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Caesarism
Calling card
Campsfield House
Catch-All Party
Catholicism, Gramsci on
Church of Rome and the kingdom of the fairies, a comparison between the
Clarke, Alan
Class Struggle
Clause Four of the Labour Party Constitution
Coit Tower
Communism
Comrade Turtle
Cones Hotline, the
Crime de Monsieur Lange, Le
Critique of the Gotha Programme, The
Crosland, Tony

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Caesarism

Although Karl Marx was scathing about the notion of "Caesarism" in his preface to the second edition of the 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, Antonio Gramsci made an interesting attempt to retheorise this concept in his Prison Notebooks (see especially pp.219ff of the Selections from the Prison Notebooks). Although similar in many ways to the more familiar notion of Bonapartism, there are also significant differences. Marxists tend to link the idea of "Bonapartism" to the political autonomy of the state that can be the result of a deadlock in the class struggle. Gramsci does not follow this line of analysis, and explicates his idea as follows:

"Caesarism can be said to express a situation in which the forces to conflict balance each other in a catastrophic manner; that is to say, they balance each other in such a way that a continuation of the conflict can only terminate in their reciprocal destruction. When the progressive force A struggles with the reactionary force B, not only may A defeat B or B defeat A, but it may happen that neither A nor B defeats the other - that they bleed each other mutually and then a third force C intervenes from outside, subjugating what is left of both A and B. In Italy, after the death of Lorenzo il Magnifico, this is precisely what occurred."

Gramsci distinguishes between different forms, suggesting that "Caesar and Napoleon I are examples of progressive Caesarism. Napoleon III and Bismarck of reactionary Caesarism." In the former cases, the Caesar fashions a "fusion and assimilation" of the opposing social and political forces "after a molecular process".Thus he comes to "represent the historical phase of passage from one type of State to another type". The reactionary kind of Caesar, by contrast, also intervenes during a crisis of the regime, but in such a way that there can be an "evolution" of the state "along unbroken lines".

"The catastrophic phase may be brought about by a "momentary" political deficiency of the traditional dominant force, and not by any necessarily insuperable organic deficiency. This was true in the case of Napoleon III. The dominant force in France from 1815 up to 1848 had split politically (factiously) into four camps: legitimists, Orleanists, Bonapartists, Jacobin-Republicans. The internal faction struggle was such as to make possible the advance of the rival force B (progressive) in a precocious form; however, the existing social form had not yet exhausted its possibilities for development, as subsequent history abundantly demonstrated."

Gramsci inisists that there can be "Caesarism" without a strong leader, and that all parliamentary coalition regimes have something of the Caesarist about them. Although control of the military was traditionally important for Caesarist rulers, he suggests that the control of other modern political institutions can be an effective substitute today. Thus he can identify Ramsay MacDonald a kind of Caesar, especially after he broke with the Labour Party to form the National Governments of 1931. Gramsci also deploys the category to analyse the rise of Italian fascism, which is seen as a process from 1922 to 1926 in which "various gradations of Caesarism succeeded each other, culminating in a more pure and permanent form". Finally, Gramsci argues that the importance of the Dreyfus Affair in France was that by uniting and strengthening the Republican Left, a Caesarist "solution" to the political impasse of the Third Republic may have been averted.

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Calling card

From the Big Soviet Encyclopaedia (3rd ed., English version, v.5 p.68):

"A documents that informs of a visit, widely used in diplomatic protocol. The card bears the title, name, position of its owner, and sometimes his address and telephone number. The head of a Soviet diplomatic embassy can also have a calling card on which only the words "Ambassador of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" or "Envoy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" are printed..."

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Campsfield House

Campsfield House is one of the British Government's major Immigration Detention Centres, and one that is managed for profit by the Group 4 security company. Six miles north of Oxford, in Kidlington, it has been in operation since November 1993, before which it was a youth detention facility. It usually holds around 200 detainees, generally people who have arrived in Britain seeking asylum, often from strife-torn parts of Africa. Many are fleeing torture; almost all are black. Both Amnesty International and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture have expressed serious concerns at what goes at Campsfield House, and successive Chief Inspectors of Prisons -- Stephen Tumin and David Ramsbotham -- have sharply criticised the more arbitrary aspects of British immigration policy after visiting the site.

