Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sir Oswald Mosley at Belle Vue, Manchester, in 1933

"For this shall be the epic generation whose struggle and whose sacrifice shall decide whether man again shall know the dust or whether man at last shall grasp the stars." 
- Sir Oswald Mosley, Tomorrow We Live
The following was taken from the Britannia blog, whose owner released the clip to me. The source of this post is from the journal, Blackshirt, 21-27 Oct., 1933.




The following report is from Blackshirt, Oct. 21st - Oct. 27th, 1933

The Leader's Enthusiastic Reception

8000 Cheering People at Belle Vue



From Deansgate to Belle Vue fifty thousand people line the streets! Manchester's grey sky lifts as if in welcome, and a shaft of sunlight beams upon the white majesty of the Cenotaph! From the balconies of upper windows, white excited faces gazed earthwards.

In the distance the crowd presses back; and the muffled roar of drums heralds the approaching Fascists. The roar increases, the martial air of a brass band seeps through the atmosphere. There is a roar from the crowd - and a cheer! The Union Jack has come into view; and behind it the long, steady column of the Black Shirts.

Some of the crowd are vociferous in "Hurrahs" and cheers; a few standing well out of harm's way, let go an occasional, half-hearted "Boo". From slight movements in the crowd one can imagine what is happening - for the "Boos" soon cease.

As they approach the Cenotaph, flags dip. Sharp orders, and arms raise in unison to salute the dead of Lancashire.

The column marches on. More than half the crowd are silent - they didn't know Fascism was like this.

And still they come. Column after column; line after line. Onward through the streets; the Northern folk look in respect at these sturdy men - marching with a precision brought about by organised control; men marching with a common determination that nothing shall break their line; that nothing shall lessen the great dignity of the Fascist cause. Ahead of the column, marching alone is The Leader. 

From the Cenotaph to Belle Vue the streets are meaner; and, as if to emphasize their dreariness, the sun hides, and rain comes drizzling down.

But Fascists don't care - their march is unbroken, their formation perfect. Of over three thousand men not one is out of step. In the drizzle, the spectators stand still and watch.

And so to Belle Vue. Once there, there is a clamour for food. The meeting does not begin for an hour and a half yet. The thousands take their places; the busy white-aproned waitresses ply their plates. Suddenly, from one end of the hall, there is a roar - "The Leader". In a flash a sea of black draped arms fly upwards; a myriad throats roar a welcome ... "M-O-S-L-E-Y".

The rafters rock to the noise. For a good five minutes it continues; while The Leader stands smiling. He does not waste time in making speeches - that will come later; tea now, is more important.

By seven-o-clock the meal is over, and Fascists fly into the Hall. The Hall holds eight thousand; most of those eight thousand seats have already been booked. The two end seats in each row are reserved for Fascists - the centres for the public. We are expecting trouble tonight; for the Reds are numerous here - and , with any self-respect at all, they cannot let us go without creating some sort of noise.

The gangways of the arena are lined with Black Shirts; the film men and press photographers fidget on a platform. At tables below sit the newspaper men - wondering how they will tackle this somewhat unusual "story".

At a signal, four enormous searchlights fizz and splutter into blinding activity. Slowly they sweep the hall - and focus on the Union Jack'ed doorway. The curtains part. A hush of expectation rolls up on the vast assembly - hardly a seat unoccupied.

"Here he comes," somebody whispers - and a veritable giant of a man, marches easily into the glare of light.


There is a welcoming roar from the Blackshirts; with the cheers of half the hall not far behind. The Leader takes his stand, and raises his right arm upwards. He has given the salute.


Camera men get busy; "still" photographers busily click their cameras and change their plates.

"Will you please sit down," says The Leader quietly; and in that mild request there is a volume of power.

Now he starts: "Britain For The British!" "Wake Up, you men of England!"

Facts and figures tumble from his mouth. His great voice rises in emotion; the platform rocks to his gestures - the audience cheer - and cheer - and cheer. He has got them.

The solid Lancashire man and woman, from an initial distrust of this revolutionary movement, has been quick to grasp that this man is no visionary - he is talking solid common sense: giving them business details that they themselves know to be only too true.


