Sunday, 30 September 2012

Extremists? Really Nick?

In Nick Clegg's speech at this years Autumn conference said;

BUF uniform held at the IWM London
If history has taught us anything, it is that extremists thrive in tough times.

So yes, if we fail to deal with our debts and tackle the weaknesses in our economy, our country will pay a heavy political price. But the human cost would be higher still. Not only would we fall behind internationally, we would leave a trail of victims at home too.

I found myself thinking back to the 1920s and 30s across Europe and through the political mire of European politics. There is the rise of Fascism and ultra nationalists in Southern and Central Europe with Communist powers and agitators in the East spreading to Germany and France.

Even in the UK the BUF (British union of Fascists) gained support as did the various different Marxist groups and the two even clashed on the streets of London.

Did they achieve anything in those desperate times?

William Joyce aka Lord Hawhaw earned himself a Pierrepoint necktie as did a few others who joined the Legion of St George, a detachment of the Waffen SS. Others served prison sentences for aiding the Germans or were interned if they stayed in the UK.

As for the Marxists- they went underground especially when the Cold war started. The Rosenberg case in the US was enough to scare anyone.

The British popular psyche doesn't like dictatorship. A cursory glance through history reveals only one successful dictator - Oliver Cromwell. Any Monarch who grew too big for their boots usually ended up meeting sticky ends or in exile. If you don't believe me check this out;
John - Forced to sign the Magna Carta by armed Barons and poisoned later.
Edward II - red hot poker inserted in him.
Richard II - disposed then murdered.
Richard III - betrayed and butchered at Bosworth.
Charles I - publicly executed.
James II - died in poverty in France.

The English/British people are quick to rally around their rights as far back as Watt Tyler and Jack Cade. Although a certain- alright a good proportion of the current Nationalist groups are fuelled by Racism be it anti Muslin or European or even an ignorance and fear of other's culture. These groups are no where near as politically active or backed by any real political philosophy or, as in the case of Hermann Goering and the NSDAP, a decorated War hero or celebrity backing to attract followers.

As for the Socialists and Marxists - They're absolutely on the scene. When I was in the Union on the solitary strike I went on we were inundated with Socialist newsletters and one guy from the Communist party. They agitate at national strikes but most people at those sort of Demos are not politically motivated in that way. They're vexed at things and making a statement but not yet ready to start singing the Red flag.

Groups like TUSC and UKIP are enjoying more support but they are hardly extremist groups in the same way as the BUF.

I agree with Nick that there is a possibility of it happening and if it all goes up Chutney creak then chaos will probably descend but I think we would have to be right up the creak, tied up in the bottom of our paddle less canoe that was slowly sinking!

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