Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Henry Williamson: A Dreaming Youth in the Crucible of War



by John Roberts 
(ESA No 53, July/August 2014)


John Roberts is a long-standing member of the Henry Williamson Society
This is his contribution to the centenary of the outbreak of war in August 1914

‘Henry Williamson: Nazi sympathiser’. As recently as the 1990s, a Times Review referred to the great English writer as such. An indication of how brain-washed and fundamentally narrow-minded the British literary establishment and their cohorts can be.

Henry Williamson
Somehow, this made me into a Henry Williamson sympathiser; I instinctively divined that here was a misunderstood man, there was an immediate empathy. Williamson was an outsider. I’ve always felt something of an outsider myself; maybe one of the reasons Robert Edwards has me on his staff as one of the writers for European Socialist Action! I’ve never been an unreasonable individual but somehow that doesn’t count. They know we are different, so they take against us. So we look elsewhere. In my case, ESA.

Henry Williamson had a good devoted family, good friends and, most of all, good wives (although maybe he did not treat them as he knew he should). Yet he remained an outsider to the Establishment.

I became a member of the Henry Williamson Society in 2005. The society has a few hundred members world-wide and produces two excellent publications each year; a newsletter in the spring and a literary journal in the summer. In 2006, I joined a tour of the battlefields of Northern France. The Lochnagar Crater, Thiepval Memorial, Delville Wood, Beaumont Hamel, Cambrai, Orival Wood Cemetery, the Sambre Canal, Serre Road 11 cemetery and the Arras Memorial. We paid tribute to other poets and writers, often buried in small walled cemeteries in the middle of fields. There was evidence of the ‘Iron Harvest’, shells at the roadsides awaiting disposal. Every year, hundreds surface on fields being ploughed by farmers. Sometimes there are deaths and injuries through these devices, even though they are nearly one hundred years old.

Half a century ago (could it be so long?) the BBC broadcast a landmark documentary series whereby soldiers and civilians who had survived the First World War shared their personal experiences. Clearly someone at the BBC recognised that this would be the last real opportunity to hear a substantial number of experiences from these gentlemen.

Thousands of soldiers responded to appeals to take part in the original series. In total, seventy hours of interviews were filmed, of which 55 hours survive, having been kept in the Imperial War Museum. Julia Cave, the researcher who conducted the original interviews at Ealing Studios, said, “It has always been said that they didn’t talk about the war but there were a lot who did want to do so”.

As over a million feet of film were made, inevitably for logistical reasons a process of editing had to take place, condensing the footage to a manageable though substantial 26 one hour episodes.

The men, in their late sixties at that time, but still spry and looking dapper by today’s standards, dispassionately describe the fear, filth and noise of death. Their detachment makes it all the more affecting. Henry Williamson was among these men.

In March this year, a programme was shown on BBC2, I Was There: The Great War Interviews. 85 per cent of those shown in this had never been seen. This cache of previously unseen testimonies were deemed too emotional for broadcast in the 1960s with the Second World War relatively fresh in the public’s mind. The programme makers of the time preferred to concentrate on the more traditional history of the conflict.

Late 1982: I was 25. An 18 month relationship with a girl four years younger had broken up. I embarked on a relationship with Lucy, a divorcee woman in her late thirties (she lived at Moseley in Birmingham, somewhat ironically); we both knew that this was just a fling and was not meant to last. I was working on British Rail as a trainee engine driver. The irregular hours were starting to wear me down. I was also getting fed up with the canteen politics.

Some years previous, I had read short stories and essays by D H Lawrence. Lawrence had an outsider status with which I could indentify, although he was still vilified by the mainstream literary establishment. One day, browned off with the mess-room politics, I took a stroll into the concourse of Leeds City railway station. I dropped in on John Menzies’ newsagent shop and something caught my eye. A paperback of Dandelion Days by Henry Williamson. A new reprint with a detail of ‘A Cottar’s Garden’ by Edward Kingston Brice; roses in the foreground, a brick farmhouse barn in the middle distance and fields stretching beyond to blue remembered hills in an azure summer afternoon haze. Here was a find.

‘Second in THE FLAX OF DREAM sequence’, it stated below the title. Now, this was something fresh and intriguing. I had heard of Tarka the Otter, although I had never read it. I had seen the film; it was the only film that actually made my younger brother, Mark, cry. I never forget that. The film was actually made at the time of Henry’s death in 1977.

As time went on, I saw the odd article on Henry Williamson. I still have a pair of clippings from the 1990s; one a review from The Times about a BBC Radio 3 programme called The Trials of Henry Williamson.

Although basically favourable, the reviewer can not resist the title, “Was he an otter fool?”. Under HW’s photograph it says, ‘Henry Williamson: a lifelong conservationist and popular author with Nazi sympathies’.

