BBC Radio History of the SWP

BBC radio history of the SWP. Ex-member, Geoffrey Wall claims to know enough about the SWP “to ask the awkward questions”, but really he gives them an easy ride.

Part 1

Part 2

14 comments on “BBC Radio History of the SWP

  1. Dave Festive on said:

    but really he gives them an easy ride.

    that bastard! doesn’t he realise the swp is the main enemy of the british working class?

  2. I thought it was great to hear a program about the radical
    left on the BBC which actually resembled what the radical left
    was actually like. Its something of a first. I think despite differences on the left this should be the first thing that should
    strike anyone.

  3. Look

    I am going to delete comments that have no purpose other than insulting me, or other people.

    They are clearly outside the comments policy for this blog.

    I assumed that many readers of this blog, SWP members included, would be interested in these radio programmes, and may have mised them. The fact that they respond by personal abuse towards me just shows the trajectory of their politics lately.

  4. Yes John #2

    Exactly. I think it would have been improved by asking some harder questions about their relationship with other people, but it was good that socialist ideas were treated as essentially a good thing, and activists as well intentioned and relatively normalk people.

  5. “that bastard! doesn’t he realise the swp is the main enemy of the british working class?”

    When its members are claiming on Socialist Unity that people are being paid by a local restaurant to leaflet for George Galloway, and when its leading members organise press conferences to try to associate George Galloway with violence, I wouldn’t say the SWP is a friend of the class right now.

  6. Matthew on said:

    I liked the programmes – partly because I knew Geoff Wall in York SWP in 1980, nice guy who’d just translated a key work of Althusserian theory by Pierre Machery and was kinda ashamed of it. But the progamme gave an oportunity for rank and file members of the SWP to talk about what motivates them – which isn’t to do down others on the left. Which is pretty much what motivates us all. They’re not all like ‘jj’ or ‘Dave Festive’. Okay, no discussion of Respect, which is odd as that was in the title, but could well have been a decision by the producers.

  7. I’ve only listened to the first part so far but I’m afraid that Geoffrey Wall seemed to conform to the stereotype of the SWPer, ex-member or not.

  8. I listened to both parts of the program and found then pretty banal really. Even considering that it was the SWP that was the main focus, Geoffrey Wall didn’t really ask any challenging questions.

    It would have been good to have heard people talking about what attracted them to the party, as opposed to other left parties, and also why they left (in a bit more detail). Also for a program entitled From Trotsky to Respect, there was little focus on Respect – and I’m not necessarily talking about the split, but the relationship between the SWP and Respect (and others).

    Maybe I am expecting too much, but at least it wasn’t in the form of a right wing trot-baiting attack, which is good. I was half expecting ‘The Decents’ to appear!

  9. lurker on said:

    “When its members are claiming on Socialist Unity that people are being paid by a local restaurant to leaflet for George Galloway, and when its leading members organise press conferences to try to associate George Galloway with violence, I wouldn’t say the SWP is a friend of the class right now.”

    I think that’s evidence that the SWP are not friends of George Galloways right now, but I am perplexed by the assumption therefore this makes anyone who dislikes him an enemy of the working class. That sounds like a personality cult.

  10. media scum on said:

    that bastard! doesn’t he realise the swp is the main enemy of the british working class?”

    Has this poster never thought about globalisation, monoplies, et al ?

    heard theprogrammes, and liked them. I di have a horrible thought that he might have inetrviewed another ex-Gramma School York IS / SWP alumni – Rod Liddle, but thankfully he didn’t.

  11. In response to Andy’s comment #3 – I think people are reacting to your suggestion that the BBC – a key part of the British establishment establishment – should give a group of socialists more of a rough ride! You seem to be disappointed that they didn’t bash the SWP. I’m sure that’s not how you meant it, but that’s how it came across to me.

  12. Sadly these programmes while faintly interesting didnt really say much if anything about the SWP,certainly nothing was said about Respect directly.

    It seems to me that the most over-riding and crucially relevant point that was made was the decision to close down rather than develop ‘Womens voice’and how the party has a complete inablity to ‘live with difference’ on any kind of sustained or long term basis.