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Anders Breivik, the new Mein Kampf and Your Local Conservative Party

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When veteran anti-fascists heard of Anders Behring Breivik's diabolical Oslo rampage they immediately reached for their copy of The Turner Diaries to explain the merciless carnage.

The book was dubbed the Mein Kampf of the 21st century before 9/11 and the concept of "Islamofascism" overshadowed the far-right threat. It was the work of one of America's most influential neo-Nazis, Dr William Pierce, a former physics professor and founder of the far-right National Alliance Party who died in 2002

Written under the pseudonym of Andrew Macdonald in the style of a third-rate airport novel, its eponymous "hero" is Earl Turner, a thirty-something all-American computer programmer, who embarks on a campaign of political assassination and race war as a means to provoking an Aryan revolution.

Pierce said: "In 1975 when I began writing The Turner Diaries...I wanted to take all the feminist agitators and propagandists and all the race-mixing fanatics and all of the media bosses and bureaucrats and politicians who were collaborating with them, and I wanted to put them up against a wall, in batches of a thousand at a time, and machine-gun them. And I still want to do that. I am convinced that we will have to do that before we can get our civilisation back on track, and I look forward to that day."

Sound familiar?

The Turner Diaries became the blue-print for a series of far-right terrorist outrages in the United States and Europe. Soon after its publication in 1978, it was the inspiration for the violent extremist group known as "The Order", which in the early Eighties committed a series of armed robberies, synagogue bombings and the murder of the Jewish radio talk-show host Alan Berg.

More notoriously still, days before Timothy McVeigh bombed the Federal Murrah building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 157 people - the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until 9/11 - sent a letter to his sister warning that "something big is going to happen", followed by a second envelope with clippings from The Diaries. The book was found in McVeigh's pick-up truck when he was arrested, with several passages underlined.

The Turner Diaries
infected Europe revealing its chaos theory in David Copeland's one man war against London's ethnic minorities and gay community in 1999. After the bomber Copeland was arrested British police launched a nationwide crackdown on far-right extremists, raiding scores of homes up and down the country and seizing large quantities of bomb-making equipment.

Yet, while Breivik's sadistic methodology is a grotesque echo of The Turner Diaries apocalyptic vision, he defies the simplistic neo-Nazi tag.

Indeed, in his personal 'mein kampf', his 1,500 page manifesto entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, he rejects neo-Nazism, Hitler and the master race fantasy. In his anti-Muslim new order he envisages that there is a place for assimilated blacks and Jews, at least of the muscular Zionist variety.

Indeed, of all the many sources he references - from John Locke to Jeremy Clarkson - there's no mention of the seminal Turner Diaries.

The Breivik manifesto reflects a fundamental shift that has taken place across much of the European far right: from the language of race and nation to that of identity and culture.

Hence while Brevik's carnage had a 'Nazi' feel to it - nihilistic and sacrificial - his views overlap with a much more mainstream Conservative narrative of the last decade.

His obsession with cultural Marxism, feminism, multiculturalism and 'the Islamic occupation of Europe' is echoed on the Tory Party 'rubber chicken' circuit, over a G&T at the suburban golf club and at breakfast in Middle England, via the comment pages of the Daily Mail.

Indeed, it was a Conservative in the shape of Baroness Warsi, co-chairman of the Tory Party, who highlighted how anti-Muslim prejudice is now seen by many Britons as normal and uncontroversial and had now passed the "dinner party test."

Conservatives now complain that because Breviek held extreme forms of some broadly speaking conservative positions, any kind of conservative position is now being cast as intrinsically invalid and irredeemably tainted, and can be held to be somehow 'linked' to terrorism.

More helpful would be for some real soul-searching on the part of conservatives who have now experiencing the indignity of guilt by association (with certain of Breivik's ideas), to appreciate and recognise the injustice of the post 9/11 rubbishing of all things Islamic and the crude stereotyping of anybody who happens to be born a Muslim.