I have now Slobo-Googled #675 on the Master List, "Paul Lockwood, Cambridge". It seems likely that this is the same "Paul Lockwood, Socialist Labour Party, Cambridge" who wrote this letter to Labour Left Briefing (print journal? web journal? bulletin board? who cares?) in March of 1998:
David Taylor ("The Party's Over", last month's LLB) attacks "a number of grim men ranted about the correctness of the regime in China and the old Soviet Union". Is David Taylor trying to say that Arthur Scargill should ban these people from the SLP? Of course, the development of socialism in the two countries named has not been without some very serious mistakes, and most would argue that China is currently embarked on the road to full capitalist restoration (although that doesn't mean that it will inevitably happen).
I object to the use of the term "Stalinist". Stalin has been the subject of one of the most intense hate campaigns in history and we cannot take at face value all of the things that capitalists say about him. Since Kruschev denounced him at the CPSU 20th Party Congress, the Soviet leadership tried to pretend that Stalin had never existed. This has made a true assessment of Stalin very difficult. Although I do not accept that everything Stalin did was beyond criticism, there is no doubt that many of his supposed "crimes" are simply fabrications. Much of what Kruschev said about him in his "secret speech" (which he kept secret from the Soviet people -- why?), is simply a lie.
What about those who totally reject these countries? Do they think that nothing worthwhile was achieved by them at all? Would the United States have been able to inflict such appalling suffering on the Iraqi people if the Soviet Union still stood, even though it were not a perfect model of socialism? Would the capitalists here have been able to make such bold attacks on the welfare state and the wages and conditions of workers? I think not.
Comment seems superfluous, though I can't resist noting that the last sentence sums the whole thing up with admirable concision.
Lockwood's letter to the Cambridge News on September 19, 2001 is nearly as bad, though far duller. It begins promisingly:
THE attack launched against the United States, resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, was terrible and there is no doubt that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
Of course, he is only going through the motions and the very next sentence is: "However, let us not forget the wrongs suffered by the peoples of the Middle East". He spends the rest of his words talking about "brutal repression" in Palestine and "punitive sanctions" in Iraq.
All in all, it is not nearly as amusing as the previous letter, in fact it comes across as some kind of legalistic extreme-left 'talking points' rather than anything an actual human being would write. The very short paragraphs cry out for bullets -- the typographical kind, I hasten to add. I quote it only to show that even a week of reflection on the atrocities of September 11th could not bring Paul Lockwood of Cambridge to any kind of sense or decency.Posted by Dr. Weevil at February 25, 2002 10:10 PM