Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

It's Rarely Simple

The Daily Mail has called in a mind lip reader and can now reveal that the Queen and her mother were just waving at the camera. Of course; how could it have been otherwise!

And when Lord Rothermere- owner of the Mail-  swung his paper behind Mosley's Blackshirts he was- what exactly? Come on DM, there must be some wholly innocent explanation. Perhaps- I don't know- he was just commending their sartorial elegance.

The Guardian, more seriously, has an article by a historian which spells out the British royal family's German connections and sympathies. They are multitudinous. The Second War- like the First- was- from the point of view of the royal houses and aristocracies of Europe- a family quarrel.

The 20s and 30s of the 20th century were an age of ideology. The old certainties had been flattened by the Great War and new political movements and religions fought it out in the wasteland. The most powerful of these ideologies were Bolshevism and Fascism, the first hostile to monarchy, the second happy to accomodate (and use) it. No wonder then that aristocrats and royals should have inclined to Fascism. They weren't the only ones. W. B. Yeats, the greatest poet of the century, wrote marching songs for Ireland's own fascist wannabes, Ezra Pound, the greatest theorist of modernism, put his weight behind Mussolini and came very close to having his neck stretched for treason.

We need to a be a little kind to our former selves. They didn't know how fascism was going to turn out and many- once they'd wised up- withdrew their support. The British royals may have been fellow travellers before the war but- with the exception of the pitiful Edward VIII- afterwards fought against it. The historical record is what it is- some of it embarassing, some of it honourable. Lets have it all out in the open. We should be grown-up enough by now to cope with a little complexity.
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