On 20 August 1997 a riot caused extensive damage to the building. Nine detainees, three of whom were teenagers, were charged with offences that could have landed them with ten-year jail sentences. When the case came to court in June 1998, it collapsed after 11 days as Group 4 prosecution witnesses were found to be lying, contradicting one another's testimony, or admitting to the court that the evidence they were giving was unreliable. Notoriously, the Group 4 officer in charge of "Control and Restraint" was shown on video dragging a detainee by the neck in what looked like a strangulation hold, something he had specifically denied doing to the court.

Home Office Minister Mike O'Brien -- who recently extended Group 4's contract to run Campsfield for a further three years -- has expressed the hope "that unfair criticism of Group 4 staff by protest groups will now cease".

The Turtle salutes The Campaign to Close Campsfield!

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Catch-All Party

The idea of the Catch-All Party was elaborated by Otto Kirchheimer in "The Transformation of the Western European Party Systems" and published in 1966 shortly after his death. It is one of those rare political science essays that remains worth reading thirty years after it was written. The transformation in question was from what Kirchheimer called "mass integration" to "catch-all" parties over the course of the twentieth century. The "mass integration" parties were the pre-World War I socialist parties (also, perhaps, the Zentrum and the PPI), which organised and integrated armies of new working-class voters into the structures of European political competition during the wrenching industrialisation of European societies. The "catch all" parties are the large postwar political parties which have tries to move beyond their original sectional or class appeal to become "people's" parties in a bid to maximise electoral support. In making the transition from one model to the other, Kirchheimer highlights five common elements of the transformation: a "drastic reduction of the party's ideological baggage", the "strengthening of top leadership groups", "the downgrading of the role of the individual party member", the "de-emphasis of the classe gardée, specific social-class or denominational clientele", and the "securing [of] access to a variety of interest groups". Kirchheimer's analysis remains pertinent: all five elements are clearly visible in, for example, the recent "New Labour" project, and parties which declined a "catch all" identity when he wrote in the 1960s are now trying to claim one, for example the PCI/PDS in Italy.

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Catholicism, Gramsci on

Antonio Gramsci may have a point when he writes:

"In reality, when we ask ourselves 'what is a man?', what importance do his will and his concrete activity have in creating himself and the life he lives? what we mean is: is Catholicism a correct conception of the world and of life? As Catholics, making Catholicism a norm of life, are we making a mistake or are we right? Everyone has a vague feeling that when they make Catholicism a norm of life they are making a mistake, to such an extent that nobody attaches himself to Catholicism as a norm of life, even when
calling himself a Catholic. An intergral Catholic, one, that is, who applied the Catholic norms in every act of his life, would seem a monster. Which, when you come to think about it, is the severest and most
preremptory criticism of Catholicism itself."

[Source: Antonio Gramsci, "The Study of Philosophy" in Selections from the Prison Notebooks, p351, New York: International Publishers, 1971.]

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Church of Rome and the kingdom of the fairies, a comparison between the

Thomas Hobbes usefully drew attention to the strong similarities that obtain between the Roman Catholic Church and the kingdom of the fairies in the closing pages of his Leviathan of 1651. Quentin Skinner helpfully tells us that the rhetorical device employed in the ninth paragraph below is called "aposiopesis".

"... [F]rom the time that the Bishop of Rome had gotten to be acknowledged for Bishop Universal, by pretence of Succession to St. Peter, their whole Hierarchy, or Kingdom of Darkness, may be compared not unfitly to the Kingdom of Fairies...

"The Fairies in what Nation soever they converse have but one Universal King, which some Poets of ours call King Oberon; but the Scripture calls Beelzebub, Prince of Demons. The Ecclesiastics likewise, in whose Dominions soever they be found, acknowledge but one Universal King, the Pope.

"The Ecclesiastics are Spiritual men and Ghostly Fathers. The Fairies are Spirits and Ghosts. Fairies and Ghosts inhabit Darkness, Solitudes, and Graves. The Ecclesiastics walk in Obscurity of Doctrine, in Monasteries, Churches, and Churchyards.

