In 1975 I broke up a fight between a member of the International Marxist Group and a scrawny young man from the Revolutionary Communist Party.
It was a tragic dispute over who controlled the record deck at a fund raising disco in a squatted warehouse in North London.
Anyone who knows me would verify that I am not a fighty sort of chap or even good at breaking up fights, but these two were spectacularly wet, even by my wishy-washy standards.
I kind of slapped one on the nose and pushed the other one over and that was it, a radical feminist sneered at all three of us, put on a Janis Joplin song and the party continued.
This experience and many like it made me have a slightly jaundiced view of left wing politics in the UK.
Notice I didn’t say ‘radical’ left wing politics. It’s only come to be seen as ‘radical’ since the entire political spectrum, from Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair and his pan-faced offspring Cameron, has shifted so far to the right that none of us know where the centre ground is anymore.
So here’s my argument and I’m sure it will annoy quite a few people on both left and right of the political debate.
This Corbyn chap inhabits the centre ground. He’s a centrist, he’s not a radical.
A radical policy at the moment would be, oh, I don’t know, spending between £17.5 billion to £100 billion, (depending where you get the figures from) on an intercontinental ballistic missile system, which we are constantly told, we need ‘as a deterrent.’
You could suggest that accepting backhanders from oil producing nations and big fossil companies and then winding back the clock on renewables would be a radical thing to do. Particularly now, when the technology is mature and every other developed country is investing heavily in renewables for purely economic reasons.
You could point out that privatizing the National Health Service is part of a radical agenda, or that cutting welfare support for the poorest and least secure people was radical.
You could even say calling people fleeing war, persecution and religious madness a ‘swarm’ ‘invaders’ ‘spongers’ or ‘economic migrants’ was radical.
It is very radical, it just happens to be a form of radical political thinking that exists on the extreme right, backed up by the jolly old 0.01% hyper elite.
So, maybe instead of having two dominant parties on the right and the extreme right as we’ve had with ‘new’ Labour and the Tories, we may actually get some balance for a while.
I’m guessing it won’t be that long simply because the forces ranged against the centrist Mr Corbyn and his supporters are determined, very well funded and will fight very dirty to maintain their position of total global dominance.