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Remembering Sir Oswald Mosley:
November 16, 1896 to December 3, 1980

857 words

Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats, was an English aristocrat (a fourth cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II) and statesman. Mosley was a Member of Parliament for Harrow from 1918 to 1924 and for Smethwick from 1926 to 1931. He was also Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Labour Government of 1929–1931.

Mosley began his political career as a Conservative; then he broke with the Conservatives to become an independent; then he joined the Labour Party. In 1931, he broke with Labour and formed his “New Party.” After the New Party candidates failed in the elections of 1931, Mosley regrouped and founded the British Union of Fascists in 1932.

The BUF went through typical political ups and downs, but claimed a peak membership as high as 50,000, including prominent members of the aristocracy, military, press, business community, and intelligentsia. Furthermore, many Britons who sympathized and collaborated with Mosley and the BUF never officially joined the party. Adventurer T. E. Lawrence, author Henry Williamson, and conductor Sir Reginald Goodall have been profiled at Counter-Currents. For an extensive list, see the Wikipedia article on the BUF.

Like other fascist parties, the BUF was anti-communist, nationalistic, pro-private property, and anti-egalitarian. As fascists, the BUF recognized the necessity of cultivating individual excellence, ambition, and creativity. But they also wished to mitigate of the worst excesses of individualism and capitalism by opposing free trade (globalization) and usury and advocating better wages and benefits for workers, social welfare programs, and public spending on infrastructure.

Like Hitler and Mussolini, Mosley was a charismatic leader and speaker who sought to attain power by the creation of a mass political party. Public marches and speeches were staples of BUF activity. To protect BUF rallies from Communist and Jewish violence, Mosley formed a paramilitary “blackshirt” corps. There were many bloody brawls and police bans.

The largest meeting addressed by Mosley took place at Victoria Park, Bow, in July 1936. The crowd was estimated at 250,000 people. In July 1939, the BUF held the largest indoor meeting in the world at Earls Court in London, where Mosley addressed a Peace Rally of some 30,000 people.

Mosley’s strongest support was in East London, where in 1937, the BUF won up to one fourth of the vote.

At the beginning, the BUF, like Mussolini’s movement, was not anti-Semitic and actually had a number of Jewish members. However, over time, it became apparent that the vast bulk of the Jewish community was aggressively anti-BUF, thus the BUF became increasingly anti-Semitic.

The BUF was never a National Socialist party. Like Mussolini, Mosley never took biological race or anti-Semitism all that seriously. After Hitler’s rise to power, however, Mosley maintained cordial relations with the Third Reich. Mosley married his second wife, Diana Mitford, on October 6, 1936 in Berlin at the home of Joseph Goebbels. Adolf Hitler was one of the guests.

In the late 1930s, as Jewish anti-German warmongering intensified, the BUF worked to save Britain and Europe from another war, campaigning on the theme of Mind Britain’s Business. After Britain and France started the Second World War by declaring war on Germany on September 3, 1939, Mosley campaigned for a negotiated peace.

On May 23, 1940 Mosley’s opposition to the war was silenced. He was interned under Defence Regulation 18B, which was used to silence the most active fascists and National Socialists in Britain. The BUF was later banned. Diana Mosley was also interned. The Mosleys lived together in a house in the grounds of Holloway prison until November 1943, when they were released from Holloway because of Sir Oswald’s ill health. They spent the rest of the war under house arrest.

After the war, Mosley returned to politics, in 1948 forming the Union Movement, which called for a European federation (called Europe a Nation) with an essentially fascist political and economic order. The idea of a European federation was advocated in the 1930s by fascists like Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, although it was always a minority viewpoint. After the Second World War, however, it became a central idea of the most far-sighted thinkers of the right, including Francis Parker Yockey, Jean Thiriart, and now Guillaume Faye.

In 1951, Mosley left Britain for Ireland. Later, he settled near Paris. He explained his decision to leave Britain by saying, “You don’t clear up a dungheap from underneath it.” In 1959, Mosley returned to Britain to run in the 1959 general election at Kensington North. In 1966, he ran in the 1966 general election at Shoreditch and Finsbury.

In 1968, Mosley published his autobiography, My Life. In his later years he suffered from Parkinson’s disease. He died on December 3, 1980 in Orsay, near Paris, aged 84.

Counter-Currents has reprinted six pieces by Mosley:

See also:

For articles tagged Sir Oswald Mosley, click here.

