Spin Control: Beware that Trotskyist!

Tom Watson Campaigns for Deputy Labour Leader in 2015
Tom Watson Campaigns for Deputy Labour Leader in 2015

Quick straw poll. I’m working on a dissertation about political Spin. No, despite the current blather about fragmented media, Spin is definitely not dead.1 It is changing to fit its environment. Now, I have a quick question about the use of a word by Tom Watson MP among others.

The word is: Trotskyite. Or maybe “Trotskyist”. The question relates to why you, me and probably everybody else are nodding or shaking our heads at the use of the term.

But let’s start with Labour Deputy Leadership candidate (and Gordon Brown’s “Enforcer” according to Andrew Rawnsley2) using the term and simultaneously calling people who use the term morons.

The reason for this is that I’ve been referred to this article by other like-minded wet-lefty-leaning Guardianistas. That’s all.

“Liz Kendall is not a Tory and Jeremy Corbyn is not a Trotskyist. This language of morons and viruses is totally unhelpful. What they have in common is that they want a more socially just country and they don’t want enshrined privilege. They all four of them don’t want a Tory government.”3

But my question to you is not about having a pop at Tom Watson specifically. How about this from the Daily Mail?

“Neil Kinnock yesterday warned that ‘malign’ Trotskyites are helping Jeremy Corbyn to victory in the Labour leadership contest.”4

Or this what about this from Leo McKinstry over at The Telegraph?

“A former Labour activist who worked with him for ten years explains why this unreconstructed Trotskyite should not be on the leadership ballot”5

The Questions

(No Googling now)

  1. What is a Trotskyist?
  2. What is a Trotskyite?
  3. Are they the same thing?

You can answer in the comments if you like. But mostly, let’s just all question these sort of Spun terms just because they appear to have the backing of history.

You’re a Trotskyist! No, he is! No, you are!!


1My research to this point actually shows that it’s not actually alive or dead because nobody can actually pin it down, that’s how oily it is.
2Andrew Rawnsley,The End of the Party, Penguin, 2010, p392
3The Guardian“Jeremy Corbyn is no Trotskyist, Tom Watson insists”
4Daily Mail“Jeremy Corbyn is backed by ‘malign Trots’ warns ex-Labour leader Neil Kinnock as he urges members to back Andy Burnham”
5The Telegraph“Jeremy Corbyn is not a serious politician. I should know”

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