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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Spirit of George Lansbury

One time leader of the British Labour Party, George Lansbury, was a decent man and a hero to many. Avenues and side streets all over London are named after him. On one issue, though, Mr Lansbury was entirely deluded; he believed that he personally could talk Adolf Hitler down. If only he could get Herr Hitler to properly understand the Christian socialist message, Lansbury was confident that World War II could be avoided.

The forces which, in the end, took the Nazi regime down included the very imperialist British Empire, under the leadership of Winston Churchill, the United States of America, and the very undemocratic Union of Soviet Socialist Republics under the leadership of one Mr Stalin. No doubt, if they had been around at the time, the Stop The War Coalition would have described the cobbled together alliance which overcame the creators of Treblinka as a hypocritical one. And it was. Although perhaps not quite as hypocritical as some of the alliances in which the British franchise of the Socialist Workers Party - the main driving force behind the Stop The War Coalition - tends to get itself entangled. 

I re-dedicate my poem, 'The Eternal Peace Activist', published last year, to the spirit of George Lansbury and to all those who pretend to believe that the beheaders can be reasoned with, or wished away.