Cable Street Remembered

A former Tax official who’s millionaire wife avoids tax and his opponent ‘Pound-shop Thatcher’ are attempting to get the votes of a constituency of 0.2% of the British people. So they are both coming out with increasingly extreme right wing dogma to appeal to the “We did not fight a war for this!” crowd…
Who sort of miss the point of why the war they are generally talking about was fought, and were too young as a rule to have fought in these days to start with…

The latest bullshit idea to be floated by the Tax dodging former chancellor, is that ‘being mean about poor old Britain and its history, should be some from of criminal offence, as clearly it marks you out as a terrorist…

Having read my own work, it has become clear to me I am a terrorist under this definition, as this segment of A Scar of Avarice clearly illustrates..

No matter where they are in the world, an Englishman’s body language is always saying the same thing…

‘We’re so sorry we colonised your country in our imperial majesty, the empire was a terrible thing, glorious of course, so very, very glorious, and we gave you so much; cricket, impoverishing debt, that strange inferiority you foreigners can’t help but feel when an Oxbridge accent is in the room, partition, and so many train stations, while we took all your cultural treasure back to dear old Blighty and stuck them in draws in the “Vic and Bertie”. Gods it was a glorious thing the empire, bloody glorious.’

‘Bloody too come to that, but you can’t paint half the world pink without spilling a little red now can you? But we brought you the rule of law, habeas bloody corpus, lawyers and all that. And let’s not forget parliamentary democracy because god knows that’s working out so bloody well for us…’

‘But, it was, of course, terrible, utterly terrible and we’re so, so, so very, very sorry about all that now.’


From A Scar of Avarice

Clearly I need to be locked up now as satire has become illegal. I shall just have to hope, being as I am a straight white male in his 50’s, no one will notice and come and lock me up…

To be clear, Britain was built of the bones of others. It was build very well, because we were damn good it. As far as colonial powers go we were the greatest and most successful of all time. To deny that is to lie. Yes Britain gave the world Habeas Corpus, Parliamentary Democracy, Cricket… etc to a world that previously was unaware of ‘playing a straight bat’, and ‘silly mid-off’. But there are a whole lot of bad things about it as well. Far more bad, in the cold light of the 21st century, than good.

I speak as a proud Brit. But I am as proud of those who fought at the Battle of Cable Street, as I am of those who fought the Battle of Britain. Prouder if I am honest about it because those who fought the fascists at Cable Street did so despite those in power having more in common with Moseley’s Brown shirts than those who chose to stand in their way. People forget fascists were not universally despised by the upper echelons of British society until the out break of WWII.

The right to dissent is central to our democracy, to paraphrase an old saying, ‘I may not agree with you, but I’ll go in to bat for your right to your views.’

Up to, but not including, the moment you try to call people terrorists for having a different opinion to yours or expressing a less than reverent attitude to Britain… Because I am damn sure while I. a straight white male in his 50’s, am not about to have anyone come after me for saying Winston Churchill was a bigoted misogynist racist, I don’t think people who are not straight white males in their 50’s have the same pass as I would get for say so.

*he was btw, brilliant leader in the war years and a hero in many ways I will happily admit, he was however also very very flawed…

Anyway,. I am sure this is just electioneering, I am sure that pound-shop and the tax avoiders husband have no intention of moving Britain further to the right than it always resides… But someone might want to remind them of the battle of cable street at some point, if that’s what they intend to do…

Note 1

This rant BTW is all fault of Nimue Brown, and her somewhat more elegant blog post on the subject. You should read her blog for more insightful stuff. Or just because its always a brilliant read…

Note 2

As I really should occasionally mention my own work directly… The A Scar of Avarice Novella is now available as part of the following collection…


About Mark Hayes

Writer A messy, complicated sort of entity. Quantum Pagan. Occasional weregoth Knows where his spoon is, do you? #author #steampunk
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