Many people outside Britain [think the British Empire was] about oppression, exploitation, violence, arrogance, slavery and racism … no less than an early Holocaust.
This is Linda Colley professor of History at Princeton and a Wolfson Prize winner; and historian, showing her prejudices in her book, Captives: Britain, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850.
The book expresses contemporary orthodoxy. Of today she writes:
There are those who argue, with the utmost sincerity, that were the British to remind themselves of their empire it would only further incite the racism inextinguishably associated with it.
To Colley, racism and sexism are the unforgivable crimes - that is code for attacking white males! The British Empire was evil and its “victims” would have been perfect if it were not for us. These themes are still the prevalent ideology now, and are re-interpreted in government policy as moral debts which the beleaguered British people are forced to pay.
I looked at in today's Spectator(26th September) and felt embarassed when I read the ordinary twittering from simple political editor Fraser Nelson. It was a copybooki example of the old-fashioned thinking:When Hitler started National Socialism in Germany it started off with 2 percent of the vote. So I don’t think you can write the BNP off on account of its small support. And these sinister theories of racial purity or segregation are not uncommon" He uses mindless cliches:" So why has the BNP not done better? This, IMHO, is because Britain is the most tolerant country on earth and the BNP’s racist agenda repels people. It is, fundamentally, un-British. We are, through empire, the original multi-ethnic state and today’s young people judge racist arguments as being more bizarre than repugnant."
He makes unsupported statements and thus shows his narrow-minded prejudices:The party incubates and legitimises genuine racism. To look at a person’s skin, and think ‘you don’t belong here’ – even if they are third generation British – is abhorrent to me. The BNP has cleverly learned to bury these racist sentiments beneath legitimate concerns about immigration."
This intelligentsia, are erudite and articulate when talking on comfortable subjects. But when it comes to immigration and national identity they go to pieces and can not talk rationally. They become childish or avoid an objective analysis by retreating into the past.
From the title, which reads “Is Fascism on the March Again?”, to the final full stop we see the time-warped, paucity of thinking of anti-British historians. They talk and think in old-fashioned clichés. The question the eight of them were to answer was:
Does the election of two BNP MEPs and the success of the far right elsewhere in Europe mean we are facing the threat of fascism? Or is this just a protest vote that will quickly fade?”
An exception was Michael Burleigh, author of The Third Reich, A New History:
I don’t like all these stupid historical analogies – this is not a re-run of the 1930s. In some ways, history can box you in and limit your options. We live in a very different world, and these parties organise themselves in a very different way. Hitler didn’t Twitter.
A better approach is to take the BNP seriously. Don’t turn them into martyrs by banning them from the airwaves. Ask them about their other policies: how they would get us out of recession; what their foreign policy is. Launch an assault on the BNP brand, and don’t let them appropriate symbols of Britishness – such as the Spitfire they were using on their posters in this election.
But he needs to understand that his group, whatever it is, neither own those symbols nor can they deny them to others, and he must understand that the natives will revolt if constantly oppressed and denied their natural heritage in their own country. Or is this no longer our country? Do the elites think they are entitled to dispossess us?
Richard Overy , Professor of history at Exeter University and author of The Morbid Age: Britain Between the Wars, writes:
A loss of confidence in parliamentary institutions is characteristic of all periods when fascists have come to power – in Italy and Germany, for example – but on this occasion the BNP has not done especially well. People have preferred to vote for Ukip. It is essentially a protest vote at a moment of crisis in the political system. Parliamentary politics will eventually be restored, but almost certainly not under Gordon Brown.
This “loss of confidence” is because our elites are importing foreigners to push us out of our communities and because they are against their own people.
Kathleen Burk , professor of modern and contemporary history at University College London,
invoked old-fashioned negative images that multiracialism was originally a reaction to. They still form the negative part of the ideology. I am wondering how old she is.
If we think about Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts, we shouldn’t be too apprehensive about where the BNP might go in the future. Even at their height, the entire membership of the British Union of Fascists could barely raise a single marching column. It is unfortunate that the BNP have won seats and some will see it as alarming, but I can’t see it spreading all over the country ... I cannot imagine what cataclysm would have to happen for a far-right party not only to be able to grow but to win power in the UK. This is an extremely old country with old mores, and the great rump of the people are not going to be attracted by a far-right party.
