Echoes of A New Tomorrow: Life after Revolution in the Commonwealth of Britain

  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


  • Paradox Space Exploration Sale has arrived! Up to 75% off

    How's the space on your hard drive? Paradox wants to challenge your galaxy brain with a great selection of space exploration games - and they're all on sale for some very down-to-earth prices! The sale runs from May 4th until May 10th at 17:00 CEST / 08:00 PDT.


    May 4th - May 10th
  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
Just catching up @DensleyBlair and am enjoying the Windscale calamity and its aftermath. I must congratulate you on your portrayal of Penney, a man I've always admired, he reminds me, in a way, of George VI (the crushing shyness, the weight of expectation etc).

Thank you, my friend. Penney is a fascinating character, in the sense that (to me at least) he seems to fulfil the classic trope of 'scientist just doing their job' while that job happens to be infinitely destructive. In this world, at least, there was no Anglo–American Manhattan Project, so the butterfly of Penney only having been involved in an entirely experimental Tube Alloys does away with the unfortunate fact of his involvement in some of the most heinous of the destruction.

I know @DensleyBlair has already responded, but this. True in our world, true in this one.

And a very grim fact, to be sure.

I did play it for a bit, but (tin hats at the ready) can't get into it. I find the 867 start unplayable in Western Europe, and 1066 is just a pile of 'meh'. So I'm 'retiring' it until some patches make it enjoyable.

Interesting. I am (as I've mentioned over in some of the CK3 AARs I've been following) yet to buy a copy, currently not being able to install any more games on my laptop so long as I have all of my Vicky mods. (My Steam library operates on a one in, one out policy – and with a rural internet connection, installing a game is a day's work, so best to get all shots right first time.) I also hadn't played CK2 for years before lockdown, so there's still plenty I feel I can get out of it. I'll probably pick up 3 the first time I notice it on sale.

Ironically, given my hatred of the Vanilla game, I've had fun in Vic2 recently. I still find it weirdly 'small' in scope, but I've had fun as Spain and GB.

It is an incredibly odd game, which I can only really bear thanks to the many excellent mods out there to keep the timelines interesting. But damn it I do enjoy the time period, and as far as writing goes I've never had much luck with anything else. Where I think it falls down is that,, of all the pdx games I've played, it is the most like a spreadsheet. Which I don't necessarily mind (here's looking at you, Football Manager) but there isn't much RP flavour to pull things back in the other direction. If they ever did a third (do I dare still hold out hope?) I'd love to see something like the HoI focus trees implanted. I think they'd do wonders for the game.
 
  • 1
Reactions:
Morning Coffee at the Partisan, 1959

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
ECHOES%20HEADER.jpg



MORNING COFFEE AT THE PARTISAN
1959



Ralph looked up from behind the counter as the coffee house door opened. In walked Stuart, a stack of papers clutched under his arm.

“Morning, Stuart.” Ralph greeted the new arrival cheerily.

“Morning, Ralph.” Stuart approached the counter and deposited his papers, taking off his overcoat and throwing it over the back of a nearby chair. “Anyone else in yet?”

“Cordelia is upstairs, although Will’s not in today. Something about staying home with the kids.” Intuiting that Stuart would want a drink, Ralph began to make up a pot of tea. He placed two cups on the countertop. Raising his voice a little over the mounting noise of the boiling water, he asked, “Everything alright in Birmingham?”

“Yes, yes. Nothing out of the ordinary. People are on edge about the election, mind you.” Ralph was unsure how best to react to this observation. It had been a long time since anyone had been remotely excited about an election. The change in mood brought nerves as well as optimism.

The whistle of the pot finishing its boil brought Ralph out of his thoughts and back to the business of tea. He poured out a cupful for Stuart and another for himself, letting his own cool a little before taking the first sip. In anticipation of Stuart’s next question, he produced some milk and sugar. Stuart smiled and adjusted his tea to taste, and the two men took a moment to enjoy their drinks before returning to the discussion at hand. Stuart spoke first:

“One thing that did worry me…” Ralph, cup of tea in hand, gave a hum that said, Go on. “It looks like the Ozzie Boys might be a bit more of a problem than we’d hoped. A film screening in a warehouse in Digbeth was broken up on Friday night.”

“How bad was it?” Ralph was used to reports like these in London, but things had tended to be a bit calmer outside of the capital. Stuart swallowed a mouthful of tea before responding.

“A few injuries, nothing too serious. The projector was smashed up, though, so we might have to think about money for new equipment if we want to keep up our presence in the area. You won’t hear about any of this on the news, of course.” Ralph nodded acceptance. The media was usually more than happy to report on ‘illicit youth gatherings’ when the youth in question didn’t sympathise with the government. In contrast, pro-Mosleyite gangs having their way with the dissidents remained conspicuously absent from the newspapers.

“And what about the kids in Digbeth? How are they taking it?” Ralph mostly dealt with the backroom work of running a political campaign group, so he was genuinely curious about the situation in the streets.

“Nothing they can’t handle.” Stuart finished his tea and replaced the mug on the counter. “Not that I’d know anything about it really. I just talk to them, ask if they need any materials from us and leave them to it. Hardly the stuff of the pictures, but there it is. Maybe this is what the revolution looks like after all?” Ralph laughed.

“Yes, well. It’s no street party that’s for sure. Just as long as I don’t find myself face to face with a Brylcreemed nineteen-year-old I’ll be happy to play my part.”



1950s%20SOHO%20JAZZ.gif


The various youth groups that now patrolled Britain’s streets had not started out as violent enterprises. Since the demise of Socialist Youth at the start of the decade, meetings between left-leaning teenagers had taken on an added frisson – the kind that legitimated youthful leisure in the first place – but they remained fairly unremarkable organisations. A dance party here, an evening lecture on political economy there; nothing more egregious than the screening of an underground film every once in a while.

But for some this was far too great a liberty. A significant number of those born since the first half of the previous decade had grown up under the influence of the Mosleyite hegemony, and anything outside of its perimeter they regarded with mistrust. The Commonwealth, and the lifestyle its citizens enjoyed, was sustained by active, ordered work. This meant playing one’s part in the community body, respecting the efficiency of the individual within the organisation, and fulfilling the virtue of youthful activity. This credo found its expression in the boxing ring or on the running track; in the workshops and in the schools. It wanted nothing to do with dancing or singing, or a taste for fashion beyond the basic work of keeping on top of one’s appearance. It read little aside from technical handbooks and mainstream newspapers. It embraced the fullness of a masculine existence without crossing any of its boundaries.

Against this tendency sat that which refused to fit neatly within its parochial ambitions. In the dominant conception, the lay of the land was quite simple to read: there were those who enjoyed the Commonwealth way of life, and there were those who wished to subvert it. The subversives wore wide-cut suits in bold patterns with white socks and thick-soled shoes. They grew their hair and styled it in elaborate ways. Some marked themselves with other idiosyncrasies, carrying umbrellas in dry weather, or wearing sunglasses under skies fully covered by clouds. Their music was uncompromising and the stories they told each other were banal. Their heroes were writers and singers and practitioners of guerrilla warfare. They stood for anything that looked like it had a chance of striking a blow at the grey heart of the crumbling Mosley system, and they looked down on all who worked to patch it up again.

