'The Vicious Circle": communist cartooning, internationalism and print culture, 1917-25'.
The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) was founded in summer 1920. During the two and three-quarter years that followed the October Revolution of 1917, the line of succession within British Bolshevism had been fiercely contested. (9) The first section of this article argues that in the proto-communist press, social democratic cartooning traditions remained prominent in debating the tenets of a future communist party. Cartoons were sourced through networks that took informal and institutional forms. (10) Politically, they were grounded in international struggles for socialism, feminism and peace. Journalistically, they used processes of reprinting and adaption integral to print culture during this period. (11) The second section contends that in the early 1920s, the Communist Party press became the primary vehicle for experimental left-wing cartooning. But the value of newspaper cartoons was contested within the party and reflected in broader debates with Moscow. Under the influence of 'Bolshevisation'--that sought to cleanse national parties of social-democratic remains--cartoon circulation was diverted through Comintern channels. In spite of attempts to homogenise its forms and practices, a dynamic culture of communist cartooning was sustained, if not always encouraged.
Proto-communist cartooning, 1917-20.
The British Socialist Party formed the largest constituent of the CPGB. Founded in 1912 from the Social Democratic Party and ILP left-wing, the BSP could trace its roots through the indigenous Marxist tradition constituted by the H.M. Hyndman's Democratic Federation (SDF) in 1881. (12) Since the launch of the SDF's, Justice (1884-1925), socialist organs were produced by ad-hoc networks of activist writers and artists. The professional staffs of the Daily Herald and Daily Citizen (1912-16) were an exception, with most relying on unpaid contributions out of financial necessity or political doctrine, as rank-and-file papers produced through sacrifice to the cause. These practices remained crucial to nascent communist organs. As the First World War shattered the unity of the Second International (1889-1916), so the BSP had divided. (13) The Call had been launched in February 1916 by the BSP's anti-war internationalists, in opposition to Justice and Hyndman's pro-war right-wing.
The ousting of the Hyndmanites at the 1916 Easter conference cemented the BSP's position on the anti-war left and inadvertently set the cornerstone of the CPGB.
Prior to the launch from The Call of the CPGB organ, The Communist (1920-23), the weeklies of the Socialist Labour Party and Workers' Socialist Federation were the main carriers of 'Bolshevik' cartoons in Britain. Whilst The Call made little use of pictorial copy, The Socialist (1902-23) and Workers' Dreadnought (1914-24), frequently carried cartoons on their front pages. These were set between a column and full-page in size, with the larger prints doubling as detachable posters for specific campaigns. (14) Founded in 1912 by Sylvia Pankhurst as organ of the East London Suffrage Federation, the Worker's Dreadnought reflected her artistic and political journey from suffrage campaigner to revolutionary communist. It served the Federation through its reincarnations as the Workers' Suffrage Federation (1916-18), Workers' Socialist Federation (1918-20) and Communist Party, British Section of the Third International (1920-21).
Personal contacts cultivated by Pankhurst were important sources of original and reprinted cartoons. The cartooning traditions of British socialism--past and present--were mined, with works by Walter Crane reprinted between 1915 and 1922. (15) [Fig.1] His Cartoons for the Cause (1896) had inspired Pankhurst to paint 'in the service of the great movements for social betterment'. (16) Crane's romantic allegories of triumphant struggle towards a future communal society, contrasted starkly from the militant caricature of his successors, yet held an enduring influence on the visual iconography of the British left. This was evident in the engraved cartoons by Pankhurst and her young adherents, Hilda E. Jefferies and Herbert Cole, published in the Dreadnought during this period. (17)
By 1917 cartoons were published in the Dreadnought on a near weekly basis, with a greater proportion reprinted from sympathetic papers abroad. Pankhurst's international travel itinerary provided her with a global network of political and journalistic contacts that were brought to bear on the organ. Whilst in New York she met the influential feminist socialist Crystal Eastman and her brother Max, who edited The Masses (1911-17)--an innovative monthly that fused revolutionary politics and graphic art. (18) Cartoons from The Masses and other US socialist papers featured in the Dreadnought from its early issues of 1914. (19) Indeed, its first cartoon in defence of revolutionary Russia was reprinted from the New York Call (1908-23), east coast daily of Socialist Party of America. Published four months after the February revolution, the cartoon by veteran artist, Ryan Walker, questioned the democratic credentials of President Woodrow Wilson in pressuring Russia's Provisional Government to remain in the First World War. (20)
The transatlantic influence of US cartooning was still stronger in The Socialist. The SLP was founded by breakaway Scottish branches of the SDF under shop stewards, James Connolly and George Yates. Their critique of Hyndman's authoritarian and reformist tendencies were grounded in Daniel DeLeon's theory of industrial unionism and published in Weekly People, the New York organ of his Socialist Labour Party of America (SLPA). (21) Following Hyndman's purge of 'impossibilist' factions, the DeLeonist exiles launched the British SLP, with Connolly's The Socialist its adopted organ. The weekly commonly reprinted cartoons and articles from Weekly People, and other industrial unionist and syndicalist papers, such as the South African International (International Socialist League), the Brisbane-based The Worker (Australian Labour Party) and The Toiler (later of Communist Labour Party of Ohio). By reprinting cartoons from across the globe, the Dreadnought and The Socialist visualised the universal struggles of British activists and their comrades abroad.
Prior to the October revolution, however, the Dreadnoughts cartoons were expressing frustration at the creeping divisions, amongst the antiwar Zimmerwald movement and its International Socialist Commission, over an all party congress in Stockholm called by the Menshevik-led Petrograd Soviet. Entitled 'Stockholm--the sun sinks whilst labour thinks', the cartoon depicted the setting sun of 'Internationalism', with a bare-chested workman looking helplessly on. Ongoing indecision, the cartoon suggested, could end the hopes of the international struggle. (22) The Bolshevik's seizure of power just two months later met with cautious optimism, but the circumspection of many soon turned to reverence. A special supplement of The Socialist extolled: 'across the triumph of Russian capitalism there looms the spectre of international socialism'. (23) At the Annual Conference of May 1918, the WSF became the Workers' Socialist Federation and urged the British proletariat to embrace the world revolution. This firm commitment to revolutionary communism was pre-empted in the Dreadnought on 4th May, which featured its first cartoon to represent Bolshevik Russia.
Drawn by a new contributor, Brown Willy, it juxtaposed the agency of Russian revolutionaries against the subservience of their British peers. [Fig.2] In the foreground was a British worker (a union jack on his behind) pleading at the feet of a rotund capitalist; in the background is the rising sun of 'Free Russia' illuminating a stout worker striding forth with a banner marked 'class conscious labour'. Blocking the sunlight from the British worker is a screen held in place by a bejewelled skeleton's arm. (24) This stark image championed the precedent set by Soviet Russia, whilst bemoaning the absence of revolutionary class consciousness in Britain (obscured, it was suggested, by capitalist greed and destruction).
