Front-page Fascist quote ignites Forest

A local newspaper has stunned readers by taking its quote of the week from the words of the Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini.

The quote, “Socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, a blackmail”, ran across the top of the Newsquest-owned Epping Forest Independent’s masthead.

Epping resident and former journalist Bill Boyle was so outraged after the Independent dropped through his letter box that he fired off an angry e-mail to the paper.

Boyle, who now works in public relations with WHB Communications, wrote: “What on earth were you thinking of, putting a quote from a Fascist on your front page? Why don’t you go the whole hog and put a quote from Hitler on the next Independent? Or why not a leader of the British National Party, who consider Mussolini a hero? Or maybe a world-beater such as Pol Pot? What about his thoughts on Inner City congestion? Can we have quotes from positive role models, not mass-murderers please?” Independent editor-in-chief Martin Oldaker told Press Gazette: “The newspaper has been carrying a quotation from various historical figures across the top of its front page since March 2002. We have received only two complaints from readers.”

By Jon Slattery

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