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I'm glad we've got to a place in society where that Winston Churchill question can be a title without anyone seriously thinking it is meant literally. Idiots like Mote are thankfully more the exception than the rule.

I think they're welcome to Ashley Mote. I expect even the BNP wouldn't be that keen on him.

This just goes to show that there is a very real need in the European Parliament for a genuinely right of centre euro sceptic grouping within which the likes of the British Conservatives & Ashley Mote could find a proper home untainted by racists, facists and the eurofederalists.I'd like to think that there is one coming, as we've been promised, but strongly suspect that Hague & Cameron will fluff or obstruct its' formation just like they did the leaving of the EPP within "weeks not months".

This does underline the problem with the list system and there not being constituency accountability. No consituency in Britain would ever directly elect this kind of person.

Very well done, Nirj to highlight the obnoxious views held by various members of this far-right grouping! I look forward to reading Mr Mote's response.....

We should remind ourselves, that Fascism always had an appeal for the British romantic right, in a way that National Socialism did not. Churchill was not, initially incensed about Fascism , in the same way as he was about National Socialism, which he saw as Prussian militarism under a new and more potent guise. Churchill was muted in much of his criticism of Franco, seeing the communists in Spain to be a greater threat than the Fascists. Churchill tried to enlist Mussolini's help during the invasion of France, warning him (rightly) of the consequences to Italy of his closeness to Hitler. Mussolini rejected that advice, and invaded the South of France (dashing to the aid of the victor) Britain declared war reluctantly on Italy. The British government's tolerance of Fascism was such, that despite hints, no attempt was ever made to overthrow the Fascist regimes of Portugal or Spain, in fact they became quasi-allies during the cold war.

Probably demonstrates a fair proportion of the type of people who support UKIP.

This just goes to show that there is a very real need in the European Parliament for a genuinely right of centre euro sceptic grouping within which the likes of the British Conservatives & Ashley Mote could find a proper home untainted by racists, facists and the eurofederalists.

I'd agree with your post whole-heartedly, if I could just remove "Ashley Mote" from that sentence. I'm not going to cry any tears if he's very publicly joined a rather embarassing grouping.

In what way does it not help us Conservatives defend our flank and position ourselves as sensible eurosceptics if we have someone like that who we can hold up as the poster-boy for the "loopy end" of the europhobic right?

>>Probably demonstrates a fair proportion of the type of people who support UKIP<<

That could equally be taken to apply to the Conservatives, because Mote was a Tory for years before he joined UKIP. It was UKIP, moreover, who eventually expelled him.

As an independent what he does now is of course his own business, but as the Deputy Editor suggests, Nirj Deva's email with its detailed references to real right-wing extremists does indeed highlight the utter idiocy of those who suggest that Thatcherites/ Traditional Conservatives are somehow on the "far right"

It also indicates that their fix on the whereabouts of the supposed "centre ground" is pretty shaky.

Perhaps the ITS group have craftily identified a gap in the ‘market’ with principles many would support: recognition of national interests, sovereignties, identities and differences, commitment to Christian values, heritage, culture and the traditions of European civilisation, the traditional family as the natural unit within society, the rule of law, and opposition to a unitary, bureaucratic, European super state. Could Mr Cameron form a centre-right Eurosceptic block that stands for the above, plus the equal dignity of human beings of all races and the need to tackle poverty, but certainly without the unpleasant fascist and anti-Semitic views Nirj Deva points out is held by members of ITS. Obviously the ITS cannot home to Tory MEPs, but neither can the federalist EPP! Maybe we are better off out!

Anyway, a grouping that includes racist and anti-Jewish elements can hardly represent “Christian values”! We cannot allow “Christian values” to become associated in peoples’ minds with the Far Right.

We should remind ourselves, that Fascism always had an appeal for the British romantic right, in a way that National Socialism did not

Not neccesarily.

Oswald Mosely was a Labour MP and a committed socialist even as he led the Blackshirts. The BNP believe that the money "saved" by not allowing immigration should be used to fund those great socialist constructions, the NHS, State schools and council housing.