No further cartoons were published in the Dreadnought until the postwar 'coupon election' of December. (25) Thereafter the content of the Dreadnought's cartoons became increasingly pro-Bolshevik. This transition was led through works reprinted from US monthlies, most notably, The Liberator (1918-24) and Good Morning (1919-21). (26) On 16th August 1919, the Dreadnought reprinted a Clive Weed cartoon from The Liberator that echoed the burgeoning class consciousness of Willy's. It depicted two workmen sitting down on their lunch break, one eating a sandwich, the other reading a paper, 'The Cry-Bune': 'I know what this Bolshevism means, Bill', the reader says to the other, 'it means us!' (27)
On 6 November 1919, The Call celebrated the second anniversary of the Russian Socialist Republic. The commemorative contents were prominently advertised on the paper's front page, including a 'special article by N. Lenin' and 'a cartoon by Will Dyson'. (28) Whilst the Bolshevik leader's contribution was the headline attraction, more extraordinary was the publication of a cartoon by the doyenne of socialist cartoonists. An Australian who moved to London in 1910, Dyson had cartooned at the dissident Daily Herald for almost a decade. Under the pre-war editorship of American syndicalist, Charles Lapworth and young typographer and sub-editor, Francis Meynell, Dyson's venomous cartoons against capitalism, militarism and parliamentary politics displayed an acidity rarely seen in Britain since the early nineteenth-century. (29) Whilst never a card-carrying communist himself, Dyson's legacy resonated through the infant Bolshevik press. (30) Plotted across the entire back page, it was the only cartoon published over The Calls four year existence. Entitled, 'The English in Russia', Dyson's cartoon depicted a Prussian general ('Old Order') kneeling before an allied politician and pleading: 'Forgive me, forgive me--that in my presumption I once hoped to be your equal in brutality!' (31) Against the backdrop of the Russian Civil War, it presented allied support for anti-Bolshevik forces as equivalent to the Prussian militarism defeated by the Entente twelve months before. In the general's hand was drawn a capitalist top hat containing a document, 'Cordon Sanitaire', referencing the proposal of French Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau, for the liberated Baltic States to form a defensive cordon against the westward spread of Soviet communism. (32) [Fig.3]
If not uncritical of Bolshevik methods, the Herald was Fleet Street's most prominent defender of the early Soviet Republic. Whilst Dyson had viewed the revolution less optimistically than his colleagues at the paper, its publication of secret government circulars on British intervention outraged the cartoonist. (33) War Minister, Winston Churchill, became a recurrent target of Dyson's cartoons during the 'Hands-Off Russia' campaign. (34)
Pro-Bolshevik rhetoric emerged coevally in the Dreadnoughts original cartoons. On 1 November Herbert Cole depicted a worker, casting the shadow of 'Bolshevik International Labour', being stabbed in the back with a knife 'made in England'. The attacker was the White Army General, Anton Denikin, who Cole drew casting the shadow of 'International Capitalism'. (35) The following week his cartoon, 'John Bull Champion Baby Killer', offered a yet more damning indictment of the allied blockade of the Baltic. Alongside the caption, 'Holder of the World Record: Be British! Women and Children First!', the cartoon showed John Bull [Britain] jumping on a pile of dying children wielding a club marked 'blockade' and a can of stolen 'milk', as the mothers of 'Russia' and 'Germany' looked up in tears from their knees. (36) [Fig.4] Recalling Dyson, Cole blamed British militarism for the starvation and death of innocent women and children. These cartoons marked a striking change in the cartoonist's approach. Whilst containing traces of his earlier allegorical works, the envenomed and unflinching nature of Cole's post-revolution cartoons suggests a radicalisation of his politics and art amidst the brutalising context of war. A comparable transformation is palpable in the early Bolshevik civil war posters of Aleksandrs Apsitis. (37)
Meanwhile, the Comintern's formation that March had renewed the impetus of Moscow's call for a united British party. (38) A cross-party unity committee agreed in principle, but the tactics to be adopted proved divisive. (39) Each group's organ asserted their position in both written and pictorial forms. With the WSF and SLP leaderships refusing to compromise on the BSP's demand for Labour Party affiliation, the discussions appeared at an impasse by the New Year. On 5 February 1920 The Socialist carried a full page cover cartoon on the Paisley by-election campaign. The artist 'Babe' depicted the Labour candidate wearing a top hat and sandwich board of electoral pledges with 'Wait and See Chloroform for the Masses' on the front and 'Capitalism' on the back (reflected in a mirror behind him). (40) This editorial cartoon restated the SLP's rejection of reformism, but willingness to participate in the electoral process to propagate revolutionary socialism. It urged workers not to vote for the capitalist serving 'un-holy trinity' of Labour or coalition candidates, but to withhold their votes for socialism. 'Babe' was the only cartoonist prior the CPGB's foundation to draw original cartoons for more than one proto-communist organ, with different works published in The Socialist and Workers' Dreadnought during the unity debates. (41) Sylvia Pankhurst's anti-parliamentarianism was by then resolute. A Dreadnought cartoon entitled, 'Capitalists Don't Need Any Parliamentary Socialists To-Day', condemned Labour and by extension the BSP. 'Come back when the revolution is on', a capitalist says to a reformist, 'I'll need you then to help me stay in power under the cloak of your kind of socialism.' (42) During the Paisley by-election, internal disquiet over the SLP executive's dogmatic stance prompted the resignation of The Socialists editor, Tom Bell, who with Arthur MacManus and William Paul had continued unofficial negotiations. That April pro-unity SLP members founded the Communist Unity Group (CUG) and stated 'the urgent demand' for 'a policy that will unify all courageous elements for immediate revolutionary action.' (43) This act of dissent paved the way for the CPGB's formation that summer. The WSF's Easter conference pre-empted that event by reconstituting itself as the Communist Party (BSTI).
The Federation's relaunch as the BSTI was marked in the Dreadnought by the publication of a leftist 'Constitution for British Soviets: Points for a Communist Programme'. Embedded into the text was a cartoon by the foremost cartoonist of Italian socialism, Giuseppe Scalarini. Since the 1890s Scalarini had cartooned for the Milan-based organ of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI), Avanti!, for which Pankhurst had contributed articles since 1918. (44) Pankhurst's contacts in Italy had extended through her relationship with Italian Anarchist, Silvio Corio, then on the Dreadnoughts editorial board. (45) After covering the preliminary meetings of the Versailles conference, Corio and Pankhurst embarked on a European tour of leftist milieu including the PSI congress in Bologna, at which the party voted to join the Comintern. (46) The introduction of Scalarini's cartoons to the Dreadnought coincided with this tour--the first to be republished, 'Italy at the Peace Conference', appeared in February. (47)
Over twenty Scalarini cartoons appeared in Dreadnought over the next four years. This relationship was at its height during the months preceding the first unity convention, with drawings by Scalarini republished on an almost weekly basis between February and July 1920. His cartoons engaged with a range of labour struggles and celebrated the early promise of the Soviet Republic. In June, for example, one was prominently reprinted as 'Bolshevism: The Hope of the Workers'. It depicted a worker holding an axe aloft to deflect sunlight into the eyes of a capitalist. (48) As the frequency of their publication increased, the provenance ascribed to Scalarini's cartoons also changed. Initially credited in the Dreadnought as 'from the Avanti!; by 1920 their authenticity was being more directly assigned as 'drawn by Scalarini'. This re-ascription of provenance, suggested formalised arrangements between the cartoonist and the Dreadnought, with Avanti! no longer cited. (49) The universal language of political cartooning meant the tropes deployed in these images--class exploitation, militarism, censorship--cut across national and linguistic boundaries. This was not crude 'scissors and paste journalism'. (50) While most US cartoons were simply reprinted, the captions or in-frame para-texts of foreign language cartoons were not always directly translated, but rewritten to situate their visual discourse within a British context. A cartoon published as 'Direct Action' in March 1920 is an example. [Fig.5] Set against the backdrop of a factory, it depicted a worker's hand gripping on a pair of pliers that were squeezing a rotund capitalist. This cartoon had originally appeared in Avanti! the previous month, under the title 'Le Tenaglie' ('The Tongs'). (51) [Fig.6]
When reprinted and re-captioned in the Dreadnought, it visualised the BSTI's line on the futility of industrial conciliation. (52)
While the contours of these networks remain unclear, evidence of pictorial copy passing through official Comintern channels is visible from January 1920. In that month, stock portraits of Russian Bolsheviks and other European revolutionaries were published on the front pages of The Call and The Socialist. (53) The following month, The Call, published a series of emotive photographs depicting 'Life under the Soviets'. Challenging the reportage and atrocity stories published on Fleet Street, they presented the lives of working families in Soviet Russia as honourable and progressive by depicting the first congress of women workers, childcare, leisure, education and agriculture. (54) As very few Britons had first-hand experience of revolutionary Russia, these images were no doubt more significant than lengthy reports in shaping perceptions of the new regime. The following month, The Socialist, printed a 'series of Original Bolshevik Cartoons never before published in Britain.' (55) Prominently advertised in preceding issues, the cartoons were eventually printed across the cover under the headlines: Art and the Fight for Freedom in Russia' (11 March 1920) and 'Labour and Art in Russia' (18 March 1920). (56) That Soviet cartoons had not been republished earlier in Britain suggests the slow development of journalistic networks between Moscow and affiliated parties at the periphery. The Comintern's structural apparatus remained skeletal. Before the 1921 formation of the Orgbureau and its sub-departments for agitprop and publishing, the ECCI Secretariat coordinated the channels of contact. (57) Nonetheless, informal relations between activists or parties remained integral to the production and circulation of revolutionary cartoons within and across national boundaries.
