Back in the 50s the head of the Communist Party of Great Britain was one named Harry Pollitt. He was the man who advised high-flying young left-wingers to "work hard, get good degrees, join the Establishment and serve our cause from within."
Soon these high-flyers had considerable power both within the labour party and the trades' union movement.
The diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, the Soviet Union's contact man with the West at the height of the cold war, has surfaced in the WS National Security Archive and it tells the story between the British Labour Part and Soviet communists.
We all know the labour party had links to the Kremlin but I certainly wasn't aware how strong these ties were. The constant 'comrade' or 'brother' I found slightly discomforting but I never realised that many ministers in government today rose through the ranks of a British socialist movement that was influenced -and even controlled - by the Kremlin in Moscow.
Many of them were involved, from Jack Jones the Transport and General Workers' Union leader who was a paid agent for the USSR to Alec Kitson, deputy of the TGWU who concocted a plan to send a team of Russians to the Scottish TUC conference to 'deliver the Soviet point of view.'
Party leaders such as Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock were at times deeply reverential to the Russian 'comrades' the diary reveals.
One of Jack Jones' brightest proteges was Gordon Brown. The decision to give the young Scotsman his first and only safe seat, Dunfermline East, was made by two TGWU senior officials - one of the was Jack Jones and the other the drunk Alex Kitson. No real surprise Fife was used as Gordon Brown's seat as it was well known for communism in my youth. It had the longest serving communist MP in Willie Gallacher then Willie Hamilton was elected under the Labour banner.
Pollitt was considered a hero by the Russians for his part in the Soviet infiltration of this country. Strangely I've never heard any labour MP mention his name publicly - surely many have Harry Pollitt to thank for their political careers. Maybe they toast him behind closed doors.