Today is Black Ribbon Day, the day of remembrance for the twin evils of victims of communism and fascism in the twentieth century. It marks the day August 23, 1939 when the Nazi-Soviet Molotov Ribbentrop pact was signed, formally allying the totalitarian regimes of Europe against the free.
Black Ribbon Day is taken more seriously in Eastern European countries than in the likes of the UK, where the leader of the opposition valued the existence of the USSR and worried about its break up, while his chief of staff despaired at the fall of the Berlin Wall and downplayed the numbers killed by Stalin, and the Shadow Home Secretary believes the largest-mass-murderer-in-history did more good than harm.
Eighty years on from the clearest manifestation of anti-individualist totalitarian philosophies going hand in hand, from the concentration camps to the gulags, we will remember them.
The BBC have put out a viral video claiming that the ‘fast fashion’ industry is responsible for the draining of the Aral Sea. The clip explains that the river feeding the sea was diverted grow cotton, which is used by much of the fashion industry.
What the BBC doesn’t tell you is that the rivers feeding it were diverted by the Soviet government in the 1950s and 1960s to feed their cotton and other irrigation projects, which were failing as a result of communism closing the country off to global markets. To imply that the rivers were diverted by capitalists to feed global markets is literally the opposite of the truth…
In fact, since the fall of the Soviet Union, the sea has started growing again. The BBC could not have been more wrong.
Theresa May’s Brexit supremo Olly Robbins is a former Soviet sympathiser who opposed capitalism, praised Soviet leaders and lamented the demise of Communist Russia, Guido can reveal. As as a student at Hertford College, Oxford in the nineties, “Red Robbins” wrote an article in praise of Soviet Russia for the Oxford Reform Club magazine. In a rewriting of history that would have made Seumas Milne blush, the PM’s new star Number 10 hire wrote:
“The Russian state has endured more than any other major nation in the twentieth century, and has achieved more too… I would never disagree that some of the deeds done in the name of communism were evil, but it is as well to look at the era’s aims and achievements. First among these were the aims of free and fair education, housing and healthcare. These were also the main planks of the post-war consensus here in Britain, and could hardly be described as evil. What is more, they were achieved. More Russians can read than Britons, there are almost no homeless people in Moscow, unlike London… Another achievement was the making of a state, a world power indeed, and one that its people could be proud of. The Soviet leaders changed Russia from a backward peasant autocracy, despised by the West, into a technological giant at whom the world cowered in fear for half a century.”
Red Robbins then lamented the fall of the Soviet Union as meaning there is no longer an alternative to the real baddie: capitalism.
“The demise of the Soviet experiment means that for those growing up in the world today, especially western Europe, there appears to be no alternative to the mad excesses of modern capitalism. To the thinking man and woman, Soviet Russia may not have been ideal, but it was food for thought in the “greed is good” climate of the 1980’s.”
The article concludes that it is unfair to say communism failed because the ravages of Russia’s Tsarist past meant “the experiment was hardly conducted in fair conditions”. A friend of Robbins confirmed he wrote the article but declined to comment on his past views.
So the top civil servant in charge of Brexit is only a former Soviet fanboy who defended Stalin and implied communism was preferable to capitalism. We knew Olly was a Remainer, but we didn’t think he’d be such a keen supporter of the crowning principles behind Juncker’s democracy-hating EU super-state speech last week. On the plus side, Red Robbins will get on famously with Seumas if Corbyn makes it to Number 10…