The Communist Party press, 1920-25.
The final issue of The Call was published two days before the founding convention of the CPGB in July 1920. Its editorial explained that 'the BSP will cease its separate existence' and the Communist Party will 'establish at the same time its own weekly organ, for the expression and advocacy of the fundamental principles and policy.' (58) The following week, The Communist, was launched from the former paper's offices with Fred Willis retaining the editor's chair. Given the paucity of cartoons in The Call, it comes as no surprise that the only pictorial copy printed in The Communist under Willis were occasional photographs.
While The Communist featured no cartoons, their importance to the independence of The Socialist and Workers' Dreadnought were amplified, as they continued to critique the CPGB's direction. (59) On 2 September 1920 The Socialist's leading article, 'The Tall Hat: A Tale of Unity', featured a roughly drawn cartoon by 'WM'. [Fig.7] It depicted a worker stood on a hillside marked 'SLP tactics', with 'revolutionary activities' being illuminated by the sun of 'social revolution'. As he looked down over the valley below strewn with 'compromise', 'reaction' and 'Labour Party affiliation', the worker commented to the reader 'That's no place for me.' (60) Discarded on the ground was a copy of 'St. Paul's epistle on unity', satirising the founding principles of the CPGB as akin to the Paul the Apostle's New Testament book on Christian entity.
Despite Pankhurst's clashes with Lenin over parliamentary action at the Second Comintern Congress, her journalistic talent was recognised by Moscow. Since the Comintern's formation she had been British correspondent of the Communist International. In December 1920 Zinoviev threatened to shift responsibly for its English edition from the CPGB to Pankhurst. (61) By that time she advocated entering the CPGB to consolidate its left-wing, which the BSTI did at the second unity convention in Leeds. (62) The organs of its new constituents soon became problematic. The executive recommended that Solidarity (Shop Stewards and Worker Committee Movement), The Plebs (Plebs League), and The Worker (Communist Labour Party) were admissible for circulation within the party due to their educational or industrial value, but that the Workers Dreadnought, The Socialist, and others should be barred for being 'unorthodox from the party standpoint'. (63) With typical defiance Pankhurst retained the Dreadnought, as an 'independent support' to the party from its left. (64) On 9th April its cartoon depicted a 'left wing' worker, flying flags of the 'International' and 'Communism', looking down suspiciously at an 'ILP' member carrying a knapsack and dressed in a plaid jacket and bonnet rouge: 'Comrade, don't', he urged the communist worker, 'You'll get hurt.' (65) The cartoon ridiculed middle-class reformists in the ILP who had shunned Comintern affiliation. (66)
To reflect the CPGB's expansion, the chairman Arthur McManus invited Francis Meynell to redesign The Communist. A former member of the WSF, Meynell had resigned from the Daily Herald over his role in the Bolshevik jewels scandal of 1920. (67) He agreed to edit The Communist for a six month period, with Raymond Postgate as sub-editor. (68) Meynell was given free licence over the paper's design and contents, which allowed him to experiment with typography and cartooning, something financial constraints had stymied during his Herald redesign. (69) It has been estimated that The Communist was allocated some 12,000 [pounds sterling] of the 55,000 [pounds sterling] the CPGB officially received from the Comintern channels that year. (70) This provided Meynell with a production and staffing budget that Willis or Pankhurst would have dreamed of. The new look weekly relaunched on 20 January 1921. (71) Political cartoons were introduced as a core component of its armoury. The Communist regularly featured between four and eight cartoons, across its usual twelve page format, a quantity unprecedented in a British newspaper. Drawn by 'Westral', its first cartoon, 'The Gate to More', was positioned across the new editorial centrefold, signalling Meynell's commitment to pairing written and visual copy. (72) Westral's identity remains a mystery, although as the artist's cartoons were only published (or republished) during Meynell's editorial tenure, it is clear that Westral was closely aligned to the editor, if not Meynell himself. (73) Fear of legal prosecution or professional alienation prompted many revolutionary artists to use pennames. Early communist cartoonists, such as 'Willy', 'Babe', 'Redcap' and 'Rouge' remained 'shadowy figures'. (74) Whilst subverting the cult of journalistic celebrity nurtured by 'New Journalism', their pseudonyms acquired a notoriety of their own.
The second issue, featured a cartoon from the pen of another unknown artist, 'J.D. Bream'. (75) Entitled, 'The Power to Be!' it contained the only direct reference to the unity debates to appear in The Communists cartoons. Updating the work of nineteenth century French satirist, Honore Daumier, it depicted Winston Churchill, Lloyd George and Labour MPs Ramsay MacDonald and Jimmy Thomas, fleeing from a towering worker marked 'Communist Unity'. (76) The same issue saw the arrival of Will Hope. Following spells at New Zealand Truth and New York Globe, Hope had been appointed by Meynell to illustrate the Daily Heralds sports page in 1918, where he had regularly appeared alongside Dyson. (77) Hope's heavy, sometimes crayoned, lines were not dissimilar from his fellow Australasian, while his left-wing credentials had been honed at the Truth under the editorship of Robert Hogg, a former activist in the Scottish ILP, who turned the paper towards revolutionary industrial unionism during New Zealand's general strike of 1913. (78) After his first cartoon for The Communist, Hope took Meynell's advice of changing his signature to 'Espoir'. (79)
While Hope and Westral provided editorial cartoons, artists like Michael Boland and Redcap contributed works for other sections of the paper. (80) Editorial comment about its cartoons became a common feature of The Communist, asserting their meaning to the reader. To circumvent a wholesalers' boycott, for example, Meynell creatively purchased multi-page advertisements in the Herald, using the space to print extracts from The Communist and descriptions of its cartoons. (81) A week after the Herald advertisement, Meynell's editorial 'Breaking down the Boycott' was embedded with a cartoon that depicted a communist worker 'rubbing their noses in it!' by crushing 'Wholescale News Agents' and the 'Secret Service'. (82) The ongoing crusade against British Bolshevism of Scotland Yard chief, Sir Basil Thomson, made printers and distributors weary of communist associations.
Unlike in The Socialist or Workers Dreadnought, cartoons syndicated from Comintern or other left-wing publications were rarely republished under Meynell. Its early cartoons were explicitly by-lined 'Drawn for the Communist'. This proclamation of provenance reflected the editor's desire for vibrant originality. (83) When cartoons from other publications were occasionally featured, they did so out of necessity or as carefully selected supplements to original drawings. For instance, after the confiscation of cartoons during a police raid in May 1921, the next issue carried a work by The Liberators William Gropper. (84) By extension, the international struggle featured less prominently, although The Communists cartoons on British rule in Ireland or India were no less scathing than those more regularly published on domestic issues. (85)
The policies of Lloyd-George's coalition, and the supposed inability of Labour to hold them to account, were the cartoon's primary targets. As in the old Daily Herald, they attacked Conservative, Liberal and Labour politicians with equal vigour. This was most apparent during the mining lock-out of April 1921. (86) The Labour MP and National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) leader, J.H. Thomas, sued The Communist for libel over written and cartoon representations of his alleged role in the events of 'Black Friday'. Thomas' National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) and the National Transport Workers Federation (NTWF) had withdrawn solidarity for the Miners' Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) in its dispute over safeguards for post-war de-nationalisation. The case became the first in Britain for over a century in which graphic satires of a national political figure were successfully prosecuted. (87) Espoir's infamy in communist circles was thereafter secured, temporarily moving him out of Dyson's shadow.