Faced with this new and alien threat, apparently born of that most unassuming place: the British satellite town, few knew fully how to react. Most of the British population over the age of 30 had little idea of the youth battles that raged throughout the provinces on weekend nights. A clerk on their way to work in the morning might look askance at a group of girls in large suits at the other end of the train carriage, but they would not grasp the full sumptuary significance of their rebelliousness. Only the Ozzies – Mosley’s kids – flared up in violent outbursts, the primal response to the domestic foreigner. They spent their Friday nights stalking the town centres looking for signs of basement parties, evening lectures, book groups. If they happened upon anything that spooked them, they would strike; many a British youth came of age during fist fights outside fire escapes and legging it down the lanes after a party had been rumbled. This was how the hipsters got their name: Party Kids, the Ozzies called them, whether in simple derision or in ironic denial of their own loyalism, it is not clear. Happily, the name went both ways; the Party Kids were happy living as Partisans.

Ralph and Stuart were both in their mid-twenties, each at the upper fringes of what age might be considered acceptable to partake in the rituals of youth. But neither had had a particularly active upbringing in that regard, and in their promotion of the positive force of youth, and their regret for the violent consequences, they clung to a faith that held up the good in political participation across all spheres. (There was no doubt whatsoever that the political sphere now included jazz bands, rolled-up cuffs, bad cigarettes and pirated paperback novels.)



1950s ZAZOUS.jpg


Next year Cordelia would turn forty, and descending the stairs from the office and walking up to the drinks counter she regarded her two colleagues with knowing amusement.

“Morning, boys,” she said breezily. “Business going okay?”

“You know how it is, Cord. Peaks and troughs.” Ralph replied gnomically.

“And which is it today?”

“Oh, I should say we’re looking at another peak, all being well. Wouldn’t you, Stu?” Stuart caught Ralph’s obliging levity and tempered it.

“That, I think, we will find out after the election.” Cordelia shuffled around Ralph and started making herself a coffee.

“How are the Birmingham lot?”

“Not bad, as things go. Some trouble with the Ozzies on Friday night but nothing major.” Stuart projected less worry than he had felt earlier.

“Those bloody kids,” Cordelia cursed over the mounting hiss of the coffee pot. “Injuries?”

“None to write home about, thank goodness. And nothing they haven’t dealt with before.”

That’s rather the trouble.” Ralph interjected, low voiced. Cordelia’s coffee had boiled and she poured herself a mug.

“If it’s any help,” she began between sips, “I can put a word in with some of the old USAF[1] lot. I’m fairly certain some of my old comrades from the nursing corps are based in the West Midlands these days. Could always put your lot in touch if they want to learn some basic first aid. Just to be on the safe side.” Stuart nodded.

“That would be good, thank you. I’m sure the Digbeth group would appreciate it, too.”

The trio stood in silence for a moment as Cordelia drank her coffee. Ralph got out a wet cloth and started wiping down the counter. As he worked, he spoke:

“You’ve been writing this morning, Cord?” She nodded and made an affirmative noise.

“That piece on primary schools, about the changes to the history syllabus. All very gripping stuff compared with street fighting, of course.” Ralph smiled. Stuart grimaced wryly and said:

“At least in that youth battle you don’t have to worry about medical intervention.” Cordelia made a gesture of concession.

“Politics in full, eh? From the schools to the streets.” Cordelia took her coffee mug and moved out from behind the counter. “Anyway, we’ll have people in soon I’m sure so I won’t keep you. I’ll be upstairs if you need anything.” Ralph gave a cheery, See you later! while Stuart collected his papers.

“I should get to work, too. You mind if I plant myself at the back, Ralph?”

“’Course not,” Ralph replied without looking up. Stuart was already heading over to a beat-up armchair at the back of the room. “Will be glad to know you’ll be on hand in case things do a Digbeth!” Stuart smiled at the joke. Privately, and with more anxiety than he would have liked to admit, he hoped that there would be no need for him to be called upon.



_________________

1: USAF, United Socialists Against Fascism (and not the United States Air Force). Defunct Spanish War-era organisation aiding the Republican cause within the Commonwealth, usually through supply collections, cultural exchange initiatives and fundraising drives. Affiliated with the Socialist Front and led by George Orwell.
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:

TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
51 Badges
Mar 4, 2016
5.803
2.157
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Battle for Bosporus
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
It embraced the fullness of a masculine existence without crossing any of its boundaries.

Jesus Christ, we need a feminism over here stat! Preferably several waves.

So the whole rotting edifice is starting to come down. Hopefully the socialist youth will then return to harness the swinging sixties and seventies for good. Otherwise, people are just going to go batshit under the new libertine for a while before doing anything. And its important for something useful to happen, because it makes reapraochment towards the amercian and former commonwealth much easier if the academics and youth/minorities are all starting to discuss things with each other again.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
Jesus Christ, we need a feminism over here stat! Preferably several waves.

We're probably still on schedule for the second wave arriving in the mid-Sixties. (Second, assuming the pre-revolutionary first wave ended with the advances cemented during and after the Revolution.) If anything, close cooperation with the French may actually furnish a far better original translation of Le deuxième sexe and kick off a sort of feminist existentialism a tiny bit earlier – at least underground.

So the whole rotting edifice is starting to come down. Hopefully the socialist youth will then return to harness the swinging sixties and seventies for good. Otherwise, people are just going to go batshit under the new libertine for a while before doing anything. And its important for something useful to happen, because it makes reapraochment towards the amercian and former commonwealth much easier if the academics and youth/minorities are all starting to discuss things with each other again.

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that the 1956–67 section of the timeline is subtitled "New Left", so safe to say a lot of the cultural links that produced the various radical liberal movements of the Sixties OTL still stand, albeit in a necessarily different way. The Bevanite Sixties will have their share of advances, frustrations and cultural battlegrounds.

Rapprochement with America is a little way off, so long as the Cold War Democrats maintain that the Eurosyn and the Communist bloc are both as bad as each other. But it's not beyond reach. Transatlantic cultural cross pollination is going to play an increasingly large role over the ext decade, though, so on that front there's definitely room for stuff to happen.
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
124 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.935
3.432
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
It feels all a bit humdrum, but then important things often can be. You take one day after another and before you know if you have a revolution, or you've survived the Blitz, etc. etc.

What's depicted in this update seems ... innocent is the word I think I am going to use. I feel a but like we are seeing Desmoulins and Danton in the mid-1780s if that makes sense.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
It feels all a bit humdrum, but then important things often can be. You take one day after another and before you know if you have a revolution, or you've survived the Blitz, etc. etc.

Indeed. Not often you actually get to be aware of living through history as it is happening. The day to day work that goes on behind the scenes in anticipation of any pivotal moment is often exceedingly mundane.

What's depicted in this update seems ... innocent is the word I think I am going to use. I feel a but like we are seeing Desmoulins and Danton in the mid-1780s if that makes sense.

Aye, perfect sense. There seems little reason why we should dwell on any of it, if only save the implication that, in time, these characters will become central to the drama.
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
The next update is sort of a companion piece to the last (to adapt @stnylan‘s analogy, it’s as if looking back at Danton from the 1800’s). My thinking is to push ahead at the current pace and get through the Mosley’s final days stuff so we can finally arrive in the Swinging Sixties. Things being so quiet at the moment, I don’t anticipate slowing down will particularly lead to more discussion – and I dare say the new decade might actually give us more to talk about. With that in mind, I’ll find a moment to put up the next update tomorrow.

