Visionary Speech by Earl Russell (part 2)

This small folding pamphlet illustrated by Ralph Steadman and published in London by IMG_1869Open Head Press about 1980 at 50p has the full text of Earl Russell’s 1978 maiden speech to the House of Lords. John Conrad Russell was the son of Bertrand Russell. After the speech he left the House of Lords and was prevented from re-entering it by ushers. It is said to be the only speech given  in the Lords that is not fully recorded by Hansard. His proposal to give three quarters of the nation’s wealth to teenage girls had some coverage in the papers the next day. This is the second part of 3 and we have found it  is actually in Hansard. The next part, coming soon, after the interruption by Lord Wells Psestell (who apparently only ever spoke in the Lords about model railways) has never appeared apart from in this rare pamphlet –  found by us un ths collection of Dutch poet and radical Simon Vinkenoog.

The full prospects of industrial civilisation ought to he realised: it is a boon, it should be called a boon, it should be used as a boon. The free spirit in school should be preserved, so that Sir Isaac Newton returns to us. Sweden and France have modernised themselves; all other nations in Europe, including Britain, should follow their example. A nation with industrial power should use it for benefit. There are other points in which a modernising nation modernising itself could improve its administration. For instance, lunatics could he looked after individually, and it could be found out what is missing from them, and the world which is missing from them could be 277 restored. The madness of the Cold War could also be removed by the whole human race, since it is quite evident that neither Communist not American exists, but only persons. What makes it abundantly clear is the saying of “little Audrey”, who laughed and laughed because she knew that only God could make a tree. Mr. Brezhnev and Mr. Carter are really the same person: one lunatic certifiable, or, in American terms, one nation, indivisible, with prisonment and lunacy for all.

In a word, the entire human race can banish the Cold War, with one word, by simply saying: “You don’t exist.” This fact ought to be recognised in practice, with logical recognition by the statement concerned, so that the aims of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament can be realised, and there can be disarmament throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Insight into the truth of this statement must be acknowledged, so that logic may take hold of the mind.

The CIA should be banished from Western Europe, and Euro-communism should be substituted for the present bosses of the Common Market as the prevailing social and economic system in Europe. The Portuguese Revolution should be defended and emulated throughout Western Europe. President Carter should be brought to a full halt in his “Fulton Speech” programme for Europe, in which he mentioned Paris, Rome and Lisbon by name. There should be revolutions throughout Latin America, in accordance with the wish of His Holiness the Pope; and the CIA should be driven out from every nation of Latin America. The original Indian nation should be restored to sovereignty. It goes without saying that all prisoners throughout all these areas would be released and are released from prison and are no longer whipped and tortured.

Since the so-called Protestants who govern Britain, or claim to govern her, are spiritless papal bum-boys, if they cannot take charge of themselves and find the spirit, the confidence, the power to decide to remove British arms and all Protestants from Ulster, they should forthwith find the said confidence and power to remove them. There is no point in what calls itself the British Protestant Authority remaining a spiritless limbo any longer. All soldiers and police 278 throughout the Northern Hemisphere should disappear. They and their functions are no longer necessary and are out of date.

Such is the future which the human race requires and desires. It is very silly to ask every generation to moderate itself and palliate with old institutions and old fogeys when what is needed is modernisation. The plea that the Establishment should he preserved is the plea that the old ogres should be allowed to gobble up the younger generation. You may preserve the Establishment, but only if you introduce new institutions when they are needed. The modernisation of British Railways is a case in point. The total abolition of law and order is needed, and the police turn into the Salvation Army, as already observed, and always help people. There are no prisons or punishments.

These points are the chief requirements for the future of the human race. They should be realised briskly and with discipline. It can be noted in conclusion that, since the police and bourgeois bosses are and have been anti-aristocratical, this House is indisputably Marxist, and inherits the banner of the Red Army of the Soviet Union.

The habit of arresting young people and raping them in gaol is part of the plot which is designed to destroy the human race by making it subserve dead spirits instead of live ones; it is a craven fear of nature, arguing a mind and spirit cringingly afraid, unalive, and not itself. No wonder that, in these circumstances, the best and most creative products and political movements have not proceeded out of Europe, hut out of Africa where these practices do not prevail. Europe has been slighting herself; she has not been giving of her best to herself or to humanity. Forward the creative spirit! Leave people as nature made them, not indoor products of ersatz suffocation. And have the courage to do so. It is noteworthy that Tommy Atkins has lost every war he has fought in for the past 25 years by reason of these spiritual attritions; and that the United States and the CIA lost the war in Vietnam because they were spiritually subservient to death for these reasons.

The Ancient Greeks fought naked: they did not have solitary confinement 279 cells; not in the sense that we do so today, although the captives from the Athenian expedition to Syracuse were subjected to extreme hard labour in slave conditions. Naked bathing on beaches or in rivers ought to be universal. What is right is right. If, for reasons of present law or custom, or inward spiritual slavery, people do not reach these standards, it does not mean that they ought not to reach them. And is it not better to defend the city before it is fallen? Better than to arrive too late, and defend only what would have been, if it had not already gone? But the fact is that all oppressions can always be overthrown, and that it is never too late to overthrow them. After the oppression has declared itself, its harms to mankind are known: it is then easy to reprove them, and, hapless in its revealed injury to mankind, it is powerless to defend itself against the accusation of its guilt, and has to yield. It is helpless: the accused prisoner at the bar; hammerblow upon hammerblow of accusation and reproof can be hammered into it, and, like a fallen boxer, it cannot get up to defend itself—

§Lord WELLS-PESTELL My Lords, would the noble Earl give way for a moment? I dislike doing this intensely, but the noble Earl has been speaking for 10 minutes. There is a Standing Order in your Lordships’ House which requires a Member to speak to the Motion before the House. If the noble Earl will allow me to say so, I doubt very much whether it could be held that what he is saying is relevant to the Question before the House, which is on victims of crime. I must point that out.

One thought on “Visionary Speech by Earl Russell (part 2)

  1. Mike

    I remember this when it came out. Private Eye had something to do with publishing it (I have a feeling the pamphlet was included in that week’s edition).

    Fascinating. Never clear whether the Earl was fully bonkers, or just inebriated that day.



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