The Communist International prioritized executing its erratic international strategy over national interests of foreign communists. The British communists, whose substance came from the Fabian Society, were thus unable to offer the British public competent topics and remained on the edge of interest despite a relatively strong intellectual foundation and financial support from the Russian Bolsheviks. The traditional trade union movement, which managed to maintain control over the 1926 strike movement, together with consistent action of the British security organs against even the smallest acts performed by assumed or real Soviet agents, also contributed to this situation. The British communists only succeeded in utilising their prevailing educational and publishing activities in the mid-1930s thanks to Moscow's relaxed anti-Fascist policy. Through Friends of the Soviet Union, i.e. a British branch of the Moscow All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries and by organising journeys to the Soviet Union, the communists gradually won sympathies of influential British persons. The Left Book Club, established in May 1936 by the publisher Victor Gollancz, became their most successful project. For a short time the communists acquired further political capital by supporting the Spanish leftists against Franco. Soon afterwards, however, Moscow's controversial tactic towards the Spanish Civil War, signature of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and Comintern's refusal to support British patriots in the air war against Hitler marginalised the British communists once again.