Writing has hit a go-slow of late, and there are a number of foreign affairs plot points around the middle of the Sixties I need to resolve (in concert with @99KingHigh), but today I did manage to get down a few words on a pretty big domestic incident in 1966. (I’ll leave it to your imaginations as to what that might be.) Next week I’m travelling back up north to spend the autumn at my mum’s, so the change in lifestyle will probably encourage more writing. As is always the way of things, now that I’ve only got five years of timeline left to write for this “book”, things have slowed big time. But I do want to get this wrapped up ASAP so I can start thinking about planning the Seventies (and beyond?)

On that point: I’ve skirted the issue in the past, but just to say for the record that Echoes of A New Tomorrow will finish once we hit 1969. After this, there’ll be a sequel (working title: After the Echo) taking things through to the *end of the Cold War. I’m of two minds whether this should be accompanied by a move to a new thread: on the one hand, for ego’s sake I like the idea of having the whole timeline in one big super-thread; on the other, I’m anticipating a change in style, and I have a hunch that breaking things up may be more accessible to any who may wish to hop onboard for round two. But we’ll cross that bridge…

So another slightly indulgent BTS post, but TL;DR: next update tomorrow; Sixties fast approaching; sequel in the works. Stay tuned!
 
  • 1
Reactions:
Look Back In Anger: The Birth of the Partisan Movement

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
ECHOES%20HEADER.jpg



LOOK BACK IN ANGER
THE BIRTH OF THE PARTISAN MOVEMENT

TALKING POINT
1974



Jeremy Isaacs: “Good evening everyone and welcome to Talking Point. My name is Jeremy Isaacs, and I will be chairing what hopes to be a lively discussion this evening on the topic of the Partisan movement: the left-wing group that played a significant role in opposition to the government during Chairman Mosley’s final years power, and beyond. We are joined by a number of guests for tonight’s discussion and I will introduce them to you now. First on the left we have the writer and screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz.”

Wolf Mankowitz: “Good evening.”

Isaacs: “Next on our left we have the sociologist and cultural theorist Professor Stuart Hall.”

Stuart Hall: “Good evening.”

Isaacs: “Next to Professor Hall is the actor and activist Vanessa Redgrave.”

Vanessa Redgrave: “Good evening Jeremy.”

Isaacs: “On our right we have the poet and peace activist Christopher Logue.”

Christopher Logue: “Good evening.”

Isaacs: “Next to Christopher is the author and socialist organiser Cordelia Bonner.”

Cordelia Bonner: “Good evening Jeremy.”

Isaacs: “And next to her is her husband, the playwright Will Marr.”

Will Marr: “Good evening Jeremy.”

Isaacs: “And Will Marr, I will come to you first. Both you and Cordelia were heavily involved in the foundation of the Partisan Coffee House in April 1958, which was in many ways the spiritual home of the Partisan movement, and certainly gave it its name. But this is not where the story starts. Could you perhaps gives us a brief account of the movement’s pre-history?”

Marr: “Certainly. The idea of founding the coffee house had its origins in the middle of 1956, after the January War and the so-called ‘Secret Speech’ had sent the European far-left into disarray. The powerhouse behind the opening of the cafe itself was Ralph Samuel, who was one of the Communist Historians who broke away from the CPGB towards the end of 1956— Stuart will be able to tell us more about this, he was involved with that side of things. In truth, neither me nor Cord had much to do with it at this stage, except introducing the idea into old Socialist Front circles. This was important because the Front, even though it had been harassed into virtual non-existence over the course of the first half of the 1950s, did remain active through a network of front groups and community initiatives and so on. Cord and I had been involved in this section of the left since the Spanish War, so we were able to get the word out about the planned coffee house fairly easily.”

Bonner: “The actual work involved raising the money to cover rent on the coffee house building, which was on Carlisle Street in Soho. It cost five-hundred pounds a year to lease from the LRC Housing Authority[1], which we ended up funding by a large number of small donations. By the end of 1956 we had I think something like one-hundred and twenty donors, somewhat inaccurately known to us as the ‘Committee of 100’. Most of these people were activists within the Socialist Front network, though the big movers came from reformist splinter groups formerly of the CPGB. In March 1957, an independent organiser called Max Feldman signed the lease on behalf of the Committee. Max had run a few cafes in the East End and had volunteered in the Spanish War, but he was never directly involved in any communist or socialist opposition groups, so he was the perfect figure to actually represent us.”

Marr: “A sort of one man front.”

Isaacs: “And everyone here tonight, with the exception of you Vanessa, I think I am right in saying were members of the initial Committee?”

Bonner: “Yes, that’s right. Although, as Vanessa will tell you, her father was a donor.”



1974 MARR BONNER.jpg

Cordelia Bonner and Will Marr, during the filming of Talking Point.


Isaacs: “If I might come now to you, Professor Hall: we’ve heard about how the Partisan movement emerged out of a number of loosely-related left-wing opposition groups. Could you perhaps tell us about how the Communist Party itself was involved – albeit indirectly?”

Hall: “The relationship between the CPGB and the Partisans was a strange one, because in the early years it was almost entirely one of mutual mistrust. The hardliner communists who stayed in the Party were set upon this idea that we were revisionists, which strictly speaking was true, but of course what came with it was a whole barrage of attacks in the underground left-wing press and so on. This was unfortunate because, when push came to shove, we had far more in common with our former comrades in the CPGB than we did with the Mosleyites who were far more likely to be harassing us on street corners and at club meetings. So it really didn’t help having to deal with opposition on both sides.

“But I think one of the reasons we attracted such great animosity from the CPGB is because we were able to organise in a way which they had not for some years. Much of what you might have called the communist intelligentsia came over to the opposition movement, and with this came connections and a drive to get things done that I think was a natural result of being liberated from strict adherence to the Soviet line. So along with the ideological death I think there was some tension in strategy.”

Isaacs: “Much of the early leadership, if you like, of the Partisan movement was communist, but would it be fair to say that the initial Committee of 100 did not have an overriding ideological agenda?”

Hall: “Yes, that would be fair. I suppose what united us was an ‘anti-Mosleyism’. Whichever particular strand of the British left we had all come from, be it the Communist Party; the old anti-fascist groups; the workers movement; the youth movement and so on, we were united into a broad base of opposition to the Mosley regime. And so long as he remained in power, we didn’t really need to worry about how strong the alliances may or may not have been because we had a task, which was to get him out of power.”

Isaacs: “And you were in no doubt about the fact of your eventual success?”

Hall: “I don’t want to say that we were all completely assured of ourselves all of the time, but particularly after 1956–57 when we’d had the Romanian Crisis, the Secret Speech and Windscale all in a very short span of time, I think we held it as self evident that the regime was faltering, and that we were well enough placed to try and encourage it over the edge.”

Isaacs: “I’d like to bring in Christopher Logue now if I may. Christopher, you joined the movement having been active in some of the early pacific and anti-nuclear groups, the Direct Action Committee for example. Did this direct action approach manifest itself in how the Committee of 100 organised itself and its conduct? I’m thinking particularly in terms of the break from traditional party-based means of opposition.”

Logue: “Direct action played its part, but the tactics of direct action favour more immediate issues than general opposition – anti-nuclear protests, of course, and statements against discrete issues like censorship and worker control. So day to day operation was less geared towards action like this and more about building a movement, in the early stages anyway. The movement’s structure owed a great deal to anarchist principles, which I think came over from the anti-nuclear camp. There were a large number of working groups who would feed back to the central Committee but were not beholden to it. And a lot of the groundwork took place outside of London. This was particularly useful because John Strachey used to send his Domestic Bureau spooks to the cafe on a fairly regular basis.”

