Before “The Death of Stalin” – there was “Red Monarch”, made in the 80s


The movie The Death of Stalin satirises Stalinism in the wake of the death of the Soviet leader in 1953. Back in 1983, there was a similar attempt to poke fun at that era but based during the lead up to Stalin’s death, not the aftermath – called Red Monarch.

It’s good to see the return of political comedy – one of the few good things that can be said about the times we live in now. Here is a trailer for Red Monarch.

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Red Ken – never a friend of the Daily Mail


In his first incarnation as head of the GLC in the early 1980s, Ken Livingstone was loathed and reviled by the right wing media – especially the Daily Mail. He seemed to react to this by reveling in the hatred of Fleet Street, inviting Irish Republicans and (in this case) Soviet delegates to County Hall.

You may remember that Ken had a huge banner across the front of County Hall with the number of unemployed on it – normally hovering around three to four million in Thatcher’s first term. The Prime Minister could hardly avoid the banner as the Houses of Parliament are almost opposite, across the Thames. Little wonder that Maggie eventually abolished the GLC and shut County Hall down. It’s now a hotel, aquarium and even includes a McDonalds.

Here’s the Daily Mail, then, fulminating against Ken for inviting a delegation from the Soviet Union.