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

868 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 seven pieces by Mosley:

See also:

For articles tagged Sir Oswald Mosley, click here.

For more information on Mosley’s life and work, see oswaldmosley.com

8 Comments

  1. Ex-Proofreader
    Posted November 18, 2019 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Regarding Reginald Goodall, who is mentioned above, the Jewish neoconservative David Pryce-Jones kvetched in Treason of the Heart:

    “Well-known as a conductor of Wagner, Sir Reginald Goodall became ‘a keen apologist for Hitler’ in Germany and Austria during the Thirties and to the end of his life. To him, Hitler was the protector of German culture, and the Holocaust was ‘a BBC Jewish plot,’ a concoction Wagner himself might have come up with.”

    Perhaps Goodall’s sentiments were expressed in Wagner’s lines: “Honor your German masters/If you would avert disasters!” Today this should mean, above all, “the strict observance of [National Socialist] racial laws and . . . merciless resistance against the universal poisoners of all peoples, international Jewry,” to quote the conclusion of Adolf Hitler’s final message to the German people — a conclusion that all peoples of European ancestry should heed, if they are to have a future.

  2. Ex-Proofreader
    Posted November 18, 2019 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    I find it somewhat amusing that, according to Tom Villis’s book British Catholics and Fascism: Religious Identity and Political Extremism Between the Wars, there were so many Catholic Blackshirts in Leeds that Oswald Mosley was nicknamed “the Pope.” Of course, the preponderance of papists there might have been nothing more than a regional peculiarity, and not representative of the BUF in general. (I should perhaps note that I used the phrase “preponderance of papists” merely for alliterative effect, and that I have no interest in religious sectarianism — as Arthur Moeller van den Bruck and Francis Parker Yockey remarked long ago, such things are now utterly anachronistic.)

    • Antony
      Posted November 18, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Probably Irish support, which the Union Movement courted even as late as Mosley’s candidacy in the 1959 general election with leaflets claiming Mosley’s political efforts to remove the ‘Black and Tans’ from Ireland could be reapplied to get Blacks out of Kensington.

  3. Vauquelin
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Watching the Frost interview with Mosley, he strikes me as an adventurous, unorthodox, idealistic, clear-sighted but also an almost naive person. He doesn’t in his boyish goodness seem to comprehend the seething hostility opposite to him. When Frost inevitably brings up the Jews, he shrugs and states “some Jews opposed us so we opposed them right back, not all Jews but some of them.” Or something to that effect. He doesn’t seem to understand the mortal sin of opposing political Judaism in any form, he doesn’t seem to grasp the totality of Jewish victory post-WW2, and seems confused as to who is spreading hatred against him and why on earth they would do so, or why nobody is on board with him on his new European project. Little does he know he’s been branded one of the Eternal Baddies, on the Wrong Side of History, someone to be punched and not debated.
    He might have been playing stupid, erudite as he seems. But I do wonder if, lacking Hitler’s experiences in deracinated Vienna, he underestimated the importance of the JQ and the racial aspects at the core of his own politics.

    • Richard Edmonds
      Posted November 18, 2019 at 2:57 am | Permalink

      Vauquelin writes that Mosley didn’t seem to understand that he had committed a mortal sin by opposing political Judaism. Mosley didn’t seem to grasp the totality of Jewish victory post-WW2.

      Margo Metroland’s comment in CC (above): “Mosley often appears to be little more than a decoy-duck, luring energetic nationalists into an organization that might have had nice uniforms and pretty rallies, but was utterly ineffectual.”

      The charge of being “utterly ineffectual” is harsh; perhaps one can say that Mosley, a brave soldier and seriously wounded in action in the First World War and imprisoned without charge together with his wife and a thousand of his followers by Churchill’s government during the years of the Second World War, was a man broken by his experiences. Fortunately other men in Britain were prepared to maintain and continue the opposition to political Judaism : William Joyce, Arnold Leese, Colin Jordan, John Tyndall.

  4. curri
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    “The new age must begin Hitler and Lawrence must meet” wrote Henry Williamson. Lawrence had been out of uniform for barely a month when press reporters besieged his cottage, Clouds Hill, Dorset. When was he going to see Hitler? Was he prepared to become a dictator of England? He avoided these awkward questions by leaving his abode and touring the West Country, but not before the press had physically attacked his cottage, throwing rocks at the roof and smashing the tiles. Lawrence had to use his fists on one man. Then the police brought in day and night protection.

    You know, Huey Long was also killed in 1935. Whatever you make of his economic policies, no one thought Huey was affiliated with the Left. As Moldbug used to say, Leftism is a club-and Huey certainly wasn’t in it. That may have been the least investigated major assassination of the 20th Century.

    • nineofclubs
      Posted November 19, 2019 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      Long’s economic policies were absolutely appropriate for his time and – as today – entirely consistent with a nationalist outlook.

  5. EF
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    There is nothing like this on any pollitical or philosophical website I have ever visited.

    The T. E. Lawrence article from the oswaldmosley website was amazing.
    I thought I had known quite a bit about TEL but this was fascinating and INFURIATING, the people had no idea and to this day know next to nothing,

    Greg, once again, I must say THANK YOU!!!!

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