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CableStreet75years.jpg

Cable Street - Our Response
by Robert Edwards

My gratitude to reader Dave Westley of Middlesex for sending me a copy of the Review section of the Camden New Journal.

It has come and gone again, while the numbers diminish and the memories fade. On our side, there are no longer any old ex-Blackshirts to remember the day but the opposition can still bring out and prop up some of those who claim they shouted, “They shall not pass”.

Then there is the famous wall mural, given a little touching up for the special commemoration day. Keeping the red deepest red, so to speak.

I shall never forget for as long as I live”, echoed the remnants of Jewish opposition to Oswald Mosley in the 1930s ... in 2011 today. These old Reds can still spin a yarn on how they did it all single-handed with one arm tied behind their backs.

In the Review section of the Camden New Journal of Thursday, September 29th, Ubby Cowan, an organiser of the Communist Party in Stepney around the time of the ‘battle of Cable Street’ in 1936, relates how he pulled William Joyce off a platform in 1933.

I heard Joyce speaking and it was too much to bear. So I charged the stage and threw him off the platform. Cowan was then a mere Jewish lad of 16. It stretches credulity that a lad who should be at school could actually be capable of such an act. After all, William Joyce was then already an experienced and seasoned street orator and could ‘handle himself’ up against the toughest. Joyce would have been 27 years old in 1933.

There is also the fact that such an incident has never been reported or recorded ... anywhere. We simply have the word of a Jewish communist whose purpose in life, then and now, is to maintain myths that glamorise the anti-fascist struggle. Why let the facts get in the way of a tall story? History must serve the interests of the historical class struggle ... and modified accordingly.

According to Cowan, he grabbed Joyce and told him to “get out of it, you lying bastardand then he “sent him flying. Of course you did and Joyce never came back, did he? A 16 year old Jewish lad beats up the BUF’s main propaganda official. I do not think so. I do not believe it. Do you?

Ubby Cowan’s grandson is film maker Yoav Segal who has made a film of his grandfather’s ‘memories’. Segal claims the issues of 1936 resonate today in Britain. He says the English Defence League is the latter day equivalent of Mosley’s Blackshirts and the message is the same.

This absurd comparison should be shown up for the nonsense it is. For a start, the English Defence League is a Zionist-led ‘organisation’. Its main financial backer is a committed Zionist by the name of Alan Lake. His front man is Tommy Robinson (aka Yaxley-Lennon) who is on record as stating the EDL “stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel. He invites Muslim-hating New York rabbis across here to make threatening and offensive speeches against Muslims at EDL rallies.

EDL demonstrators are an unruly mob of foul-mouthed drunks. They have no real political ideology but are simply a single issue group ... hatred of Muslims. Nothing else.

Mosley’s Blackshirts were an orderly and disciplined force, imbued with a revolutionary faith. When they marched, they marched in formation and they were sober. Abusive language was forbidden.

Mosley’s leading foreign policy adviser, Robert Gordon-Canning, was an Arabist and, it is said, a convert to Islam.

There could not be two more distinctly different groups of people in every way. The comparison is an insult and a lie ... a slur on the true British patriots, the Blackshirts of Oswald Mosley.

No bigger lie was ever created in British political history than Mosley was stopped by a local popular uprising on October 4th 1936 and that he never set foot again in East London (or the “East End” to its Jewish inhabitants).

It was the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Philip Game, who ordered Mosley to cancel his march and not the organised opposition of Jews and communists.

The ‘battle of Cable Street’ was an enormous fight between those same Jews and communists ... and the Metropolitan Police. The 7,000 Blackshirts were waiting for the way to be cleared for them to march quite legally.

As was Mosley’s policy, Blackshirts were obliged to obey the law of the land. They obeyed Sir Philip Game ... but the following week there were a series of highly successful British Union meetings in about five East London boroughs which a Special Branch report revealed to consist of crowds of several thousands.

The same Special Branch report stated, “On 11 October, Sir Oswald Mosley addressed a meeting of 12,000 at Victoria Park Square and was enthusiastically received, later marching at the head of the procession to Salmon Lane, Limehouse, without opposition or disorder”.

Oh, yes, the membership of British Union in East London increased by 2,000 as a consequence. Not exactly the great defeat of Mosley’s Blackshirts, after all.

Camden’s Unison trade union did not quite get it right either ... they DID pass ... the following week!

While this year’s commemoration of Cable Street went off like a damp squib, so the meetings of anti-fascist bodies a week after the “battle” of Cable street were “abandoned due to lack of support. The Young Communist League’s meetings were especially targeted for hostile treatment at that time.

In the Daily Mirror of October 4, 2011, an article commemorating the 1936 event had this quote from Beatty Orwell now 94. “My block of flats used to be almost all Jewish; now it’s mostly Bengali. But we all get on, she says.

People need to get more involved in politics. We’re in a recession and fascism is on the rise again. The English Defence League says non-white people are taking jobs away, just like Mosley did with the Jews in the 1930s. We must avoid a repeat of Cable Street.

Well, first, I whole-heartedly agree that people should get more involved in politics. European Action has long advocated this. We would like people to think more, as well ... the purpose of our publication, European Socialist Action.

Fascism is not on the rise again because fascism perished in 1945. It was never revived by anyone and those who claim to be fascists today are silly imposters, childish imitators.

The English Defence League does not attack all non-white people ... only Muslims. This is barely disguised racism because most Muslims are brown. The EDL has no economic policy and, as a consequence, would not talk in terms of competition for jobs. They simply do not want mosques nor Sharia law. They miss the point that mosques are for Muslims, as is Sharia law. The EDL have their churches where they go every Sunday to sing hymns, don’t they? Except when they are in a Wetherspoons getting totally drunk, of course.

A repeat of Cable Street, Beatty? They have something similar every time the EDL have a demonstration in an area where there are Muslim communities. The police have been telling the EDL that they can not march but they can have a static demonstration. The reason for this is that the EDL is not a disciplined body of men, as previously stated. They are a mob of drunks looking for trouble.

That was never the case with Mosley’s Blackshirts.

From ESA No 37 November/December 2011

This site is maintained by Robert Edwards