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Election-swinging poster on display

Churchill-beating Communist propaganda unearthed

A COMMUNIST PARTY poster going on display for the first time in decades tomorrow has been hailed for helping to defeat Winston Churchill at the 1945 election.

Britain’s wartime leader was so worried the Tory’s toxic interwar record would prevent him from staying prime minister that he tried persuade the public he would continue the “national government.”

But his con-trick was dubbed “national eyewash” in a Communist poster that warned voters Churchill would stand for the same Tory poison.

An original print of the classic poster will be unveiled at the People’s History Museum tomorrow as part of their new Election! Britain Votes exhibition.

And curator Chris Burgess, who completed a PhD on political posters, said the “incredible poster” made a major contribution to Clement Attlee’s landslide win in 1945 and the major working-class progress made after the war.

He told the Star: “Although Churchill was an incredibly popular war leader, the Conservatives at the time were hated because of unemployment during the 1930s.

“The poster is obviously a reference to the fact that Churchill, by running under the national term, was trying to hide from the Tory record of pre-war unemployment.

“There’s loads of choices of great posters from ’45.

“But actually that poster, that has never previously been on display before, did a really good job of suggesting why so many people voted Labour over the Conservatives in ’45.”

The poster’s prominence in the exhibition is the latest proof of the Communist Party’s “powerful contribution” to Labour’s famous 1945 victory, according current general secretary Rob Griffiths.

“Communists played their part not only through the party’s bold and imaginative propaganda, but also by its mobilisations in the factories’ mines and ports and through the party’s own election campaign, which saw Phil Piratin join Willie Gallacher in Parliament,” he said.

While there has not been a Communist MP since 1950, Mr Griffiths is one of eight CP candidates standing across Britain at May’s election.

And he said: “The 1945 campaign will inspire Communist Party candidates at the general election in May, when defending and extending Labour’s welfare state reforms will be at the top of our agenda.”

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