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50 Years Ago: Race and Violence

Race & Violence

With the recent murder of a coloured man in Notting Hill, race-prejudice has once more become a subject of public interest.   It is not possible to say at this stage whether or not Kelso Cochrane died as a result of racial hatred.

What can be said is that passions, hatred and sympathies have been aroused. A large crowd of mourners, both white and black, followed Cochrane's coffin through the streets. Many organisations have had their say about Notting-Hill; some of them, such as the Union Movement, propagating racial discrimination. There is no doubt that the Union Movement is anti-coloured, and rabidly so. It considers that this country should be reserved for Englishmen. This is a "one way only" policy however. Not so many years ago a main plank in Mosley's platform was the intensive economic development of British Africa; for the benefit of the British, of course. "Keep out the coloureds" does not mean keeping the Pinks out of South Africa, Kenya or Nyasaland. The left-wing too, have been having their little stir. They, poor souls, are in a bit of a quandary, for the Labour Government's record does not look particularly attractive. The imprisonment of Nkrumah and the banishment of Seretse Khama must make the collection of coloured people's votes a rather difficult matter. There are, too, plenty of advocates in the Labour Party for the policy of restricting or excluding immigrants. The supporters of such views, to be logical, should exclude or restrict the movement of anybody going anywhere to look for jobs.

(from front page article by F.R. Ivimey, Socialist Standard, July 1959)