NATIONAL EUROPEANS WERE NEVER FAR-RIGHT REACTIONARY NATIONALISTS
Published in European Action number 15
By ROBERT EDWARDS
We are often mistaken for ‘fellow-travellers’ of the narrow nationalistic far-right and lumped together with the entire reactionary groupings that call themselves ‘British patriots’. When I say this is mistaken, I mean it to be completely misguided and based on an ignorance of our unique ideological viewpoint.
We are NOT nationalists in the sense that we cling to an older form of territorial identity. We have gone beyond the old nation-states. That is the reality. Yet the ‘reactionary’ myth is perpetuated by both Left and Right. Permit me to explain by unravelling the twisted distortions that most ‘anti-fascists’ are so fond of using by way of explaining us away.
Parties like the British National Party trade on sentiments that belong to another age, a perceived Golden Age of imperial might and industrial strength. John Tyndall used to rant on about it in his perorations. It is unreconstructed ‘empire loyalism’, a loyalism to something that no longer exists. How absurd, you might think. The BNP’s political roots are from the immediate post-war League of Empire Loyalists (among other small groups) that clung to the idea of British dominion over a quarter of the globe. They wanted to restore that pre-eminence but were not quite sure how to go about it. All they had was nostalgia for the past and a few smoke bombs.
Another force in British politics had emerged with an idea that dealt with the problem of Britain’s changes of fortune, largely as a result of the Second World War. Sir Oswald Mosley alone had the vision and he made it the core thinking of his new Movement. It was at this point he broke from the past and offered solutions for present and future. The main point here is, he rejected the narrower nationalism of pre-war fascism while the reactionaries of today, in the form of the BNP, actually try to revive it. The BNP and its satellite factions adhere to policies that are essentially those of the pre-war British Union of Fascists with one important element missing ... the great resources of the British Empire that once inspired the BUF’s economic theory of an Empire Insulation Policy.
So you see, the BUF was not really nationalist - it was imperialist. The reason for this was simple. Mosley wanted to harness all the resources of Empire in order to create an insulated economy that could be planned and also be free of the international trading system that undermined the living standards of the British worker.
Ask the BNP what its economic policy is and they will tell you that they want to go it alone, to be independent and to choose with whom they wish to trade. Sounds like a noble cause and all that ... but it is totally impracticable for several reasons. As a small set of islands we need to import more food than we can produce and we could never compete successfully in a world where the cheapest goods are favoured over those created by higher wages. Look today at the flood of Chinese goods from low wage industries, favoured because it encourages consumer spending at home in order to avoid an economic recession. It is an impossible situation.
On the front page of the BNP’s Voice of Freedom was the daft idea that Britain could become self-sufficient in food if every family had an allotment. The frightening thing is that some of these people really believe this to be a genuine solution and that every citizen should spend part of his day admiring his marrow in the cause of British sovereignty. They are leading you up the garden path and it is not to their cabbage patch heaven.
We say very clearly, Britain can not go it alone. It is a pipe dream perpetuated by right-wing reactionaries who believe that a rigid nationalism based on autarky can put the ‘Great’ back into Britain. We say, create the new empire, the empire of Europe a Nation, that federation of European states that could be the strongest power in the world. We could pool all our resources and keep a healthy population on the land with no trouble at all.
The right-wing reactionaries react with horror and say, “No to Europe. We don’t want to be swallowed up by a super-state”.
Why not? They do not seem to mind being swallowed up by the international banking system and by all the other international institutions now going under the new catch-word of globalisation. That is the real enslavement ... not Europe. The right-wing reactionaries could never grasp the simple facts of economics never mind that the kinship they always went on about has a European dimension.
By rejecting Europe they embrace the very internationalism they once professed to oppose - because the only alternative to a National Europe is to suffer the vagaries of the international trading system with all its uncertainties and perils - yes, “going it alone”.
Take note of the term ’National Europe’ and not the ‘global Europe’ recently championed by Gordon Brown, the bankers’ Prime Minister.
The right-wing reactionaries also found a new object for their seething hatred in the form of a religion ... to replace a racism that was outlawed under threat of imprisonment. In place of constructive policies, we are presented with a ‘clash of civilisations’ in direct mimicry of Zionist supremacism and the war plans of American neo-cons. The ‘wicked Muslim’ came of age.
Funny how they did not mention this years ago before the collapse of what Ronald Reagan described as the ‘Evil Empire’. At the end of the Cold War a new external threat needed inventing and Islam fitted the bill, being antagonistic towards Israel over the Palestinian issue and seemingly making greater inroads at the expense of liberal, secular Christianity.
The real issue here is immigration and the identity not only of Britain but of the whole of Europe. It is not a new religious war and it should not be an opportunity for gaining cheap votes as Nick Griffin so cynically uses it. Islam may be alien to many of these right-wing reactionaries but so too is Christianity which many so secretly despise. Their championing of Christianity is wholly disingenuous, serving only to cover up their real agenda, which is to exploit racial resentment. For Muslim, read brown person. That is more like the truth, is it not? Tell the truth - you want to keep Britain white and not to keep it Christian. Enough of this deception.
