long before the custard-pies started to fly around at the Summit, the preparations for the Countermarch were well in hand. The 100,000 Easter demonstrators had scarcely drifted away from Trafalgar Square before the Top People’s CND (Committee for Natopolitan Defence) was in session, getting everything ready for the deadline of mankind. It is a broad committee, recruited across party boundaries and embracing many shades of mental and moral disorder, in the best tradition of all the great gadarene movements of the past.
The exact membership of the committee is secret, and Our Parliamentary Voyeur can only guess at their identity by the movement of cars, cheques, television cameras, and bouquets, and by analysing editorial motions. One guess is Mr. George Brown and Mr. Harold Watkinson (for the politicians), the editors of The Spectator and Encounter (for the public hector and the private spectre), Mr. Constantine Fitzgibbon (For D Foundation), and Sir Tom Williamson (for tissimo).
Certainly, long before Caesar’s long-misunderstood death-bed formulation was explained, the countercontingents had formed up. The television boys had been given a four-minute warning. Mr. Anthony Hartley was washing his pen in bland lemon-juice and musty sulphur for a “Letter to an Aldermaston Marcher” (June Encounter), and Mr. Julius Gould (about whose existence there appears to be some doubt) was writing eagerly for the Observer a review panning Out of Apathy.
As Mr. Krushchev was uttering his diplomatic innuendos in Paris (How did they go? “The Soviet Union wishes only for peace, but certain gentlemen should understand—as our shepherds say in Tashkent—any ram with a dirty arse will end up in the knacker’s yard. Let President Eisenhower look at the seat of his own trousers before he . . . (Standing ovation!) . . .” etc., etc.)—so the great Countermarch to Armageddon swung proudly out of Smith Square and 25 Haymarket. Every marcher wore proudly in his lapel the CND flash, signifying a cleft stick inside Our Global Dilemma.
Prominent among the emblems held proudly aloft has been the great embroidered and tasselled banner of Mr. Gaitskell’s Bacon, saved (provisionally) by the NUGMW, and the lifelike imitation of a Shoy-Hoy up a pole (footnote1), carried by Mr. R. H. S. Crossman. Some traditional banners were not in evidence this year; since Blue Streak is now In The Red it has been replaced by Blue Steel, Black Death, and Blue Murder. But there can be no doubt that the post-Summit morale of the marchers was higher than at any time since the crises of the Yalu River and Dien Bien Phu. The organisers of the march are confident that they will meet up with their Russian comrades, headed by Marshal Malinovsky, somewhere in the region of West Berlin in the autumn.