1950s >> 1957 >> no-631-march-1957

Odds and Ends

What They Said

Looking through old pamphlets and journals can be quite an interesting pastime. For example, the Communist Review for April, 1953, wherein Harry Pollitt refers to “Comrade Beria,” Andrew Rothstein writes of Beria as “Stalin’s old comrade-in-arms” and John Eaton tells us that Stalin “through a period of three decades showed himself to be the greatest economist of our times,” and that he was “. . . the most profound, most creative thinker of our time in the science of political economy . . .” etc.

Unfortunately, for the Communist Party, it now appears that Stalin was a terrorist who murdered Russian Army officers, and who “made serious mistakes in connection with agricultural policy . . .” (Harry Pollitt, Daily Worker, 24/3/56). And Beria turned out to be an agent of British Imperialism after all! All this must be very hard even for Communists to swallow. But, then, if one puts faith in leaders what can one expect?

The Socialist—who knows what he wants, and how to get it—needs no leaders to think for him: he thinks for himself. There can be no Stalins, Berias—or Kruschevs in the Socialist movement

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Communist Party Opposes Strikes

It is believed by many that the Communists always advocate and support strikes; that the Communist Party consistently support the workers in their struggles for higher wages and better working conditions. But this is not so. During the last war (after Germany attacked Russia) the Communists opposed all attempts by workers to improve their wages or conditions.

In a pamphlet by W. Wainwright entitled Clear Out Hitler’s Agents, published by the Communist Party, he writes:—

“ Again they [‘left wing’ opponents of the Communist Party] use the trick of waving a red flag. They talk about the boss’ profit. They try to take the heart out of the work. ’Why slave when you are only piling up money for the boss?” they say.

“They want you to go slow, not to give your best work, to be misled by their talk of strikes and the boss’ profits into sabotaging our troops and the Red Army.” (Page 9.)

And in March, 1944, the South Wales miners came out on strike. Although the Communist paper, The Daily Worker, admitted that the miners “have a powerful case ” it told them to “go back to work.” (11/3/44).

The Communist Party is not a working-class party, it is. in fact, a not very successful mouthpiece for the Soviet Government in this country.

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Has Socialism Failed?

In the 1951 General Election the Conservative candidate in North Battersea was one Ian Percival, and in his Election News he wrote:—

“Britain has tried Socialism, and it has failed. At home it has meant shortages, rising prices, high taxation, and one financial crisis after another. Abroad it hat meant a lowering of our prestige, and therefore a weakening of our influences for peace.”

Of course, Socialism has not failed. It has not been tried. During the period that Mr. Percival writes of Britain was ruled by a Labour Government—and the system was a Capitalist one; not Socialist. It is Capitalism that has failed—failed to solve the problems of war poverty and crises. And it is only Socialism that can solve these problems. Labour Government has nothing in common with Socialism.

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Wives or Automobiles—or Both

Middle East potentates used to collect scores of wives for their harems—some still do; but it appears that civilization (and oil companies) are coming to the desert King Saud of Saudi-Arabia has ordered more than 60 Cadillac cars. The King’s order will only cost a mere £357,140 or so. Some of the cars will be fitted with jewelled cigarette-lighters. Some will be air-conditioned; some will have one-way window glass, so that the passengers can see without being seen. And others have armour-plate and special machine gun mountings. . . .

Who says that kings are not useful to the community? Do they not provide work for automobile workers? And are not 60 cars more useful to a King than 60 wives—or are they?

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Rock, Everybody, Rock

At the time of writing Bill Haley and his Comets have arrived triumphantly in Britain; his latest film, “Don’t Knock the Rock,” is being shown on the circuits and the Rock ’n’ Roll craze seems to be at its zenith. Scores of Bill Haley Concerts are being held up and down the country; and some newspapers, particularly the Daily Mirror and the Daily Sketch, are giving more space to Bill Haley than to Prince Charles, Princess Grace or Jayne Mansfield’s vital statistics—for the time being.

Still, it’s all good fun. The “cats” are happy; the newspapers are happy with their new gimmick; and Bill Haley and his backers and agents should be happy “coining the loot.” For is not Rock ’n* Roll the greatest money-maker that “Pop” music has produced in a couple of decades?

So while it lasts . . . Rock, everybody, rock!!

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God’s Own Country!

Baby Doll: Elia Kazan film, bated on a typical Tennessee Williams play about sex, seen against a brutal background of an illiterate, run-down colour-conscious community in the Southern United States. The characters are mostly brutal, ignorant and animal and the story is about a mentally arrested girl, her repressed husband and the Sicilian who seduces her for revenge.”—(What’s On In London, 25/1/57.)

“PEN”

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