The right-wing reactionaries now side with the Zionists, doing their bidding in order to curry favour. John Bean, editor of the BNP’s Identity magazine, is overbearingly superior when he rails against “obsessive old school anti-Semites who believe that my enemy’s enemy is my friend”. Many people might even stomach such cant and humbug if John Bean had not had close political allies such as Colin Jordan and John Tyndall, no strangers to the Jewish conspiracy theories of the 1950s and thereafter.
According to George Thayer in The British Political Fringe, Bean joined Mosley’s Union Movement in the 1950s and he “joined and quit all within two weeks, perhaps a record” (page 48). He was later expelled from the League of Empire Loyalists. Bean’s original British National Party, a merger of his National Labour Party with Jordan’s White Defence League, believed that all Jews should be shipped to Madagascar. According to Thayer, “The policies of this new party combined all the old ideas of Arnold Leese with those of Jordan and Bean”.
So please, Mr Bean, spare us the ‘elder statesman’ pontificating. We are all prisoners of our political past and you are no exception.
If the present-day British National Party could claim a direct political connection with that old BNP of yore by dint of Mr Bean’s position as editor of Identity, then it has a lot of anti-Semitic baggage to contend with. Try brushing that under the carpet.
The position of Union Movement, and now European Action, on the issue of race and culture does not follow the right-wing reactionary road. First of all, we never blamed the immigrants nor did we ever suggest they should be persecuted. We most certainly do not condone picking on them for their religious beliefs. According to Mosley, we have all been the victims of Government policies which are directly influenced by the need of international capitalism to acquire ever more sources of cheap labour. That is what makes profits and little else. Non-white immigrants were victims of this large-scale exploitation, at the expense of the indigenous people. Remember Enoch Powell (Mr Bean’s idol) who imported coloured nurses when serving as a Tory Health Minister in order to circumvent giving our own nurses a well deserved pay rise?
It is desirable to preserve cultural identities for all peoples and the racial component has an essential part to play. But it should never entail notions of superiority and inferiority ... what is called ‘supremacism’. We see this supremacism at play in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and it is not a pleasant experience.
Those right-wing reactionaries who entertain supremacist notions (you find them hissing and spitting on the Stormfront internet forum) are surely the worst type of racist ignoramus ... an embarrassment, even. No humanity, no humility and not a kind thought for anyone. One good thing the Race Relations Act did encourage, and I am not condoning locking people up for an opinion, is that those of us who can think were corralled into using gentler language in relation to other races. The lesson being - if you do not want to go to prison then curb your language and treat all people in a fair way. Consequently, the policies of successive governments are the only legitimate targets on the race issue. Quite right, too.
Do not confuse us with the Nordicists, the skull measurers, racial superiority theorists or those who dream of ethnic cleansing. They do not represent the purpose of our politics. Our purpose is to create a better world for all mankind without the necessity of bombing the hell out of people or walking all over their land.
That is why Mosley favoured the principle of federal union for all mankind, to organise yourselves so that you are truly self-sufficient and free of the international trading system that favours low-wage economies over those trying to raise the standard of life for their people. Only large areas can succeed, as such. In each federal union there must be common government because government must always lead the economy ... not the money markets or the ‘free market forces’ of international trade.
As distinct from the right-wing reactionaries, we propose a system of social justice based on the principles of European Socialism.
Mosley coined that phrase in the 1950s but it will serve us well into the 21st Century. It proposes that a partnership of workers’ ownership and free enterprise will be the foundation of all industrial relations in Europe a Nation. But more than this, it is a rejection of the old ways of ‘them and us’, bringing together the only vital elements - the workers and the pioneers of enterprise. All the rest were parasitic and exploitative. This then was the vision for a revolution ... not just a third force in the world but also a third system, as Mosley used to say.
So let us be very clear about this. We have nothing in common with the ‘British nationalists’ who say no to Europe, meaning both the present set-up of the European Union and the alternative National Europe we are proposing. British nationalism is out of date, out of step and out of tune. In other words, the right-wing reactionary nationalists have no future. That is why they are always squabbling.
The future belongs to those who can see through the misbegotten nostalgia for past glories that are locked into a mindset refusing to move on. Mosley’s ideas are the ideas of tomorrow which time is coming. They serve many purposes in that respect - the only way out of the stranglehold of the international financial system, the creation of a powerful state that need fear nothing and as a role model for the other great areas of the globe ... the Muslim world, Central Asia, the Far East and South America. All of them have the potential for federal union in common purpose and common leadership. Then you have an end to one great superpower pushing its weight around the world and, at last, the great cultures and races existing together, each with its own self-sufficient system because each is large enough to do so. We can enter a trade agreement any time with any other economic bloc for anything extra we need ... but not as hostile competitors as we have in the world today.