As an 88-year-old who joined the Young Communist League on leaving school in 1936, graduated into the Communist party of Great Britain a few years later, and remained a member until it ceased to exist in 1991, I am angered by the attacks made on it by John Morrison in his letter throwing mud at Eric Hobsbawm (Review, February 24).This reminds me that Leon Rosselson has some gigs coming up which I'll announce later today. Actually, I'd better mention now that he has a gig on Saturday 10 March at the Cellar Upstairs at the Exmouth Arms, Starcross St., London NW1 2HR, near Euston Station. Phone Sheila on 020-7281 7700 for details.
When I left school I came up against Mosley fascism and unemployment. As far as Mosley fascism was concerned, both the Labour party and the bourgeois leaders of British Jewry advised people to ignore it and it would just go away. Only the Communists said British fascism must be resisted. Of unemployment, only the Communists explained that it was inherent in capitalism, which must be replaced by socialism. All this made sense; and I joined.
We believed the Soviet Union to be socialist. It certainly had some features of socialism: social ownership, low rents, a state health service and state education. Yes, we made a terrible mistake over Stalin, and we have paid for it. But is the world a safer place without the USSR? The US and its satellite states, Britain and Israel, are pursuing a long-term policy and programme of "perpetual war" for US domination of the world and particularly the Middle East oil region. And now that the USSR no longer exists, there is no state willing or strong enough to resist that drive.
I am proud to have belonged to a party which created the International Brigade, organised by the worldwide Spanish aid campaign, helped push Churchill to launch the second front and has always been at the forefront of anti-fascism.
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