This group, if you dig deeper, is mainly left-wing in its policy outlook.

As I have often said, politics is a clock not a line - and Hitler and Stalin met at midnight!

Whenever I've heard him speak, Nirj Deva has always come across as intelligent and likeable, so to take his bitchy little questions at face value (i.e. trusting he's not just being a sarcky prick) I would answer:

Yes and Yes
Dunno
Definitely
Sounds like a matter or opinion
Ditto, though it seems unlikely
Ditto again, though it seems not unlikely
The Second World War question is just stupid and offensive: during WWII this country lined up alongside the enemies of humanity against what was in global terms quite a small, regional threat. How anyone can think that Stalin was somehow preferable to Hitler is beyond me. And anyone who thinks the European Union offers Europe a brighter future than Hitler offered it is in my opinion naive in the extreme.
The final question, which effectively accuses M Le Pen (who fought in the Resistance) amongst others of being a fascist, is a "beating your wife" question, and is intellectually offensive if nothing else.

I can understand why Mr Deva, who as a pseudo-Eurosceptic is also a member of the Europaische Volks Partei, should feel defensive about his own position in European politics. But does he really wish to be needlessly offensive to other Eurosceptics who are slightly more principled than he?

The headline about Churchill is of course a good example of a wrong question. The right answer would be that Churchill didn't fight against fascism, he fought against Germany. Besides, there are plenty of people nowadays who would consider Churchill himself a fascist, in that he never flinched in his stalwart support of racist imperialism, he ministered over the targeted bombing of civilians, he advocated the use of poison gas to kill women and children, and so on and so forth.

I've never regretted my decision to vote for UKIP in the 2004 European Parliament elections more than I have done in the past couple of months.

The fact that somebody with clearly questionable political leanings was elected as a parliamentary representative of that party speaks volumes about them, although the election of Nigel "the nig-nogs will never vote for us" Farage as leader means it's hardly a surprise, I suppose.

Thank goodness they'll never get elected at national level.

Consider the Mitfords, for example, whose parents were decribed as 'nature's fascists' and who managed to sire both Diana and Unity (as well as the 'red sheep' Jessica). Quite typical of a strand of conservative thought at the time and both in thrall to National Socialism in particular.

This also reminds me of how foolish those people are who try and equate Islamism with fascism; it's simplistic and inaccurate. You don't make people appreciate an enemy by trying to paint them as a previous one, it's sheer intellectual laziness.

Well done Nirj.Not suprised to see Oliver McCarthy being as juvenile and stupid as ever.

Whoops! My reply to the first two questions should have been 'No and No'.

Congratulations Oliver McCarthy - I should think you have just about managed to offend everybody with your very unpleasant post!

We really should all try to excuse Oliver,after all,he is without intellect these days more than ever.More than a bit of a fool perhaps.

David (17:31): Fascism always had an appeal for the British romantic right, in a way that National Socialism did not. Churchill was not, initially incensed about Fascism.

Exactly right. Though it is preferable to pretend that Churchill was a bastion of moderate conservatism, he himself conceded, "If I were Italian, I should don the fascist black shirt." Historically, that fact cannot be ignored, so perhaps a rephrasal of the title - to "Was Churchill right to fight Nazism?" would be more appropriate.

Though Oliver McCarthy is wrong to assert that fascism implies "racist imperialism, ... the targeted bombing of civilians, ... the use of poison gas to kill women and children", and indeed is wrong that Churchill espoused the first and final of these statements (for his culpability over civilian bombings is undeniable), he is correct, historically, that "Churchill didn't fight against fascism, he fought against Germany", or rather, that Churchill didn't fight in order to fight fascism, but to fight German expansionism and its threat to Great Britain.

Obviously this is good knock-about stuff. I agree that the ITS look a fairly shady bunch, even if some of their stated principles sound reasonabale e.g. respect for national sovereignty, Christian values etc.

Are there going to be enough free standing non-UK MEPs left for the Conservatives to join, once we leave the EPP? In terms of timing a launch for the greatest impact it’s a pity we didn’t move earlier. But then I’m probably being naïve in thinking that we will be leaving the EPP.

