Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

The distortion of the past is getting out of control. Truth is only available to the few privileged with fond memories or access to crumbling, forgotten archives. So you can say what you like.

The BBC’s new Sunday night drama Ridley Road is a perfect example of this. At first glance, it used to look like a harmless paddle into the lost world of harnesses and British-made cars.

But it is carefully designed to give viewers the impression that in 1962 Britain was threatened by a major Nazi style movement, led by a man named Colin Jordan.

It begins with the claim on the screen that ‘public support across the country is increasing’ for Jordan’s neo-Nazis.

Thereafter, the drama makes a conscious effort to suggest that people living in Britain at the time, who were concerned about major changes in their lives, were easy prey for Nazi recruiters from this movement.

Such people are portrayed as being rather weak and also as saying that they ‘want our country back’, in what to me looks like a gross and ugly attempt to make these fascist dupes sound like leave voters today.

The BBC's new Sunday night drama Ridley Road is a perfect example of this.  At first glance, it looks like a harmless paddle into the lost world of harnesses and British-made cars.

The BBC’s new Sunday night drama Ridley Road is a perfect example of this. At first glance, it looks like a harmless paddle into the lost world of harnesses and British-made cars.

As for the creators of this series, if you are a conservative at all, you are truly a Nazi.

There is plenty of other waste in this program. But the exaggeration of Jordan’s significance is ridiculous. He was a pathetic nobody and a national figure of humor, not a potential Fuhrer.

The newspapers of the time called his outfit ‘Britain’s little Nazi party with jackboot-and-swastikas’. His greatest moment of fame, portrayed but not properly explained in the program, was a pro-Hitler demonstration in Trafalgar Square on Sunday, July 1, 1962. It attracted almost no support but thousands of hostile counter-protesters.

The Times on 2 July 1962 reported: ‘Throughout the meeting, the speakers, Mr Dennis Pirie, Deputy Secretary, John Tyndall, Secretary of State and Mr Colin Jordan, leader of the movement, were continuously shouted down and furred with ears, tomatoes and rotten eggs, of an overwhelming host of about 2,000.

‘The few people who raised their hands in a serious Nazi salute looked clearly nervous.’

The Daily Mail from the same date said: ‘The police were fighting to keep the angry crowd, many of them Jews, away from the loudspeakers. Hundreds of men and women sang ‘Six Million! Six million! ‘, A reference to the Jews who died under the Nazis.’

It is clear from the reports that Jordan had no followers then or later. Eventually, one of his other Nazis was beaten quite hard before the platform party fled in vans from the angry crowd. Jordan himself only got away because a phalanx of police protected him and blocked the entrance to the Underground while he escaped.

Eventually, the district court ruled that Jordan had violated the Public Order Act of 1936 by using abusive behavior that he no doubt had. At the time, he was already in jail making TV antennas after being convicted of a ridiculous attempt to set up a private army. He had also lost his job as a teacher at a secondary modern school.

Later, he initiated a comic opera marriage with the leather-clad lady Francoise Dior, niece of the great fashion designer. Francoise liked to wear a swastika pendant, even though it got her in trouble with many London taxi drivers. One ripped it from her throat and refused to ‘drive a stinking Nazi’.

The couple held a ‘Nordic’ wedding at their non-impressive party office, not far from where Grenfell Tower now stands. While a crowd outside threw bottles and eggs at the building, Jordan and his Nazi bride mixed dribbles of their blood in a grotesque ceremony while listening to a record of the Horst Wessel song. It was not a happy or lasting union.

Not long after, Francoise condemned Jordan, saying, ‘I thought I married a leader and a hero, but found out I had married a middle class.’ You can see why. Jordan, a lovely, non-descriptive face, lived with his mother Bertha on a suburban road in Coventry.

Nazism was not on the rise again in 1962. Jordan was not a great figure. British people were then as now sensible, level-headed and humorous. The law found plenty of ways to detain Jordan and people like him. The whole basis of the BBC drama is waste. The obvious effort to connect normal patriotic conservatives with bigots and Nazis in the public mind is low and dirty.

They tell these lies because they can and they will use drama for propaganda. If the BBC does not want to stop doing this with public money, they do not deserve to survive.

Only you can stop the threat of e-scooters

It is now quite clear that the government is trying to undermine its own law against e-scooters. Why? These motorized toys are inherently unsafe for their riders and the public and have proven to be a threat wherever they have been legalized.

It is now quite clear that the government is trying to undermine its own law against e-scooters.  Why?

It is now quite clear that the government is trying to undermine its own law against e-scooters. Why?

Even here, where they are still rare, deaths and the number of injured children continue to rise. They are not green as their batteries are charged from power plants and they are often delivered to rental stations in diesel cars. They do not reduce car consumption.

No driver will abandon a car that is protected from shock and weather, to drive on a tin tray through the sludge and jump through holes on small wheels.

But many young people will stop walking and cycling to use them, thus ruining their health.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps has given permission for dozens of alleged experiments in which rental companies are allowed to rent out these machines even though their use on the public highway is illegal.

This is because they simply cannot meet the minimum safety standards that normally apply to motor vehicles. Many stores, in my opinion, quite shamefully sell them when they need to know that their buyers will ride them illegally.

Who is responsible for evaluating these experiments? What tests do they use? Their main effect is to weaken the law and soften the public for general legalization. Only mass protests will prevent what has to be a disaster. Write to your MP now while there is still time.

Fooled by the grinning wolves

I was amazed to find myself in a performance in the latest television attempt to portray the emergence of New Labor.

For some reason, the program (intriguingly called Blair And Brown) used a still image of me sitting in a room with the Blair entity and his mental officer, Alastair Campbell, during the 1997 election. Blair and Campbell laugh like wolves.

This was because they had just fooled me, something I’m still ashamed of. I had been standing at the door of the building they were roaming in. They were so scared that I could ask an awkward question that they would not come out.

They were plagued by the memory of a clash I had had with Neil Kinnock some years before, which had ended badly for Labor.

Eventually, they sent a smiling envoy to see me. Do I want an interview with the great leader? I could hardly refuse it, but like a fool I failed to impose any conditions. So I came in and they asked abruptly, ‘What do you want to ask then?’

When I started, they laughed at the question (about schools) and they started leaving the room.

It was a kind of compliment, but I still wish I had been on the doorstep in Birmingham. Who knows what could have happened?

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