You might think that the “fervent Brexiters” who are now busy creating a “museum of communist terror” might better spend their time addressing the fine mess that their last cause has got us into before they move on to their next brand of snake oil (Brexiters buy KGB artefacts for ‘museum of communist terror’, 28 February).
Judging by the list of exhibits, their notional museum is in fact one of Soviet/Stalinist terror; and, like most cock-eyed cold warriors, they forget that communism was a multifaceted global phenomenon that, beyond the Gulag, inspired not only writers (Neruda, Brecht, Césaire), painters (Picasso, Rivera, Siqueiros), historians (Hill, Thompson, CLR James) and social theorists (Gramsci, Luxemburg, Mariátegui), but also resolute anti-colonial and anti-fascist movements (including a large chunk of the French resistance). Critically commemorate communism by all means, but don’t cherry-pick the nasty bits.
Emeritus professor, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
• Now that Soviet communism no longer exists, how heartening it is to see those dewy-eyed Brexiters trying to maintain its scare value. In these troubling times, when the sunny Brexit uplands appear smothered in red tape and nasty people are pointing out how much of Britain’s greatness is a product of our greedy, racist, murdering, capitalist past, we all need to be reminded of the bogeymen long since cleared from under our beds.
As we know from our dear leaders, the British government has never spied upon, discriminated against, falsely imprisoned or harmed any of its citizens (unless they deserved it).
• As a survivor of Czechoslovakia’s totalitarian system, I welcome plans for a museum to showcase the horrors of communism. However, in that spirit of objectivity and even-handedness so much prized by our government, I would suggest that such a museum might also usefully enshrine some of the paraphernalia, artefacts and documents that expose the repression, imprisonment, torture and misery inflicted upon the world by rightwing regimes, some of which the British government has found it convenient to support. Some of the fervid rhetoric of the “New Right”, a label I would apply to many Brexiters, sends a shiver down my spine.