I’m concerned with the misinterpretation of history that is so commonplace these days. We should be clear that we went to war in 1939 because of German aggression. If you look at contemporay commentaries, the concern was about Hitler’s repeated breaches of treaties that made him untrustworthy. His “last territorial demand in Europe” was always followed by another. It was his unprovoked attack on Poland, not his fascism, that was the casus belli.

The situation would have been exactly the same if the aggression had been conducted by a latter-day Kaiser of a democratic Germany. Clearly the odiousness of a regime based on tyranny and racial hatred added greater impetus, and of course Churchill made great use of the tyrannical nature of the regime in his rhetoric, but fighting fascism was not the primary war aim in 1939/40. We were fighting for a restoration of order in the comity of nations, and subsequently, in 1940, for our very survival as an independent nation.

Finally a minor correction: the MEP for the Austrian Freedom Party is Andreas Moelzer. I’m not aware that he is guilty of anti-semitism.

“better to be a fascist than a faggot”

I fail to see why you cannot be both - Ernst Roehm managed it and he was not alone.............anyway her comment derives from this:

Mussolini had been criticised by a drag queen-turned-politician about being a fascist on Italian TV talk show Porta a Porta.

in global terms quite a small, regional threat.

Leave global threats to Intergalactic Space Patrol...........we can focus on mere regional threats........I mean the one in question only cost 50 million dead so you are right about it being small

Why give a crook like Ashley Mote so much credence by giving counter arguments?

The fact is that Mr Hitler was an idealist and a communicator like no other till Mr Blair came on the scene.

Mr Blair bombed Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr Hitler bombed England, France and Russia.

And both thrived under the banner of Socialism.

The seeds which have been planted by Blair could yet grow to cause as many deaths as his idealist compatriot.

Anyway, back to Ashley Mote ... as I recollect off the cuff what was being said after he was expelled from the UKIP group, at some point he had been advised that he could claim housing benefit, and he did so, and then later it was said that he had not in fact been eligible and it was alleged that he had made a fraudulent claim. Given the complexity of the benefits system and the incompetence of those running it (witness the many people whose child tax credits were messed up, and who then found themselves expected to return over-payments) it seems plausible that it started with incorrect advice. Moreover, like Joseph Daul, he is innocent until proved guilty.

Excellent letter constructed by an excellent MEP.

Mr. Mote's response should be an interesting one!

It is, of course, very easy to write utter rubbish in retrospect about the nature of the Conservative Party between the wars, and any possible significance it may have for us today.

I would suggest, however, that the leaders during the 1930s were significantly to the left of an overwhelming illiberal and anti-Bolshevik grassroots.

On the one hand the Tory leadership under Baldwin seems to have been stunned into near paralysis by the rise of Hitler. On the other any-pro-Nazi inclinations on the part of the grassroots, broadly favourable to Mussolini and Franco, were inhibited by their suspicions of what many saw as a rebirth of the same Prussian militarism which was held to have precipitated WWI

The grassroots right were also inhibited firstly by traditional loyalty to the leadership as shown by their eventual decision to back Baldwin on Indian political reforms, and secondly by widespread distrust and dislike of the natural leader of the right - Winston Churchill.

But not all Tories were so inhibited about the Nazis. Ian Kershaw's study "Making Friends with Hitler" shows how hard right Nazi apologists such as Lord Londonderry made common cause with centre-left pacifists. Appeasement was the disreputable result.

It would invite derision to compare 1930s Tory appeasement of Nazism with today's Tory appeasement of Political Correctness, but only because PC is unlikely to lead to mass murder and the laying waste of Europe. Otherwise the principle at stake is 100% valid.

An even closer analogy lies between today's assertion that we must simply mould our policies to fit (perceived) public opinion, and Baldwin's long-term reactions to the pacifist vote in the 1933 East Fulham by-election.

Let us hope that David Cameron is never judged as harshly as Baldwin was by Churchill, who declining to send 80th birthday greetings, said "I wish Stanley Baldwin no ill, but it would have been much better had he never lived".

