Andy Abel

Tribal loyalty

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Chris Harman's decision to watch BBC's Tribe may have been prompted purely by the dismal alternatives on offer at the time, but his column about it (In Perspective, Socialist Review, October 2007) showed how key political theories can be highlighted by reference to mainstream cultural forms.

It's a pity, though, that he came across as a crotchety old curmudgeon by insisting that Bruce Parry adopts a "silly man" pose in his presentation of the peoples he visits. If anything, the opposite is invariably true, as the respectful treatment of the Indonesians whose territories were being lost to corporate logging interests recently showed.

Those who watch, and discuss these programmes at work, can be slightly patronised by this unnecessary tone in Socialist Review.

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