The first Russian International Conservative Forum took place in the country’s imperial capital two days ago, and let me tell you: conservatism ain’t what it used to be.
I’ll give you a clue: the British delegation was led by Nick Griffin, who denies the Holocaust ever happened but hopes it will.
Nick led the BNP for a number of years, and I don’t mean my French bank. Then last year he was expelled from the party for racist and anti-Semitic extremism. That’s like being drummed out of Isis for excessive cruelty.
Other keepers of the international conservative flame included Jared Taylor, an American who thinks the white race should rule because it’s genetically superior to all others; Udo Voight, der Führer of the German neo-Nazis, currently serving a suspended sentence for glorifying Waffen-SS; Georgios Epitidios from Greece’s Golden Dawn party whose emblem is a tastefully stylised swastika; Daniel Karlsen, one of the founding members of Denmark’s honestly named Nationalist Socialist Movement; Roberto Fiore, head of Italy’s Nuova Forza party, which new force is neither very strong nor particularly new (old Benito tried it all before).
Well, I shan’t bore you with a complete list, but you get the picture. Just take my word for it: all the delegates came from the same ideological background. All of them coyly eschew the term ‘fascist’ to describe their parties (that term is reserved for mainstream parliamentary parties and what they represent), but that’s exactly what they are.
The forum was an attempt to unite the swampy creepy-crawlies of the world into a cohesive movement, and it’s both typical and predictable that they should be welcomed in Putin’s native city.
Since all the attending parties are nationalist, their platforms have to differ in some details. But they were all invited on the strength of two essential qualifications: approval of the Third Reich and admiration for Col. Putin.
Hence I’d like to extend my sympathy to Peter Hitchens and Christopher Booker, who were both shunned. They passed with flying colours on the second qualification but failed on the first.
Take my advice, chaps: before the next Forum make sure you say something nice about the economy Hitler got going and the trains Mussolini got running on time. Insist on assessing Hitler’s tenure in a balanced way and you never know your luck, you just may wangle an invitation next time around.
Sorry, I forgot another characteristic all the represented parties have in common: none of them has a hope in hell of ever being elected to any office other than the presidency of some global fascist alliance.
Those who do have electoral hopes, such as France’s Marine Le Pen, chose not to come even though they were invited. That’s gratitude for you: didn’t Vlad pump millions into Marine’s party coffers? Of course he did. And now that blonde b…, well, beauty, pretends they’ve never met. I’d put the Front National on notice if I were Vlad: you don’t come, I don’t pay.
That also goes for Hungary’s Jobbik and Denmark’s People’s Party, other recipients of Vlad’s largess who pretended their invitation had got lost in the post. Watch your steps, you treacherous swine, or Vlad will cut you off too.
The Russian contingent featured such colourful figures as Alexei Milchakov, officer in the army of the recently constituted Donetsk People’s Republic. Before pledging his allegiance to the new Republic Alexei was a skinhead who inundated the Internet with photos of himself holding the Nazi flag in one hand and a puppy’s severed head in the other. A true blue Conservative, in other words, the Russian answer to Sir Alec Douglas-Home.
Now fascism has left bad memories at the site of this global event. After all, 1.5 million denizens of Leningrad, as it then was, starved to death during the Nazi siege, and some of the few survivors are still kicking. So it was predictable that a group of people still not completely desensitised by Putin’s propaganda would take to the streets in protest.
Just as predictable was the reaction of Vlad’s police: it featured rubber truncheons, bullying and summary arrests. Who are you calling fascists, you traitors in the pay of the CIA, MI6 and presumably RSPCA?
In a parallel development, a pro-Putin magazine Zmiana (Change) has been launched in Poland by Mateusz Piskorski, known as a translator and publisher of hard-core Nazi material. Specifically in the late 1990s he brought out the magazine Odala, devoted to Holocaust denial, praises of Nazi Germany and calls for a united Slavic empire as “the only hope for the White Race”.
Polish authorities have so far failed to establish a direct link between the new publishing venture and Vlad’s good offices, but magazines cost money, which has to come from somewhere. Then again, it’s possible that Mr Piskorski is independently wealthy and is doing this out of disinterested affection for fascism, especially of the pan-Slavic variety so cherished by Putin.
It has to be said that Vlad is building on a solid historical foundation. Immediately the Bolsheviks grabbed power in Russia they began to bankroll extreme socialist groups all over the world.
Most of the groups were international socialist, though Germany’s Workers’ Party received some funds too, before Hitler took over. At a time when millions of Russians were starving to death and cannibalism was rife, the idealistic Soviet state so beloved of Messrs Shaw and Wells was spending tens of millions to keep foreign communists in the style to which they were rapidly getting accustomed.
My contention has always been that, semantic wrangling apart, there isn’t much difference between national and internationalist socialists – as Vlad has set out to prove.
At a time when food is getting scarce in Russian shops the other side of Moscow, he’s spending millions on his ideological brethren, those whom our inept taxonomists describe as ‘right wing’ or ‘left wing’ (such as Greece’s ruling party). Both wings propel the same fascist bird, a carrion vulture with a voracious appetite.
In conclusion, one has to compliment Vlad on his honesty. By extending a welcoming hand to this global scum, he has finally abandoned subterfuge. Vlad is a fascist, and proud of it. He knows who his friends are, and he doesn’t care who else knows it.