"The Ecclesiastics have their Cathedral Churches; which, in what Town soever they be erected, by virtue of Holy Water, and certain Charms called Exorcisms, have the power to make those Towns, Cities, that is to say, Seats of Empire. The Fairies also have their enchanted Castles, and certain Gigantic Ghosts, that domineer over the Regions round about them.

"The Fairies are not to be seized on, and brought to answer for the hurt they do. So also the Ecclesiastics vanish away from the Tribunals of Civil Justice.

"The Ecclesiastics take from young men the use of Reason, by certain Charms compounded of Metaphysics, and Miracles, and Traditions, and Abused Scripture, whereby they are good for nothing else but to execute what they command them. The Fairies likewise are said to take young Children out of their Cradles, and to change them into Natural Fools, which Common people do therefore call Elves, and are apt to mischief.

"In what Shop or Operatory the Fairies make their Enchantment, the old Wives have not determined. But the Operatories of the Clergy are well enough known to be the Universities, that received their Discipline from Authority Pontifical.

"When the Fairies are displeased with any body, they are said to send their Elves to pinch them. The Ecclesiastics, when they are displeased with any Civil State, make also their Elves, that is, Superstitious, Enchanted Subjects, to pinch their Princes, by preaching Sedition; or one Prince, enchanted with promises, to pinch another.

"The Fairies marry not; but there be amongst them Incubi that have copulation with flesh and blood. The Priests also marry not.

"The Ecclesiastics take the Cream of the Land, by Donations of ignorant men that stand in awe of them, and by Tithes: so also it is in the Fable of Fairies, that they enter into the Dairies, and Feast upon the Cream, which they skim from the Milk.

"What kind of Money is current in the kingdom of fairies is not recorded in the Story. But the Ecclesiastics in their Receipts accept of the same Money that we do; though when they are to make any Payment, it is in Canonizations, Indulgences, and Masses.

"To this and such like resemblances between the Papacy and the Kingdom of Fairies may be added this, that as the Fairies have no existence but in the Fancies of ignorant people, rising from the Traditions of old Wives or old Poets: so the Spiritual Power of the Pope (without the bounds of his own Civil Dominion) consisteth only in the Fear that Seduced people stand in of their Excommunications, upon hearing of false Miracles, false Traditions, and false Interpretations of the Scripture..."

[From: Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, chapter 47]

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Clarke, Alan

Much like his predecessor Humphrey Jennings, Alan Clarke (1935-1990) was a great British film-maker who died shockingly early and who never achieved anything like the recognition his work undoubtedly deserved during his lifetime. Like Jennings, Clarke spent much of his career working in an unglamorous, underpublicised field, in his case that of television drama. A lifelong socialist, Clarke specialised in realistic, often aggressively confrontational productions that shone a spotlight on people usually marginalised or stereotyped by mainstream culture, exemplified by the intelligent, articulate but viciously racist and antisocial skinhead Trevor (Tim Roth) in Made in Britain (1983), the yuppie soccer hooligan Bex (Gary Oldman) in The Firm (1988) and above all the Borstal "daddy" Carlin (Ray Winstone) in Scum (1977 and 1979, the latter a cinema remake of the original banned BBC production).

But Clarke's range was far wider than his best-known work suggests, including two outstanding, almost abstract studies of the Northern Ireland "Troubles" (Contact (1984) and Elephant (1988), the latter reducing the situation to a virtually narrative-free parade of killings in what must be one of the most daringly experimental films ever broadcast by the BBC), the raucous Northern comedy Rita, Sue and Bob Too! (1986) and a quietly devastating adaptation of Jim Cartwright's play Road (1987).

By this stage of his career his style was unmistakable, a series of long, riveting Steadicam shots of his characters' seemingly endless walks through bleak urban landscapes, and for all the raucousness of the surface, there's a calm, focused intensity about the best of Clarke's films that has led to seemingly unlikely but surprisingly apposite comparisons with Robert Bresson, austere master of the French cinema. Tragically, Clarke died of cancer when preparing what could have been his international breakthrough - a sadly unfilmed Battle of Algiers-inspired drama about US government skullduggery called Assassination on Embassy Row that is one of the great "if onlys" of political cinema.

