South of Watford has a post today about an incident that I was planning to write about. Apparently, the British fascist party, the BNP, attended a meeting in Madrid on the 21st. Also present at the meeting were the Spanish fascist party, Democracia Nacional and the Italian fascist group Forza Nuova.
The meeting was nearly interrupted by another Spanish far-right group, the Movimiento Patriótico Socialista, 28 of whom were apparently arrested. The BNP issued a statement, claiming the MPS represents a ‘neo-Nazi’ agenda and are ‘aligned to the English Defence League’, a group of militant fascists which the BNP claims to disown entirely.
Now, on first sight, this might be a simple dispute between different factions of the far-right, doing a sort of ‘People’s Front of Judea’ style bit of in-fighting. And that would be very amusing.
I’m not so sure that it’s so simple. There are several problems here: first of all, it’s very difficult indeed to find any information about the MPS. That’s unusual because as any fule know, the very first thing any political group does these days is set up an atrociously badly designed and unusable website full of conflicting political statements. The MPS doesn’t have one and they’ve been around since at least March.
Democracia Nacional claim that the attackers weren’t the MPS but rather came from the Movimiento Social Republicano, a relatively well known neo-Nazi group (at least it is if you’ve ever spent any time browsing through fascist websites). MSR are in turn linked to the Italian fascist group Fimma Tricolore, which was in alliance with the Forza Nuova as recently as 2005.
The EDL themselves have been noisy this year, holding small-scale aggressive ‘protests’ in a few British cities, normally in the name of opposing ‘Radical Islam’. The BNP has said several times that it doesn’t support the bully-boy tactics of the EDL but at the same time various EDL organisers are known members of the BNP.
To me, this ‘split’ in European fascism could be one of two things: it’s either a genuine split caused by a sense of dissatisfaction among the more openly violent factions of the far-right, who have decided to ‘go it alone’ and fight in the streets. Or it’s a cosmetic split, designed to allow the ‘mainstream’ fascist parties to orchestrate street violence and then condemn it, satisfying their two main goals: appearing to be mainstream and beating up Muslims. And they all get press to boot.