Britain is not over-run with fascists or racists or bigots… but we do have too many ‘enlightened liberals’ who hate debate

Mar 28, 2018 by

by Paul Embury, Unherd:

Britain has never had a fascist tradition. There was Mosley and his Blackshirts, of course (as above). But they entered the political fray only fleetingly and were eventually run out of town in the few places where they had attracted support. We Britons are too attached to the ideals of liberty and pluralism to indulge such a philosophy for long.

Yet, to listen to the histrionic fulminations of a section of society, you would be forgiven for thinking modern-day Britain was over-run with fascists.

That’s because the word ‘fascist’ itself has, like ‘racist’, been utterly debased – corrupted and devalued through careless overuse and calculated misuse.

People in these islands once knew what fascism meant. How could it be otherwise when so many had spent six years of their lives fighting against it? What a slight to their memory that we now toss the charge of ‘fascist’ around so casually, aiming it at anyone or anything we find objectionable.

‘Fascism’ as understood by previous generations – a set of ideas built around the supremacy of leader and nation (and sometimes race), with the ruthless suppression of opposition or dissent – has lost all meaning. Nowadays, Brexit is fascist. Trump is fascist. Jacob Rees-Mogg is fascist. The Daily Express is fascist. Ukip is fascist. I, a socialist and trade unionist, hold no candle for Ukip, by the way. But the suggestion that its libertarian ideology of small government and economic liberalism amounts to fascism, when in many ways it represents the polar opposite, is risible.

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