Mankowitz: “I think by the end of 1960 the BDI was responsible for about a third of our receipts!”

Logue: “Yes, ironically they probably helped keep the coffee house afloat after the first few years.”



I SHALL VOTE FOR CHAIRMAN MOSLEY.jpg

"I Shall Vote for Chairman Mosley" (1959), a 'poster poem' by Christopher Logue.


Bonner: “Organisationally, I think we learnt a lot as well from the demise of the old Socialist Front and Socialist Youth. The Committee of 100, and the Coffee House itself, were in a sense a front for a whole range of other groups that were only partially related to the Partisan movement. A lot of the anti-nuclear moment predated the opening of the Partisan, but afterwards came to use the offices above the cafe – usually the home of the New Left Review and the New Partisan Review – as a base in London. And we picked up a number of former SY groups that had escaped the purges at the start of the decade.”

Mankowitz: “I think in general terms there was a vacuum on the left, largely of Mosley’s creation, and as happens we came along and filled it. Chiefly by providing a strong network that could be used to connect peripheral organisations who were already looking to act, and by putting them in touch with other groups who could help. It was community building.”

Isaacs: “We’ve heard some accounts of how the movement emerged. I’d like to talk a bit about some of those early actions, if we can. The Partisan Coffee House was founded in April 1958, near enough a year before the 1959 Assembly elections. Did you entertain any thoughts of trying to influence those in any way?”

Mankowitz: “First of all it should probably be admitted that the late Fifties was not the best time, generally speaking, to start a new political party in Britain. So in that sense we were limited in our scope. But of course it was something we were mindful of.”

Hall: “A lot of our work in the first year involved setting up our network, establishing connections and trying to draft some sort of coherent plan of action. This happened through the New Left Review, which I edited and which was geared towards the former communist element, and also through the New Partisan Review, which Will edited and which had already been revived by former Socialist Front members before the coffee house opened. The New Left Review was like the intellectual heart of the movement, which is perhaps a bit grand of me to say, but it was where we set out our stall and argued with each other about political positions and so on. The Partisan Review, as it had been in Orwell’s day – and as it remains today – was more of a cultural journal.”

Marr: “This dual approach was helpful because it let us concentrate our divergent efforts where they were best applied. For example, while the NLR helped us form a distinct ideological position, the Partisan Review was indispensable as almost a movement newsletter. It was where we announced events and reported on actions – in quite an oblique way at first, but more explicitly after Bevan came to power. But it was like a record of the movement’s going on, and it helped foster a sense of national coordination. And to return to the question of the 1959 election, this was incredibly helpful because it allowed us to cover a large expanse of the country and retain a presence far out of our base in Soho. Our predominate tool during the election was helping to organise events in favour of anti-Mosleyite candidates, things like talks and evening socials.”

Mankowitz: “So really in the first few years we were working behind the scenes in support of more established groups—”

Hall: “Aside from the magazines.”

Mankowitz: “Aside from the magazines. And then after 1959 we sort of grew into our own skin a bit and did things off our own back.”



1960s MANKOWITZ.jpg

Wolf Mankowitz, writer and screenwriter, at the Partisan Coffee House, early 1960s.


Isaacs: “We will shortly be taking break to see a short film about some of these actions, but beforehand I wonder if we can hear from you, Vanessa? Could you tell us a little bit about how you came to be involved with the movement?”

Redgrave: “Well I had a very left-wing upbringing, and I was involved in the Socialist Youth and all sorts when I was a girl. But I suppose my first encounter with the proper business of the opposition came when I was at the Central School[2] in 1958–59. At the time there were a lot of people there, students and teachers, who had become involved in things like the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and the British Section of the Situationist International. There was a big feeling of discontentment at Central at that time, because censorship was still in full force and we felt that theatre – and the film industry – could suffer this way no longer. My father had put some money into the Partisan Coffee House, so I became acquainted with the Committee of 100 and fairly soon introduced friends from Central to the Partisans. We had done a few actions on our own, things like fly-posting theatres and staging Situationist-inspired theatrical performances in the street, but these had been received as student pranks and we wanted to get our message across more seriously – that the censorship needed to be abolished. For this we turned to the organisation of the Partisan movement.”

Isaacs: “The most infamous of action you were involved in was of course the occupation of Heatherden Studios by the Free Cinema Movement in 1960. Was this coordinated with Partisan assistance?”

Redgrave: “Yes, we had some help using the rooms above the coffee house for planning and so on, and of course Wolf was a Heatherden insider so he was invaluable. But as Christopher and Cordelia were saying earlier, a lot of the direct action was done by groups who were related to the Partisans but not officially affiliated, and this was true of the Free Cinema Movement. The reason for this was quite simple, almost brutally so in fact, because it gave some security against jeopardising the central movement should any one attempt go wrong. Of course, while in the end the Heatherden occupation was a great success, in the immediate term it was incredibly risky for the wider movement. But we knew that when we were planning it.”

Mankowitz: “The authorities probably knew what was going on – that the Heatherden occupation was part of a wider campaign – but they couldn’t prove anything so they were immensely frustrated. I suspect this is why you and your comrades were treated quite so harshly. Like a lot that Mosley did in his final years in power, the severity with which the Heatherden Twelve were persecuted backfired quite strongly. A lot of people had their eyes opened to the creeping tyranny of Mosley’s government when a dozen drama students found themselves facing years in prison after a peaceful occupation.”

Redgrave: “The part that gets overlooked today is that we weren’t actually released until 1963, over a year after Bevan had come to power and a just few weeks before censorship was lifted. So even then we were being used as objects of government propaganda.”

Mankowitz: “Yes I’m sorry Vanessa, they really did treat you appallingly. Let that be a lesson to anyone watching who believes that the government will every do a good deed for free!”

Isaacs: “On that note, we have to take a short break. Thank you to all my guests, this has been a fascinating and spirited talk so far. We’ll be back after this short film, taking a closer look at the direct action campaign waged against British nuclear weapons by activists in the 1950s.”


___________

1: London Regional Council Housing Authority responsible for managing the housing stock within the Region of London.

2: Central School of Speech and Drama, a renowned acting school in London.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
51 Badges
Mar 4, 2016
5.803
2.157
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Battle for Bosporus
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
"I Shall Vote for Chairman Mosley" (1959), a 'poster poem' by Christopher Logue.

The last two, I miss Ramsey Mcdonald and deep down im a conservative are hilarious. Fantastic stuff.
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
124 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.935
3.432
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
A vacuum of Mosely creation indeed - it is quite interesting to consider just how different things might have been if Mosely didn't leave a vacuum behind into which grew something over which he could exert no direct influence.
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
A vacuum of Mosely creation indeed - it is quite interesting to consider just how different things might have been if Mosely didn't leave a vacuum behind into which grew something over which he could exert no direct influence.

Yes, I think there are many different ways this could have played out – and one of the fun things in any alternate timeline (I think) is just as much to consider which possible avenues you have rejected as those you chose to take.

It might be interesting, actually, once Mosley has finally gone, to do a sort of 'debrief' and imagine exactly how things may have gone differently. (On the alt-history forums I think they call this "TLIAW" – timeline in an alternate world.) I think what is generally clear is that he has clung on too long – but when would he leave the stage otherwise? And in whose favour? Has "Mosleyism" run its natural course, or has it been curtailed too soon? (Or survived beyond its years?)