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Class Struggle

Class Struggle was a 1970s board game, conceived as a socialist alternative to Monopoly, in which players were randomly assigned to different classes and moved around the board forming cross-class alliances, engaging in struggle, and heading for one of two mutually exclusive destinations: Socialism or Barbarism. The box sported a rather good photo-montage of Karl Marx arm-wrestling Nelson Rockefeller. Improbably enough, a photograph exists of Helmut Kohl at the 1980 Frankfurt Book Fair holding a boxed set of Klassenkampf, the German edition of the game. Class Struggle was designed and manufactured by Bertell Ollman, a professor of politics at New York University, who wrote an entertaining book about his experiences as a Marxist businessman, Class Struggle is the Name of the Game, published by William Morrow and Company, New York, in 1983.

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Clause Four of the Labour Party Constitution

Old Labour:

"To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service."

New Labour:

"The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party.

"It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour, we achieve more than we achieve alone so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community ion which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.

"To these ends we work for: a dynamic economy, serving the public interest, in which the enterprise of the market and the rigour of competition are joined with the forces of partnership and co-operation to produce the wealth the nation needs and the opportunity for all to work and prosper, with a thriving private sector and high quality public services, where those undertakings essential to the common good are either owned by the public or accountable to them; a just society, which judges its strength by the condition of the weak as much as the strong, provides security against fear, and justice at work; which nurtures families, promotes equality of opportunity and delivers people from the tyranny of poverty, prejudice and the abuse of power; an open democracy, in which government is held to account by the people; decisions are taken as far as practicable by the communities they affect; and where fundamental human rights are guaranteed; a healthy environment, which we protect, enhance and hold in trust for future generations.

"Labour is committed to the defence and security of the British people, and to co-operating in European institutions, the United Nations, the Commonwealth and other international bodies to secure peace, freedom, democracy, economic security and environmental protection for all. Labour will work in pursuit of these aims with trade unions, co-operative societies and other affiliated organisations, and also with voluntary organisations, consumer groups and other representativebodies.

"On the basis of these principles, Labour seeks the trust of the people to govern."

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Coit Tower

The Coit Tower stands in San Francisco, and is home to some fine Socialist Murals.

Lillie Hitchcock Coit (1844-1929) led an interesting life. Since her teenage years she had been extremely interested in fire engines, and for many years was the mascot of the Knickerbocker Engine Company #5, whose uniform she possessed and was fond of wearing. She also dressed up as a man in order to stay out late at night, smoke cigars and play poker. She married Howard Coit in1863, and after he died in 1885, she left for Paris, where she spent most of the rest of her life, before returning to San Francisco to die. Her will left a sum of money "to add to the beauty of the city I have always loved", and in 1933 $125,000 was spent building the Coit Tower, on top of Telegraph Hill overlooking the San Fransisco Bay. The architect, Henry Howard, designed a distinctive fluted tower, which many thought looked, appropriately enough, like the nozzle of a fire hose.

Starting in January 1934, 3,691 square feet of murals were painted on the inside walls of the Tower, funded by the Public Works of Art project, an early New Deal federal programme. The artists - twenty six of them, with nineteen assistants - worked in remarkable harmony on their various panels, which depict scenes of urban, industrial and agricultural life in modern California in the style of the Mexican painter Diego Rivera, in whose studio several of the artists had worked.

A series of striking details in the frescoes mark the leftist leanings of the artists. A copy of the Daily Worker sits on a newspaper stand, where the mainstream San Francisco Chronicle is conspicuous by its absence, and Das Kapital sits on the shelves in the library; armed guards protect the gold in the bank; and a black man stands proudly at the front of what might be a May Day demonstration. Newspaper headlines highlight the controversies of 1934: industrial violence in San Francisco where striking dock-workers were shot dead; and in New York a large painting of Lenin by Diego Rivera had been destroyed by its counter-revolutionary owner.

The murals were displayed to the public 20 October 1934, after remaining closed over the summer while the city authorites decided whether they could be shown. In the end, only one detail was suppressed: the only hammer and sickle motif was painted out. The Tower has remained open to the public ever since, except for a lengthy closure between 1960 and 1977 when extensive restoration work was undertaken.

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Communism

In Lenin's formulation, from his report of December 22, 1920, to the Eighth Congress of Soviets, "Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country".

