wanted bad things to happen. No, most of them, 'probably hoped that (the Jews) would remove themselves to some other part of the globe. World Jewry with its immense wealth could find the money...' This was, after all, just part of a natural process of separating warring ethnicities, in which (thought Diana) 'the losing group should have been offered rich inducements to move to its own mother country. Those who refused would do so with their eyes open. The same should have been done for the Jews'.

    But it wasn't, partly (though she doesn't mention it) because there wasn't any such place for Jews (though, interestingly, in her book Diana manages at least three or four digs at Israel). Meanwhile, by belly-aching about such things as the Nuremberg Race Laws, their co-religionists being made to scrub pavements, or occasionally being murdered by storm-troopers, 'the Jews who left did not make things easier for those left behind'.

    Even so (she argues), anti-semitism per se was not something that she or Sir Oswald was attracted to. Far from it. In fact, they would have been content for there to be lots of Jewish members of the British Union of Fascists, if only the Jews hadn't (misguidedly) attacked the BUF first. No, the Mosleys were much more interested in their great intellectual plans first for the Empire and then Europe, and for the new corporate Britain. Racism was a little vulgar.

    Trevor Grundy was the son of BUF members (including a virulently anti-semitic mother who, in the classic manner, turned out herself to be Jewish). In his fascinating Memoir of a Fascist Childhood, he recalls that anti-semitism and racism were central both to the BUF and to its postwar successor, the Union Movement. When Mosley returned to politics in the late 1940s it was to the sound of the chant, 'The yids, the yids, we've got to get rid of the yids'. Members saluted each other with code letters 'PJ', standing for Perish Judah.

    Grundy became active in the Mosleyite youth movement, and went to see The Leader in Le Temple de la Gloire, the Mosleys' house in Paris. He contrasted how the poor old foot-soldiers of British fascism were treated, compared with the collaborating glitterati who wrote for Diana's semi-fascist intellectual rag, the European. One lot stood and were not fed or paid, while the others were fêted and dined. At one meeting he told Lady Diana that people in Britain did not have enough paraffin for their oil heaters. She turned her 'large, cow-like eyes' on him and asked: 'What is an oil heater?'

    Lady Diana was a hostess who read Schiller, Goethe and Nietzsche in German and Sartre and Aragon in French. In her book all her acquaintances are fabulous, being 'amusing and high-spirited' (Waugh), 'witty, intelligent, sarcastic' (Goebbels), or capable of 'imitations of marvellous drollery, which showed how acutely observant he was' (Hitler).

    She charmed Augustus John, adored Lytton Strachey, commiserated with Carrington, and her aristocratic friends patronised Mosley's fascist January Club. Lady Ravensdale, the Prince of Wales's aide-de-camp 'Fruity' Metcalf, the Count and Countess of Munster, Sir Charles Petrie. Lord Lloyd of Dolobran, Lord Erroll (later to be murdered in Kenya and who wore the fascist symbol on his sporran), Lord Erskine, Lord Scott, the brother of the Duke of Buccleuch, all attended.

    What they had in common, these people, was a fashionable contempt for democracy, associating it with dullness, inertia and the bourgeois. Mosley, said Diana, was the only man with the dynamism, the intellect, 'the force' (whatever that was) to push aside 'the deadweight of the Baldwinites on the Right', the Macdonaldites in the Centre and the Attlee Labour Party on the Left. Her favourite words of her husband's were from a passage beginning: 'Better the great adventure, better the great attempt for England's sake, better defeat, disaster...' And so on. There are plenty out there today, writing or speaking, who seem to have a similar preference for the impatient gesture over the daily, grubby struggle of democratic politics.

    Diana described her husband as a man of generosity, lacking in the 'cant' of democratic politicians. Beatrice Webb thought he was a cynic. In the 1959 general election and following the race riots in Notting Hill, Mosley stood for Parliament. Trevor Grundy went to most of the Movement meetings. At one he describes The Leader 'shouting and ranting and raving' that West Indian men captured English girls, locked them in flats and then repeatedly raped them. Then Mosley quipped: 'Lassie for dogs, Kitekat for wogs.' You will not find this episode recorded in A Life of Contrasts. Too much of a contrast, I daresay.

    I do not find Diana Mosley 'charming'. Her book is both evasive and rather stupid. Had she not been a member of the aristocracy and rather beautiful, no writers would have patronised her drawing-room, and no silly journalists would have been seduced by her 'charm'. But then that's the trouble with our obsequious cultural relationship to the titled and the blue-blooded - the admiration is all one-way.

    Diana's leftist sister, Jessica, thought that Diana might just have led the Führer astray too, with her suggestion of noble support for his cause in Britain. 'Hitler got it all wrong,' she said later. 'He thought that automatically anyone who was Lord somebody must be very important. He didn't get the point of it all.'

    And some of us still don't.


    Source: The Guardian

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    Thumbs Up Towards a Fascist Europe [Sir Oswald Mosley] - 1936 (The World Alternative)

    http://feastofhateandfear.com/archives/oswald.html

    Towards a Fascist Europe
    Sir Oswald Mosley - 1936 The World Alternative

    Views may vary as to the causes of the division of Europe and the restoration of the Balance of Power, but dispute can scarcely arise concerning the re-emergence of a situation and a system which has invariably brought war. It is to the solution of this problem thus recreated that this article is addressed, and in searching for that solution we must return to the fundamental conception of European union which animated the war generation in 1918 and has been frustrated by the perversion of the League of Nations to exactly the opposite purpose that it was intended to serve. This examination, therefore, begins with an inquiry into the factors which divide the individual nations, and in particular into the factors which inhibit peaceful and friendly relations between Great Britain and other great nations.

    Having established the particular of possible friendship between Great Britain and other nations we will proceed to the general idea of European union built on the firm foundation of justice and economic reality. The sequence of thought will naturally follow the story of prior disaster and will strive to show at each stage how the previous fatality can be eliminated in the system of the future. Therefore, in proceeding to build first a system of European union we shall naturally begin with Germany.

    In fact, the only policy which can logically produce another explosion on the Western frontiers of Germany is the denial of expansion; not only on her Eastern frontiers but in her limited though necessary and natural colonial ambitions. Yet Financial-Democratic policy could not be more perfectly designed to promote that explosion than by the dual policy of denying Germany colonial outlet and of circumscribing her in the East by a menacing Democratic-Soviet alliance.

