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World: Bunch of Neurotics

2 minute read

On the issue of nuclear disarmament, the position of the British Labor Party has been ambiguous. Many left-wing unionists, pursuing a traditional, sentimental pacifism, sympathize with the unilateralist ban-the-bomb campaign led by Philosopher Bertrand Russell and other politically woozy intellectuals; at a national party convention 18 months ago, the left-wingers pushed through resolutions demanding that Britain renounce nuclear weapons. Labor Party Leader Hugh Gaitskell later won a reversal of the party’s official stand, but not until last week did he attack the nuclear disarmers in a scathing, unequivocal denunciation that drew only cheers from realistic antiCommunists.

It happened at a Labor Party rally in Glasgow’s Queen’s Park. Scarcely had Gaitskell begun a routine political speech than 300 youthful ban-the-bomb hecklers arose from their seats at a signal, marched to the speaker’s stand waving placards and chanting slogans. A woman lifted a baby toward Gaitskell, yelled: “I want my child to live!” Snapped Gaitskell: “So do I. and I have two daughters.”

Then, above the din, he shouted: “Does it not occur to them that it might be a good idea if they could concentrate on one or two other things that also matter to the people of Britain? The time has come to say this—either they choose to go on wrecking our chances, in which case they ought not to be in the Labor Party at all, or they must agree to official policy. The British people are not going to be obstructed by a small bunch of neurotics.

“When it comes to voting in elections, these people are not worth a tinker’s curse. Most of them really ought to go back to school. Let them go to the Kremlin and tell Mr. Khrushchev to ban his bomb.

“Go and march with the goose-stepping Nazis in East Germany,” he told the demonstrators. “Go and see what it’s like to deal with Soviet police and Soviet tanks, like the Hungarian people. Perhaps you will learn something about the Soviet empire and the Communist dictatorship.” Then Gaitskell said publicly what many have known: the unilateralist Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is infiltrated by Communists. “Having failed miserably by free democratic methods, all they can do is to try to deny free speech to others. I am proud to provoke the hatred of those who hate freedom.”

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