John Safran has a new blog column for Vice. Reading it I was reminded of the following, an extract from the teenage fascist David Greason’s autobiography…
“Ah, the fun had gone out of being a fascist.
I arrived in Sydney in November, and stayed with Jim for a few weeks. Things had been patched up, or at least they’d been patched up enough for me to tolerate staying at his place and for him to tolerate me being there. He was living in Chippendale, one of those inner suburbs of Sydney where you get seven factories or warehouses to every house. One of the warehouses in his street was the storage depot for the Socialist Party. Jim had always been lucky like that; the house he’d been living in when we first met was in Ross Street, Glebe, just a few doors up from the Communist Party printery. One of us would always whack a sticker on their front doors just to let them know that someone was thinking of them.
He was sharing with a couple of women, neither of whom knew about his politics, and he fancied both. The story was the usual one: one of his housemates comes across his name in the Sydney Morning Herald one day, brings it up that night, black looks for a couple of weeks, he moves out not long after. These understanding liberal types just weren’t understanding or liberal enough for our type.
About a week or so after I’d arrived, Jim and I went over to Surry Hills, house-hunting. A figure came shambling towards us, and Jim whispered, ‘It’s Cass Young’. The former Nazi fuehrer from Melbourne was blind drunk and looked like ten pounds of shit in a five-pound bag, but despite it all, he could still recognise Jim. Warm greetings and back-slapping followed, and the three of us headed off to the nearest pub for a reminisce about the old times. He didn’t make much sense, although he did reveal the true story behind the notorious NSPA demos against sex shops in Melbourne. In the early seventies they had been organised by the morally correct Ian Skipworth, lamented Young. ‘I should have been inside the shop!’ he kept saying. ‘I should have been inside!’
Sydney was great for colourful nationalist identities. I also met Nick ‘White Australia’ Maina (he changed his name by deed poll for the 1974 senate election), an associate of Robert Clark’s in the anti-Grassby campaign of 1974. Maina, of Greek parentage, objected strongly to Italian and Greek immigrants, considering them a potential security risk if war ever broke out. He wanted them deported, just in case. Like many on our side, he liked to consider all possibilities. ‘But Nick’, I said patiently, ‘you’re a wog. On that logic, you’d have to deport yourself’. His voice cracked with patriotic fervour. ‘If I had to, I would’, he said. ‘I love this bloody country so much’.”
~ David Greason, I was a teenage fascist, McPhee Gribble, 1994, pp.268–269. (Greason died of cancer last year.)