Bobby Fischer, his Mum and the Grunwick picket line.


Like many people I am an avid reader of the ‘letters pages’ which are published in the daily newspapers, I especially like the Guardian and Daily Telegraph’s. I often marvel at a letter that cuts to the core of its subject matter in a single paragraph, sheer class. Then there are those like the example I republish below from Graham Taylor which reinforces one’s own opinion, yet in the process manages to tell us something new and interesting.

Monday January 21, 2008
The Guardian

Your reporter Stephen Moss (Death of a madman driven sane by chess, January 19) mentions that Bobby Fischer’s mother was “an immensely strong-willed woman”. In 1977, standing on the Grunwick picket line in north-west London, I recognised Regina Fischer and introduced myself. “Ah yes,” she said grimly, “you’re the one who writes all those horrible things about Bobby.” I explained that I would be delighted to learn that Bobby’s alleged views on the inferiority of women, the evils of socialism and the duplicity of the Jews had been totally misrepresented, and I would be sure to get published whatever she told me.

She considered this offer carefully. After some thought, she handed me a slice of the orange she was eating and said: “I forgive you.” She added some words on the significance of vegetarianism and the meaningfulness of giving fruit. “But now,” she said with absolute conviction, “I will stop this bus.”
For months, hundreds of pickets, including Arthur Scargill and the Yorkshire miners, had tried to stop the strike-breaking Grunwick bus from crossing the picket line, but without success, for massed police lines held back the pickets as the bus drove through the factory gates at speed. Some time later the bus appeared, as it did every day, cleaving its way through the enraged crowd. As it reached the gate, Regina threw herself in front of its wheels. Braking sharply, it ground to a halt. This was the only time during the historic Grunwick strike that the infamous bus was stopped by a demonstrator.


Graham Taylor

London

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Filed under Booby-Fischer chess, Irish politics, letters-page, Organized Rage

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