There's a Bolshie Born Every Minute


A small band of Ukrainian con artists have spent the last few years bilking English and American Leninist parties by pretending to be each group's comrades in Kiev:

Five young Ukrainian conspirators—seemingly with a background in the "official communist" Komsomol and well able to pick up the vital factional nuances of left politics in the Anglo-Saxon world—managed to pass themselves off as "sections" of anything up to 12 different organisations. A feat which might be explained by the claim that they first met each other in an "amateur acting troupe."…

[The Ukrainians] recreated in fictional microcosm the factional struggles and rivalries that plague the left in Britain and the US. Negotiations, polemics, splits and all. This doubtlessly pleased their "masters" in London and New York no end.

How was the fraud exposed?

The penny dropped for the [International Bolshevik Tendency] and Workers Power on August 14. A leading WP comrade was boastfully displaying a photograph of the organisation's recent world congress to an IBT member. Standing on either side of the said WPer were two Ukrainian comrades—they were instantly recognisable. They were the IBT's key comrades in their own Ukrainian section. Photos and information were quickly exchanged between factional centres—everyone had been conned.

The Communist Party of Great Britain, which was not among the defrauded, describes the affair as "The Sting meets Life of Brian."

[Via Ken MacLeod.]

NEXT: Smuggling Grapes

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  1. Brilliant. Who knew that the Communist Party in Britain had a sense of humor?

    Down with the People’s Front of Judea!

  2. The purges must have been pretty interesting.

    “OK. Today Leonid and Karl will be purged from Workers Power.”

    “No, no. We agreed that they would be purged from Workers Power United on Thursday.”

  3. That’s even stranger than the politics in Ken’s books.

  4. Are there any ladies at this stoning?

  5. Second, we agree with Lenin: ?There is one, and only one, kind of internationalism,? he pointedly states. ?And that is working wholeheartedly for the development of the revolutionary movement and the revolutionary struggle in one?s own country…

  6. This was actually reported earlier over at Commie Watch.

  7. Well, after much committee discussion, we can’t actually stick up for the busted scam artists. However, we are here to sing:

    For they are jolly good fellows,
    For they are jolly good fellows,
    For they are jolly good fellows,
    And nobody can deny!

    Oh, and we have a release order for Brian of Nazareth. Is he here?

  8. “Thwike him Thentuwion. Vewy woughwy!”

  9. Nice sting. Wonder how much they cash they squeezed out of their comrades…

  10. Parasites? In Communism? NO!

  11. Anon @ 12:00,

    Sorry — the other one is a trivial case, I’m afraid. “facetiousLY” (which, BTW, has all SIX vowels [“…and sometimes ‘y'”])

  12. Mark, you’re right, it is a quibble of sorts.

    (Incidentally, thanks for taking the time to come back here and reply.)

    However, the way you have things phrased … “(which, BTW, has all SIX vowels [“…and sometimes ‘y'”])” is a bit confusing.

    If the “Y” is sporadic, then we’re still counting just 5, not 6, vowels. i.e., “Y”-inclusive would amount to 6. Sans-“Y” — 5, no?

    But … that’s yet another quibble, isn’t it. (So no response required.)

    Nice chat.

  13. Talking about all 5 vowels, I’ve got one for you.

    Mary’s father has five daughters. He named them in this order:

    1) Mamy
    2) Memmy
    3) Mimmy
    4) Moomy
    5) M____________

    (What’s the fifth daughter’s name?)

  14. Mark A., in case you haven’t noticed, Centurions have been replaced by Bird Colonels nowadays.

    Anyway, you said, “‘facetious‘ is one of only two words in the English lexicon in which all five vowels appear consecutively.”

    So what’s the other word?

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