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Harry Pollitt

Personalities or Principles?

 The conflict now raging between Social Democrats and Communists in almost every European country is receiving far more attention than it deserves. From the working-class view-point the questions in dispute are of little or no importance, and personalities, not principles, are the chief issues.

 The corresponding parties in this country are the Labour Party, now in power, and the Communist Party. Both these parties claim to be out for a fundamental change, and to base their respective policies on this aim. Yet the activities of both parties are concerned solely with the advocacy of reforms within the capitalist system.

A Comparison

 Comparisons are odious,” says the proverb. They may, nevertheless, be informative. Marx avers that history repeats itself, the first event being tragedy, the second farce. Occurrences in the political world—especially in parties claiming to speak on behalf of the working-class, here and abroad, since the outbreak of the second World War of 1939, will evoke Homeric laughter from posterity.

 World War No. 1, despite the flood of imperialistic enthusiasm it released, also produced a certain amount of luke-warm opposition from the officials of the Labour Party and T.U.C. On Sunday, August 2nd, 1914, these gentry were to be found on the historic plinth at Trafalgar Square haranguing a considerable crowd, who subsequently passed a resolution, declaring their common interest with workers of other nations and calling on British workers to maintain neutrality.

Industrial Conscription in Russia

 At the time the Daily Worker was suppressed the Government here were about to introduce a scheme of compulsory registration of workers for various industries producing war and other essential materials. The Communists, indeed, maintained that the two events were connected. Thus Mr. Harry Pollitt in a meeting at Manchester:

      He said it was significant that the suppression of this newspaper should coincide with the attempt to introduce industrial conscription. (Manchester Guardian, February 10th.)

 Those who do not know Mr. Pollitt and the Communist Party to which he belongs may imagine that the Communists are opposed to industrial conscription. Nothing could be further from the truth. They object to it only in this country, never a word of criticism came from them about industrial conscription in Russia.

Editorial: The Russian Invasion of Finland

Nemesis Overtakes Bolshevism

 When Russian troops invaded Finland the official excuse put forward by Molotov in a broadcast reproduced by the Daily Worker (December 1st, 1939) was that the “ only purpose of our measures is to ensure the security of the Soviet Union, and especially Leningrad." He repudiated annexationist aims, laid the blame on the “unfriendly” Finnish Government, and discovered provocative acts, “including even artillery firing on our troops." He did not deny that the Russian Government was demanding concessions from Finland, but put against these the offer of certain territory in exchange.

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