Gerry Healy (Red in the bed!)

Russell Grinker grinker at
Mon Nov 29 02:04:15 MST 1999

I have a weird memory of Gerry Healy just before his death.  I used to visit
the old CP bookshop in London, Central Books, to pick up the South African
press.  On one of my strolls to the place I noticed a dark blue limo (by UK
standards not US) driven by a young woman pulling up to the kerb.  The door
opened and a really decrepit old guy got out and shuffled very slowly along
the pavement in his bedroom slippers into the shop where he proceeded to
pick up some copies of the M&E Collected works that he had ordered.  I
realised then that it was the great man himself. He then shuffled back to
the car and was driven off.  Ironical that this was just around the time
when the Brit gutter press exposed Healy's alleged sexual peccadilloes with
various young woman members of the WRP.  The Sun's most well-known headline
of the day was "Red in the bed!".  Ridiculous - the old guy could hardly

On whether his turgid philosophical writings were worth anything:  I recall
that they appeared on a regular basis in the WRP daily in bizarre
juxtaposition to really tabloid-style reportage.  The idea was, I suppose,
that initial working class interest in the scandal articles might lead onto
a study of dialectics. Their bookshop in Brixton also sold a substantial
selection of soft porn mags, probably with a similar tactical approach in
mind.  Some local feminists actually picketed it on a few occasions for this

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Pugliese <debsian at>
To: marxism at <marxism at>
Date: Monday, November 29, 1999 8:28 AM
Subject: Re: Gerry Healy

>Gary wrote:
>> She also defended the Healyite position on Hansen i.e. that he had set
>> Trotsky up for the assassination.
>  I used to have a big discussion bulletin type document trying to prove
>that bit of sectarian lunacy. Put out by the Workers League?
>I miss that piece of sectariana, would love to put it next to my copy of a
>British Maoist publication with an interview with "Comrade Pol Pot" BTW is
>it true that he studied in Paris under Samir Amin?
>From E.P. Thompson's brilliant and witty polemic against Althusser, "The
>Poverty of Theory," I gather that Soloth Sar a/k/a
>Pol Pot wrote a dissertation on delinking Cambodia from the world economy
>while under Parisian skies, hopefully at a cafe.
>  To close this post, wish I could send a MP3 sound clip file of the
>immortal song, "Holiday In Cambodia," by the Dead Kennedy's... even at the
>risk of Macdonald S. raking me over the coals again after the to do over
>PCP. Well I've always been closer to a neo-Trotskyist than a Maoist so be
>                                           Michael Pugliese
>(who still remembers Punk Rock and why it was necessary!)

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