RCP/LM watch

Keeping an eye on the RCP/LM and its fronts

The Moral Maze: a RCP/LM double act

Yep, for your listening pleasure, the Moral Maze on BBC Radio 4 now features not one but two, yes two, RCP/LM members. Joining Claire “Her Master’s Voice” Fox on the panel we now have Kenan Malik, a long-time RCP then LM stalwart. Indeed, he predates Her Master’s Voice as in the 1987 UK General Election, he stood as a candidate of the Revolutionary Communist Party in Nottingham East. There are now  two ‘panellists’ on the Moral Maze singing from the same hymn sheet, thus narrowing the range of opinions down even further.

Does it matter that the RCP/LM has colonised the programme? In one sense probably not – MM is little more than a bear-baiting session for panellists to ride hobbyhorses to death, and Fox in particular is absolutely assiduous in pushing the RCP/LM line at every opportunity. The intellectual quality of the ‘debate’ is uniformly low, as befits panellists, such as the rabidly reactionary “social commentator” Melanie Phillips, who have no understanding of moral philosophy or ethics. In another sense maybe it does matter, because for all its intellectual vacuity, MM does go out on primetime on the middle class’s house radio channel, so will have some influence on the chattering classes.

What really burns, though, isn’t that the programme producers allow them both on the show knowing full well, as just about anyone in the meedja knows, that they’re RCP to the core. They give good radio, with Fox acting the rabid pitbull and Malik the considered intellectual, a sort of RCP/LM good cop/bad cop act, and the producers only really care about ratings. It’s the sheer dishonesty of neither of them even acknowledging that they’ve been mates and comrades for over two decades that really rankles. The two act as complete strangers. This dishonesty gives the impression that they’re two independent voices, and thus they lend spurious legitimacy to each other’s views.

There are a couple of blog posts on the same theme:

Indeed, if you do a search for “Kenan Malik RCP LM” you’ll get more than enough material to keep you going for days. Do the MM producers not know how to use Google, or has the RCP/LM assimilated them also? Curious minds want to know…

A new series of the Moral Maze starts this Wednesday, 3rd June, at 8pm on R4. If you can bear the gutter-low and intellectually puerile ‘moral debate’ then it’s worth listening to the RCP’s double act, at least in the opening and closing stages, to get an idea of the current party line on the programme topic.

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May 31, 2009 - Posted by | RCP/LM | , , ,

9 Comments »

  1. “What really burns, though, isn’t that the programme producers allow them both on the show knowing full well, as just about anyone in the meedja knows, that they’re RCP to the core.”

    ‘Are you or have you ever been a member…’ You should be ashamed of yourself. One the one hand, there’s dismay at the fact that former members of a Marxist political party have proven to be commentators of substance – enough to be invited to discuss current affairs at all levels of the media (although no-one’s quite matched your perspicacity, obviously). On the other, there’s a witch-hunt. Presumably your dream is to find someone – anyone – with the power to prevent ‘these people’ from ever being able to speak in public again.

    You’re so radical.

    P.S. Have you read any of Kenan Malik’s books or journalism? If you have, do tell me what you find so objectionable about them. Yeh, I know, that’s not gonna happen – you’re too busy building your new McCarthyism.

    Comment by Pod | June 1, 2009 | Reply

    • “McCarthyism” has been the RCP’s rote response to criticism going way back to the LM days, and has always been amusing as the RCP was never “revolutionary” nor “communist”, so there were never any Reds to “witch-hunt”. Indeed, the RCP then LM was so assiduously and vituperatively anti-Left, throwing libellous and frankly ludicrous insults against all and any on the Left (greens are “anti-human” and “nazis”, for instance), that it was carrying out a Right-wing “witch-hunt” all of its own.

      It’s also a bit rich for a sect which is so down on “victim culture” to whine about being “witch-hunted” and how all its critics want to see it “silenced”. A persecution mentality, surely.

      As far as RCP Watch is concerned, the sect can and should blather on as much as it likes on any medium, as long as it does so openly as the RCP/LM. Free speech is a great thing, and it would be lovely if we had it in this country. When the organisation consistently lies by forming front organisations that have ostensibly no connection with each other or the RCP, and by putting members who pretend to be independent on to popular radio and TV programmes, then it’s reasonable to make the connections clear. The RCP would do exactly the same to its opponents.

