I went into Easterby today with Dad at nine o’clock. He parked at the back of the Main Library and while he went to get a ticket I went to the library.
I took four books back – “The Lost Pharaohs” by Leonard Cotterel, “Stellar Evolution,” “Socialism” and a book by Tariq Ali called “The Coming British Revolution.” The were all overdue and I hadn’t read any of them so I got only one book out this time – “Revolutionary Guerrilla Warfare.”
I then went to Smiths on Queensgate and spent ages reading a book there about the assassination of President Kennedy. It left me with a funny feeling inside.
After Smith’s I decided to go to the Praxis Bookshop – one of my favourite haunts – and I bought an SWP book “Why you should be a Socialist” (35p), and two SPGB “Socialist Standards” at 15p each. I also bought another SPGB book – “Questions of the Day” (50p).
The SPGB material, when compared to the SWP literature, really makes sense to me. Before I heard about the SPGB I was, in effect, just purporting to be socialist without really understanding what principles were involved. But after buying the SPGB’s “Declaration of Principles” all that changed. I found real allegiance for the SPGB upholds the things in which I really believe – abolition of wages and money and therefore trade unions and “class-consciousness” leading to a unified world community. The SWP lot are just image-men in comparison; “romantic militants.”
When I came out of Praxis it was raining and since I was now penniless I set off to walk. I went back through Lockley, on Musgrove Road, and then on to West Lane and into the Park. Because the rain was now getting heavy I kept stopping beneath trees and under roofs in an attempt to stay dry.
It was while I was sheltering under the roof of a stone shed at the Lodgehill end of Woodhead Park that a Pakistani bloke, aged about 45-50, came and stood with me. I smiled and in a naïve friendliness tried to start a conversation. He could hardly speak a word of English and after asking me whether I was coming home from work, he offered me a cigarette. I refused and then he offered me two pound notes. Naively I couldn’t understand why. I refused these, telling him to keep his cash. He then asked me if “I no liked money.” Yes, I replied, I did, but I didn’t want his. He kept pressing me and it was then that I noticed how he was gazing at me constantly, and when I looked up he kept winking at me. It was about this time I twigged – he was a queer! I noticed that he kept fiddling with his flies. Shortly after I made my exit, still being friendly (he probably thought I was encouraging him). He called me back and pointed to a little doorway in the shed which was open and inside was strewn straw, newspaper and an old pillow. He indicated for me to go inside – it makes me sick just to think –and I, still half-doubting, wondered why. I refused and he asked me if “I no like” the room. No, I said, and I was off. He followed me onto Lodgehill, where he caught up with me and I said goodbye. I was so bloody naïve – innocently being cordial while he had other intentions obviously.
When he left I thought he was just trying to be friendly, but the more I thought about it the more I realized what a pervert he was. I told Mum about it when she came home and she later told me that she knew what he had wanted.
Anyway, the rest of the day passed uneventfully (I read my leaflets and did my leagues) and when Dad came home I told him about the above. When he told me that he was a queer and that there are more in Woodhead Park like him, it only made me feel more the fool. How could I be so bloody childishly innocent!