ONE hundred and ten years ago, in 1907, if Nigel Farage had been alive and walking through parts of East London he would have undoubtedly whined about the lack of English being spoken.
He would have heard Russian, German, Yiddish, Latvian, Lithuanian and many other tongues in the streets, cafes and pubs. A glance at the newspapers — just as right-wing and inaccurate as our media is these days — would have explained what this band of dastardly foreigners were up to.
Screaming headlines declared them to be not just revolutionaries, communists, anarchists, terrorists, even nihilists; but also arsonists, bombers and murderers.
Just as today their actions were described as terrorist outrages. But again as today these labels were more insult and abuse rather than accurate political analysis and the instant solution called for was to send all foreigners home.
Yet many of these visitors would become important and well known people in the progressive history of the world. Their inheritance lives on wherever working people of all lands still struggle for peace, freedom and social justice.