For me, at 14 years old, I was fed up with the National Front - a Fascist group. They had taken over Lewisham High Street and they selled Fascist newspapers. They had poured petrol in the letter boxes in Asian homes in Lewisham and set them on fire. A bunch of skinheads at the school where members. So, I set out to try to stop them.
As I walked down Manor Park, Lewisham, it was late. It was about midnight. As I came to my home, a car pulled up, and four guys got out. They were instantly on me. They forced me to the floor, shouting obscenities. “You wog loving cunt!!’ told me to get down on my knees, and then on the pavement. They were National Front members. They had knives. For 5 minutes they put my head on the floor. One of them said ‘Commie cunt! What are you doing helping Pakies and Wogs? If you don't stop, we will kill you! Fucking kill you!!’.
Eventually, they went into the car, and left. I picked myself up, dusted off my clothes, and entered my home. I was bloody and shaken - but I was pleased. Good!! I was a member of Socialist Labour League, (SLL) run by Gerry Healy, with my brother Paul. I worshipped Gerry Healy. I was 14 years old. The reason why NF were gentle, because they were shocked at my age. Good! Of course, let’s say in a year, when we start the revolution, the four fascists will be rounded up and shot. Good riddance. I went to bed around 12.30 at night. I set the alarm for 5.30am - I had to go out and sell “Keep Left’ magazine at Elliott Brothers Ltd Century Works (Electrical Engineering), Lewisham. There was work to do.
The SLL used the Young Socialist as their own youth section. I joined them. It was run through the "centre" in Clapham - the SLL's Headquarters - in a doctrinaire and almost militaristic fashion. The Annual Conferences of the Young Socialists were stage managed by the Healyites.
There was always a ‘crisis’. The ‘Crises’ went on for ever, by the force of Gerry Healy’s personality. Healy's ability to commit great crimes, sprang from the strength of his personality. When he walked into a room, everyone went quiet. Healy could touch you. He could make you feel almost physically the socialist dream. It was not his physical size- he was almost a dwarf, but he looked like a giant to me. Perhaps it was like L Ron Hubbard.
But Healy was an unbelievably powerful speaker. In a general meeting where he was speaking, he would be late, and he would start out whispering quietly. Someone would say “I can’t hear you!’, and the comrades would say to the man “Scch!!!! Shut up comrade’!!. Then, after 10 minutes Healy suddenly raised his voice, violently jabbing his finger, and exploded into ferocious verbal crescendo, and then again and he whispers for 5 minutes, and exploded into another verbal attack. It was stunning and strangely real. In the 1930’s, Healy acted as a Comintern courier into Nazi Germany and apparently (so he says) saw Hitler speak.
He would inspired fear and frantic loyalty wherever he went. Healy run the organization in a violent way, and physical terror against anybody who dared disagree with him. If you ever disagreed with him, he would crush you.