In the early 1980s, British fascism was reeling from the failure of the National Front (NF) to build on the brief swells of support it attracted in the 1970s through its crude ethnic populism. Enter a group of young radicals who, via a series of splits, gained control of the party and pushed it in a startlingly new direction. As the decade wore on these radicals embraced ideas that would have confused or even horrified their (essentially neo-Nazi) predecessors, promoting a global “Third Way” vision that borrowed heavily first from esoteric continental influences and then, increasingly, from radical Islamic ideologues like Louis Farrakhan and Muammar Qathafi. This article explains how this unusual variant of neofascism emerged in the political context of the 1980s and interrogates its transnational credentials in order to understand the extent and sincerity of this reinvention, so as to find the Third Way NF an appropriate place in the history of contemporary fascism(s).

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