I’m ‘enjoying’ the tv programmes commemorating the Bolshevik Revolution of 100 years ago as I’ve always been fascinated by the history of Russia and the Soviet Union. I tend to think of communist Russia as the experiment that never was; communism by name only, mafia tyranny in reality. It’s a complex history and a revolution betrayed, as they usually are. But for a brief instant there was hope.
We should thank the Soviet Union for keeping Western Europe relatively honest, as without it we’d never have got our NHS, Council Housing, Pension rights etc. The powers that be in our neck of the woods were terrified of an alternative economic/intellectual model appealing to the oiks. Now the Soviets are gone and the western capitalist is showing his true colours.
When I was a youth I wrote a song, ‘The Freezing Sea’ which was Trotsky singing to his estranged wife and in middle age I wrote ‘Ghosts Upon Dead Rivers’ about murdering lunatics like Uncle Joe Stalin. Happy days…

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