Caoimhin O’Muraile ☭ Italy recently voted in a supporter of fascist Benito Mussolini as their new Prime Minister. Giorgia Meloni was elected, winning 119 seats, and she immediately began stamping her footprint across Italian society.An admirer of the former fascist dictator and supporter of Vladimir Putin’s policies towards the Ukraine, she has introduced the first of what can only be described as draconian laws. The new law forbids “unlicenced raves” a crime (Irish Daily Mirror 2.11. 2022). The new law in Italy of “Invasion for Dangerous Gatherings” of more than fifty people will attract a jail sentence of up to six years and already numerous gatherings or raves have been dispersed by the police.
Where does it stop? What about football games which attract huge crowds of thousands, will they be made illegal, or attending such games unless fans come from the ruling elite? With fascism you can never tell but Meloni has made her hard-line policies of so-called law and order known to the population. Will she tolerate opposition parties? Are there enough checks and balances to stop her, like Britain under Thatcher which, for all the British parliamentary systems faults had sufficient checks and balances to stop Thatcher going as far as she wanted to? Plus, and more to the point, the British capitalist class did not yet need full fascism. Thatcher would have been the perfect ticket had the system needed such an extreme. A friend and admirer of Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet who she even helped save from justice in a Spanish court - had fascism in Britain been needed - would have served that purpose.
In France Marine Le Pen is the leader of the far-right Front National, FN, the party founded by her father Jean Marie Le Pen in 1972. Marine Le Pen is a member of the French National Assembly and has, over the years, gradually increased her support. In 2012 she was placed third in the French Presidential elections but by 2022 she pushed the incumbent, Emmanuel Macron very close, coming second. Many believe she is the French President in waiting. The FN has grown using its anti-immigrant policies over the years from being a fringe party which was no threat to become a major force in French politics. Eventually they may be the governing party and how far they would be allowed to go would - as in Britain much earlier, and recently Italy - depend on firstly the checks and balances and secondly and more importantly the needs of the French capitalist class. In the 2022 Presidential election Le Pen received 13, 288, 686 votes amounting to just over 41% of the vote. Very close, in fact from an anti-fascist view point almost too close. Thankfully in France there is a large anti-fascist opposition led chiefly, though not exclusively, by the trade union CGT.
As the memories of the atrocities committed by fascism and particularly the Nazi variant begin to fade so too does the attitudes of people. Most of the men and women who fought on the victorious allies side, the USSR, USA, Britain, Canadian, Free French, Free Poles, and Free Czechs to name a few are now dead or very old people. All we have now to remind us of the horrors of fascism are documentaries, and not very good ones at that, about the Second World War. Some historians even, reading between the lines, appear sympathetic towards fascism. They definitely overplay the achievements of fascism, for example in Germany they give Hitler credit for the Autobahns which is untrue. These great roads were in fact the idea of the last democratic Weimar Republic Government and were highjacked by the Nazis claiming them as their own. Could this forgetfulness of the Second World War be a reason the far-right, a cock-stride away from the fascist right, are on the move again? One slight nudge and these parties will show their true colours which are fascist. In Italy Meloni and her openly sympathetic to fascism party have already shown their credentials and are already bringing in draconian laws restricting civil liberties.
In Britain the fascist party, Britain First, a party respected by former US president Donald Trump is waiting in the distance. The organisation's leader is the former British National Party councillor, Paul Golding. Jada Fransen is the former deputy leader, who was once charged with assault on a Muslim woman for no other reason than she was a Muslim. Britain First campaigns primarily against the “Islamisation” and multiculturalism of Britain. It advocates the preservation of traditional British culture, in much the same way as Hitler promoted German culture before his election minority victory in 1933.
Britain First registered with the Electoral Commission in January 2014, and in February 2017 was statutorily deregulated as a political party by the same Electoral Commission, after it failed to renew its registration in time. Notable to see this deregulation of the party had nothing to do with its pro-Nazi ideology! Britain First appeal to the British (primarily English) people primarily, claiming to be putting their interests first. Obviously, they do not consider a Muslim born and bred in Coventry or a black person from Manchester as British people! What they really mean is they will put white Britain first at the expense of all minority groups, including the Irish. The party have links to the loyalist paramilitary organisations in the six-counties and regularly visit that part of Ireland.
It is very rare I agree with the British military but on the occasion of the Second World War there is no room for doubt. With the enormous help and sacrifices of the Soviet Union, the industrial might of the USA and the Canadian troops who suffered huge losses in France along with other countries' soldiers, fascism was defeated. Now, it appears, it is raising its ugly head again. For the moment it is true, they are a dot on the horizon, so too was Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Pinochet but they came to power and were thankfully removed from that same power, with the exception of Franco who died of natural causes.