Regarding the Real George Orwell (Radio 4), having heard Homage to Catalonia I'd forgotten what a pompous, middle-class prig he was. He was particularly patronising towards working-class culture with his view from Wigan Pier.
Hence the refusal by the Communist Party's Harry Pollitt to arrange a visit for the writer to Spain. Pollitt was rightly suspicious of Orwell's refusal to join the International Brigade.
Fenner Brockway of the Independent Labour Party had no such reservations, even later organising for his wife Eileen to visit Orwell with English tea, chocolate and cigars.
Arriving in Barcelona, by way of Paris to name-drop with Henry Miller, Orwell joined the Poum, only to discover that it had no training, no arms and no discipline - a situation that bordered on farce.
Franco's priority was taking the capital Madrid, where the majority of the International Brigade were fighting and dying alongside Spanish comrades in a united anti-fascist front.
The idea of a "socialist revolution" was not only a distraction. It played into Franco's hands, since valuable troops were deployed to combat those they now considered traitors.
As for Animal Farm, the story was inspired by Gertrude Elias's anti-fascist drawings in 1942 while Orwell worked at the BBC that pictured the nazis as pigs overlording the other animals.
A Jewish emigre and communist, she wasn't too pleased by his plagiarism.
More pernicious was 1984. It states that, faced with your ultimate fear, everybody sells out - somewhat damning of those who have died for their beliefs.
Then again, what would you expect from a former copper in Burma who never lived down and out anywhere, not as long as he could call on his rich Auntie Nellie?