In October 1936, during the hostilities of the Spanish Civil War, the nationalist General Emilio Mola and his supporters besieged Madrid with four columns of troops. Mola claimed he had additional troops within the city and so the term 'fifth column' was born, becoming the name given to infiltrators or collaborators with the enemy, in other words, traitors who lived within a community but whose loyalties lie with those seeking to destroy it.
For many years we have had our own fifth columns in the UK, usually not military, but instead the "useful idiots", a term that was used by the Communists to describe Soviet sympathisers in Western countries. It is thought that Lenin was the first to use the term and it was used by the Soviets for many years to ridicule misguided Americans who were willing to take the Marxist side against their own country. Today the term is used to describe those who support a malignant cause which they naïvely believe to be a force for good.
In the inter war years we were afflicted by those, often members of the upper classes, who saw the fascist powers of Europe as a bulwark against Communism and worked within our country to advance the cause of Hitler and Mussolini. Thankfully, the British people never accepted their poisonous ideas and many of these imbeciles lived to see the utter crushing of their beloved idols. At the same time, and indeed for a great deal longer, there were those, again often from the privileged classes, who, either openly like George Bernard Shaw, or clandestinely, like the Cambridge spies, defended, or worked for Stalinism.
Asked whether he believed that the revolution had "attracted degenerate types", Shaw replied: "On the contrary it has attracted superior types all the world over to an extraordinary extent wherever it has been understood." He continued: "But the top of the ladder is a very trying place for old revolutionists who have had no administrative experience, who have had no financial experience, who have been trained as penniless hunted fugitives with Karl Marx on the brain and not as statesmen. They often have to be pushed off the ladder with a rope around their necks," thereby justifying Stalin's execution of many of those who had led the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. The traitors like Philby were responsible for the deaths of many good people and most never accepted that the cause for which they betrayed their country had proved to be evil.
Now of course the enemy has changed but still we find the same phenomenon, those who actually take action against us from within, and those who defend and excuse the ideology behind such actions. We know of the home grown terrorists, some of whom blew up the London tube trains, killed a British soldier on the streets of Woolwich or who have gone to the Middle East in order to take part in the killing of innocent Westerners, and others, in the name of a twisted religious belief. These people must be dealt with but, just as pernicious, are the Western liberals, who seek to justify their foul crimes by blaming our own foreign policy, or an imagined Islamophobia, for the fact that terrorists are trying to destroy us.
One can be certain that the idiocy of the EU's open borders, the Schengen agreement and the promotion of a so called multicultural society, are all factors in creating a situation where innocent civilians in London, Paris, Berlin or any other Western European city, are exposed to attacks from the thugs of Daesh. The utter stupidity of the German Chancellor, in inviting unlimited, and unchecked hordes of migrants into Europe, has exacerbated the situation, to the point where we now see a major capital, Brussels, in almost total lockdown because of the fear of terrorism.
We are fortunate that, in being an island, we can defend ourselves from infiltration much more effectively than can the nations of continental Europe. We must ignore the siren voices of the liberal left and take all necessary steps to prevent our country becoming a battleground. To do so we must of course withdraw from the EU, closing our borders to any we do not wish to enter, while at the same time ensuring that it is made clear to those who have come here from abroad to live that we expect them to integrate into our society, accepting that they must accept the values of the indigenous population and that, should they not wish to do so, to leave.
None of these steps are based on any hatred for, or disrespect to, others but are common sense measures to preserve our democracy and our way of life. The idiots of the Guardian reading liberal left will squeal but, as always, they are totally misguided and should be ignored.