Fascism, racism and football

Paolo di Canio salutes Lazio fans

Almost 68 years after he was murdered by communist partisans close to his country’s border with Switzerland – hung upside down from a meathook alongside his Jewish mistress Clara Petacci – the former Italian leader Benito Mussolini is back in the news in North East England, thanks to a failed Labour politician’s objections to a successful Italian footballer!

Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband – a supporter of New Labour’s illegal invasion of Iraq which killed more than 100,000 civilians – has ignited a media firestorm over the appointment of Paolo di Canio as manager of Premier League football club Sunderland.  Miliband’s opinion is only relevant because he is the MP for South Shields, the town next door to Sunderland, and until this week served on the club’s board of directors.  He has no longstanding connection with the area, having been parachuted in for political convenience by the Labour Party leadership in 2001.  Since he is now leaving British politics to take up a well-paid job in New York, it is unlikely that he will ever visit Sunderland again.  The people of the area have served their purpose and Mr Miliband – son of Marxist immigrants – is moving on.

David Miliband is moving on from the North East to a well-paid job in New York.

Mr Di Canio is understandably bemused by the outrage.  He has never made any intervention in British politics (though it is understood that UKIP are presently seeking his support) and has been a successful footballer in this country – notably for West Ham, as well as Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday.  Before he came to England he had a brief spell with Celtic, having begun his career at his home town Roman club Lazio.  Since retiring as a player, Di Canio has been an extremely successful manager of Swindon Town.

It was at Lazio – the club he supported as a boy – that Di Canio’s brush with the forces of political correctness occurred.  On at least two occasions when playing for the club he saluted fellow Lazio fans with the famous outstretched right-arm: a traditional Roman greeting now associated with fascism and national socialism.  The occasions were a derby match against rivals AS Roma – always a heated affair – and another against Livorno, the Italian club most closely linked to the political left.

These banners belong not to Lazio fans but to their local rivals AS Roma.

Lazio (together with rival Italian clubs Inter Milan and Verona) has always been seen as a right-wing club, partly because of its origins in the Italian military at the start of the 20th century, and partly because right-wing groups in Rome during the 1970s attached themselves to the club.  Ironically their rivals AS Roma are also a right-wing club, and in fact Lazio owed its continued existence to the fact that a fascist general intervened in 1927 to prevent Mussolini’s government from merging the two Rome teams.

Livorno are Italy’s most left-wing club, and their fans build international connections with the far left at clubs such as Celtic, Marseille and AEK Athens.

A giant communist banner at Livorno, typical of far left incitement which is never mentioned as the context for Di Canio’s “fascist” salute.

There are multiple hypocrisies involved in Mr Miliband’s “anti-fascist” campaign against Mr Di Canio.

First of all, there seems to be no objection to the political stances of other managers, even “extremist” ones. Chris Hughton, current manager of Sunderland’s Premier League rivals Norwich City, was a member of the far-left Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) during the 1980s, and even wrote a column for the WRP’s daily paper Newsline, which was funded by the Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi.

Chris Hughton was a member of the far left, IRA-supporting Workers Revolutionary Party, yet his appointment as manager of Norwich City was not controversial.

Another footballer involved with the WRP and occasionally writing for Newsline (which infamously supported the IRA) was Tony Galvin, Hughton’s teammate at Tottenham Hotspur and an Irish international.  Galvin later became assistant manager of Newcastle United.

Perhaps the most famous far left manager is Egil Olsen, current manager of Norway and most famous for taking the Norwegians to the 1994 and 1998 World Cups.  Olsen proudly describes himself as a Marxist-Leninist, and was a member of Norway’s Maoist party, the Workers’ Communist Party.

Norwegian international manager Egil Olsen is a self-proclaimed Marxist-Leninist, and was a member of a communist party.

The objection seems to be not to any “extremist” politics, but particularly to “fascism”.  All varieties of communism and anarchism are included within the “family” of acceptable politics, but ever since 1945 there has been an effort to exclude fascism and national socialism behind a wall that must never be breached.

This is not the case in Italy, where in many areas families still maintain their traditional allegiance to one side or the other in the conflicts of the mid-20th century. Di Canio is not unusual, and it is notable that he makes a point of saying that he is upholding the values that his parents taught him.

Where the liberal media have got themselves terribly confused is over the issue of “racism”.  For the wartime and post-war English generation, the bogeyman was fascism or nazism. Until the last 20 years, most ordinary Englishmen and women would have been “racist” by 21st century standards, but they would have reacted strongly against Hitler and Mussolini.

Today – despite incessant brainwashing of children with lessons about the “Holocaust” – few ordinary folk really understand fascism or national socialism. The universal politically correct obsession is with race.

Jewish fascist activist and financial backer Ettore Ovazza (left) with Benito Mussolini

Hence the confusion in the Di Canio case, since he quite honestly claims that he is not a “racist”, even though he is proud to call himself a fascist.  Mussolini’s fascism was not primarily about race.  Many Italian Jews were active fascists – including Ettore Ovazza who founded a Jewish fascist newspaper – and the Italians did not adopt racial laws for the first sixteen years of Mussolini’s rule.

Further confusion and hypocrisy about race has coloured recent publicity about England fans chants against Rio and Anton Ferdinand.  Fans were accused of being “racist” for singing:
Build a bonfire, build a bonfire
Put Rio on the top
Put Anton in the middle
And we’ll burn the f*****g lot!

Yet as every football fan knows, this is merely a variation of a very old terrace song which has been varied to target just about any club or individual whom particular fans might hate at any particular time.  It has nothing to do with race, and is an anti-Ferdinand song in this instance, not an anti-black song.

Sadly, as both Paolo Di Canio and England fans are finding out, the race relations industry and their media allies will never let the facts get in the way of a good story!


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