Tuesday 9 June 2009

Fighting fascism, then and now

The government of Spain has decided to honour surviving British and Irish veterans of the International Brigade by granting them Spanish citizenship. Questioned on the Today programme this morning about why he left his home in the East End of London to fight for a country of which he knew little, 94 year old Sam Lesser recalled the fear of fascism spreading through Europe at the time. But, he added, we didn't have to leave home to find out about fascism: we had experienced it here, on our own streets.

Seventy years later, fascism is once again stalking the streets of Britain, not to mention its town halls and the corridors of the European Parliament. According to the Guardian report, Sam Lesser is 'still angry that the British government did nothing to help the Spaniards'. Not only that, he's 'furious...that the fascist, xenophobic propaganda he had to endure as a  young man is again being preached by 'Sir Oswald Mosley's heirs and successors'.

Let's hope that the current generation is as courageous in confronting the menace of the BNP as Lesser and his generation were in standing up to Franco, Hitler and Mussolini.

This is the first of my posts to be cross-posted at Common Endeavour, a new broadly Labour-supporting site that I heartily recommend.

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