the scarborough venture, mentioned in this column (NLR 5) proved an unqualified success, and the New Left’s most effective intervention in the current dingdong to date. A team of 12 or more managed to get out a four-paged bulletin, This Week, for every day of the Conference, and, by the end of the week, many people were asking for back issues to complete a set. Our thanks are due to comrades from Scotland and the North, as well as from London, who saw the production through in the early hours and were up betimes to thrust it before the disdainful noses of some members of the Shadow Cabinet who shall be nameless. Perhaps even now, as the counter-manifestos grind away in the ante-rooms of the House, some floating cross-pressured MP is thumbing through these historic jottings and gleaning a note or two for a rebellious speech . . .
The Left Clubs followed this lead quickly by issuing a follow-up bulletin, “The Great Debate Begins”, which has been sold to Club members. We hope that, in the coming months, we shall be able to do brief statements of that kind, including speakers notes, which might be helpful in Clubs and Constituency Parties. Now that Polaris has slipped into place up the Clyde and the foundation stone of Fylingdales has been laid, the case for unilateralism is stronger than ever: we must try to put this case as cleanly and effectively as we can. CND’s latest, Let Britain Lead, makes an admirable start in reply to the Scarborough speeches: there is a pamphlet on Foreign Policy to come, and we shall produce a statement on Positive Neutralism early in the new year. Readers of the journal and members of Left Clubs can help by ensuring that these publications get the widest possible circulation.
Meanwhile, the Northern Region Left Clubs have held two very successful schools at Wortley Hall—one for miners, and one on international affairs, with Isaac Deutscher and David Ross. The recall Left Clubs Conference is at Lyme Hall on the weekend of December 3–4. The Southern Region is meeting this month to discuss plans for the launching of a London Project in the new year; the London Club is holding the first of its Annual Nye Bevan Memorial Lectures on December 9, at which Michael Foot will speak. There are two schools planned for the Spring, and a booking has been made for a much expanded Summer School at Ruskin in Oxford for next year, following the very successful one in Surrey this September. There are four Left Club pamphlets on the stocks; the first—The Alternative For Labour—an independent production by Dave Childs and Dave Harris, was so impressive that it has been put into the series and is available now (from Terry O’Sullivan, c/o 7 Carlisle Street, London, W.1).
There has been a spate of New Left publications in the Universities, some of them of an extremely high standard: The New University in Oxford, Left in Hull and Cambridge Forward. There is only space to welcome them warmly here, but we shall be doing a short feature on university journals in our next issue. Already these journals have had the effect of pushing other university magazines into some kind of seriousness: Isis is almost politically literate by now—and that in itself is no mean achievement. Generally, the cult of Youth is now upon us. The Guardian has discovered that CND, while politically meaningless, still magically attracts the young: Socialist Commentary has bewailed the fund of incohate idealism which we are currently leading down the garden path: and Twentieth Century, took a Mark Abrams of its own in Oxbridge, 12 replies of which (out of 13) mentioned the H-Bomb as the key political issue of the day. The issue begins with St. Pancras and CND and ends with Dennis Potter, and it has a cardcarrying Liberal in the middle who “largely accepts the analysis of our society made by the New Left”. So what with one thing and another . . .
It is understood that unilateralists who are members of the T & GW have been urged to refrain from spitting in the street, in case it is reported as the opening shot in a campaign to unseat Mr. Cousins . . . The Victory For Sanity (sick) Manifesto now (it is rumoured) contains an extra clause asking the Telegraph to give adequate coverage to opposing points of view in case anyone should think that the press is biased in favour of Mr. Gaitskell . . . The Guardian has denied and denied and denied again that it is fighting and fighting and fighting again . . . The collapse of the “independent” press in the face of the political challenge of unilateralism has been one of the most awesome and frightening developments of the last few months. The closing up of the channels of communication to radical or dissenting opinion is only highlighted by the death and burial of the News Chronicle. This deserves much fuller treatment—and will get it in a feature on “The Gaitskell Press” in our next issue.