Not necessarily questions that can be answered, except arbitrarily, but possibly fun to think about.
 

99KingHigh

Supercilious Ivy League High Tory
17 Badges
Aug 29, 2011
3.789
401
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • March of the Eagles
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • 500k Club
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV
ECHOES%20HEADER.jpg



LOOK BACK IN ANGER
THE BIRTH OF THE PARTISAN MOVEMENT

TALKING POINT
1974



Jeremy Isaacs: “Good evening everyone and welcome to Talking Point. My name is Jeremy Isaacs, and I will be chairing what hopes to be a lively discussion this evening on the topic of the Partisan movement: the left-wing group that played a significant role in opposition to the government during Chairman Mosley’s final years power, and beyond. We are joined by a number of guests for tonight’s discussion and I will introduce them to you now. First on the left we have the writer and screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz.”

Wolf Mankowitz: “Good evening.”

Isaacs: “Next on our left we have the sociologist and cultural theorist Professor Stuart Hall.”

Stuart Hall: “Good evening.”

Isaacs: “Next to Professor Hall is the actor and activist Vanessa Redgrave.”

Vanessa Redgrave: “Good evening Jeremy.”

Isaacs: “On our right we have the poet and peace activist Christopher Logue.”

Christopher Logue: “Good evening.”

Isaacs: “Next to Christopher is the author and socialist organiser Cordelia Bonner.”

Cordelia Bonner: “Good evening Jeremy.”

Isaacs: “And next to her is her husband, the playwright Will Marr.”

Will Marr: “Good evening Jeremy.”

Isaacs: “And Will Marr, I will come to you first. Both you and Cordelia were heavily involved in the foundation of the Partisan Coffee House in April 1958, which was in many ways the spiritual home of the Partisan movement, and certainly gave it its name. But this is not where the story starts. Could you perhaps gives us a brief account of the movement’s pre-history?”

Marr: “Certainly. The idea of founding the coffee house had its origins in the middle of 1956, after the January War and the so-called ‘Secret Speech’ had sent the European far-left into disarray. The powerhouse behind the opening of the cafe itself was Ralph Samuel, who was one of the Communist Historians who broke away from the CPGB towards the end of 1956— Stuart will be able to tell us more about this, he was involved with that side of things. In truth, neither me nor Cord had much to do with it at this stage, except introducing the idea into old Socialist Front circles. This was important because the Front, even though it had been harassed into virtual non-existence over the course of the first half of the 1950s, did remain active through a network of front groups and community initiatives and so on. Cord and I had been involved in this section of the left since the Spanish War, so we were able to get the word out about the planned coffee house fairly easily.”

Bonner: “The actual work involved raising the money to cover rent on the coffee house building, which was on Carlisle Street in Soho. It cost five-hundred pounds a year to lease from the LRC Housing Authority[1], which we ended up funding by a large number of small donations. By the end of 1956 we had I think something like one-hundred and twenty donors, somewhat inaccurately known to us as the ‘Committee of 100’. Most of these people were activists within the Socialist Front network, though the big movers came from reformist splinter groups formerly of the CPGB. In March 1957, an independent organiser called Max Feldman signed the lease on behalf of the Committee. Max had run a few cafes in the East End and had volunteered in the Spanish War, but he was never directly involved in any communist or socialist opposition groups, so he was the perfect figure to actually represent us.”

Marr: “A sort of one man front.”

Isaacs: “And everyone here tonight, with the exception of you Vanessa, I think I am right in saying were members of the initial Committee?”

Bonner: “Yes, that’s right. Although, as Vanessa will tell you, her father was a donor.”



View attachment 631868
Cordelia Bonner and Will Marr, during the filming of Talking Point.


Isaacs: “If I might come now to you, Professor Hall: we’ve heard about how the Partisan movement emerged out of a number of loosely-related left-wing opposition groups. Could you perhaps tell us about how the Communist Party itself was involved – albeit indirectly?”

Hall: “The relationship between the CPGB and the Partisans was a strange one, because in the early years it was almost entirely one of mutual mistrust. The hardliner communists who stayed in the Party were set upon this idea that we were revisionists, which strictly speaking was true, but of course what came with it was a whole barrage of attacks in the underground left-wing press and so on. This was unfortunate because, when push came to shove, we had far more in common with our former comrades in the CPGB than we did with the Mosleyites who were far more likely to be harassing us on street corners and at club meetings. So it really didn’t help having to deal with opposition on both sides.

“But I think one of the reasons we attracted such great animosity from the CPGB is because we were able to organise in a way which they had not for some years. Much of what you might have called the communist intelligentsia came over to the opposition movement, and with this came connections and a drive to get things done that I think was a natural result of being liberated from strict adherence to the Soviet line. So along with the ideological death I think there was some tension in strategy.”

Isaacs: “Much of the early leadership, if you like, of the Partisan movement was communist, but would it be fair to say that the initial Committee of 100 did not have an overriding ideological agenda?”

Hall: “Yes, that would be fair. I suppose what united us was an ‘anti-Mosleyism’. Whichever particular strand of the British left we had all come from, be it the Communist Party; the old anti-fascist groups; the workers movement; the youth movement and so on, we were united into a broad base of opposition to the Mosley regime. And so long as he remained in power, we didn’t really need to worry about how strong the alliances may or may not have been because we had a task, which was to get him out of power.”

Isaacs: “And you were in no doubt about the fact of your eventual success?”

Hall: “I don’t want to say that we were all completely assured of ourselves all of the time, but particularly after 1956–57 when we’d had the Romanian Crisis, the Secret Speech and Windscale all in a very short span of time, I think we held it as self evident that the regime was faltering, and that we were well enough placed to try and encourage it over the edge.”

Isaacs: “I’d like to bring in Christopher Logue now if I may. Christopher, you joined the movement having been active in some of the early pacific and anti-nuclear groups, the Direct Action Committee for example. Did this direct action approach manifest itself in how the Committee of 100 organised itself and its conduct? I’m thinking particularly in terms of the break from traditional party-based means of opposition.”

Logue: “Direct action played its part, but the tactics of direct action favour more immediate issues than general opposition – anti-nuclear protests, of course, and statements against discrete issues like censorship and worker control. So day to day operation was less geared towards action like this and more about building a movement, in the early stages anyway. The movement’s structure owed a great deal to anarchist principles, which I think came over from the anti-nuclear camp. There were a large number of working groups who would feed back to the central Committee but were not beholden to it. And a lot of the groundwork took place outside of London. This was particularly useful because John Strachey used to send his Domestic Bureau spooks to the cafe on a fairly regular basis.”

Mankowitz: “I think by the end of 1960 the BDI was responsible for about a third of our receipts!”

Logue: “Yes, ironically they probably helped keep the coffee house afloat after the first few years.”



View attachment 631867
"I Shall Vote for Chairman Mosley" (1959), a 'poster poem' by Christopher Logue.


Bonner: “Organisationally, I think we learnt a lot as well from the demise of the old Socialist Front and Socialist Youth. The Committee of 100, and the Coffee House itself, were in a sense a front for a whole range of other groups that were only partially related to the Partisan movement. A lot of the anti-nuclear moment predated the opening of the Partisan, but afterwards came to use the offices above the cafe – usually the home of the New Left Review and the New Partisan Review – as a base in London. And we picked up a number of former SY groups that had escaped the purges at the start of the decade.”

