Friday, November 28, 2008
Comrade Rees is Purged- A nation mourns
there is really nothing much to be said.
But, as this is my blog then I will.
Many years ago when I was working as a train driver in Leeds I was an active member of the Swappies; an announcement in the Party notes asked for speakers at that years Marxism summer school. I was at that time doing talks for West Riding SWP branches on The Luddites and was quite pleased with how it went down. I decided that it would be nice to do the talk in front of them fancy londoners and so called the number attached. I was put through to John Rees. I explained who I was and gave him my pitch; after a moment of silence he said; "It all sounds very interesting. Is this a part of you're thesis?"
"Pardon?" , I was a train driver who left school at 15; but I was not ignorant, I knew what faeces is, and I was not impressed with with the implied criticism.
"Are you studying the subject as a part of your degree?"
I explained that I was a manual worker and not, in fact, a student.
Rees then 'patiently explained' how the speaker at Marxism had to speak for 45 mins and take questions from a large number of people who may know a great deal about the subject, and it would be very different from a branch meeting, and how daunting that might be.
I was beginning to feel a little patronised* and said that I had been to marxim many times, knew what was involved and that if I did not feel up to it then I would not have applied.
Rees said that he would be in touch if they needed me.
Two months later I arrived at that years Marxism and walked into the meeting entitled "the Luddites" at which I spent an hour correcting the howling mistakes that the teenage student swappie stumbled and stuttered his way through.
* If you have ever been a blue collar worker in the SWP you will know that being patronised is the default position, to such an extent that you become immune to it and only notice when it stops.