Not Waving, RA Vol 3, Issue 1, June/July '98

Paul Foot on Racism

The Guardian (24 March) saw the Paul Foot column dominated by an account of a black woman teacher attacked on her way home from school and harassed ever since. 'NF' and swastikas were daubed on her kitchen door. Police are treating the campaign as racial harassment and have installed a panic button in her home. Paul the revolutionary asked Alison the teacher "what could be done." She suggested that more money should be spent on school security. "If there had been a surveillance camera outside that school building that night, the thugs would have been caught and locked up by now. Secondly: schools should spend more time and effort teaching people not to be bullies and not to be racists." She suggested that as "these young men must have been to school somewhere" and assuming the school implemented anti-racist policies, she concluded it was presumably because 'their parents are racist'. Paul of course, concurs. "This part of London harbours racist gangs, inspired by fascist propaganda, which glorifies bludgeoning and murdering people because of the colour of their skin. They represent a tiny minority, universally hated and despised. Perhaps the Stephen Lawrence inquiry should extend its terms of reference and make some practical recommendations about how these gangs can be identified, isolated and stopped'. Theory: fascist propaganda makes racists. Racist's make children, who make race attacks. The attackers are a tiny minority universally hated. Solution: CCTV; intensive race awareness at a school; and a public inquiry to make some "practical recommendations" to stop them. Since 1986 a series of reports, often containing the very 'practical solutions' Paul Foot believes in, came to some very different conclusions. They found that:
(1) The politically correct approach proved disastrous in working class areas.
(2) Racial incidents are at an all time high and rising.
(3) Race attackers often come from homes that are non-racist
(4) Entire communities actively protect the perpetrators.
(5) The BNP though not active in an area have an important symbolic significance.
(6) Race awareness policies are themselves often the primary source of racism.
(7) Local government policies buy into racialisation in a very visible way.
(8) It is this creation of difference that sets communities against each other.
For the last thirteen years, these devastating reports have all been systematically buried or binned. This is a major scandal. A knowing determination to address the symptom rather than the cause is not a sincere attempt to resolve the problem of racial violence but to - perpetuate it. Paul Foot has a reputation for investigative reporting - well there's something to investigate Paul.

43 Group

On April 22, a film dedicated to The 43 Group was shown at Hackney Town Hall. It told the story of 43 Jewish ex services personnel, 38 men and 5 women, who returned from WW2, to find London in particular, awash with an estimated 10,000 unrepentant and undefeated fascists. They decided something needed to be done, and formed the paramilitary 43 Group. Hundreds joined; the spearhead being formed by 300 former commandos who took on the fascists with ill-disguised relish. Meetings and marches were smashed up at a rate of 3 or 4 a week. After 4 years of unrelenting violence, Moseley's boys were on their knees. As Vidal Sassoon commented 'we beat them because we hated, and were more ruthless'. In discussions afterward the consensus was that nowadays a combination of multi-ethnic coalitions, education and the Special Branch was the best solution. Militants should have the courage to stand back and let the future unfold we were told. The same political forces historically responsible for the Holocaust will concede, without another punch being thrown that 'the future belongs to us', apparently. Which is nice.
Andy Shaw

Reproduced from RA vol 3, Issue 1, June/July '98