Well. I've been an SWP Branch Secretary and a Labour Constituency Membership Secretary in my time, but those times were very different. The IS/SWP position was never to set up front organisations within other parties - what on earth would be the point? All this 'front organisation' stuff is mostly imaginary anyway. I remember our University Socialist Club desperately trying to get the CP to take over when we had no money: they had far more sense.
The Chinese students I was with used to cook bloody awful smelling stuff with dried prawns, which tastes fantastic.
They always used to leave their seasoned woks after doing their masters degrees in management which were miles better than the ones you get here - though you can get decent ones in the Chinese supermarkets now There were some interesting post grads on my corridor. An Iranian student - a secularist who faced instant death if he ever went back to Iran and couldn't access his money. Was trying to get refugee status. And a Syrian Christian who lived on nithing but frozen beefburgers as it was the only thing he knew how to cook.
Good times. A friend of mine was a postgrad from Guyana who had fled the country rather rapidly when warned he was on a hit list (this was the 70s). He had completed one PhD in some mind blowing area of nuclear binding in atoms. He then decided to do a second PhD (!) at the Peace & Conflict Dept at Lancaster into the application of catastrophe theory to conflict analysis (I attended one seminar and got lost after 5 minutes). Obviously he had no funding for the second PhD, so what do you do? He used to disappear to London every other weekend and play semi-pro poker plus a bit of blackjack (he could card count) to fund his degree. Unfortunately he died in the late 80s.