Meynell departed The Communist at the end of his six month contract, leaving the same month that Dyson left the Daily Herald. (88) Due to financial constraints, no immediate replacement for Dyson was appointed. Cartoons were published only sporadically, and those that did appear were often reprinted from foreign socialist papers. (89) From September, however, intermittent cartoons by Will Hope were strikingly published in the Herald. (90) These works were of a different temper, with his penetrating attacks in The Communist as 'Espoir' blunted in the Herald where he signed his own name. Two cartoons published in the respective papers during the second week of October illustrate this point. In the Herald, Hope parodied the impotence of the coalition government to tackle unemployment by framing Lloyd George mopping his brow and exclaiming, 'Phew!', under the heat of 'unemployment crisis' beaming down from the sun above. (91) The next day, Hope's 'Espoir' cartoon in The Communist made a more wounding incision to Lloyd George's reconstruction pledge. (92) Entitled 'Homes For Heroes', it portrayed an emaciated worker being nailed into a coffin marked 'unemployment' by three cigar smoking rotund capitalists wielding mallets marked 'wage cuts' and 'starvation'. By the coffin's side rested a wreath 'to hell-he-go-land', signed 'from the bosses.'
With the Thomas libel trial less than two months away, Hope's cameos in the Herald began when his stock was highest in far left circles. But how his talents should be utilised in service of the Party was questioned, as the Comintern prompted a review of its national organs.
Meynell's tenure marked The Communists heyday, the organ became a point of internal conflict reflecting broader debates over the party's future course. (93) MacManus felt the paper under Meynell had 'directly or indirectly increased the prestige and standing of the party'. (94) Others were less supportive, with editorial opportunism and rising costs frequent criticisms. The Communist, it was argued, had become the 'kept preserve of a clique', with Pankhurst claiming it had 'fallen largely into the hands of the 'Daily Herald' group'. (95) Meynell later admitted its resemblance to an old social democratic organ, 'a paper by intention for working-class people but by its style addressed almost wholly to middleclass intellectuals'. (96) As Meynell himself later recognised: 'I doubt whether there could ever have been a political party organ that showed so little awareness of its party's ideology ... The simple fact is we wrote and cartooned for ourselves'. (97) Such an approach was out of step with the Comintern's theses and Zinoviev's memorandum, which reached London that September. In the same month, Pankhurst's unwillingness to submit the Dreadnought to the party executive, led to her expulsion from the party. (98) In a front-page editorial, Pankhurst described the party as 'passing through a sort of political measles called discipline which makes it fear the free expression and circulation of opinion'. The Dreadnought she contended was alive to leftist minority debates of the wider international movement 'not discussed in The Communist.' (99) The former limped on independently, with reduced cartoon copy, before eventually folding in 1924.
In response to Moscow's concerns over the progress of its British comrades, a party commission of Harry Pollitt, Albert Inkpin and Rajani Palme Dutt were charged with 'Bolshevising' the party and centralising its federal structure. In a memorandum to the Executive in early 1922, Dutt offered a scathing indictment of the organ and recommended a 'complete review' of its organisation, distribution and finance. He felt the circulation increase under Meynell was 'artificial' and the result of Black Friday. 'The paper did nothing to educate the public', he argued, 'it fails to lead, has no clear drive or purpose or relation to Party activity.' (100) Turning more specifically to its use of cartoons, Dutt contended that such 'devices' should be used for 'driving home the organising point, never for purely journalistic purposes'. (101) Instead of 'tickling the public' cartoons 'should only be selected for direct agitational value'. He also viewed culling cartoons as a means of offsetting heavy financial losses, with one of the 'principal items upon which saving has been made' being 'the cessation of payment to cartoonists'. (102) There was no space for a reckless organ staffed by mercurial professional journalists, with no cartoonist listed in the recommended staff. (103) What was needed was a paper run in a spirit of revolutionary sacrifice by 'a devoted band of voluntary workers.' (104) In this context, Hope's moonlighting at the Herald was financially understandable.
Dutt's recommendations were incorporated near verbatim in the final report ratified by the 1922 Annual Conference. But their demotion of cartooning as communist agitation was at odds with Zinoviev and other ECCI members. Leon Trotsky's critique of the French Communist Party's daily LHumanite, similarly condemned its 'vagueness' of editorial line. Far from dispelling 'the prejudices of parliamentary reformism and anti-parliamentary superstitions of anarchism', he contended, its reports were 'slurred over in ... superficial contradictions, and in making puns and jokes.' Like Zinoviev, however, Trotsky emphasised the value of its cartoons, by expressing his 'admiration for the work of your paper's wonderful cartoonist, Gassier' [Henri Paul Gassier]. (105) Dutt's contrasting interpretation to Zinoviev and Trotsky of the role of cartoons in a Bolshevised organ played out in the Communist Party press over the next two years.
As the Comintern's 'united front' was rolled out, The Communists editorial line and the bite of its cartoons was tempered. Direct attacks on individual Labour officials were replaced by broader warnings. Communists were encouraged into tactical alliances with other labour parties, promoting the common cause of defending the 'immediate, basic interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie'. (106) During the Engineering Lockout, for example, Hope's editorial cartoon of 18 March 1922 visualised, 'a message to the General Council'. It depicted the locked-out miner of Black Friday, asking the reader: 'Don't leave the Engineers to fight alone. Remember what happened to me when I was deserted.' The adjacent editorial demanded: 'Fight Like Hell. We Demand a Special All Labour Congress To Make The United Front--To Stop The Retreat'. (107) The party's cartoonists had realigned their sights.
This coincided with cartoons from other Comintern papers being reprinted with greater regularity. In light of Dutt's memorandum, this change was as financial as political. Like in the Dreadnought after 1918, cartoons were reprinted most commonly from The Liberator, which in October 1922 formerly aligned to the Workers Party of America (the legal manifestation of the Communist Party USA). (108) Meanwhile, Dutt and former Labour Research Department colleague, Robert Page Arnot, were charged with realising Lenin's vision for a quasi-independent international monthly under communist editorship. The Labour Review was launched in July 1921, with its name and contents exuding the 'united front'. (109) This line took pictorial form through its 'Cartoons of the Month', a periodic review of international cartoon discourse, not unlike that pioneered in W.T. Stead's Review of Reviews. It contained four cartoons on average, with their paper and country of origin attributed. (110) Some were lifted from Comintern organs already familiar to the British left, such as L'Humanite, The Liberator and Avanti! Others were from social democratic organs, like New York Call, De Notenkraker (Dutch Social Democratic Workers Party), Die Freie Welt (German Independent Social Democratic Party) and even the French anarchist weekly, Les Hommes du Jous. (111) By April 1922, however, the publication of cartoons had ceased, accompanied by an announcement that future issues would be sold at a reduced price: 'we wished to establish the conception of quality first and foremost ... whatever the cost involved in the form of cheapening production and the foregoing of returns on the part of contributors and workers on the journal.' (112) Cartoon copy had again been sacrificed. Though cheaper than commissioning originals, even reprinting cartoons could prove too costly.
Later that month, Hope took a break from The Communist, officially to further his artistic education. His departure from the journal was accompanied by a glowing farewell, reflecting his cult status on the paper:
This number of the COMMUNIST contains, we regret to say, what will be our last regular cartoon for some while from our Comrade Espoir. Espoir is going to Germany for a while to fraternise with artists there and learn, as he puts it, from the Bavarian masters. We shall receive sketches from him from time to time, but his usually weekly comment upon passing events will be lacking for some little while. (113)
The stylistic similarities of Hope's cartoons to those of the Munich based periodical, Simplicissimus, had been noted by contemporary commentators. (114) Germany had become a key site for revolutionary graphic art after the German Revolution, through the 'November Group' (f.1918) and Union of Communist Artists of Germany (f. 1924) of which cartoonist George Grosz was founding chairman. (115) Whether or not Hope visited these groups is unknown. His work continued to appear in the British party press.
