Hannan: BNP Is Left-Wing because It Doesn’t Support the Monarchy

Daniel Hannan

Daniel Hannan, Tory MEP who thinks BNP Must be ‘Left-Wing’ as Don’t Support the Monarchy. Wrong on Both Counts.

I’ve blogged before about the way the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan, and other Conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic, have attempted to smear the Left with the argument that Fascism is actually a form of Socialism. Guy Debord’s Cat has posted a series of detailed critiques of Hannan’s various spurious statements about this. In his post for the 24th July 2010, Hannan Doesn’t Know His Right from His Left: Quelle Surprise!, the Cat attacks this remark from Hannan, that the BNP must be left-wing, because it doesn’t support the monarchy. The Cat writes

So when I had a peek at Hannan’s blog, I saw him pretty much repeating the same lie as the US right wingers I had encountered on Delphi Forums. In the title he declares that “The far- Left BNP has never supported the monarchy“. For someone who likes to pat himself on the back for his classical education, he seems to be a remarkably thick individual.

Fascist Attitude to Monarchy Ambiguous, but Very Often Supportive

This is just plain wrong. While Hitler maintained in his Table Talk that Germany should be a Republic, and that the Socialist did the right thing for the wrong reasons when the Kaiser was forced to abdicate, Fascism has had an ambivalent relationship with it. When Franco got round to drafting a constitution for Spain, he declared it to be a kingdom, and was careful to secure the accession to the throne of Juan Carlos, even while isolating his father, the heir to the throne and neutralise the Fascists of the Phalange, who did want a Republic. Mussolini’s Italy retained the monarchy, even though its power was usurped and limited by that of il Duce himself. Other Fascist parties, like the Belgian Rexists, wanted a return to absolute monarchy.

The British Union of Fascists and Tudor Absolute Monarchy

In Britain, Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists also supported a powerful, centralised monarchy against the centuries of the British tradition of representative government. Richard Thurlough in his book, Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1986, describes the ideology of Mosley and the BUF, including their weird and perverse interpretation of British history. For the British Union of Fascists, England reached its pinnacle of greatness under the absolute monarchy of the Tudors. This, however, had been undermined by the Glorious Revolution of 1688 which overthrew the last Stuart king, James II in favour of William of Orange. While this coup had terrible repercussions in Ireland, where the War between James’ and William’s armies have added to the legacy of hatred and bitterness, it was one of the key events in the development of British constitutional freedom. Parliament had invited William to take power, and had a far weaker claim to the throne compared to James, who was the rightful occupant of the throne by royal descent. William’s victory thus marked the supremacy of parliament over the monarchy. It was parliament that now had the power to raise and depose British kings. In addition, William had to satisfy his British subjects that he would continue to uphold their traditional liberties against any attempt to establish an absolute monarchy similar to those on the Continent. He was therefore forced to issue a Bill of Rights, which became one of the foundations of modern British constitutional liberty. This, however, was seen not as the cause of Britain’s rise to imperial grandeur, but as the cause of its decline by the BUF.

The BNP and the ‘Monarchical Revolution’

Mosley himself did not advocate the restoration of an absolute monarchy. He saw himself as the great Spenglerian Caesar, whose absolute dictatorial power would reverse the coming collapse of British civilisation. Nevertheless, elements of the British Far Right did seem to support the establishment of an absolute monarchy. In the 1980s I did hear rumours that the BNP supported a ‘monarchical revolution’ that would place active government firmly in the hands of the Crown, who would no longer be merely heads of state with little real power. Hannan is therefore completely wrong with his statement that the BNP couldn’t be Fascist because it didn’t support the monarchy. The BNP did, and is. Meanwhile, the Cat’s article attacking this statement and the rest of Hannan’s argument can be found at: http://buddyhell.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/hannan-doesnt-know-his-right-from-his-left-quelle-surprise/

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7 Responses to “Hannan: BNP Is Left-Wing because It Doesn’t Support the Monarchy”

  1. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  2. sdbast Says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  3. jess Says:

    Hannan is talking total ****

    The BUF demonstrated against the abdication of Edward

    And this from Renton’s ‘notes’
    ” In 1936, following his abdication, Edward VII drove to the BUF’s headquarters, Black House, where he took the fascist salute.”
    http://www.dkrenton.co.uk/anl/trent1.htm

    Was recorded in the Mail, (I seem to recall)

    There is other stuff which I won’t post, as I have to cross reference it.

    But can suggest that both Anthony Blunt and Lord ‘Trevor-Roper’ may have known a fair bit about the links.

  4. jess Says:

    This, from Pugh ‘Hurragh..!”

    “Mosley himself swiftly capitalised on the opportunity to outflank the conventional politicians by championing the monarchist cause. His speech to a huge meeting in Victoria Park in Bethnal Green on 4 December was a fine example of his populist rhetoric: ‘How would you like a committee of Bishops and old skirts in parliament to pick your girl for you? Pointing to the closed ranks of the party politicians he boasted: ‘In crisis I come when the politicians dare not come – I come to the people. My message is let the people speak. The King should not be forced to abdicate by a junta of politicians who have no mandate from the people.
    Gleefully anticipating a common Conservative-Labour front in an election campaign, William Joyce proclaimed: ‘the great circle of bourgeois respectability will drive into the same foetid camp the apostles of commercial tyranny and the gentle disciples of Socialist Capitalism. According to the BUF 50,000 people heard Mosley in Victoria Park (compared with an estimate of 4,000 by the Daily Express) and it printed a four-page newspaper on the event. What is not in doubt is that the issue made Mosley and his movement newsworthy once again, and enabled him to reach a wider audience than he had done in 1934, when supported by the Daily Mail; overnight the abdication gave the BUF a distinctive and popular position.
    However, the crisis proved to be too brief to effect a significant improvement in the fortunes of the movement. Indeed, the eruption of support for the King by fascists and others may have been counter-productive in that it demonstrated how dangerous Edward VIII would have been on the throne”

    And
    “The approach of war during 1938 and 1939 stimulated fresh speculation in the press about the return of the Duke of Windsor to Britain. In fact,the only organisation openly campaigning for this was The Octavians whose membership comprised only a few hundred people, including many fascists.
    Their only prominent member was Sir Compton Mackenzie. The Octavians circulated propaganda proclaiming ‘He Should Be With Us’, and complained about the exclusion of the ex-King from public affairs: ‘The Duke is universally beloved. Resentment at the treatment accorded to him is too deep to be killed by a policy of silence . .. The suggestion that the Duke is happy in exile is an insult to the man who has always identified himself with his native land.”

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thanks, Jess. Hannan talks a lot of rubbish, as the Cat has pointed out repeatedly. His argument that the BNP didn’t support the monarchy came from a website that supported the BNP, but which wasn’t an official BNP site. As for the Anthony Blunt and Hugh Dacre, Lord Trevor-Roper, being aware of the links between Edward VII and the BUF, that does sound all too likely.

  5. jess Says:

    From the BUF application form, c.1933;
    “I, the undersigned, being a British citizen, loyal to King and Empire, desire to become a member of the British Union of Fascists.”

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