ABSTRACT

This chapter provides an overview of the imperial ideologies of key far right movements between c.1920–1980: The Britons and Nesta Webster, British Fascisti, the Imperial Fascist League, the British Union of Fascists, the Union Movement, the League of Empire Loyalists and the National Front. It will be shown that all far right parties across the 60-year period had a great deal in common despite different ideological tendencies. All exhibited a championing of the Empire and desire to strengthen British imperial power. All sought to ‘unify’ the British Empire to varying degrees as part of a plan to economically rejuvenate Britain itself as an alternative to free trade and, following the Second World War, European integration. Central to all groups was the firm belief that a global conspiracy sought the destruction of the British Empire and the idea that Britain’s governing elite was either too weak to stand up to those who sought her imperial destruction or wholly complicit. While there were divergences in far right imperial thought, such as the weight attached to anti-Jewish rhetoric and differing conceptions of race, it will be shown that despite a tumultuous period, far right movements were relatively consistent in their diagnoses of the Empire’s ills and their solutions for re-energising it.