Oswald Mosely was a Labour MP and a committed socialist even as he led the Blackshirts.
Oswald Moseley was a Conservative MP, then a Labour MP using the excuse of the Black & Tans and then he founded the New Party which started as a Fabian Socialist Party and became first increasingly Marxist before going for Italian Fascism and then something more like Nazism.

The fact was that Oswald Moseley had an agenda of his own all along, he believed that British culture was in a state of collapse and he wanted to restore order and he saw how Fascist and Marxist states had established order and discipline within their states, the Labour Party was on the rise at the time when he left the Liberal\Conservative coalition - quite a sharp rise and in 1924 was in government, he saw a rising but still relatively new party as his best option and saw Labour as being his best hope for quickly becoming party leader, in the 1929-31 Labour Government he was frustrated by not having been promoted into the cabinet and by then felt it would be difficult for him to become leader although if he had hung around a bit longer when Ramsay MacDonald was expelled from the Labour Party it is possible that he would have become Labour leader.

Having founded the New Party it failed to really get anywhere in the 1931 General Election and he became convinced that people in the party did not have the discipline. At the same time though Hitler had risen to power based on using scapegoats and Moseley thought that to bring in such people would give him possibly a sizeable strand of support and a lot of muscle for more direct action and so he went that way.

So far as the war against the Axis goes, it is a pity that Italy either didn't remain neutral or side with the Allies, it was a failing of Mussolini that he decided to side with Germany because he was worried about an invasion, there were apparently talks with British representatives in which Mussolini secretly asked for help, with military help for Italy the Allies could have got a major foothold to Germany's south, Franco really opposed both the Allies and Axis Powers, not only was he not a Nazi but his mother being Jewish rather made both and him and the Nazis mutually dislike each other - Franco's regime may well have been the best option for Spain under the circumstances, the Nazi's of course were just downright evil.

When Mosley (note spelling) was a Tory, his ideology closely resembled that of today's TRG/"One Nation" element, not that either term was in use at the time.

Mony other (so-called) "One Nation" Tories have since made the same leftward journey to the Labour Party.

As for his conversion to Fascism, it's been said with some truth that if you scratch a Wet you'll find a Fascist.

It's borne out further by the fact that after the war Mosley became a convinced Eurofanatic.

World War 11 was really the second round of the Great Germanic War . Germany came back for another go but this time in much more unpleasant form .

Of course Churchill was correct to denounce fascism and then lead the resistance against it .

One thing though , I have never understood how we allowed the USSR to be our ally . I know all the arguments about mine enemies enemy etc - and yet the Soviet Union ! - probably a worse tyranny and more prolonged one even then Hitler's .

Looking through the retrospectoscope I think that the USSR should have been kept at careful arms length .

Mr McCartney, you have no understanding of the roots of fascism.

'Wets' as you call them tend to the liberal and therefore are the opposite of fascist, it is the hardliners who become fascists, of both left and right.

Why do people attempt to distort history to fit their own petty world view? It's so transparent.

I did not coin the phrase that "if you scratch a Wet you'll find a Fascist". It was a favoured epithet of the libertarians in the heady days of the FCS.

The truth it enshrines is that "Wets" and "Fascists" both tend to be more favourably inclined to state intervention than traditional Conservatism.

Its capacity for upsetting the wet tendency clearly remains unimpaired.


That merely means that wets are to the left of other tories, it's nothing to do with them being akin to fascism, it being the extreme rule of law backed up by a belligerent state. That is not the same as the quasi-socialist 'wet' position!

I'm glad that you actually acknowledge that the wet position is "quasi socialist" - it's not something I expected to hear from you.

However I'm afraid that your conceprion of the kind of person who becomes a fascist is an inaccurate generalisation. Mussolini entered politics as a social democrat and was by no means on the far left of his party. You may recall that he was expelled for supporting the Allies' war effort during WWI.

A little while ago I was studying original copies of a couple of rather sychphantic 1920s letters sent to Il Duce by English admirers. One was F E Smith (Lord Birkenhead) and the other Winston Churchill.

