Friday 19 July 2013

Multi-ethnic Britain before the Second World War

A lot of nonsense is being written lately about the numbers of non-whites who lived in Britain prior to the Second World War. Quite why people want to create a myth that Britain was always the polyglot society that it is today is anyone's guess, but it is just that, a myth. Prior to the war the history of Britain was a history of the interaction between the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh.

That is not to say that a large empire with enormous trading links with the rest of the world would not acquire people from all over the world, and with that in mind please say hello to the scout troop at St. Paul's Church, Hulme, Manchester in about 1926. My father, Charles Bell, is third from the right on the centre row. Sat in front is a Mr Luis, and according to my dad he hailed from Ethiopia and came to Manchester as a minster and ended up leading the scout troop.The whole of Hulme was rather pleased that the scout troop had a darkie leading it and by all accounts it made them the envy of the city.

Less than a decade later, in 1935 to be exact, an Indian doctor named Buck Ruxton was waiting to be hanged in Manchester for killing his wife and maidservant in Lancaster. Over 10,000 people signed a petition is a failed attempt to save him from the rope, and towards the end of the 1980s I met a very old man from Lancaster who was still upset that Ruxton had ended up having his neck stretched.

"They shouldn't have done it. Morecambe didn't have one but we did," he said to me. 

"Had what?"

"A wog. He were the town wog and they hung him."

So, Manchester had an Ethiopian and Lancaster an Indian, but that does not prove that either city was anything but English with an admixture of outsiders who were treated as curiosities - rather as I was in the semi-rural part of Mexico when I lived there. People quite liked having an Englishman around, and might even have welcomed two or three more, but I doubt if they would have wanted to see the town taken over by us.

The history of this island is fascinating enough without trying to create a pseudo history that will not stand more than a few minutes of close examination.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Monday 15 July 2013

UKIP's Future Looks Bleak

If you read the April postings on this blog you will know that I was engaged in a dispute with UKIP over a comment that I made when Thatcher went off to be toasted by hell's fires. Jonathan Arnott, the UKIP General Secretary, has now told me that I am no longer a party member for that comment, so it's time to take stock and try to reach a few conclusions about UKIP and its future.

In his letter, Arnott admitted that it was all due to the Thatcher comment. In fact, he even apologised that this had not been made plain to me earlier. Given that Fred McGlade, the Regional Organiser whose brain fart started this problem in the first place had been telling the press that the comment had nothing to do with the matter, this is an important, and amusing, turnaround.

Secondly, the letter then goes on to discuss a feud that broke out between some harridans from the Socialist Workers Party and a gang of UKIP members over a poster that the party had displayed in Manchester. I was only peripherally involved in that, but McGlade was briefing the press that it was all about that so I suppose that Arnott felt that it had to be dragged in, even though he had previously stated that it was all to do with my refusal to shed tears for Thatcher. Does this make sense to you? I tried to follow the argument, but I could not get my head that far up my arsehole to even begin making sense of it. The upshot is that Arnott thinks that I was nasty to some Trots... Yes, guilty as charged in defending what was then my party.

Finally, I had complained that McGlade had offered me a £230 sweetener to stand down, but had not wanted any receipts. I said that this looked rather like a bung, and Arnott's reply was that procedures may need to be looked at. In other words UKIP may stop paying people what look like bungs in the future, which rather begs the question how much of members' subscriptions have already been forked out with these type of payment?

Let me just summarise this nonsense: I failed to join in the wailing over the death of Maggot Thatcher and for that a supposedly independent political party suspended me. At the same time, a gang from another party, the SWP, were plotting against UKIP and I helped foil their plans. Instead of getting a crate of beer with thanks from the party, it is used against me by that party. Oh, and the party now admits that it may stop making dubious payments to people.

No matter what you think about me, this is all wonderful anti-UKIP material which I shall be only too happy to pass on to any political organisation that wants to use it.

I joined the part last year as it presented itself as the perfect vehicle of protest for people who were cheesed off with the current political set-up. As far as I was aware, UKIP was an anti-European Union coalition that sought to bring in all and sundry who opposed that organisation.

When I went to my first party meeting, it was explained to me that candidates for office are expected to fight their own campaigns under polices chosen by them. In other words, a candidate can select his polices from the UKIP manifesto rather as sweets are chosen from the counter of a corner shop. If elected, a councillor is not subject to any system of whipping and can vote as he sees fit. For a protest party this is a wonderful system, and it struck this old socialist as the perfect short and medium term solution to the lack of a serious working class party.

When UKIP asked me to run for them in the May 2013 elections - and they did, it was not as if I put myself forward - it was made plain to me that the campaign was mine alone to run and that I could expect little if any help from the party.

I then chose policies that I thought would appeal to the people of my working class district and I did that with the help of  Rob Burberry, the 2013 National Campaign Manager. In e-mails and telephone calls, Burberry helped create my leaflet and made suggestions as to its content with a view to improving its appeal to the people in my working class electoral district.

So when I made the Thatcher tweet expressing sympathy for His Satanic Majesty for having to admit the old whore into hell, I thought nothing more about it. The whole of the left was jeering, not at some addled old slag whose brain had long ago turned to mush, but as a reminder to those who worshipped her memory that we were still around and that revenge is still pending:

So why then did the UKIP full-timers have a collective funny turn? The only rational explanation is that the party is top-heavy with Thatcherites who shed bitter tears that Aunt Maggie is no longer around to tell them what to do.

The problem for UKIP is that it has now woken up to the fact that its support is spread evenly across the country and for that reason it is unlikely to win any seats in 2015. To get around that problem it needs  the support of the unskilled and semi-skilled working class voters who live on the vast, geographically concentrated council estates. Those people spend their lives in McJobs that are interspersed with long periods of unemployment, and are no longer represented by the middle class Labour Party.

On the basis that the party worships at the shrine of the Blessed Margaret, the notion that the drink beer, shag women, hate the boss working man is going to turn out for UKIP is too laughable for words.
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