We’ve been treated to the strange sight of the Daily Mail feigning horror at someone’s fascist past. Of course, they have a reason. Max Mosley has funded and supported Impress, the sort of press regulator Lord Leveson called for in his report, and newspaper proprietors hate. He’s depicted as an enemy of press freedom; actually he fights media bullying.
So let me tell you about Mosley’s fascist past, as only I can do.  I know where Max Mosley was in the fifties, because, spiritually, I was there too.
Children pick up their parents’ ideas by a sort of osmosis. They don’t know they’re doing it. And precisely because they haven’t thought the ideas through, they can, if they are intelligent and instinctively loyal, take them on in a ludicrously exaggerated way.
When I was a teenager, I was certain, in a way I cannot now understand, that the holocaust (I never called it that) was invented by the Jews to further their plan for world domination, and that they had persecuted and imprisoned my father for trying to expose their nefarious schemes.  There was much else besides; but that will do as an indication of the poison in my mind.
My father, John Beckett, was Oswald Mosley’s chief propagandist in the 1930s and edited Mosley’s newspapers. Like Mosley, he was interned during the second world war. I loved my father and believed he had been persecuted by the Establishment and the Jews.
By the time I was 20, I was completely cured (I think cured is the right word). With Max Mosley, it lasted a little longer. That’s easily explained.  My father died in my late teens; Mosley’s father lived well into his adult life.  My father had given up politics well before he died; Mosley’s father was still making absurd attempts at a comeback, and wanted his son at his side.
And, at a London further education college and at Keele University, I met a couple of great teachers who taught me to think.
For Mosley – whom I do not know, but I think I understand – it would have been a matter of loyalty.  You do not abandon your father at his lowest ebb.  If my father had fought a bye-election, as Mosley’s father did, I would have been at his side. 
And the evidence, should any newspaper have a motive to discredit me, would be available to it.
* Francis Beckett’s Fascist in the Family is published by Routledge.