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Free speech

Freedom of Opinion

 On November 18th Mussolini made a speech to the Italian Fascist Party in which he claimed that the Italian war bulletins were truthful and fair statements of Italian as well as British war losses.

 Commenting on this speech in its editorial for November 19th, the Daily Express compares the position of the Press in this country with its position in Italy and Germany and Russia, quite rightly pointing out how impossible it is for any criticism of the Government to obtain publicity in the latter three countries.

 We know quite well that the dictatorships owe much of their success to lies and the suppression of opinion, but how do we stand here in that respect? The Daily Express says: —

Hitler the "Socialist"

 Many anti-Nazis who are also anti-Socialist are only too pleased to discredit Socialism by pretending that Hitlerism is what Hitler claims: a form of Socialism. The Evening Standard, serialising “My Struggle," headed its extracts on October 6th, 1938, “Hitler—Socialist." This is what the Evening Standard says: —

      It required an Austrian to lift up Germany, and an anti-Marxist to impose Socialism upon her. Hitler gave fair warning. Roughly half of the Twenty-five Unalterable Points of the Nazi creed, laid down in 1920, would make the British Labour Party shudder at their extremism.

Editorial: Reason or Violence

 The meeting held by the Fascists on June 7th at the Olympia, was the occasion of disorder that has prompted a shower of newspaper correspondence, questions in Parliament, and the suggestion that the police should have the right of entry into public meetings.

 As far as the information goes, there does not appear to be any doubt that organised groups went to the meeting with the deliberate intention of creating disorder. Why, then, is so much fuss being made over the fact that they were roughly ejected?

 The outcry comes from such different quarters as Conservative, Liberal, Labour and Communist. The Conservatives have their own axe to grind, and are not anxious to assist the growth of Mosley’s following. The other groups appear to have the wind up.

Letters: Fascists and Communists

 We have received the following letter criticising a statement contained in our July editorial: —

Clapham, S.W.4.
July 3rd, 1934.

Editorial Committee.

Dear Comrades,

            Re Editorial, July issue, 1934, referring to Blackshirt meeting at Olympia, I am astonished when you say that they, i.e., members of the audience, "only got what they asked for,” surely this should not be the considered expression of a Socialist organisation when referring to members of an audience who make slight interruptions. It is apparent from eye witnesses’ accounts (see Daily Herald, June 9th, 1034) that interruptors were brutally treated; you put it rather mildly when you say they were "roughly handled," for people to be knocked unconscious, then kicked.

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