Series goes behind the scenes, past and present, to discover what it takes to put on the biggest, the most excessive, and the most outrageous parties the world has ever known. What can modern party planners learn from the excesses of their forbears, who risked their reputation, and sometimes their lives, to please their eccentric and super-wealthy clients?
Runtime: 60 minutes
Party Like... - Communist Party of Great Britain - Netflix
The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) was a British communist party which was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991. Founded in 1920 by the merger of several smaller Marxist parties, the party gained the support of many socialist organisations and worker's committees during the period after World War I and the Russian October Revolution. Many miners joined the party through 1926 and 1927 after the General Strike of 1926. In 1945 two Communist Party MPs won seats in the general election. From 1945 to 1956 the party was at the height of its influence. It experienced its greatest loss of membership after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the party's Eurocommunist leadership decided to disband the party, establishing the Democratic Left think tank. The anti-Eurocommunist faction had launched the Communist Party of Britain in 1988.
Party Like... - 1977–1991: Breakup of the party - Netflix
By 1977 debate around the new draft of the British Road to Socialism brought the party to breaking point. Many of the anti-Eurocommunists decided that they needed to form their own anti-revisionist Communist party. Some speculated at the time that they would receive the backing of Moscow, but such support appears not to have materialised. The New Communist Party of Britain was formed under the leadership of Sid French, who was the secretary of the important Surrey District CP, which had a strong base in engineering. Another grouping, led by Fergus Nicholson, remained in the party and launched the paper Straight Left. This served as an outlet for their views as well as an organising tool in their work within the Labour Party. Nicholson had earlier taken part in establishing a faction known as “Clause Four” within Labour's student movement. Nicholson wrote as “Harry Steel”, a combination of the names of Stalin (“man of steel” in Russian) and Harry Pollitt. The group around Straight Left exerted considerable influence in the trade union movement, CND, the Anti-Apartheid Movement and amongst some Labour MPs. Under the influence of Eric Hobsbawm on the opposing wing of the party Martin Jacques became the editor of the party's theoretical journal Marxism Today and rapidly made it a significant publication for Eurocommunist opinions in the party, and eventually for revisionist tendencies in the wider liberal-left, in particular for the soft left around Neil Kinnock in the Labour Party. Although circulation of the magazine rose it was still a drain on the finances of the small party. As early as 1983, Martin Jacques “thought the CP was unreformable ... but stayed in because he needed its subsidy to continue publishing Marxism Today.” Jacques' conviction that the party was finished “came as a nasty shock to some of his comrades” like Nina Temple, who “as unhappy as Jacques himself, stayed on only out of loyalty to Jacques.” In 1984 a long-simmering dispute between the majority of the leadership and an anti-Eurocommunist faction (associated with party industrial and trade union activists) flared up when the London District Congress was closed down for insisting on giving full rights to comrades who had been suspended by the Executive Committee. After the General Secretary closed the Congress a number of members remained in the room (in County Hall in South London) and held what was, in effect, the founding meeting of a breakaway party, although the formal split did not come until four years later. Members of the minority faction set about founding a network of Morning Star readers' groups and similar bodies, calling themselves the Communist Campaign Group. In 1988 these elements formally split from the CPGB to organise a new party known as the Communist Party of Britain. This was considered by many in the anti-eurocommunist faction, including national executive members like Barry Williams, to be the death of the 'Party'. In 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, the Eurocommunist-dominated leadership of the CPGB, led by Nina Temple, decided to disband the party, and establish Democratic Left, a left-leaning political think tank rather than a political party. Democratic Left itself dissolved in 1999, to be replaced by the New Politics Network, which in turn merged with Charter 88 in 2007. This merger formed Unlock Democracy, which was involved in the campaign for a yes vote in the 2011 Alternative Vote referendum. Some Scottish members formed the Communist Party of Scotland, others Democratic Left Scotland and Democratic Left Wales Chwith Ddemocrataidd, which still continues. Supporters of The Leninist who had rejoined the CPGB in the early 1980s declared their intention to reforge the Party, and held an emergency conference at which they claimed the name of the party. They are now known as the Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee) and they publish the Weekly Worker. But the Communist Party of Britain is the designated 'Communist Party' in the UK by the Electoral Commission. In 2008 members of the Party of the European Left, which contains several former 'official' Communist Parties in Europe, established a non-electoral British section.
Party Like... - References - Netflix