Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Morning Star’s Hall of Leftist Fame.

with 10 comments


The Morning Star has had quite a face-lift in recent months. Lots more news, features, investigative journalism (Simon’s stuff on homelessness), a widening of the political spectrum included and much better arts coverage. Plus the usual stuff by figures deemed worthy of space (Galloway, dull Greens, Union bureaucrats). Though it’s not yet a full daily paper with even more padding columnists.

I recommend reading it. If you’re used to putting up with things you disagree with  that is. Which is not a universally shared trait on the left.

Despite change, it’s encouraging to see that some old traditions are being kept up.  

Neil Clarke’s Monday piece, The Leftists who Didn’t Sell Out (here) might raise a few hackles. And thoughts of the Star’s enthusiasms in the past.

He lists ten figures.

  • Clement Attlee
  • Bruno Kreisky
  • Salvador Allende.
  • Olaf Palme.
  • Julius Nyere.
  • Janos Kador.
  • Pierre Trudeau
  • Daniel Ortega.
  • Slobodan Milošević
  • Hugo Chávez

It’s no secret, as they used to say in the Morning Star, that some of these figures are controversial.

Some here, naturally, would in any Socialist Pantheon (Allende). Others…? Something really rankles. Words like, authoritarian, brutal, misogynist  free-market shell (guess which ones), come to mind in a few cases.  Are they all part of the same Left? One wonders if Olaf Palme would sit comfortably with Milošević. Or if Attlee would get as cosy with Iran’s tyrants as Chávez so frequently does?


Just failed Clarke’s ‘litmus test’ for sorting out the left from the rest.

Unconditional support of Hugo Chávez is the duty of every revolutionary Morning Star reader!

But there you go.

As another nostalgic reminder the  Star’s ever entertaining, Monday Column, advertises a must-see meeting “Celebrate China’s National Day”. A plus is that it’s organised by the CPGB (M-L) – still in existence apparently (not to be confused with the CPB, M-L). Speakers include George Galloway and Harpal Brar of the Stalin Society(here).

Hands off China!


Written by Andrew Coates

September 22, 2009 at 10:23 am

10 Responses

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  1. some are missing: Bettino Craxi, Elena Ceaucescu, Andreas Papandreu, Gerry Healey, … ;-[


    September 22, 2009 at 2:56 pm

  2. Milosevic? Are they serious? Christ, they’re not doing a very good job of disguising their rampant Stalinism there.

    Only ones I’d agree with would be Allende and Chavez, whatever you think about his politics (I’d describe myself as increasingly critical sympathy, he tests it with his cosying up to Ahmadinejad) he hasn’t ‘sold out’.

    Attlee secretly launched Britain’s nuclear weapon programme and presided over some fairly unpleasant imperialist policies so he’s out.

    Ortega is acting like a typical reformist in his current period in office and is selling out all over the place.

    Not overly familiar with the rest of them on the list.


    September 22, 2009 at 2:58 pm

  3. Daniel Ortega? One time revolutionary to born again Catholic ? No sell out there!

    I suppose that the Star must think its readers have the memory of a Goldfish?


    September 22, 2009 at 3:41 pm

  4. V&F and modernityblog beat me to it, I was going to express my astonishment at the inclusion of Milošević and Ortega. Evidently a list drafted by someone a little behind on political developments of the last 20 years.

    That said, I don’t think Catholicism should be any barrier to a place on the list above. Julius Nyerere was a devout Catholic and generally seems to have been the genuine article and deserves praise for being one of the few first generation African nationalists who resisted the lure of kleptocracy and authoritarianism.

    He was also one of only two, possibly three, African leaders to leave power voluntarily between 1960 and 1990, an honourable achievement in itself.


    September 22, 2009 at 6:39 pm

  5. Well at least Neil Clark’s self-penned wikipedia entry has now been deleted, on the grounds of “no-one giving a shit about who he is, not even the few people who know who he is”… 🙂

    d.z. bodenberg

    September 22, 2009 at 7:20 pm

  6. I almost feel a bit of sympathy for Comrade Newman, Proyect is mostly on another planet, altho he’s partly right, sometimes.


    September 25, 2009 at 2:50 am

  7. Now is obviously the time to write out an alternative list of Leftists who Never Sold Out.

    Andrew Coates

    September 26, 2009 at 9:50 am

  8. Neil Clarke is a disgusting piece of shit, and even that Stalinist rag the ‘Morning Star’ should feel embarrassed about publishing his filth. As well as being an admirerer of the mass murderer Milošević, Clarke is also on record as opposing the right of Iraqi interpreters to enter Britain. According to this piece of shit, these brave people are “traitors” who desrve all they get at the hands of the “insergents” who he supports. He’s simply scum.

    Jim Denham

    September 26, 2009 at 11:31 pm

  9. […] of Fame Following on from this, read […]

    Hall of Fame « Poumista

    October 2, 2009 at 10:06 am

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