1950s >> 1952 >> no-579-november-1952

The New Tribune—but the same old story

On the 26th September the new Tribune appeared, it is no longer a magazine but a weekly newspaper complete with photographs. Many of the articles are written with a lively style, but then so is the Daily Mirror. The new Tribune claims to be a socialist paper; well we are willing to believe anything that can be proved. Let’s have a look at the claim.

 

On the front page we are told in red type that “Nye Bevan writes on page four,” the maestro himself—more boosting of the leader. It’s a bad start as socialists do not follow leaders, they don’t have them.

 

The main article on the front page with big headlines “Declaration of Independence—We Don’t Want Those Dollars” begins as follows: – “Our Country is in greater danger than at almost any time since 1940. But today the threat does not come from dive-bombers and blitzkrieg. The urgent peril is not one of military conquest. The danger is creeping social decay and a mortal surrender of British independence.” Who are the patriots? It can’t be the Tories or Attlee and Co, since they accepted the dollars, surely it must be Bevan and Co.—No socialism here so let’s turn to page 2.

 

J. P. W. Mallalieu, who describes himself as a free-lance journalist occupies most of the page. He tells us the heart-rending story that he only receives £1,000 per year as an M.P. with no subs from the Co-op. and no subs from a Trade Union although he is a member of both. They do things better in America as the Nixon affair showed.

 

On page 3 we have Jennie Lee, she her article “what an extraordinary mixture our Labour movement is! On some issues it takes a robust Socialist line then on others it’s as conservative as the Tory Party.” We can certainly agree about the extraordinary mixture of the Labour movement although we have failed to see where it takes a robust Socialist line. Perhaps Jennie Lee will write another article and tell us.

 

On page 4, as we were advised on the front page, there is an article by Aneurin Bevan complete with a smiling photograph. He requests “Don’t be misled by the smear campaigns.: The “great leader” hasn’t been getting the support he expected. In his article he makes an attack on the Communist Party, he omits to mention that he was once expelled from the Labour Party because he formed a united front. His argument is for more nationalisation, no wonder he hasn’t got the support he so badly wants. Nationalisation hasn’t proved so popular with the workers.

 

On the same page there is an obituary on the late George Tomlinson. We are told: “On the platform he was a masterly performer. Audiences rocked with laughter and sometimes came near to tears. He held them in the hollow of his hand. He could do what he wished with them.”—No he wasn’t an actor, not on the legitimate stage at least, he was a Labour M.P. and Minister.

 

On page 5, Ian Mikardo asks the question “Are you, too, a perpetual reformer?” On dealing with the Labour Party he states “What, then , is the real difference between the so-called Left and the so-called Right, between the Nationalisers and the so-called Consolidators? It is, put sharply, the difference between those who are thinking afresh in order to discover some new and better roads to our Socialist goal, and those who are thinking afresh in order to discover some new goal to replace the one they have abandoned.”

 

Do you get it? The so-called Lefts are looking for new and better roads to Socialism—what happened to their old roads? The so-called Right are looking for a new goal. What a mess they are all in, what are the leaders going to do about it?

 

There are a number of adverts, even the brewers don’t mind claiming “Beer is Best” in the Tribune. But still nothing about Socialism, in fact it’s the same old Tribune but that’s what we expected.

 

D.W.L.