Now that Jeremy Corbyn is head of the Labour party, his army of Corbynistas are waiting in the wings, ready to brand anyone who shows the slightest sign of disloyalty a ‘red Tory’. Some of the ‘Tories’ so far outed by the hard left include Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper, John McTernan, Stella Creasy, Harriet Harman, Tony Blair and Lord Adonis.
However, even Mr S was surprised to learn of the latest non-believer to be added to the list. Despite being mocked recently for being a ‘revolutionary Marxist’ by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Paul Mason has now been accused of being a secret Tory. Yes, the former Channel 4 economics editor — who was a member of the Trotskyist Workers’ Power group in his youth — has had members of the far left turn on him, branding him a ‘B52 liberal’ at best.
Writing for the New Statesman, Mason reveals that he has faced a revolt online after he spoke up on the Trident debate currently facing Corbyn’s Labour. Mason suggested Corbyn adopt a more pragmatic approach than straight-up nuclear disarmament:
‘With Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour looking increasingly confident, Trident remains the one issue where the stay-behind Cold Warriors of the Labour right have the power to disrupt him. My proposal would allow unilateral de-escalation of the deterrent while keeping the jobs in Barrow.’
Alas his comments were seen as a betrayal by many. A member of the CND has now branded him a Tory, while the head of Stop the War — which Mason had backed since it began — says he is merely a ‘B52 liberal’. For those not yet versed in Stop the War lingo, a B52 liberal is someone who ‘only opposes wars when their own rulers do so’:
‘By now Twitter has become a hostile situation. There’s anger over my Trident stance. Someone from CND says I am “a Tory”. The head of Stop the War, which I’ve supported since it was founded, says I’m a “B52 liberal”. I respect pacifists and lifelong unilateralists. There’s a segment of the left who just don’t realise how close we are to a 1930s-style meltdown, in which it’s not a question of slogans but of wielding political power.’
Perhaps it’s time for Labour to cancel Mason’s scheduled appearance at their New Economics series this month.