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to the LM group series:
Webb gave the following interview in the Times Higher Education Supplement:
"David Webb, a former RCP supporter who has grown estranged from its politics, we must understand the nature of party in its heyday. "The RCP always discussed everything into the ground. If you wanted to become a supporter, you were expected to study certain books - they were your 'Part One'. There were seminars with only three or four people and you had to read the books. The questions asked in the seminar were such that if you hadn't read them you would be at sea.
"Outsiders often talk about it being cultish, but it wasn't cultish at all.
You were allowed to disagree with what the line was. They were just so confident in their theoretical knowledge that they were confident that they could convince you," he says.
Many of the positions taken by the RCP in the Eighties and Nineties, Webb says, are consistent with the positions now taken by Furedi and his friends. He says the party was "against political correctness from the start" and there was always a strong belief in the progressive power of science. The Institute of Ideas' interest in inviting influential people from across the political spectrum to its debates, seen by some as an attempt to infiltrate the establishment, is interpreted by Webb as a continuation of the RCP's often derided commitment to free public debate and expression. Monbiot, for example, accuses the RCP of trying to undermine the miners' strike on the basis of the party's insistence that the miners be balloted."
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