I am rather looking forward to this afternoon’s Great Lives with George Galloway about John Cornford. Presumably the question will not be asked about how he squares his Catholicism with his support for the Spanish Republic. Long-term readers will be aware that I see neither side in the Spanish Civil War as deserving of much, if any, sympathy.
But think back to last week and ask yourself what would have happened, at any point before the rise of New Labour, if a Cabinet Minister (regardless of party) – the Foreign Secretary, no less – had taken to the airwaves to praise a totally unyielding and unrepentant Stalinist whose paramilitary organisation, rather than his practically identical political one, had tortured its own members, among other things? Had, for that matter, greatly prolonged the regime against which it was fighting by (shades of Spain here) proposing to turn the country in question into a Soviet satellite? And had scorned the non-violent, non-Marxist, pro-Commonwealth opposition to that regime?
Truly, we are now ruled by the Communist Party of Peter Mandelson, John Reid and Ralph Miliband. By the Trotskyism of Stephen Byers and Alan “Haze of Dope” Milburn. By the International Marxist Group of Alistair Darling, Bob Ainsworth and Tony Blair’s mentor, Geoff Gallop. By Tony McNulty’s IRA fundraising. By Harriet Harman’s and Patricia Hewitt’s Paedophile Information Exchange and Paedophile Action for Liberation. By those who at the funerals of Donald Dewar and Robin Cook sang, not The Red Flag, but The Internationale. Their means have shifted from the economic to the social, cultural and constitutional. But their ends remain exactly the same: the destruction of the family, private property, and the State, none of which can exist without the other two.
And what have we by way of an alternative? The 1980s New Right, funded from Pretoria and Santiago, yet acting as if it had already achieved its decidedly non-Botha and non-Pinochet objectives of legalising and normalising hard drug use and the most extreme sexual promiscuity (with no minimum age of consent, of course). Plus smashing the public services, the unions, local government and so on. Their chemical and sexual proclivities may not have been terribly Pinochet-esque, but they were, and are, the inexorable logic of the Chicago Boys’ ideology. The “free” market, the most anti-conservative force in the world.