‘My parents’ Communist philosophy was based on an authoritarian view of the world in which people’s opinions had to be kept in line via the widespread use of terror, propaganda and repression; making up your own mind on stuff from all the available evidence was not an option.’
Alexei Sayle: Thatcher Stole My Trousers, Bloomsbury, 2018), Page 134
There were many other disturbing bourgeois, revisionist, Trotskyite and reactionary viewpoints expressed in his book, but as this body of knowledge became tiresome after a while, I decided to use just one quote which demonstrates his complete bourgeois misinterpretation of the USSR. Alexei Sayle is a fraud who has made millions ‘pretending’ to be a ‘Communist’! He demeans the principle of Social Housing, claims that Communists ‘hate’ the military (but draws no distinction between the ‘Red Army’ and those forces fighting for capitalism). He copies Trotsky by stating that soldiers are workers in uniform – whilst offering no historical context (Trotsky made that comment when still pretending to be a Bolshevik and to be following Lenin and Stalin. Later, as with everything else, Trotsky would contradict this statement by referring to the Red Army that he helped create – as being the means through which the Soviet Union spread its imperialism…). Whilst claiming to be a ‘Maoist’ Sayle does (and cannot) convey any genuine knowledge about China. He does not even acknowledge that other type of ‘Communist fighter’ – the guerilla fighter – or worker out of uniform – that has fought battles on behalf of the people since records began! No. Alexei Sayle, in his drive to cash-in on his past fame, has had to reveal more about himself within each passing book.
I remember growing-up in the 1970s in the UK – just as Alexei Sayle did. Indeed, most of what he refers to in his numerous biographical books as being ‘Communist’ is actually mainstream British culture – so leftwing was the country with its full employment, free education, free health, extensive welfare and comprehensive social housing policies. This is before the 1979 rise of the far-rightwing Margaret Thatcher and her destructive brand of conservatism. Indeed, the US comedian Bill Hicks often referred to the UK (a place he loved) as the nearest to a Soviet Republic one could find outside of Russia! Having established this we must examine exactly what it is that Alexi Sayle his doing through his literature.
Having progressive parents, I was brought up knowing about Lenin and watching Alexi Sayle and his apparently ‘Marxian’ humour. I remember being shocked and disappointed by hearing Alexei Sayle conforming to the capitalist system and doing voiceovers for what I considered to be pointless consumerist adverts! Over the years Alexi Sayle became a very wealthy man appearing to criticise the capitalist system. He was reJoseph Stalinwarded by the very capitalist system he seemed to be attacking through clever sketches, dialogues and monologues, etc. Seeing him disparage Joseph Stalin for a cheap laugh, I knew he wasn’t really a Communist and there is a very high probability that he never was.
Many of the experiences Sayle has sold to the general-public as being the product of being brought up as a ‘Communist’ are in fact common experiences for virtually everyone who lived in the UK in the 1970s. His misrepresentation of the Soviet Communist ideals his parents sincerely pursued sound very ‘Trotskyite’ in origin. How could the Soviet Union had oppressed his two working-class parents who lived in Liverpool? This is an absurdity. Furthermore, with the development of the internet and worldwide instant communication and sharing of information, it is clear that life in the USSR was progressive and far better than it is today in capitalist Russia. What Sayle presents as ‘Communism’ is nothing but US disinformation.
His lack of genuine knowledge of the Communist Movement in the UK is palpable. He has no idea that his parents were originally members of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), which they left in 1968 to join the breakaway group entitled the ‘Communist Party of Britain – Marxist-Leninist’ (CPB-ML). This was because the CPGB had accepted the revisionism of Khrushchev and denigrated the memory of Joseph Stalin. Communist China had chastised Khrushchev for this revisionist attitude and rejected it fully – continuing to uphold the good reputation of Joseph Stalin (effectively creating the Sino-Soviet Split). The various Communist Parties around the world took sides or broke into factions, each taking the side of the USSR or of China. China claimed to follow the ‘true’ path of Marxist-Leninism (with China-supporting Parties using the suffix ‘ML’), whilst the USSR, at least at its upper levels, was viewed as deviating from the doctrine of Marxist-Leninism. Alexei Sayle does not mention any of this simply because he seems not to possess this knowledge.
Just prior to rise to fame and fortune, Alexei Sayle is desperate to establish that around 1974 he stopped attending Communist Meetings. This is because he wants his association with Communism to be in his past, as the money starts rolling-in and enriching his life (much like Rod Stewart). In his books he tries to walk a thin line between appealing to Communists whilst not alienating capitalists, but in the end he has to expose his true feelings and ideas – just like Ben Elton had to eventually admit his admiration for Margaret Thatcher and his conservative leanings. In fact, many of the so-called ‘alternative comedians’ were eventually exposed as conformist and quite often rightwing in their political attitudes. Alexei Sayle, as undoubtedly talented as he is, is nothing but a leftwing con artist. His thinking is so muddled that many refer to the movement he mentions as the Maoist Communist Party of Britain…