Thursday, 13 October 2016

We badges three

It was the early 1960s. We were 15 years old.
Albert, Glyn and I went to a youth CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) meeting in Herne Hill. In some rich girl’s house.
What a waste of time. Lots of vague hypothesizing.
There were some nauseating Trots (Trotskyists) there as well. They do go on and on. Terrible bores
This aimless chit chat was too soft for us grammar school solidarity-with-the-working-class kids from Brixton. We, who used to fight and heckle Mosley’s fascists when they started coming out onto our streets again, were looking for some real action.
So we decided to wear CND badges, the ones with the “peace” sign, to school. Does not sound much, but for us it was a courageous act of rebellion. Our school had strict clothing rules and badges were not allowed.

We three were the vanguard of a new movement, or so we thought. 
There were other CND supporters in our year. A plot was hatched. We decided that everybody would wear their badges to school on a badge-day of our choice. 
And as agreed, it came to pass.
However, unknown to us, our plans had been betrayed to the gym teacher who was a fascist and a racist.
On our badge-day he went from class to class telling our group of revolutionaries to either take off their badges or go down to the headmaster’s office and face the consequences.
Those of the miserable petite bourgeoisie with no honour complied with his command and removed their badges.
Only Albert, Glyn and I ended up in the headmaster's office. We badges three were Narodnik shepherds without a flock.
We were suspended and sent home.
We got into the national newspapers. The Daily Mail was on our side. Something about the new intellectual elite. I liked that.
My parents sent me to the doctor. Just to make sure there was nothing clinically wrong with me.
As we were now notorious, we were invited to visit youth CND headquarters. We went but I did not feel at home there, had the feeling I was in the wrong place. These la-di-da, wishy-washy armchair socialists were not part of my political world.
I remember one specific occurrence. A delegation of youth peace activists from Leningrad came in. They looked quite old to me. I noticed that they were all stocky, well-built men with close-cropped hair. In any other situation I would have said they were soldiers.

The vision of those "peace" activists stayed with me. After all, I reasoned, the Soviet Union would be very pleased if the UK renounced nuclear weapons. I came to the conclusion that CND was one of the pawns the Russians were using to weaken the West in the Cold War.
As I shared George Orwell's intense dislike of the Soviet Union, I threw out my badge. Away with you, "o viper vile".
The old CND was basically an elitist fringe group of misguided, naive dreamers who peacefully protested a lot. It has morphed into the Stop the War Coalition.
StW is different. It is hard-left, violent and bigoted. The stooge of any organisation or country that is anti-West. The Trots/Lenninists are no longer just a boring minority. They are running the show.
They want power and will use any means necessary to get it.
According to the Telegraph, they are taking over the Labour party.
File image of the 2003 Stop the War Coalition's protest against Iraq War 

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