Prince of the British Fringe Right

The well known 19th-century French epigram states that "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" (the more things change, the more they stay the same).  It is disquieting that some individuals in political groups in Britain today wear, as did prewar Nazis and fascists, brown shirts and black shirts as signs of political association.  The fringe right is alive and well in Britain, with disquieting historical continuities and a towering celebrity prince of sorts.  Obviously, changes occur and make differences, but the persistence and resurgence in Britain of racism and the disease of anti-Semitism may well validate Yogi Berra's unique remark: "It's déjà vu all over again."

A new controversy involving forgetting and rewriting history, as well as memory and remembrance of things past, has arisen in Britain.  It involves Max Mosley, youngest son of Sir Oswald Mosley and Diana Mitford.  Oswald was the handsome, aristocratic, and very wealthy founder of the New Party and then, in 1932, founder and dictatorial leader of the British Union of Fascists (BUF), modeling his leadership style on Benito Mussolini.  His belligerent message was unmistakable.  In April 1935, he spoke of challenging the Jewish interests of Britain who commanded commerce, the press, the cinema, the City of London.  The Jews were killing industry with their sweatshops.  He suffered a major setback when his attempt with the Blackshirts, the BUF, on October 4, 1936 to march through some streets in East London, largely populated by Jews, failed.

Diana, beautiful member of the celebrated Mitford family, attended the first Nuremberg Rally and was a friend of Hitler, whose guest she was at the Nuremberg Rally in 1935.  She married Oswald at the home of Josef Goebbels in Berlin in 1936 with Hitler as a guest.  Among her jewelry was a diamond swastika.

The BUF was banned in May 1940 after the start of World War II, and a number of its leaders, including Oswald, were arrested and interned for a time in Holloway Prison as threats to national security.  Indeed, Oswald had called for Britain to make a deal with Hitler to protect the British Empire.

Max, an inherited multimillionaire, started as a great admirer of his father and never disowned him.  As a young man, he was actively involved in far-right politics, a prominent member, propagandist, street activist, legal adviser, and unsuccessful parliamentary candidate of the highly racist Union Movement, the party founded by Oswald in 1948 and dissolved in 1994.  Max had no regrets for anything he had done over the last 50 years.

Among those activities, Max, then aged 22, had on July 31, 1962, together with Oswald, taken part in a provocative rally in Dalston, Hackney, then a London area largely populated by Jews, that led to violence and slogans of "Jews out."  Max was arrested for his threatening behavior.  He had already been arrested in March 1961 for obstructing the police during a counter-demonstration related to an anti-apartheid vigil in Trafalgar Square commemorating the first anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa.

Together with his father, Max met in Venice in 1962 with well known Nazis Otto "Scarface" Skorzeny, the Waffen-S.S. special forces commander who rescued Mussolini in 1943, and Hans-Ulrich Rudel, the Luftwaffe Stuka pilot who later helped Josef Mengele and other Nazis escape to South America.

An Oxford graduate, Max became a qualified barrister, had a successful business career and for a time was a racecar driver.  He became president of the FIA, the International Automobile Federation, the governing body of Formula One, the head of motor racing.  He claimed that his political views changed over time.  Indeed, between 2015 and 2017, he donated £540,000 to support the office, which employed nine people, of Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labor Party.  Officials of the Labor Party have refused to comment on whether Watson should give back the money but have stated that the party will not take any further donations from Max.

The hidden past of Max, now 77, was revealed by discovery of a pamphlet he had published as the local election agent of a candidate of the Union Movement in Manchester in the 1961 parliamentary election, overtly playing up racial fears against immigrants.  In a court case in 2008, Max successfully sued the News of the World over reports of his presence in a sadomasochistic sex session with five prostitutes.  After the 2008 case, Max campaigned for greater regulation of the press and backed Impress, with £3.8 million to do this.

What is pertinent here is that at the trial, he committed perjury in denying any knowledge of the 1961 leaflet.  However, two copies of it were found by the Daily Mail in the archives of Manchester.  Not surprisingly, Max suggested they might be fakes.

British police say they are troubled by the threat of violence from the far-right fringe.  Mark Rowley, about to retire as assistant commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, said on February 26, 2018 that he was gravely concerned that Britain faces an increased threat from far-right terrorist home-grown white supremacists and neo-Nazi organizations committed to violence.  He pointed out the occasion when a far-right fanatic in 2016 murdered the politician Jo Cox during the Brexit campaign, stabbing her and shouting, "This is for Britain."

