Inside a lightweight programme 'Where did all the comrades go?", there's the germ of an idea that could have produced something more worthwhile and enlightening, writes Morning Star political editor John Haylett.

But excitable presenter Max Cotton is so intent on reaching his entirely predictable conclusion that the various directions in which former Communist Party of Great Britain members have gone represent "what Marx would have called the contradictions of communism" that his treatment is superficial.
He takes as given that the assets of £4 million that the CPGB had in 1991 comprised "Moscow gold" or "Stalin's money," ignoring the dues payments, voluntary donations, financial appeals and bequests contributed by generations of loyal party members.
Cotton has interviewed several participants, together with former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, but few are given the opportunity to make in-depth contributions and his own analysis is shaky.
For instance Labour Councillor Stuart Hill, who remains a director of the CPGB company Rodell Properties, is quoted as saying that the party had had its opportunity, had no future and had to be buried but is not questioned about the past or current role of Rodell.
The programme begins with Cotton being guided by author Francis Beckett to buildings of significance to the CPGB in its declining years.
The first is the HSBC bank in Covent Garden, which is the former 16 King Street party HQ, and the other is the London Food Centre in Gray's Inn Road, which used to be the CPGB bookshop, Central Books.
Upstairs are the offices of Unlock Democracy, headed by Liberal Democrat member Peter Facey who recalls an early meeting in the Marx Memorial Library where he found it "intimidating" to walk past a bust of Lenin.
Perhaps the experience of seeing the representation of a political leader who kept his promises was too upsetting for him.
Facey repeats the false notion that the CPGB only became interested in "pluralism, community empowerment, individual freedoms, civil liberties" when the Eurocommunist trend raised its head, even though the party had long shown its commitment to such principles.
Cotton's concept of political balance is exemplified by his description of the Morning Star as a factional paper for "Stalinists and tankies" in comparison to the new thinking of the party's theoretical journal Marxism Today, which was heavily subsidised by the CPGB and developed a reputation for controversialism.
The magazine's contributors, including Charles Leadbeater and Geoff Mulgan, developed the argumentation that provided the theoretical underpinning for new Labour.
Even Tony Blair wrote a piece, Forging a New Agenda, for MTD in October 1991.
As Marx Memorial Library director John Callow says, no-one could have claimed in 1995 or 1997 that they had been misled over Blair's intentions, noting that the ideas and language in his piece were very familiar, "an integral part of what became new Labour," with its shallow emphasis on newness and innovation.
Blair, Peter Mandelson and the new Labour project were assisted by another former Communist, Paul Corrigan, who contested the 1979 general election in Coventry for the CPGB, discovering that people in "council houses didn't like the state."
This made him think "the game was up" and propelled him into a trajectory towards being a special adviser on health to Blair, Alan Milburn and John Reid, where he was the architect of foundation hospitals.
His insistence that it is important that health care and education should be delivered by "public organisations" not owned by the state is the same case made today by Andrew Lansley and Michael Gove.
Corrigan still portrays himself as a Marxist, claiming that "dialectical materialist theories" help him to make sense of his life. Not every MTD supporter went all the way with the new Labour project, despite nailing their colours to its mast and attempting to influence it.
Former editor Martin Jacques returned for a one-off edition in 1998, with a picture of Blair on the front page and the headline Wrong.
Jacques ally Beatrix Campbell complained that Blair hadn't taken "anything from the emancipating potential either of the CPGB or Marxism Today or Marxism at all. He was mesmerised by a critique of the state that Thatcherism had already scythed through."
However former CPGB Eurocommunist Andrew Pearmain is less sympathetic, asserting that Jacques and co had been flattered by Mandelson and failed to understand where new Labour was intent on going.
That cannot be said of those party members who regrouped in the Communist Party of Britain and continue, along with many in the organised labour movement, to support the Morning Star.
General secretary Robert Griffiths explains that those who provided the intellectual basis for new Labour had shown little more than "how to capitulate to the rich and big business, to cosy up to them instead of challenging them in interests of ordinary people, workers and their families."
For Cotton this means that "new Labour got ideas which helped form Blairism and foundation hospitals and the traditionalists have still got their slogans and the Morning Star."
Where Did All The Comrades Go? is being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 today at 11.02am. It can also be listened to on BBC iPlayer