I was selling the Morning Star with some friends outside the Unison LGBT Conference when a woman approached us. She said she was from Lithuania and she’d learned English by reading the paper.
During the 20th Century the Soviet Union ordered thousands of copies of the paper every day, and this can be considered as a soft subsidy. During the 1930s the Daily Worker was accused of being funded by ‘Moscow gold’, and although the allegation was firmly denied at the time, it nonetheless damaged the paper’s reputation. The result was this compromise where, instead of providing direct funding, the Soviet Union just bought loads of papers. This can’t be questioned as anything other than a common business transaction, albeit one which helped keep the paper afloat through tough times.
What nobody asked was what actually happened to all those papers which were shipped off to the USSR? Well now we know that at least some of them ended up in Lithuania, where they were read by this woman.
I think it’s cool that she learned English, came to Britain, and as she walked by she recognised the newspaper which she’d read so many decades earlier.