Oswald Mosley quotes
Birthdate: 16. November 1896
Date of death: 3. December 1980
Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats was a British politician who rose to fame in the 1920s as a Member of Parliament and later in the 1930s became leader of the British Union of Fascists .After military service during the First World War, Mosley was one of the youngest Members of Parliament, representing Harrow from 1918 to 1924, first as a Conservative, then an independent, before joining the Labour Party. He returned to Parliament as the MP for Smethwick at a by-election in 1926, having stood as a Labour candidate, and served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Labour Government of 1929–31. He was considered a potential Labour Prime Minister, but resigned due to discord with the Government's unemployment policies. He then founded the New Party. He lost his Smethwick seat at the 1931 general election. The New Party became the British Union of Fascists in 1932.
Mosley was imprisoned in May 1940 and the BUF was banned. He was released in 1943, and, politically disgraced by his association with fascism, he moved abroad in 1951, spending the majority of the remainder of his life in Paris. He stood for Parliament twice in the postwar era, achieving very little support.
Quotes Oswald Mosley
„I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the left and is now in the centre of politics.“
Letter to The Times (26 April, 1968), p. 11.
„[Fascism] was an explosion against intolerable conditions, against remediable wrongs which the old world failed to remedy. It was a movement to secure national renaissance by people who felt themselves threatened with decline into decadence and death and were determined to live, and live greatly.“
Excerpt from My Life by Oswald Mosley (1968), Ch.16.
„Faced with the alternative of saying goodbye to the gold standard, and therefore to his own employment, and goodbye to other people's employment, Mr. Churchill characteristically selected the latter course.“
Winston Churchill, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, had returned Britain to the gold standard and Mosley believed this would lead to unemployment, quoted in Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley (Papermacs, 1981), p. 143.
Fascists, Michael Mann, Cambridge University Press (2006) p. 7.
„Feudalism worked in its crude and inequitable fashion until the coming of the Industrial Age. Today the Feudal tradition and its adherents are broken as a political power and in most cases are ignobly lending their prestige and their abilities to the support of the predatory plutocracy which has gained complete control of the Conservative Party. In modern times the old regime is confronted with two alternatives. The first is to serve the new world in a great attempt to bring order out of chaos and beauty out of squalor. The other alternative is to become flunkeys of the bourgeoisie. It is a matter of constant surprise and regret that many of my class have chosen the latter course.“
Letter to The Morning Post (27 July 1928), quoted in Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley (Papermacs, 1981), p. 134.
Mosley on the banking system, Annual Report (1925) of the Independent Labour Party, quoted in Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley (Papermacs, 1981), p. 142.
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„A fight between several parties of the British people: Nothing of the kind! A fight between two or three big money combines, that and nothing else. Without the weight of money behind the party machines, in an electoral battle today determined purely by principle and by the number of active workers…British Union could fight and beat today the old parties over the whole electoral field. But you know and I know, the battle is nothing of the kind. The battle is between big money combines who spend a thousand pounds or more on every constituency they fight. Or when they speak democracy, they don't mean government by the people…they mean financial democracy, in which money counts and nothing but money.“
Speech in Earls Court (July 1939). http://www.oswaldmosley.com/audio/earlscourt.m3u
„We propose first to expand credit in order to create demand. That new and greater demand must, of course, be met by a new and greater supply of goods, or all the evils of inflation and price rise will result. Here our Socialist planning must enter in. We must see that more goods are forthcoming to meet the new demand.“
Revolution by Reason, p. 31, quoted in Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley (Papermacs, 1981), p. 145.
„The ranks of the City are now divided. The advanced section, headed by Mr McKenna and Mr Keynes, face the orthodox and reactionary ranks which are led by Mr Montagu Norman and the heads of the Treasury. To the uninitiated it…seems a little unfortunate that the ex-Labour chancellor should appear…to be an ardent supporter of Mr Montagu Norman. It will be little less than a disaster if in this struggle Labour support is accorded to the reactionary elements in the City.“
Socialist Review (September 1927), quoted in Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley (Papermacs, 1981), p. 152.
„We have lost the good old British spirit. Instead we have American journalism and black-shirted buffoons making a cheap imitation of ice-cream sellers.“
In 1927 after his Labour Party meeting in Cambridge was broken-up by pro-Fascist undergraduates. The mention of "ice-cream sellers" was a reference to Italian immigrants who had opened ice-cream parlours.
„The declared object of deflation was the restoration of the gold standard at pre-war parity. Its actual effect has been to create unemployment by the restriction of industrial credit. By the lever of unemployment it has forced down wages and has thus facilitated the return to gold through the reduction of prices. An incidental effect has been to transfer purchasing power from the workers, whose wages have been reduced, to the bondholders, whose interest has remained the same. It has also doubled the real burden of Debt since 1920, and was largely responsible for the mining lock-out last year, by the reduction in terms of sterling of the money which we receive for coal sold abroad. Deflation, in fact, has been responsible for a sinister catalogue of disasters which can be substantiated in detailed argument that has never yet been rebutted.“
New Leader (20 September 1927), quoted in Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley (Papermacs, 1981), pp. 152-153.
„Living financially and economically on American charity, selling up the house to the Yanks when he won't pay any more charity out. Are you content to be occupied and protected by American aeroplanes? Are you content to be in the position of an old woman, jipped by her young relations? You who were the greatest power on earth fifty years ago, and still can be! Why do I say, 'you still can be'? Because, my friends, I know you, I know the British people! I know that twice in my lifetime in the world war I fought in, in the world war the younger men fought in. We the British have put our effort, our energy of valor, of heroism, unequalled in the history of mankind.“
Speech on 21 Novembver, 1960. http://www.oswaldmosley.com/audio/300million.m3u
„The greatest comet of British politics in the twentieth century…an orator of the highest rank. He produced, almost unaided, a programme of economic reconstruction which surpassed anything offered by Lloyd George or, in the United States, by F. D. Roosevelt…He has continued fertile in ideas…A superb political thinker, the best of our age.“
A. J. P. Taylor
„No rising star in the political firmament ever shone more brightly than Oswald Mosley, none promised more surely to soar to the heavens – and none fell to earth with so deadening a thud. Never were such rich talents so wretchedly squandered. Never did success turn to failure so inscrutably.“
Michael Foot, Mosley: the rise and fall of a would-be Caesar, Evening Standard, 22 October 1968.
Richard Crossman, New Statesman (27 October 1961).