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Fascist Scotland

Discussion in 'Prelude to War & Poland 1939' started by GRW, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    "IN APRIL 1933, the Union Debating Society of St Andrews University invited a German government language tutor, Otto Wagner, to propose the motion: “This House approves of the Nazi Party, and congratulates it on its splendid work in the reformation of Germany.”
    [SIZE=1.091em]According to the society’s annual report, “Herr Wagner overcame the language difficulties with such skill.” He was notably supported by the undergraduate George K Young, ­future spy chief and president of the anti-immigrant Monday Club. The minutes of the debate recorded that “the 75 members on the floor with a further 50 in the gallery” passed the motion with a clear majority. Wagner told his masters in London that the debate was widely reported in the Scottish press, and that the success of the motion contrasted with “anti-German” ones proposed elsewhere in Great Britain.[/SIZE]

    It was not only the gilded youth of St Andrews that was attracted by Fascism. Fear and hatred of the “Judeo-Bolshevik” threat were rife in the Scottish elite, from landed gentry to business tycoons and military officers. In the 1920s, the Earl of Glasgow, inspired by Mussolini’s march on Rome, was prominent in the creation of the British Fascisti. The Earl of Erroll proudly sported a Fascist insignia on his sporran. The Duke of Buccleuch was an outspoken supporter of appeasement, while, as late as 1939, the Duke of Hamilton argued in The Times for Nazi Germany’s right to Lebensraum. It was therefore not as a victim of “tragic hallucinations” (according to Josef Goebbels) that on 10 May, 1941, Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess made an ill-fated flight to Eaglesham to discuss peace terms with the duke.
    Fascism in Britain is normally associated with England, and especially the East End of London – and even then dismissed as a marginal political phenomenon. The dark side of nationalism in Scotland has rarely been the object of academic research, and has been largely ignored by a political class that seems convinced that it “couldn’t happen here”. The “best small country in the world”, it appears, invariably extends a welcoming hand to strangers while sending out fresh-faced volunteers to Malawi or International Brigades to Spain.
    It was in order to challenge such complacency, and recount a fascinating and appalling story, that I chose to write Fascist Scotland. The furore that surrounded the appointment last week of former Celtic star Paolo di Canio as the new manager of premiership football club Sunderland over his disputed support for fascism – accompanied by copious use of an old image of him performing a straight-armed “Roman” salute – revealed that the undercurrents of distaste for this particular political idea are never far from the surface even now."
    http://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/scotland/gavin-bowd-reveals-some-uncomfortable-truths-in-fascist-scotland-1-2881250
     
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  2. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Well pointed out Gordon....There were many who courted this movement...It was no accident Hess landed in Scotland....Or the person he was really looking to meet.
     
  3. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Slight problem there - didn't Hess say he was there to speak to the Marquess of Hamilton I.E. the then Duke's son???
     
  4. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm sure he said the Duke...?
     
  5. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    He meant the young duke (1903-1973),styled marquess Douglas till the death of his father (1862-1940),the old duke .
    The young duke lost a brother in WWII,and became later a KT and lord chamberlain . It also never has been proved that he was a admirator of Hitler .

    I also like to warn against the amalgamation of pro appeasement,sympathy for fascism and sympathy for nazism;for Germany .

    Appeasement was started in1919 by LG,and continued by his successors:Bonar Law(who lost 2 sons in WWI),Baldwin,McDonald and Chamberlain.Also by foreign secretaries as Austin Chamberlain and Eden .
    IMHO,it is more than questionable to call them cryptofascists/cryptonazis

    That in the beginning of the twenties,a lot of lords were pro Mussolini (as was Winston),is a well known fact,and can be explained by the scare of communism . But,this does not mean that they wanted to install a fascist regime in Britain .

    It also does not mean that they had any sympathy for Hitler/Germany .After all,Italy had been an ally,while Germany was the enemy.There was also a big difference between fascism and nazism,and,till 1938,the relations berween Germany and Italy were unfriendly .

    BTW :anti-semitism in Britain was not limited to the members of the House of Lords ..
    .
     
  6. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Yep I think we can agree to agree...No matter our views on appeasment....The leading figures in UK at the time were not advocating Facism for Britain. I think most of us draw that line in thick ink anyway.
     
  7. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Aye, the article makes good point, but Scotland is anything but right wing these days.
     

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