The controversy in these pages about adverts commemorating Josef Stalin (M Star January 3 & 6) raises an important issue as to where we place Stalin in modern left politics.
Only the wilfully blind would deny the major role played by the Soviet Union in defeating fascism.
But we in the Communist Party are equally blind if we fail to see the very negative legacy which Stalin's perversion of communism has left the modern movement.
Ask most outside the party what they think of communism and Stalin's Soviet Union will always come up as evidence that Hayek's theory that socialism inevitably leads to totalitarianism was right and that communism is a "nice idea which can never work in practice."
We live in a time where all on the left must strive to put a convincing case for the alternative, but if communists are to make communism, or indeed socialism, appealing outside our own branches, then we have to show a communism for the 21st century.
I am afraid that adverts lauding Stalin simply play into the hands of those who say that we are stuck with, and in, the past.