The review goes on: “Known to most of us only as the creator of Tarka the Otter, Williamson was a life-long conservationist, alert to the need for husbanding of the earth’s resources as far back as the 1920s. Conservation was also a theme of the Nazis, a connection to Williamson which is more than coincidental”.

It then goes on to say how HW died in obscurity in 1977 and how his ‘lack of recognition in this country owed something to his support for Hitler’. Williamson refused to moderate his views. You could say HW comes with form or baggage.

Later, through my membership of the HW Society (founded in 1980; an excellent website), I obtained a blue cloth-bound copy of The Flax of Dream one-volume sequence. As this was a pre-war edition, it still had these words in the foreword: “I salute the great man across the Rhine whose life symbol is the happy child”. Words which would seal his fate and make him a hostage to fortune as far as his reputation went. Yet The Flax of Dream is dedicated to “All who fought for freedom in the Second World War and are still fighting”.

Of course, hindsight is wonderful and Williamson was far from alone in believing it. Yes, it did seem that Germany was rising from the ashes, hopefully, firmly and in full employment, whereas in England the heroes of the First World War lived in slums and some men had never worked since the war.

HW’s pre-war friendship with Sir Oswald Mosley has not been forgotten nor forgiven. Henry once painted the BUF flash symbol on the wall of his Norfolk farm at Stiffkey where he farmed despite the agricultural depression of the time.

He later referred to Hitler as a Luciferic figure; a Fallen Angel. In spite of this, his reputation became clouded. He called World War II ‘The Hitlerian War’.

I ignored these attempts to besmirch this man and proceeded to investigate both man and writings.

Indians of the sub-continent (both participating and otherwise) name The Great War the European Civil War. There you have it, in one.

Henry Williamson died unhonoured in his eighties. With the exception of Tarka the Otter (found today, if you are lucky, in the junior section of most libraries) he is only read now by a faithful few.

He could not come to terms with the deadly phenomenon of incited patriotic fervour, with its power to drive men into a hell of other men’s devising .... Like many others who survived the test to destruction, he could not adjust to peace.

In 1928, having found some peace in the countryside of Devon, he reported the Cenotaph ceremony for the Daily Mirror: “For us the wreaths are a symbol for all poor men of The Great War. The dead are of no nation”.

Henry won the Hawthornden Prize for Tarka in 1928. Henry was hunted by the fame of the book, as Ted Hughes said. As if he had never written anything else.

Hughes explained there was another Henry, hounded by the memory of war.

“In Patriots Progress we see that spirit of Tarka - a wild super-sensitive creature - hurled into the dreadful world of modern history .... It is one of the best records of trench warfare and it describes one of the key experiences of Henry’s life”.

The Henry Williamson Society hold a study day early each spring at the Swedenborg Hall in Holborn, London. This year featured a talk by Peter Bunton entitled “Tarka as an analogy of World War One”.

A Daily Telegraph review referred to “the intolerable genius of Henry Williamson”.

A Chronicle of .... resurrects the past with extraordinary intensity. HW had an unsurpassed sense of social history. A Chronicle .... has a breadth, a scope which makes it truly the history of a period rather than merely personal.

Ted Hughes spoke of the ‘radiance’ of HW’s writing. Someone unfamiliar with HW saw him speak on the March BBC documentary on The Great War: “Mesmerising” was the word used.

HW was a man of prodigious creative and spiritual energy. He knew Brocard Sewell of Aylesford Priory, a man in sympathy with Henry in all aspects. Personally, I feel Henry would  have made a very good Roman Catholic. He wrote articles for the Aylesford Review, a literary and theological quarterly publish by the Carmelite Order. 
He always refused payment.

Ted Hughes, in his address at St Martin-in-the-Fields on December 1st 1977, said of Henry: “He was untamed and he was free. A full, clear flame, as D H Lawrence would have said. He was always different, emotional, outrageous, amusing. It was Tarka - still wild, alert, open to everything, ready for anything. It was what pulsed through the best of his writing. It was genuinely him and it was beautiful”.

Henry Williamson was an extraordinarily sensitive child, nervous and highly strung. Always frightened of doing the wrong thing and getting into trouble. He was “born unhappy”. Early photographs show a small boy with vast luminously anxious eyes. He was frightened of his father, William Leopold Williamson - a typically stern and withdrawn Victorian man, also described as a remote, irritable and “neurotically fastidious” figure.

Williamson had two sisters who enjoyed the softer approach afforded to young girls. He was irritated by his ‘fey’ mother who was “always fearful; and that feeling upset others”. She did not “click or fit” with her husband and, in his adolescence, HW did not feel she stood up to his hectoring father.

Henry Williamson’s daughter-in-law remarked that his ‘fascism’ is part of his Romanticism. “Early fascism with its belief in national renewal through sun-bronzed youth had its utopian aspects”. Discuss? We might well!

