Collaboration with the enemy is probably an inevitability. In war some people do what they can to survive even at the cost of their neighbours’ lives; it’s understandable and difficult to forgive without the buffer of time to consider all the reasons. In 1920 there was no buffer of time as the people of Portsmouth were into their fifth year fighting off the Squirmy Munge and collaborators were looked upon with utter contempt and dealt with quite brutally.
We saw in a previous article on the alien invasion of Portsmouth that the subject of collaboration with the enemy was a sore subject for the locals. For a couple of years before 1920 collaborators – people who passed information onto the Squirmy Munge or who were even deemed to fail to resist with typical Pompey spirit – would quietly disappear in the night but when a small group of pro-invaders supporters started to voice opposition to the war and advocated capitulation a more public demonstration of what it meant to be a Portsmouth citizen was needed.
In March of 1920 the first public centrifugion of collaborators took place. Traitors were tied by ropes to the “Spinning Stick” (better names were sought but there was a war going on and catchily-titled execution methods were in short supply) and spun to death. That year was particularly warm on the south coast and these public displays, though grisly, provided a cooling breeze as they operated making them very popular.