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British Union of Fascists

Article about: Would appreciate thoughts on the authenticity of this British Union of Fascists pin-back badge? These are unfamiliar territory for me so any information will be gratefully received.

  1. #41
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    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    I've just realised I didn't comment of the Rome Presentation Standard, I too heard the rumour about this being in a private collection, however, as this has come from a well known fantasist it seems unlikely. He also came up with the nonsense of it being in the cellar of the UM N/H/Q in the 1960's, I'm told by people that were there that this is certainly not the case. The standard was brought back to the UK and photos exist showing it in Ian Hope Dundas's office at the Black House in Chelsea c.1933/34. I guess it is possible that he took it back to Italy as he seemed to spend a lot of time there in middle late 1930's. A lot of the BUF banners stored during the war rotted away, a chap called Fred Bailey told me that, and he helped clear the railway arch store after the war.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Quote by EddyR View Post
    I've just realised I didn't comment of the Rome Presentation Standard, I too heard the rumour about this being in a private collection, however, as this has come from a well known fantasist it seems unlikely. He also came up with the nonsense of it being in the cellar of the UM N/H/Q in the 1960's, I'm told by people that were there that this is certainly not the case.
    Eddy, going from your description, I'm confident that my 'rumour' came from the same source. That being so, I broke one of my own rules by repeating it!

  3. #43
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    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Taking my cue from Eddy's poster for an anti-war meeting of 30 August 1939, I present a small selection of leaflets on the same subject. There was a huge variety of these, many of which attacked the policy of either the Conservative dominated 'National Government' or that of the Labour opposition. There was a significant pacifist thread in British politics during the interwar years that all the parties had to engage with in various ways. Certainly British Union also picked up support on this issue from 1936 onward. The leaflet 'Labour Pleads for the Capitalist Bosses', is interesting for its aggressively anti-capitalist tone; the accusation that Labour and the Trades Union movement were bosses' men or interested only in lining their own pockets came from both the Communists and British Union. I always find it frustrating when fascist movements are described as 'far right' as it is an absurd and misleading distortion of political history. The 'double-cross' leaflet reminds us of the considerable discomfort experienced by the CPGB and their fellow travellers in Labour after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939. As a slightly irreverent aside - it was a good job that British Government didn't declare war against the Soviet Union when it invaded Poland, Finland etc. or the Foreign Office would have been in a terrible fix after June 1941! Finally, I have included a copy of the official declaration of British Union policy issued on the day when Germany invaded Poland. In this case, Mosley, apart from referring to his own service in the Great War, also casts the war as conducted on behalf of the international capitalism, identified with the Jews, which was another thread rarely completely absent from BU discourse.

    Philip

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  4. #44
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    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Excellent selection of leaflets Philip, I think the one 'The Dream that Came True' is a classic ! The variety of leaflets the BUF (and no doubt all political parties) produced in the 1930's is amazing.
    Changing the subject, here is a page from a British Fascist publication from 1925, as you will see there are several well known people mentioned including Noel Coward !
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  5. #45

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    Quote by DrPMC View Post
    ....The 'double-cross' leaflet reminds us of the considerable discomfort experienced by the CPGB and their fellow travellers in Labour after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939........

    Philip

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    Thanks for posting the selection of leaflets, Philip

    This has turned into a much more interesting thread than I first imagined it would. Thank you Philip and EddyR in particular

    The "Double Cross" leaflet is doubly fascinating as it ties in with the central premise of Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? by Viktor Suvorov in that Stalin wanted war between Germany and Britain together with capitalist western Europe and therefore steered Hitler and Germany towards that war in the hope that a war exhausted Europe would be easy meat for Soviet expansion and social revolution. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between such seemingly ideological enemies made war all the more possible, and inevitable.

