Q1: I had thought Communism was totally unacceptable for Westerners including Brits. But I wonder why this columnist used Karl Marx to illustrate his argument?
Communism as a political and economic model is rejected by Westerners - and if you look at the conditions in and under which the Germans in East Germany were living (prior to the Berlin Wall coming down), compared to the Germans in West Germany, you will have some idea why.
Marx and communism is studied in Universities in the West, along with all other important political and economic theories. Because we reject Communism as a model, it does not mean that everything that Marx said is therefore 'wrong', 'unacceptable', 'blacklisted'. In fact, he made an astute and succinct observation, relevant to what is occurring in our political situation here in the UK at the moment, and the reporter uses it to make a point. I remember when The Thoughts of Chairman Mao was published. Lots of people in the West bought it, and would quote from it if a suitable situation arose!