GREAT BRITAIN: The Curtain of Ignorance

  • (9 of 9)

    Riding the Stampede. As the tourists made their several ways back to Britain, the compulsive belief in the possibility of "peaceful coexistence" seemed to be swelling back home. Britain's powerful Trades Union Congress, the right wing of the Labor Party, gathered in convention at Brighton. A motion in favor of German rearmament, which went through overwhelmingly last time, barely squeaked through last week. In two weeks-the Labor Party itself will be holding its annual conference. If conservative unions like the T.U.C. have so little enthusiasm for tasks such as German rearmament, what could be expected from the Socialist constituencies, where Nye Bevan has his greatest strength? Clem Attlee and Labor's moderate leadership are in for trouble.

    Attlee is a firm believer in the dictum that he who stands up to a stampede only gets stomped on; the way to handle a stampede is to ride with it, and perhaps turn it. But in trying to turn the coexistence stampede, Attlee the moderate had ridden closer and closer to the Bevanite position. Last week some began to wonder whether Clem Attlee was trying to turn the stampede or lead it.

    To the U.S., the argument was not merely an academic exercise involving a minority party. A Gallup poll last week in the London News Chronicle shows the Tories have lost sharply in recent months; if an election were held now, the Labor Party would get 48% of the vote, Churchill's Tories only 42%. If and when Labor came to power, the opinions, prejudices and rationalizations of Labor's touring troubadours could have disturbing consequences for everybody.

    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5
    6. 6
    7. 7
    8. 8
    9. 9
    10. Next Page