Mankowitz: “I think in general terms there was a vacuum on the left, largely of Mosley’s creation, and as happens we came along and filled it. Chiefly by providing a strong network that could be used to connect peripheral organisations who were already looking to act, and by putting them in touch with other groups who could help. It was community building.”

Isaacs: “We’ve heard some accounts of how the movement emerged. I’d like to talk a bit about some of those early actions, if we can. The Partisan Coffee House was founded in April 1958, near enough a year before the 1959 Assembly elections. Did you entertain any thoughts of trying to influence those in any way?”

Mankowitz: “First of all it should probably be admitted that the late Fifties was not the best time, generally speaking, to start a new political party in Britain. So in that sense we were limited in our scope. But of course it was something we were mindful of.”

Hall: “A lot of our work in the first year involved setting up our network, establishing connections and trying to draft some sort of coherent plan of action. This happened through the New Left Review, which I edited and which was geared towards the former communist element, and also through the New Partisan Review, which Will edited and which had already been revived by former Socialist Front members before the coffee house opened. The New Left Review was like the intellectual heart of the movement, which is perhaps a bit grand of me to say, but it was where we set out our stall and argued with each other about political positions and so on. The Partisan Review, as it had been in Orwell’s day – and as it remains today – was more of a cultural journal.”

Marr: “This dual approach was helpful because it let us concentrate our divergent efforts where they were best applied. For example, while the NLR helped us form a distinct ideological position, the Partisan Review was indispensable as almost a movement newsletter. It was where we announced events and reported on actions – in quite an oblique way at first, but more explicitly after Bevan came to power. But it was like a record of the movement’s going on, and it helped foster a sense of national coordination. And to return to the question of the 1959 election, this was incredibly helpful because it allowed us to cover a large expanse of the country and retain a presence far out of our base in Soho. Our predominate tool during the election was helping to organise events in favour of anti-Mosleyite candidates, things like talks and evening socials.”

Mankowitz: “So really in the first few years we were working behind the scenes in support of more established groups—”

Hall: “Aside from the magazines.”

Mankowitz: “Aside from the magazines. And then after 1959 we sort of grew into our own skin a bit and did things off our own back.”



View attachment 631866
Wolf Mankowitz, writer and screenwriter, at the Partisan Coffee House, early 1960s.


Isaacs: “We will shortly be taking break to see a short film about some of these actions, but beforehand I wonder if we can hear from you, Vanessa? Could you tell us a little bit about how you came to be involved with the movement?”

Redgrave: “Well I had a very left-wing upbringing, and I was involved in the Socialist Youth and all sorts when I was a girl. But I suppose my first encounter with the proper business of the opposition came when I was at the Central School[2] in 1958–59. At the time there were a lot of people there, students and teachers, who had become involved in things like the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and the British Section of the Situationist International. There was a big feeling of discontentment at Central at that time, because censorship was still in full force and we felt that theatre – and the film industry – could suffer this way no longer. My father had put some money into the Partisan Coffee House, so I became acquainted with the Committee of 100 and fairly soon introduced friends from Central to the Partisans. We had done a few actions on our own, things like fly-posting theatres and staging Situationist-inspired theatrical performances in the street, but these had been received as student pranks and we wanted to get our message across more seriously – that the censorship needed to be abolished. For this we turned to the organisation of the Partisan movement.”

Isaacs: “The most infamous of action you were involved in was of course the occupation of Heatherden Studios by the Free Cinema Movement in 1960. Was this coordinated with Partisan assistance?”

Redgrave: “Yes, we had some help using the rooms above the coffee house for planning and so on, and of course Wolf was a Heatherden insider so he was invaluable. But as Christopher and Cordelia were saying earlier, a lot of the direct action was done by groups who were related to the Partisans but not officially affiliated, and this was true of the Free Cinema Movement. The reason for this was quite simple, almost brutally so in fact, because it gave some security against jeopardising the central movement should any one attempt go wrong. Of course, while in the end the Heatherden occupation was a great success, in the immediate term it was incredibly risky for the wider movement. But we knew that when we were planning it.”

Mankowitz: “The authorities probably knew what was going on – that the Heatherden occupation was part of a wider campaign – but they couldn’t prove anything so they were immensely frustrated. I suspect this is why you and your comrades were treated quite so harshly. Like a lot that Mosley did in his final years in power, the severity with which the Heatherden Twelve were persecuted backfired quite strongly. A lot of people had their eyes opened to the creeping tyranny of Mosley’s government when a dozen drama students found themselves facing years in prison after a peaceful occupation.”

Redgrave: “The part that gets overlooked today is that we weren’t actually released until 1963, over a year after Bevan had come to power and a just few weeks before censorship was lifted. So even then we were being used as objects of government propaganda.”

Mankowitz: “Yes I’m sorry Vanessa, they really did treat you appallingly. Let that be a lesson to anyone watching who believes that the government will every do a good deed for free!”

Isaacs: “On that note, we have to take a short break. Thank you to all my guests, this has been a fascinating and spirited talk so far. We’ll be back after this short film, taking a closer look at the direct action campaign waged against British nuclear weapons by activists in the 1950s.”


___________

1: London Regional Council Housing Authority responsible for managing the housing stock within the Region of London.

2: Central School of Speech and Drama, a renowned acting school in London.
5nevLKJ.jpg
 
  • 1Love
Reactions:

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
Before I go into the bit about when the next updates coming, go and check out the Q3 AARland Choice Awards thread which is now live! Voting is open until 1 November, and all AARs updated between 1 July and 30 September are eligible. I would of course be honoured to have a spot on any of your ballots, but this is not a compulsory part of the process.

So to the state of the Commonwealth: I’m making the trek back up the motorway to my mums house today, where I’ll be seeing out the rest of the year/next stage of the unending pandemic. Normally I’d say look out for an update on Wednesday, but this particular Wednesday I’ll be turning 22 so no Commonwealth. Either I’ll sneak in an update Tuesday evening or just hold out till later in the week.

Next update is one I’m quite happy with, having read it back for proofreading yesterday. A familiar face gives a view of Mosley’s downfall from the safety of his memoirs. So hopefully worth looking out for when it comes!

Anyway if I’m around the forums less this week, this is why. (A likely story, Densley – you’re unemployed!) See you all soon for more knife twisting for Oswald.
 
  • 1
Reactions:
Exit Mosley: The End of An Era, 1959–61 (Part One)

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
ECHOES%20HEADER.jpg



EXIT MOSLEY
THE END OF AN ERA, 1959–61

FROM RECOLLECTIONS OF A REBEL
BOB BOOTHBY
1978


PART ONE: PRE-HISTORY



The start of the long affair of Chairman Mosley’s eventual departure from office cannot be easily situated, so ancient were the various duels and rivalries that were his undoing by the end of the Fifties, his second full decade in power. Mosley was in power for longer than any British premier since the office of ‘Prime Minister’ emerged as the de facto head of government, eclipsing all contemporaries and beating out even the great schemer Walpole, with whom Mosley alone shares the accolade of having presided over the government of Britain for more than twenty years since the dawn of the parliamentary era. Like Walpole, Mosley owed his continued occupation of the premiership to a heady blend of grit, graft and grands projets. Also like Walpole, Mosley was a fiercely self-confident orator who had managed to rouse the nation in support of a new political settlement. Walpole was eventually done in by the vicissitudes of defence policy and the stirrings of an uneasy parliament. For Mosley, it was much the same. For over two decades years he had played his hand skilfully and reaped the rewards. Arguably, he stayed too long at the table. His luck abandoned him, and so bereft he found himself without allies and exhausted of all favours. After twenty-seven years, the game was finally up.


