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#931720 - 1st Mar 2015 7:09pm Park Entrance *****
locomotive Online   content
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Registered: 18th Dec 2013
Posts: 216
Loc: Upton, Wirral
In the 50s and 60s I can remember political and religious speakers at the Birkenhead Park entrance on a Sunday, what happened to them, were they banned or did they just fade away?. This is something I haven't thought about in years, reading the book " Idle Hands Clenched Fists" this weekend reminded me of it.

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#931754 - 1st Mar 2015 9:18pm Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
RUDEBOX Offline
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Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19050
Loc: Bob Land
There is a plaque at Egremont Ferry too for 'Speakers Corner' I too would be interested in learning why the tradition died out.

PS Also added that book to my 'to be read' list. Cheers.
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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#931783 - 2nd Mar 2015 1:28am Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
granny Offline

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Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13692
Loc: Wirral
Can't give anything definite on Birkenhead Park, but 'idle hands ,clenched fists' is no doubt referring to 'communism'. The speakers corner at Liverpool Pier Head, which was at that time not endowed with such a classy name. In the 60's it was commonly known as the 'soap box at the Pier Head' most generally used for 'spouting on behalf of the Communist Party' and all the little 6th Form school girls from Blackburn House Institute for Girls, would trip down there in their lunchtime or after school, thinking they were being pro-active in the cause.

Eventually they grew up, and left all of that activist nonsense behind, each becoming very successful in their own way.

One of the main speakers also became very successful in his own way . Left it all behind......as they do. He could eventually afford Calvin Klein ,instead of none at all !!! ( I just happen to know far too many secrets, and names) wink

So, quite possibly as there was a period of trend towards this communist ideology, it may have been the same at Birkenhead as there was a strong workforce at Cammell Laird, but admittedly I know little of any History there at that time.

Maybe wrong but I thought Liverpool was one of only a few 'speakers corner's' left in UK although I have not found anything to clarify that. Most mention about it being removed in 1990's

This gives a bit of info but not much.

http://www.speakerscornertrust.org/library/about-free-speech/other-speakers-corners-in-the-uk/


Edited by granny (2nd Mar 2015 1:32am)
_________________________
...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

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#931785 - 2nd Mar 2015 5:51am Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
GeeMeister Offline
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Registered: 4th Jan 2014
Posts: 658
Loc: Wirral
Idle hands, clenched fists has nothing to do with communism and the communism you refer to was probably more along the lines of socialism - even if it was to the extreme end of the spectrum when being spouted at the box. The title of the book, i believe, was in reference to the altercations and riots of the early 80's and was a direct result of the extreme frustrations & anger of feeling helpless and out of work. Not that i agreed with the riots, im just explaining the book.

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#931794 - 2nd Mar 2015 9:12am Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
yoller Online   content
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Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 453
Loc: Cheshire
Idle Hands, Clenched Fists is about the troubles in Birkenhead in 1932, not the 1980s.

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#931797 - 2nd Mar 2015 9:20am Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9685
Loc: Birkenhead
I think you will find it is about both the 1930's and 1980's, the first chapter is called "History Repeats Itself" and it was written in 1987.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#931802 - 2nd Mar 2015 9:37am Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
granny Offline

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Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13692
Loc: Wirral
Locomotive didn't say it was mentioned in the book, he only said that it had reminded him of it.


Edited by granny (2nd Mar 2015 9:39am)
_________________________
...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

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#931803 - 2nd Mar 2015 9:42am Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
GeeMeister Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 4th Jan 2014
Posts: 658
Loc: Wirral
I believe you are correct diggin' my post has a typo, It should have read 30s & 80s. I find it hard to read and one finger type on the small screen of my phone lol.

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#931810 - 2nd Mar 2015 10:36am Re: Park Entrance [Re: GeeMeister]
granny Offline

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Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13692
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: GeeMeister
the communism you refer to was probably more along the lines of socialism - even if it was to the extreme end of the spectrum when being spouted at the box.


Where you there Geemeister, when Communism and Marxism where prevalent in the city ? Please don't assume what 'probably' was as opposed to what 'really' was.
Here is one little quote from the socialist party.org.uk, just to give an idea of who was around at the time.