So far there has been no 'trouble', and we don't quite know where the Reds are seated (for tickets have been given to anyone who wanted them - we didn't enquire what their politics were). The Leader warms to the subject of unemployment - and a dissentient voice rises at the back of the hall. The Black Shirts over there tell him to be quiet - question time will come later. He won't be quiet. He is warned again. His interruption is the signal for organised noise. All right - if they want trouble, they shall have it. A brief scuffle and four men are carried struggling outside. Stewards at the door know what to do with them.

The Leader calls for silence; and the hubbub dies.

Through the microphones he says: "You have just witnessed an incident which, without the action of a Fascist Defence Force, would have meant the end of free speech this evening. There are thousands of people here tonight who have come to listen to the creed of Fascism".

The crowd like that - the 'crowd' have not come to heckle, or to cat-call: they have come to listen, whether they like Fascism or not.

All this has happened within the first half-an-hour of the meeting. From then until the end of the meeting there is no more disturbance. If there are any more Reds present - they are keeping very quiet indeed.

The Leader warms once more to his subject. He tells them that at one of his recent agricultural meetings he was challenged to tell a Manchester audience what Fascism would do for agriculture.

"I accept that challenge," he continues, "and here is what we will do for agriculture - -"

The crowd listen. They know that often the interests of agriculture and industry clash.

"Your market," he tells them. "is at home, British farmers and farm labourers cannot buy your goods because foreign foodstuffs pour into this country at prices at which they cannot compete. Tariffs are no good - you have to have, in certain cases, total exclusion of goods. Britain will buy from those who buy British. There is a large and potential home market for your Manchester goods, as there is abroad. By the Corporate State method, whereby both wages and prices are systematically and simultaneously and scientifically raised - there is room in this country to sell a very large percentage of the goods that Lancashire can produce."


The audience rises to the point, for each in their own way have felt the slimy touch of the alien menace. They know how their sons and daughters are being kept out of jobs by aliens - not necessarily aliens in those same jobs - but by aliens who control the financing of those jobs - aliens who have no more love for Great Britain than that they shall make as much money out of us in as short a time as possible.

Thousands jump to their feet, cheering wildly, when The Leader concludes with a passionate appeal to their love of country, and a demand that Fascism shall build a country worthy of that love.

Question time: A flood of pencil written notes pours upon the platform. The Leader answers them swiftly and without hesitation,"Where is your money invested?" "England" - "Under Fascism would a father have to support an unemployed son?" - "No, the State would" - "Do you believe in the abolition of tithes?" - "Yes. If the State wants a State church, the State should support it, and not dump the responsibily upon agriculture." (Cheers).

The band strikes up "God Save The King." Eight thousand people stand to attention; Fascists with arms raised. Eight thousand voices chorus for the King's safety - for they know, and Fascism knows, that the King's safety means the nations safety.

The crowd file through the barriers - and home. Then, Fascists form into marching order - and away into the night; the three mile march back to Manchester.

In an ante-room fifty pressmen swill their drinks and ask silly questions. All flattery they are; and somewhat fearful of what their respective news-editors will say to this "story".

They, as Manchester journalists, know that this is the biggest thing that has happened in Manchester for years. They know that no other speaker could have raised such enthusiasm as The Leader. They know, in their hearts, that he talked sound common sense all the evening - that not a single argument of his but was cast-iron in its foundations and in its method of application.

As the press-men swilled their drinks, a crowd of hooligans waited for our Fascists in the darkness of back alleys. In their hands were potatoes from which jutted safety razor blades; and broken beer bottles.

As the first column passed, a volley of missiles came at them. A drummer had his head gashed open; another man was hurt. But the hooligans didn't get away. The Fascists wasted no time - five hooligans were caught, and five hooligans went to hospital. There was no trouble after that.

Next day: the morning papers.

The news-editors had got busy; the sub-editors' blue pencils had been wielded to effect. For news-editors and sub-editors have their jobs to keep - and you don't keep your job on a newspaper if you say what you think these days; you have to say what your proprietor thinks. "The Manchester Guardian" at least published the speech correctly; but decried the right of Fascists to have free speech.

The other papers were non-committal, and made great headlines over stones being thrown at Fascists - and left out The Leader's speech. The picture papers did us better.

The "News Chronicle" treated its public to a column of lies and misrepresentation. The "Daily Express" reporter never took a single note during The Leader's speech, but, like the other reporters dashed to the 'phone as soon as a slight fight occurred. But the"Daily Herald" - only the "Herald" - knew the purport of those 8,000 cheering people. And the "Herald" was frightened. The "Herald" said nothing at all.