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Blackshirts in GeordielandGordon Stridiron
No region of Great Britain suffered more in the “Hungry Thirties” than Tyneside and the North-East. When the Labour and Coalition Governments failed to stem the tide of unemployment, Geordies began to look elsewhere – to the Communist Party, Independent Labour Party and not least the British Union of Fascists led by Sir Oswald Mosley.
For the next eight years, these contenders for political power fought a bitter ideological battle on the streets of Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, Durham, Stockton and elsewhere. The full story of this period of the North-East’s past has remained untold – something that local historian Gordon Stridiron has now remedied following a study of primary sources never before undertaken on the same scale.
Mosley’s “Blackshirts in Geordieland” emerge not as the political thugs and would-be Quislings of stereotypical image. Instead, the reader discovers a group of patriotic idealists – against communism, against capitalism and against war who, whether right or wrong, had the courage to face hostility and physical attack to make their message heard: “The War on Want is the War we Want!”
Author: Gordon Stridiron