Sir Oswald Mosley died in 1980, but his spirit lives on. The Mosley Archive has been online for some time, and counteracts many of the myths still propagated about this charismatic but misunderstood politician.
Yesterday, I received through the post a small leaflet, see below.
As the reader will see, the Mosley Archive can be found at OswaldMosley.Com. The first 60 issues of the advertised journal, Comrade, can be found here in Portable Document Format.
For many years it has been considered foolish, unwise or even evil to speak well of Sir Oswald Mosley, but like all politicians he had good ideas as well as bad ones. His biggest mistake was to call himself a Fascist when many of his ideas were anything but fascistic. And it is a sad fact that many of those who opposed him and still do, endorse their own brand of fascism that is far more ruthless than that preached by Mosley. As long ago as 1938, an American academic warned: “When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled made in Germany; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, Americanism”. Some would argue that to some extent, fascism has long come to both America and Britain.
In both countries, civil liberties organisations such as the ACLU and Liberty are never short of either clients or campaigns. We have seen civil asset forfeiture in both countries, which has been directed against not only convicted criminals but against people who have been told they must prove they obtained their wealth legally. We have, of course, long seen hysterical campaigns directed against racism and racists as in the recent ludicrous John Terry incident.
More recently we have seen people detained for years with neither charge nor trial, tearing up Magna Carta and habeas corpus. At this moment, two men are on trial for murder, having previously been tried for the same crime in the last Millennium. And that is before we even think about intrusive surveillance, and such things as ECHELON. Stacked against these, Oswald Mosley's brand of fascism sounds distinctly mild.
Much more could be written on this theme, but returning to Oswald Mosley, two of the main allegations levelled against him were and are anti-Semitism and the claim that British Fascists were a potential fifth column during the Second World War. This latter claim led to many British Fascists including Mosley himself being interned without trial during the War under the notorious Regulation 18b.
Regarding the charge of anti-Semitism, as recently as September, 1933, this was not the case.
In its Sept. 29, 1933, issue at page 16, the Jewish Chronicle newspaper quoted A. Herman, President of the Oxford University Jewish Society, thus: “At the present time, our greatest supporters in our fight against the Imperial Fascists are the Mosley Facists themselves.”
The Imperial Fascists was a rival organisation; the Imperial Fascist League was run by Arnold Leese, who was a fanatical anti-Semite. His views on Jewish ritual slaughter were hilarious; you can read a bit about them here. If at this time, Mosley was regarded as a friend of the Jews, clearly something went wrong, and as usual, the blame was not entirely on one side.
The main enemy of Mosley's organisation though, the BUF, were the Communists and their fellow travellers, who also presented them as a potential fifth column. This remains the prevailing view, but what these people conveniently forget is that up until Hitler double crossed Stalin, they too were fiercely opposed to war with Germany, albeit for other reasons.
In his 1950 book, I Believed, former time-serving Communist Douglas Hyde wrote, “It was not our war. It was a war between rival imperialisms with several millions of workers in uniform as the unwilling pawns...We had more to gain by defeat than victory.”
Whatever may be said of Sir Oswald Mosley, he never made such a treasonous claim.
Finally in this connection, the reader will note that the above leaflet was issued by Brockingday Publications. This word is a composite. 22-year-old George Brocking and 20-year-old Kenneth Day were RAF gunners, and the first British casualties of the Second World War. They were also members of the British Union of Fascists; the first of many who died for their country in that senseless conflict. Some fifth column.
The Mosley Archive or Friends of OM was founded by original members of Mosley's Blackshirts, including John Warburton, who died in 2004. A few years before his death, I met him along with my colleague Mark Taha.
I don't think he was too happy with my reference to his organisation as a Mosley fan club, but he always replied to my letters. His mission was not simply to keep the spirit of Mosley alive but to dispel the countless myths that are peddled about him and his followers by the likes of Gerry Gable.
That mission appears largely to have succeeded, at least in some circles. In 1997, Channel 4 broadcast a surprisingly objective dramatisation about Sir Oswald; it was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, who are both Jews.
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