On 20 March I wrote this on this blog:
In 2003 historian Laurence W. Britt suggested that there were 14 characteristics to fascist regimes. They were:
- Powerful and continuing nationalism
- Disdain for human rights
- Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
- Supremacy of the military
- Rampant sexism
- Controlled mass media
- Obsession with national security
- Religion and government intertwined
- Corporate power protected
- Labour power suppressed
- Disdain for intellectuals & the arts
- Obsession with crime & punishment
- Rampant cronyism & corruption
- Fraudulent elections
Of these I used to say that only supremacy of the military and an intertwining with religion were absent from the UK, and I dismissed the latter as no longer being of any popular relevance.
Given recent announcements on defence spending and nuclear weapons I am not now sure that the supremacy of the military over other claims on the public purse can be dismissed any more.
If that is the case then thirteen out of the now fourteen relevant criteria are now met by the current UK government.
And then yesterday Cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi tweeted this:
— Nadhim Zahawi (@nadhimzahawi) April 2, 2021
The set is complete.
Religion has been appropriated by the Tories.
Fourteen out of fourteen.
And at the same time be horrified that he thought this in any way appropriate.