The Splitters are Splitting: Monty Python Style

(Credit to Harry’s Place.)

Firstly, context: in the last few months, the Socialist Workers Party (Britain’s ever-shrinking bastion for Stalinism) has been torn from within following the decision of members of the Central Committee to conceal allegations of sexual assault, treating itself to the occasional show-trial of the accused and condemning them to the terror of reading books on feminism and such nonsense. Apparently, said woman did not want the police involved. Law is too bourgeois, you see. So the CC has fallen into Stalinist fighting feminist tendencies, in other words. Rough men and women slinging socialist mud at each other (not a very attractive image).

In a rather funny twist of events, Richard Seymour – modestly self-styled as “Lenin” – and a group of others have left the party and set up their own International Socialist Network, a rather depressing reflection to the International Socialists of the generation of 60s radicals. History really does repeat itself (first tragedy, then farce). Modern radicals – disproportionately student-led – are, I have to say, pathetic. But they’re so irrelevant that I think it’s to be encouraged, purely for its comic value. Memories, anyone?

Monty Python’s Life of Brian:

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7 Comments on “The Splitters are Splitting: Monty Python Style”

  1. What have the Romans ever done for us?

    • Mark says:

      I will definitely have to include that clip in a later post! Life of Brian is flexible, that’s why it’s a work of genius. 😉

  2. I agree. The SWP is a better political joke than the Death, Dungeons and Taxes Party!

    • Mark says:

      Yeah, at least they admit that they’re a joke. But it’s when joke parties take themselves seriously that the best comedy is made!

  3. Love the python! The left has been dogged by this kind of behaviour for so long now it’s a joke and no surprise there are no big Socialist parties in the UK and no chance of any of them being successful. What’s the average Socialist parties vote for a constituency? 100? What a sad, pathetic joke.
    The various left groups need to be able to compromise to move forward.

    • Mark says:

      I completely agree. The Labour Party, for all its faults, is at least a coalition of progressive viewpoints that could potentially act as a vehicle for, say, economic nationalisation again in the future. But the likes of the SWP reject democracy; talk of a “vanguard party” excludes broad intellectual discussion and leaves it in the hand of a small minority that make present crises somewhat inevitable. Ah well.

  4. […] Whenever I moan about the tedious bureaucratic monstrosities that seem to have overwhelmed student radicalism, deep-down I feel a little self-indulgent and self-righteous. But this poem vindicates my beliefs a little: Larkin’s early life missed the sexual revolution, his forming years spent living the comparatively idle post-war existence. He reminds us of the cool irony that nostalgia can kindle in us; it’s not always about warming memories. I suppose that’s why it’s to be avoided (a la Midnight in Paris). We’re all guilty of it, we would-be radicals; although I’m slightly jealous for those who grabbed hold of the changing outlooks of the swinging sixties’, at the same time there are a pseudo-lefties in the SWP or the Respect Party who still think we’re living in the Cold War era. […]


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