The League of Empire Loyalists and the Term ‘EUSSR’ for the EU

I posted a piece this morning about the way UKIP’s election poster, showing a British workman supposedly unemployed through foreign workers taking his job, harks back to earlier Conservative posters with exactly the same message from the 1904-5 election campaign. Jess, who supplied further information on the anti-immigration campaigns of the late 19th century and its leaders, also suggested that the term ‘EUSSR’ for the EU had its origins in the rhetoric of the League of Empire Loyalists. The League was a Fascist group that founded the National Front with the British National Party and the Greater British Movement.

In a further comment to the article, she writes:

The earliest reference I have (so far) seen to ‘EUSSR’ is a piece in ‘Candour’ by Mark Ewell ; Candour’s Clarion Call’, October 1983.

A paragraph with the sub-heading ‘Stepping-stone to the United (Soviet) States of Europe’ Ewell comments on a report in The Times about the Soviet Union appealing “to the E.E.C.’s own Court of Justice over an anti-dumping action taken against it by the Commission…” [p.77]

It did not strike an immediate chord with the ‘Loyalists’.

Their favourite phrase, for a long time was to bang on along the lines
“The plans of the Euro-fanatics to create a United States of Europe in an effort to destroy the nation-state…” [GR Kemp, ‘Chunnelling to our Doom; Candour Feb 1986]

or

“The pattern for the new U.S. of E. will be subtly different. Multi-party systems in the regions will continue to debate the issues, and send their elected representative, at vastly increased salaries and overheads, to prestigious assembles in the heartland of Europe, but in the end the really vital decisions will be taken by a politburo or committee’ (J. Wilkes sic], Democracy after Thatcher, Candour, March 1991)

You will not need me to point out to you the echoes of the phrase; “elected representative, at vastly increased salaries and overheads” in the current ukip adverts.

But you can see the LEL moving towards the language of Ewell, cited above, with the implied comparison of the European Parliament, and Commission with the Soviet system.

I suspect that the final leap to ‘EUSSR’ was made a little after this, probably to avoid antagonising influential U.S. money.

Later in 1991 Leslie Von Goetz penned a couple of paragraphs which are integral to ukip thinking. The second of these;

“Those who would lead us blindfold into ‘Europe’ without even understanding the difference between a federation and a confederation risk having a lot of blood on their hands when the various peoples of Europe realise that in the name of free trade, which they could have had anyway, quite simply they have created a monster which is ruining domestic agriculture, depriving their own parliaments of the right to levy their own taxes and control their own immigration, and giving overwhelming powers to a small bureaucracy which cannot begin to police the gigantic frauds generated by its insane rules” [Candour, June/July, 1991]

would appear to be as much part of the tory Europhobe’s discourse, as that of ukip.

The term ‘United States of Europe’ seems to go back to the very foundation of the EU in the 1950s after the Second World War. I can remember studying the EU at school way back in the late ’70s- very early ’80s. The textbook we were using stated that the EEC as it was then had been set up following moves to create a ‘United States of Europe’ in the 1950s and ’60s. I think a ‘United States of Europe’ was the way the EU’s founders thought of it, and so there isn’t anything Fascistic in the term. The use of ‘EUSSR’ for the EU is, however, very different.

As for the League of Empire Loyalists, this was a non-party organisation set up by Arnold Leese, a former member of the British Union of Fascists. Leese was an anti-Semite, who believed that there was a global Jewish plot to destroy the British Empire directed by Jewish American bankers and financiers. The same bankers were also responsible for the Russian Revolution and the spread of Communism, as well as the various international organisations that arose after the Second World War, including the United Nations, NATO and the EEC/ EU. It’s the kind of weird conspiracy theorising that formed part of Hitler’s ideology of Nazism, and which was sent up by the late, great and very Fortean Robert Anton Wilson in the Illuminatus! books. Candour was the League’s magazine.

