Wednesday, 11 March 2009

A Moston memory from 1978!

CASTLE WARD: It's last Thursday at 8.00pm and North West Elections Officer, Clive Jefferson (2nd left) marshalls his troops for a final push in the Carlisle by-election where the British National Party secured an impressive 20% of the vote.

Well, there's no rest for the wicked and as I write this blog, Clive and a team from Carlisle together with another car load from West Cumbria, are speeding (not literally) down the M6 to St Helens to help with two local by-elections there. The Cumbrian contingent will be joined by activists from Liverpool and Manchester for the delivery of the election address in Rainhill and Parr wards later today.

We polled 9% in Rainhill in May of last year but didn't contest Parr. The figure we must have in mind is the 8% needed to win a seat in the European Parliament for the North West, so we will be hoping to poll around that sort of mark when voting takes place tomorrow.

I also understand from Clive that we will be contesting the Moston by-election in Manchester next month where Derek Adams will be our candidate.

The name "Moston" conjures up a memory for me. I was in Manchester back in 1978 campaigning in the Mosside by-election where Herbert Andrew was the National Front candidate. It wasn't a promising constituency and the NF was in decline after the heady days of 1976 and 1977. Vanessa Redgrave was standing for Workers Revolutionary Party and I remember that as we were sent out leafleting we were warned to watch out for the Moston Brigade who were a gang of her supporters who were going around attacking our campaigners.

Fortunately I didn't meet with any problems but I do remember that at our rally at the end of the day there were some violent scenes as we were attacked by the Moston Brigade. Coming after the confrontation at Lewisham the year before, it prompted me into some serious thinking on the long coach trip home to Sussex that evening as to whether there might not be just too much aggravation involved with nationalist politics.

Well I'm still here thirty-one years later so it obviously didn't put me off too much and although our candidate polled just 2.3% in Mosside, we did beat Vanessa Redgrave which must have boosted morale a bit.

The Freedom website is back on line after a year 's absence. Twelve months ago my computer of eight years called it a day and I lost all my back issues of Freedom. At the same time the new BNP website meant that the old Freedom website became obsolete, so things have been at a standstill.

But now our webmaster Simon Bennett, has set up a new "Reading Room" for the newspaper which can be found on the top bar of the main website.

I'm hoping to get a few back issues posted on there later today.

Workington Reds won 5-0 at Farsley Celtic last night and following on from the 2-1 victory at Gainsborough on Saturday, I'm quietly confident that any relegation worries have now been dispelled.

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