Williamson is sometimes excused his ‘naïve’ flirtation with fascism. His so-called ‘failure to recant’ is not. HW remained faithful to the ideas of Oswald Mosley all his life. What is not recognised is that fascism as a political idea was all but dead by 1945. Oswald Mosley had moved on; HW appears in a photograph at his home (Ox’s Cross) in the 1950s reading The European.

Williamson wrote The Flax of Dream, a quartet brilliantly evoking the peace of England between the great wars and the unspoiled innocence of the Devon countryside. But, as we know, in the 1930s the shadows lengthened. Williamson was deeply troubled by international trends. He saw it all happening again .... another brothers’ war, no less.

In the early 1920s, HW moved to Devon, renting a thatched Cob cottage at Ox’s Cross, Georgeham, on the coast near Appledore.

Henry Williamson gave, in the Patriots Progress and his Chronicle .... novels, the most accurate account of the 1914 Christmastide truce in the trenches of Belgium. The chief character in the Patriots Progress is an ordinary ‘Everyman’ named John Bullock. The book title and ‘John Bullock’ are a nod to John Bunyan’s A Pilgrims Progress. Not a hero - an ordinary English bloke.

Here is what he wrote in a pencilled letter home dated December 26th 1914. A small Union Jack was pinned to the top of the page:



Dear Mother,

    I am writing from the trenches. It is 11 o’clock in the morning. Beside me is a coke fire, opposite a ‘dug-out’ (wet) with straw in it. The ground is sloppy in the actual trench but frozen elsewhere. In my mouth is a pipe presented by Princess Mary. In the pipe is tobacco .... in the pipe is German tobacco. Ha Ha, you say, from a prisoner or from a captured trench.

    Oh dear, no! From a German soldier. Yes, a live German soldier from his own trench. Yesterday the British and Germans met and shook hands .... and exchanged souvenirs. Yes, all day Christmas Day .... Marvellous, isn’t it? This is only for about a mile or two on either side of us (so far as we know). On Xmas eve both armies sang carols and cheered and there was very little firing. The Germans (in some places 80 yards away) called to our men to come and fetch a cigar and our men told them to come to us. This went on for some time, neither fully trusting the other .... a bold Tommy crept out and stood between the trenches and immediately a Saxon came to meet him. They shook hands and laughed and then 16 Germans came out. Thus the ice was broken.

    Our men are speaking to them now. They are Landsturmers or Landwehr, I think, and Saxons and Bavarians (no Prussians). Many are gentle looking men in goatee beards and spectacles, and some are very big and arrogant-looking. I have some cigarettes which I shall keep and a cigar I have smoked. We had a burial service in the afternoon, over the dead Germans who perished in the last attack that was repulsed against us. The Germans put “For Fatherland and Freedom” on the cross. They obviously think their cause is a just one. Many of the Germans here, are or were, waiters. Thank Efford for his chocolate, Auntie Belle for the cigarettes .... my toes are frostbitten now .... working all night at digging .... sleeping in wet and mud. Where we are billeted (8 of us in a cottage in a town which is shelled now and again) we have a good time ....”



Unknown to Henry, his father arranged to have this letter printed in the Daily Express, the first known published example of HW’s work. I was a little surprised that the letter got through the Field Censor but it obviously did.

From this experience came his life-long and passionate belief that wars were created through misunderstanding.

The foreword to the one-volume edition of A Flax of Dream goes thus: On Christmas Day 1914, the author of this history had a conversation with a young soldier of the 133rd Saxon Regiment in no-man’s land, in front of the  Bois de Ploegsteert. Although he did not realise it at the time, that experience altered his entire conception of the world.

Yes, football matches did occur but these were played behind German lines, “I said to a German, how can you be fighting for freedom? You started the war and we are fighting for freedom. The German replied, “Do not let us quarrel on Christmas Day”.

“Come on over, Tommy, come over”, someone said. Very soon we were exchanging gifts. Williamson recalled: “The whole of no-man’s land was grey and khaki. There they were smoking and talking, shaking hands, exchanging addresses to write to one another”.

The truce lasted four days before an order came round that fraternisation had to stop.

The Germans sent over a note saying senior officers were visiting that night and that they would have to fire their guns but would do so high.

“We crept out, trying to avoid our boots ringing on the frozen ground and expecting any moment to fall flat with the machine guns opening up. And nothing happened. And within two hours we were walking about, laughing and talking”.

In 1964, HW went with Kerstin Hegarty and a press photographer to France. It was the fiftieth anniversary of World War I. Henry had been commissioned to write a series of articles for The London Evening Standard.