      Actually, the MM is a pretty minor concealment of RCP affiliations. Far more damaging and dishonest have been Martin Durkins’ “polemics” on C4 which have been a major coup for the organisation, bringing their ideas to millions without any affiliation being disclosed. More on Durkin, the RCP/LM’s golden boy, in future posts. Watch this space…

      Comment by rcpwatch | June 1, 2009 | Reply

  2. “The RCP, then LM, was so assiduously and vituperatively anti-Left, throwing libellous and frankly ludicrous insults against all and any on the Left (greens are “anti-human” and “nazis”, for instance), that it was carrying out a Right-wing “witch-hunt” all of its own.”

    I’d be surprised if don’t disappear up your own fundament after such tortuous and and disingenuous somersaults. I don’t even think you believe what you’re saying.

    As I’m a former RCP supporter, would you not concede that I might know a little more about the organisation than you do? Of course, all you have to do now is dismiss anything I say as ‘lies’. Still, I can’t let this suggestion that LM called greens ‘nazis’ go unanswered. It’s absurd.

    One of the striking things about what passed for ‘The Left’ (which, yes, the RCP ruthlessly criticised for its craven opportunism, penchant for calling radical Labourism ‘revolutionary Marxism’, etc.) was its cavalier and ahistorical use of terms like ‘fascism’ and ‘Nazism’ (Nick Cohen is still keen on calling fanatical Islamists ‘fascists’).

    The more nuanced point is that there is a philosophical kinship between greens and other right wing irrationalists, from the 19th century to the present, that has always been clear to those who took the time to look. The organic view of society held by traditional conservatives and fascists, whereby families and nations are supposedly linked to the earth through ancient blood ties, resonates throughout the similary misanthropic, anti-humanist garbage peddled by today’s professional treehuggers and animal worshippers.

    That it so easily surrendered to the creed of environmentalism just goes to show that ‘The Left’ was never worthy of the name.

    Lastly, that you think people who agree on things are, ipso facto, incapable of independent thought says more about you than it does about them. And ironic, too, for someone who’s not interested in proper debate but in smears, and yes, witch hunts.

    Comment by Pod | June 1, 2009 | Reply

  3. “Still, I can’t let this suggestion that LM called greens ‘nazis’ go unanswered. It’s absurd.”

    The (in)famous Martin Durkin series Against Nature on Channel 4 explicitly made links between environmentalism and Nazism, using Hitler to ram home the point:

    Adolf Hitler and other leading Nazis were vegetarian and they passed numerous laws on animal rights.

    “They had essentially a biological view of society,” Dr Furedi continues. “They regarded society as an organism to which you were rooted through blood ties … and felt much more comfortable with what they perceived to be natural than what were the products of human creativity. I think that’s one of the reasons why [Hitler] had this celebration of the animal kingdom, the celebration of wildlife.” (Précis of Against Nature series, author unknown.)

    Everyone and their uncle knew full well at the time that Against Nature was the RCP’s work. RCP supporters on Usenet trailed it extensively before broadcast, and defended it aggressively and robustly afterwards, so there was no question that it represented RCP thinking. It also featured many of the great and not so good of the sect (including Uncle Frank himself in a starring role). The CPGB was frankly jealous:

    …the RCP appears to have pulled off a major publicity coup – one in the real world for sure, and one of enviable proportions. The ‘RCP’ has managed to expropriate – or hijack – three hours of prime-time television, in the form of a programme called Against nature. It can only gives us all hope.(Weekly Worker 222 Thursday January 8 1998)

    When, in a post-series debate, George Monbiot revealed that the RCP was behind Against Nature, Durkin burst into what was plainly a rehearsed outraged bluster about “McCarthyism”, though he was careful not to explicitly deny the sect’s involvement.

    Plainly the RCP were trying to be controversialist, and behind their greens = nazis smear was the “more nuanced point” you refer to, but they did, and still do, think of greens as “anti-human”. See, for example, “The deification of Earth” by Spiked author Rob Lyons.

    Comment by rcpwatch | June 2, 2009 | Reply

  4. “George Monbiot revealed that the RCP was behind Against Nature.”

