Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Battle of Cable Street Re-enactment Society

As my blogging nom de plume may betray, I have always had a great interest in the events of the English Civil War, in which the original and best Trooper William Thompson played a small but courageous part. I have not taken it to such lengths as some however, who spend their weekends staging re-enactments of Civil War battles, although I'm sure it would be great fun. No doubt participants choose their sides carefully, with reference to the history and whether at heart they are a cavalier dog or a roundhead curr (these are the boys I'd join) but I'm sure once the smoke clears they all mingle in good spirits for a cup of mead or a flagon of ale.

Would that all re-enactment societies were as easy-going as The Sealed Knot, for this is exactly what Unite Against Fascism is, intent on recreating the street violence of 1930s England. No one's told them, it seems, that Oswald Mosley is not the threat he once was (what with being dead, and all that). So, without bothering with period costume, they engage in period sloganeering, such as 'No pasaran! They shall not pass!' and set about preventing groups they oppose from demonstrating. As this is an attempt to prevent other groups exercising legal rights, they often come into conflict with the police, who do not necessarily approve of their re-enactment activities.

The problem is that this group is endorsed by so many prominent politicians, who seem content to have a militant rent-a-mob to hand if required. Hopefully the latest trouble in Bolton will force some of them to back off support for such a stridently illiberal group.

No comments: