The British National Party is building an alliance with radical anti-abortion activists in an attempt to reach out to Catholics and secure their votes in future elections.
So says Henry McDonald in today’s Observer. Furthermore:
Griffin (Nick, the party leader) claimed that amplifying the party’s ‘pro-life’ policies would win it new votes among Catholics. ‘There used to be a perception in Northern Ireland and Scotland that we were an Orange party. This is not so,’ he said. The BNP, like Dowson, wanted to reach across the sectarian divide.
It is hard to see the BNP reaching across the sectarian divide to reach right-wing Catholics in Northern Ireland. I suppose stranger things have happened, but I get the feeling that the ‘British National’ part of the name might be a bit off-putting.
One of the books I have not bought yet due to my self-inflicted programme is Chris Hedges’s American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America, but I did fondle it covetously in a Dublin bookstore the other day.
From what I could see, Hedges uses the outline of Umberto Eco’s essay Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt as a starting point for the inquiries of his book.
Eco begins as follows:
In spite of some fuzziness regarding the difference between various historical forms of fascism, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.
This stirring piece of writing sprung to mind in the course of my lonely-as-a-cloud clicks the other day, as I was reading Catholic Power, a New Year message published in the Hibernian Magazine, which is edited by Gerry McGeough, who is an independent Republican candidate in the upcoming Northern Ireland assembly elections. He’s interviewed here in United Irelander.
Below I juxtapose some of the features identified by Eco with elements of Catholic Power.
1. Real Irishmen Seldom Never Make Passes At Liberal Lesbian Smartasses
Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering’s fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play (“When I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my gun”) to the frequent use of such expressions as “degenerate intellectuals,” “eggheads,” “effete snobs,” and “universities are nests of reds.” The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.
‘…our Irishness ridiculed by a motley crew of second-rate degenerates serving a wider masonic agenda.‘
‘From now on Catholic Power is about to become a force to be reckoned with throughout Irish society. Arrogant, smug politicians, lesbian feminists and liberal commentators are about to get a taste of what lies in store for those who think they can ride roughshod over the wishes of the Irish Catholic majority in this country.’
2. For They’re Hanging Men And Women There For Eatin’ Haute Cuisine
Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.
‘As a distinct Nation, we have been told to tone down and alter our sense of Irishness in order to accommodate the incoming waves of foreigners. We are expected to accept that Irish-Ireland no longer exists and that we are now just another multi-cultural, multi-faith society.’
‘…the foreign Liberal Agenda will be defeated by our actions under the guidance of Our Lady’
3. When Irish Eyes Are Seething
one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.
For years, we have been ignored by all the movers and shakers within political and media circles, who have either taken us for granted or gleefully assumed that we have been beaten into submission…. Catholic Ireland is alive and well and seething with pent-up anger. We have quietly endured insult after insult as our Faith has been mocked and our Irishness ridiculed by a motley crew of second-rate degenerates serving a wider masonic agenda.
4. When Irish Hearts are Unhappy, All the World’s a Blight of Gays
the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged.
‘Everywhere we turn the liberal-masonic agenda is on the rampage.’
‘…the anti-family, anti-Catholic homosexual agenda’ [Perhaps a comma is missing here]
‘….quite fanatical in their endorsement of the homosexual agenda‘
‘..the foreign Liberal Agenda will be defeated by our actions’
5. My passport’s green./ No glass of ours was ever raised/To toast a queen./(Besides I’m a pioneer)
‘Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters.
This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality).’
‘..lesbian feminists and liberal commentators are about to get a taste of what lies in store for those who think they can ride roughshod over the wishes of the Irish Catholic majority in this country.’
‘..We have been threatened that unless we acknowledge that homosexuals be treated as normal married people with the right to adopt defenceless little children, we will be subject to legal censure.’
5. An SOS To The BVM Delivers a KO To the FLA
However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.
‘These folks are about to have a wake-up call. Catholic Ireland is alive and well and seething with pent-up anger.”…From now on Catholic Power is about to become a force to be reckoned with throughout Irish society.’
‘…The message must get out, Catholic Power is now a force to be reckoned with in this country and the foreign Liberal Agenda will be defeated by our actions under the guidance of Our Lady.’
And so on. Not that I’m implying anything by this. Heaven forbid.