We republish here a review of Ian Parker’s Mapping the English Left through Film: Twenty Five Uneasy Pieces which appeared in Worker’s Millstone, organ of the Tendency for the Redevelopment of the Fourth International As It Was Then (TRFIAIWT).

The first thing to be noticed about so-called Ian Parker’s reactionary collection ‘published’ by Folrose, a notorious outlet of a now-defunct pretend-left post-Healyite grouplet, is that it nowhere mentions the TRFIAIWT. Following a tendentious and incorrect introduction (see past issues, each issue, of our paper for an accurate history of our movement), the first chapter in the book deals with the British Labour Party, a complete irrelevance to any serious political activity today. It is here that a profound misunderstanding of our tasks becomes apparent, something which continues through the rest of the book. Each and every fake sectarian diversion from global struggle is reduced to a film!

As we have pointed out many times, and most recently in our critical review of Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, film is not a reflection of reality but a veil of false consciousness, designed to hide what is most important in the world and mislead the people. It is necessary to expose each and every ideological motif in film, especially the so-called films of renegade Pabloite Ken Loach, and to crush any enjoyment out of it. Nowhere does Will Ferrell tear away this veil, for example, to show that Eurovision is a multi-million dollar business enterprise that harvests the creative hopes and labour of the singing masses. We noted that the father was played by a former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, and drew the obvious conclusions from that (see the previous issue of Worker’s Millstone for that review).

Twenty-five left organisations are re-framed through film narrative in a reductive reading of them that is, duplicitous publicity for the book points out, ‘merciless’. It is anything but! In many cases this so-called ‘merciless’ reading is softened by acknowledgement of the contribution of the particular group under examination, with obvious affection for groups that have engaged in the most deadly revisionism. This is a parody of Marxist method, not only failing to show how cinema dopes and befuddles the audience, but also showing sentimental agreement with some the worst enemies of the working class.

So, Parker – a one-time academic – heaps praise on the hopeless vegetarians of Plan C (a miniscule group that we had never even heard of before this book) and congratulates RS21 for standing up to the alleged so-called and anyway not so important in comparison with the great crisis we face today ‘rape’ inside the always fake-Trotskyist SWP (a group we spit upon even when it is occasionally able to lead successful campaigns).

The most egregious re-writing of history comes in the piece on so-called Socialist so-called Resistance where history itself is represented as a circular repetitive movement. Resolutions of the Tendency for the Redevelopment of the Fourth International As It Was Then, passed unanimously, have, year after year, demonstrated the falsity of this. We move forward, redeveloping and returning to what was once said and ever will be.

This time of the fake COVID-19 crisis is no time for film! And no time for the wasteful nonsense that is peddled by each of the organisations covered in this book. If you really want to spend your time mired in the ideological filth of film and use that muddy compass to ‘map’ the layout of the Left in England now, then go ahead and use this book to find out what the difference is between a Healyite and a Pabloite and where the different splinters of the Fourth International come from, relate to each other and have ended up in their own journeys into oblivion. What you won’t get from this pathetic little book in which the text of the introduction reaches almost to the bottom of the page (formatting reminiscent of Mark Crorigan’s Business Secrets of the Pharaohs) is the truth, the true path.

If you are going to play the daft game set out in this stupid book, then why not see Parker as being played by Pierce Brosnan, thus exposing his malicious police-agent intelligence-service role in writing this thing, while we will be played by Will Ferrell, bravely breaking up the party and winning even when it seems that we are losing. Face it, most campaigns and conferences of the English fake-left are like the Song-Along scene in Eurovision. And Parker and his beloved ‘Socialist Resistance’ are up to their neck in it, as is evident from the scorn he heaps on Brexit, using it as yet another stick to beat his comrades in other groups. Down with this sort of thing. This is a book for losers.


A shorter version of this article appeared here where you can comment on it


Material for Mapping the English Left through Film is here on FIIMG