Hegarty writes, “This was a strangely moving experience - one that is difficult to convey in words. The atmosphere of that sombre, sad part of France and Flanders, although so orderly and peaceful now was still blood-soaked. The articles were called ‘Return to Hell’ .... we first went to Vimy Ridge and in the final paragraph of the first article he wrote, “Now, after nearly fifty years, I find myself upon these ancient battlefields to report on - what? In me there lives the ghost of my young self, compassionate, estranged, accepting all things with clarity”.

“We went to the German graveyard, ‘The Labyrinth’ .... acres and acres of black crosses: a very different place from the beautifully kept British and French cemeteries.

Plugstreet Wood: in the middle of what seems a haven for nature lies a small British cemetery: gentle, very rural and not too immaculate. Tender, young and wild. Sadly, so much youth has perished there.

How quiet it is. A nightingale is singing. “Summer, summer, summer, the soundless football in the grass”. Gossamers drift. Faraway in the depths of the wood a dove is moaning .... dappled shadows fall on these quiet headstones within the mason’d walls. These oaks must be eighty years old at least. How did they survive that frightful bombardment in April 1918, during the Germans’ last drive for the Channel ports?

Look at this one, please.


5500
R. Barnett
The Rifle Brigade
19th December 1914, Age 15

Below, carved the Star of David. He was of Stoke Newington in London.
The eyes drop their tribute salt.



The Arras memorial includes Driver Frith of the Machine Gun Corps. Driver Willis-Frith died in June 1917 aged 20. Driver Frith was a member of Henry’s platoon, listed as the cold shoer for the company’s mules.

In April 2006, John Gregory, who writes publications for the HWS, including re-issues of Henry’s magazine and newspaper articles, read a poignant passage from one of Henry’s books, documenting the tragic ending of Driver Frith and his gallant and ever-loyal mule.

A highly emotional few minutes. Henry’s words by the Arras memorial.



My regard for the HW Society is immense but if I am being honest I do have a small quibble with them. They make the disclaimer that the society is ‘non-political’. Why is it really necessary to say that? They are often at pains to point out that HW was ‘never a fascist’. One would never say  that the Jane Austen, Bronte or Oscar Wilde literary societies are ‘non-political’, would you? Methinks they ‘protesteth too much’, to quote a well-used phrase of Jane Austen.

In 1973, his documentary BBC The Vanishing Hedgerows introduced him to many more; it will take a series based on The Flax of Dream or The Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight to purge the contempt and re-establish his reputation. Anthony Powell’s ‘A Dance to the Music of Time’ (a huge Proustian series tracking the early and mid-20th century) was made into a television drama; so why not HW’s masterpieces?

Ted Hughes, a good friend of Henry and reader of a tribute at his funeral, could call a deserved truce:

“If one ignores the superficial errors of judgement he might have made in trying to adjust his ideas to the practical world of politics and instead look into the heart of his books .... one sees a consistency. He was blessed with an intense vision of the world and a genius for expressing it .... He added some  masterpieces to the literature of this country”.

I attended a HWS study day a few years ago; on display was a fascinating collection of memorabilia relating to Henry. Including his BUF membership card. Politics was of importance to him. It seems disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

Disingenuous and one sided. How many writers, artists and indeed, ‘mainstream’ politicians have had a dalliance with communism, a creed which produced monsters who make Adolf Hitler look like an angel in comparison. Yet their reputations are intact; just a wee risqué. Flirtation, that’s all it was. Not so for Henry Williamson.

Anthony Burgess, the novelist, was a fan but, again, he writes, “In the later volumes (by HW) a pro-fascist tone prevails, an almost manic bitterness, far from acceptable”.

I felt I had to cut through thickets of prejudice to discover the man himself. The semi-biographical saga A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, the 15 books of which received scant attention, give a marvellously detailed picture of suburban life on the outer rim of London over the turn of the 20th century; the encroachment of town on country; the decay of the old order. Not for nothing has he been named ‘The English Proust’.

Personally, what I divined about Williamson was a gravitas; one I had previously felt with Lawrence.

This was no English sentimentalist; this man was truthful, sincere and he was not playing games. He was, to use boxing parlance, a heavyweight and he had a seriousness of intention.

If you are looking for the lightweight, the frivolous, then do not look at HW. There are dozens of other writers in the canon of English literature you can go to.

For years, if you said the words Henry Williamson, people would reply ‘Tarka the Otter’, then some would mutter ‘fascist’ or ‘pro-fascist’, friend of Mosley, very possibly.

The Radio 3 documentary ‘The Trials of HW’ was sensitive. Tim Pigott-Smith played HW as a young man and Michael Gough the old man. Henry was devastated when his 80th birthday passed by without a Queen’s Honour. Dishonoured.

Henry Williamson was a romantic but not a sentimentalist. Becoming a farmer in Norfolk during a severe agricultural slump “when only fools bought land”, he was well aware of what farmers were pitted against. He was practical man as well as a dreamer.

