New Labour, new fascism? – Tony Blair and the Führer principle

 From the beginning of his leadership of the Labour Party Tony Blair’s rhetoric was heavily if unconsciously littered with fascist buzz words: NATION, NEW, RENEWAL and so on. But there is a greater similarity than single words:  Blair frequently expressed ideas which have a remarkable similarity to those of Oswald Mosley. To demonstrate this, I have compiled a series of quotes from Blair and Mosley. 

All the Mosley quotes come from speeches and writings made after the foundation of the British Union of Fascists. Therefore, the comparison is between Blair and Mosley as a committed Fascist, not between Blair and the moderate Mosley of the late twenties or, indeed, even the Mosley of the 1930 Manifesto or the New party. The majority of the Blair quotes date from after 1990; approximately half since he became Labour leader.

I have left each quote unidentified except by a number to allow the reader to speculate on who said or wrote what before checking who said what. (Readers seeking clues  should bear in mind that Mosley’s comments were made in the context of the Depression and the existence of continental Fascist powers).  The quotes  can  be  identified by using the notes supplied at the bottom of page.

The importance of Blair’s language is twofold: it gives an insight into his personality and explains in large part how he managed to take command of a party based on trade union power and funding and changed it into an organisation which at least at its leadership level embraced the Thatcherite undermining of the power of the working class and worshipped laissez faire economics. He did it by making the leader more important than the party, a classic fascist tactic.  Now for the quotes:

It combines the dynamic urge to change and progress, with the authority, the discipline and the order without which nothing great can be achieved.” (1)

It is largely from family discipline that  social discipline and a sense of responsibility is learnt. (2)

Our challenge to be a young country is not just economic, it is a social and moral challenge. (3)

I believe we have broken through the traditional barriers of right and left; that we are developing a new and radical economic approach for the left and centre. (4)

Above all it is a realistic creed. It has no use for immortal  principles in relation to the  facts  of bread-and-butter; and it despises the windy rhetoric which ascribes importance to mere formula. (5)

One Britain. That is the patriotism for the future. (6)

The steel creed of an iron age, it cuts through the verbiage of illusion to the achievement of a  new reality… (7)

It is no good waving the fabric of our flag when you have spent the last sixteen years tearing apart the fabric of our nation. (8)

A young country that wants to be a strong country cannot be morally neutral about the family. (9)

We have in unison in our cause the economic facts and the spiritual tendencies of our age… (10)

We need a new social morality. (11)

We seek to establish a new ideal of public service, and a new authority based on merit. (12)

It must be absolutely clear to the British people that we are a political arm of no one other than the British people themselves. (13)

The mild tinkering with the economy proposed by the Social Democrats nowhere near measures up to the problem.  A massive reconstruction of industry is needed…the resources required to reconstruct manufacturing industry call for enormous state guidance and intervention… (14)

We will protect British industry against unfair foreign competition. (15)

There is nothing odd about subsidizing an industry. (16)

It is true that within the old parties and even within the old parliament are many young men whose real place is  with us  and who sympathise with our ideas. The real political division of the past decade has not been a  division of parties, but a division of generations… (17)

The market collapsed: its guardians, the City whizz-kids with salaries fractionally less than their greed, now seem not just morally dubious, but incompetent. They failed miserably, proving themselves utterly unfit to have such power. (18)

Politically, the fall-out from the events of the past two weeks will be immense. There will be few politicians standing for election next time on a platform advocating ‘free markets’. (19)

The new establishment is not a meritocracy, but a power elite of money-shifters,  middle men and speculators…people whose self-interest will always come before the national or the public interest. (20)

The case advanced in these pages covers, not only a new political policy, but also a new conception of life. In our view, these purposes can only be achieved by the creation of a modern movement invading every sphere of  national life. (21)

We will speak up for a country that knows the good sense of a public industry in public hands. (22)

A nation at work, not on benefit. That is our pledge. (23)

Social aims without economic means are empty wishes. By uniting the two we can build a better future for all of our people. (24)

In our project of national renewal, education renewal must be at the forefront.  Our watchwords will be aspiration, opportunity and achievement. (25)

I want a negotiated settlement and I believe that given the starkness of the military options we need  to compromise on certain things. (26)

It is the primary responsibility of any government to defend the country. That much is obvious.  But my contention here is that a strong defence capability is an essential part of Britain’s foreign policy. (27)

To change our country, we must show that we have the courage to change ourselves. (28)

I think that you should always put the national interest before any section of interest in your own party. (29)

Our task now is nothing less than the rebirth of our nation. A new Britain. National renewal…The task of building new Britain now to come. (30)

We ask them [our supporters] to rewrite the greatest pages of British History by finding for the spirit of their age its highest mission in these islands. (31)

Without  an  active  interventionist industrial policy…Britain faces the future of having to compete on dangerously unequal terms. (32)

We aim to] “convert the existing chaotic survival of laissez-faire liberalism into a planned economy serving the needs of the State as a whole.” (33)

Blair’s quotes are all taken from Iain Dale’s ‘The Blair  Necessities’ (BN): those of Oswald Mosley from Eugene Weber’s   ‘Varieties of Fascism’ (VoF). Ergo, a quote number with BN against it is Blair’s: a quote number with VoF, Mosley’s.

  (1) VoF p170

  (2) BN p18 1993

  (3) BN p19 1995

  (4) BN p14 1996

  (5) VoF p170

  (6) BN p13 1996

  (7) VoF p171

  (8) BN p13 1996

  (9) BN p12 1995

  (10) VoF p172

  (11) BN p19 1996

  (12) VoF p111

  (13) BN p28 1996

  (14) BN p39 1982

  (15) BN p39 1983

  (16) BN 40  1983

  (17) VoF p172

  (18) BN p41 1987

  (19) BN p41 1987

  (20) BN p42 1994

  (21) VoF p171

  (22) BN p52 1988

  (23) BN p65 1995

  (24) BN p65 1995

  (25) BN p69 1994

  (26) BN p89 1982

  (27) BN p90 1997

  (28) BN p94 1993

  (29) BN p98 1996

  (30) BN p106 1995

  (31) VoF p175

  (32) BN p57 1988

  (33) VoFp116

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