From the CPGB's foundation, Moscow had pressured their British comrades to produce a daily paper. The executive remained resolute in their assessment that a daily was beyond the party's organisational and financial means. (116) During the 1922 General Election, the Communist Daily was trialled, with Comintern support. (117) Launched on 13 November, its front page proclaimed 'the first number of the Worker's Daily of the future is here!' The banner headline: 'Lenin on the Election ... 'Vote down the candidate of every capitalist party ... Support the Labour and Communist Candidates.' Inside featured two 'Espoir' that gave visual form to this rhetoric. The first entitled 'The Scab' depicted a worker in a polling booth. Faced with a straight choice between 'capitalism' and 'labour', 'the scab' was shown voting for the former. The second cartoon entitled 'The Menace' was more sinister, depicting the Labour Party as a pawn dressed in a bearskin of the Queen's Grenadier Guards, whilst looming behind was a worker with a clinched fist: 'We do not fear the Labour Party', the caption reads, 'but the men behind it (any speech by any Capitalist Politician)'. Espoir's parody of the PLP as a pawn of the establishment would have done little to quell Labour fears over CPGB intentions. (118) [Fig.9]
Two months later in February 1923, The Communist was replaced by the Workers'Weekly. Dutt was again made editor, with Tom Wintringham as sub-editor--a position he also held on the Communist Daily. (119) They aspired to produce a paper built solely upon the edicts of Moscow. In Dutt's words: 'the first real attempt at a real workers' newspaper that will be to the English workers what Pravda has been to the Russian workers.' (120) Cartoons by amateur rank-and-file artists featured rarely, however. (121) In its early editions cartoon copy was commonly restricted to an editorial cartoon by Boland, with Espoir cartoons published on occasion.
The rebranding broadened the party organ's appeal. By The Communists final number, circulation had fallen to 17,000, but in the Weekly's first month this had risen to 50,000, before averaging between 35,000 and 40,000 at the General Election of November 1923. (122) That campaign was again fought on a united front platform. The week before the nation went to polls, Boland's front-page cartoon reworked the template of Bream's 1921 'communist unity' cartoon by drawing a giant smiling worker standing over a city and holding a policy manifesto before him: 'vote Labour and Communist; no divided ranks', it read, 'a workers' government, a workers' program.' Cowering in horror, beneath the worker, were Lloyd-George, Churchill, Stanley Baldwin and Herbert Asquith. Above the cartoon the banner headline charged: 'Return working class representatives and make them fight on the Communist Programme.' (123)
Dutt's editorials welcomed the prospect of a minority Labour Government, which was met with horror by other sections of Fleet Street. While MacDonald's administration was in power, newspaper cartoonists contested tropes of imminent 'Red Ruin'. (124) This coincided with a change in the Herald's approach to cartooning. After three years of infrequent contributions and syndicated cartoons, original political works again became prominent. Backed by new finance, the editor, Henry Hamilton Fyfe looked to utilise talent from the wider movement. Despite the increased sensitivity of the Labour leadership to Bolshevik infiltration, Fyfe appointed Hope to the Herald's permanent staff in March 1924. When a disciplined Labour daily seemed paramount, the recruitment of a past nemesis of that party was bold and politically sensitive. Whilst the reasoning behind the decision is absent from the records, a number of factors could have smoothed Hope's appointment. Firstly, if his Communist cartoons had been a double-edged success, their public impact was indisputable. In his previous editorial role, Fyfe had transformed the Daily Mirror into a popular illustrated paper through elevated use of cartoons and photojournalism. (125) If communist cartooning remained at the vanguard of British left-wing cartooning, Hope's appointment may have seemed a risk worth taking. Secondly, Lansbury as General Manager and Director remained influential on the Board, from which Thomas had resigned due to his appointment as Colonial Secretary. (126) For Hope, the prospect of paid cartooning and 'united fronts' may have eased his political conscience over the move.
As the Herald extended its cartoon copy, so too did the Workers' Weekly. This coincided with a scathing memorandum from Zinoviev on 'The Immediate Tasks of the British Communist Party': 'The editorship of the weekly organ is far from satisfactory', he wrote. The task of the party 'was not to repeat stereotyped phrases about the united front, but at every step to expose the milk and water and treacherous character of MacDonald's so-called 'Labour Government'. It must raise the tone of its agitation to the stage of lashing and branding...'. (127) In the issues that followed this damning critique, a more dynamic approach to cartooning is evident in the Weekly. Multiple cartoons by Michael Boland (now signed as 'Michael') were printed each week, with calls for unity increasingly prefixed by direct criticism of MacDonald's administration. (128) During this period, the Weekly also began to contest the cartoons of rival labour weeklies. On 18 July, as the Prime Minister chaired the London conference on German reparations, the Weekly featured a cartoon previously published in the ILP organ, New Leader. To challenge the cartoon's intended meaning, the original was altered and printed on the Weekly's front-page. 'The above' the caption read:
is a copy of a cartoon which appeared in last week's ... official ILP organ. The only alteration that we have made is in the face of the cat [MacDonald]. The cartoonist advises the worker's 'to beware'. We ask them to beware also of a party which condemns reparations in cartoons, but supports them in practice. (129)
The cartoon challenged MacDonald's about-turn over Labour's manifesto pledge to revise the Versailles settlement on reparations. This practice of remediating rival cartoon copy was unheralded in the British communist press.
Despite Dutt's previous ambivalence over the value of cartooning, the party organ's cartoon copy was reinvigorated. An ongoing deference to pre-Bolshevised forms was apparent in this process. That year's bumper May Day issue mirrored Meynell's Communist by printing eight cartoons in single-panel and banner forms. Works by 'Michael' and 'Lemen'--on pages one, three and five--attacked capitalism and Labour in tandem. More striking, however, was the back-page devoted to 'May Day Memories of a Workers' Daily'. The daily paper in memoriam was the pre-war Daily Herald and four Will Dyson cartoons were boldly reprinted --'with Acknowledgements to the 'Daily Herald'. [Fig.10]
Underneath a bordered appeal was made to the movement: 'A Workers' Daily is needed by the Workers' Movement. It is needed to fight for the workers, as the old 'Daily Herald' once fought, and show up the sham of the 'Labour' leadership.' (130) The cartoon gradualism of the 'new' Labour owned Herald prompted the Weekly to recall the cartooning spirit of Dyson along communist lines. (131) Yet, some within the party like Robert Page Arnot, believed that Dyson's cartoons could not compensate for a genuine communist paper: 'the organism of a real party. Not all the various bodies and organs that had grown up in the movement ten years before could make up for that lack, not even the pre-war Daily Herald with its Dyson cartoons.' (132)
This rekindling of the Heralds dissident past was unlikely to have pleased the Labour hierarchy. Will Hope's tenure at the paper proved short-lived. During the final two months of 1924 his cartoons were gradually superseded by those of AG'. (133) Enduring communist associations troubled the paper's board, and contributed to Hope's sacking in early 1925. In the immediate aftermath of the minority government's electoral defeat, the Labour National Executive re-endorsed the controversial Edinburgh amendment of 1922, reminding Constituency Labour Parties that no member of the CPGB could be endorsed as a Labour candidate for any public institution. The Weekly's pre-election edition returned to the more formulaic 'unity front' rhetoric of the previous campaigns, with Hope's 'Espoir' cartoon 'The Scab' reprinted. (134) Later that year, Clifford Allen the ILP chairman, gave a scathing assessment of Fyfe's Herald as part of a 'Sub-Committee on Editorial Policy'. He argued that 'what is wrong with the Daily Herald is its spirit' and placed the blame at the feet of Lansbury ('its past owners and staff'): 'It was and still is a semi-minority movement conspiracy ... it cannot completely rid itself of the hideous hypocrisy of its old proprietors, who lifted their eyes to heaven with brotherly love on the tips of their tongues and fraternal hate on the tips of their tails.' (135) In a clear nod to likes of Hope and Postgate (then foreign editor), Allen remonstrated: 'Bound up with this is the folly of permitting Communists or strategically retired Communists to be in important positions on the staff. (136) The use of the term 'strategically retired' suggests that such rapprochement was perceived as cynical or subversive. Postgate departed the Herald soon after with Lansbury, who resigned from the board ahead of an editorial review. Within weeks of their departure from the Herald, Lansbury, Meynell, Postgate and Hope were briefly reunited at Lansbury's Labour Weekly (1925-27). (137) Hope's trade union the London Society of Compositors refused to contest his sacking and he soon immigrated to Canada. Writing to his old comrade Willie Gallagher in 1963, Hope recalled the damage done to his reputation: 'it was very hard for me to leave Fleet Street, but there was no alternative ... I beat it to a foreign country to regain my union card. I was hoping to return, but when [Sir Basil] Thomson invaded ... the apple card was upset.'138 For the time-being at least, the pioneers of communist cartooning in Britain had been silenced.
