Tuesday May 09, 2023

Tom Driberg

Today’s figure is the sort of character who has been extinguished from British public life today, and maybe that’s for the best. He’s a mass of contradictions, the sort of mass that confuses the idea of an easy history of “lessons we can learn”. How did this man manage to be both an avant-garde poet and a gossip columnist, a communist revolutionary and a High Anglican devotee, a labour organiser and a lord? Or perhaps more accurately, how did he manage to inhabit all these roles with a level of seeming sincerity and honest commitment? Was he an honest man, or a devious one? A man driven by fidelity, or by treachery? Perhaps we’ll get to the bottom of it when we discuss the life of Tom Driberg, the Lord Bradwell, journalist, socialist, MP, Chairman of the Labour Party, and cocksucker.

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Tom Driberg, Ruling Passions (London: Quartet Books, 1980).

Francis Wheen, The Soul of Indiscretion: Tom Driberg ; Poet, Philanderer, Legislator and Outlaw (London: Fourth Estate, 2001).

Our intro music is Arpeggia Colorix by Yann Terrien, downloaded from WFMU's Free Music Archive and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Our outro music is by DJ Michaeloswell Graphicsdesigner. Image via.


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