    But the solution here suggested is not the partition of Russia, not merely because it is the first interest of Europe and should be the first objective of British policy to keep the peace, but also because the solution of the European problems in terms both economic and political is possible on the lines already indicated without any offensive action against Russia. Rather it is here my purpose to suggest Russia should be told to mind her own business and to leave Europe and Western civilization alone to manage their own affairs. We seek war and strife with no nation, but to Russia we say: 'Hands off Europe and back to the East where you belong!'

    While, therefore, Fascist Europe desires only peace, it can give reality to collective security by a new collective spirit in face of the common menace to Europe and the British Empire, which is the ceaseless intrigue of Soviet power that seeks to gain time, by negotiation and fair speech, for the destruction of Western civilization by the simple process of first dividing the advanced nations of Europe and then setting them at each other's throats in quarrels which have neither material nor spiritual relevance to reality.

    The system of Financial Democracy crumbles in decay to collapse throughout the world and the stricken and bewildered peoples search for an alternative which presents hope of peace and security. The alternative of the modern Movement rises with the stark realism of granite above the confusion of present politics not only as a rock on which humanity may build anew but as a conception illuminated by the highest ideal of national and world citizenship which has yet animated the soul of man. The realism of the new creed builds upon the basic fact of economic settlement and justice for individual nations, without which all else is vain. It recognizes that European leadership must rest with the great powers and that in material terms a Four Power Bloc of Fascist nations can guarantee not only the peace of Europe but the peace of the world once their policies are united in objectives which are susceptible of synthesis. But materialism alone is not enough, and upon the basic fact of an established community of interest the universalism of Fascism and National Socialism erects the majestic edifice of a new world idea which commands the mind and spirit of man with the fiery force of a new religion. The old world will not mingle: so the peace of mankind attends in all lands the passing of the Old World, and Britain by force of material power and potential of moral leadership becomes the ultimate arena of struggle between the Old and the New, within which the destiny of White civilization will be decided. Great is the responsibility that high fate imposes upon us. We fight not only for the salvation of the land we love; we fight also for the Peace of Mankind.
    http://www.geocities.com/integral_tradition/faseu.html

    Christianity, Nietzscheanism, and Spengler's Doctrine of Caesarism
    by Sir Oswald Mosley, excerpt from 'The Philosophy of Fascism'

    Our opponents allege that Fascism has no historic background or philosophy, and it is my task to suggest that Fascism has roots deep in history and has been sustained by some of the finest flights of the speculative mind. I am, of course, aware that not much philosophy attaches to our activities in the columns of the daily press, and when you read that I was to lecture on 'The Philosophy of Fascism', probably many of you said: 'What has this gangster to do with philosophy. However, I trust you will believe that those great mirrors of the public mind do not always give a very accurate reflection, and while you only read of the more stirring moments of our progress, yet there are other moments, which have some depth in thought and constructive conception.

    I believe that Fascist philosophy can be expressed in intelligible terms, and while it makes an entirely novel contribution to the thought of this age, it can yet be shown to derive both its origin and its historic support from the established thought of the past.

    In the first instance, I suggest that most philosophies of action are derived from a synthesis of cultural conflicts in a previous period. Where, in an age of culture, of thought, of abstract speculation, you find two great cultures in sharp antithesis, you usually find, in the following age of action, some synthesis in practice between those two sharp antitheses which leads to a practical creed of action.

    I would suggest to you that in the last century, the major intellectual struggle arose from the tremendous impact of Nietszchian thought on the Christian civilization of two thousand years. That impact was only very slowly realized. Its full implications are only today working themselves out. But turn where you will in modern thought, you find the results of that struggle for mastery of the mind and the spirit of man. I am not myself stating the case against Christianity, because I am going to show you how I believe the Nietszchian and the Christian doctrines are capable of synthesis. There is duality in everything as we shall see.

    On the one hand you find in Fascism, taken from Christianity, taken directly from the Christian conception, the immense vision of service, of self abnegation, of self-sacrifice in the cause of others, in the cause of the world, in the cause of your country; not the elimination of the individual, so much as the fusion of the individual in something far greater than himself; and you have that basic doctrine of Fascism, service, self-surrender to what the Fascist must conceive to be the greatest cause and the greatest impulse in the world. On the other hand you find taken from Nietszchian thought the virility, the challenge to all existing things which impede the march of mankind, the absolute abnegation of the doctrine of surrender; the firm ability to grapple with and to overcome all obstructions. You have, in fact, the creation of a doctrine of men of vigor and of self-help which is the other outstanding characteristic of Fascism.

    At the moment of a great world crisis, a crisis which in the end will inevitably deepen, a movement emerges from a historic background which makes its emergence inevitable, carrying certain traditional attributes derived from a very glorious past, but facing the facts of today, armed with the instruments which only this age has ever conferred upon mankind. By this new and wonderful coincidence of instrument and of event the problems of the age can be overcome, and the future can be assured in a progressive stability. Possibly this is the last great wave of the immortal, the eternally recurring Caesarian movement; but with the aid of science, and with the inspiration of the modern mind, this wave shall carry humanity to the further shore.

    http://www.geocities.com/integral_tr...caesarism.html
    Last edited by Moody; Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 at 05:57 PM.

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    Thumbs Up Oswald Mosley: British Politician and Philosopher

    Interesting website about the famous Britsh Nationalist leader. eBooks and sound files

    http://www.oswaldmosley.com/

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    Thumbs Up Oswald Mosley: : The Rise & Fall of English Fascism Between 1918-45

    OSWALD MOSLEY: The Rise & Fall of English Fascism Between 1918-45
    by Troy Southgate

    WHILST evaluations of the Hitlerian and Mussolinian regimes run into many thousands, Fascism in England is a subject which has received far less coverage in the political and historical mainstream. But in order to analyse the mixed fortunes of its adherents between 1918 and 1945, one should never overlook the seemingly irrelevant - albeit crucial - ingredients which contribute to the overall flavour of this rather unlikely phenomenon. The story of English Fascism concerns far more than the deeds of the Blackshirts themselves. Throughout the brief period of comparative military quietude between the British Establishment and its apparently ‘traditional’ German adversaries, Fascism in England did not splutter erratically like a dilapidated exhaust-pipe, on the contrary, its uncomplicated development can be traced from its humble origins right through to its short-lived climax, and from there to its penultimate and ignoble demise. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that the article with which this booklet is concerned inevitably adheres to a somewhat bell-curved format.

