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International Socialism, Autumn 1964



Letter to Readers


From International Socialism, No.18, Autumn 1964, p.23.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Stuart Christie might have been impetuous in his advocacy of democratic liberties in Spain; more likely he was framed by the Franco regime simply because he made contact with the swelling current of political opposition. Whatever the case, this 18-year old Glaswegian is faced with an exceptionally long imprisonment, if not worse, at the hands of the Spanish Government. Their Embassy is at 24 Belgrave Square, London SW1.

Bert Benson is in a different position – at large still and, we presume, waiting to claim ordinary justice from a Labour Home Minister: to hear the grounds for his being classified a ‘security risk’ and to state something in his defence. Labour Candidates should be made to commit themselves before every election meeting to reopen the case on the morrow of their return to Westminster. And then there are Ron Bailey, Del Foley and Des Watson, caught breaking and entering a few East London Civil Defence headquarters and taking a few shillings worth of documents. Their crime? Exposing the 4-minute farce. There might be better and, at £150 or six months a head, less expensive ways of doing so, but few readers will dispute their aims. Donations and loans to Jon Tinker, 22 Clifton Gardens, London W9.

Robin Fior acknowledges his debt to the comrades of Pax, the lively left-pacifist monthly published in Oslo, for the stamp reproduced on our cover – a timely antidote to the jubilee bathos we have been subjected to this year. While the Press celebrates the brutality, we hope to remind readers of the heroism that opposed it then and there.

We apologise for the lapse in production standards in our last issue. Penury forced us into an ill-conceived attempt at bringing out the journal with voluntary labour. The results were sufficiently alarming to make us scurry back to our present printer. We hope that readers will appreciate our solicitude in cash. Peter Sedgwick’s Two New Lefts was especially punished by the experiment: John Rex did not write (p.20 col.2 end of 2nd para) ‘because Mr Wilson is ambiguous on this he commits himself against the MLF’ but ‘Because Mr Wilson is ambiguous on this we must make sure that he commits himself against the MLF’; Ben Bella did not say (p.22 two-thirds down col.1) ‘I am now so unreservedly necessarily counter-revolutionary’, but ‘I am now so unreservedly committed to the Left that any opposition to me is necessarily counter-revolutionary.’ There are others, but why spoil the fun?

We also apologise to readers, reviewers and publishers for allowing so little space for books this time; but our budget dictates thirty-two pages, no more, and we dare not defy it.

We have bound our last dozen complete files of IS Nos.1-14. Price – £4:10s ($15) plus 2/6d (50c) postage or higher offer. Unbound, incomplete files are still available at 2/6d (50c) per issue plus postage.

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Last updated on 20.8.2007