Friday, November 11, 2022

Harold Macmillan on why Oswald Mosley failed

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From Julian Critchley's memoirs A Bag of Boiled Sweets, published in 1994:

Macmillan greeted me gravely, and we lunched together. I noticed on the grand piano, among the clutter of signed photographs of heads of state in silver frames, a copy of Mosley's autobiography, which had just been published.

To make conversation, I asked Harold what he thought of Oswald Mosley. Immediately, he came to life: "Ah Tom Mosley, quite the most able man I have ever met, but quite mad. He came to me once and said 'Harold, I'm thinking of putting my people into black shirts.' 'Tom,' I replied, 'you must be mad. Whenever the British feel strongly about anything, they wear grey flannel trousers and tweed jackets.'"

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