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Comrade Turtle

A mode of address suitable for all those who have ever written for The Voice of the Turtle, in either of its paper or on-line incarnations. The full list of Comrades Turtle can be found here. The term was coined in Turtle #2 (Summer 1993, p.13) by Sasha Abramsky. The official politically correct formulation is "Socially-Enlightened Laterally-Advantaged Marine Reptile".

Not to be confused with 'Comrade Tortoise', an elected official of the Junior Common Room at Balliol College, Oxford, charged with the physical and ideological training of the College Tortoise, Rosa Luxemburg, for the annual Inter-Collegiate Tortoise Race against various bourgeois reptiles.

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Cones Hotline, the

John Major never had a Five Year Plan, but he did have a Cones Hotline. The "Road User's Charter" boldly announced that "where roadworks are temporarily suspended or no work is in progress, we aim to remove the cones when it is safe and practical to do so", but prudently warned that "there will be some cases in which this is not possible, for example where road materials are hardening." To make the ordinary motorist an integral part of this important state project, a telephone hotline was set up, on 0345 50 40 30, billed at local rates.

Having been launched with much publicity in June 1992, the Cones Hotline was quietly disbanded in September 1995. Nevertheless, calling the same number will now get you the Highways Agency Information Line, and the Turtle believes that you can still report your cones-induced Angst to the person who answers the phone. There has been a change of mood, however, and it is clear that meeting cone-reduction quotas is no longer integral to the Government's self-esteem.

Assessing the exact cost of the Cones Hotline is difficult, as running and staffing costs were billed to a variety of different agencies at different times. We do know the hotline cost £20,000 to run in the last six months of its life, and that between June 1992 and September 1995 it fielded a magnificent 19,500 calls. Regrettably, only a minority of these concerned cones. It is not clear whether the Cones Hotline was a uniquely British phenomenon. The French have a Centre National d'Information Routière, which operates an information line service, and the Turtle would be interested to know if this is a similar endeavour.

Research for this Dictionary entry revealed that the British government does not keep central records of how many traffic cones are stolen every year. Perhaps it should begin.

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Crime de Monsieur Lange, Le

(directed by Jean Renoir, France, 1936, 84 mins, starring Jules Berry, Rene Lefevre, Odette Florelle, Sylvia Bataille)

An absolute delight from beginning to end, this French comedy marked the only collaboration between twentieth-century giants Jacques Prévert (writer) and Jean Renoir (director) -- apparently Renoir was rather too fond of improvisation for someone of Prévert's more classical sensibility. But it's the spontaneity and freshness that makes what could have been a rather simplistically didactic fable so irresistible -- it's easy to see how the story (evil capitalist Batala being forced to flee his publishing company after his debt-ridden past catches up with him, whereupon his formally downtrodden workforce turn the business into a co-operative and transform both its and their fortunes through the joys of collective labour) could have been drearily one-note and heavy-handed, like a bad Soviet propaganda piece. Renoir's generosity shines through every frame, and he commendably resists what must have been an overwhelming temptation to turn Batala into a stock caricature - in the hands of Jules Berry, he's a roguish charmer, and it's all too easy to see how he managed to beguile both creditors and mistresses into eating out of his hand. Truth be told, he's a lot more persuasive than René Lefèvre's sleepy, Stan Laurel-like writer Monsieur Lange (creator of the immortal "Arizona Jim"), though the latter unquestionably has moral rightness on his side when he has to deal with the awful prospect of Batala's return. The film is as stirring today as it was in 1935 -- at least three Voice of the Turtle contributors can attest to recent repertory screenings ending in spontaneous applause, and not just from them.

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Critique of the Gotha Programme, The

The Critique of the Gotha Programme is the last major political text of Marx's writing career. In 1875 the two major socialist groups in Germany, the German Socialist Workers' Party (SDAP) and the Lassallean General Association of German Workers (ADAV), merged to form what would soon become the Social Democrats' Party (SPD, and the very same party that now dominates the German government). Before the unity congress in Gotha, Marx was sent the draft version of the proposed party platform, one that reflected the influence of Ferdinand Lassalle far more than Marx liked. In the Critique, Marx tore into the proposed "mission statement" of the new party, although only minor changes were mde to the final text of the Gotha Programme which was adopted by the Congress. Marx eventually had his way, however, and over the next generation the party was thoroughly Marxified, becoming the major Marxist force in European politics.