    According to Eugen Weber, Fascism in England “seems almost a contradiction because Great Britain - and especially England - is known as a law-abiding and constitution minded country, where violence is out of place, existing institutions are respected, and gradual reform is the rule”[1]. But in the wake of the First World War, however, Fascism was poised to find much in the way of support from the English people. During the formulative years of the twentieth century the British Brothers’ League appeared, and, slightly later in 1919, Henry Hamilton Beamish founded The Britons, a London society committed to the exposure of the Jewish “secret conspiracy”[2]. The group republished and distributed copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a document which, although still unproven, accords with the main events in modern world history. Many of the group’s leaders were associated with similar organisations like the Eugenics Society, Loyalty League, Navy League and Vigilantes Society. But the first truly organised appearance of Fascism in England came in the shape of the British Fascisti, which, partly because it had been modelled on the Italian system, found very little support. Ironically, perhaps, the group owed its emergence to a woman. In 1923, Miss Rotha Lintorn-Orman, a Field-Marshall’s daughter, had become “gravely alarmed at the rise of Socialism and Communism and decided to insert a series of six advertisements in the Duke of Northumberland’s paper, The Patriot. The advertisements asked for recruits for a ‘British Fascisti’ to act as an organised force to combat Red Revolution.”[3] Lintorn-Orman had served in the Women’s Reserve Ambulance during the First World War and pledged her support for the Monarchy, the Constitution and the imperialist British Empire. One prominent member of the group was William Joyce [see below], a man later known as ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ and hanged for collaborating with Hitler’s Government during the Second World War. This capricious launching-pad soon split into various warring factions - “extremist little groups, dissatisfied with the Movement’s staid activities”[4] - such as the British Empire Fascists, the Fascist League and the Fascist Movement, all of whom were joined in 1925 by the black-shirted National Fascisti. Other, smaller groups came into existence, like the British National Fascists and the United Empire Fascists, each of them imitating their Italian contemporaries and “enjoying brief lives under pocket Mussolinis”[5].

    In 1924, Arnold Spencer Leese became a member of the British Fascisti and soon rose through the ranks to become the main organiser of its Stamford branch. Leese, born in 1877, was a veterinary surgeon and specialist in camel diseases; unlikely credentials, perhaps, for an emerging Fascist leader. However, Leese had a genuine fondness for animals and many attributed his ‘anti-Semitism’ to an inherent “distaste for the Kosher method of slaughtering animals.”[6] Due to an uncompromising attitude towards those around him, Leese eventually made the Stamford branch of the British Fascisti a totally independent organisation after he and Henry Simpson had deliberately broken the rules of the group’s constitution by standing in a 1927 municipal election. By 1929 Leese had formed the Imperial Fascist League (IFL), a group which attracted a “working class and youth element”[7] and for its emblem combined the Union Flag with the Swastika. The IFL soon began to publish its own newspaper, The Fascist, which declared itself an “organ of racial fascism”[8]. But apart from the various factional disputes which took place in and around the Far Right during this early period, their importance was only apparent to those involved and groups like the IFL remained fairly small. Indeed, by 1933, just four years after its inception, the IFL was only able to assemble sixteen uniformed members at a major meeting of Leslie H. Sherrard’s ‘Fascist Legions’. The numerical weakness of the IFL did not seem to worry Leese, however, and despite the fact that nine out of ten recruits lapsed soon after joining, “his aim, he said, was quality rather than quantity.”[9] But whilst he and his most loyal followers were subsequently accused of languishing “in obscurity for nearly half a century without any increase in the handful of members with which they began”[10], a new player emerged from the wings. Sir Oswald Mosley, who had trained at the Sandhurst military academy, was set to become the most well known Fascist leader this country has ever seen. When an influential figure decides to embrace an existing political ideology, it is often the case that he or she acts as a catalyst. Just as George Bernard Shaw had misguidedly returned from his beloved Russia and pointed his true colours to the Bolshevik mast for all to see, thus increasingly the credibility of his new-found comrades overseas, so Mosley’s decision to embrace Fascism provided the denizens of the English Far Right with a fresh air of respectability.>

    After being wounded during the First World War, Mosley came to appreciate what he regarded as the efficiency of the interventionist State. In 1918 Mosley became the Conservative Party MP for Harrow, although he was first and foremost a staunch Unionist and “rarely, if ever, described himself as a Conservative.”[11] Indeed, by 1920 he had left the Party with many people speculating that he was gravitating towards Labour. Even Beatrice Webb described him as “the perfect politician who is also the perfect gentleman.”[12] High praise indeed! But whilst Mosley’s ‘defection’ across the floor of the Commons seemed imminent, he initially stood at Harrow in 1922 as an independent, only joining the Labour Party two years later after declining an offer to join forces with Stanley Baldwin. As he was later to reflect, after a war in which so many people from these isles perished during a struggle for what they hoped would be a brighter future, between 1924-9 Baldwin’s government had plunged the country into a sterile climate of comparative ‘normality’. Meanwhile, Mosley’s campaign in the 1924 election proved disastrous and he failed to get himself elected. By 1926, however, Mosley had been elected in Birmingham. As a specialist on unemployment, Mosley advocated a ‘homes for heroes’ policy and sympathised with John Maynard Keynes prior to the General Theory of 1936. In 1925 Mosley produced an allegedly contentious pamphlet, entitled Revolution by Reason, and, by 1929, had been made an advisor on unemployment for the incoming Labour government led headed by J. Ramsey Macdonald. He was also regarded as being next in line for the Prime Minister’s job. But Mosley’s increasing unhappiness with the centre parties saw him establish a group within the Parliamentary Labour Party, and, in a January 1930 memorandum - known as the Mosley Manifesto - he declared that his main aims were expanded credit, the exclusion of foreign goods, the raising of the school leaving age and the accentuation of the British Empire. For those who were misguided enough to place their faith in the corrupt Zionist system, this programme was regarded as both simple and pragmatic. But, predictably, it was rejected by the Cabinet because of its supposedly ‘radical’ nature. In May 1930, Mosley resigned from his government post and tried to promote his objectives at the Party’s October conference instead. But although it has been stated that by this time he had “reached his highest point in conventional English politics”[13] and “become a major political personality in his own right, with a wide, and unique, range of support and goodwill across the political spectrum”[14], as a result of his continued and persistent dissidence and the fact that he had inadvertently portrayed the Labour Party as ‘quasi-fascist’ in a press interview, by March 1931 Mosley had been expelled and forced to search for an alternative outlet for his political engines.

