The Communist Terrors

Jostling for position among the many fantasies of Britain’s faltering elite, is a new one emerging this week. It goes something like this: young people aren’t terrified enough of the prospect of a commie like Jeremy Corbyn coming to power; if only they knew the full horrors of Stalinism / Marxism / Communism they would see the light and start voting Tory again.


It is what Steven Bush at the New Statesman calls “an engagingly stupid idea” that the real reason the Tory party lost votes in the General Election was “because not enough young people have learned about the evils of Communism.”

The history of this idea is hard to pin down exactly but it has been grasped enthusiastically by a coterie of really dim high-Tory chiefs.

Perhaps the first of these was James Bartholomew, who first called for a British museum of Communist atrocities in the Spectator in March way back 2016 then again in the Daily Telegraph after the election:

“The fact that, through no fault of their own, young people know very little about the terror, torture, executions and famines that took place under Communism means that they have limited intellectual defence against the apparent idealism of extreme Left-wing ideas. Alarm bells should start ringing when John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, waves a copy of Mao’s Little Red Book in the House of Commons. But no bells ring out because young people have not even heard of Mao. I believe we need a permanent way of informing the next generation and every succeeding generation of what happened under Communism – a Museum of Communist Terror. I am gathering supporters and donors to make it happen.”

Good for you James, we’re all right behind you.

Now in a stunningly crass ‘debate’ with the journalist Abi Wilkinson, Tim Mongomerie (founder of Conservative Home and the newish Unherd thing) has taken up the call for a Museum of Commie Death and has run with the idea that the young simply don’t know enough about what happened under Stalin / Pol Pot / Mao etc etc.

He argues that “A new generation of left-wingers seems ready to try Marxism again” – like Lipstick Lesbians or trying out Scandic Noir just to see what all the fuss is about.

Historically it’s bonkers. If you can’t make the distinction between variant forms of socialism over history then why should the left bother to a make a distinction between Conservatism and Fascism?

It’s a sign of the right’s falling sense of it’s own confidence and real fear that when May’s teetering government collapses the Bad Commies really are at the gates of the citadel.

But it’s also a signal (beyond Brexit which should have given us a clue) that the British elites are completely out of touch with reality.

Most of Corbyn’s policies are just unremarkable mainstream European social democratic ones, not some kind of Red Terror. If the best they can do as their shambolic nationalist venture collapses in front of them is to recommend we erect a Museum of Commie Evil then we’re well on our way to a new government.

The reason young people didn’t vote Tory is because they are repellent, imposing a raft of social policies which work against them in education housing and a low-wage economy.





Comments (8)

Leave a Reply to SleepingDog Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. jim says:

    If in doubt call on the red menace. Moscow gold anyone?

  2. John Tracey says:

    A permanent Museum of British Empire Terror. Would have to be very big.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @John, that is indeed what Afua Hirsch has called for in the Guardian:
      Britain’s colonial crimes deserve a lasting memorial. Here’s why

  3. Rob Ross says:

    That these neolib spokesmen demonise the left is no surprise. Evoking old military regimes that usurped leftist notions and ideals of that epoch and called themselves Communists is as far from true representation of those ideals as Earth is from Vega.

    No real approximation to Communism has taken place in the hundred and fifty years or so of its theoretical existence, except perhaps for brief periods in countries like Cuba or Chile.

    If JB and his fellow pen pushers want to make us all believe that the same perspectives of governance would be necessarily applicable by a 21st century leftist government, they’re merely peddling fake news as fodder for the unwitting.

  4. Richard Wickenden (ex Tory from the mid-ninetys) says:

    Typical of ultra right-wing Tories (fascists) to label left-wing Labour ultra left-wing communists. Just shows to what lengths they will go to push their British nationalist (Brexit) credentials. Scotland needs to vote for independence as soon as possible before being dragged down further into the cesspit to which the UK is being forced into.

  5. Wul says:

    I think the biggest “Terror” that social democracy holds for these upper-class twits is that they might lose their perpetual entitlement to a parasitic life of privilege & private luxury paid for by the work of others and rental of the god-given resources of their country.

    I’m not sure that the threat of the Red Menace will be enough to persuade “Today’s Young People” into voting for a party which has;

    made every student a debt-slave,
    deleted 27 European countries as potential places to start a life,
    made it impossible to own a home,
    made them poorer than their parents,
    destroyed the safeguards of collective bargaining and union membership the workplace,
    declared the end of Human Rights protections,
    made them work longer, harder and less secure jobs for less pay,
    made life shite for anyone who isn’t wealthy etc. etc…..

    They might need to up the ante a bit. Another decade of Tory rule is hard to sell on its own merits.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.