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Submitted by Matthew on Mon, 12/10/2009 - 10:01

Robert, that doesn't alter the political conclusions to be drawn. I don't know what your own politics are but for us it was - and to a lesser extent still is - a matter of battling a current in the British labour movement for whom the Stalinist rulers of Eastern Europe could no wrong, even when they were scabbing on the miners in 1984.

John O'Mahony in his article makes clear that the duty of the British trade union movement to defend Solidarnosc against the Polish state and its apologists here does not hang on the accuracy or otherwise of Walesa's comments and that the difficulty in determining their accuracy lies mainly with "the office sub-editor who gave the article its final shape" by reducing them to "snippets, too short for any context to be discernible".

As I'm sure you know, The Mirror titles at the time were owned by Robert Maxwell, a supporter of the right-wing in the Labour Party who therefore had his own reasons to use Walesa's comments against the NUM.

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