    Whereas Mosley’s political acrobatics may seem a far cry from the relatively marginalised fringes of English Fascism, there is little doubt that his Statist credentials became the spark which ignited the deluded hearts and minds of the masses and, despite the fact that it had basically burnt itself out in less than a decade, the Fascist prototype was taken out of storage, dusted off, revitalised and hurriedly shoved out into the stagnant arena of party politics. In March 1931 Mosley formed the New Party and was joined in this new venture by six from seventeen of those Labour Party officials who has signed the Mosley Manifesto. In October 1931 the New Party put up twenty-four candidates and all were defeated. The true significance of this defeat soon became apparent in 1935, when no candidates were put up whatsoever. But the New Party was never a truly Fascist entity in its own right and, according to Colin Cross, it was only when Mosley realised the extent to which his policies were opposed by angry mobs of Labour supporters baying for his blood that he decided to embrace Fascism as a means of protecting both himself and his supporters from physical attack[15]. But whilst Cross carefully attributes this belief to John Strachey, there remains little truth in the assertion. Although Mosley was renowned for his flirtation with several of the existing Establishment parties, when he initially entered the domain of Fascist politics he was in possession of one or two very strong ideological principles (although policy-making decisions were gradually left to others as time wore on). Despite the opportunistic nature of the man himself, it is quite ridiculous to assume that Mosley adopted Fascism simply for its ability to provide its leading figures with a ready-made army of street-fighters. After all, what good are bodyguards if you have to change or water-down your original principles in order to be accepted by a few hardened combatants? Whilst Mosley was often an indecisive man, he was never a careerist and his willingness to make a stand for what he considered to be right was, to some extent, emulated by Enoch Powell some years later. This does not, however, mean that reactionaries like Mosley and Powell should be worthy of our respect. We revolutionaries have our own ideological mentors. But why did Mosley embrace Fascism? Well, despite the fact that the New Party itself was not Fascist, it certainly served as a kind of Fascist ante-chamber. Towards the end of 1931, Mosley was beginning to study the Fascist and National-Socialist regimes in Italy and Germany respectively and, as a result, by January 1932 he had visited both Hitler and Mussolini personally, events which undoubtedly “strengthened his faith in Fascist politics.”[16] Several years on, Mosley even married his second wife in Berlin and held the reception in Hitler’s very own house. From that moment on, the full title of his new movement became the British Union of Fascists and National-Socialists. But if Mosley had found his ideological niche, then Fascism in England had gained a temporary reprieve from political obscurity.

    On October 1st, 1932, the New Party had been dissolved and the British Union of Fascists (BUF) formerly launched. Among the BUF’s leading members were Arthur Kenneth Chesterton, second cousin to G. K. Chesterton and later to become the first Chairman of the National Front; Alexander Raven Thomson, an expert on Corporatist economics who “possessed a mind of appreciable intellectual power”[17]; Neil Francis-Hawkins; and the aforementioned William Joyce. Whilst the leadership of the BUF was overwhelmingly middle-class, the movement also managed to attract a mixture of university graduates, ex-soldiers and the unemployed. The early success of the BUF was partly due to Mosley’s ability to court the English aristocracy, a strategy which, by 1934, had secured the financial support of Lord Rothermere, a wealthy accountant who viewed the BUF as being little more than something with which to scare the Conservative Party into more decisive economic action. Whilst the link with Rothermere opened up a fringe dialogue with the more reactionary members of the conservative Party, the BUF found itself inundated with enquiries for membership after Daily Mail headlines had announced ‘The Blackshirts Have Arrived!’ and ‘Hurrah For The Blackshirts!’, plunging Fascism into the political mainstream. At the now famous indoor meeting held at London’s Olympia in June 1934, the BUF entertained an audience of over 30,000 people. For many of those who had been cruelly demoralised by the Great Depression, the attraction of Fascism could be found in its ability to infuse its members with pride and self-respect. Unemployed men and women felt part of an emerging historical phenomenon, rather than part of the scrapheap created by the economic disaster sweeping the country at the time. In addition, despite the fact that BUF membership was originally open to those of Jewish (Khazar) extraction, when Mosley suddenly realised that the thorny issue surrounding Jewish control of shops and businesses in the East End of London could increase his support, he used it to “boost membership”[18]. Consequently, at a meeting in the Albert Hall during October 1934 Mosley used the opportunity of a mass gathering to denounce “the power of organised Jewry, which is today mobilised against Fascism”[19]. Whilst the escalation of violence will be discussed in due course, 1934 was a year in which the fortunes of Fascism reached an all-time high. In the same year, Lintorn-Orman’s British Fascisti was facing imminent bankruptcy and the IFL was attracting the attention of the Home Office after a complaint that two of its speakers had declared that “they would clear all the Jews out of the country”[20]. But whilst the BUF and IFL’s fiery denunciations of Jewish power differed only in terms of rhetoric, Leese accused Mosley of being a ‘Kosher Fascist’ due to the latter’s defence of Freemasonry and an allegation that William Joyce had employed the services of a lawyer “whose daughter recently married a Rothschild”[21]. Indeed, according to Leese - who seemed by far the most genuine and honest character amongst those of the early Fascist generation - “Mosley was muscling in to the Fascist field of politics.”[22] Furthermore, it seems, “He had the money and we had not, and he was a well-known figure in democratic politics and did not attempt to face the Jewish issue (how could he with his first with the grand-daughter of Levi Leiter, the flour-cornerer of Chicago?) he took what little wind there was out of our sails for a time.”[23] By September 1933 many people thought Mosley was following some kind of secret agenda, especially when the President of the Oxford Union’s Jewish Society correctly stated that “Our greatest supporters in the fight against the Imperial Fascists are the Mosley Fascists themselves.”[24]