The term seems to have escaped the political ghetto of the LEL to find its way into conventional, Centre-Right political discourse. And some of those who have adopted the term, or the ideas behind it, have been on the completely opposite side of the political spectrum. I remember reading an article in the SF magazine The Edge with two Scots SF authors, China Mieville and the author of the ‘Culture’ series of SF novels, in which they talked about how they saw the EU – very much like the old Soviet Union, but something that was generally benign, despite its bureaucracy and corruption.

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14 Responses to “The League of Empire Loyalists and the Term ‘EUSSR’ for the EU”

  1. jess Says:

    A very quick point, if I may, beast

    The LEL was the brainchild of A.K. Chesterton, not Leese

    Chesterton was a cousin of G.K.Chesterton, the writer.

    A.K Chesterton joined the B.U.F in 1933, edited ‘Action’ for a while, but left in 1938, joining the ‘New Pioneer’ circle around Viscount Lymington.

    He founded the L.E.L. in 1954, and was the prime mover (according to him) in the merger with the ‘Spearhead’ group to form the N.F.

    Leese’s outfit was the Imperial Fascist League, founded in 1929…

  2. beastrabban Says:

    Thanks for the correction, Jess. You’re right. Mea culpa!

    • jess Says:

      Beast, if you want to put up something about the formayion of the ILP, I have a copy of the Bradford conference proceedings along with a few other relevant documents

      And the LRC was a slightly later creation (1900) by Trades Unionists (Beer/ Pelling)

      • beastrabban Says:

        Absolutely, Jess! I’d be really interested to see those documents, and post a piece on them in connection to the Labour Party’s foundation.

    • jess Says:

      I can send most of them as PDFs

      Drop me a mail and I’ll send them by return

  3. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  4. Barry Davies Says:

    The labour party goes back to the Russian Communist party gaining control of the Russian empire and the spread of communist ideals throughout europe, the Conservative party goes back to the landed gentry and titled classes who hate the ordinary people, the liberals used to be the whigs which was pretty much the equivalent of the tories which is where they now are once again, the Greens are the remnants of the hippy movement in the 70’s and as shown by the disaster area that is Brighton, their policies lead to higher tax poor services, and a general downgrading of peoples standards of living.

    The politicians lied to us to keep us in the so called common market, we never voted to join it, and the outcome of those lies has become clear to all, there is a vast market to trade with around the world, the trade with the “common Market is 13% GDP only 5% of our industries trade with the “common market”, but 100% of the regulations placed on 100% of or industry comes from brussells, anyone who can’t see that the federalisation of what is rapidly becoming a pointless and expensive contrived nation is paramount for the unelected failed politicians who make up the commission has to be lacking in vision.

    • jess Says:

      “The labour party goes back to the Russian Communist party gaining control of the Russian empire and the spread of communist ideals throughout europe, ”

      Care to let us know the source for this?

      Most conventional histories place the foundation of the Labour Party in 1893

      • beastrabban Says:

        It sounds like a garbled version of Thatcher’s comments about Socialism. Back in the 1990s she gave a speech to the party faithful in Cheltenham, in which, according to the local paper, she attacked Socialism for being a relative of Communism and a foreign ideology.

        I had thought about putting up a post pointing out that the Labour party in Britain was the creation of the trade unions and various Socialist societies, which developed from the Labour Representation Committee.

  5. patricknelson750 Says:

    Labour party goes back to the Russian Communist party! Now I have heard everything. I think that suggestion belongs with the suggestion that the Conservative party was founded in Han China by the eunuch assassins of the purple lotus sect.

    The disturbing this in this is that any British working person can be ignorant of the history of Chartism, the trades union movement and the history of the long peaceful struggle of the British workers for a fairer society.

    I agree with Barry Davies the EU stinks, but he needs to stop getting his politics information in the pub : )

  6. mark taha Says:

    One – the LEL was not a fascist organisation.
    Two- Arnold Leese had nothing to do with it.
    Three – nor was he ever in the BUF, who he viewed as ” Kosher fascists”

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