12 SEPTEMBER 1963, Page 12

Conditions of Fascism Correlli Barnett

Catholics and Birth Control 'A Catholic Parent,' Rev. F. Barrie Flint

The Arab Triangle Edward Babun Sum* de Scandale Clive Irving Lawyers' Loot 'Solicitor'

Canada for the Canadians Eliot Janeway, Nicholas Davenport

Indonesian Big Brother R. S. Turner Old Lines For New Julian Symons

The Chicken War Gwendolen Barter, Toni Iletvertson CONDITIONS OF FASCISM SIR,—Was it coincidence that you should publish in the same issue the last of Constantine FitzGibbon's articles comparing Weimar Germany with contem- porary Britain, and Christopher Martin's article on Edward Martell's Freedom Group?

FitzGibbon concluded that although there were parallels between the mental climate of Weimar Germany and present-day Britain, fascism was un- likely because we were not in the middle of economic disaster, nor had we a thriving Fascist (i.e., corporate State) movement. Martin suggested that if we ever got into economic disaster, this might give Martell his chance.

About a year ago I wrote an article on Fascism in contemporary Britain for the Sunday Telegraph suggesting that our post-imperial feebleness and cynicism could be the right conditions for a form of fascist movement. Because this was Britain and not Germany, the Sixties and not the Thirties, it seemed likely to me that this fascism would not take the form of military totalitarianism, but of extreme backward- looking laissez-faire-ism. It was, and is, my view that fascism is essentially a neurosis, not a particular political programme. My Sunday Telegraph article suggested that such a neurosis seemed to inspire Martell's movement; and that large-scale unemploy- ment might give him an opportunity.

I found it illuminating and confirmatory that Martell reacted to this article by a front-page attack in the New Daily, coupled with a violent personal abuse in another column.

You will not therefore be surprised that I am convinced that Britain today has the favourable pre- conditions for fascist neuroses; that Martell's move- ment is the most likely kind of vehicle for the expression of these neuroses; and that if the country does not get moving quickly enough towards a positive and expanding future, such a movement could be dangerous.

CORRELL! BARNETT Cat bridge House, East Carleton, Norwich