A few years ago, George Monbiot discussed the Revolutionary Communist Party’s (RCP) ex-members, describing them as a “cultish political network”:
The organisation began in the late 1970s as a Trotskyist splinter called the Revolutionary Communist party. It immediately set out to destroy competing oppositionist movements. When nurses and cleaners marched for better pay, it picketed their demonstrations. It moved into the gay rights group Outrage and sought to shut it down. It tried to disrupt the miners’ strike, undermined the Anti-Nazi League and nearly destroyed the radical Polytechnic of North London. On at least two occasions RCP activists physically attacked members of opposing factions.
In 1988, it set up a magazine called Living Marxism, later LM. By this time, the organisation, led by the academic Frank Furedi, the journalist Mick Hume and the teacher Claire Fox, had moved overtly to the far right. LM described its mission as promoting a “confident individualism” without social constraint. It campaigned against gun control, against banning tobacco advertising and child pornography, and in favour of global warming, human cloning and freedom for corporations. It defended the Tory MP Neil Hamilton and the Bosnian Serb ethnic cleansers. It provided a platform for writers from the corporate thinktanks the Institute for Economic Affairs and the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. Frank Furedi started writing for the Centre for Policy Studies (founded by Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher) and contacting the supermarket chains, offering, for £7,500, to educate their customers “about complex scientific issues”.
In the late 1990s, the group began infiltrating the media, with remarkable success.
Remarkable is an understatement. In less than 24 hours I have heard:
- Claire Fox and Kenan Malik on The Moral Maze discussing Zimbabwe.
- Frank Furedi discussing risk and children on the Today Programme, a subject which Civitas recruited him to write a report about: Licensed to Hug. “Instead of creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion, Licensed to Hug suggests that we need to ‘halt the juggernaut of regulation'” From the moment the report was comissioned, its conclusions would have been obvious.
- Frank Furedi again with Ester Rantzen on the Today programme later in the morning, although Frank Furedi was totally pwned by Rantzen.
- Mike Fitzpatrick on how doctors shouldn’t be telling us to eat well and exercise, on the Today Programme.
They have also sucessfully wheedled their way into Johnson’s offices. Without wishing to appear a paranoid conspiracist, the RCP are becoming an establishment voice.
If any can spot a day when the ex-RCP gang don’t insert themselves into the media then let me know.