This is a telling summary of an interview, conducted by Nicky Campbell on Radio Five Live, with Arthur Scargill.
Next Scargill was asked by a listener about his views on JV Stalin: did he regard him as "a good socialist"? Arthur replied that he thought Stalin had been a "very good leader", especially during World War II. It was true that he had committed "many, many errors", but, there again, "Churchill in Britain was also criticised".
Campbell at this point mildly suggested that it was perhaps not Stalin's record as war leader that was the main issue. After all he stood accused of being a "mass murderer". Did Scargill think Churchill had killed more people than Stalin? And what about the gulags, the show trials? Yes, yes, said Arthur, but these "mistakes" must be seen in context. Don't forget, "the problems of the Soviet Union were infinitely worse after Stalin than before his death".
As Scargill was unwilling to venture an opinion on whether Stalin was responsible for more deaths than Churchill, Campbell tried another tack: who did our general secretary think was worse—Stalin or Thatcher? By now Scargill was really getting tied in knots. Until and unless he knew the truth, he could not go along with allegations against the former Soviet leader: "If people were killed, or put into concentration camps, it was wrong." Arthur conceded that Stalin may have done those things, but he knew that Thatcher had "destroyed our manufacturing industry, people's hope". The listener who had originally asked the question compared Scargill's response to the holocaust-denial of David Irving.
Quite. I'm surprised that Scargill didn't attempt to claim that Stalin at least made the trains run on time. Which reminds me of a comment (the provenance of which I cannot recall) about how Hitler made the trains run on time; the reply was,
"Yes, but look where they were running to."