The Left

A very British fascist

News reaches us that the UK government paid the socialist agitator Benito Mussolini a salary to keep Italy in the war.

For at least a year, the young socialist was paid £100 a week by the UK government — around £6,000 today — to write pro-war propaganda for his newspaper Il Popolo d’Italia, one of the slickest media machines the country, and keep Italian troops fighting at the front.

“Mussolini wasn’t exactly house-trained,” said Dr Peter Martland, the Cambridge historian who made the discovery. It was unlikely that the young Il Duce was saving for aid packages to the front. “We know he was a womaniser par excellence,” said Dr Martland. “There’s the potential that a lot of money was spent on that.”

Of course this is highly unfair, since Il Duce is not the only socialist with good oratory to enjoy the company of women.

“I spent lots of time with people in Greece, many of whom were women, some of whom were known carnally to me.”