The 1930s saw an expansion of communist cultural activism, with Britain's revolutionary artists organising collectively for the first time. (139) The Daily Worker was presented as a break from the past, yet the approach to cartooning of its weekly predecessors was slow to fade from its pages. (140) Early issues reprinted old cartoon stock by 'Espoir' and 'Redcap', alongside new cartoons and those from Comintern organs like Pravda and The Liberator. (141) This article has argued that British communists mined indigenous and overseas cartooning cultures to contest the internal, national and international debates that shaped their movement after the Bolshevik revolution. During the early 1920s, communist organs moved to the forefront of left-wing cartooning in Britain. Despite the aspirations of its artists and editors, only Meynell's Communist fused revolutionary politics and art in a format comparable to the organs of their German or American comrades. Transnational networks facilitated the reprinting and remediating of cartoon copy from across the international movement--processes driven by restricted resources as well as ideology. The value of cartoon copy was contested within the party and reflected in broader debates with Moscow. Whilst Dutt attempted to homogenise cartoon forms and practices through Bolshevisation, a vibrant culture of communist cartooning was sustained, as Zinoviev and others encouraged local artistic activism within official party lines. Whilst the informal print networks of the early movement were increasingly formalised by the Comintern's apparatus, the first generation of communist cartoonists drew as much from the print traditions of their social democratic forebears, as those of their comrades in Moscow and beyond.
(1) Cartoon series, 'The Vicious Circle', Workers' Dreadnought, 12 June 1920, et al.
(2) The Moscow-based Communist International (Comintern or Third International) was founded in March 1919 to coordinate world socialist revolution along Bolshevik lines.
(3) Original emphasis. See G. Zinoviev, 'The Character of our Newspapers', Bulletin of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, No. 1, 8 Sept. 1921, pp28-9; and Theses on the Organisational Structure of the Communist Parties, the Methods and Content of their Work, Third Congress of the Communist International, 12 July 1921.
(4) Zinoviev, 'The Character of our Newspapers', p28.
(6) Communist artists in Germany and the United States have received notable attention. For the USA, see A. Hemingway, Artists on the Left: American Artists and the Communist Movement, 1926-1956, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2002; R. Fitzgerald, Art and Politics: Cartoonists of the 'Masses' and 'Liberator', Westport. Conn., 1973. For Germany, see W.L. Guttsman, Art for the Workers: Ideology and the Visual Arts in Weimar Germany, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997; B. I. Lewis, George Grosz: Art and Politics in Weimar Republic, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971.
(7) See R. Radford, 'To Disable the Enemy: The Graphic Art of the Three Jameses' in A. Croft, ed., A Weapon in the Struggle: The Cultural History of the Communist Party in Britain, London: Pluto Press, 1998, pp28-47; R. Radford, Art for a Purpose. The Artist's International Association 19331953, Winchester: Winchester School of Art Press, 1987.
(8) See also S. S. Hyde, "Please, Sir, he called me 'Jimmy!" Political Cartooning before the Law: 'Black Friday', J.H. Thomas, and the Communist Libel Trial of 1921', Contemporary British History, 25:4, 2011, pp521-550.
(9) The CPGB was the product of two far left unity conventions. The first (31 July-1 August 1920) grouped the British Socialist Party (BSP) and Communist Unity Group of the Socialist Labour Party (CUP/SLP), with elements of the Shop Steward and Guild Movements. The second (January 1921) incorporated the Workers' Socialist Federation / British Section of the Third Communist International (WSF / BSTI) and other smaller bodies, including some left-wing members of the Independent Labour Party (ILP).
(10) For the issue of transnationalism in labour history more generally, see A. Taylor, 'Essay in Review: The Transnational Turn in British Labour History', Labour History Review, 81, 1, April 2016.
(11) For the culture of reprinting, see M.L. McGill, American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1834-1853, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003; B. Nicholson, 'You Kick the Bucket; We Do the Rest!': Jokes and the Culture of Reprinting in the Transatlantic Press, Journal of Victorian Culture, 17, 3, 2012, pp273-286.
(12) Hyndman had been the dominant force behind the radical Democratic Federation (1881) and its socialist descendants the Social Democratic Federation (1883-1906) and Social Democratic Party (1906-1912).
(13) 'Our Policy', Call, 24 Feb. 1916.
(14) Women's Dreadnought, 8 March and 21 March 1914.
(15) See W. Crane, 'Labour's May Day ' and 'The Cause of Labour is the Hope of the World , Workers Dreadnought, 18 Dec. 1915; and [Fig.1] W. Crane, 'Communism', Workers Dreadnought, 9 Dec. 1922.
(16) Sylvia Pankhurst quoted in Ticknor, The Spectacle of Women, p32.
(17) Cole contributed to the paper between 1916 and 1922. For his book engraving career, see B. Peppin, Dictionary of British book illustrator in the twentieth century, London, 1983. Jefferies was more widely known under her married name, Hilda E. Bonsey. For an example of work in the Dreadnought, see H. E. Jefferies, [Liberty], Workers' Dreadnought, 5th May 1917.
(18) B .Winslow, Sylvia Pankhurst: Sexual politics and political activism, London: UCL Press, p20.
(19) Quoted by R. Fitzgerald in J.R. Conlin, The American Radical Press, 1880-1960, Westport and London: Greenwood Press, 1974, p532.
(20) R. Walker, 'Democracy! [from New York Call], Workers' Dreadnought, 28 July 1917. See also 'Suppression of a Pacifist Riot [from New York Call]', Workers' Dreadnought, 18 Aug. 1917.
(21) For the SLP see R. Challinor, Origins of British Bolshevism, London, Croom Helm, 1977.
(22) Due to the government's refusal to issue passports, British delegates had been absent from the conferences of the 'Zimmerwald left' in 1915 and 1916, see Thorpe, British Communist Party and Moscow, p21. After the Bolsheviks rejected the proposal to invite both pro--and anti-war socialists, a smaller third 'Zimmerwald' congress was convened, see R. Craig Nation, War on War: Lenin, the Zimmerwald Left, and the Origins of Communist Internationalism, Durham: Duke University Press, 1989.
(23) The Socialist, April 1918.
(24) B. Willy, 'Free Russia', Workers' Dreadnought, 4 May 1918.
(25) Babe, 'The Election, 1918', Workers' Dreadnought, 7 Dec. 1918.
(26) After the closure of The Masses, Max Eastman, launched The Liberator in 1918. The old staff were retained, but their bohemian spirit was quickly drained by the factional disputes between and within the Communist Labor Party and Communist Party of America. These prompted the departure of Art Young, who in 1919 formed the short-lived monthly, Good Morning. See Unid., 'Society note from Moscow' (from Good Morning), Workers' Dreadnought, 27 Sept. 1919; A. Young, 'Everything was all right' (from Good Morning), Workers' Dreadnought, 23 Oct. 1920.
(27) C. Weed, 'I know what this Bolshevism means' (from The Liberator), Worker's Dreadnought, 16 Aug. 1919.
