Sir Alfred Sherman (1919-2006) was brought up in Hackney and joined the Communist Party there in about 1936, remaining a member until 1948. He fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. He later became a Conservative and in 1974 was co-founder of the Centre for Policy Studies, and became politically close to - and an adviser of - Margaret Thatcher..
This interview took place in central London on 20 February 1990. Sherman talks about the attraction of the Communist Party to youngsters in Hackney in the 1930s ('we lived in a semi-ghetto, and the Communist Party was an intellectual, emotional ghetto if its own') - a subject he returns to at the end of the interview - and his decision to fight on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War: he commented at one time that he was the only person to be machine-gunned by fascists later to be accused of being a fascist (as part of the abuse he faced for being a Thatcherite). Much of the interview is about the changing political allegiances of British jews, conducted for a radio documentary on that subject.