Good lord, I was looking for a picture to illustrate a story about the Orwell Rolls in His Grave documentary and I came across this passport pic of George Orwell.
The first striking thing about this image is, obviously, the Hitler/Chaplin moustache. I’m guessing it was the latter and that his photo came from the 1920s/early 1930s. Still, even if it was Chaplin, George (or Eric Blair) wasn’t exactly noted for his comedic slapstick work.
The second most striking, to me, thing about this image is that I found it on the MI5 website. Sat there under the heading, ‘4 September 2007 releases: Communists and suspected Communists’ was George… or Eric.
Included in the text is the fact that, according to a Sergeant Ewing (January 1942):
"This man has advanced Communist views, and several of his Indian friends say that they have often seen him at Communist meetings. He dresses in a bohemian fashion both at his office and in his leisure hours."
Given that the documentary I am going to blog about includes references to 1984 and Winston Smith’s changing historical records at the Ministry of Truth, there’s a genuine irony in being able to search the Internet for MI5 records.