"I loathe labels but used to be described – indeed described myself – as a socialist. Perhaps as a result of having been conceived at a conference of sex-pest Gerry Healy’s Socialist Labour League (SLL) in Morecambe, then christened (or rather, named – my family are atheist) Mark after Marx, I never had much doubt about which side I hung.
"My father’s family were working class, Methodist, union-organising, tenant association-running, pro-Suffragette, anti-bomb. Many of my happiest childhood memories were being taken on marches against nukes, apartheid and vivisection. Even now my father struggles with the concept that not all Conservatives are fundamentally evil. My mother’s family were more extreme: my nan was an Irish Republican, and even now my mum’s father remains a Stalinist..."