Henry Williamson joined the London Rifle Brigade (5th City of London Regiment) as Private 9689. He trained at Crowborough camp in Sussex. In May 1915, he obtained a commission as an officer, becoming 2nd lieut. 10th Service Battalion in the Bedfordshire Regiment. He had periods of medical discharge (notably for dysentery) but on 23rd October 1916, for example he was passed fit for Home Service and training re-commenced. On the 1st November he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with the Machine Gun Corps and also became a transport officer in the Albert/Arras area, working with horses and mules (Spring of 1917).

Henry was demobilised from the army in September 1919. He felt lost; the army had been his whole adult life. He was 24 at this time. Civvy life had been a “shadowy and diminished sphere steadily dissolving since 1914”. He roamed the streets of Sydenham (his birthplace) wondering what to do.

At last, he went to London to visit some of his wartime haunts. “But I might have been a ghost, I drank beer alone, yet with imaginary comrades”.

He was paid his army gratuity and a disability pension; he started writing at night and loafed around during the day but spiritually and emotionally the war never left him. It was to be a number of years before he could psychologically deal with opening up his wartime experiences through his writing.

Henry has been called the English Proust, for his writings recall in vivid detail time now lost.

The Great War was the backbone on which all his subsequent writing hung. His experiences were a crucible that marked everything he did, felt and wrote during the rest of his life. “The shy, almost diffident man Henry always remained had a hidden strength within him which gave him rare courage”, Diana Mosley later wrote in a tribute.

The titles of the individual components of HW’s magnum opus A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight have a mesmerising, almost supernatural or mystical quality, yet they relate directly to the subject in the books. A Test to Destruction (the latter days of The Great War), The Golden Virgin, The Gale of the World, How Dear is Life, A Fox under my Cloak, The Phasian Bird, The Innocent Moon, The Power of the Dead, Love and the Loveless and Lucifer Before Sunrise. The Flax of Dream, the title of his tetralogy, has an almost mystical sensory power.

The First World War has encompassed five volumes of Henry’s masterpiece A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, acclaimed by many critics as the finest writings on the war, as well as the earlier books The Wet Flanders Plain and The Patriots Progress. Having endured four years of a catastrophic, suicidal war, HW’s main objective was crystallised in his resolve to do his utmost to show the futility of war, the stupidity of its causes and to try to educate the world through the medium of writing and ensure such a war would never happen again.

For us readers of ESA, it is pertinent to sum up Henry’s political views here. Henry Williamson endured. He fought for his country. He was a patriot, above all.

This is epitomised in a letter Henry Williamson wrote to Captain Sir Basil Liddell Hart written from his Norfolk farm on July 9th 1939, immediately before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Williamson, referring to their mutual friendship with T E Lawrence, wrote to invite Liddell Hart to a BUF meeting to take place on the evening of Sunday July 16th at the Earls Court Exhibition Hall. This letter contains the clearest statement in existence that Williamson’s belief and only intent was purely and solely to maintain peace and to prevent another war: 


.... It may be that I suffer from illusions but every experience in The Great War, every thought and feeling I have had since, every word I have struggled to write, finds its meaning and aspiration in the ideas and hopes (still in the pioneer stage) of British Union; and I can not  help believing that in the course of time it will be the means of bringing the truth to our land and people and Empire.
At present it is like Cairo to TEL in 1916 and can not be proved. An idea. 
Please forgive this intrusion if you are busy or disinclined but the way to a peaceful Europe is so different from the usual conception, which seems to be leading direct to war.

Yours faithfully,

Henry Williamson



T E Lawrence would have come to this way of seeing things, I believe, had he lived.



copyright©John Roberts 2014

Monday, 15 September 2014

SCRAP NATO NOW!

NO AMERICAN FORCES ON EUROPEAN SOIL

by Robert Edwards (ESA No 53 July/August 2014)

American foreign policy dictates to the rest of Europe but especially to the United Kingdom through the form of a Cold War political power bloc known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or NATO to give its more familiar acronym.

America boasts allies in all its global adventures but they are not allies in the sense that American interests are mutually compatible with the interests of those of other states in this NATO set-up. It is not an equal partnership by any means and in any way.

All previous British foreign secretaries have served American interests like lap-dogs. This relationship has always been one of master and servant and this trend continued with William Hague who only recently confirmed that Britain will do anything in order to please Uncle Sam. His successor, Philip Hammond, will be no different in this approach. The most recent case was to “stand side by side” over the ever growing Sunni militant threat in Iraq. “Whatever America decides, we will follow”, said the former Tory leader.

