See an Award Winning Movie and Help Ukraine

The Lloyd George Society and Rights-Liberties-Justice are sponsoring a showing of the film Mr Jones at the National Liberal Club on 20 June. The movie tells the story of Gareth Jones, a Welsh journalist and former employee of Lloyd George, who travelled secretly to the USSR to uncover the truth about the Holodomor, the great famine of 1933 under Stalin’s regime in the Ukraine. Jones witnesses appalling conditions, including starving people whose grain has been forcibly taken away for consumption elsewhere, villages whose entire populations have died or just vanished and ‘horrifically, he stumbles across examples of cannibalism. Yet despite his evidence, Jones finds it hard to get the matter taken seriously once back in Britain.

Graham Colley, the President of RLJ, is the great-nephew of Gareth Jones and helped promote the movie when it was made in 2019. He is also a member of the Lloyd George Society committee and he has arranged for another showing at the National Liberal Club starting at 6.30pm on 20 June 2022. The film has become topical and poignant again as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  Admission is free and is open to all, you don’t have to be members of the Lloyd George Society, RLJ or the NLC. There will be a collection taken up for the current Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal. Please do come along, appreciate the filmmakers’ art and some fine acting and help support the people of Ukraine suffering from a 21st century Russian regime.

* Graham Lippiatt is a contributing editor to the Journal of Liberal History and co-edited the special issue on the American Civil War, with Eugenio Biagini.

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3 Comments

  • I’ll be there! I’d love to see the film.
    Can I also have a rant against pseudoscience? Since visiting various museums in central and east European capitals I’ve had the firm impression that the various famines under Stalin were largely if not wholly man-made. Yes there were droughts, but the small farmers had weathered them before. Stalin wanted to be rid of the small farmers as part of his collectivisation project. And the mad ideas of Trofim Lysenko, a pseudo-scientist who rejected Western genetics for ideological reasons, but had Stalin’s patronage, helped. On Lysenko’s unscientific advice, the regime forced farmers to plant unsuitable crops for the locality and climate, which as any gardener knows, can’t be done. Plants are unable to migrate on their own to more hospitable places and climates, so they’re adapted by evolution to the conditions where their ancestors managed to survive. So for example in the UK it’s pointless trying to grow rice. Thanks to Lysenko, the farmers were forced to plant the wrong crops, which rotted in the fields. Millions upon millions of people died of starvation caused at least in part by the regime while the regime did little or nothing to alleviate it. There really is no bottom to the depths bad government can go.

  • Ruth Bright 16th May '22 - 7:48pm

    What a wonderful idea to show this film for such a cause. It is an unsparing watch.

  • I saw the film Mr Jones last year. It tells the story of a daring Welsh journalist and his efforts to bring to public attention the devastation of the 1930s Ukrainian famine.
    Perhaps the most striking parallel with today was the blatant use of soviet propaganda to deny that any famine was occurring and suggest that Ukrainian peaseants were in fact thriving under Soviet protection. Soviet authorities continued to deny the Holodomor until the 1980s. The Russian government does not recognize the famine as an act of genocide against Ukrainians, viewing it rather as a “tragedy” that affected the Soviet Union as a whole. A 2008 letter from Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko asserted that “the tragic events of the 1930s are being used in Ukraine in order to achieve instantaneous and conformist political goals. In recent years, Stalin’s reputation has been revived in Russia Russians see Stalin in a positive-light. Russian propagandists have published pamphlets claiming that Ukrainian Nationalists, Neo-Nazis and the US government were responsible for creating the myth of the Holodomor.
    Propaganda is information of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.
    It is not merely a difference of opinion or political viewpoint on agreed facts. In today’s political climate, almost any opinion or political viewpoint is classed as propaganda by someone regardless of the veracity or otherwise of the facts on which such opinions are based.

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