IN SEPTEMBER 1923, a mysterious anti-Bolshevik organisation calling itself the ‘British Fascisti’ promised to break up a Young Communist League meeting in Trafalgar Square. But only one of their number was brave enough to show up. Dressed in khaki breeches, carrying a leather-covered stick, and black handkerchief, this young fascist wisely took his leave. The following month, at the British Fascisti’s inaugural meeting in Hyde Park, one speaker, riled by questions about Mussolini, was heard to say, ‘Damn Mussolini!’. Given that the group had hitched its star to Italy’s ‘finest son’, this was a rather silly thing to say.