by Ron Mackay
The 30s was a time of depression,strikes hunger marches etc. Then came the Spanish civil war and Alex Donaldson went off to join the International Brigade.
Then came WW2.
I spent 4 yrs. In the Royal Navy. The returning servicemen, having witnessed the senseless slaughter of millions of human beings – Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden,Hamburg, London, Coventry, Clydebank etc. wanted a change. The Labour party responded to the mood and produced a program that seemed to promise a road to Socialism. The major industries were nationalised including transport and energy. The national health service was set up and the welfare state was established.
The Labour Party swept the polls.
Willie Gallacher and Phil Piratin got into parliament as Communist MPs . In Clydebank 5 Communist councillors were elected.
Prefabs were brought in to help with housing as left-wing councils set about rebuilding and restoring our damaged towns and cities. It seemed the advance to socialism had begun.
Alas one vital service was neglected – the media - was left in the hands of the Tories. The press barons, Lords Beverbrook, Kemsley, Rothermere and Astor controlled the media. The Labour Party, never a Socialist Party, made a mess of nationalisation. The old capitalist bosses were left to run the industries, ignoring the trade unions as usual and blaming every set back on nationalisation which the media exploited to the full and called for the restoration of private ownership. The role of the media played a very significant part in the return of the Tories.
As Goebbels said at the Nurenburg trials whoever controls the media controls the policies of countries whether democracy or dictatorship.
Leveson had nothing to say about the ownership and control of the media.