My signed copy of this work discloses by the signature a man very disciplined, a bit over-tidy perhaps, with an element of lower sensuality too somewhere (large loops on some letters). Enough of graphology. The book itself goes into Jones' very poor childhood in Liverpool in detail; the same of his work as union official and power in the land after WW2. His blinkered ideological viewpoint (Gordievsky and others have implied that he was not only pro-Soviet but even a "confidential contact" or worse) does come out, though more by omission: the Soviet Union failed to join in the war against Hitler "in the early stages of the war", we read. True but "early stages"? From 1939 to 1941, just under 2 years out of 5 or so years in all! And Jones WAS a political commissar, attached to a Republican pro-Communist battalion in the Spanish Civil War. As Orwell wrote in Homage to Catalonia, the Communists started to purge a lot of dissidents after 1936, so Jones, there from 1936-1938 was obviously approved by Soviet Intelligence. He gives no credit to Franco for honouring the dead on all sides after his 1939 victory (most prisoners being released after a while). Jones makes no mention of the horrendous Republican atrocities (though he says he learned to use his revolver). And so it goes. In this book the name "Stalin" never appears...
He gives virtually no space, less than a page, to the War in which he was a trade union official. As Oswald Mosley said, the Labour Party (which Mosley might have led had he wanted to) votes for war, always, under three conditions: it must not be to Britain's advantage; the armies must not be properly armed; no top Labour people will have to fight in it!
I remember, as a teenager in the 1970's, Jones talking (ranting) on TV about Franco and also about those Jones insisted on calling, in pseudo-Spanish I suppose, as "fassissts"!
His domestic political activities seem very limited too. Mosley, he opines, is a traitor and mad (this as early as 1930!) because ex-Labour (he wanted to DO something about poverty etc). Jones is a black and white "thinker" if he can be called a thinker at all. Gordievsky's book (Next Stop Execution) notes that Jones' flat had few books, a "typical philistine environment" with "everything in an exagerrated state of tidiness"!
Jones notes that his mother was helped by a poor Jew who gave her credit, she also buying from another Jew in his shop. So Jones is against anti-Semitism, but fails to realize that here are two refugee Jews circa 1919 and one is lending money and his friend has a shop as the workers starve...later Jones applauds his fellow Labour Party colleagues (both MPs) Mikardo and Zilliacus both of whom we now know from ex-Soviet archives, were Soviet agents and paid as such (this book came out in 1986).
No doubt he was an effective trade unionist, but he exhibits in these nearly 400pp very few ideas and even fewer (none in fact) original ones.
October 2009 update: just-released MI5 archives reveal that Jones WAS a Soviet and later Czech agent, receiving money as late as the 1960's if not later, in return for union and Labour documents. Nice to be shown to be correct...even if it does entail the revising of "history".