The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89365 Message #1686388
Posted By: shepherdlass
06-Mar-06 - 10:03 AM
Thread Name: MI5 monitored Ewan MacColl
Subject: RE: MI5 monitored Ewan MacColl
There's another article on this in yesterday's Observer (you can get it from the Guardian online site). Not much more enlightening, but it all adds to the picture.
So many people were seduced by Stalinism before WWII it seems unfair to single out MacColl just because he became a leading voice in the revival. The Communist ideal must have seemed so wonderful in those years that it was probably convenient to overlook the fact that the USSR didn't live up to it in practice. In a fantastic BBC4 show, "My Dad Was A Communist", Alexei Sayle talked with horror about his own parents' state of denial after 1956: (something like "they kept saying you can't make an omelette without breaking a few hundreds of thousands in the gulags"). It looks so clear-cut in hindsight to those of us born after 1950, but a betrayal of such huge dimensions must have been much harder to accept at the time.
This isn't really to defend MacColl, who seems to have been in part an inspirational genius and in another part a divisive and destructive force. He was at least very vocally linked with (even if not sole originator of) "the policy" and can be held personally responsible for that. But being just one more dupe of Stalin after living through the Depression? How many people could we castigate for that?