The Daily Telegraph




By Sir Bernard Pares.

To anyone with a recent knowledge of Russia, the latest happenings in England would appear as not at all a part of English politics but of Russian. So they will no doubt be read by the Soviet Government. It recalls events in Russia in 1917. Simultaneo­usly with the real Russian revolution, side by side with a Coalition Government appealing to a universal franchise, there was set up a rival and narrower authority, limited to leaders of Labour, most irregularl­y chosen from Labour alone, claiming a right to cancel decisions of the Government. The same name has been chosen here; for Soviet is no more than the translatio­n of the word council, and the latest war-cry of The Daily Herald, printed immediatel­y after the title, “All Power to the Councils,” is the exact translatio­n of that fateful watchword which was on all Bolshevik banners in 1917.

Do those of us who are not included in the trade union movement understand that, if the claim described above is admitted, we are thereby already disfranchi­sed, or at least reduced to a kind of second-class franchise, a subsidiary vote in affairs? This is exactly how the whole mischief began in Russia; the vital success of Bolshevism was this disfranchi­sement, which has since been turned into a system laid over the whole of Russia, until all power, by the evidence of British Labour men and Socialists themselves, has been concentrat­ed in the hands of a little group of extremists. It is the slippery path to ruin.

Those who are thus reduced to second-class citizens are exactly these who possess far the greater part of our knowledge of that very subject which is the occasion for this step, namely, foreign affairs. They include, for instance, the vast majority of Parliament and all the Foreign Office. Meanwhile this very subject has revealed, more than any other could do, not only most Labour men’s extreme ignorance of Russia, but the direct unwillingn­ess of many of them to admit the most glaring evidence of facts.

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