Spectacle Archive

International Brigade Bosco Jones Interview on Fascism in 1930s London - 1985


Interview with Bosco Jones, International Brigader and anti-Fascist Street Activist in East London during the 1930's.

Entrevista con Bosco Jones, integrante de las Brigadas Internacionales y activista antifascista en el Este de Londr

To hear about Bosco's account of the Spanish Civil war click here.

Para escuchar el testimonio de Bosco Jones acerca de la Guerra Civil española, haga click aquí. Este testimonio está también disponible en castellano.

We would like to hear from anyone that knows Bosco Jones, you can contact us at info@spectacle.co.uk

U-Matic Low Band. Sound well recorded but some drop outs on source tape.

Key Words and their time code mentioned in the interview:

0:33 'City Road...like the song'.

Wikipedia: City Road

Often referred to by Londoners as "The City Road", the western extremity of the road is at the Angel, Islington where it forms a continuation of Pentonville Road.

Pop Goes the weasel

The song Bosco may refer to is 'Pop Goes the Weasel' in the stanza: ' Up and down the city road, In and out the Eagle, That?s the way the money goes, Pop! goes the weasel.'

01:53 Wobblies

Wikipedia: Industrial Workers of the World

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international union currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Industrial Workers of the World

Official IWW Website.

Wobblies! A Graphic History of the IWW

A website review of a new book on the IWW.


A Catalogue of the Songs of the IWW

The Industrial workers of the World

Educational website about the Wobblies.

Wobbly City

Newsletter of the IWW NYC Branch

02:23 'They wore big Belts and 'Blackshirts' 04:06 'Mosleyites'.

Wikipedia: Blackshirts.

The Blackshirts (Italian: camicie nere, CCNN, or squadristi) were Fascist paramilitary groups in Italy during the period immediately following World War I and until the end of World War II. The term was later applied to a similar group serving the British Union of Fascists before the war.

Wikipedia: BUF Uniform

Both Mussolini and, later, Mosley instituted black uniforms for party members, earning them the nickname "the Blackshirts."

Origin of the term ''Blackshirt''.

Dictionary of World History.

03:56 Labour Movement.

Wikipedia: Labour Movement

The labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and political governments.

Labour Movement for Europe

Official Website of the LME

04:13 Kid Lewis

Wikipedia: Ted ''Kid'' Lewis

Ted "Kid" Lewis (born Gershon Mendeloff, October 28, 1893 - 1970) was an English boxer in the welterweight (147 lb) division.

Ted 'Kid' Lewis

World Welterweight Champion in 1915 and 1916 and from 1917 to 1919, Ted "Kid" Lewis was nicknamed the "Aldgate Sphinx."

Kid Lewis and the BUF

Google books 'A History of Fascism, 1914-1945' by Stanley G Payne pg 305: 'Originally not anti-Jewish - its strong-arm squads were at first trained by the Jewish boxer ''Kid'' Lewis...'

04:22 Dixie Dean

Leonard 'Dixie' Dean as a Blackshirt

An article about Hoxton in the 1920's and 1930's: '"Somebody has mentioned Dixie Dean - also a well known name in Hoxton! A Blackshirt? - Yes, but don't judge him for that - half of Hoxton were Blackshirts and Mosley retained his deposit with over one eighth of the vote, as late as the Sixties! Dixie was a popular character in Hoxton and as I remember, a highly respected man.'''

Leonard 'Dixie' Dean and his involvement with the Fascists.

Google books, 'East London for Mosley: The British Union of Fascists.' by Thomas P. Linehan: 'several well known Shoreditch fascists, including the local boxer, Leonard 'Dixie' Deans, were full time workers in the Hoxton ARP Service.'

04:37 Olympia

Olympia June 1934

Google Books ' The Culture of Fascism: Visions of the Far Right in Britain.' by Julie V. Gottlieb: 'The events at the famous meeting at Olympia in June 1943, at which the BUF stewards violently counter-attacked an anti-fascist attempt to disrupt Mosley's speech, have often suggested comparison between the Olympia rally ( 7 June 1943) and the Nazi 'Night of the Long knives' (30 June 1934)...'

Oswald Mosley's Circus

An article from the guardian dated Friday June 8th 1934 reporting on the events of the Olympia rally.

1932-1938 Fascism Rises

An article discussing the rise of fascism in Britain and the Olympia rally as a turning point of its support.

5:27 The 43 Group

The 43 Group

The 43 Group was a British anti-fascist group set up by Jewish ex-servicemen after World War II.

The 43 Group

Website for the book 'the 43 Group' with some useful information.

The 43 Group

The Hackney Independent website with a posted video about anti fascists battles directly after WWII.

43 Group

Former 43 Group Veteran recalls the battles all over the East End after WWII between fascists and anti-fascists including Ridley Road.

6:00 Battle of Ridley Road, Victoria park Square and Bethnal Green

Battle of Ridley road.

