How are you with your knowledge of the history of early British Trotskyism?
Do you know your Heaton Lee from your Ralph Lee? Ted Grant's real name? The first bullshit myth Gerry Healy spun about himself? CLR James's batting average for the Old Fractionians Second XI? The name of the De Leonist organisation in Scotland which turned towards Trotskyism in the thirties? Who debated for the Bolshevik Leninists' against the SPGB's Adolph Kohn at the AEU Hall in Doughty Street in London in 1936?
Well, the answers to all of the above questions will not be found in the following clip from Mastermind, but what does follow is Paul Moorhouse answering questions on his specialist subject,"British Trotskyism Until 1949'. (What's the odds that all the questions were cribbed from Bornstein and Richardson's two-volume history of British Trotskyism?)
This edition of Mastermind dates from March 13th of this year but I've only just now stumbled across the clip. I got nine answers right but that's only because I'm from the Menshevik-SadBastard Tendency.
Give it your best shot:
But there's more.
When Paul returned to the black chair for the second round, John Humphrys asked him about his specialist subject in the first round and inquired, in an amused tone, if there were any Trotskyists left?
Paul resisted the temptation to leap upon the black chair and declaim 'The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International' in its entirety but he did lean forward in his chair like the seasoned cadre that he is and gave a fifty second thumbnail sketch of what it is to be a Trotskyist today.
Humphrys said nothing in reply, thus confirming the suspicions of two million Daily Mail readers that the initials BBC really do stand for the 'Bolsheviks Broadcasting Communism'.
A quick google search reveals that Paul Moorhouse is a longstanding member of the Millies (SPEW/CWI) down in Bristol.
I'm sure he got muchos-kudos from his comrades for putting his politics before an audience of a few million (back in the eighties, Mastermind could be watched by up to 15 million people), but I wonder if he also got his nose tweaked by the local full timer for not mentioning Peter Taaffe's name at least twice during those fifty primetime seconds.
The Menshevik-SadBastard Tendency member in me can't help heckling to the computer screen that he should have said: 'Trotskyism? Past'
More on that particular episode of Mastermind over at Life After Mastermind, the blog of 2007 Mastermind winner, David Clark.