Monday, November 10, 2008

Good old Uncle Joe

This feature in the BBC goes to one of my pet annoyances – the whitewashing of Communist thugs, murderers and tyrants.  In this instance it’s Stalin, as seen in a picture behind Russell Brand (disclosure, when I first saw that last week, my first thought was that it was Stephen Fry in Blackadder IV).

Far more often, however, it’s Che Guevara.  That irritating little scrubby beard, stupid beret and unfocused stare crops up on every student bedsit in the country.  It doesn’t matter that Guevara was a murderer, a racist and an all round idiot; he’ll still always win the hearts of the unwashed.  It’s all part of the bewildering free pass that Communism seems to have won.  Bob Crow, the little tick, has a bust of Lenin in his office – as did Margaret Hodge.  There is, obviously, little point in recycling the old line that they wouldn’t have a bust of Hitler, although I once reduced a SWPer to fury by saying that the Che T-shirt he was offering me would go perfectly with my Heinrich Himmler baseball hat.

It’s still worth asking though, with Dizzy, just what sort of person would boast about their approval of Stalin.  You’d think that Katyn, the gulag, the Ukraine and the show-trials would be enough to put you off – oh, and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and the subjugation of Eastern Europe and so on and so on…

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