Lenin’s Ghost and More Marxist Breadcrumbs 9/30/07

Pravda, Ghost of Lenin sighted in the Kremlin

“Two years ago I worked at the President’s Archives located in the Kremlin,” says Sergei Kuleshov, a historian and colleague of Gorbovski’s. “I was having my lunch one day in a canteen. A friend of mine introduced me to a gray-haired gentleman who sat at our table.

He was a KGB colonel in charge of security of a building hosting Lenin’s former apartment and study. We were making jokes with regard to the supernatural as we ate our lunches. Suddenly, the KGB man stopped smiling and told us a story about footsteps and other strange sounds coming from Lenin’s apartment at night. He said that that his colleagues and he had repeatedly heard the footsteps and sounds that resembled those produced by furniture being shuffled around the floor. The sounds were coming from Lenin’s study, which was locked and sealed, not to mention a number of guards who watched it round the clock.

Senator Jim DeMint, Against Dem Plan to Socialize Medicine

Gerald Warner, Liberal consensus on Burma is humbug and hypocrisy

In Burma, socialism did what it does best: transformed a nation of fertile land and rich resources into an economic basket case (if you are reading this anywhere in central Scotland, a glance out of the window will illustrate the point). It was rice shortages (in Burma!) that provoked the uprising in 1988 that was so bloodily put down by a regime that thenceforth became a straightforward military dictatorship.

Now we are told it would be immoral to have dealings with the regime. In terms of moral absolutism, that seems indisputable; but where is the ethical consistency? The Burmese rulers killed, at the highest estimate, 10,000 people in 1988. Multiply that several times, if you like, to cover all victims of repression in the intervening and antecedent years. It is difficult to take the estimate as high as 100,000. Yet Red China has murdered 65 million people.

What is our posture towards Beijing? In economic terms, we simply cannot do enough for the comrades. Between 1998, when Britain established a “co-operative partnership” with China, and 2003, our trade with Beijing doubled from $5bn to $10bn. The UK’s actual investment in China also leapt by over $10bn in the same period. In 2005, UK companies spent more than $4.5bn on 15 Chinese companies. Perhaps one is missing something, but what was the qualitative difference between the lives lost in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and those killed in Burma in 1988?

Times Online, Stalin, the ogre who won’t go away

Stalin died in 1953, his body now lying outside the walls of the Kremlin, but his ghost is still with us. That is one of the things I learnt over the past five years as I travelled back and forth between England and Russia to interview the last survivors of his Great Terror – a generation that is about to disappear. This was a unique opportunity because the average age of the people who told us their stories was 80 and many have since died. People handed over letters that had been hidden under mattresses, diaries – some written in code – and boxes of photographs.

Tonya, in her sixties, showed me an old towel that her mother had embroidered while in a labour camp. She had never spoken before about being the child of a gulag prisoner for fear of persecution. I soon realised that the first thing that happens when a family has suffered repression is that the children suffer “inherited” or habitual fear. It passes down the generations, reducing voices to a whisper and silencing tongues.

Michael Evans, How Soviet ‘Laurel and Hardy’ punished Rudolf Hess

The daily regime faced by Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, during his two decades as the sole prisoner in Spandau Jail in Berlin was made as harsh as possible by two Soviet officials described as a “sinister Laurel and Hardy team”, newly declassified files have revealed. […]

In one Foreign Office file, Bob de Burlet, the British governor at Spandau, wrote in May 1974: “The Soviet governor, Voitov, short, fat and roly-poly, and his chief henchman, Fedorov, thin and sallow, are a couple of sneaky and mean individuals who are perfectly cast in their villainous roles as a sort of sinister Laurel and Hardy team.”

Against the wishes of the three other governors, they insisted on removing Hess’s spectacles at 10pm every night so that he could not read, refused to let him have winter socks, obstructed attempts to have his run-down cell refurbished, and demanded that every notebook he had filled with his thoughts be destroyed.

The Sun, Give us the promised referendum

As for the issue of Europe, the Prime Minister was almost contemptuous.

He dismissed the new Constitution, renamed the Reform Treaty, in just two curt sentences.

“I accept my responsibility to write in detail into the amended treaty the red lines we have negotiated for Britain.”

That may be his responsibility.

If he believes this treaty is good for Britain, he should be prepared to take it to the British people so we can make up our own minds.

It is his sworn duty to give a final say to the people of Britain. He is forgetting his promise.

We intend to keep reminding him — right up to election day.

Britain under the EU will soon learn what taxation without representation is all about. What kind of tea party will they throw?

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