    But as far as the warring components of English Fascism were concerned, from that point on it was downhill all the way and we must now turn our attention to their gradual demise. After Rothermere had withdrawn his short-lived financial support for the BUF after the violent events at Olympia in 1934, it inevitably “became more alienated from the British political culture.”[25] Internal problems also took their toll, and whilst the BUF was portrayed as “a thriving, organised movement, united behind an infallible leader”[26], the reality was quite different. Mosley had always been a very poor judge of character and when BUF funds fell victim to widespread petty theft inspired by the worsening Depression, the blame lay with the fact that his “delegation of administrative and organisational functions tended to leave mediocrities and incompetents in charge.”[27] It has since been noted that Mosley was too honest for his own good, and that he lacked cynicism. Similarly, the BUF was also challenged internally by those who continually encouraged the movement to take a more paramilitary stance, and an opposing clique which sought to repackage Fascism and make it somewhat more palatable to the average man and woman in the street. When Mosley saw that the BUF could not realistically tolerate both factions within the same camp. he was eventually forced to concede that direct action was far more effective in the battle for recruits than the piecemeal efforts of his more ideological associates. Needless to say, the more astute members of the BUF - among them Chesterton, Joyce and Beckett - resigned in order to pursue their own objectives. But Mosley’s fascination with paramilitary organisation was something of a contradiction for a man who had developed his policies within the existing parties of the political Establishment. Further, Mosley was never an anti-parliamentarian anyway.

    The failure of the BUF has much to do with the strong parliamentary system which, this far, has always been very characteristic of politics in the British Isles. John Weiss has noted that “Conservatives in England remained true to their own grand tradition in the end, as a wave of revulsion against Mosley’s street toughs and storm troopers swept through all groups.”[28] In addition, the lower middle-class was thought to be “too well off and too liberal”[29] to support Fascism and whilst similar movements in Germany and Italy were able to thrive in their respective atmospheres of socio-economic despair, disillusionment and the threat of Bolshevik insurrection, English folk were far too reserved to take such claims seriously. In short, although the parliamentary system appeared to be immersed within a puddle of economic stagnation, the situation was seemingly not so desperate as to require the measures being advocated in Central Europe. Predictably, from 1931 onwards the Conservative-dominated National Government “provided a safe haven for the propertied classes and thus denied the BUF political space on the Right in which to develop as a credible alternative.”[30] In addition, the fact that the BUF was simple unable to capitalise upon the prevailing air of economic discontent suggests that the likes of Mosley and Leese “are unable to succeed in societies where there are too many vestiges of the feudal past.”[31] But more importantly, Mosley always remained part of the existing System and never attempted to transcend or undermine the Establishment by creating any visible socio-economic structures on the periphery. In 1931 the government abandoned the Gold Standard, a move which was closely followed by low interest rates, falling unemployment and increasing prosperity. Mosley - that self-professed economic ‘radical’ - had squandered his only chance.

    According to many historians, one of the main reasons why the BUF was unable to make a breakthrough can be directly attributed to its tendency to adopt ‘foreign’ methods of promulgation. The flag-waving pageantry of the East End street party has been compared by the more ridiculous and hysterical academics to the torchlit rallies at Nuremberg, and the BUF was shown in an equally ‘foreign’ light by a hostile media completely opposed to such concepts as nationhood and patriotism. Despite his lack of imagination, Mosley was hardly the first man to stage a procession of Union flags on English soil, but his stage-managed adoption of the black-shirted uniform, neo-runic insignia and organisational authoritarianism replete with Roman salute, inextricably connected him with significant events happening elsewhere in Europe. On the other hand, it could be argued that England had far more in common with her cousins in Germany and Italy than with the seeping liberalism which emanated from Westminster, but the controlled media was having none of it. The British Establishment had already chosen to side against the future Axis powers, and Mosley was fast becoming an irritant who had to be dealt with once and for all. The Fascist leader suddenly found himself in a dilemma; on the one hand he was keen to appear patriotic and pro-Empire, but, on the other, he was incessantly portrayed as ‘the enemy within’.

    The most important factor relating to failure of English Fascism was violence, or at least its inference. Marxist and Jewish historians alike, delight in vilifying the BUF as being solely responsible for the various street battles which took place during the 1930s. Similarly, so-called ‘anti-fascists’ are ordinarily depicted as honest opponents of totalitarianism, men and women who mobilised themselves to defeat a growing menace which had been imported from the Continent. But whilst the BUF undoubtedly attracted many violent young men who wished to find an outlet for their pathological frustrations, Mosley often managed to channel this aggression by imbuing such elements with a strong sense of loyalty and devotion towards the Fascist cause itself. Whenever Fascists used violence against their opponents it was in self-defence. Indeed, BUF meetings were frequently broken up and the organisation’s sympathisers were constantly attacked and beaten by those who claimed to represent the best interests of the nation at large. The reality is that Fascism often managed to unite the various sections of society and leftists knew only too well that their outdated theories of class struggle cannot in any way be reconciled with the reawakened spirit of national unity. The involvement of the British Communist Party was part of a Marxian revival which had been inspired by events between Nationalist and Republican insurgents in Spain. As these so-called ‘extremists’ of the Right and Left of the political spectrum fought out their differences on the streets, the average voter began to feel alienated and strongly abhorred the new orgy of violence which was beginning to spread to many of the cities and towns of England. Many such people began to return to the pro-Establishment fold as the centre ground regained its composure in the face of a minor civil war. As Andrew Mitchell concedes: “Militant Communist, Jewish and Labour opponents successfully saddled the BUF with the public blame for violence and disorder.”[32] Whilst the press tried to insinuate that violence directed at the BUF was merely the result of spontaneous uprisings by ‘English anti-fascists’, William Joyce compiled an extensive list of Jews who had been arrested and charged for such acts. In his view: “These little sub-men are a nuisance to be eliminated, but their wealthy instigators and controllers, well known to us, are, in sum, a criminal monstrosity, for which not all the gold of Jewry can pay the just compensation which we will demand and obtain.”[33] From November 1933 onwards, the State launched a campaign of intimidation and surveillance against the BUF, and the press managed to impose a mass boycott in the same way that the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is still able to do with regard to groups like the National Front (NF) and British National Party (BNP) today. So whilst “Newspaper editors and the BBC were advised not to report Fascist activities or publicise pro-Mosley views”[34], the sole image of the BUF which was projected to the general public was one of extremism and negativity.