The Liverpool Labour Party was under the iron grip of the 'Braddock machine'. Bessie Braddock was elected the MP for Exchange in 1945 while John Braddock became the leader of the Labour group on the council in 1948. Former Communist Party members, they both moved far to the right during the boom years, assembling a ruthless apparatus around themselves in the Labour Party. Membership was deliberately kept small; workers applying to join were told that they could not become members because the party was 'full up'. Simon Fraser, the Liverpool Trades Council and Labour Party's secretary at that time, has conceded that 'the organisation was poor and intentionally kept poor to keep out the "wrong sort of candidate".
Walton Labour Party remained a stronghold for the forces of Marxism in the late 1950s. In 1959, George McCartney, a supporter of Socialist Fight, the forerunner of Militant, was selected as Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Walton. In this battle he easily defeated Woodrow Wyatt, then a supporter of Tribune but now a rabid right winger. Unfortunately, the 1959 general election, against all expectations, was a victory for the Tories. Despite a tremendous campaign, Labour failed to win Walton.

Among those who joined Walton Labour Party in 1957, thereby coming into contact with the ideas of Marxism, was Keith Dickenson, one of the five Militant Editorial Board members expelled from the Labour Party in 1983. He recalls how even in the difficult period of the 1950s, the Marxists on Merseyside say youth as the key to the future transformation of the labour movement:
_________________________
...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

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#931816 - 2nd Mar 2015 11:06am Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9685
Loc: Birkenhead
I've never understood why people use the term Socialism and Marxism as political entities. There is Capitalism and Communism, both Marxism and Socialism are predictions of naturally occurring paths from Capitalism to Communism, they cannot be ideals or beliefs to promote themselves by their own definition.

Then the old nugget that most "Communist" countries are less communist than most capitalist countries.

While most people were extremely loyal to our country through both world wars, immediately (or even instantly) after the wars was the realisation of what dictatorships had done to them.

Our political system is based on dictatorship, we elect a government or council in, then we have no control over them even when they do the opposite of what they had promised - they are only accountable unto themselves (think Lyndale School or Lisbon Treaty).

_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#931817 - 2nd Mar 2015 11:09am Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
GeeMeister Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 4th Jan 2014
Posts: 658
Loc: Wirral
Assumptions are always made when being guided by someone else's writing. Just as you made assumptions relating to the title of the book and communism. Nothing in your passage screams communism as such, though it does refer to former communist party members. As I said it was probably extreme socialism. Please don't take offence when it is simply a case of airing on the side of caution for any statement made. After all, just because some people might have had the mindset to which you infer that doesn't mean everyone using the soapbox were of the same mind. Speakers corners have also been used in the past by 'bible bashers'. I love the way you are telling me what not to assume, are you really sure that all the people you referred to of growing up and each becoming very successful in their own way? Thats a big assumption. Please get off your soapbox. smile

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#931833 - 2nd Mar 2015 12:01pm Re: Park Entrance [Re: GeeMeister]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13692
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: GeeMeister
I love the way you are telling me what not to assume, are you really sure that all the people you referred to of growing up and each becoming very successful in their own way? Thats a big assumption. Please get off your soapbox. smile


Just as a matter of interest, I do know all of those people were/are very successful. One of them was my sister, and all her friends, who are all very successful. So put that in your pipe and smoke it !!Thank you. grin


Edited by granny (2nd Mar 2015 12:06pm)
_________________________
...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

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#931836 - 2nd Mar 2015 12:19pm Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
GeeMeister Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 4th Jan 2014
Posts: 658
Loc: Wirral
So now you advocate smoking?? I too know people and they most certainly did not succeed in life..therefore I do not concede touché. Shall I pick up your toy for you? lol.

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#931837 - 2nd Mar 2015 12:36pm Re: Park Entrance [Re: GeeMeister]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13692
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: GeeMeister
So now you advocate smoking?? I too know people and they most certainly did not succeed in life..therefore I do not concede touché. Shall I pick up your toy for you? lol.


...but were your friends sagging school to sit, listen and be influenced by the Communist Activist speakers at the Pier Head ? That was what I started about, young people being influenced. So enough, go and argue with someone else. laugh
Speakers Corners are not needed now anyway, they plonk their backsides in the middle of any street in London, so I believe from much media coverage !


Edited by granny (2nd Mar 2015 12:37pm)
_________________________
...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

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#931838 - 2nd Mar 2015 12:48pm Re: Park Entrance [Re: locomotive]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 453
Loc: Cheshire
Just to go slightly off topic. In 1970 - and maybe later - there was a Communist councillor on Birkenhead Council, representing Rock Ferry. I can't remember his full name, but I think his first name was Colin. Maybe someone remembers him?

One evening, the National Front arranged a public meeting in the heart of Rock Ferry (I think it was in a school hall or church hall ) obviously hoping to provoke trouble. But it was a damp squib. About three people turned up at the Front meeting and the Red hordes of Rock Ferry stayed home watching Corrie.

As for the political debate, I agree with diggingdeeper. As the old saying goes ... Capitalism is man exploiting man; Communism is vice-versa.

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