The death of the Dowager Lady Jane Birdwood on June 28, 2000 at the age of 87 resulted in several obituaries in the mainstream press. None of the few that I read were what might be termed flattering. Uncharacteristically, her Jewish Chronicle obituary was somewhat reserved; she was described therein as “a long-term publisher of racist and anti-Semitic material throughout the 1970s and 1980s.” (3)
She was said to have been prosecuted three times for the dissemination of anti-Jewish literature. Jewish Chronicle staff writer Helen Jacobus claimed, incorrectly, that her 1991 prosecution was “believed to have been the first conviction for disseminating anti-Jewish material in England”. Surely Jacobus has heard of Arnold Leese? (4)
On October 16, 1991, the Dowager Lady Birdwood was convicted on ten charges under the Public Order Act. This case arose out of her distribution of a series of blatantly anti-Semitic leaflets which were written by an anonymous individual with a long track record of fermenting anti-Semitism. This person, who did not have the courage to append his own name to the leaflets, posted them to Lady Birdwood in the full knowledge that she would be likely to distribute them. If this person lacked intestinal fortitude, Lady Birdwood did not. After obtaining the author’s permission in her very proper fashion, she reprinted them and distributed them with her own name and address appended.
When I began researching this work I was in the unfortunate position of having seen only one of these leaflets, THE SNIDES OF MARCH. (5) The copies which Lady Birdwood had printed at her own expense were seized by the police and subsequently destroyed by order of the court. Later, I managed to obtain a copy of each; they are reprinted in a grossly anti-Semitic booklet entitled Four Small Candles: A Quartet on Anti-Gentilism, which was edited by one Edward First. (6) I will have more to say about the content of THE SNIDES OF MARCH later; for now I will state only that if I were a Jew I might find it offensive, but equally I might find it humorous; it is certainly written in a flippant, tongue-in-cheek style. Whatever the content of the other leaflets, if in modern Britain a person can be prosecuted for printing, publishing or distributing something like THE SNIDES OF MARCH, then our supposed free speech, freedom of expression and individual liberty which ourfathers and grandfathers shed so much blood to secure has been stolen from us like a thief in the night, and, rather than fighting to preserve our individual liberties, politicians and lawyers are legislating them away on the pretext of “fighting” anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry and intolerance.
The case of Lady Birdwood - her trial, conviction and legalised persecution - raises several important issues. Equally, so do the beliefs, which led her to distribute these leaflets in good faith, and which led her to campaign vigorously against (non-white) immigration into Britain, multi-racialism, and later, the Jewish conspiracy. This publication is an attempt to present her side of the case, and, hopefully, to inject a little common sense into the madness of attempting to abolish racism. This publication will also, I hope, prove a more fitting and certainly more accurate obituary than some of the rubbish that has been written about her over the years.
I will state at the outset that I do not for the most part share either Lady Birdwood’s beliefs or her ideology. But, having interviewed her in depth at her West London home, I can totally destroy the myths, innuendo and outright lies that have been spread about her by the likes of Gerry Gable, and which are today spread about anyone like her. In particular, any white British person who has the temerity to speak out against multi-racialism and (what he or she perceives as) the swamping of British culture, (7) the destruction of its Anglo-Saxon heritage and the genocide of the white race. And, even if I were totally opposed to all Lady Birdwood’s ideology and regarded her as the sick, bigoted old woman she was made out to be, like Voltaire, I would disagree with what she says but defend to the death her right to say it. (8)
Lady Birdwood was branded a “bigot”, a “hatemonger” and a dotty old woman. She was also called a “Nazi” and a “fascist”. When I interviewed her I did not meet a raving Nazi nor a madwoman. The most eccentric thing about Jane Birdwood was her horn-rimmed glasses, (9) and although she could quite rightly be said to have had “Jews on the brain” for the last few years of her life, she did not hate Jews, and was therefore not, by my criteria, an anti-Semite. Nor was Lady Birdwood in any sense a fascist; rather, it is for the most part the people who accused her of fascism who were and are themselves guilty of it; she expressed a deep, sincerely held conviction that Britain has been “colonised” by alien races and continued to be so colonised against the wishes of the indigenous majority. This fact is indisputable, as the media’s continued harping on about racism attests.
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