Italian fascism attracted many prominent artistic and literary figures from Luigi Pirandello, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Gabriele D’Annunzio, to the philosopher Giovanni Gentile. Even Benedetto Croce (later an anti-fascist) flirted with Fascism for a while.

Some of these men would previously have styled themselves liberal. Few were Conservatives out of the "Blimp" mould.

We've discussed Mosley and his move from left-of-centre Tory to centrist Labour, independent and then Fascist. There are many others who don't fit your stereotype. Inconvenient, isn't it?

After all, it means that almost every "politico" has the potential to become a fascist.

Even you.

Well I wouldn't ever categorise myself as a wet; maverick or pragmatist maybe but not wet.

Fascism was of course, in the homeland of its name, a different thing to that in Germany, the similarity, however, and what binds fascism together is nothing to do with left and right but the uses of authority. Once you divorce it from the left right spectrum then you can more easily see why differing people were attracted, and why later they may have been repelled.

There are left-fascists and right-fascists, liberals might have been hoodwinked but were later repelled or stopped being liberals (the idea of a liberal fascist is an oxymoron), the statists of all sides however are what drove the fascists and, far from my positing a stereotype I have been saying that we have to go beyond the left/right stereotype to get a clearer understanding.

I'm sure that John Reid thinks that he's liberal, it doesn't stop his appearing fascistic in his view of the state to others such as myself though.

"After all, it means that almost every "politico" has the potential to become a fascist. "

Black shirts are not too bad fashion wise but brown? How are you supposed to buid up a matching wardrobe? They didn't think that through at all......

Surely the reply to Mr Deva is very simple-why are you in a European political party whose leaders and whose manifesto calls for a single European superstate and whose current leader obstructed British trade on numerous occasions-leave aside his alleged corrupt activities as being pursued by the French prosecutor

>>the idea of a liberal fascist is an oxymoron<<

Yes of course, but you are missing the point. Liberals who become fascists (and fascists who become liberals) have been extremely common.

For many of us ideologies are simply masks we change to suit the prevailing circumstances.

In't that what Cameronism is all about?

Isn't Mr Deva's letter about the unattractive but irrelevant Mr Mote simply a useful way of diverting attention from the fact that Conservative policy on Europe seems little different from Labour's, especially now that Cameron is advised by Hurd, Gummer, Heseltine and Chris Patten?

Coming hard on the heels of "I am a true Tory says Cameron", your mention of Heseltine reminds me of an interesting incident which bears out my comment about "ideological masks"

The most ardent Thatcherite MPs (including Portillo, Neil Hamilton and Edward Leigh)had formed a parliamentary faction called the "No Turning Back Group".

Immediately after Thatcher bowed out of the leadership following Heseltine's challenge, Goldilocks addressed the No Turning Back Group and told them he was really a hardline rightwinger just like them. "With me there will be no holding back" he was reported to have declared at their meeting.

Apparently Leigh became an instant, albeit brief, convert to Heseltine's cause, which is one reason why I have mixed feelings about his stewardship of today's Cornerstone Group.

Are the Conservatives going to join the ITS Group? They would have a home at last.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN BY THE EDITOR.

Tim - the post on ConHome which was made this morning at 07:23 - referenced below, is offensive, illegal and obscene.

Please delete it

Thread: Was Winston Churchill wrong to fight fascism?

Post: Tim Wigston.Monday 26.11.07

Presumably put up be some leftist troll to see how long before it was deleted - 3 hours so far.

Offensive and obscene, yes. Why illegal?

