by Ron Mackay
In1941 I'd just started the 2nd. Year of a science course at Glasgow Uni. when I was called up. WW2 was totally different from WW1. Uncle Alex had been to fight the fascists in Spain.
I had no hesitation in accepting the need to fight fascism.
I was trained to maintain radar, the new secret weapon and tho' I was in the RN for 4 yrs. I don't recall ever carrying a gun or firing a shot.
In 1946 I was demobbed and like most of the returning service personnel and the population in general were seeking a new way of running things. We'd been horrified at the colossal slaughter of human beings – not just Hiroshima and Nagasaki but also Dresden, Hamburg, London, Coventry, Clydebank etc.
The Labour party sensing the mood of the people put forward a policy of Socialism and were swept to victory all over the country in both national and local elections. It was the Socialists who repaired and rebuilt our towns and cities . In Clydebank 5 Communist councillors were elected Willie Gallagher was elected as an MP by the Fife miners. The main sources of wealth were nationalised – energy, transport, engineering, construction and manufacturing in general. With full employment and a good social atmosphere we thought we were on our way to Socialism.
Alas, the Labour Party was not a Socialist party and betrayed the hopes of the people. The same old bosses were left to run industry. One of the serious mistakes was the failure to tackle the media Lords Beaverbrooke, Kemsley, Astor etc. the press barons, bitter opponents of the welfare state were left to run the media.
At the Nurenburg trials Joseph Goebles, Nazi propaganda minister stated “No matter what type of government – democracy or dictatorship – whoever controls the media controls the state”. Propaganda is now-a-days called public relations. The Windsors have a very powerful PR dept. ensuring they appear on TV and the media in general 2 or 3 times a week.
Leveson totally failed to democratise the media – it ignored the question of ownership. The media is controlled by anti-socialists. I sometimes wonder if it's going to take a world -wide catastrophe with large populations annihilated before enough people realise the absolute necessity of a socialist solution to our problems.
The media is a very powerful enemy We need a single Socialist party to provide guidance and leadership if we're ever going to get Socialism. I do appeal to all socialists – get your act together . We must speak with one voice when it comes to elections.
I know that there are many sincere socialists in the Labour party, in the SNP , in the Communist party, in the Green party, the Co-operative party, the Scottish Socialist Party, the Socialists for Independence party and non-party Socialists. If you believe that “ Unity is strength “ is not just an empty aphorism then speak with one voice at elections both local and national.
The independence referendum is an issue that divides some Socialists. Socialists should not hesitate to oppose the warmongers who dominate the Westminster Establishment.
Nuclear weapons, Trident and military research is costing billions and represent a threat to peace on Earth. Capitalism may be in terminal decline but could go out with a bang not a whimper, and so I repeat my dreaded fear that it may take another colossal calamity before enough people realise the absolute necessity of a Socialist solution to our problems.
Can an Socialists get together to prevent a huge human tragedy? It looked like it in the late 1940's.