Wikipedia's definition of fascism includes these lines:Fascism was typified by attempts to impose state control over all aspects of life.
... the term is often used to describe individuals or political groups who are perceived to behave in an authoritarian or totalitarian manner; by silencing opposition, judging personal behavior, promoting racism, or otherwise attempting to concentrate power.
Does anyone seriously believe that, by this definition, this Labour government could not be described as fascist?
It has certainly aimed to concentrate power in the State, most notably in its huge system of bribes. Sorry. I meant "benefits". In this way, it has removed the ability of workers to determine their own destiny and has bribed the less gifted majority with money and jobs, and the promise of more to come, in order to secure power for themselves (would you vote for any political entity that threatens to take away that (free) money that you have been enjoying?)
They control the media with a combination of threats (the barely concealed threat to the Beeb's license fee over the "sexed-up" dossier, anyone?), management and backroom deals with the owners of said media.
They have embarked on a number of legally very dodgy foreign adventures (Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq), using this classic tactic in order to distract the electorate from their continuing failures (law and order, the NHS, the economy and, as it happens, just about everything else) on the home front.
They have rewarded fraud and corruption (Mandelson and the house loan, Mandelson and the passports, the adulterer Blunkett and the nanny's passport, the Lakshmi Mittal steel deal letter, the million pound Ecclestone bribe, the theft of Railtrack from the private individuals who owned it, and much more besides), or have dissembled or ignored it, safe in the knowledge that their media deals mean that there will be no real fuss.
Does any of this make them Left wing or Right wing? No. They are simply totalitarian. They are fascists.
I still see this as a perfectly valid thesis and I don't really think that anything has changed.
And it would seem that Martin Kelly agrees with me, although he goes further and argues—or at least implies—that all governments after 1948 (when the NHS was established) could, in fact, be classed as fascist.
The United Kingdom is now fascist to its core, a fascism which depends for its success largely on tolerance but which is willing to back itself up with force of law and to which all mainstream politicians have willingly subscribed. It perceives the nation to have no higher goal than to suicide itself into a greater European entity for no higher purpose than profit; and for all that the BNP are nutjob racial nationalists, they could take lessons from the mainstream in real, but very British, fascism.
This argument has once more raised its head in a discussion over the BNP. Timmy maintains, in an excellent post on Simone Clarke, that the BNP are of the left—being a collectivist party and collectivist being how Timmy defines the left—and the point was expanded on in a typically measured critique by Peter Porcupine.
For what is it worth, I agree with Master Worstall; the BNP are left wing; however, as per my original post, I shall also define that I, like Timmy, consider any collectivist party to be of the left.
As such, fascists are very definitely left wing (and if you were taught the torus theory of political alignment, this makes perfect sense; although, of course, the terms "left" and "right" don't so much!). The BNP are thus both fascists and lefties and so are these bunch of total bastards currently ruling us.
And so, it seems, are Spam's Tories. Put that in your pipe and fucking smoke it, Spam, you "closet rascist".
UPDATE: The Remittance Man has also joined the debate.