    I was studying and working in a university at the time; and several members of that department received e-mails from Monbiot ‘warning’ them not to watch ‘Against Nature’. It was hilarious. Who warns people not to watch TV documentaries? I know: people who think air travel is as destructive as child abuse.

    Comment by Pod | June 2, 2009 | Reply

  5. By the way, I read through your post again, but where’s the evidence for the green=nazi schtick? It’s odd, especially when the tradition out of which the RCP developed never tired of criticising the left’s social patriotism and narrow anti-fascism (it’s obsession with calling the British far right ‘Nazis’ and penchant for upholding a “We don’t like Nazis, we’re British!” version of nationalism that they shared with the pin-striped racists on the back benches). And yet, somewhere along the line, apparently, this concern collapsed, according to you, into truly philistine and reactionary tendency to equate environmentalists with Nazis.

    Your delusions seem to be fixed in stone. Yes, the National Socialists were green; but anyone who calls greens fascists is an idiot (not that I know anyone who does).

    Comment by Pod | June 2, 2009 | Reply

    • The association was very clear in the Against Nature programmes, so clear that the viewer was bludgeoned repeatedly with the association of nazism with environmentalism. No-one who watched the series could be in any doubt whatsoever as to Durkin’s, and by extension the RCP’s, view of environmentalists as following in the tradition of nazism in its supposed reverence for nature (a reverence that exists more in myth, such as the myth that Hitler was veggie, than in historical fact).

      The précis site quoted before is clear on the links made between nazism and enviromentalism:

      The most notorious environmentalists in history were the German Nazis. The Nazis ordered soldiers to plant more trees. They were the first Europeans to establish nature reserves and order the protection of hedgerows and other wildlife habitats. And they were horrified at the idea of hydroelectric dams on the Rhine. Adolf Hitler and other leading Nazis were vegetarian and they passed numerous laws on animal rights.

      “They had essentially a biological view of society,” Dr Furedi continues. “They regarded society as an organism to which you were rooted through blood ties … and felt much more comfortable with what they perceived to be natural than what were the products of human creativity. I think that’s one of the reasons why [Hitler] had this celebration of the animal kingdom, the celebration of wildlife.”

      The historian Dr Mark Almond, of Oriel College, Oxford, goes further. “Goering made ferocious blood curdling speeches saying that people who were cruel to animals, including scientists who did research on them, would be put in concentration camps,” he says. “This was perversely part of the logic which could at the same time put people into concentration camps, on whom they experimented.”

      Frank Furedi agrees. “History shows us is that whenever people begin to treat animals like human beings, it’s only a smell step away from treating human beings like animals. And that seems to me the logical outcome of this nostalgic, sentimental approach towards animal rights.”

      Only sophists would argue that because Uncle Frank doesn’t actually say “greens are nazis” that message isn’t clearly and crudely made by strong association.

      Comment by rcpwatch | June 2, 2009 | Reply

  6. Identifying continuities in philosophical and political thought, or in recognising the various paths taken by, say, the conservative and radical branches of 19th century romanticism, is what you’ll find Furedi’s – and others’ – work; Furedi knows only too well that fascism is a historically specific phenomenon, borne out of very specific capitalist crises, in very specific circumstances. To wit, the only movement Furedi has identified as ‘Nazi’ is that steered by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party under Adolf Hitler. Go figure.

    The issue is not that green=nazi, but that many of the tenets of environmentalism, population control and the animal rights movement owe much to ideological tenets of Hitlerian thought.

    Multi-culturalist ideologues are (self-evidently) not racists, but multi-culturalism does share the logic, if not the impulse, of racial thought. Similarly, environmentalists are not ‘Nazis’, but important currents of green thinking find their origins in the kind of reactionary, anti-humanist preoccupations of 19th century Romanticism and irrationalism, of which fascism and its variants were to become the most brutal expressions.

    Comment by Pod | June 3, 2009 | Reply

    • A considered and rational argument, for which thanks even if we disagree. It’s a shame that such subtlety wasn’t evident in Against Nature, which ladled the green-nazi association on with a heavy-handed agitprop trowel. The RCP is very media-savvy and knows well that outrage and controversially contrarian extreme positions get ratings, as Durkin illustrated so well with Against Nature and later The Great Global Warming Swindle, which has had an enormous impact on the chattering classes.

      Comment by rcpwatch | June 3, 2009 | Reply


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