Saturday, 1 October 2016

Getting The Cable

Tuesday will mark the eightieth anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street.

No one remembers the role of the ILP, which had a larger presence at Cable Street than the Communist Party did. Just as no one remembers the Battle of Stockton three years earlier. But hey ho.

The working class is not, and it has never been, any more racist than society at large. Or any less so, back in the day, but the point still stands.

On the contrary, the working-class movement has always been at the forefront of anti-racist and anti-Fascist activity.

No one who has read any history beyond GCSE level (if that) thinks that Fascism has ever been a working-class phenomenon.

Education, Not Segregation begins with opposition to the return of the class-oppressive system of selective secondary schooling, with its impact on the primary curriculum, too.

But it does not end there.

Everyone should know about the Battle of Cable Street. And indeed about the Battle of Stockton. They should all have been taught these things in school.

As much as anything else, that might stop anyone from falling for the extraordinary suggestion that there had ever been a taboo against debating immigration.

The rest of us must have been in a coma when that taboo was in effect.

It is a regular claim of the increasingly angry and dispossessed Right, the people who put the "petty" into "petty bourgeois", that any debate that they have lost has in fact never been held.

With UKIP as good as defunct, and with a kind of German Christian Democrat elected unopposed as Conservative Leader, they have lost an awful lot of debates.

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