Website for the book by Graham Macklin 'Very deeply Dyed in Black: Sir Oswald Mosley and the Resurrection of British Fascism after 1945': Macklin briefly deals with movements like the British League of Ex-Servicemen and its head Jeffrey Hamm and the revival of the Unionists with "the Battle of Ridley Road," a battle between anti-fascists and Jews against the British Unionists.

Lebensraum for Oswald

1962 article about a Mosley rally with reference to the fascist marches down Ridley road: ''On Ridley Road, a poor, predominantly Jewish street in London's East End, mounted police and a muttering crowd waited for a scene that might have come from a newsreel of the 1930s. A generation ago, Sir Oswald Mosley and his Jew-baiting Blackshirts often strutted down Ridley Road; their visits almost always ended in savage street fighting.''

Fight Against the Fascists

An article of Geoffrey Russell's memories of fascism in London with reference to Ridley Road and the Anti-semetic slogans chanted by the Fascists as they marched down it.

Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood: Discrimination.

These accounts tell of the discrimination experienced by different groups of immigrants to the East End. They also show how people of the East End have fought together against racism and fascism, notably in the Battle of Cable Street, but also on an individual level in the classroom, at the workplace and in the street.

12:22 and 12:26 Albert Hall and Olympia.

Albert Hall

Google Books: 'British Fascism, 1918-39; Parties, Ideology and Culture' By Thomas P. Linehan: ' Apart from minor success, of which the Albert Hall rally in October 1934 was one, the party was unable to regain the momentum of earlier years.'

Olympia and the Albert Hall Rally

An article that gives a brief history of Fascism in Britain and talks about the major battle between the Fascists and Anti Fascists.

Conservative view of the Albert Hall Rally

Google Books: 'Contested social orders and international politics' by David Skidmore.

13:32 and 16:23 Battle of Cable Street

Wikipedia: Battle of Cable Street

The Battle of Cable Street or Cable Street Riot took place on Sunday October 4, 1936 in Cable Street in the East End of London. It was a clash between the Police, overseeing a legal march by the British Union of Fascists, led by Oswald Mosley, and anti-fascists, including local Jewish, socialist, Irish and communist groups.

Battle of Cable Street

Official Communist party website with articles on the Battle of Cable Street.

Battle of Cable Street

Youtube video footage from 1936.

The Battle of Cable Street

Website representing views of the East End.

The Battle of Cable Street

Rhode Island International Film Festival 2007 website. Info about a CGI film about the events of Cable Street.

Day the East End said 'No pasaran' to Blackshirts

Guardian article about Cable Street.

Battle of Cable Street

The Battle of Cable Street Mural created by Dave Binnington.

The Battle of Cable Street: Myths and Realities

Marxist discussion website.

Fascist march stopped after disorderly scenes

Guardian article October 5 1936.

Battle of Cable Street

BBC article on the Battle of Cable Street Seventy Years on.

06:28 Len Harvey

Len Harvey and the BUF

Google Books: ' Superman Supreme: Fascist Body as Political Icon' by J.A Mangan: 'Joe Beckett, a former British heavyweight boxing champion, and Len Harvey, who at one time or another held the british heavy weight, light-heavyweight and middleweight titles were well-known BUF supporters...'

Wikipedia: Len Harvey

Len Harvey was born in Stoke Climsland, Cornwall. On the 11 July, 1907. A great tactician and defensive boxer who boxed at every weight division's of his day.

07:11 Daily Mail and 07:15 Rothermere

Wikipedia: The Daily Mail and its support for Fascism

In early 1934, Rothermere and the Mail were sympathetic to Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists.

Harold Harmsworth, Lord Rothermere

In the 1930s Rothermere moved further to the right and gave support to Oswald Mosley and the National Union of Fascists. He wrote an article, Hurrah for the Blackshirts, in January, 1934, in which he praised Mosley for his "sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine".

Daily Mail

Educational website on the formation of the Daily Mail.

Wikipedia: Lord Rothermere

Harold Sidney Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere (26 April 1868 - 26 November 1940) was a highly successful British newspaper proprietor, owner of Associated Newspapers Ltd.

Revealed: the fascist past of the Daily Mirror

An article in 'The Independent' discussing the fascist support by the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror.

''Hurrah for the Blackshirts''

We are currently trying to find an online copy of the article, however this website does offer some direct quotes by Lord Rothermere on the BUF.

07:21 Guiness Family and 07.30: Mitford Family

Wikipedia: Bryan Guiness, 2nd Baron Moyne

In 1929, he married the Hon. Diana Mitford, one of the Mitford sisters, and had two sons with her: Jonathan and Desmond. The couple became leaders of the London artistic and social scene and were dedicatees of Evelyn Waugh's second novel Vile Bodies. However, they divorced in 1933, after Diana deserted him for British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.

Wikipedia: Mitford family

In the 20th century the family achieved contemporary notoriety for their controversial and stylish lives as young people, and later for their very public political divisions between communist and fascist. The six daughters of the family were known collectively as the Mitford sisters.

Lady Diana Mosley, Fascist Who Dazzled, Is Dead at 93

New York Times article.