If one wished to apply the methods of Freud to the Mosley premiership, one might be tempted to locate the germ of his decline at its very source: his first accession to power. This is perhaps too extreme, but it cannot be denied that from the outset Mosley had played fast and loose with friends and rivals alike in his bid for high office. Since at least 1925 the former Sir Oswald Mosley, Baronet had been convinced of his destiny as a great statesman, and moreover a great man of the age – if not all ages. Capitalising eagerly on the unrest of the 1920s, he put his drive for power into the service of the Revolution and fashioned himself into the man to save Britain. Soon enough he got his wish; the TUC leadership was cast aside, the undying parliamentary opposition was crushed and even poor old Arthur Cook was murdered by the Fascisti goons, not Mosley’s doing of course but advantageous for the Chairman all the same. With Cook dead, Mosley was the only man suitably positioned to take up the charge of rebuilding and securing Britain after attacks from the enemy within. He took to the task with a keen energy, and with characteristic zeal set about stabilising not only the British Commonwealth, still only five years old, but also his own hold on power.


I write this now, of course, having benefitted in no small part from Mosley’s rule. This I cannot contest. From 1939 until 1957 I was a constant presence in his executive committees, and before that I had worked as an assistant at the Office for Economic Planning. Much of Mosley’s Britain is just as readily my own, and I do not shy from this fact. Nevertheless, I must leave it to other men to assess my complicity in these affairs, and tell only the history as I recall it.



1978 BOOTHBY BOOK.jpg

'The Director'. Bob Boothby, 1900–86.


For much of his career in government, Mosley regarded Aneurin Bevan as his most prominent rival. Bevan, of mining stock from the valleys of South Wales, had cultivated an appeal during the Revolution in Wales that matched Mosley’s own in England. His passionate rhetoric and keenly felt concern for the plight of his fellow working men were more than a match for Mosley’s studied populism. But Bevan was first and foremost a trade unionist, and he had not yet acquired the same practiced political skill that Mosley held in abundance. He had not leveraged his revolutionary reputation for political gain, and instead took up when offered a junior position at the Bureau of Domestic Affairs under William Benn. In 1936 he joined Mosley’s Second Executive Committee as Director of the Bureau of Transport and Infrastructure. This was a promotion, but it was an out of the way appointment.


At this point, Bevan was still enough of a Mosleyite not to present any calculated threat to the Chairman’s power base. Still, on a number of occasions Bevan found himself leapfrogged by men of his generation who were less mercurial – which is not to say that Bevan was flighty, only that his temperament had changed little since the revolutionary period, and while vastly capable he had not matured into the sort of sober administrator that Mosley favoured. The epitome of this type was perhaps Harold Macmillan, who was made Secretary for the Provision of Housing in 1939, and who was always a dependable and unshowy ally of Mosley’s. I was appointed to the Domestic Bureau at the same time, and this, I think, first set off a warning siren in Aneurin’s mind. There was no personal animosity between us, but with Mosley throwing his lot in with the former Young Tories who had come over to his cause, led by Macmillan and myself, there were now numerous signs, impossible to explain away, that the character of Mosley’s government was shifting further from the Labour base, which perhaps expected that it was to remain the unchallenged heir to the post-revolutionary settlement.



1959%20MACMILLAN.jpg

Harold Macmillan, one of the pre-revolutionary Young Tory faction who came over to Mosley's party.


The first signs of discord came in 1945, when Mosley reshuffled his executive committee after the death of his wife Cimmie, lately President of the Commonwealth. Cimmie’s appointment had been greeted at the time by grumbling from those reluctant to accept that the fine Mrs Mosley possessed any favourable qualities of her own, which may have suggested her as a competent head of state, aside from her marriage to Oswald. This was jealous nonsense, and while I have evidently had my disagreements with Oswald in the years since first joining his government, I will not credit those critics who accuse him of blind favouritism on this score. Cimmie let us not forget had been a dynamic and popular MP in her own right prior to the Revolution, and was in many ways instrumental in bringing her husband over to the Labourite cause. Without her, he was quite bereft, and her sudden and premature death affected him a great deal. Not in the least, I would say, Cimmie’s death left Mosley without his closest (and certainly most trusted) confidante of a naturally socialist persuasion. This role was subsequently taken up by John Strachey, who was to the last ever dependable so far as supporting Mosley was concerned, but who was prone to great swings in his own convictions, and during the course of his life in public office traversed the full distance between communist firebrand and corporatist bureaucrat.


In 1945, Bevan was appointed to lead the Secretariat for the Provision of Healthcare. As in every government role he held, he conducted himself well at the Healthcare Secretariat and made good work of running the Syndicated Health Service. Yet it was an open secret that he had hoped to be given the Domestic Bureau, and saw his move to Healthcare as a snub. That he was overlooked as Domestic Director in favour of his wife, the indefatigable Jennie Lee, complicated proceedings. Lee remained in charge of the Domestic Bureau until 1954, when Bevan finally got his wish and the red couple switched places; as Bevan came in from the cold to assume the domestic brief, Lee set her talents to work in wrangling the governmental contingent in the People’s Assembly. Bevan’s own tenure as Chair of the Assembly is infamous enough in histories of the parliamentary opposition, such as it was. In the Assembly, Bevan cultivated the friendships, with the Lewises and Michael Foot and others, that would later help him bring down the Mosleyites. Dispatching the Welshman into the chamber had been an uncharacteristic blunder on Mosley’s part, and he would come to pay for it dearly.



1960%20BEVAN%20JENNIE.jpg

Aneurin Bevan and Jennie Lee, the husband and wife team who led the opposition to Mosley from within.


Bevan’s short term as Domestic Director is often overlooked, particularly relative to David Lewis’s own occupancy of the role a decade later, yet for me it remains crucial in unpicking the destabilisation of Mosley’s position. Having made a misstep in sending him out to the Assembly, and in the process giving rise to the ‘Mosleyite–Bevanite’ split that wracked both the Party of Action and the Popular Front after 1954, Mosley attempted to take back the initiative by bringing Bevan back into the fold. This was a case of “keep your enemies closer”; preoccupied by his work as Domestic Director, Mosley hoped that Bevan would abandon his parliamentary dealings. Following the 1955 election, this gambit became urgently necessary after Mosley’s control of the legislature came into question for the first time since the Troubles of 1933–34. David Lewis had withdrawn the Popular Front from their obligation of furnishing the government with unconditional support, and by a ratio of about two-thirds to one the revitalised party turned its back on the Party of Action. Thus between 1955–59 Mosley’s majority in the People’s Assembly stood at only twenty-five. Running out of options in the fight to retain his unchallenged control over government, the Domestic Bureau suddenly became a vitally important actor in the drama, responsible for the censors, the judiciary and the security services.


