50 Years Ago: Post-War Fascism
Post-War Fascism in this country had Raven Thompson (Director of Policy for the British Union of Fascists before the war) as its champion in the debate at Kensington Town Hall on November 10th. This debate was organised by our Ealing branch. Thompson represented the Union for British Freedom, one of the groups aping the Nazis here.
This organisation offered to supply stewards to keep the meeting in order, including some to prevent “undesirables” getting into the hall. We naturally refused their offer and told them that our meetings were open to all members of the working-class who wished to attend, and that we did not anticipate any disturbances at a meeting run in our customary democratic manner.
Our views were justified. The hall was jammed to capacity with 650 people and about 200 had to be turned away. A large number of those present were passionately opposed to Thompson but they listened patiently while he plodded along with a monotonous and boring recital of the mish-mash of reformist rubbish and dictatorial junk which comprises the stock-in-trade of the present day little Hitlers. Our representative. Turner, had no difficulty in ripping Thompson’s tattered political ideas into even smaller pieces with socialist analysis, and presented our alternative to Fascism and the rest of the political policies which in effect preserve the present social system.
Another lesson of the debate is that a sure way of preventing the spread of Fascist doctrines is to get these would-be strong men and dictators on to a public platform and expose them for the exploded political wind-bags which they really are.
Those organisations who claim a monopoly of so-called “antifascism” were shown by Turner in the debate to be based on the same reformist twaddle as the Fascists themselves, and they can only oppose with disruption and disorder—tactics which the Fascists welcome and by which they thrive. The audience were orderly throughout and gave about £24 to our funds.
(From Party News Briefs, Socialist Standard, December 1947)