Monday, 9 November 2009

The Kremlin and the Labour Party



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.


14 comments:

tris said...

It's funny. The successor to Willie Gallacher and Willie Hamilton turns out to be a poodle for the Americans. How times have changed in Fife!

subrosa said...

Aye Tris, from one regimented control to another.

Plus of course it really shows why unions bother me. In my brief experience with them it was so obvious they were not there for their members good but purely for that of the chosen few.

Quiet_Man said...

It sort of explains why Labour is so fond of the EU, it's just another way to communism, complete with ignoring the wishes of the masses, massive corruption amongst the ruling elite and authoritarian media control to tell us how great it is.

subrosa said...

That's it in an eloquent phrase QM. Thank you.

Delphius1 said...

Remember my blog a while back?

http://delphiusdebate.blogspot.com/2009/08/im-thinking-of-writing-thriller-novel.html

It seems that communists (covert and overt)have gained posts in high places and influenced government over the past 60 years or more.

Is it coincidence or concerted planning?

subrosa said...

Concerted planning I would say Del. Certainly I'm surprised more folks haven't picked up on this chap's diary.

Of course labour will be doing its best to bury the story.

You started that book yet?

Dramfineday said...

Now where do you imagine the communists all when when the game was up? Correct, the green party, environmental pressure groups etc.

Funny thing but I used to think that Tony Benn was a tory party plant to destroy the labour party. When I think back to some of the strokes that guy and his equally dire pal Foot pulled. Remember dockers rights to steal - sorry pack - containers if the goods were produced in factories within a half mile of any navigable waterway?

It comes as no surprise re Jack Jones and what about old Jack Dash who destroyed London docks and Red Robbo?

Aye - the good old days - but we were happy tsssssss

Delphius1 said...

Not yet, but I've been looking more into the hypothetical subject and it might not be as hypothetical as we all think.

From the overt backing of left-wingers you mentioned, to the covert recruitment of those destined to be part of the right-wing establishment, it seems communism has spread its tentacles into all levels of western society.

You're probably right Labour will try and bury it, or at least disassociate themselves from it. But people need reminding how many of the Labour hierarchy were originally Marxists in their youth.

But its not just this country: The unelected EU model is straight out of the Soviet era. Thanks to German and French communists. I feel sorry for the Eastern European states that shed the shackles of one totalitarian regime only to be saddled with another.

subrosa said...

They were only 'happy' days because we were lacking information Dram. Now it's very slowly coming into the public domain.

I used to cringe when Kinnock shouted 'Comrades and brothers and sisters,' - just awful it was. It's been dropped now except by the union leaders.

Aye I remember the dockers rights.

subrosa said...

I think you could write a great book Del. Douglas Hurd wrote a good political novel, dig it out at the library. Can't remember the title though. Also the ex-intelligence boss Stella Rimmington has written a great thriller. Library should have that too.

As well as feeling sorry for the Eastern countries, I'm angry we've been steam-rollered by this corrupt government concerning the Lisbon Treaty.

Delphius1 said...

The European story is one maybe for a second book, given there is lots of material around the Red Army Faction, their links to German Greens and the rise of the Greens in German and therefore European politics.

subrosa said...

Ah I see you have started your research. Great stuff. Political thrillers are good sellers Del. If you lived near here I'd push you in the direction of a super lecturer at Dundee uni who runs evening/day classes in literature. Not just the writing of it but the contacts etc.

I'm sure there's someone down your way who could chivvie you along that way.

Dark Lochnagar said...

What was interesting Rosie was the number of times Harold Wilson visited Moscow, from memory it was around 20 and that was during a cold war. I always remember my father saying he was getting his orders. Maybe my old man wasnae so daft!

subrosa said...

I don't think my Dad was daft either DL. Although ours wasn't a political household, he did talk politics with my granny. Dad was labour and granny a tory and I remember my granny always telling my Dad he was becoming like a Fifer.

Took me years to understand what she mean and she was dead by then.

Aye Dads and grannies were no' that daft right enough.

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