15 MARCH 1975, Page 3


The replacement of Mr John Gollan by Mr Gordon McLennan as general secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain was described in a BBC news programme as a move to the right. The use of this word highlights what is rapidly becoming an almost disastrous misuse of language in Press, radio and television. The lack of critical ability which is demonstrated in any attempt to comment on the affairs of the Communist Party in the same terms as comment might be made on the Labour or Conservative Parties demonstrates what may well turn out to be a fatal inability on the part of political writers and critics to identify the enemies of our society. It matters not whether, within its own terms, the Communist Party is right or left: the fundamental fact is that it and its doctrine are totalitarian; and that it is the tool of an interest wholly hostile to this country. The British political tradition is marked by exceptional tolerance of all forms of dissent and opposition. But we are surely going too far when we accept casually into the political vocabulary forms of words about a group which is bent not merely on altenng but on overthrowing our society.