Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I Know a Man That Tried to Assassinate a World Leader...

Hitler with Franco

I know a man, who lives near me, who in 1964 at eighteen years of age, hitch-hiked across France and acquired explosives, crossed the Spanish border, made his way to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid and was arrested just before his attempt to assassinate the dictator General Francisco Franco, whom for 39 years was the Spanish military general and head of state of Spain. Franco had a total of 30 attempts on his life. For me, that would have been a sign to stop being such a nasty cowardly little bastard of a dictator.

I don't actually KNOW the would be assassin personally, I know OF him, he lives around my way, I have even read his autobiography "Granny made me an anarchist" and his name is Stuart Christie. A Scottish international revolutionary militant, publisher, anarchist propagandist, writer, translator and editor and considered an all round subversive type. He certainly made the militant trade unionists of the seventies look like they should have been his bitches.  He was also found not guilty in 1972 after one of the longest criminal trails in British history of throwing flour bombs at miss world contestants, Bombing embassies, police stations, blowing up conservative members of parliament cars and the property of a few cabinet ministers.

His Autobiography
I thought about contacting him and having a coffee to discuss what would have been one of my few articles not related to feckin' taxis. In the movies, you see these reporter types pull out a little pad, lick their pencil and scribble away in shorthand with a bit of tongue hanging out. So I would have felt a complete dick with the brand new A4 sized reporters pad I bought from Tescos. It would have been like turning up with a Nobo white board. So I bottled it and didn't.

So what do I know about him that you would find interesting enough to carry on reading instead of checking your facebook status? Was he dangerous? MI6 thought he was. Interpol thought so too, General Franco was reasonably confident he was that's for sure.

Instead of being publicly garrotted to death which was normal for your assassin terrorist types in Spain at the time, he was sentenced to twenty years in the Carabanchel prison, which at the time was the biggest prison in Europe and built to house political prisoners. He was freed on Sept 21 1967 after a letter from his mum and public pressure from the likes of Bertrand Russell and Jean Paul Sartre. Who are they? Well google them you lazy bollox, what am I? Your feckin' history teacher?

He was an editor of the unauthorised British edition of Pravda. the notable Leon Trotsky was his counterpart in Russia albeit 60 plus years earlier. Christie still writes and publishes many books and articles on Anarchy. He also runs

A quote from The Anarchist Encyclopedia:
Stuart Christie
"Christie was under constant surveillance and harassment of the police and blamed for the actions of numerous guerilla groups, such as the "First of May Group"-leading, in 1970 to eighteen months in jail before charges of "conspiracy to cause explosion" failed, when he was cleared after a long trial in 1972."

 Well, there you go then, a rather short potted history of someone I have not knowingly met yet, someone that should have had a film or one of them docudrama thingamajigs done on him by now. I may even have taken him home or down to the pub in the cab.  He is a Glaswegian with a history and a penchant for blowing up dictators and allegedly was organising subversive plots all over the place. He is in his retirement years now. But I suspect GCHQ still has a tap on his phone and MI6 are still sifting through his rubbish every now and again...

Will I one day have the nuts to say hello to him in the town? Nah! I've heard about them Glasgow kisses...and anyway, I get all girly and silly with people I genuinely admire. Bollox, I gave away my politics there didn't I? Oh well! That's me on the GCHQ and MI6 lists then, I'm off to burn me gas bill before they go through me bins...

The man himself actually emailed me and said he found this article "Very droll" So, according to it means he found it amusing in an odd way and whimsically humorous! Er... that means he likes it right? I..I mean he isn't likely to blow bits of me up or anything is he? I mean I'm not dictatorish or anything and I'm not related to anyone in government.  Well...the mrs works for the council and um... oh bollox never mind...