Lady Diana Mosley died last week giving commentators the chance to examine the strange world of English Fascism. Unfortunately most of them didn’t appear to want to grasp that opportunity and instead concentrated on Lady Diana’s legendary charm.
Mark Steyn is usually a good writer but chose to sidestep the ideas propogated by Lady Diana and his article instead relates an act of kindness at Le Temple de la Gloire. His reaction to Lady Diana brushing crumbs from her breast does seem to have turned his brain to jelly though, because he states:
“she didn’t urge the killing of anyone” and, just as disingenously “she didn’t take up arms against her own country”
Perhaps Lady Diana was never spotted in the East End shouting “We’ve got to get rid of the Yids” or chanting death threats against Jewish refugees from Germany but plenty of her supporters did. English Fascism always did keep the lumpen rank and file seperate from the more upper-class leadership.
The fact that she didn’t take up arms against the country may be a result of the fact that she and her husband were taken into custody as soon as war broke out. It’s always a problem playing “what if” with historical events but I feel on relatively strong ground when I state my opinion that the pair of them would have been perfectly happy acting as Hitler’s agent had the wrong side won the Battle of Britain.
Steyn’s apologia concludes with this bizarre statement:
“When Diana gushed over a monster, she was a silly kid, not head of government”
Apparantly Diana Mosley should be preferred to Ted Heath because the latter admired Mao and did not have the benefit of youth (or apparantly beauty) and was a British Prime Minister. It’s news to me that Heath was a Maoist but I’ll give Steyn the benefit of the doubt on that. What I can’t agree with him about is that Diana Mosley gave up Hitler-worship in her youth. She didn’t and never repented her foul opinions right up until she died.
A more in-depth study of Mosley’s politics is provided in this article by David Aaranovitch in today’s Observer. Poor David was never the recipient of a Diana wink or nudge. Instead he has to console himself with having read her self-serving biography A Life of Contrasts in conjunction with Trevor Grundy’s Memoirs of a Fascist Childhood.
Please read all of the article for a picture of what English Fascism meant.
His conclusion is that:
“Had she not been a member of the aristocracy and rather beautiful, no writers would have patronised her drawing room and no silly journalists would have been seduced by her ‘charm'”
I’m tempted to agree. Another charmer and lovable diarist, Alan Clark kept a signed portrait of Hitler at Saltwood Castle and brought it out to gaze upon when in need of succour.
Is charm really in such short supply in Britain that it seems to belong exclusively to Hitler worshippers ?