FROM WALSALL ANARCHIST BOMB PLOT ON THE THE FURTHEST EAST RHYTHM CLUB IN THE WORLD AND THE FIRST SOLIDERS’ PAPER SINCE CROMWELL’S NEW MODEL ARMY.Monday, October 23rd, 2006
Many thanks for the write-up in the SHS Oct. Newsletter of the Walsall Anarchist ‘Bomb Plot’Â with the photograph I had not seen before of yourself, Rosemany Logan and me at the booklaunch of my Socialism in Birmingham and the Black Country at the House of Commons.The non-existant plot of 1892 is paralled by the non-existent plot of 2006 where the main purpose is to be able to spy on the Labour movement, this time Muslims in particular, but also anti-war Labour MPs and the trade union movement in particular.
I move on to the two appendices of my autobiography Subversive - One Third of the Autobiography of a Communist. First the record of the Furthest East Rhythm Club in the World at Imphal, Burma whose unique achievementÂ of 39 weekly meetings of its 52 members in a war zone were fully and wittily recorded and interrupted by the Japanese offensive which they hoped to conquer India and beyond, but in fact led to the siege of Imphal, where we were surrounded for three months by the Japanese and were supplied by what was then the biggest air lift known. The records of this jazz club came home with us and are deposited in the Jazz Archives at Loughton Library. Ever since we have been trying to interest bands or disc jockies in repeating these record sessions and thus give as much pleasure to modern jazz fans as they did to us over 60 years ago. The only two known toothless survivors are still attempting this in a year allegedly devoted to honouring those who sacrificed so that the world should be freed from racism and Nazis and we are still hoping we will live to see the day that these sessions are replicated.
The other appendix from my autobiography asks the question were the soldiers’ paper we distributed in 1942 calling for a second front in Europe in 1943 the first since the days of Cromwell’s New Model Army? Today attention is directed at the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, Sir Richard Dannatt,Â who has had the courage to say that the presence of the British army exacerbates the poisition in Iraq. Such opinions in the not too distant past had been deemed treason and theÂ soldiers shot. This was not quite the case in 1942 when my papers were published, but the authorities were not amused and took the coward’s way out of detaching me from my unit and sending me abroad where I served four years in India and Burma. Appeals under the Freedom of Information Act have brought the reply that there is no information on my being exiled abroad for publishing the 4 issues of Second Front. Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they? But those concerned with the questions I have raised in the Socialist History Society and elsewhere concerning the origins of the Communist Party Group in Burma during the 2nd World War willl knowÂ that some interesting Anarchist material has emerged about their newspapers during the 2nd World War. However, none of these so far produced were solders’ newspapers published by soldiers. Thus it seems to me that at present I lead the field and will expect the SHS, the Labour History and evenÂ bourgoise publications such as History Today to note my claims and join a debate either to refute or support meÂ on what after all is a not unimportant historic question.
GB Working Class Library and Free Communist Bookshop