It is the same Sunni Islamist element that the United States and its allies actually support against newly elected President Assad of Syria. This irony smacks loudly of hypocrisy. It is this hypocrisy that characterises both American and British double standards in relation to those ‘dictators’ targeted for regime change and those to whom both countries turn a blind eye. To support the autocratic rule of the Saudi royal family on the one hand against an elected president in Syria on the other looks like, and is, rank hypocrisy. To say nothing regarding the civil rights abuses in Bahrain and in Egypt while threatening Iran on a daily basis is immoral. The same goes for the cruel and unrelenting persecution of the Palestinian people by the Jewish supremacists of the Zionist state. Not a word about it on the BBC even though the Internet is awash with the reality of the situation over there.

We are subordinate to the United States. This is the reality as unpalatable as it is for those who still believe in the “special relationship”.

Our leaders seem to forget that the United States is a foreign power with its own interests, amounting to global domination.

The United States claims to be ‘exceptional’ and this exceptionalism, as they dub it, means the civilised rules, we the rest of us have to abide by, do not apply to the world’s major super power. For example, the Geneva Conventions do not apply to the United States where torture and suspension of Habeas Corpus is state policy. The use of drones on killing missions is part of this. The President has the power to order assassinations anywhere in the world if the targets are deemed to be a threat to American interests.

The treatment of prisoners and the civilian population in faraway places is no longer the criteria of US Army field manuals. You may as well burn them all for any present-day value they have. International law is not for the United States but it does still apply to the rest of us.

American soldiers are trained to be psychopaths, which is plain to see on this page. The American love of guns and the turn on they receive from killing anything that breathes is all part of the American way of life.

It is all down to American foreign policy based on the principle of ‘exceptionalismand America’s own rules for treating the rest of the world. America is different ... America is superior ... The American way of life is the best way. That’s the way they see it.

This view of the world is not new, by the way. It emerged after the American War of Independence, defining the new America in ideological terms. Liberty, equality, republicanism, individualism and laissez faire economics. These are the underlying ideological tenets of Americanism and remain so to this day. It is the reason there is little difference between the Democratic and Republican parties, both of which reflect this ideological exceptionalism.

Each nation thinks itself unique but the United States goes further and promotes the idea that it is superior to all other nations, exceptional and above all international laws, including the Geneva Conventions.

It was described by political scientists as the first new nation with its own ideology, created after a revolution.

The first reference to “American exceptionalismwas made by Alexis de Tocqueville in the mid-19th century.

The American Communist Party in the 1920s adopted it and annoyed Stalin with the claim that America is exempt from the Marxist laws of the historic class struggle. They further elaborated with America being exempt through “its natural resources, industrial capacity and absence of rigid class distinctions”. The American communists (the Jay Lovestone faction) thus adopted the term exceptionalism.

It became a term for general use up to 1989 when the Scotsman Richard Rose reflected on it in his role as a political scientist.

He said historians reasoned that American exceptionalism persists because “America marches to a different drummer. Its uniqueness is explained by any or all of a variety of reasons: history, size, geography, political institutions and culture. Explanations of the growth of government in Europe are not expected to fit American experience and vice versa”.

US President Barack Obama recently gave a speech in which he outlined American exceptionalism. He said the United States will attack, militarily, any country on a unilateral basis if it deems that country to be a threat to American interests. It will not feel the need to consult any grouping outside its domain, including the United Nations or NATO.

The United States keeps military bases in a hundred countries, including our own Britain. Several RAF bases are taken over entirely by the USAF/CIA for global surveillance purposes. GCHQ is simply an extension of the American NSA, a fact exposed with devastating effect by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Snowden and Manning exposed the true nature of US forces at home and abroad, military personnel who are, in reality, trained murderers and psychopaths above the normally accepted rules of engagement.

Which brings us to America’s partner in crime, Israel. American exceptionalism has its direct parallel with the Jewish belief in the Chosen People. Similar to the American position, Israeli Jews think of themselves as above the Goyim, non-Jews who are regarded as not possessing a human soul. This, in turn, is at the core of Zionism and its treatment of the Palestinians.

What we see going on in Gaza is Jewish supremacism at its worst. Israeli rabbis calling for the extermination of all Arab mothers so they can not breed “snakes” as they call them, the bombing of hospitals in Gaza by Israeli jet fighters and the death toll among Palestinians rising way above 800 and going up. Worst are the images of the dead children.

The United States turns its attention to an airliner brought down over East Ukraine.  The entire Western media seems to deflect the news away from Gaza and the terribly shocking disregard for international law there. The United Nations calls for a cessation of hostilities in Gaza which appeal is completely ignored. The United States says nothing.

Hamas wants something perfectly reasonable. It wants an end to the blockade of Gaza and an opening of its borders. At present, Gaza is nothing more than a huge concentration camp with a densely packed population suffering terrible deprivation.

Israel refuses to ease the situation for Gazans. It is one of the most cruel and unacceptable of situations in the world today.