I was not born when Moseley’s pantomime party was walking around the East End in fancy dress, but look at the mindless cliches. Far-right! That is all the people who want a future for their children are worth ... to be dismissed as “far-right” and thus do not deserve a decent life. The give-away to their callousness is: “I cannot imagine what cataclysm would have to happen for a far-right party not only to be able to grow but to win power in the UK.” The cataclysm is people like her providing intellectual justification for dispossessing our people of our communities and denying our children their rightful heritage. Overwhelmed in schools, no room on council waiting lists because of the priority given to “asylum getters” … if Ms Burk can’t “imagine” that this is already a disaster, she won’t be able to “imagine” very much when it develops into a “cataclysm”.
The famous former supporter of the Soviet Union Eric Hobsbawm, Author of The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century (1914-1991), among others, shows his failure to keep up. He treats us to a litany of empty and dated cliches.
“It is not the threat from the extreme right that is the most striking characteristic of these elections, though clearly there is a shift to the right, and centre-right governments are likely to make more concessions to the far right. The real story is the crisis of the left … We have seen the demoralisation of the French left and a degree of disintegration of the left in Germany. Social democrats will need a new vision as well as a new constituency.
Yes, Eric, but the orthodox view of the world no longer fits reality and there is no one on your side capable of developing it. It is a dying ideology.
Joanna Bourke, professor of history at Birkbeck College, London, gives a classic example of the Caste’s hatred of its own poor people:
We shouldn’t panic, though nor should we be complacent. The levels of racial hatred and anti-Semitism and all those things that the far right feed on are remarkably small in comparison with the past and in comparison with the rest of Europe and the United States. The far right has much more purchase in the US than it does in the UK, especially the religious right.
Here I tend to be much more optimistic about British institutions and about the ways they have managed these sorts of hatreds. What was interesting about Mosley in the 1930s is that our institutions did not give legitimacy to the claims of the far right. They didn’t make them into scapegoats or martyrs; they responded with the force of law in a fairly reasonable fashion. If you oppress them or deal with them heavy handedly, it only serves to unite them and justify them using force in return… Don’t censor or oppress the BNP. Marginalise and ridicule them. Ridicule is an underestimated weapon.
It’s simple Joanna Bourke who is ridiculous. She holds up the old-fashioned spectre of anti-Semitism but she and her kind are importing future holocausts in Europe by immigration of Muslims. All across the country Muslim shops sell The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and these nonentities have not noticed. Did they not see thousands of Muslims march through European cities chanting “Jews to the gas”? Well, the media did cover it up but historians are excellent at research so they should get their facts right before providing the intellectual underpinning for this.
They also demonise any poor whites who try to regain control of their lives as fascists.
David Kynaston, Research fellow at Kingston University and author of Austerity Britain, is still fighting the last war. Poor thing! It ended 64 years ago.
As Nadezhda Mandelstam, wife of Russian poet Osip Mandelstam, said of Stalinism in her book Hope Against Hope, “Don’t think it can’t happen to you.
There are definite parallels between Germany in the prewar years and now, most obviously the economic crisis that sparked mass unemployment. The Wall Street Crash took place in 1929 but it wasn’t until January 1933 that Hitler became chancellor of Germany. I would suggest that we are a long way from seeing the worst of our own economic crisis and if we date the start as being September 2008 then we still have a while to go in which the far right could gain a stronghold.
So people wanting rights in their own country are dismissed as a potential fascist uprising! The oppression of the British working-class is right there, in that.
But now comes the real fear.
More worryingly, the recession has been accompanied by a rise in populism and a loss of faith in democratic politics; the sort of people who, a generation ago, did not used to be cynical about politics now are. Worse still, people are not just indifferent to politics, they are ignorant about it: the level of hostility to intellectualism in this country is deeply depressing.
When they invoke the term democracy it is to silence opposition with an apparently, superior morality. But they are opposing the democratic election of two MEPs. They are not really talking about Demos > Democracy, but are worried by cynicism about “politics” and “intellectualism”. They are worried that we are no longer listening to them. They are worried about losing the power they have enjoyed for so long and wish to hold only to themselves.