    With the approach of the Second World War, the final blow for the BUF came with the adoption of a further campaign of systematic State repression. By December 1936, the BUF found it increasingly difficult to hire council-owned venues for its meetings and the new Public Order Act had outlawed the wearing of paramilitary uniform. This measure severely affected the ability of the BUF to operate effectively and, in his memoirs, Mosley asks: “Has any other political party in Britain experienced, let alone survived, two special measures passed by Parliament for its suppression? If not, we must bear alone the burden for this dubious honour.”[35] By December 1938 BUF membership was estimated at 16,500, and this figure increased slightly as Mosley took full advantage of widespread hostility to the approaching conflict with Germany and organised a ‘Stop The War’ campaign. In July 1939, 20,000 supporters attended a peace rally at London’s Earl’s Court and, by September of the same year, the BUF had 22,500 members. It was inevitable, however, that as the allies began to close ranks against Hitler the British Establishment launched its own programme of ‘patriotic’ opposition to Fascism. As a result, this artificially-induced fervour saw the BUF once again portrayed as an internal threat to the country’s national interests and, once the masses had accepted this fabricated view, from May 1940 onwards the internment of 747 BUF supporters under Defence Regulation 18(b) became something of a formality. Two months later the BUF was officially banned and 26,000 German, Austrian and Italian immigrants also rounded up and brutally incarcerated by the British State.

    Thus, I have attempted to demonstrate how Fascism was retrieved from the fringes of English politics between the wars and revitalised by its greatest asset: Sir Oswald Mosley. But despite Mosley’s charismatic leadership and his ability to win recruits for the BUF by capitalising upon the issue of Jewish power and securing the short-term financial support of Lord Rothermere, English Fascism was eventually destroyed by its own ideological and strategic contradictions. Moreover, it was brought down by those external factors - strong government, Zionist and leftist violence, media hostility and State repression - over which it had little or no control. The BUF, despite leaving Arnold Leese and the IFL floundering at the starting-post like the proverbial tortoise, eventually found itself consigned to the very same tomb of political failure. Put simply, in the words of F. L. Carsten: “The national climate and the political structure did not favour its growth, and Sir Oswald Mosley was neither a Hitler nor a Mussolini.”[36] But for those who seriously think that a policy of Nationalism can be achieved by pursuing an electoral of constitutionalist policy, the fortunes of English Fascism prior to 1945 prove just how futile it is to tread such a path. The likes of the BNP today, just like Mosley and the BUF before it, will continue to fail miserably because those who willingly engage in the absurdities of the existing parliamentary system are destined to be controlled and manipulated by the very system itself. The BUF was forced to learn the hard way, but the fact that contemporary organisations like the BNP still refuse to recognise or acknowledge the mistakes of the past more than fifty years on, can only be viewed with deep suspicion.

    Notes:
    Eugen Weber; Varieties of Fascism (Van Nostrand & Co., 1964), p. 106. [Back]
    Colin Cross; The Fascists in Britain (Barrie & Rockliff, 1961), p. 120. [Back]
    Ibid., p. 57. [Back]
    Ibid., p. 60. [Back]
    Ibid., p. 61. [Back]
    Ibid., p. 63. [Back]
    Richard C. Thurlow; Fascism in Britain: A History 1918-1985 (Basil Blackwell, 1987), p. 64. [Back]
    Imperial Fascist League; The Fascist (October 1934), #65, p. 1. [Back]
    Cross, op. cit., p. 64. [Back]
    Sir Oswald Mosley; My Life (Thomas Nelson, 1968), p. 445. [Back]
    Cross, op. cit., p. 11. [Back]
    Ibid., p. 17. [Back]
    Robert Skidelsky; Oswald Mosley (Macmillan, 1975), p. 286. [Back]
    Ibid. [Back]
    Cross, op. cit., p. 47. [Back]
    Andrew Mitchell; Mosley and the BUF: British Fascism in the 1930s in Modern History Review (April 1993), #4, Vol. 4, p. 19. [Back]
    Thurlow, op. cit., p. 131. [Back]
    Michell, op. cit., p. 19. [Back]
    W. F. Mandle; Anti-Semitism and the British Union of Fascists (Longman, Green & Co., 1968), p. 11. [Back]
    Thurlow, op. cit., p. 74. [Back]
    Imperial Fascist League, op. cit., p. 4. [Back]
    Arnold S. Leese; Out of Step: Events in the Two Lives of An Anti-Jewish Camel Doctor (Imperial Fascist League, 1947), p. 52. [Back]
    Ibid. [Back]
    Ibid. [Back]
    Richard C. Thurlow; The Return of Jeremiah in Kenneth Lunn & Richard C. Thurlow (ed.) British Fascism: Essays on the Radical Right in Inter-War Britain (Croom Helm, 1980), p. 108. [Back]
    Mitchell, op. cit., p. 20. [Back]
    Ibid. [Back]
    John Weiss; The Fascist Tradition (Harper & Row, 1966), p. 81. [Back]
    Ibid. [Back]
    Mitchell, op. cit., p. 20. [Back]
    Weiss, op. cit., p. 82. [Back]
    Mitchell, op. cit., p. 31. [Back]
    William Joyce; Fascism and Jewry (Sons of Liberty, 1976), p. 8. [Back]
    Mitchell, op. cit., p. 21. [Back]
    Mosley, op. cit., p. 312. [Back]
    F. L. Carsten; The Rise of Fascism (Methuen, 1970), p. 223. [Back]
    Bibliography
    J. Drennan; BUF: Oswald Mosley and British Fascism (Murray, 1934).
    Roger Griffin; The Nature of Fascism (Routledge, 1993).
    Roger Griffin (ed.); Fascism (Oxford University Press, 1995).
    Roger Griffin; International Fascism (Arnold, 1998).
    Richard Griffiths; Fellow Travellers of the Right: British Enthusiasts for Nazi Germany 1933-39 (Oxford University Press, 1983).
    H. R. Kedward; Fascism in Western Europe 1900-45 (NYU Press, 1971).

