[Marxism] Redfriars - the Public School of the Socialist Workers Party

Nick Fredman nick.fredman at optusnet.com.au
Sun Feb 17 13:10:40 MST 2013


On 18/02/13 12:44 AM, "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

> I think the thing that works against this "meme" is the character of
> Tony Cliff himself, who is about as far from the Oxbridge snob image you
> can get. From what I have heard, he was a coarse, poorly-dressed, Jew
> who probably would have gotten a worse treatment at Oxford than Laural
> and Hardy.

An immigrant Palestinian Jew at that.

While probably also unfair, there's a couple of representations of the SWP
as middle class or toffs that I've noticed in Brit pop culture, that are
however funnier that this comic, which is rather silly and in pretty gross
taste. 

In the early 80s classic BBC comedy The Young Ones, our heroes from Scumbag
College somehow end up on University Challenge, against a team from
"Footlights College, Oxbridge". One of the latter is an obnoxiously braying
Ben Elton, who haws "daddy just bought me the Socialist Workers Party" at
one point before this clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxA0a5G6ccg. In a
reminder when I looked up this clip of the brilliant guest lineup on that
show, the rest of the Oxbridge team are played by Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry
and Emma Thompson. 

And in one of Irvine Welsh's stories from the 90s, if I recall correctly an
earnest SWP recruiter has come to the Edinburgh council flat of the druggie
anti-heroes' father, as the latter is a good target as a community
campaigner against drugs. The son mercilessly mocks the recruiter by
wondering aloud why SWPers are all "middle class" teachers and social
workers, while "Tommy Sheridan's lot" are more proletarian. 






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