Exceptionalism and supremacism are both dangerous concepts in whoever’s hands. They attribute to the holders of these doctrines a sense of god-like power over others and, as we see today and in recent years, a total disregard for the human life of other peoples. With the Israeli Jews it is a moral superiority over the Goyim, so superior that non-Jews are considered immoral and inferior.

Rabbis connected to the Israeli government are now instructing the IDF that it is permissible to kill indiscriminately without regard for the innocents. This is not even said in secret. Expanding the ground war against innocent civilians is the aim of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and he openly declares he is not at all interested in the opinions of anyone outside the region. Nothing will deter him from his mad genocidal mission.

Like American exceptionalism, Jewish supremacism does not recognise international law. One reason neither entity would sign up to the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

Fact is, our own government serves both maniac powers slavishly and without question. Today, America wants to expand NATO up to the borders with Russia. We should not be part of it. We should end this drift to war.


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

There Is No Such Thing As Anti-Semitism

by Robert Edwards

ESA No 51 (March/April 2014)


The term ‘Semitic’ refers to a family of languages. There is no such thing as a Semitic race as, equally, there is no such thing as an Aryan race. Both terms have been twisted and corrupted by those who wish to re-invent them for their own disreputable agendas.


In Germany in the 1930s, an ‘Aryan’ was, ostensibly, a non-Jewish German. It had no scientific basis whatsoever but it entered the National Socialist lexicon simply as a form of German national identity in opposition to the existence of the Jewish population. The designation was never specific for the simple reason that it had no legitimacy in anthropological terms.


However, the term ‘Semitic’ had a far more wide-ranging impact. The idea that the Jews are a Semitic race became popularised at a time when others wanted to give Jews a racial identity. The fact is, the Jews are not a race, as such, but composed of different strands, the main one having no connection at all to the ancient wandering tribes of the deserts of the Holy Land. The main strand being the central European Ashkenazim, descended from the Khazars, a people of Finno-Turkic stock that flourished around the Caspian Sea area in the Middle Ages. A mass conversion to Judaism occurred for what were fundamentally political reasons.


They had no lineal connection  to the “tribes of Israel”, making a nonsense of the Zionist Law of Return. The only thing that was ‘Semitic’ is the Hebrew language later adopted by the state of Israel, superseding Yiddish as the preferred language of the Ashkenazim of central Europe. Arabic is also a Semitic language, as is Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ.


I explain all this in order to establish the fact that the term ‘anti-Semitism’ is an entire misnomer. People who hate Jews simply because they are Jews are not ‘anti-Semites’ but Jew-haters or anti-Jewish. They do not hate a family of languages. Why should they?


It is as absurd as saying people who hate Catholics are guilty of anti-Latinism when, in fact, they are simply anti-Catholic. They hate the people or the church but not the language of the traditional Mass.


According to Louis Golding in the Penguin Special The Jewish Problem (published 1938), in 1873, a Hamburg journalist, Wilhelm Marr, published a pamphlet titled The Victory of Judaism over Germanism that became very popular reading at the time. It was Wilhelm Marr who first invented the term “anti-Semitism” to describe this anti-Jewish hostility based on the relations between Jews and non-Jews. He later recanted “with a disgust that made him sick”, according to Golding. But his invented term became the basis of a new movement, using Jew-hatred as a political weapon in 19th century Germany. Bismarck used it to undermine his political opposition, principally the National Liberal party run by the two Jews, Lasker and Bamberger.


Zionism is a 19th century political secular philosophy that based its arguments on the idea that ‘anti-Semitism’ was not only endemic in Europe but is a congenital hereditary disease that infects all Gentiles. They claim it is incurable. Therefore Jews could never be assimilated and needed a homeland in which they would be safe from this dangerous disease, ‘anti-Semitism’. The fact that many European Jews succeeded in assimilating was ignored.


This is not to say that Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and Russia were not persecuted. There were many other persecuted minority groups but the Zionist Jews wanted to be considered a special case ... unique, in fact.


Throughout history you will find entire nations and many religious groups persecuted and the victims of genocide ... from North and South America, along with Africa, to the religious persecutions of Europe with no connection at all to the Jewish experience. We continue to witness genocide in the world today, including the oppression of the Palestinians by the Israeli Zionists. Torture and murder are integral to Israeli state policy.


‘Anti-Semitism’ has been elevated to a very special position and this position allows the Zionists to wield enormous clout. The slightest criticism of Jewish influence in Hollywood, of world Jewry or of Israeli state policy, is deemed ‘anti-Semitic’ and the consequences for many can mean imprisonment or, at least, the loss of a career and any real worthwhile future.


