Long time back I subscribed to an anarchist weekly called ‘Freedom’ and a theoretical monthly called ‘Anarchy’. I liked the ideas element in the monthly but found the weekly left wing nonsense. Alas in time the monthly lost its marbles the same way as the other. Curious to learn more I called in to the anarchist meetings held above The Lamb and Flag pub in Covent Garden. It was chaos, there were no rules of procedure, nothing was discussed, egomaniacs got up for no reason other than to promote themselves, everyone gossiped and squabbled, and much beer was drunk. Colourful and amusing in its own way but not inspiring. The London Collective of Anarchists couldn’t boil a three minute egg let alone lay the foundations of a new society.
The romance came to an end when their offices were burgled and the mailing lists stolen, Special Branch had taken everyone’s name and home address including my own. Alarmed I wrote to criticise their security and cancel my subscription. By return of post I received a crazed, vituperative and threatening reply. All the bile the writer had been saving up against the world was directed at me. At last he had a target.
I sent it back advising him to keep it to show his revolutionary friends as it would prove he was capable of attacking the innocent with no provocation. Bombing and mayhem was in the air and The Grosvenor Square Machine Gun Gang had just shot up the American embassy. In response he sent another mad missive in which only green and purple ink was missing.
So ended my days as an anarchist. In order to bring the correspondence to a conclusion I replied with Lord Sandwich's famous riposte. It did the trick. ‘Dear Sir, Your letter is before me, and soon it will be behind me.’