If the BNP wants votes here in the former mining areas, then it will stop identifying with Churchill. But it won’t.
In the Thirties, there were two British threats to constitutionality and, via Britain’s role in the world, to international stability. One came from an unreliable, opportunistic, highly affected and contrived, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, Eurofederalist demagogue who admired Mussolini, heaped praise on Hitler, had no need to work for a living, had an overwhelming sense of his own entitlement, profoundly hated democracy, and had a callous disregard for the lives of the lower orders and the lesser breeds. So did the other one. Far more than background united Churchill and Mosley (originator in English of the currently modish concept of a Union of the Mediterranean).
In Great Contemporaries, published in 1937, two years after he had called Hitler’s achievements “among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world”, Churchill wrote that: “Those who have met Herr Hitler face to face in public business or on social terms have found a highly competent, cool, well-informed, functionary with an agreeable manner, a disarming smile, and few have been unaffected by a subtle personal magnetism.” That passage was not removed from the book’s reprint in 1941. In May 1940, Churchill had been all ready to give Gibraltar, Malta, Suez, Somaliland, Kenya and Uganda to Mussolini.
Churchill’s dedicated Zionism was precisely that of the BNP: he did not regard the Jews as British, so he wanted them to go away. The anti-British terrorists who went on to found the State of Israel agreed with him, very nearly coming to an understanding whereby Hitler would have expelled the Jews by sending them to British Palestine, which he and the Zionists would have conquered together for the purpose.
All sorts of things about Churchill are simply ignored. Gallipoli. The miners. The Suffragettes. The refusal to bomb the railway lines to Auschwitz. His dishonest and self-serving memoirs. Both the fact and the sheer scale of his 1945 defeat while the War in the Far East was still going on, when Labour won half of his newly divided seat, and an Independent did very well against him in the other half after Labour and the Liberals had disgracefully refused to field candidates against him. His deselection by his local Conservative Association just before he died. And not least, his carve-up of Eastern Europe with Stalin, so very reminiscent of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
But we have not forgotten the truth about him in the old pit communities. Nor have they in the places that he signed away to Stalin, including the country for whose freedom the War was fought, making it a failure in its own terms. And including Latvia. It may exist in German, but I have never come across in English a full study of the SS Divisions of various nationalities after they had gone home. Yet the movements and subcultures that they became turn up an awful lot. And, except in Latvia, we love them.
We loved Alija Izetbegovic, SS recruitment sergeant turned Wahhabi rabble-rouser, and founder of one of the two entities to which the terms “Islamofascist” and “failed state” are both properly applicable. We love the other one, created by the Kosovo “Liberation” Army of heroin-trafficking pimps whose black shirts defer to their fathers and grandfathers. We love the pro-war Danish People’s Party – coalition of the willing, no matter who the willing might be. We love those advocating Flemish secession, now that that would be in the service of global capital. Ahmadinejad’s oblique, if any, Holocaust denial causes uproar, yet that of Croatia’s Franjo Tudjman – historically, geographically, ideologically and sartorially far closer to the events – did not. But for some reason, the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party is a problem. Why? No one ever mentions that Eurofederalist, big business-loving Fine Gael goes back to the Blueshirts.
Just as some Nazi roots are acceptable but others are not (never mind that Ahmadinejad has none at all), so the anti-Semitism and the general racism, the brutality and the contempt for democracy, the admiration for Mussolini and especially for Hitler, are omitted from accounts of those who agitated for war in the Thirties, but heavily emphasised, sometimes to point of fabrication, in accounts of those who pleaded for peace.
If you leave aside Churchill and Mosley, then both sides wished to harness the full capacity of the State to correct the root and branch injustice of capitalism in itself, in order to conserve national sovereignty and traditional values, and in order to prevent a Communist revolution; that was the position of all three British parties at the time, and the reason why certainly Labour, and arguably also the modern Conservative Party, had been set up in the first place. But one side also wished, for exactly the same reasons, to prevent another war in Europe, or in countries beyond Europe to stay out of any such war. The contemporary resonances of both aspects could not be more obvious. Those who held to both, across or astride the political spectrum, deserve to be reassessed.
As, far less sympathetically, does Churchill. The BNP is as welcome to him as it is to Mosley, or the Bosniaks, or the Kosovars, or the Danish People’s Party, or the Vlaams Belang.