European Action does not do the Holocaust for two reasons. One, it had nothing to do with Britain, thus the British people have no blood on their hands, and second, we will not give the oxygen of publicity to the Zionist propaganda machine that uses the Holocaust as a form of blackmail against those that dare to criticise Israel. Indeed, it appears that being pro-Palestinian is now deemed to be ‘anti-Semitic’. So-called Holocaust denial also falls into the Zionist trap.


In Chile, the football team Deportivo Palestino, founded in 1920 by Palestinian immigrants, uses a pre-1948 map of Palestine as a number one on their shirts (below left). The Chilean Jewish Community declared this to be “anti-Israel” and demanded the team be banned from the Chilean Football Federation. The team was fined $1,300 by the National Association of Professional Football of Chile and ordered to redesign the shirts. Since when was being anti-Israel a crime ... the equivalent to ‘anti-Semitism’?  Well, I will tell you. Ever since an International Conference on Anti-Semitism deemed it to be so. That so many governments coalesce in this intellectual terrorism is evidence of the success of the practitioners of this propaganda war on the Gentile world. It has a parallel with the success of political correctness in the English-speaking world. The aim has been to stifle objective thought and render the target groups as incapable of standing up to this tyranny. Except in France, it appears.


A very successful comedian, Dieudonné Mbala Mbala, has challenged the Zionist domination of Europe. Thus the claim by Dieudonné (pronounced dew-donnay) that he is essentially anti-Establishment has that ring of authenticity. He does not recognise the ‘anti-Semitic’ label, of course, and includes formerly taboo subjects in his repertoire. Incorporating a personalised gesture called the quenelle (see left) he has made a mark for himself in French life that would have been the envy of our own dear Jim Davidson, bless his cotton socks for standing up to political correctness and man-hating feminism over the years. He deserves a medal for valour in the face of this particular form of ‘intellectual terrorism’. But I digress.


The persecution of Dieudonné Mbala Mbala has begun. The result? A mass following across the class and racial divides but particularly among the jobless youth of France. This is also a counterweight to the Israel-friendly right wing nationalists in Europe peddling Islamophobia. People like Geert Wilders, the platinum blond leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) in Holland. Wilders regularly visits the Israeli Embassy in Amsterdam for his briefings and regards Ben Gurion International Airport as his “second home”. This tells you more about the Islamophobic movements than anything else. Yes, that’s right, they’re deep in the pockets of rich Zionists, as was the English Defence League until the money ran out.


There is one exception among the nationalistic parties in Europe and that is Hungary’s Jobbik party. Its leader having identified Zionism as the enemy and the Islamic world as a natural ally in the war to free all nations from the Money Power, with the Rothschilds at the helm. All the other nationalistic parties do the unwitting bidding of Zionism and attempt to unfairly demonise Muslims. A shame on them.


During the writing of this article, we learn that West Bromwich Albion’s footballer Nicolas Anelka has been fined for using the ‘quenelle’ salute on the football field. It was claimed this is an inverted Nazi salute although he was to deny it was either racist or anti-Semitic. He was ordered to stay away from his club pending further inquiries over his “inverted Nazi salute”, banned for five matches and fined £80,000. Then the inevitable “compulsory education course”, that sinister-sounding brainwashing session you associate with totalitarian regimes. I am still waiting for my name to be called for one of these sessions. I would be a tough nut to crack.


An “independent” regulatory authority, composed of three men, found that Anelka is not an anti-Semite and nor that he intended to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle.”


Yet the demonstration of the quenelle was, they said, “abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper” and “included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief”. Work out that one because I can’t make sense of it all. Is he an anti-Semite or not?


The French comedian Dieudonné Mbala Mbala has taken the brunt of this anti-quenelle campaign but it seems to propel him into stardom among the population.


Earlier this year, he was booked  to perform  in the Zenith theatre in Nantes, that was before France’s highest court, the Council of State, had restored a ban on him performing there.


5,000 people had booked tickets and the police turned out in force. The result was a riot, with hissing and booing ... but most of all, the demonstration of the quenelle salute by the crowd, now popularised through this persecution.


The ban was originally over-ruled on the grounds of free speech before it was overturned and this is the core of the problem.


Dieudonné has seven convictions for “anti-Semitic hate speech” and remains undaunted. The founder of the Front National, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is godfather to one of Dieudonné’s children. You can not get more of a cross-section endorsement than that. One of Dieudonné’s colleagues in the Anti-Zionist Party is former Front National member, Alain Soral.


The accusation of “anti-Semitic hate speech” is losing any currency in the mind-manipulating world of political supremacism. The French comedian says he does not hate Jews and is not anti-Semitic but is, as we are, anti-Zionist. He shocks many because he breaks taboos but, more than that, he scares those who wish to suppress him. The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, calls on France to confront this “preacher of hate”.  It appears the people of France are not going down that road.                                                                      

 copyright © Robert Edwards 2014