Alex Massie’s recent blog entry for The Spectator has an excellent analysis of the current Labour leadership crisis.
Massie quips that
“If, as Diderot nearly put it, Scotland cannot be free until the last Labour councillor is strangled with the last copy of the Daily Record then, blimey, on both fronts the country is closer to national liberation than ever before“.
The Denis Diderot he refers to was a French Enlightenment man of letters. The original of Diderot’s remark is
“Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest“.
Massie’s version is perhaps closer to an earlier adaptation of Diderot, made in 1970 by the left-wing intellectual Tom Nairn, which went like this
“Scotland will be reborn the day the last minister is strangled with the last copy of the Sunday Post“.
As that slogan had been brought back to mind, I went off to the archive masquerading as my attic to see if I could find something I used to have on the wall of my bathroom, which indeed I managed to do.
It’s a poster which dates from the mid 1980s (i.e. following the failure in 1979 and during the worst of the Thatcherite gloom), reproducing the infamous front cover of the first issue in March 1983 of the magazine Radical Scotland.
I’ve copied it here for your interest and amusement. (Click on the image below to see a larger version.)