(28) The Call, 6 November 1919.
(29) See Hyde, 'Highly Coloured Fiction', ch5-6; J. Jensen, "Curious! I seem to hear a child weeping!': Will Dyson (1880-1938)', 20th Century Studies, 13-14 (1975); J. Jensen, Will Dyson: A Sort of Bird of Freedom (Canterbury: University of Kent, 1996).
(30) A Dyson cartoon reprinted from the Herald had featured on the Dreadnought's front page in 1914, see W. Dyson, 'Whom War Threatens', Workers Dreadnought, 8 Sept. 1914. The Herald's editor, George Lansbury was then secretary of the ELSF. Dyson cartoons would later be reprinted in Solidarity, organ of the Shop Stewards and Workers' Committee Movement (SSWCM) in 1921.
(31) W. Dyson, 'The English in Russia', Call, 6 Nov. 1919.
(32) For the 'Cordon Sanitaire', see J.M. Thompson, Russia, Bolshevism, and the Versailles Peace, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015, pp33-60.
(33) R. McMullin, Will Dyson: Cartoonist, Etcher and Australia's finest War Artist, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1984.
(34) See W. Dyson, 'The Allies and the Socialist Republics', Daily Herald, 6 May 1919. For the 'Hands-Off Russia' movement, see L.J. Macfarlane, 'Hands Off Russia: British Labour and the Russo-Polish War, 1920', Past & Present, 38, 1967, pp126-152.
(35) H. Cole, 'Bolshevik International Labour', Workers' Dreadnought, 1 Nov. 1919.
(36) H. Cole, 'John Bull--Champion Baby Killer', Workers' Dreadnought, 8 Nov. 1919.
(37) For example, A. Apsit, 'Year of the Proletarian Dictatorship', coloured lithograph, 1918 and A. Apsit, 'The Tsar, the Priest and the Rich Man on the Shoulders of the Labouring People', coloured lithograph, 1918. S. White, The Bolshevik Poster, New York: Yale University Press, 1988, pp18-38.
(38) The Call, 9 October 1919.
(39) Of the parties represented on the unity committee, the BSP and SLP advocated parliamentary campaigning to which the WSF and South Wales Socialist Society were resolutely opposed. The BSP was alone in demanding the new organisation seek Labour Party affiliation, which the others roundly rejected on anti-reformist grounds.
(40) Babe, 'Damaged Goods at the Paisley Election', The Socialist, 5 Feb. 1920.
(41) For Babe in the Dreadnought, see Babe, 'What are you crying for...?', Workers' Dreadnought, 22 Nov. 1919.
(42) Unid., 'Capitalists don't need any parliamentary socialists to-day', Workers' Dreadnought, 29 May 1920.
(43) 'Manifesto of Communist Unity', SLP Unofficial Conference, Nottingham, 3-4 Apr. 1920, CPGB Archives, CP/CENT/LONG/01/01.
(44) Pankhurst also later wrote for Antonio Gramsci's, L'Ordine Nuovo, and Amadeo Bordiga's, Il Soviet. See Winslow, Sylvia Pankhurst, p136.
(45) A printer and typographer by training, Corio had co-founded several emigre anarchist papers, including Freedom and L'Internazionale, after moving to London in 1901. He had written on international affairs for Avanti!, Justice and Daily Herald. See P. Di Paola. The Knights Errant of Anarchy: London and the Italian Anarchist Diaspora, 1880-1917, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013.
(46) The party would split with the Italian Communist Party in 1921 under Giacinto Menotti Serrati, editor of Avanti! since 1914.
(47) Scalarini, 'Italy at the Peace Conference', Workers' Dreadnought, 1 Feb. 1920.
(48) G. Scalarini, 'Bolshevism: The Hope of the Workers', Workers' Dreadnought, 12 June 1920.
(49) The change in attribution occurred with 'A View of the European Situation', Workers' Dreadnought, 21 Feb. 1920.
(50) For 'scissors and paste journalism', see C. Feely, 'Scissors and Paste Journalism', in Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Journalism in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, ed. by L. Brake and M. Demoor, London: Academia Press, 2009, p561.
(51) Scalarini, 'Direct Action', Workers' Dreadnought, 13 Mar. 1920.
(52) Scalarini, 'Industrial Peace (from 'Avanti'), Workers' Dreadnought, 19 Apr. 1919. For another example of this practice, see Scalarini, 'When Labour and Capital Join Hands', Workers' Dreadnought, 14 Feb. 1920.
(53) For example, The Call, 29 Jan. 1920; The Socialist, 1 Jan. 1920.
(54) 'Life under the Soviets', The Call, 25 March and 1 April 1920.
(55) The Socialist, 4 March, 11 March and 18 March 1920.
(56) No details of their provenance was printed. 'Art and the Fight for Freedom in Russia', The Socialist, 11 Mar. 1920; 'Labour and Art in Russia', The Socialist, 18 Mar. 1920.
(57) See P. Huber, 'Structure of the Moscow apparatus of the Comintern and decision-making', Rees and Thorpe, International communism, pp41-64.
(58) The Call, 29 July 1920.
(59) The formation of the CPGB accelerated the decline of the BSTI and SLP, but through the popularity of their organs they maintained footholds in the movement. Whilst the circulation of party organs are difficult to gauge, official statistics provide some indication. The Socialist's official circulation of 8000 far exceeded the recorded party membership of 1250 at the start of 1920, Report of 17th Conference of SLP cited in Klugmann. History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, London, L&W, 1969.
(60) WM, 'That's no place for me', The Socialist, 2 Sept. 1920. See also JF, 'Hail! Dawn of Liberty!', The Socialist, 30 Sept. 1920.
(61) Thorpe, British Communist Party and Moscow, p40.
(62) Davis, Sylvia Pankhurst, p83.
(63) Workers' Dreadnought, Sept. 1921.
(64) Workers' Dreadnought, 15 Jan. 1921.
(65) Unid., 'Comrade, don't', Workers' Dreadnought, 9 April 1921.
(66) For Pankhurst's critiques of the ILP right, see M. Davis, Sylvia Pankhurst London, Pluto 1999, p77.
(67) K. Morgan, Bolshevism and the British Left: Part One: Labour Legends am Russian Gold, London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2006, p36
(68) For more detailed analysis of Meynell's tenure, see Hyde, "Please, Sir, hi called me 'Jimmy!". See also E. Hobsbawm's introduction to Cartoon, from 'The Communist' 1921-2, London: James Klugmann Pictorials 1982.
(69) F. Meynell, My Lives (London, 1971), p127.
(70) Morgan, Bolshevism and the British Left: Part One, p36.
(71) Communist, 5 Feb. 1921.
(72) Westral, 'The Gate to More', Communist, 20 Jan. 1921, pp6-7.
(73) Robin Page Arnot, Noreen Branson, Idris Cox, Leslie Morris and Erii Hobsbawm were similarly unable to pin down Westral's identity Matthews to Arnot, 3 Aug. 1982, George Matthews papers, CP/INDi MATH/07/07.
(74) D. Hopkin, 'The Left-Wing Press and the New Journalism' in J. H Wiener, ed., Papers for the Millions: The New Journalism in Britain, 1850. to 1914 (London, 1988), pp.225-242.
(75) J.D. Bream, 'An Anti-War Candidate' and 'Hot Stuff', Communist, 20 Jan. 1921.
(76) J.D. Bream, 'The Power to Be!', Communist, 5 Feb. 1921
(77) Meynell's review of 'Communist Cartoons' in Communist, 20 May, 1922 M. Bryant, Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists (Aldershot, 2000), p117.
(78) See NZ Truth, National Library of New Zealand, https://paperspast natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/nz-truth, accessed 01/08/16.
(79) Meynell, My Lives, p128.
(80) Little is known about Boland and Redcap who also cartooned for th Dreadnought. See Redcap, 'Less we forget', Workers' Dreadnought, 11 Mar. 1922.
