Monday, January 22, 2007

'Morning Star' forgets its own history

On this day (January 22) in 1941 the 'Daily Worker' - forerunner of the present 'Morning Star', was banned by the British government. You'd think, wouldn't you. that the 'Star' would wish to commemorate this heroic episode in its history, but - for some reason - there's not a mention of it in today's edition.

Fortunately, the 'Guardian' has a better memory, and even republishes its leader comment of the day. Maybe it explains why the 'Star' is now so coy about the whole episode:

"No one likes the idea of the suppression of a newspaper even during a war, and least of all the suppression of a newspaper that is the sole organ of a legal political party (the British Communist Party - JD).

"Yet no one who has read the 'Daily Worker' and 'The Week' during the war can doubt the extreme provocation they have given and can harshly censure Mr Morrison (Herbert Morrison, a Labour minister in Churchill's National Government-JD) for his action. The 'Daily Worker' began the war as a supporter of resistance to Hitler; it changed its tune when it found that Stalin wanted to be friends with Hitler.

"Day after day since it has vilified the British Government and its leaders to the exclusion of any condemnation of Hitler. Nothing that has happened in this country has been decent and right. Even when the United States increases its aid this is denounced not as something to be welcomed but as a malevolent exercise of Yankee capitalism.

"More recently the paper has largely devoted its columns to derogatory accounts of Service conditions on the one hand and to the encoragement of agitation among munitions workers on the other. This might be excusable if the motive were honest, if it were really desired to help the country in its struggle to keep democracy alive in Europe. But the 'Daily Worker' did not believe either in the war or in democracy; its only aim was to confuse and weaken. We can well spare it".


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