Monday, May 28, 2012

Leaders of men

Run across during research....

I'm not a betting man, but I would think that a reasonably good wager might be made that this was the only ever article in which Leon Trotsky was compared with the leader of the Salvation Army: 

‘In England, where in spite of our troubles we still retain the sanity of free speech, Mr. Trotsky’s views on our affairs (Where is Britain Going? George Allen and Unwin, 4s. 6d.) will no doubt command a certain amount of interest.

General Booth, with his jaunty hat
Mr. Trotsky has been a leader of men. So also was the founder of the Salvation Army, and so also is his son, General Bramwell Booth, whose reminiscences we consider this week. Here the similarities end.

General Booth and General Trotsky are zealots and organizers. But one has humour and insight, the other stammers out platitudes in the voice of a phonograph with a scratched record. With every wish to be fair to Mr. Trotsky, we began his latest work with the idea that he would have something interesting to say. He has not.

Appealing frankly to violence, he attempts to show, in the teeth of history and with comical ignorance of conditions here, that England has thrived on revolutions—other people’s revolutions in Europe.

General Trotsky, with his not-so-jaunty hat
And now “the masses must be revolutionarily educated and tempered. Of this the first condition is an implacable struggle with the contaminating spirit of MacDonaldism.”

Fleet Street, thinks Mr. Trotsky, “still awaits the proletarian hand” that shall educate the public away from the frivolities of Cup-ties and racing, to the industrial world of the Bolshevist.

A course of reading in this miniature Marx should be prescribed for every girl or boy who is sickening with Communist theories.’

The Spectator, 13 February 1926, p. 277 (paragraph breaks added)
And, as a help to the younger folk among you, 'MacDonaldism' refers to this chap not this chap, though both have, in their time, been described as agents of capitalism, so any confusion is forgiveable.

(And Fleet Street is, of course, still awaiting the "proletarian hand"...)

(Image sources: Booth, Trotsky)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Isolated and shot down

We (as in 'vee Chermans') have had better days, or so the current main page at the Guardian would suggest.

A message, as it were, from the belly of the beast.

Otherwise known as London.