Magazine article New Internationalist

Jeremy Hardy

Magazine article New Internationalist

Jeremy Hardy

Article excerpt

You have built up a reputation for fusing stand-up with socialism. Do you still consider yourself a socialist or have your politics changed over time?

I fancied myself as a Marxist at the age of 10, even though I didn't know what it was. At secondary school I decorated all my exercise books with the names of different leftwing figures in bubble writing. But they would all be in continuum, so there would be [British politician] Roy Jenkins, and then Mao. One book had Stalin and Trotsky on equal billing next to each other before someone explained that they didn't really get on. I subsequently found out more about Mao and Stalin and began to think they were perhaps not my idea of socialists.

I'm probably more of an anarchosyndicalist these days. Capitalism doesn't work; it just generates misery, as far as I can see, and we need to find a different way. What that may turn out to be is still an open question.

In the 1980s and 1990s, you were heavily involved in campaigning about the conflict in Northern Ireland, particularly miscarriages of justice. What prompted you to get so involved?

Even now, people in Britain do not seem to be able to get their heads around the idea that it was all about empire. This was not some spat between Protestants and Catholics that we somehow got drawn into. This was about our colonies. It is all very good to look overseas for the struggle, but in Ireland we were militarily occupying a part of a different country, and even vast swathes of the Left refused to acknowledge that. When everyone was very excited about Nicaragua and South Africa, Ireland was right down in the rankings of 'favourite country to be interested in', even though they've got the best music and the best drink.

Today you are seen as the 'comedy expert' on Palestine - what triggered that?

Ten years ago I was invited to the West with Palestinian film director Leila Sansour to make a film about the Best known for his BBC Radio banter and his outspoken politics, British wit Jeremy Hardy talks to LIBBY POWELL about juggling his performances and principles, and being shot at.

International Solidarity movement, which became Jeremy Hardy vs The Israeli Army. I only found afterwards that I was number 99 on her list - she had started with Madonna and worked her way downwards. …

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