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Labour MP Simon Danczuk has taken some time out from re-tweeting praise for himself to compare the left of his own party to Nick Griffin’s BNP. Writing in the Telegraph after he backed George Osborne’s extended delay for unemployment benefits, the Rochdale MP claims:

“This is the politics of the madhouse and should be viewed in the same way as we view the views of the BNP. The hard right threatens social cohesion and sows ugly seeds of division.”

“The politics of the hard Left does much of the same – while threatening to make sure Britain’s race to stay competitive in a global economy is over.”

Whatever part of the political spectrum we are on, surely we can agree that the Old Left aren’t fascists?

  1. Matt Tillett says:

    Depends how hard left you want to go. I defy anyone to come up with a meaningful definition of facism that doesn’t include Stalin.

  2. Fascism is a philosophy of the political Left. Hitler was a Socialist.
    So he is correct. The BNP is a party of the left.

  3. The BNP’s policy priorities per their website are isolationist and collectivist; these are policies of the left.

    Fascism as originally coined, was Italian. As it happens the Nazis were not particularly right wing. They were quite centerist on economics, they were also highly authoritarian, something found from left to right.

    Of course the word Fascist is now used as a general purpose smear, it’s pretty meaningless.

  4. Can we? The old left were and are opposed to immigration on the grounds that it reduces native wages. For instance, here is Kier Hardie’s election poster complaining about Chinese outcompeting the TUC’s members:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/Hardie_1906_manifesto.gif

    I’m sure it did “enrich the mineowners” – it also enriched the Chinese! But who cares about them? Not Labour’s first MP.

    Eugenics was also associated with the left before WWII turned them off it. The Fabian Society for instance supported mandatory sterilisation so that the state could ‘plan the genetic stock’.

    The difference between people who self-identify as fascists and people who self-identify as old-style extremist socialists is mostly aesthetic. The Nazis didn’t even draw much distinction: they were the National Socialist party.

  5. Political science nerd overload! Trying to place Stalin on the political spectrum is a right wing tactic designed to destroy the left and left wing debate. He was a murderous dictator trying to control a sprawling empire already riddled with all manner of problems. His ideology was nothing more than clothes.

    Left wing ideas now have little connection to this. It’s obvious that power blocs feed corruption and murderous intent. The most recent example would of course be Tony Blair.

    It’s true that there are huge similarities between the political extremes but it’s also true that this is irrelevant when talking about cuts, surveillance, social mobility and more.

  6. BNP have traditonal old Labour type policies plus racism. More council houses etc. unlike say Front National in France who are right-of-centre on say tax cuts – or they were last time I looked.

  7. Is it just me, or has no-one else noticed the irony of accusing others within his own party of sowing “ugly seeds of division”? Is that not an utterly divisive thing to say?

  8. Guido Fawkes nearly has it right.

    “BNP have traditonal old Labour type policies plus racism” against non-whites.

    The hard left have traditonal old Labour type policies plus racism against whites.

  9. ‘I share a lot of your objectives.’ These included a return to leadership and statesmanship, the abolition of the welfare state, and ‘the elimination of Communism in Britain – the mass media, the trade unions, and the schoolroom. ‘

    ‘Nevertheless, even though we have our differences, I know a lot of BNP people at college do support the FCS (some are members of the FCS). I can certainly envisage some degree of cooperation.

    ‘For instance, we are moving away from just the normal political debate and towards more direct action – anti-Communist slogans on bridges, disrupting the leftist meetings by posing as leftists and then causing trouble, and also convincing individual leftists of the error of their ways.

    ‘Perhaps members of the BNP would care to join us in our anti-leftist activities. We can arrange a meeting to discuss possible joint future activities. ‘

    [fcs leader, observer 1986]

  10. Simon Danczuk is a Tory, I have no idea why or how he is a Labour MP, but his views are clearly Tory. His debate with Owen Jones shows that.

  11. Danczuk is right. The further left you go the more violently bigoted the activists become. The BNP hates Muslims and Islam the hard left hates Jews and Israel. Both think their hatred is justified and noble.

  12. Simon implies far left of party are as ridiculous in their extreme views as the BNP.

    PS reports it as Simon compares far left to BNP.

    Twitter explodes with claims of Simon claiming far left Labour are racists.

    Well done guys. Top notch journalism. I’d say this was no different to the Daily Mail style of reporting, but you’d probably claim I said you were edited by Paul Dacre.

  13. Whilst the original fascists were nationalists who opposed communism, they were inspired by a range of leftist ideas, and many would have also seen themselves as opponents of conservatism and the right. In modern times, a lot of people use the word ‘fascism’ to refer to any and every kind of authoritarianism. So either way, it’s perfectly reasonable to argue that the authoritarian left is fascistic. The only fallacy is to argue that the old left – people who passionately believe in state control – are the freedom-loving opposites of the fascists. To find the opposite of fascism you have to turn to the anarchists, who oppose all forms of authority, and not to the state-loving, authority-worshipping old left.

  14. Lol, ‘social cohesion’.

    What better way to maintain whatever that is than by making poor people poorer?!

    Simon Danczuk is an absolute fucking shambles of a man.

  15. I believe this man merely masquerades as a Labour politician.

    In reality, I suspect he works for the Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

  16. sackcloth and ashes says:

    ‘Whatever part of the political spectrum we are on, surely we can agree that the Old Left aren’t fascists?’

    Are you familiar with the career of one Benito Mussolini? Or the Strasser brothers? Or Jacques Doriot? Or Horst Mahler? Or George Galloway?

    Are you so seriously stupid that you cannot see that members of the far left can easily become fascists? Or are you just someone who prefers to look the other way when it happens?

    As for that stupid little prick Owen Jones, he’s just a poor man’s Johann Hari. And the idea that he speaks either for his generation – or union members – can be settled by a quick appreciation of some polling figures, as even the Graun was forced to admit:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jun/26/generation-y-young-voters-backing-conservatives

  17. sackcloth and ashes says:

    If you read my comments correctly, Dave, I did not say that Owen Jones’ generation were turning Tory. I said that his extremist views were rejected by the majority of his peers. And indeed your own article backs that up. The concluding sentence (including the words ‘all the other findings that John Harris writes about on social and economic issues are fine’) was a bit of a giveaway, wasn’t it?

  18. Matt Tillett says:

    @Danny. Not exactly a convincing argument I suggest – particularly as all the other subsequent comments are broadly in agreement with us.

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