When Oswald Mosley was interned in 1940, how could his followers keep the 'sacred flame' of British fascism alight? Did his arrest kill the movement stone-dead? This meticulous examination of sources including party records, the press, the National Archive and survivors' accounts shows that the Mosley magic - a near-religious experience to his followers - survived, and he was near-canonised by them.
In 1948 Mosley formed a new party - the Union Movement (UM) - and the old British-first fascism of the British Union of Fascists gave way to a European fascist super-state, 'Europe-a-Nation', a global fascist force connecting the East and West of Soviet Russia and the US. This nation was based on spiritual and racial values drawn from Mosley's reading of European history, and nurtured by a vast white-ruled colonial empire. But the sacred flame of the new fascism, defined and explained in Mosley's magnum opus, The Alternative, survived only as the ante-chamber to the later British National Party, which fed on a reversion to British-first opposition to Commonwealth immigration and the rewriting of history, including holocaust denial. In this study of Mosley as leader and individual, Macklin shows how Mosley was superficially serene, teaching the ideals of The Alternative and accepted by leading elements of society, yet inwardly, and in unguarded moments, he remained the violent anti-semite of early days.