JUST TO START THE SPELLIN IN THIS COMMENT WILL BE SHITE PEASE FORGIVE FOR MY BAD SPELING BUT MY OPINION IS AS VALID AS ANYONES. THANKS.
WINSTON CHURCHILL IS A EUROPEAN HERO HE NOT
ONLY STOOOD UP FOR THE PEOPLE OF HIS COUNTY AND COMMONWELF HE SOOD FOR ALL THE THE PEOPLE OF OCUPIDE EOROPE IN FRONT OF A FORMIDABLE ENAMY TO BE HONIST WE DID NOT STAND MUCH OF A CHANCE BUT UNDER THE SAME SURCOMSTACES WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE ON DECENT PERSON COULD STAND IDLEY BY AND LET THE NAZI WAR MACHEN ROLE ON THE NAZIS WERE EVIL AT THE TIME BRITAN WAS A MILATARY FORCE WE HAD AND STILL HAVE A DUTY TO STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RICHT TO LOOK AFTER THE SOFT AND FEDLE LIKE THE FRENCH CHEESE EATING SURRENDER MONKEYS THEY CARNT LOOK AFTER THEM SELFS SO WE MUST LOOK AFTER THEM EVEN THOUGH THEY NEVER THANK US FOR IT, SOME TIMES I THINK ALL OF THEM WANTED TO COLABERATE WITH THE NAZI NOT JUST THE MAJORITY OF THEM. SORY I WILL GET BACK TO THE POINT. BRITAN IS THE GREATEST COUNTY IN THE WORLD WE ARE THE MOST TORALANT TO DIFFERENT CULTERS RACES AND RELGONS WE LOOK AFTER OUR SELFS AND OTHER WHEN THE SHITE HITS THE FAN ANY WHERE IN THE WORLD WE ARE THE FIRST TO GET THERE AND HELP OUT.bUT WE HAVE A REBLE MINORITY OF SO CALLED BRITISH,ENGLISH,WELSH,SCOTISH,NORTHEN IRISH BRITISH CATHOLIC,BRITISH MUSLIM,BRITISH WHAT EVER CAUSE THEY WANT TO ATATCH THEM SELF TO WHO TAKE PLESURE IN MAKEING TROBLE IN ARE GREEN AND PLESENT LAND WE THE DECENT MAJORITY JUST WANT TO LIVE A PEACE FULL LIFE.OUR FORFATHERS GAVE THERE LIVES FOR US AND FOR PEOPLE FROM OTHER COUNTYS THAY STOOD UP WITHOUT QUESTION AND DID THERE DUTY RISKING LIFE AND LIM FOR THE GREATER GOOD.CHURCHILL WAS OUR LEADER HE HAD TO STOP THE NAZI MACHEN HE WAS RIGHT AND THE COUNTY WAS BEHIND HIM.WHEN TIMES WERE TOUGH AND THEY WERE TOUGH BEOND IMAGINATION, HE STOOD STRONG AND THE HOLE EMPIRE STOOD STRONG WITH HIM IF THE UNTHINKADLE HAD HAPPEND AND THE NAZI HAD MADE IT OVER THE CHANNLEL IT WOULD HAVE BECOME THE GREATEST VICTOEY IN HISTORY, EVERY MAN WOMAN AND CHILD YOUNG AND OLD WOULD HAVE HELD STRONG ON SURRENDER! NEVER! THE NAZIS WOUND NOT BE ABLE TO MOVE IN OUR COUNTRY WITHOUT BEING ABUSHED WOMAN ATACKING FOR BEHIND WITH ROLING PINS CHILDREN SETING TRAP MEN SHOOTING THE BASTARDS. WE ARE BRITISH WE SHAL NEVE SURRENDER LIKE THE FRENCH WOULD, WE WILL FIGHT TO THE DEAF TO PROTECT OUR ILAND.
SO TO THE POINT ANYONE IS AGAIST OUR PROUD MILLATARY HISTORY SHOUD THINK WERE WOULD YOU BE NOW. YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO VOISE YOUR OPINION UNDER NAZI RULE

Westminster has a majority of Fabians.
Fabian Fascism appears not to bother any of the three elite ruling parties.
When Fabian Fascists' are well and truly embedded within all three parties, i take it thats' acceptable?

To answer the title question - there is a strong case to be made for Britain making peace in 1940 and allowing Hitler and Stalin to destroy each other.

Nazism notwithstanding, Russia has always been a greater threat to European stability than Germany. Britain lost its Victorian prosperity and its entire empire in destroying Germany in two wars when it could have stayed out of both conflicts.

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