    Furthermore I believe it was Labour MP votes which ensured that the Tory Winston Churchill became PM instead of the Tory MP's preferred choice of Lord Halifax—who was a leading proponent in British appeasement and was feared to want to negotiate Britain out of war. Churchill, by contrast, took the lead in warning the British public about Nazi Germany in the 1930's and campaigned strongly for rearmament and he flatly refused to consider a compromise peace.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Quote by EddyR View Post
    Changing the subject, here is a page from a British Fascist publication from 1925, as you will see there are several well known people mentioned including Noel Coward !
    Eddy, I'm confident that this is very rare publication indeed. It also says something of the scale of the British Fascists in the early period that they could put on an event of this size, with major acts - I note the name of Ivor Novello too. I wonder what or who the 'Bolshie Bug' was? For once google can't offer a clue and neither does the Times or the British Newspaper Archive. I've thought for a longtime that someone should write a proper history of the British Fascists, perhaps they can solve the mystery of the Bolshie Bug?!

    Philip

  7. #47
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    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Quote by 4thskorpion View Post
    Thanks for posting the selection of leaflets, Philip

    This has turned into a much more interesting thread than I first imagined it would. Thank you Philip and EddyR in particular

    The "Double Cross" leaflet is doubly fascinating as it ties in with the central premise of Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? by Viktor Suvorov in that Stalin wanted war between Germany and Britain together with capitalist western Europe and therefore steered Hitler and Germany towards that war in the hope that a war exhausted Europe would be easy meat for Soviet expansion and social revolution. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between such seemingly ideological enemies made war all the more possible, and inevitable.
    Yes, very interesting thread - its a pleasure to be able to share knowledge.

    Regarding Icebreaker, that is another book I'd like to read someday. I can't claim any special knowledge on the topic but have always found the question of Soviet intentions fascinating. Having been old enough to start taking an interest in such things from the late 70s onwards, I can remember how the possibility of a massive Soviet attack seemed to haunt the imagination. When I was still at school I read General Sir John Hackett's Third World War (1978) around the time it came out.

    Returning to the situation in 1939, it seems to me that Viktor Suvorov's thesis is quite plausible, it certainly matches the Marxist-Leninist understanding of history, with social revolution coming out of the clash of capitalist imperialist states in war. Also the fact that Stalin would approve a treaty with his most deadly ideological foe is also quite understandable in the light of the unlimited pragmatism and cynicism integral to the revolutionary praxis of the Communist Party. Interestingly a very similar interpretation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact appeared in the London Times newspaper on 26 August 1939 (p. 9). I wonder if the Russian archives will ever open sufficiently that these things will be more fully understood?

    Philip

  8. #48

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was merely a follow-on agreement of the earlier Treaty of Rapallo (1922) between Germany and Russia in which Germany's main goal was to reclaim territories of western Poland after Versailles. The Soviets had been after territorial gains in Eastern Poland after Versailles but as victors of the Polish-Bolshevik war (February 1919 – March 1921) Poland scuppered Bolshevik expansionist plans....temporarily that is. On 17 September 1939 Stalin had his revenge for his own his military failings against the Poles as commander of the southern front in Poland in 1920.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  9. #49
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    Unhappy Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Thanks guys I'm learning at lot.RE the piece from the Fascist Bulletin dated March 1925, I've looked at the web site of Mircoform the company which sells CD's (or used to, you now have to buy a licence) of some of the publications held by the British Newspaper Library. I note they are advertising the Fascist Bulletin (The Bulletin) from June 1925, so I assume the newspaper library haven't got earlier copies. Incidentally, the publication isn't mine and is in a private collection.Sorry I seem to be going off at a tangent, I'm just looking through my memory sticks and finding stuff I saved years ago.Firstly a stewards ticket for the Earls Court Rally, and a letter from the BUF Trust.
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  10. #50
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    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Some very interesting items, it's good to see some of this material, quite a bit is familiar to me but not all by any means.
    An original brassard was shown at the beginning of this thread, I've attached a picture of one which the Imperial War Museum have had on display for yonks, in my opinion it is a film prop probably from the firm 'It Happened Here'. Just shows that even museums get it wrong some times Please see attached.
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