George Orwell has been long a controversial figure for the left. In a series of ground-breaking books in the 1930s, he charted the vast pools of poverty and inequality in Britain, along with the daily experience of resistance and sometimes despair of working people, and warned of the growing dangers of fascism. Down and Out in Paris and London, The Road to Wigan Pier, and Homage to Catalonia, which recounts his experience of fighting fascism in Spain, along with his novels and journalism, established Orwell's reputation as an energetic chronicler and polemicist on the left. But his last two, and best-known, novels 1984 and Animal Farm, drew widespread criticism that Orwell was handing ammunition to the enemies of socialism. In this talk from the Socialist Workers Party rally at Skegness in April 1984, Paul Foot mounts a passionate defence of Orwell, making a case for seeing Orwell's writing in its political context and the thrust of 1984 and Animal Farm deriving from his frustration that 'the things he really believed in, which were the movements from below, the activity of rank and file working-class people, were being suppressed.'