Posh (pseudo) – trotties of the SWP

February 8, 2014 at 7:22 pm (comedy, ex-SWP, gloating, Jim D, Orwell, satire, sectarianism, SWP, trivia) ()

In an interesting review of Orwell’s public school memoir Such, Such Were the Joys, in today’s Graun, Francis Wheen is quoted on the subject of the disintegration of  the Socialist Workers Party:

“[T]he party’s leader Alex Callinicos, grandson of the 2nd Lord Acton, was educated at a top private school and another senior leader, Charlie Kimber, is the Old Etonian son of a baronet. Also prominent in the brouhaha has been Dave Renton, an Old Etonian barrister related to a former Tory chief whip: ‘It sometimes reads like a conversation between Old Rugbeians and Old Etonians about the main British Trotskyist Party. It’s quite bizarre’.”

This reminded me of the latest cartoon strip from the pen that brought us the fabulous Billy Delta of Red Friars. This follow-up is not, perhaps, quite as hilarious (in part because the main characters are less well-known, and the plot-line more convoluted), but it’s still a good sectarian chuckle…

Above: Class Monitor Tim is showing the new boy Cuthbert Cringe-Renton around the school.

And on a (very) loosely related theme, for anyone with a lot of spare time there are tons of bulletins from the last four conferences of the American ISO (former comrades of the SWP),  on this site:  http://thecharnelhouse.org/2014/02/07/international-socialist-organization-2014-convention-bulletin/


  1. Robin Carmody said,

    Always been greatly amused by the fact that there is no apostrophe in the SWP’s name – suggesting, correctly, that it isn’t actually a party of socialist workers.

  2. Posh (pseudo) – trotties of the SWP | OzHouse said,

    […] Feb 08 2014 by admin […]

  3. The American International Socialist Organization (ISO): Facing SWP Crisis? | Tendance Coatesy said,

    […] Shiraz Socialist comments, “Anyone with a lot of spare time there are tons of bulletins from the last four conferences of the American ISO (former comrades of the SWP)”. […]

  4. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    I looked at the first of those ISO docs (which includes a lengthy essay dedicated to battling the menace of Zinovievism as if Grigory Yevseevich was still issuing orders from his office at the Comintern) and there really is not enough spare time in the world to even skim them…..

  5. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    I did laugh out loud at the comic strip’s likeness of China Mieville though….

  6. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    And if Wikipedia is to be believed Francis himself is an Old Harrovian.

    I remember a discussion of Callinicos’s Acton ancestry on Osler’s old blog during which I checked his family tree and discovered that he is part Jewish and a distant relative of Friedrich Engels.

    But to my mind all of that is cancelled out by Alex’s having an actual Greek Communist guerilla fighter as a dad and having a name which translates as Alexander the Victorious.

    With such a background how could it all have gone so wrong?

  7. Jim Denham said,

    Advice on “anti-Zionism” from one ex-public schoolboy to another:


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