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  • 14


     
    'Rome' Actor Laughs off Trotskyist Past
    The Arts; Posted on: 2007-05-16 20:10:19 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Sold militant Marxist newspaper, picketed pre-breakdown South Africa

    James Purefoy is the heart-throb actor who plays Roman statesman Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) on the HBO/BBC original television series Rome. However Purefoy, now well into his forties, was once a militant Trotskyist, a member of the violent, openly communist Socialist Workers Party founded by Yigael Gluckstein (AKA Tony Cliff), and sold the party's paper, Socialist Worker when he was not protesting apartheid South Africa, which has, since the collapse of white rule, become a meltdown nightmare of rape, murder and other serious crime.

    According to a recent fawning piece in the Guardian, Purefoy says that "I sold the Socialist Worker outside Brixton tube." Brixton is a black area of South London that is today off-limits to most whites, and which saw a series of race riots in 1981, 1985 and 1995. Eddy Grant's famous "Electric Avenue" hit song is based on the 1981 violence, which saw the first use of Molotov cocktails outside of Ulster. Self-effacing, Purefoy adds: "I was crap, absolutely useless. I'm not sure how many any of us sold - nobody seemed to be terribly interested in buying them - but I did spend a lot of that period outside the South African embassy..."

    Like many (if not most) far-left activists, Purefoy comes from a well-off background, having boarded at one of England's famous private schools. He quickly ditched the militancy in favor of membership in the tepid Labour Party. But his views seem to conform to the wet-blanket and outdated politically correct consensus thinking among so many thespians.

    What is significant here is that if an actor said that in his callow youth he had supported the National Front and sold NF News he would find himself blacklisted for life, unless he made an abject apology and "renounced his past," with lots of shame-talk and a hair shirt thrown in.

    Given Purefoy's role playing one of the greatest figures in Western history, this man's views of the Roman he portrays seem to indicate that he is not appropriate for such a role: "The more I read about [Mark Antony], the more I looked into him in history, he's just unbelievably tragic - what happened to him in the end - and certainly the way we've played it, which is, I think, going to be very different from how anybody else has ever... Those scenes, especially him and Cleopatra at the end, there's clearly something very tragic about it. It's really interesting just getting your head around a man of that size and what he's reduced to, and how he can deal with her betrayal of him... And, you know, a great Roman general who sincerely believed he was a sun god. Get your head round that one," says Purefoy.

    "Presentism" is the error of expecting historical figures to adhere to modern values. This "sun god" thing that so bothers Purefoy was de rigeur for statesmen in those days, kind of the equivalent of Purefoy's leader Blair pretending that he is "defending democracy," or Blair's friend Bush swearing a war against "evil." But unlike the waning Blair vision, the Romans stood for a Civilization: the first organized pan-European system of language, laws, roads, culture and economics, something leagues beyond the pathetic mess the Western world has become, with its Brixton riots, forgettable politicians and self-destruction.

    As to Purefoy's SWP, they aligned themselves with "mainstream" Jewish groups in the mid-1970s to stage Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League (ANL, or ANaL to their enemies). These groups carried out vicious physical attacks on political dissidents and disrupted legal political actions. And while the National Front was never a "Nazi" organization, the SWP clearly and openly took Trotsky (real name Lev Bronstein) as an inspiration: the man who founded the Red Army and massacred not only peasants but loyal soldiers and sailors at Kronstadt, whose only fault was to believe the Soviet fantasy.

    Instead of laughing off Communist activism, a man of Purefoy's profile should be expected to apologize for his political sins. But that won't happen. Media elites see themselves as above the "hoi polloi" who support them. Until a genuine alternative media takes root -- as it will -- this kind of madness will continue.
    News Source: Correspondents

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