Somehow we need to find a way of exposing the BNP, while stopping it from manipulating the system to its advantage. It would help here if politicians from the main parties were more honest and treated the electorate like adults. It is clear from the budget forecasts that the country is basically bust, yet the Labour party carries on its “yah boo” politics of claiming it is not going to cut any public services while the Conservatives have fudged the whole issue on what they intend to do. Both stances are patronising and unsustainable. The public knows the country is bust and there are hard choices to make: it’s time the main parties allowed us to join in a grown-up debate about them.”
By extension, they mean they will use words to keep British poor people down and themselves in power.
Norman Davies, Supernumerary fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, and fellow of the British Academy:
Any comparisons with 1920s Germany are completely overstated. Fascism grew out of the crushing military defeat in which millions of Germans were killed and the moral humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles which held that Germany alone was responsible for the first world war. This was tantamount to saying that German families, who had done exactly the same as the British and Americans in sending their conscripted sons to fight, had killed their own children and was the catalyst for anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and the emergence of a far-right nationalist movement. Economic depression on its own would not have allowed fascism to flourish.
That does not mean we should be relaxed about the rise of the BNP. While Ukip thrives on the notion that the EU is the new Third Reich, the BNP is much more Anglo-centric; it wants to reclaim an imagined Albion dominated by white nationals. It is a party that is actually misnamed, for its essence is the English National party and, with the collapse of the Labour vote in Scotland giving the SNP an overwhelming majority, the break-up of the United Kingdom must be a possibility.
So now we know. Our living in our own communities in peace with our own people in a homogenous society is derided as “an imagined Albion dominated by white nationals”. What a nice life of ease and comfort in beautiful Oxford colleges this hypocrite lives!
David Stevenson, professor of international history at the LSE; author of The Penguin History of the First World War:
The parallel I would make is not with the rise of fascism in the 1930s but with the success of Jean-Marie Le Pen in France in the 1980s. He made his breakthrough in areas where the French communist party had been strong. As the communists collapsed, Le Pen’s Front National came in and took over. Now, in the UK, a portion of the vote that traditionally went to the Labour party has gone to the BNP.
The intelligentsia are always lecturing us, telling us what to think and arranging negative labels for us if we transgress. But what ideology are they promoting?
They do not really mean Democracy, but want us to continue to defer to them while they act against our interests. In Democracy, Demos gives political expression to the voice of the people. In this instance people are starting to support a party that is trying to articulate their concerns and you cannot get more democratic than that. What the Caste are upset about is people turning away from them, the loss of their own power and influence. They are saying “Carry on voting for our Caste, leave it all to us.” They are invoking democracy to stop discussion. And when that fails it is the political police battering patriotic people while allying with Muslims.
The above ladies and gentlemen are historians and were asked to pontificate on fascism. But they exemplify the wider truth that the intelligentsia, like the political class, have run out of new ideas. They take refuge in the past. They are still fighting the last war, and have been left behind. They think the common people should be thinking and doing what they tell them and voting for their Caste - Labour or Tory. The rulers are flailing around but they unable to come up with new ideas to explain the present situation, wondering how they can counter our revival and our determination to rescue our children from dispossession, unemployment, Muslim child-rapists and the loss of our women to imported ethnics. They cannot counter this now, because too much of what they kept hidden has come out for them to hide. For years they have preached to us and bullied us but now, at last, we asserting ourselves.
People are speaking up for the section of the population that Colley and her kind despise: the white British people. These people feel cheated and are ceasing to obey Authority. They resent the preferential treatment accorded other ethnic groups as exemplified in Harriet Harman’s Equality Bill. They are increasingly no longer cowed by the orthodoxy of anti-racism. They see their communities are destroyed, their children overwhelmed in their schools and their future jobs filled by cheap labour. They see Caste members, however, living in fine, delightful areas, sending their children to the best schools, and then using nepotism to get them on the ladder to the top in television and journalism, in the City and in the major corporations, in politics, and so on.
It is no surprise that even the intellectual elites among them have no better words to offer the ordinary British man or woman than the hollow and hateful pities of anti-racism. They are worthless.