”Michael Billig” in his article ”Methodology and scholarship in understaqnding ideological explanation” p. 16 of ”Social Research Methods”


These themes of national destruction and international plotting seem familiar enough, but what marked this speech out was a remark in the beginning. Having mentioned the newspaper report of the two goaled students, Powell declared that 'We shall do well to ponder the news item deeply: for, as Douglas Reed used to say in the 1930s; ”This means you.” ' No individual is cites in the speech other than Douglas Reed. Nor is any information given about Reed. To most of the audience and to most of the readers of the written text the name of Douglas Reed would be unfamiliar. But it would be recognizable to those with a knowledge of the traditions of British anti-semitism and the conspiracy ideology. In this way knowledge of the subject area can lead to insights which fall outside the range of methodological expertise.

Douglas Reed had been a prewar correspondent of The Times in Germany. He left Germany in 1935, an opponent of Hitler but not of National Socialism. He was a strong advocate of the Strasser brothers' form of National Socialism. When he died in 1976, The Times obituary declared that 'Reed had his own hobby-horses, some of which were indeed not so very unlike Nazi hobby horses.' The writer specified the allusion by mentioning Reed's 'virulent anti-semitism' It was not merely that Reed was an anti-semite, but that he allied his anti-semitism to conspiratorial fantasies Reed, in books such as Far and Wide and The Controversy of Zion , outlined his notions about jewish plans to take power of the world by subverting independent nations. As Thurlow (1984) points out in his study of British fascism, Reed was one of the first anti-semitic writers to deny the reality of Hitler's persecution of the Jews

Today Reed's work is unread by mainstream political thinkers, but continues to be much venerated by anti-semitic and fascist groups on the extreme right. Reed is an especial favourite of the UK National Front, which is currently following a Strasserite line His books, alleging Jewish conspiracies for world domination, are distributed in fascist circles and frequently quoted in anti-semitic publications. For example, Candour (July/August 1986) quoted conspiratorial notions from Reed's Far and Wide in 'an effort to persuade readers that there is a very cogent argument in support of the Conspiracy Theory' (p. 62) The National Front's magazine, Nationalism Today , recently ran a series featuring quotations from writers who 'laid the foundations' of its ideology: issue 19 featured Reed and his ideas about Jews, conspiracies and Jewish conspiracies. It is unsurprising that the sayings of Douglas Reed should appear in National Front publications. It is more noteworthy, to say the least, when they are quoted by Enoch Powell…..