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Fascism and Constitutional ConflictThe British Extreme Right and Ulster in the Twentieth Century$
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James Loughlin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941770

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941770.001.0001

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Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

The Mosley and Powell Perspectives

Chapter:
(p.191) 5 Northern Ireland
Source:
Fascism and Constitutional Conflict
Author(s):

James Loughlin

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941770.003.0006

This chapter assesses comparatively the attitude to Northern Ireland of Oswald Mosley and Enoch Powell, both seen as right wing politicians, if of varying degrees of extremism. For Mosley Powell was seen as a threat to his own position as a public figure, one whose controversial speech on immigration at Birmingham in 1968 attracted the kind of public support long unavailable to him, a pariah figure in British politics. Yet both were authoritarian figures, convinced of the certitude of their own opinions and with little time for dissentient views. On Northern Ireland, however, they exhibited significant differences. Mosley’s experience of British policy during the Irish War of Independence gave him an informed outlook on the kind of repressive and morally reprehensible measures it was necessary to avoid, and that a solution to the problem would require some kind of constitutional modification. Powell, in contrast, developed a paranoid conspiracy mindset, seeing the United Kingdom under threat from enemies within and without and with Northern Ireland just the latest site of conflict; and like the extreme Right offering a limited ‘law and order’ solution to the Troubles.

Keywords:   Mosley, Powell, similarities, antagonism, Troubles

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