THE UNKNOWN OSWALD MOSLEY
“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” ~ George Orwell.
These words composed by Britain’s greatest prophet explain why the greatest leader Britain never had is virtually unknown. Yet, for several years this passionate patriot was poised for power. Defeated by the massive forces arraigned against him, he and his wife, Diana Mitford, with whom I corresponded, were imprisoned along with thousands of others who were steadfast in saying no to Churchill’s war lobby.
Addressing the House of Lords December 11, 1946, Lord Jowett expressed the house: “Let us be fair to these people who were imprisoned under 18B, and let us remember that they have never been accused of any crime; not only have they not been convicted of any crime, but they have never been accused of any crime. This should be remembered in all fairness to them.”
OSWALD MOSLEY MANCHESTER, OCTOBER 1933
From Deansgate to Belle Vue fifty thousand people line the streets and a sea of white excited faces gazed earthwards. In the distance, the crowd pressed back and the muffled roar of drums heralds the approaching fascists.
The roar increases, the martial air of a brass band seeps through the atmosphere. There is a roar from the crowd and a cheer! The Union Jack has come into view; and behind it the long, steady column of the Black Shirts. Some of the crowd are vociferous in hurrahs and cheers; a few standing well out of harm’s way, let go an occasional, half-hearted boo. From slight movements in the crowd, one can imagine what is happening and the booing ceases.
As the long marching columns of Blackshirts approaches the cenotaph to the fallen of The Great War, flags dip. Sharp orders and arms are raised in unison to salute the war dead of Lancashire. The column marches on. More than half the crowd are silent.
And still, they come, column after column; line after line. Onward through the streets; the Northern folk look in respect at these sturdy men, marching with a precision brought about by organised control; men marching with a common determination that nothing shall break their line; that nothing shall lessen the great dignity of the Fascist cause. Ahead of the column, marching alone is The Leader.
From the great northern city’s cenotaph to Belle Vue arena their march is unbroken, their formation perfect. Of over three thousand men not one is out of step. In the drizzle, the spectators stand still and watch.
At the great arena, people wait expectantly as the meeting does not begin for an hour and a half yet. The thousands take their places; the busy white-aproned waitresses ply their plates. Suddenly, from one end of the hall, there is a roar, “The Leader!”
In a flash a sea of black draped arms fly upwards; a myriad throats roar a welcome, MOSLEY.
The rafters rock to the noise. For a good five minutes, it continues; while the leader stands smiling. Britain’s fascists rush into the hall. The hall holds eight thousand; most of the seats are pre-booked. The two end seats in each row are reserved for fascists, the centres for the public. The gangways of the arena are lined with Black Shirts; the film men and press photographers fidget on a platform. At tables below sit the newspaper men wondering how they will tackle this somewhat unusual story.
At a signal, four enormous searchlights fizz and splutter into blinding activity. Slowly they sweep the hall and focus on the doorways bedecked with Union flags. The curtains part; a hush of expectation rolls up on the vast assembly and not a seat is unoccupied.
“Here he comes,” somebody whispers, and a veritable giant of a man, marches easily into the glare of light. There is a welcoming roar from the Blackshirts; with the cheers of half the hall not far behind. The Leader takes his stand and raises his right arm upwards. He has given the salute. Media’s cameramen get busy and press photographers busily click their cameras and change their plates.
“Will you please sit down,” says the leader quietly; and in that mild request, there is a volume of power.
Now he starts: “Britain for the British!” “Wake Up, you men of England!”
Facts and figures tumble from his mouth. His great voice rises in emotion; the platform rocks to his gestures, the audience cheer, and cheer, and cheer. He is said by many to be the greatest orator ever and few would argue.
The solid Lancashire man and woman, from an initial distrust of this revolutionary movement, has been quick to grasp that this man is no visionary, he is talking solid common sense: giving them business details that they themselves know to be only too true. The Leader warms once more to his subject. He tells them that at one of his recent agricultural meetings he was challenged to tell a Manchester audience what Fascism would do for agriculture.
“I accept that challenge,” he continues, “and here is what we will do for agriculture. Your market,” he tells them. “Is at home, British farmers and farm labourers cannot buy your goods because foreign foodstuffs pour into this country at prices at which they cannot compete.
“Tariffs are no good; you have to have, in certain cases, total exclusion of goods. Britain will buy from those who buy British. There is a large and potential home market for your Manchester goods, as there is abroad. By the corporate state method, whereby both wages and prices are systematically and simultaneously and scientifically raised there is room in this country to sell a very large percentage of the goods that Lancashire can produce.”
The audience rises to the point. They know how their sons and daughters are being kept out of work by aliens who control the financing of those jobs, aliens who have no more love for Great Britain than that they shall make as much money out of us in as short a time as possible.
Thousands jump to their feet, cheering wildly when their leader concludes with a passionate appeal to their love of country and a demand that Fascism shall build a country worthy of that love.
The band strikes up God Save the King. Eight thousand people stand to attention; Fascists applaud with arms raised. Eight thousand voices chorus for the King’s safety, for they know, and Fascism knows, that the King’s safety means the nation’s safety.
The crowd file through the barriers and home. Then, Blackshirts form into marching order, and away into the night; the three-mile march back to Manchester.
Manchester journalists know that this is the biggest thing that has happened in Manchester for years. They know that no other speaker could have raised such enthusiasm as Oswald Mosley. They know, in their hearts, that he talked sound common sense all the evening that not a single argument of his but was cast-iron in its foundations and in
Next day: the morning papers. The news-editors had got busy; the sub-editors’ blue pencils had been wielded to effect. For news-editors and sub-editors have their jobs to keep, and you don’t keep your job on a newspaper if you say what you think these days; you have to say what your proprietor thinks.
Newspapers are non-committal, and made great headlines over stones being thrown at Fascists and left out the leader’s speech. The picture papers did us better.
The News Chronicle treated its public to a column of lies and misrepresentation. The Daily Express reporter never took a single note during the leader’s speech, but, like the other reporters dashed to the phone as soon as a slight fight occurred. But the Daily Herald, only the Herald, knew the purport of those 8,000 cheering people. And the Herald was frightened. The Herald said nothing at all.
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