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    Mein Glaube ist die Liebe zu meinem Volk. Juthunge's Avatar
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    An interesting documentary about Mosley, underlaid mostly with his own speeches. He was a very worthy man and politician, with a grand vision for a cooperative Europe, which nevertheless bears no resemblance to the EU we know and despise.


    A documentary based around the work, speeches, and life events of Sir Oswald Mosley, a 20th century British politician, European visionary, and compassionate humanist.

    Mosley was a man of supreme philosophical and political wisdom, and a man who is now finally becoming known as one of the greatest thinkers of his era, and ultimately one of the greatest men to of graced this Earth.

    This biopic film is comprised of 5 parts and 25 chapters and aims to archive Sir Oswald Mosley speeches, life events, and uncover an eternal legacy of struggle, morality, and honour.

    Another video of his full vision for Europe. Passages of it are also used in the above video.

    Sir Oswald Mosley's speech on creating a European superstate
    And the day they sold us out, Our hearts grew cold
    'Cause we were never asked, No brother, we were told!
    What do they know of Europe, Who only Europe know?



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    Post-war interviews with Mosley. Especially the first one is worth watching. A comparison with pre-war writings and speeches would be interesting to see whether his position had shifted. Especially concerning him embracing a form of parliamentary control. I'm not that well read on Mosley and the Blackshirts to judge whether he abandoned previous principles or not. One thing that is obvious though, is that (like the early fascists in Italy) British fascism lacked the typical folkish component of German nationalsocialism.
    I love how he debates almost as if he is giving a speech. Especially when things get heated in the 1967 interview he remains as eloquent as ever. The mob mentality of the croud is repulsive though.

    The Frost Programme - Oswald Mosley (1967)


    Thames Television - Oswald Mosley (1975)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    A comparison with pre-war writings and speeches would be interesting to see whether his position had shifted. Especially concerning him embracing a form of parliamentary control. I'm not that well read on Mosley and the Blackshirts to judge whether he abandoned previous principles or not.
    An effective parliament was certainly in line with Mosley’s thinking even before the war. It was, however, far different from then or now existing forms of parliaments because it was based on corporatism:
    Instead of voting for M.P.s on a local franchise he advocated the occupational or vocational franchise. Under this system everyone who worked in healthcare would choose from healthcare candidates, teachers for teaching candidates, transport workers for transport candidates, retail workers for retail candidates etc. In this way we would create a parliament of experts – elected by experts.
    This quote is from a good first source, although it’s not so obvious there, what his original pre-war and what his post-war ideas are. If, indeed, there are ideological differences between them at all.

    In his own words:
    14. Will Fascism allow opposition parties to exist ?
    It is the deliberate aim of Fascism to bring to an end the Party game which we believe to be the ruin of the Nation. We substitute a new system of action suited to the modern age for the system of talk which belongs to the past. For instance, a Parliament elected under Fascism will be a technical and not a political Parliament. The franchise will be occupational and not geographical. Men and women will vote according to their industry or profession, and not according to their locality. They will vote for people versed in the problems of their industries, and not for professional politicians. In such a system there is no place for parties and for politicians. We shall ask the people for a mandate to bring to an end the Party system and the Parties. We invite them to enter a new civilisation. Parties and the Party game belong to the old civilisation, which has failed.

    17. How will you use Parliamentary Power ?
    The first Act of a Fascist majority will be to confer on Fascist Government the power to act by Order, subject to the right of Parliament at any time to dismiss the Government by vote of censure if it abuses that Power. Thus we shall combine the power of the Government to act with the right of the people to control the Government through the Parliament they have elected.
    These excerpts are from Fascism: One Hundred Questions Asked And Answered by Mosley himself, which is generally a good first read for any question concerning British Fascism.

    Germany had traditionally and historically always had a more authoritarian government style, as opposed to both British and Italian Parliamentarian Monarchy (and also the republican governments of the North Italian medieval communes).

    That's likely the most important reason, why there was no form of higher legal control over the supreme leader in the former, while there was a Parliamentarian control supposed to be in Britain.
    In Italy, there was also a form of control, not exactly through Parliament but via the Grand Council of Fascists. The latter of which indeed deposed Mussolini in 1943, after all.

    I find the British/Italian approach more sound or rather, sustainable, as I always struggled to understand, what was planned in case of Hitler's death, even if the war had been won. There's no real legal mechanism to ensure sucession of the supreme leader.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    One thing that is obvious though, is that (like the early fascists in Italy) British fascism lacked the typical folkish component of German nationalsocialism.
    It’s similar as with the form of legal control existant in both British and Italian Fascism, as opposed to German Nationalsocialism.
    Völkisch thought, if that is, what you refer to, was likely unique to Germany or, at least, continental Germanics due to our unique historical circumstances.

    It's more rooted in romanticism and Blood and Soil, whereas Italian Fascism was rooted in modernist, technological Futurism and British Fascism rather in traditional English thought.
    However, Italian Fascism was by no means non- or even anti-racialist and I have no good reason to assume, that it was much different for Mosley.
    The latter saw himself as foremost English, British and European.

    Again in Mosley’s own words:
    7. What are the differences between Fascism in Britain and Fascism in Italy and Germany ?
    The main difference is that they are Italian or German and that we are British. From this all other differences follow. Fascism in essence is a national creed finding a different national expression and method in each nation. For this reason, Fascist Movements in' each country vary more than Socialist or Communist Movements, which are international. All great Movements have been common to the world as a whole, both political and religious. All the old Parties have their foreign counterparts. Liberalism, for instance, deluged the continent with blood, but came to Great Britain by British methods characteristic of this nation's ordered greatness. In this respect we do what our forefathers did before us. We seek to bring the creed of our age to Great Britain by British methods in accord with British character. We seek also to emulate their example by finding for the creed of our age its highest expression and development in these islands. The British have not always originated the creed of the age, but they have usually perfected it. We claim that the policy of Fascism in Britain goes far beyond any continental analogy in constructive conception.