The text takes the form of paragraph-by-paragraph commentary. Marx lists each clause of the draft Gotha Programme, and outlines his objections to the argument he finds there. Seemingly innocuous socialist pieties are subjected to merciless criticism, including the claim that labour is the source of all wealth, the idea of a just distribution, or the aspiration for a free state and universal public education ("The state has need, on the contrary, of a very stern education by the people"!). And as Marx demolishes the Gotha Programme, he also lays out parts of his own vision of the socialist future, returning to the notion of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and presenting a two-stage model of socialism in which the first phase is a stepping stone to the moment when "the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly", when "labour is the prime necessity of life", and when "the narrow horizon of bourgeois right [is] fully left behind" that that "society [can] inscribe on its banner: From each according to ability! To each according to need!"

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Crosland, Tony (1918-1977)

From the days when the Parliamentary Labour Party could field intellectuals rather more impressive than Denis MacShane, Crosland was perhaps the most interesting figure on the post-Gaitskell Labour right. Though usually tagged a 'revisionist' (which chimed in well with his rather disparaging self-description as 'the second Bernstein'), Crosland propounded a vision of socialism that would put him unimaginably to the Left of the current government (and the Turtle can imagine a great deal to the left of the present government.) His political project was defined by a wish to recast socialism as an ethically-propelled set of political ideals, devoid of the traditional Marxian teleology, and much of its jargon. This is a project not unlike that associated with latter-day academic 'analytical Marxists'. Crosland, we might say, was Jerry Cohen avant la lettre.

For Crosland, what socialism was about was equality -- and the Labour Party was missing the point insofar as it concerned itself too much with issues of public ownership at the expense of this core value. Crosland, it should be noted, advocated more than the toothless 'equality of opportunity' of John Smith's Commission on Social Justice - he wanted a thoroughgoing transformative equality that looked to overthrow traditional patterns of status, privilege and wealth in British society. (On becoming Education Secretary, Crosland announced that his aim was to "destroy every fucking grammar school in the country.") The classic statement of this position comes in his 1956 book The Future of Socialism, which is a cracking little book. (It is interesting to note that Labour politicians of the consensus era were much better writers than their latter-day automaton children. This was not just confined to those with a background in the academy -- the solidly proletarian Nye Bevan's 'In Place of Fear' is a really very under-rated little book, and Roy Jenkins's 1956 'The Case for Labour' is a beast of a different colour to Tony Wright's 1997 version.) To see Crosland as a man of the right is, I think, mistaken. He had a clear vision of what socialism really meant, and represents one of the more interesting, and sadly lamented,faces of Old Labour.

Crosland -- a wonderfully boozy, foul-mouthed bruiser, is also the source of some excellent anecdotes. During his time in the Cabinet, he was at a party which he found so horribly boring that he left the main reception, and lay down asleep, full-stretch in the hallway. His lanky frame so blocked the passage, that a young woman had to step over him to retrieve her coat from the banister, and accidentally nudged him awake. "Hello Ugly!" said Crosland. The young woman fled, wounded and crying, to find the party's hostess, and to demand that this terrible ogre be ejected. "Who is that beastly drunk man who just insulted me?" she inquired between sobs. "That ..." said her hostess, "that is Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Education".

Nor did Crosland suffer fools gladly. When he decided to stand for the Labour leadership on Wilson's unexpected retirement in 1976, he was visited by his disciple Roy Hattersley, who wished to tell him that, in good conscience, he could not vote for him, that he did not want Crosland to embarrass himself, and that, for his own sake, he should withdraw his name from the nominations. It would be hard to improve on Crosland's reply: "Fuck Off, Hattersley!"

Whilst in an anecdotal vein, we must mention of Crosland's Cabinet colleague, George Brown, for whom Private Eye coined the useful phrase "tired and emotional". Whilst on a whistle-stop tour of South America, Brown found himself at a British Embassy reception in Peru. Hearing the band strike up and spotting a vision of loveliness, resplendent in a beautiful red dress, across the ballroom, an spritely Brown crosses the room in order to ask this apparition to dance with him. The reply was heroid: "I shall not dance with you Mr Brown, for three reasons. Firstly, you are drunk. Secondly, this song is the Peruvian National Anthem. And thirdly, I am the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima."

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