1980s >> 1988 >> no-1008-august-1988

50 Years Ago: Churchill on atrocities

In an article in the Daily Telegraph (June 9th) Mr. Churchill shows what excellent service the anti-Nazism and anti-Fascism of the Labour and Communist parties in the country is rendering to British capitalism.

He says:

       In 1914 the well-to-do and so-called ruling classes were at first more convinced of the duty to fight than the wage-earning classes. It required the German atrocities in Belgium to rouse the whole people. Now it is somewhat different. The wage-earning classes are resolved not to submit to Nazism or Fascism, and there is more doubt and division in the other ranks of society. (Our italics.)

When Mr. Churchill says “The wage-earning classes are resolved not to submit to Nazism or Fascism,” he expresses confidence that organised workers will follow the lead of Labour and Communist leaders. He is probably right.

But note the unconscious irony in the suggestion that, after twenty years of Labour Party pacifism and advocacy of disarmament, Labour leaders can be so relied upon to urge workers to fight that atrocity stories (real or manufactured) might be unnecessary.

[From the Socialist Standard, August 1938.]