22.8.40

The Beaverbrook press, compared with the headlines I saw on other papers, seems to be playing down the suggestion that Trotsky’s murder was carried out by the G.P.U[1]. In fact today’s Evening Standard, with several separate items about Trotsky, didn’t mention this suggestion. No doubt they still have their eye on Russia and want to placate the Russians at all costs, in spite of Low’s cartoons[2]. But under this there may lie a much subtler manoeuvre. The men responsible for the Standard’s present pro-Russian policy are no doubt shrewd enough to know that a Popular Front “line” is not really the way to secure a Russian alliance. But they also know that the mass of leftish opinion in England still takes it for granted that a full anti-fascist policy is the way to line up Russia on our side. To crack up Russia is therefore a way of pushing public opinion leftward. It is curious that I always attribute these devious motives to other people, being anything but cunning myself and finding it hard to use indirect methods even when I see the need for them.

To-day in Portman Square saw a four-wheeler cab, in quite good trim, with a good horse and a cabman quite of the pre-1914 type.

[1] Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), a leader of the October 1917 revolution in Russia, and Commissar for Foreign Affairs and for War, 1917-24, was instrumental in the creation of the red Army. In the power struggle that followed the death of Lenin in 1924, he lost to Stalin and was exiled. He was assassinated in Mexico because he and those who followed him continued to oppose Stalin. His death was attributed to the Soviet secret police, the OGPU.

[2] David Low (1891-1963) was a political cartoonist of left-wing views who worked for the Evening Standard and later for the Manchester Guardian. Peter Davison

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6 Responses to 22.8.40

  1. Pingback: Airminded · Post-blogging 1940

  2. MOST SECRET:
    CONFIDENTIAL ANNEX.
    (22nd August. 1940 – 12 Noon’).
    THE WAR CABINET had before them a most secret Memorandum by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (W. P. (40)324)…..

    Turning to the policy of “scraping the pot”, described in part VI of his Memorandum, the Chancellor said that a requisition of wedding rings and other gold ornaments, would not produce more than some £20 millions,

    THE PRIME MINISTER thought that this was a measure to be adopted at a later stage, if we wished to make some striking gesture for the purpose of shaming the Americans.

  3. Catherine says:

    ‘The Other Eric’ (Rudsdale) would be proud of you, George, for your observation of this ‘four-wheeler cab, in quite good trim, with a good horse’, I shall start to wonder if you two have compared diaries!

  4. jhameac says:

    “It is curious that I always attribute these devious motives to other people, being anything but cunning myself…”

    This is something that is put forward a lot of in our days as well Eric; hypothetical, mysterious, conspiratorial powers which somehow indirectly move world events. And yet, we know no one that cunning. It seems we protest a wee too much.

  5. Pingback: Leon Trotksy « Poumista

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