On-the-go history: The UK media and fascism

This week four serving army officers have been arrested on alleged terrorism offences, the individuals were arrested in Brecon, Ipswich and at a RAF base in Akrotiri, Cyprus. The latter is a base of British operations against ISIL territories in Syria. Three of the four serve with the Royal Anglian Regiment, who are based mainly Woolwich and Cyprus and have also been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The individuals in question have also been confirmed as members of National Action.

National Action are an illegal, secretive neo-Nazi group and the four individuals were arrested over “being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism”. This has scarcely been reported and largely ignored, does the UK have a rising far-right problem?

History of media support of fascism

The media have not helped in stoking anti-foreign resentment and groups such as leave.EU continue to promote an agenda that is a close resemblance of fascism, with founder Arron Banks setting up the far-right media outlet, Westmonster, to promote his white supremacy ideals as a valid ideology. British media institutions have a history of supporting fascism, notably the Daily Mail, who have kept quiet on the matter of the four arrests.

In the early 20th century, The Daily Mail were known as a fascist newspaper throughout Europe and on the appointment of G. Ward Price as Chief Correspondent in 1926 saw Benito Mussolini write a letter to Price congratulating him on his appointment and stating that he was ‘sure’ that the widely popular newspaper would continue to be a sincere friend to fascist Italy.

Furthermore, in 1933, the year Hitler implemented the Jewish boycott state managed harassment, beatings and the removal of Jews by the Nazis, Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere, praised the Nazi regime claiming they were being ‘misrepresented’ and claimed the bloodthirsty tyranny was exaggerated. A year later, the Nazis began brutally murdering political critics, this has come to be known as ‘the night of the long knives’. The same year as Hitler began systemically censoring Germany, the Daily Mail began openly supporting and praising the Blackshirts, the British Union of Fascists.

Sources

Hoch, P. (1974). The newspaper game: The political sociology of the press : an inquiry into behind-the-scenes organization, financing and brainwashing techniques of the news media. Retrieved 9 5, 2017, from https://books.google.com/books?id=v4hZAAAAMAAJ

Janes, J. M. (2015). British Fascism in the 1930s in Life and Literature. Retrieved 9 5, 2017, from http://digitalcommons.du.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1313&context=etd

Sheriff, L. (n.d.). Meet The New Neo-Nazi Group Which Just Wants To ‘Piss … Retrieved 9 5, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/06/new-neo-nazi-group-national-action_n_4910260.html

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