George Walford: Editorial Notes (52)

Russia abandons the drive towards communism, America (with a little help) drives Iran out of Kuwait, Mrs. Thatcher resigns the premiership. Great events, all of them. And now, to crown the series (spotlight, roll of drums): IC GOES QUARTERLY. This issue carries the date Summer 1991, to be followed by Autumn, Winter and Spring. The amount of material in each issue will be increased at least in proportion, and it seems likely that the smaller number of more substantial issues will speed the growth of circulation. If any subscribers object we will make some acceptable adjustment on hearing from them.

HAVING reported the discovery, first of Christian atheists and later of a conservative Christian anarchist, IC invited higher bids. The Daily Mirror has now labelled the late Eric Heller a Christian Stalinist Trotskyite. (Sunday Times 2 June). Can anybody beat that one?

AMERICANS bumptious or overbearing? Not a bit of it; they have taken the date of a defeat in battle as their national Day. On the Fourth of July, 1754, at Fort Necessity, George Washington surrendered unconditionally to the French. (Recorded in a letter by Graham Greene).

WAS it a tough district? Why, the Rottweilers went in pairs.

FIAT justitia ruat coelum. The legal eagles like to translate it as “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.” A few more trials like those of the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six and a new version is likely to appear: If justice were done the heavens would fall.

Academic specialities proliferate to absorb the funds available for their maintenance.

Each major ideology creates the raw material for the next one in the series.

THE ABSENCE of any demonstration against unemployment to compare with those against Poll Tax suggests that a good many people feel less enthusiasm for work than for keeping what money they have.

PROGRESS: Richard West points out that no modern university would give a grant or teaching post to the medieval wandering scholar. (TLS 22 March)

WINDSURFERS famously do it standing up, skindivers underwater and antique dealers in a ring. Now comes: Birds do it all over my car.

GERTRUDE Stein complained that Picasso’s portrait of her did not look like her. “It will,” he replied.

POLITICS: The art of getting the money of the rich and the votes of the poor, on the pretext of defending the one from the other.

Beggars in one Muslim country are threatening to strike (by refusing alms they may prevent some of the rich buying their way into heaven). Mack the Knife in Freedom 23 March.

NOTING that we seem to be about to commit nuclear speciocide a writer in Freedom asks “where is it that we have been going wrong? What is it that we do and animals do not do?” (Freedom 26 January). We think, and act in accordance with our thinking. In this way we have produced the power to destroy ourselves and, with it, the power to maintain Freedom the journal and the anarchist movement. Animals have none of these things.

LORD Walston, the socialist millionaire, has died, and the Labour Party has held a fund-raising dinner at £500 a head. Such reports will puzzle only those still under the illusion that socialism and the Labour Party have some special connection with the working class. (Sunday Times 9 June).

DON’T feel depressed. Even if your revolutionary group did get three new members this week it has probably not reached the limit; the Anglican Communion claims 70 million worldwide. (Sunday Times Books section 14 April).

AFTER locking the little monkey in, the biologist peered through the keyhole, and found himself looking in a small brown eye.

from Ideological Commentary 52, Summer 1991.