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Orwell considered or suspected these people to have pro-communist leanings and therefore to be unsuitable to write for the IRD.
Priestley himself, however, was distrustful of the state and dogma, though he did stand for the Cambridge University constituency in 1945.
Priestley's name was on Orwell's list, a list of people which George Orwell prepared in March 1949 for the Information Research Department (IRD), a propaganda unit set up at the Foreign Office by the Labour government.
Priestley's first major success came with a novel, The Good Companions (1929), which earned him the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction and made him a national figure.
His next novel, Angel Pavement (1930), further established him as a successful novelist.
Many of his plays are structured around a time slip, and he went on to develop a new theory of time, with different dimensions that link past, present, and future.
In 1940, he broadcast a series of short propaganda radio talks that were credited with strengthening civilian morale during the Battle of Britain.In 1940, Priestley wrote an essay for Horizon magazine, where he criticised George Bernard Shaw for his support of Stalin: "Shaw presumes that his friend Stalin has everything under control.Well, Stalin may have made special arrangements to see that Shaw comes to no harm, but the rest of us in Western Europe do not feel quite so sure of our fate, especially those of us who do not share Shaw's curious admiration for dictators." During the Second World War, he was a regular broadcaster on the BBC.Priestley chaired the 1941 Committee, and in 1942 he was a co-founder of the socialist Common Wealth Party.The political content of his broadcasts and his hopes of a new and different Britain after the war influenced the politics of the period and helped the Labour Party gain its landslide victory in the 1945 general election.As he describes in his literary reminiscences, Margin Released, he suffered from the effects of poison gas, and then supervised German prisoners of war, before being demobilised in early 1919.After his military service, Priestley received a university education at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.He was badly wounded in June 1916, when he was buried alive by a trench mortar.He spent many months in military hospitals and convalescent establishments, and on 26 January 1918 was commissioned as an officer in the Devonshire Regiment and posted back to France late summer 1918.as is shown in his work, English Journey: "A great many speeches have been made and books written on the subject of what England has done to Ireland...I should be interested to hear a speech and read a book or two on the subject of what Ireland has done to England...