Monday, March 31, 2008




Two sons of... privilege

I have a feeling, there are plenty of Americans, particularly younger ones, for whom the name Mosley doesn't mean much one way or the other. But we all know George W. Bush and many of us are also aware that George W. Bush's grandfather was a Nazi or, to keep to what can be proven absolutely, the Bush family made its vast wealth by illegally dealing with the German Nazis.
The debate over Prescott Bush's behaviour has been bubbling under the surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about the "Bush/Nazi" connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis' plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler's rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.

Nazism means different things to different people and it is next to impossible to separate it in many people's minds-- particularly its victims-- from concentration camps, exterminations, torture, and savage, brutal war. But Nazism is also a logical extension of the right wing political mentality that glorifies authoritarianism, order, racism, militarism, xenophobia, and, most importantly, corporatism. Many have made the case that the Bush family-- largely unpunished for their collaboration with the German Nazis in the 30s and 40s-- and especially, the dim-witted George II, are, by and large, fascists. You've had a chance to see him in action for the past 7 years and you can judge that for yourself.

Now back to Mad Max Mosley or, first, his progenitor, Sir Oswald Mosley. Sir Oswald's political career began as a Conservative member of the House of Commons although he eventually had a falling out with the Conservatives and became an Independent member, then a Labour member and eventually founded a party of his own, the New Party which went from corporatism to out and out fascism in a short time. Inspired by Mussolini, he founded the British Union of Fascists in 1932 and an anti-Semitic and violent right-wing militia called the Blackshirts. In 1940 Britain rounded up its homegrown wing-nuts, including Sir Oswald and his Nazi wife (who he had married at Goebbels manor house with Hitler as a witness), and threw them in prison. After the war he moved to Paris, although he returned to London in 1959 to campaign against immigrants. The early Elvis Costello song, "Less Than Zero," was written about him (see video below). Just before being incarcerated Oswald's wife gave birth to their second son, Max, currently the president of Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the parent organization of Formula One. Formula One doesn't prevent baldness; it's the governing body for high end international auto racing.

Like George W. Bush, Mad Max Mosley, denies he's a Nazi or a fascist. Yesterday a scandal broke that calls that into question. (At the time, most of his friends were standing up for him. Today, the very same friends are distancing themselves from him.) OK, first the juicy part:
Max Mosley, one of the most powerful men in world sport, was under pressure to resign as boss of Formula One’s governing body last night after he was exposed enjoying a Nazi-style orgy with five prostitutes.

Jewish groups condemned the behaviour of Mosley, 67, whose father, Sir Oswald, was the leader of the British Union of Fascists and a friend of Adolf Hitler.

Mr Mosley was caught on video by the News of the World with five women in an underground “torture chamber” in Chelsea, where he spent several hours allegedly indulging in sado-masochistic sex.

The Oxford-educated former barrister, who is president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), reenacted a concentration camp scene in which he played the role of both guard and inmate.

Speaking in German and brandishing a leather whip, he beat the women after allowing himself to be subjected to a humiliating inspection for lice and an interrogation in chains.

Mr Mosley, a close confidant of Bernie Ecclestone, who holds the commercial rights to Formula One, paid £2,500 cash for the sex services, the Sunday newspaper claimed.

His antics stunned Jewish leaders and motorsport insiders. “This is sick and depraved,” Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said. “For anyone to be in such a position of influence and power beggars belief. I am absolutely appalled.”

Yes, "appalled" would be a good description and the sentiment started spilling over today. His aspirations to run (as a Conservative, obviously) for Parliament appear to be dashed and his billionaire pal, Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone, who was giggling about it and downplaying it yesterday today said he didn't think it would be appropriate for Mosley to attend this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix-- and if not in Bahrain, where?
Ecclestone’s comments came as Formula One teams and car manufacturers involved in the sport [particularly Mercedes Benz, BMW, Toyota and Honda] began expressing deep unease at Mr Mosley’s apparent determination to continue in his post, despite revelations in the News of the World at the weekend that have shocked the sport.

...Despite suggesting that he should not travel to the Gulf, Mr Ecclestone continued to stand by his friend and said he would not be calling for Mr Mosley to resign. “What Max should do is what he thinks is right because it is only him that’s involved, not the FIA,” said Mr Ecclestone. “He must do what he believes, in his heart of hearts, is the right thing.”

Mr Ecclestone admitted that many would find the disclosures of Mr Mosley’s personal conduct hard to understand. “If Max was in bed with two hookers, they’d say ‘good for you or something like that,'” Mr Ecclestone said. “But this, as it is, people find it repulsive. I think that’s the problem.”

Mr Mosley was unavailable for comment but his spokesman said he had no intention of resigning and was planning to tough it out. He is pursuing legal action against the News of the World and has already forced the paper to remove a video of the orgy from its website.

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