Mussolini was a British Agent!

My word, think what fun people are going to have with this, Mussolini was a British agent.

Conspiracy theories galore! As the Telegraph puts it:

Mussolini, then a 34-year-old journalist, worked to ensure that Italy continued to fight alongside the allies in the First World War by publishing propaganda in his paper, the Guardian reports. He was also willing to send Italian army veterans to beat up peace protesters in Milan.

Mussolini\’s payments were authorised by Sir Samuel Hoare, an MP and MI5\’s man in Rome, who ran a staff of 100 British intelligence officers in Italy at the time.

Cambridge historian Peter Martland, who discovered details of the deal struck with the future dictator, told the Guardian: \”Britain\’s least reliable ally in the war at the time was Italy after revolutionary Russia\’s pull out from the conflict. Mussolini was paid £100 a week from the autumn of 1917 for at least a year to keep up the pro-war campaigning – equivalent to about £6,000 a week today.\”

See, see! the British backed the fascists!

Except, of course, he was a member of the Socialist Party at the time. So the British were backing damned lefties.

And that translation of the figure into modern day numbers. That looks like the basic inflation rate to me. Maybe the GDP deflator. If we actually compare it to average earnings in each year it\’s more like £20,000 a week.

7 comments on “Mussolini was a British Agent!

  1. I know we all do it, but I’m not too keen on these pre-emptive attacks. The lowest point was when a blogger called Scott Burgess attacked the left for its response to a fantasy he had made up about a peaceful and democratic Iraq. He stopped blogging soon afterwards.

    £100/week is a lot of money as you say. Almost hard to believe really.

  2. As Jonah Goldberg has described, the only difference between a “Socialist” and a “Fascist” at that time what whether one supported the Allies in pursuing the Great War.

  3. MI5 never worked abroad did they? Except as security and counterespionage within our overseas embassies?

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