Can't wait to hear Badiou's take on this...
The 73-year-old man arrested on suspicion of holding three women captive in a south London flat for 30 years is a one-time Maoist activist who was well known within far-left circles in London during the mid- and late 1970s as the leader of a separatist party-cum-commune.
Aravindan Balakrishnan, known as Comrade Bala, had been a senior member of the Communist party of England (Marxist-Leninist) and a member of the party's central committee‚ but according to a history of the movement he split from the Maoist party in 1974.
[...]I'm sure this'll be used to smear everyone to the left of Enoch Powell. And there'll probably be some on the far, far 'left' calling it a stitch up and blaming it on MI5. But these people weren't on the 'left wing' of anything, they were orbiting another planet entirely
Prof Steve Rayner, now head of Oxford University's institute for science, innovation and society, studied Balakrishnan's group in the late 1970s, and noted the leader's "superior ability to manipulate" other members, despite the supposed non-hierarchical structure. Rayner's report made it clear the group had elements of a cult, calling it the "clearest case of far-left millenarianism which I have encountered".
The group had about 25 members, who in 1977 "confidently predicted" they would be liberated by the Red army by the end of the year, the report said. [...]