For more information on Mosley’s life and work, see http://www.oswaldmosley.com/

 

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10 Comments

  1. guiscard
    Posted November 16, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    “The BUF was never a National Socialist party. Like Mussolini, Mosley never took biological race or anti-Semitism all that seriously.”

    Well there’s two reasons for this.
    1. There’s no chance that the British or Italians (or French) could take seriously the claim that they are a unique “biological” race of people (separate from cultural/historic influences and various migrations). Even with the Germans, that claim is tenuous but at least it was easier to sell.

    2. Those other nations were traditionally better able to manage their jewish populations whereas the German situation required drastic and immediate action.

    • leo
      Posted November 17, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Italy, which must have had the highest Jewish population in Roman times, seem to have either assimilated or disinterested them most since, given its miniscule current percentage. What makes it different from UK and France?

  2. Greg Johnson
    Posted November 16, 2014 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Colin Liddell’s thought-provoking fiction about Sir Oswald Mosley alive and well in present-dayu Singapore: http://alternative-right.blogspot.com/2014/11/whatever-happened-to-our-old-friend.html

  3. Gordo
    Posted November 15, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Skidelsky’s biography is the best.

  4. K.K.
    Posted November 15, 2014 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    “The BUF was never a National Socialist party. Like Mussolini, Mosley never took biological race or anti-Semitism all that seriously.”

    They weren’t National Socialists THEN because White countries were still 99,99% White, so it’s only logical that the reality of Race wouldn’t seem as a particularity pressing issue at that moment in time. However if you could travel back in time to the first half of the past century with images of our current situation, even the most red of (non-Jewish) Communists would immediately become National Socialist/Racialist.

    Having the hindsight we must conclude that leaders like Mosley, Mussolini etc. were obviously great men (one of the greatest in history), but that Hitler was truly a unique visionary.

  5. R_Moreland
    Posted November 15, 2014 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    One thing that strikes me is how far ahead of their time were men like Mosley. Way back in the mid-20th century they saw the threat to the White race, and came up with some visionary means to deal with it (e.g., a greater European Imperium).

    I suppose back then your average white person really did not appreciate the twin threats of the “rising tide of color” from abroad and the internal enemy of marxism at home. Until the mid-1950s, European countries and the USA had seemingly sound internal race policies; Britain, France, Belgium and Portugal maintained colonial empires; and even the various socialist/labor parties fought for ethnonationalist economic policies.

    Amazing how quickly it all unraveled in the decade starting with 1954 (Dien Bien Phu, Brown vs Board of Education) and was followed by the Suez ’56 fiasco, the Winds of Change, DeGaulle selling out on Algeria, the Congo bloodbath (still going on today), the rise of the anti-apartheid movement, the 1965 Immigration Act, the student upheavals, the Long Hot Summers, etc., etc.

    Still, it may have taken all that just to wake people up. The rise of nationalist movement in Europe is a good sign. Question is, how can a similar movement be created in the USA?

    • Franklin Ryckaert
      Posted November 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      I have no problem with the “rising tide of color” after the 1950s if that means the independence from European colonialism. I do have a problem with the “rising tide of color” if that means reverse colonialism.

      And BTW, Nasser had all the right to nationalize the Suez canal, and the French should have given up Viet Nam and Algeria without a fight.

      • R_Moreland
        Posted November 19, 2014 at 4:13 am | Permalink

        I was writing in terms of James Burnham’s “contraction of the West” thesis. Of course, that is not quite the same thing as the rising tide of color, though the French withdrawal from Algeria did force the resettlement of a million or so whites back to Europe.

        Losing Indochina was one thing, it was on the other side of the globe. But Algeria was the frontier march of France in north Africa. In recent years we have seen a mass migration of Africans into Europe via the Mediterranean. One wonders if that would have been the case had the European powers maintained their control of both sides of the Med and perhaps backed it up with more white colonization. Then again, if Western elites were not so blatantly anti-white, there might not have been any problem with migration in the first place.

        • Franklin Ryckaert
          Posted November 19, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          If Algeria had remained French, all its Arab (and Berber, and Jewish) citizens would have automatically become French citizens and would have the right to settle in France.
          Frankly, I don’t see anything good in European colonialism, except the type of settlement-colonialism in such sparsely populated regions as North America, Argentina and Australia. The other type of colonialism has only led to the “obligation” to accept immigration from the ex-colonies, which is in effect reverse settlement-colonialism.

  6. DJF
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Here is a short speech on you tube with Sir Oswald Mosley talking about Globalisation.

    http://youtu.be/3NqG2lAojNQ

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