Steerpike Steerpike

Stalin’s five year plans? A success, says BBC

Following Fidel Castro’s death, the BBC were accused of giving too much airtime to tributes to the Cuban dictator. When it came to print, BBC News described him as ‘one of the world’s longest-serving and most iconic leaders’ only mentioning in the fourth paragraph that ‘critics saw him as a dictator’. So, Mr S was curious to learn that the corporation, too, is able to see the positives when it comes to other left-wing dictators of Christmas past. Step forward Stalin:

On the BBC’s Bitesize study site, there is a revision guide on Stalin’s Five Year plans. It turns out that — as far as the Beeb is concerned — they were, broadly speaking, a ‘success’ that brought ‘great improvements’:


While Steerpike understands the item relates to how the subject is taught in schools, it’s a shame that the BBC found no space to point out some of the less desirable results of the five year plans — say the large-scale famine that left millions dead or the Labour camps and secret police.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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