50 Years Ago – The Mosley Movement Today
British Fascism’s New Look
1932 saw the birth of the “British Union of Fascists,” with their black shirts and uniforms, armoured cars, their provocative marches through the East End of London, and their Mass rallies. To-day, over 20 years later, the movement is still with us. They still hold out-door meetings, and recently Sir Oswald Mosley, held a number of indoor meetings in Birmingham, Kensington, Brixton, and elsewhere. True, it does not have the membership it had in the ‘thirties. No longer are members allowed to wear uniforms.
Since the war, when over 800 of its members spent a number of years in prison, the movement has been re-organised and renamed. The B.U.F. is now “Union Movement.” The word “Fascism” has – for the time being? – been dropped; no doubt because of its unpopularity. But the British Fascists continue to call themselves “Blackshirt.” At the London County Council Elections 1955, their candidates in Shoreditch and Finsbury urged electors to “Vote Blackshirt.” And “Wake ’Em Up at County Hall.”
“Union Movement” retains its pre-war “Flash” sign on its literature, banners, flags and badges.
To-day we no longer see “British for the British,” or “Britain First,” chalked or whitewashed on walls; although such slogans as “Slump or Mosley,” or the letter “K.B.W.” (Keep Britain White) can sometimes be seen in Kensington, Hackney, Brixton, and elsewhere.
“National Socialism,” the phrase under which the German Nazis operated, has given way to Mosley’s latest: European Socialism”—yet another contradiction! British Fascism wears a New Look!
(From an article by “PEN”, Socialist Standard, June 1956)