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The Militant, 1 August 1929


England Bars Trotsky

From The Militant, Vol II No. 12, 1 August 1929, p. 1.
Transcribed by Jan Leder.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


One of the first acts of the new British Labor Government has been to deny the right of asylum to L.D. Trotsky, the exiled organizer of the Russian Revolution and the Red Army. Definite announcement of this decision was made in the House of Commons on July 11th according to a dispatch printed in the New York Times. The MacDonald Government, which has been issuing daily announcements that it intends to do nothing harmful to the capitalist system of exploitation, list no time in buttressing the promises with a concrete and significant deed.

MacDonald never tired of condemning the Proletarian Dictatorship, which Trotsky symbolizes, on the ground of its lack of “democracy”. The exclusion of Trotsky illustrates again what these footmen of Imperialism mean by “democracy”. In their subservience to the capitalist masters they cast aside the traditional right of asylum which England once gave to Marx and Mazzini.

The real masters of the British Empire are well pleased with this act of their “Labor” Minister. “Tories cheer Labor Minister’s announcement in Commons” says the New York Times. And why shouldn’t they cheer? The class conscious capitalists clearly understands what Trotsky represents. The Times editorial says: “Foreign Secretary Henderson definitely stated that before diplomatic relations with Soviet Russia are resumed definite pledges will be required that no Communist agitation in England is to be encouraged or permitted by the Moscow authorities. That is asking a good deal. If they give so much they will expect something in return. The exclusion of Trotsky from a refuge on British soil would be something.”

The Times, which interprets the big capitalist point of view unerringly, remarks: “in all this Russian affair, as in others, Prime Minister MacDonald is proceeding with notable and praiseworthy caution.” What is needed now is an editorial from the New Leader, explaining how the barring of Trotsky from England proves the superiority of bourgeois democracy over workers dictatorship as a form of government. And – to round out the affair with the unanimous and harmonious agreement of all parties, we need an editorial from the Daily Worker on the subject, applauding the exclusion of Trotsky as a blow at the counter-revolution. These editorials are past due.

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