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Colin Fox on Homer Simpson, strikes and the Marxist dialectic of pugs

The face of the left-wing Rise coalition sat down with STV's Stephen Daisley.

Fox talks: The Rise frontman answers our quick-fire round. <strong>© STV</strong>
Fox talks: The Rise frontman answers our quick-fire round. © STV

Colin Fox was the sixth party leader to sit down with me for a conversation about the election.

Technically, Fox is still the leader of the Scottish Socialist Party and the Lothians list candidate for Rise, a new left-unity coalition born out of the radical elements of the Yes campaign.

However, he has become the face of that new movement and I wanted to talk to him about the prospects for socialism in Scotland in 2016.

That interview will be published in full tomorrow. But first, he answered my quick-fire round on everything from Groucho Marx to the role of pugs in a post-capitalist society.

Stephen Daisley (SD): Hillary or Bernie?

Colin Fox (CF): Hillary or Bernie? I don’t know who these people are. Is that your mum and dad?

SD: Lenin or Trotsky?

CF: Oooh… good question. Hmmm… Trotsky.

SD: Did Margaret Thatcher get anything right?

CF: She said her legacy was New Labour. That was right.

SD: What’s your favourite strike?

CF: I’m tempted to say Strike Cola. I’d like to focus on one that was won and so I’d pick the recent strike by further education lecturers in Scotland over their pay. That’s one of the rare ones that we won.

SD: You are a trade unionist and believe that only through collective bargaining and organised withdrawal of labour can the proletariat hope to secure their interests against a rapacious bourgeois boss class that grows fat off their hegemony of the relations of production under late capitalism. But surely that has been debunked by leading social thinker Homer Simpson, who posits: ‘If you don’t like your job, you don’t strike! You just go in every day, and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.’

CF: [laughs] Now, if you’d asked me ‘Lenin, Trotsky, or Homer’, I’d have picked Homer. I’m a big fan of the Simpsons. So I agree with Homer Simpson in whatever he says.

SD: Marx: Karl or Groucho?

CF: [sharp intake of breath] [laughs] That’s really difficult. Let’s go with Groucho.

SD: Bandiera Rossa or Bella Ciao?

CF: Oh Bella Ciao. I was singing it in Athens last year when Syriza was elected.

[We both sing a few lines. For both our sakes, the audio recording has been destroyed.]

CF: It’s more upbeat.

SD: Your new coalition is called Rise. If this election doesn’t go your way, would you consider setting up as a new breakfast TV programme?

CF: [laughs] Yes, that or a washing powder.

SD: Citizen Smith or Harry Perkins?

CF: Citizen Smith.

SD: Pete Seeger or Woody Guthrie?

CF: [whistles] Woody Guthrie.

SD: And finally, in an independent socialist Scottish republic, would pugs have equal rights to their owners?

CF: [laughs] Would pugs have equal rights to their owners? Absolutely!

Stephen Daisley is STV’s digital politics and comment editor. He plans on leading a pug revolution just as soon as he’s finished napping. You can contact him at [email protected].


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