There was a time when the British Communists were showing towards Trotsky the blind and extravagant hero worship they now bestow on Stalin. Even as late as 1925 when Trotsky was already on the blacklist (having just resigned from his post as chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Russian Government) the Workers' Weekly, was still able to refrain from the worst extremes of prejudice in its estimate of his work. In its issue of January 23rd, 1925, it published an article containing the following:–
“. . . Trotsky entered the Party in July, 1917, and went through the November Revolution side by side with Lenin. During the next three years he made a great name for himself in history, and did splendid service to the Revolution as organiser and inspirer of the Red Army.”
But by 1940, writing on Trotsky's assassination the Daily Worker (August 23rd, 1940) can descend to publishing an article with the title "A Counter Revolutionary Gangster Passes," written by J .R. Campbell. The article manages to sketch Trotsky's life without ever mentioning his work in the Russian Government.
According to the Star (August 24th, 1940) the Moscow Pravda delivered itself of the following:–
“Under the heading "Death of an International Spy," "Pravda," organ of the Russian Communist party, to-day discloses to its readers the "inglorious end" of Trotsky.
Trotsky is accused of having planned the assassination of Lenin and Stalin as early as 1918 and organised the murder of Gorki, Kuibyshev and Kirov.
Trotsky, adds "Pravda," finally fell a victim to his own weapon.
Finally, “Pravda" alleges that Trotsky was a paid agent of the British, French, German and Japanese secret services.”
"Great men" do not make history but some little men certainly know how to write, (and re-write), it.