(81) See Daily Herald, 15 Jan., 1921, 4 Feb. 1921; and Hyde, "Please, Sir, hi called me 'Jimmy!" Lansbury was forced to defend their publication on grounds of free speech, Daily Herald, 5 Feb. 1921.
(82) W. Hope, 'Rubbing their noses in it!', Communist, 12 Feb. 1921.
(83) Hyde, 'Highly Coloured Fiction', ch.5.
(84) For the raid see Communist, 14th May 1921; and W. Cropper, 'Ah hah!' (from Liberator), Communist, 21st May 1921.
(85) See W. Hope, 'A last word...', Communist, 19 Feb. 1921; W. Hope, 'Blockage--Famine--Cholera', Communist, 27 Aug. 1921; W. Hope, 'The Allied Philanthropist', Communist, 17 Sept. 1921.
(86) For example, W. Hope, 'I Claim the Right to Lay the First Wreath--I Killed Him!', Communist, 16 April 1921.
(87) For a full analysis of the case, see Hyde, ''Please, Sir, he called me 'Jimmy!''.
(88) Dyson final cartoon sustained his critique of the allied response to the Russian famine, see W. Dyson, 'Another Superfluous Woman', Daily Herald, July 1921. He made a brief return in the Herald during the 1930s.
(89) For the Herald's financial problems at this time, see H. Richards, The Bloody Circus, London: Pluto Press, 1997, p57.
(90) The first of these cameos was in defence of Lansbury and the poor relief rates scandal, W. Hope, 'The Bastille That Won't Work', Daily Herald, 1 Sept. 1921.
(91) Hope, 'Phew!', Daily Herald, 7 Oct. 1921
(92) Hope ('Espoir'), 'Homes for Heroes', Communist, 8 Oct. 1921.
(93) The new editor's first issue sold out within days and attracted a readership far in excess of the CPCB membership, which fell from 5000 to 2500 by the end of 1921. Circulation increased from 8500 in May 1921 to 40000 in February 1922, before peaking at 60000 in the aftermath of 'Black Friday'. Statistics taken from LJ. Macfarlane, The British Communist Party, p302. This section is based upon Hyde, 'Please, Sir, he called me Jimmy'.
(94) Morgan, Labour Legends, pp37.
(95) Ibid., pp47-8; p95.
(96) Meynell, My Lives, p128.
(97) Ibid, pp127-8.
(98) Communist, 10 Sept. 1921.
(99) Workers Dreadnought, 17 Sept. 1921.
(100) Memorandum on 'The Communist', Jan. 1922, British Library (hereafter BL), General Reference Collection, R. P. Dutt, Typescripts of Letters and Articles, CUP/1262/K.4.
(102) 'Report of "Workers Weekly' & Party Publications to the Control Commission' [c.1922], LHASC, CP/IND/DUTT/26/02.
(103) 'Report on Organisation' in Annual Conference Proceedings of CPGB, 7 Oct. 1922, p33.
(105) L. Trotsky to L. Leiciague, 'On l'Humanite, Central Organ of the French Party', 23 July 23, 1921, printed in L. Trotsky, The First Five Years of the Comintern, Vol. 1, London: New Park Books, 1973. L'Humanite's cartoons had been previously been reprinted in The Socialist, see 'Naturally you are a Bolshevik (from L'Humanite), The Socialist, 4 March 1920.
(106) See Thorpe, British Communist Party and Moscow, pp73-8. Quote taken from 'Comintern Thesis on Tactics', Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 5 Nov.-5 Dec. 1922.
(107) W. Hope, 'A message to the General Council', Communist, 18 March 1922.
(108) See W. Gropper, 'Ah hah! So you don't like this government, eh? (from The Liberator)', Communist, 21 May 1921.
(109) J. Callaghan, Rajani Palme Dutt: A Study in British Stalinism, London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1993, p43.
(110) Labour Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 3, Sept. 1921.
(111) For example, H. J. Louis, 'Back to the Pre-War Grind' (from L'Humanite), Labour Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 2, Aug.1921.
(112) Labour Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 4, April-May 1922.
(113) Hope, 'Espoir's Farewell', Communist, 15 April 1922.
(114) 'Abusing Mr. Thomas', Derby Daily Express, 22 April 1921; Hyde, Political Cartooning before the Law. For Simplicissimus' see G. Benecke, 'The politics of outrage: social satire in the cartoons of 'Simplicissimus', 1896-1914', 20th Century Studies, 13-14 1975, pp92-109.
(115) Grosz's cartoons were reprinted in the Dreadnought during its later issues, see Workers' Dreadnought, 4 Aug. 1923. B. I. Lewis, George Grosz: Art and Politics in Weimar Republic, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971, pp91, 115; Guttsman, Art for the Workers.
(116) Thorpe, British Communist Party and Moscow, p73.
(117) For the Communist Daily, see Klugman, History, Vol. 1, pp217-8.
(118) Hope ('Espoir'), 'The Scab' and 'The Menace', Communist Daily, 13 Nov. 1922.
(119) For Wintringham's role, see H. Purcell and P. Smith, The Last English Revolutionary: Tom Wintringham, 1898-1949, Rev. Ed., Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2012, pp41-57.
(120) Memorandum on 'The Workers Weekly', BL, CUP.1262.k.4.
(121) On the few instances when they were published they gave first-hand expression to activist concerns, see C. Arker--Poplar ILP, 'What ILP'ers think of Mac.', Workers' Weekly, 19 Sept. 1924.
(122) MacFarlane, The British Communist Party, p302.
(123) Workers' Weekly, 30 Nov. 1923.
(124) See Hyde, 'Highly Coloured Fiction', ch7.
(125) For the Daily Mirror, see M. Edelman, The Mirror: A Political History, London: Hamish Hamilton, 1966.
(126) Labour Party Conference Report, Oct. 1924
(127) Zinoviev, May 1924, cited in Purcell and Smith, The Last English Revolutionary, p53. For internal criticism of Dutt's editorship, see Thorpe, British Communist Party and Moscow, pp68-69.
(128) For example, Bolland, 'Marching to Massacre' and '1914-192?', Workers' Weekly, 25 July 1924.
(129) Unid., 'Some Cat! Workers, Beware', Workers' Weekly, 18 July 1924. See also C. Arker--Poplar ILP, 'What ILP'ers think of Mac.', Workers' Weekly, 19 Sept. 1924.
(130) 'May Day Memories of a Workers' Daily', Workers' Weekly, 2 May 1924.
(131) Believing that communists should learn from 'social democratic newspapers for the purpose of competing with them', Zinoviev had praised the Daily Herald for striving to 'serve all phases of the life of the workers and his family'. See Zinoviev, 'The Character of our Newspapers', p28. He made no mention, however, of Dyson's cartoons.
(132) R. Page Arnot, 'Communism and the Labour Party', Labour Monthly, July 1922.
(133) Hope's final contribution was W. Hope, 'It's Up Wi' The Bonnets of Bonnie Dundee', Daily Herald, 23 Dec. 1924.
(134) W. Hope, 'The Scab', Workers' Weekly, 24 Oct. 1924. Originally published in Communist Daily, 13 Nov. 1922.
(135) Clifford Allen, 'Memorandum on The Daily Herald', LHASC, LP/ DH/465.
(137) G. Postgate, The Life of George Lansbury, London, 1951, pp241-4; J. Shepherd, George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour, Oxford, 2002, pp226-30.
(138) W. Hope to W. Gallagher, Apr. 1963, LHASC, CP/INDMATH/07/07.
(139) See Radford, 'To Disable the Enemy'.
(140) See K. Morgan, 'The Communist Party and the 'Daily Worker", G. Andrews, N. Fishman and K. Morgan, eds., Opening the books: essays on the social and cultural history of British Communism, London, Pluto Press, 1995, pp142-59.
(141) For the Daily Workers early staff cartoonists, see W. Rust, The Story of the Daily Worker, London: People's Press, 1949.
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|Author:||Hyde, Samuel S.|
|Publication:||Twentieth Century Communism|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2017|
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