Mary Kenny

Dedicated Followers of Fascism

Fascist in the Family: The Tragedy of John Beckett MP

By Francis Beckett

Routledge 388pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Searching for Lord Haw-Haw: The Political Lives of William Joyce

By Colin Holmes

Routledge 494pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

A partnership of Beckett and Joyce might suggest an alliance between two of Ireland’s greatest writers, but in this case the individuals in question are John Beckett and William Joyce. Ejected from Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (BUF), they together formed the National Socialist League in 1937, a farcical enterprise that, deservedly, swiftly fizzled out. Beckett thought Joyce too far gone in his mad anti-Semitism – you can say that again – and yet Beckett retained a certain loyalty to the man who became notorious during the Second World War as ‘Lord Haw-Haw’, sending him a kindly letter just before his execution for treason in 1946.

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