    93. Do you believe in the racial theories of the German Nazi Movement ?
    They are German and we are English, therefore our views and our methods on many subjects will be different. In this particular we possess a great Empire comprising many different races. They possess no such Empire, and their aim is a revived German race, geographically united. We believe profoundly in our own British race which has created the Empire, but we know also it would be bad for the Empire to stigmatise by law other races within it as inferior or outcast. We have created that Empire without race mixture or pollution, by reason of the British social sense and pride of race. That is an achievement unique in history, and we can trust the British genius in this respect in the future as in the past. It should not be necessary to secure British racial purity by act of law. It should only be necessary by education and propaganda to teach the British what racial mixtures are bad. If a Briton understands that some action is bad for his race he will not do it. With the British this is a matter for the teacher rather than the legislator, but if legislation was ever necessary to preserve the race, Fascism would not hesitate to introduce it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    I love how he debates almost as if he is giving a speech. Especially when things get heated in the 1967 interview he remains as eloquent as ever. The mob mentality of the croud is repulsive though.
    Yes, even at relatively old age he made a dignified impression, unlike the plebeian crowd and especially unlike the obnoxious, entirely biased interviewer. The latter would already fit entirely into our modern media scene.
    And the day they sold us out, Our hearts grew cold
    'Cause we were never asked, No brother, we were told!
    What do they know of Europe, Who only Europe know?



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    Thanks, this does make things clearer and show a general continuity in his political ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juthunge View Post
    I find the British/Italian approach more sound or rather, sustainable, as I always struggled to understand, what was planned in case of Hitler's death, even if the war had been won. There's no real legal mechanism to ensure sucession of the supreme leader.
    I tend to agree. Although there were proposals and institutions to guarantee a future leadership. Rosenberg's writing on the 'Ordensstaat' is a good example of this; the idea was to create a new elite, from which new leaders could emerge. I think there were two problems that made this hard in practice though. The first was that there were competing initiatives. Rosenberg and Himmler could hardly be considered friends, to put it mildly, but both were concerned with the creation and education of this new elite. So in the hypothetical case that the Third Reich would have been around for a longer time, it's still an important question whether these ideas would have been put to practice successfully. The second problem is whether the leadership cult wasn't getting too big and powerful, so to prevent any 'order' from becoming a significant force in ruling the country. I think this was also Evola's point: he applauded the emergence of the SS as a ruling order, but was worried about the large emphasis on the personality of Hitler (just think of the term 'Hitlerjugend').


    Quote Originally Posted by Juthunge View Post
    It’s similar as with the form of legal control existant in both British and Italian Fascism, as opposed to German Nationalsocialism.
    Völkisch thought, if that is, what you refer to, was likely unique to Germany or, at least, continental Germanics due to our unique historical circumstances.

    It's more rooted in romanticism and Blood and Soil, whereas Italian Fascism was rooted in modernist, technological Futurism and British Fascism rather in traditional English thought.
    However, Italian Fascism was by no means non- or even anti-racialist and I have no good reason to assume, that it was much different for Mosley.
    The latter saw himself as foremost English, British and European.
    Yes, I mean Völkisch. I'm always in doubt whether to write it in English or in German, because the English word 'folkish' doesn't really have the same connotation, but Völkisch just sounds weird in an English sentence. So I'm not very consistent in choosing the right word.
    Yes, the fascist racialism, in general, was a more 'common sense' racialism and not rooted in specific philosophical and scientific insights. For example, racial laws were enacted in Italy when they conquered Ethiopia, but this was more akin to general colonial policies of Western countries than a deeper understanding of the racial foundations of the Italian people. Furthermore in Italian fascism the state was given preference over the ethnos up to the point that 'the state creates the nation', not to be interpreted as an open door to multiculturalism though. The difference between (Italian lead) fascism and (German) nationalsocialism also became obvious in the attempts to create a 'fascist international' by the CAUR. The norwegian Vidkun Quisling shifted his focus to Germany after becoming disillusioned by the lack of the völkisch component among fascist movements in Europe.
    This is also one of the downsides of Evola's criticism of nationalsocialism. He doesn't really seem to address the topic of völkisch thought, but rather discards it as just a form of the democratic nationalism of the twentieth century. In my opinion völkisch thought goes much deeper.
    I agree about the futurist and modernist element in Italian fascism as well, but still it should be mentioned that despite this, there was something in fascism that also attracted the anti-modernists. I think it was Maurice Bardeche who thought of fascism as a anti-1789 revolution and Armin Mohler has also claimed that fascism, as the reconciliation of left and right, is the same as his 'conservative revolution'. Perhaps this can be explained by futurism already being conservative, yet in a revolutionary way.

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    What happened to the children of Oswald Mosley's Blackshirt followers?

    By Cressida Connolly
    2 JUNE 2018

    In a memoir published in 1998, journalist Trevor Grundy recalled how, when he was a boy just after the war, his mother used to come out on to the front step of their house in Paddington to see him off to school. As he turned out of the square where they lived, he’d wave back at her.


    Each morning, she’d stand to attention and fling out her right arm in a full fascist salute. ‘I returned it. “PJ,” she shouted – Mosley-follower speak for “Perish Judah”. I shouted it back.’ And then he’d run, satchel flying, to catch his bus.

    A decade earlier, in Sussex, a little girl called Diana Bailey had been taught to greet people in the same way. Her parents, too, were supporters of Sir Oswald Mosley. Those who knew him always speak of Mosley’s remarkable charisma. Muscular (he was a keen fencer), with a characteristically upright bearing, he was a life-long womaniser, with a dash of the swashbuckler about him.

    Bailey’s parents instructed her to use the straight-arm salute and to say ‘PJ’ to passers-by when they went for an afternoon stroll. Sometimes people responded in kind: the Bognor Regis area had an especially active branch of Mosley supporters.


    Continues...

    Ivo wasn’t much minded to attend the dinner for his grandfather’s 80th birthday, in 1976. But friends persuaded him – it would be historic. Over the course of the evening he went up to the old man and asked him what he was up to at present. ‘I’m waiting for the call,’ Mosley replied.


    His grandson teased him: ‘What, the call of nature? The call of the wild?’ ‘No,’ said Mosley, ‘The call of the people. This country is descending into crisis. I will be required.’

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