Fascism and Constitutional Conflict

BookFascism and Constitutional Conflict

Fascism and Constitutional Conflict

The British Extreme Right and Ulster in the Twentieth Century


March 27th, 2019

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This work makes an original and important contribution both to the field of British fascist/extreme Right studies and to the Ulster question. Given that British fascism was a phenomenon of the inter-war period, first making its appearance shortly after the Irish question had been constitutionally settled by the creation of the Irish Free State and the autonomous entity of Northern Ireland, it has been understandable that British historians should focus chiefly on developments in Britain. In the process, however, Northern Ireland as a site of fascist interest and activity has been largely overlooked; yet it engaged the attention of all the significant fascist movements, from Rotha Lintorn-Orman’s British Fascists and Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists to the less significant Imperial Fascist League in the inter-war period, Mosley’s Union Movement in the post-war period and the National Front and British National Party during the period of the Troubles, together with smaller formations thereafter. In focusing on Northern Ireland, this study provides insights into the strengths and weaknesses of British fascist organisations throughout the twentieth century. It also demonstrates that the region was an extremely difficult terrain for those organisations to cultivate, whether they were supportive of nationalism/republicanism or Unionism/loyalism.


‘[A] lively and stimulating survey… This saga is expertly detailed by Loughlin, whose focus on Enoch Powell indicates one route to far-right success in the North: become a unionist.’
Niall Meehan, History Ireland
'Very well-researched and well-written, this is an original study that breaks new ground.'
Professor Nigel Copsey, Teesside University

'Building upon his established expertise on Ulster political history, Loughlin examines the succession of far-right parties with roots in Britain.... [He] explores the fascinating dynamic between Mosleyite appeals to Catholic communities in Britain and analysis of the north'
James Greer, Irish Historical Studies

Author Information

James Loughlin is Reader Emeritus in History, Ulster University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Figures9
List of Abbreviations11
Introduction: Ulster and the Context of British Fascism19
I Ulster and Fascism in the Inter-War Period39
1. Rotha Lintorn-Orman, Ulster and the British Fascists Movement41
2. The British Union of Fascists and Northern Ireland (I): The Ulster Question in Blackshirt Perspective79
3. The British Union of Fascists and Northern Ireland (II): The Ulster Fascists113
II Mid-Century Mosleyism and Northern Ireland159
4. Union Movement: Exploiting Partition, 1946–1966161
III Neo-Fascism and the Northern Ireland Conflict 207
5. Northern Ireland: The Mosley and Powell Perspectives209
6. The National Front (I): Negotiating the Ulster Political Terrain, 1967–1985236
7. The National Front (II): Combating the Anglo-Irish Agreement, 1985–1990272
8. The British National Party and Ulster: Neo-Fascism in a Context of Political Agreement304