Wikipedia: Diana Mitford

Diana, Lady Mosley (née Freeman-Mitford; 17 June 1910 - 11 August 2003) was one of Britain's noted Mitford sisters and hailed as one of the great beauties of her generation. She married Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists in 1936, at the home of Joseph Goebbels, with Adolf Hitler as guest of honor.

Unity Mitford

The Hon. Unity Valkyrie Mitford (8 August 1914 - 28 May 1948), was one of the noted Mitford sisters. She was a prominent supporter of fascism and friend of Adolf Hitler.

Nancy Mitford

PBS website with links to articles and writing by Nancy Mitford.

Last of the Mitford girls on manners, family and taking tea with the Fuehrer

Article by The Age

01:49 BUF

Wikipedia: British Union of Fascists

The British Union of Fascists (BUF) was a political party in the United Kingdom formed, in 1932, by former MP of the Conservative Party and Labour's former government minister Sir Oswald Mosley.

British Union of Fascists

Educational website on the foundation of the BUF.

02:41 Anti-Nazi League

Wikipedia: Anti Nazi-League

The Anti-Nazi League (ANL) was an organisation set up in 1977 on the initiative of the Socialist Workers Party with some sponsorship (and a few small financial donations) from some trade unions and the endorsement of a list of prominent people to oppose the rise of what they deemed to be far-right groups in Britain.

Anti Nazi league

Official website of the Anti-Nazi League

Unite Against Fascism

UAF official website

Love Music Hate Racism

Official Website for Love Music Hate Racism.

When We Touched the Sky

Web-page advertising a book on the history of the Anti-Nazi League

Anti Nazi League banned at BNP rally

Guardian Article

Anti-Nazi league rally banned

BBC website article

Anti-Nazi League

Web-page with a list of useful links on the ANL

Anti Nazi League

Online Pamphlet from the ANL.

04:01 and 04:53 Margaret Thatcher

Wikipedia: Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (née Roberts; born 13 October 1925) is a British politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990.

Wikipedia: Thatcherism

"Thatcherism" is characterized by decreased state intervention via the free market economy, monetarist economic policy, privatisation of state-owned industries, lower direct taxation and higher indirect taxation, opposition to trade unions, and a reduction of the size of the Welfare State.

Margaret Thatcher

Biography of Margaret Thatcher.

04:06 Oswald Mosley

Wikipedia: Oswald Mosley

Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet (16 November 1896 - 3 December 1980) was a British politician known principally as the founder of the British Union of Fascists

Oswald Mosley

Biography of Oswald Mosley

Sir Oswald Mosley: Briton, Fascist, European

Institute for Historical Review

A Century of British Fascism

Comprehensive view of fascism in Britain and Mosley's role.

04:17 Enoch Powell

Wikipedia: Enoch Powell

Brigadier John Enoch Powell, MBE (June 16, 1912 - February 8, 1998) was a British politician, linguist, writer, academic, soldier and poet.

Wikipedia: Rivers of Blood Speech

The Rivers of Blood speech was a speech about immigration and anti-discrimination legislation in the United Kingdom made on 20 April 1968 by Enoch Powell, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West.

05:59 Imperial Fascist League and 6.07: Arnold Leese

Wikipedia: Imperial Fascist League

The Imperial Fascist League (IFL) was a British fascist political movement founded by Arnold Leese in 1929.

The Fascist

Shocking excerpts from Issue 65 of 'The Fascist' edited by Arnold Leese

Wikipedia: Arnold Leese

Arnold Spencer Leese (1877-1956) was a British fascist politician.

6:27 League of St. George

Wikipedia: League of St. George

The League of St. George is a Neo-Nazi organization based in the United Kingdom.

From: The Menace of Fascism - What it is and how to fight it

'Among the most important of these organisations were the British League of Ex-Servicemen and women; Mosley's Book Club and Discussion Group; the Union of British Freedom; the Sons of St George (Derby)...'

The history of organised fascism and racism in Britain since 1945

'There were several tiny, fragmented and unstable fascist groups about then, including the Briton's Patriotic Society, the British National Party (not the modern one), the New Order Group, the Union of British Freedom, the 18b Detainees' Fund, the Order of the Sons of St George, and others.'

Wikipedia: The Sons of St. George

Fifty one separate groups were unitied under Mosley's leadership in the Union Movement (UM), launched at a meeting in Farringdon Hall, London, in 1948. These included Jeffrey Hamm's League of Ex-Servicemen and the Sons of St. George under Tommy Moran, both veterans of the BUF.

18:33 Young Communist League

Wikipedia: Young Communist League

The Young Communist League (YCL) is the youth wing of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB). It claims succession from the organisation founded in 1921 as the youth wing of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) by the merger of the Young Workers' League and the International Communist Schools Movement.

Young Communist League

Official website for the YCL

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Date: 12 November 1985
Location: Copenhagen Street
City: London
Crew: Mark Saunders
Scene 1: Interview With Bosco Jones
Original Format - colour, u-matic, 60 mins
Language versions - english
Useful link: - http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/...

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