Fascism in this county has gone through many phases. The original Imperial Fascisti, in imitation of Mussolini, was purely a strike-breaking outfit. As such, it received the blessing of many right wing Tories, including Churchill, until it fell under the domination of the unbalanced Arnold Leese, who introduced racial theories (which included measuring the members' noses with callipers).
Then came Mosely, first of all welcomed by the Tory Right - such as Rothermere - who played first with the idea of direct ant-working-class activity on the Mussolini lines, made popular in conservative circles by American examples such as the Legion, KKK, etc - and then bid for power by parading as a "national socialist" on Hitler lines. This nominal anti-capitalism was never very strong in the case of British fascism, which collapsed during the East End rent strikes because it wholeheartedly supported the landlords. During the War Mosely fell into disapproval with all because of the identification of Fascism with the national enemy, and since then he has tried to deny he was ever anything more than a pioneer of the Common Market. How far this is taken seriously by those who still support him (chiefly because of the bread scene) is doubtful.
Colin Jordan revived the Nazi movement by adroit publicity - out on a limb from other fascist movements, he deliberately cultivated a German Nazi appearance. But he seems out of the picture now. The other hordes of would-be Fuhrers have come and gone - one missed his chance because too much excitement sent him back to the nut-house (something which can only overlooked once one gains power), another evaporated at the sight of too much cash around (so did the cash). The only fascistic organisation left worth considering as more than a token gesture to frighten the naughty workers is the National Front. This sometimes boldly denies being fascist, but the members make little pretence of not being so. It has the overt sympathy of a large part of the Conservative Party, but also makes a bid for working-class support chiefly on the anti-coloured issue. Yet it never spells out what it really is - because this issue conceals a larger truth: that the fascist movement has reverted to its honest position of being a militant pro-capitalist body without pretence about "national socialism".
For the Powellite line is quite clear: IF it is true that the capitalist gives work to the worker, and if it is true we are dependent upon "the market" for the ammount of work available, then if there are too many workers there will be unemployment. Hence immigration is a calamity. BUT THIS IS FALSE FROM THE BEGINNING - for the capitalist is in reality dependent upon the worker. The more workers there are, the more is produced. "Ah - wait until you get depression," cheerfully cry the National Fronters. "Then you will see- rivers of blood etc." This is on the assumption that depressions are naturally caused, like floods or earthquakes, whereas in reality they are part of the repressive machinery of capitalism.
It is noticeable that those who call for a ban on immigration never call for a ban on emigration (of the totalitarians, only the Soviet Union is logical on this). But while both exist, and in more or less the same proportions, there are really no problems whether of overcrowding or anything else, even within capitalism.
Any tendency towards right wing militancy is welcomed even by the most liberal of the right wing, for it represents the threat to left wing militancy which is often called upon. "If you persist, what will happen will be a right wing backlash" we are warned. One would, however, need a better set of bogeymen than those now parading as the would-be restorers of order. Fascism in this country has never been able to get off the ground. Its only weapon is incitement to hooliganism on racial grounds. Even at this game, it has been outbid by the police. We repeat what we said elsewhere in this issue: the immediate danger in this county is a Police State, rather than a fascist one.
From: Black Flag, v.2, n.3 (March 1971).