Vote of censure defeated 475-25. This figure means that there were very few abstentions. The same trick as usual – the debate twisted into a demand for a vote of confidence on Churchill himself, which has to be given, since there is no one to take Churchill’s place. Things are made much easier for the government by the obvious bad motives of some of its chief attackers, eg. Hore-Belisha.  I don’t know how much longer this comedy can go on, but not much longer.
No reference to the second front in Churchill’s speech.
The Japanese are evidently going to attack Russia fairly soon. They appear to be firmly lodged in the outer Aleutians, which can’t have any meaning except as a move to cut communications between Russia and the USA.
The pinks are panicking to an extent they haven’t equalled since Dunkirk. The New Statesmen’s leading article is headed “Facing the Spectre”. They take the loss of Egypt for granted. Heaven knows whether this will actually happen, but these people have prophecied° the loss of Egypt so often before that their doing so again is almost enough to persuade one that it won’t happen. IT is curious how they always do what the Germans want them to do – eg., for some time past, demanding that we stop the raids on Germany and send our bombers to Egypt. A little earlier we were to send our bombers to India. In each case the same move as was being demanded by the German “freedom” stations. A thing that strikes one also is the airy disdain with which all the pinks talk of our air raids on Germany – air raids make very little impression, etc., etc. And these are the people who squealed loudest during the blitz on London.
 Leslie Hore-Belisha was Secretary of State for War, 1937-40; an Independent M.P., 1942-45. Chamberlain appointed him Secretary for War in 1937, but dismissed him in 1940. Churchill did not give him a place in his government, and he remained out of office throughout the war. For his earlier career, see Events, 19.7.39, n. 1.
‘The Pinks’ was Orwell’s abusive term for left wing intellectuals who favoured, as he saw it, the ‘Moscow line’. It was also coded homophobia, something Orwell apologised for in a personal letter (reproduced in the Collected Essays etc.) to Stephen Spender, himself at this time a leading ‘pink’. Orwell is always scathing about political positions he had once taken on himself, and unkind (cf. the Middleton Murray’s) to those whose views he had once shared and had given him support in his struggles to get into print. Not a writer who much cared for retrospection; a great one but flawed.
Quite interesting. Thanks.
Its also a reminder of how differently things could look at the time than from 70 years later. To us, its obvious that Japan could barely drive back its current list of enemies let alone take on the USSR (and all the textbooks trot out those forgotten border skirmishes in the 1930s to prove the point) but Hitler had declared war on the US for little better reason and the Japanese were still rampaging over the South Pacific.
“Its (sic) etc.” I am at a loss to see how these observations match today’s entry at any point. How useful is it (yet popular, I grant you) to demonstrate how differently matters turn out in the long run? Today’s news furnishes even more glaring examples of the shifts of international relations and power politics, only now carried on over ever shorter timescales. Orwell was not infallible in his predictions (and writes well about this at the war’s close) – but then no one is or could hope to be.