Friday 9 December 2016

Ragtag fantasy politburo still has every right to dream

Shane Ross

Published 01/11/2015 | 02:30

PACT: Brendan Ogle and other Right2Change enthusiasts are united in their loathing of Labour
PACT: Brendan Ogle and other Right2Change enthusiasts are united in their loathing of Labour

I have a confession to make. I have spent decades in politics. I got a bad degree in history and politics. I specialised in the Russian Revolution. I have read the works of Karl Marx. And yet I haven’t a clue about the difference between a Marxist, a Stalinist or a Trot.

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I know that Trotsky came to a sticky end with an ice axe in his neck, but God knows what he did to poor Josef Stalin to deserve such an unpleasant end. I know that Stalin executed, exiled and imprisoned millions of “enemies of the working class” but it is still a puzzle what offence the corpses committed.

Such shallow memories might explain why I am not a great admirer of the old far left. They seem to have dealt with their political opponents a trifle harshly. More relevantly, old style communists appear to have fallen out over contrived ideological differences and believed such splits merited rather extreme solutions.

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