Friday, 3 January 2014

Taking Sides. Artists and Writers on the Spanish Civil War. (2)

WITH reference to the previous post 'Taking Sides:  Artists and Writers on the Spanish Civil War', George Orwell's comments in appendices 1 and 2 in 'Homage to Catalonia' are of especial significance.    Orwell writes:  'One of the dreariest effects of this war has been to teach me that the left wing press is every bit as spurious and dishonest as that of the Right'.  Orwell  singles out for particular criticism Frank Pitcairn (Claud Cockburn) of the Daily Worker and John Langdon Davies of the News Chronicle for their reportage of the May Days of 1937 in Barcelona, where the CNT (anarcho-syndicalist trade union confederation) occupation of the Telefonica was crushed by Republican statist forces.

Orwell contended that British newspapers of the Right and Left 'dived simultaneously into the same cesspit of abuse'.   In a footnote, however, he wrote:  'I should like to make an exception of the Manchester Guardian... Of our larger papers the Manchester Guardian is the only one that leaves me with an increased respect for its honesty.'

Orwells devastating critique of the Communist press is cogently presented in great factual detail and condemns unequivocally those fellow travelling jounalists who engage in 'pure fabrication and serious misrepresentation' in their reports on the Spanish Civil War.

See Review: Historian as Judge & Detective  Professor Preston's Parochial Anglo-Saxon Account Tuesday 10th, September 2013.

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