Dora B. Montefiore 1918

Impressions of the Reception of John Maclean

Source: The Call, 12 December 1918, p. 6
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

I should like, while the impression is still strong upon me, to try and convey to comrades outside the Clyde area something of the effect caused by the reception given to our comrade John Maclean by his Glasgow supporters on December 3rd, when he and Mrs. Maclean arrived at Buchanan Street Station from Aberdeen, after John’s release from Peterhead Gaol. The capitalist Press has, as a matter of “copy,” given pictures of his reception at the train by the small group of comrades admitted to the platform, and of the procession through the principal streets of the town, when the carriage in which Maclean and Mrs. Maclean were seated was drawn by dozens of willing comrades, while the “ticket-of-leave” man waved from the box seat a huge red flag; but the capitalist Press has not told how, on one of the occasions when the procession was halted for a minute in Jamaica Street, Maclean called for three hearty cheers for the German Social Revolution; and on these being given by thousands of voices, then called for three more cheers for the British Social Revolution, when the shouts that rent the air made a volume of sound that the capitalists of Clydeside will often remember in the near future, when they are troubled with bad dreams.

For the best part of an hour, just when the trams were busiest taking back to their homes the daily loads of shoppers, those trams which were leaving the city had to travel, till the river was crossed, at the rate of John Maclean’s triumphal red-flag procession, for his supporters, in disciplined, orderly ranks, spread across one half of the street; while from the trams going towards the city peeped timidly or with scared faces those who for the first time had seen flaunted to the four winds the emblem which now waves over the. public buildings of Petrograd, Moscow, and Berlin. The welcome to John Maclean was a welcome of heart and of head from the younger generation to whom he has given his best intellectually in interpreting to them their historic revolutionary mission; and his best emotionally by suffering as the victim of capitalist persecution so that they, the younger generation, might have a symbol around whom to rally.

Maclean has descended into Hell, the Hell of the capitalist prison and on the third day he has risen again. His followers, who love him and trust him, have not been scattered abroad, but have gained in insight and in solidarity. His candidature for Parliament goes forward in their capable hands, though at present he himself is not strong enough to appear on a public platform. Whether John Maclean goes to Westminster to voice on the floor of the House the message of the people who are thundering with accusing hands at the door of Privilege, or whether the electors of Gorbals send, at the behest, of the Tory-Liberal Coalition, Mr. George N. Barnes to keep that door of Privilege securely shut and barred, the fight will go on, and will never cease, until the Red Flag waves, not only over the City of Glasgow, but from the Clock Tower of Westminster, as a symbol that the People have entered into their inheritance.