The Tory government, unconstrained by a Bill of Rights, has outright banned one group and has called for social media censorship.  Amber Rudd, British home secretary, in December 2016 banned the National Union, N.U., and other groups, the first such action since May 1940, considering it terrorist.  Britain, she asserted, was no place for vile, racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic groups that glorify violence and stir up hatred while promoting poisonous ideology.  She also in October 2017 called on social media companies to honor their moral obligations, to use technology to stop anti-democratic utterances, neo-Nazism, Islamophobia, and intolerance of women's rights, on their platforms.  The N.U., she stated, promoted and encouraged acts of terrorism.

There are a number of other British far-right and neo-Nazi groups, mostly with small numbers.  Among them are Combat 18, a neo-Nazi group founded in 1992 with a simple message of white nationalism and anti-Semitism, devoted to violence and opposition to ZOG, the Zionist Occupied Government.  The "18" is derived from the first and eighth letters of the alphabet, the initials of Adolf Hitler.

The British People's Party, created in 2005, calls for a white workers' state and complete opposition to Zionism and the State of Israel.  It was "voluntarily deregistered," officially disbanded, in 2013, but its website is still active.  An earlier version of this group called for the expulsion of non-whites and Jews and for adherence to the Fourteen Words: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

The League of St. George founded in 1974 as a political club to continue the ideas of Oswald Mosley in a "pure form."  It carries the emblem of the Arrow Cross and is not too active.

It is true that people can honestly change their political opinions.  In the 1930s, Oswald received some support from the Press Barons, Lord Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail, and Lord Beaverbrook, owner of the Daily Express and London Evening Standard.  But both quickly ended that support, and refused to support any movement with an anti-Semitic bias or one that neglected the need for greater expenditure on defense, especially for the air force.

The case of Max Mosley is different.  His reluctance to admit publication of the racist leaflet or his own questionable past suggests a lack of forthrightness or more.  He did finally concede that the offensive leaflet was "probably racist" but he saw no reason to apologize.

The well known 19th-century French epigram states that "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" (the more things change, the more they stay the same).  It is disquieting that some individuals in political groups in Britain today wear, as did prewar Nazis and fascists, brown shirts and black shirts as signs of political association.  The fringe right is alive and well in Britain, with disquieting historical continuities and a towering celebrity prince of sorts.  Obviously, changes occur and make differences, but the persistence and resurgence in Britain of racism and the disease of anti-Semitism may well validate Yogi Berra's unique remark: "It's déjà vu all over again."

A new controversy involving forgetting and rewriting history, as well as memory and remembrance of things past, has arisen in Britain.  It involves Max Mosley, youngest son of Sir Oswald Mosley and Diana Mitford.  Oswald was the handsome, aristocratic, and very wealthy founder of the New Party and then, in 1932, founder and dictatorial leader of the British Union of Fascists (BUF), modeling his leadership style on Benito Mussolini.  His belligerent message was unmistakable.  In April 1935, he spoke of challenging the Jewish interests of Britain who commanded commerce, the press, the cinema, the City of London.  The Jews were killing industry with their sweatshops.  He suffered a major setback when his attempt with the Blackshirts, the BUF, on October 4, 1936 to march through some streets in East London, largely populated by Jews, failed.

Diana, beautiful member of the celebrated Mitford family, attended the first Nuremberg Rally and was a friend of Hitler, whose guest she was at the Nuremberg Rally in 1935.  She married Oswald at the home of Josef Goebbels in Berlin in 1936 with Hitler as a guest.  Among her jewelry was a diamond swastika.

The BUF was banned in May 1940 after the start of World War II, and a number of its leaders, including Oswald, were arrested and interned for a time in Holloway Prison as threats to national security.  Indeed, Oswald had called for Britain to make a deal with Hitler to protect the British Empire.

Max, an inherited multimillionaire, started as a great admirer of his father and never disowned him.  As a young man, he was actively involved in far-right politics, a prominent member, propagandist, street activist, legal adviser, and unsuccessful parliamentary candidate of the highly racist Union Movement, the party founded by Oswald in 1948 and dissolved in 1994.  Max had no regrets for anything he had done over the last 50 years.

