I debated the political legacy of Che Guevara again today, this time with Eamonn McCann. It was for a weekly politics programme for BBC Northern Ireland called Hearts and Minds; so if you're in the province you can watch at some deathly hour this evening on BBC1 (and then it will be on the programme's website, I think). McCann is often termed a veteran socialist, and was so described in the introduction to our discussion. I regret not having audibly gagged. "Veteran socialist" is what you would say about Michael Foot, or would have said about the late Gerry Fitt. McCann is an affable soul, but his politics are those of the Socialist Workers' Party, which - I understate and euphemise - holds to a different view of constitutionalism from that of the politicians I've mentioned.
In any event, he and I are on later. McCann had the bright idea to claim simultaneously that Guevara's taste for revolutionary violence was (a) taken out of context, and (b) comparable anyway to the activities of the ANC under apartheid. In case you want to check the second assertion, you should note that Nelson Mandela has never shot without trial teenage members of his own organisation for petty pilfering, or authorised the execution of his party comrades on grounds of their ideological deviation.