—– Original Message —–
From: “George Barnsby”
To: “George Barnsby”
Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2008 9:34 PM
Subject: GEORGE BARNSBY BLOG SUNDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2008
> DAY SEVEN OF THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN.
> Yesterday I received a very welcome contribution to the history of the
> Labour Party from Mary Garner. Mary was the wife of Alan Garner ex-Labour
> councillor deceased and his identical twin brother Ray also deceased born
> 5 June 1929 at the Bath Road Nursing Home, Wolverhampton. All were from
> Socialist wing of the Labour Party and Mary herself was maid of all work
> the house they occupied at 37 Wanderers Avenue, Wolverhampton. Mary’s
> tells the history of the Garner twins from their birth to their deaths in
> the 1990s. Both the Garner twins joined the Young Communist League at
> various times in their lives and lived near George and Esme Barnsby with
> whom we were all friends for many years.
> My first thought on receiving Mary’s contribution was to ask her
> whether it might not be better of this were dealt with by Labour
> John Rowley, who has written a considerable amount on Wolverhampton Labour
> History and acquired the status of unofficial historian of W’ton Labour
> Party. Mary agreed that a copy be sent to John and we shall see what he
> about it. In the mean time the manuscript is safe in the George Barnsby
> Working Class Library and Free Communist Bookshop and the existence of the
> MS will be made known to all those interested in Labour history. These
> include Graham Stevenson the Transport and General Workers’ Union activist
> who has a collection of hundreds of Labour biographies, our own
> Wolverhampton archives under David Bishop now moving into its new HQs at
> Molineux House, Carl Chinn that magnificent historian of Birmingham and
> Black Country, Ned William of almost equal status and others.
> FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF ENOCH POWELL’S ‘RIVERS OF BLOOD’ SPEECH.
> Today the Observer commemorates 50 years since Powell’s infamous speech
> and attempts to make contact with those who opposed Powell back in 1968.
> The most important was Lance Dunkley, leader of the African-Caribbean
> community at the time, unfortunately he is named Lance Bunkley. Lance
> minces no words. ‘Powell was a psychopathic escapist with megalomiac
> tendencies’, and this about sums him up for many of us who have spent our
> lives fighting racism and fascism. Lance lived in the same road as Powell.
> ‘He had to pass my house to get to town, but he always walked on his side
> of the road, never mine’ he recalls. Lance was in 1969 as he is still in
> 2008 the leader of the African-Caribbean community in Wolverhampton.
> Leading the Indian community in 1969 was Naranjan Singh Noor (known
> universally as Mr.Noor), leader of the national Indian Workers’
> Association of his day. They had to bear the brunt of the hostility and
> violence generated against ethnic minority people by Powell’s impudence
> and stupidity. The most important white organisation of the time opposing
> Powell in Wolverhampton was the Communist Party of which I had the honour
> to be secretary from 1954 when Esme and I moved to Wolverhampton from
> London until I was 63 and had to retire on account of an irregular heart
> beat. During these days Lance, Mr.Noor and I constituted a triumvirate
> engaged continuously in struggle against racism and some of those
> campaigns deserve to be recorded again. For instance Ernie Rhoden, a
> person of some experience in colonial countries was appointed headmaster
> of a crack pot scheme by the then Tory controlled administration to build
> a school named the Grove to which all ethnic minority children would be
> bussed. This created a national scandal which was increased when he
> invited Enoch Powell to open the school! Rhoden continued to be racist and
> provocative when he forbad the wearing of turbans in school by Sikh
> children. Rhoden later provoked Mr.Noor to call him a racist and at a
> subsequent trial with probably an all white jury Rhoden was granted many
> tens of thousands of pounds damages which neither Mr.Noor or the IWA were
> able to afford.
> Mr.Noor suffered a break down in health. He later became a lecturer at
> Bilston Community College, where he became an important link in the first
> multicultural college in Britain with over one third ethnic minority staff
> while elsewhere black staff were virtually unknown. The story of the
> illegality of the closure of BCC is current history as we await papers
> obtained from the Security of Information Act.
FOOTBALL AND PATRIOTISM.
Football in Britain continues to attract the widest attention, even
though the question of ownership of clubs by US and other foreigners appears
to be less concern to players and spectators alike than results on the
field. Today we have had the spectacle of both teams in the Carling Cup
being owned by foreigners and no one turning a hair. Yesterday the
Premiership match between Birmingham and Arsenal resulted in one of the
worst injuries ever seen in Britain as Eduardo da Silva appears to have
compound fractures of both his tibia and fibular, injuries which could be
career threatening. Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager lost his rag and
declared that Martin Taylor the Birmingham player who caused the injury to
da Silva should never again be allowed to play football, a judgement which
he subsequently rescinded.
Yet Arsene Wenger remains perhaps the most important figure in British
football with his controversial policy of believing that British teams
(particularly its international side) should be owned by Britons while
insisting on playing teams of almost exclusively foreign extraction on the
plea that it is his job to produce the best team in the world for Arsenal
and its fans.
Like everything else in the world football is controlled by politics and
the Emirates financing Arsenal are at the reactionary end of politics,
supporting as they do George W.Bush and his racist and unwinnable wars in
Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
But Arsenal, the one team whose board insists that it should be British
controlled is now in grave danger of falling into foreign hands through the
back door. as Alisher Usmanov the steel magnate who became Arsenals’s
largest shareholder as he bought the holdings of David Dein last year and
the possibility of Usmanov being offered a seat on the board becomes a
reality. The reason? Arsenal is not only the most successful club in
Britain, but it is now the most profitable. As profits of Manchester United,
Chelsea and other premiership clubs droop (and the clubs themselves could
disappear if a slump on the 1930s scale appears) This is not a danger for
Arsenal who made a pre-tax profit of ?20 million in the six months to
November 2007, up ?3.4million more from profits made in the same six months
to 2006. Arsene Wenger insists that his priority is keeping his current
squad together and since they sit on top of the Premiership tonight with a
lead of three points Wenger says that Arsenal not only have no problems, but
also a large pot of gold to purchase players if necessary.
So those who put their filthy lucre into Premiership clubs to make
money, whether it be the Glazers of Manchester United, the Chelsea oligarch,
Liverpool, Manchester City, West Ham, Aston Villa or any other - lay off Arsenal, we are
not for sale to foreigners, we will do it the patriotic way.
76 years as Arsenal fan 56 years a Wolves supporter