Among those activities, Max, then aged 22, had on July 31, 1962, together with Oswald, taken part in a provocative rally in Dalston, Hackney, then a London area largely populated by Jews, that led to violence and slogans of "Jews out."  Max was arrested for his threatening behavior.  He had already been arrested in March 1961 for obstructing the police during a counter-demonstration related to an anti-apartheid vigil in Trafalgar Square commemorating the first anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa.

Together with his father, Max met in Venice in 1962 with well known Nazis Otto "Scarface" Skorzeny, the Waffen-S.S. special forces commander who rescued Mussolini in 1943, and Hans-Ulrich Rudel, the Luftwaffe Stuka pilot who later helped Josef Mengele and other Nazis escape to South America.

An Oxford graduate, Max became a qualified barrister, had a successful business career and for a time was a racecar driver.  He became president of the FIA, the International Automobile Federation, the governing body of Formula One, the head of motor racing.  He claimed that his political views changed over time.  Indeed, between 2015 and 2017, he donated £540,000 to support the office, which employed nine people, of Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labor Party.  Officials of the Labor Party have refused to comment on whether Watson should give back the money but have stated that the party will not take any further donations from Max.

The hidden past of Max, now 77, was revealed by discovery of a pamphlet he had published as the local election agent of a candidate of the Union Movement in Manchester in the 1961 parliamentary election, overtly playing up racial fears against immigrants.  In a court case in 2008, Max successfully sued the News of the World over reports of his presence in a sadomasochistic sex session with five prostitutes.  After the 2008 case, Max campaigned for greater regulation of the press and backed Impress, with £3.8 million to do this.

What is pertinent here is that at the trial, he committed perjury in denying any knowledge of the 1961 leaflet.  However, two copies of it were found by the Daily Mail in the archives of Manchester.  Not surprisingly, Max suggested they might be fakes.

British police say they are troubled by the threat of violence from the far-right fringe.  Mark Rowley, about to retire as assistant commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, said on February 26, 2018 that he was gravely concerned that Britain faces an increased threat from far-right terrorist home-grown white supremacists and neo-Nazi organizations committed to violence.  He pointed out the occasion when a far-right fanatic in 2016 murdered the politician Jo Cox during the Brexit campaign, stabbing her and shouting, "This is for Britain."

The Tory government, unconstrained by a Bill of Rights, has outright banned one group and has called for social media censorship.  Amber Rudd, British home secretary, in December 2016 banned the National Union, N.U., and other groups, the first such action since May 1940, considering it terrorist.  Britain, she asserted, was no place for vile, racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic groups that glorify violence and stir up hatred while promoting poisonous ideology.  She also in October 2017 called on social media companies to honor their moral obligations, to use technology to stop anti-democratic utterances, neo-Nazism, Islamophobia, and intolerance of women's rights, on their platforms.  The N.U., she stated, promoted and encouraged acts of terrorism.

There are a number of other British far-right and neo-Nazi groups, mostly with small numbers.  Among them are Combat 18, a neo-Nazi group founded in 1992 with a simple message of white nationalism and anti-Semitism, devoted to violence and opposition to ZOG, the Zionist Occupied Government.  The "18" is derived from the first and eighth letters of the alphabet, the initials of Adolf Hitler.

The British People's Party, created in 2005, calls for a white workers' state and complete opposition to Zionism and the State of Israel.  It was "voluntarily deregistered," officially disbanded, in 2013, but its website is still active.  An earlier version of this group called for the expulsion of non-whites and Jews and for adherence to the Fourteen Words: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

The League of St. George founded in 1974 as a political club to continue the ideas of Oswald Mosley in a "pure form."  It carries the emblem of the Arrow Cross and is not too active.

It is true that people can honestly change their political opinions.  In the 1930s, Oswald received some support from the Press Barons, Lord Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail, and Lord Beaverbrook, owner of the Daily Express and London Evening Standard.  But both quickly ended that support, and refused to support any movement with an anti-Semitic bias or one that neglected the need for greater expenditure on defense, especially for the air force.

The case of Max Mosley is different.  His reluctance to admit publication of the racist leaflet or his own questionable past suggests a lack of forthrightness or more.  He did finally concede that the offensive leaflet was "probably racist" but he saw no reason to apologize.