Councillor Andrew Marshall: 'I just ask: had Franco lived in Camden, would we be comfortable erecting a plaque to him?'
Published: 3 January, 2013
by RICHARD OSLEY
A CONSERVATIVE councillor has faced a barrage of criticism for suggesting Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s “crimes against humanity” should have been referred to by Camden’s Mayor when she unveiled a plaque at the writer’s former digs in Bloomsbury.
Former Tory leader Councillor Andrew Marshall said he was disappointed that it was not emphasised by Heather Johnson, the Camden Mayor, nor by the Marchmont Street Association, which organised the erection of the plaque last month, that “thousands died in the red terror Lenin instigated”.
He said: “I would rather the plaque had made some references to those tortured and killed under Lenin’s orders.
"I just ask: had Franco lived in Camden, would we be comfortable erecting a plaque to him?”
But Cllr Marshall is now at the centre of a backlash from Lenin’s admirers in north London.
Professor Bill Bowring, president of the Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies, said: “The only evidence for the crimes with which Cllr Marshall challenges Lenin is to be found in the White propaganda of the time.
"These allegations are highly questionable.”
Professor Bowring was a speaker at the unveiling, which marks a flat in Marchmont Street which Lenin is thought to have briefly stayed.
Other writers have suggested Cllr Marshall had not considered deaths in Russia were part of a civil war and made comparisons with the French Revolution and Cromwell’s republic.