Alexei Sayle

English comedian

Alexei Sayle (born 7 August 1952) is an English comedian, actor and author.

Sayle with his book Thatcher Stole My Trousers in 2016.

Quotes edit

  • To me history as taught at school was like all those memories of galleries, castles and historic monuments that I didn't have. There was the same sense that if there was only some matrix, some philosophical framework to which I could attach all these facts then they would all make sense and they would all stay with me. And then halfway through Marx's Wages, Prices and Profits I suddenly thought to myself, 'Fuck me! This shit is actually true.' ... Once you understood Marx all the apparent chaos of human existence resolved itself into a coherent and comprehensive pattern. People fought not because they differed about how to wear a shirt but because they represented economic classes whose interests conflicted. The Cavaliers were landed aristocrats and their allies who wanted to hang on to a way of life being superseded by Cromwell's merchant class. Slavery was abolished not out of some idea 'niceness' in the Northern states but because the industrial factory owners of Chicago and Detroit wanted the blacks to work in their factories, to be 'wage slaves' rather than actual slaves, though often the improvement in their physical conditions was marginal. The British Empire wasn't some project designed to bring enlightenment to ignorant savages, but rather a brutal and rapacious exploitation of peoples who were often more humane than us.
    You can imagine, armed with this philosophy, how full of myself I now became. Even when I hadn't had the secret of human history in my grasp I had been a mouthy little bastard in class. Now I was unstoppable.
  • [On Jeremy Corbyn] It is extraordinary. It is an amazing thing to have someone leading a major party who is personally a decent person. I know him a bit as we are both patrons of Palestinian solidarity campaigns. I have known him over the years and the forces that have coalesced around Jeremy are forces of good.
  • [On his early "comic persona of an angry man in a too tight suit"] I do feel very proud of that, as we did banish racism and sexism from light entertainment.

About Sayle edit

  • The comedian Alexei Sayle's 24 July 2014 interview on BBC Radio Two [with Jeremy Vine] was a strong example of the demonisation of those expressing concern at antisemitism: in this case, directed against Emma Barnett of The Daily Telegraph who had written a heartfelt article expressing her sincere fears. Sayle and Barnett [also interviewed by Vine] are both Jewish.
    Sayle called Barnett a "pro-Israel propagandist" who was using antisemitism "to discredit the entire Palestinian cause." After interventions he did acknowledge "there are idiots out there who will be antisemitic," before then saying "I hate Jihadists ... Muslim fundamentalism ... Israeli fundamentalism. And that's what Emma Barnett is supporting ... the murder of children. The murder of women. That's what she’s supporting. From a fascist, Zionist ideology. And that’s what this article is. It's just propaganda."
    Barnett ended by telling Sayle to get a lawyer and thanked him "for proving my exact point."

External links edit

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