Bevan, in line with his character, had no wish to abet Mosley in his schemes. Furthermore, he wished to push back and alleviate some of the creeping excesses of Mosley’s authoritarian tendencies. In 1954 I had come to Bevan with a proposal to reform the treatment of homosexuals in Britain. At university, I had experienced homosexuality first hand, it being prevalent amongst the undergraduate community in Oxford at that time, and while I got through my own homosexual phase I made a private commitment to do something to alleviate the lot of those who do not should I ever make it into public office. Over three decades later, with a sympathetic soul in charge of the judiciary, I spied my chance. Bevan agreed with me on the necessity of reform, but we were talked down by Mosley, who would have nothing to do with the matter. The affair made Mosley suspicious of Bevan’s intentions, having gambled on bringing him back into the inner circle, and moreover painted me similarly suspect in his eyes. Mosley I think regarded me as his protégé, and there may be some truth in this, having been entrusted with the Directorship of the OEP for twelve years. Siding with Bevan then was tantamount to betrayal, and as he saw it a bond of comradeship had been broken.


1981 BRIDESHEAD.png

Pre-revolutionary Oxford: very male, very posh.


After Windscale, with Mosley’s position having taken a severe hit, the shifting relationships of the previous few years revealed their consequences. The fire was seized upon by the opposition not only as evidence of the folly of Britain’s nuclear project, but as testament to the decline of our economic project as a whole. I was of course implicated in this, for the Commonwealth economy was as much of my creation as it was Mosley’s. Had I not already been dispatched to Lyon to head up the new Executive Committee of the European Syndicate, I am certain that I would have been offered as the sacrificial lamb to appease those out for Mosleyite blood. Seen in this light, the Eurosyn appointment was highly fortunate on my part, for I came out of the Windscale scandal well enough, and later presided over the successful inauguration of a joint nuclear project led by the British and the French. Mosley had blundered yet again, though he could not have known it at the time: in resolving to remove me to Lyon, he suffered the scandal without his former closest ally, and was forced instead into closer cooperation with Strachey and Macmillan.


The former had taken control of the domestic brief from Bevan, who had once again been promoted out of the way and assumed office as the President of the Commonwealth – by now a more or less ceremonial role that had lain dormant since Cimmie’s death. As an extra security to keep the Welshman from doing much harm, he was put in charge of the Coal and Steel Bureau, where he faced the unenviable prospect of dealing with the unions in the aftermath of Windscale. Strachey, meanwhile, played the role of Mosley’s lieutenant with relish, assisting in the work of clamping down on opposition groups and tightening many of the restrictions on political freedom relaxed by Bevan. His lowest moment came with the prosecution of ‘Heatherden Twelve’, a group of young actors and drama students handed disproportionate jail terms after occupying the film studios in protest of the censorship laws in June 1960. Heatherden, the totemic nadir of the erosion of civil liberties at the sharp end of Mosley’s Britain, cast its long shadow well into the Sixties, and was along with the nuclear issue one of the great rallying points for the emergent New Left. Strachey was ultimately undone by his unapologetic defence of the Mosleyite doctrine, but not before the man himself.


Macmillan meanwhile inherited my old brief at the OEP. His task was complicated by the gradual integration of the British economy into the Eurosyn plan starting winter 1957–58, but he acted with characteristic sure-handedness to move the Commonwealth away from the course set by Mosley and me over the previous twelve years. Sidestepping the issue of industry, which was of pressing importance in the years after Windscale, the Macmillan economy pivoted towards a focus on monetary reform, which had been seldom implemented since Mosley’s initial overhaul of the ailing pre-revolutionary economy. The headline policy was altogether more cynical: the release of a series of premium bonds as a means of shoring up the central bank, curbing sterling inflation and encouraging saving towards the purchase of consumer goods. This was tied up with an envisaged new economic plan, whereby the traditional heavy-industrial base would be gradually superseded by more modern manufacturing as utilities were organised centrally in Lyon. Predictably, this drew even greater protest from the unions, already alarmed by the implications of Windscale on the state of worker safety. Bevan, a miner to the core after all those years, rejected the necessity of this new consumer-led plan and did little to discourage the unions from their protests. Thus while Bevan dealt with the mineworkers, it was Mosley who was hauled over the coals.


Union discontent and opposition protests defined life in the Commonwealth as the Fifties came to an end. In defiance of Strachey’s crackdowns and Mosley’s new economic plan, not to mention his steadfast commitment to the nuclear deterrent, the workers and the youth of Britain made their displeasure with the regime freely known. Anti-nuclear marches between London and Bletchley Park attracted thousands of peace protestors every Easter weekend, while wildcat strikes and slowdowns hampered Mosley’s dream of an upswing in Britain’s economic fortunes going into the 1960s. All of this was in spite of the threat of arrest and sanction, and with every open display against his authority Mosley dug in further. Yet while his position was precarious, so long as he maintained his slim majority in the Assembly he was out of harm’s way. Then, in May 1959, Britain went to the polls.
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
124 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.935
3.432
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
Nevertheless, I must leave it to other men to assess my complicity in these affairs, and tell only the history as I recall it.

This is a very adroit turn of phrase, and an implicity challenge. Indeed his various admissions at other points seem to be quite strategically placed. Boothby is definitely defending his record by copping to certain things in the hope that this will prevent the more major being examined all that closely. And I believe he does it well.

So with the proviso that this is an account of an active participant with a definite agenda, it is a clear retrospective on how Mosely's position became weaker. I note that mostly - mostly - Mosely is potrayed as the architect of his own misfortunate. Because if Mosely is to blame it is not the system, and not the others. As I say, an account with a definite agenda :)
 

TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
51 Badges
Mar 4, 2016
5.803
2.157
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Battle for Bosporus
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
Oh, somebody is covering their arse before they die. Not that it isn't fascinating, of course. Excellent writing as per usual.
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
Nevertheless, I must leave it to other men to assess my complicity in these affairs, and tell only the history as I recall it.

This is a very adroit turn of phrase, and an implicity challenge. Indeed his various admissions at other points seem to be quite strategically placed. Boothby is definitely defending his record by copping to certain things in the hope that this will prevent the more major being examined all that closely. And I believe he does it well.

So with the proviso that this is an account of an active participant with a definite agenda, it is a clear retrospective on how Mosely's position became weaker. I note that mostly - mostly - Mosely is potrayed as the architect of his own misfortunate. Because if Mosely is to blame it is not the system, and not the others. As I say, an account with a definite agenda :)
Oh, somebody is covering their arse before they die. Not that it isn't fascinating, of course. Excellent writing as per usual.

I like writing as Boothby, because he is utterly without scruples but in a slightly hapless pantomime way rather than in an overly malicious sense. He’s an incorrigible schemer and disgustingly charming, so obviously he’s going to try and weasel his way out of a bed reputation while he still has the chance. Glad you both enjoyed reading him do it (and more to come, of course).
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.408
1.490
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
Becoming conscious very quickly of the fact that I have written about three updates in the last two months, and I'm down to my last six pre-prepared chapters. Because of this, and because I'm still not sure how fast I'll actually be able to write among everything else I'm trying to sort out this autumn, I'll probably go back to one update per week once I've done the second part of the Boothby memoirs. This is, appropriately enough, me covering my arse so that I don't run out of track, as it were.

Boothby part two will probably be out over the weekend, and after that I've got a fun surprise (I hope) before we enter the post-Mosley world. If it's even possible to imagine such a thing. In the meantime, I remain hopeful of finishing writing this bloody thing before the year is out. It just might be a little slower than it has been over the last few weeks.
 
  • 1
Reactions: