Former left writer claims Corbyn refused to ‘apportion blame’ to Russia for Salisbury attack – but Corbyn has done precisely that and Mason backed Corbyn’s insistence on evidence in 2018
Paul Mason’s recent devotion to NATO and Ukraine has seen the formerly left-wing writer launch attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the Stop the War (StW) movement of which Corbyn remains a deputy president – claiming, for example, that a recent Corbyn article on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was ‘a catalogue of platitudes designed to mislead people about StW’ and accusing Corbyn of ‘disingenuously defending’ Russia. Mason claimed that the start of this ‘going to shit’ was Corbyn’s team encouraging Corbyn’s supposed reticence to condemn Russia over the Salisbury poisonings.
But Mason was pulled up on his comments when Evolve Politics pointed out that at the time, Mason had ‘fully support[ed] Corbyn’s demand for an evidence-based approach to the Salisbury attack – even going so far as to say that if previous leaders had mirrored Corbyn’s approach, it would have discouraged Russia from such attacks:
The reminder led to Mason being attacked as a ‘grifter’ in whose head Corbyn ‘lives rent free’, as the saying goes:
And in fact, Corbyn has not only since said that the evidence pointed to Russia for the Salisbury poisonings but – while the Tories took millions in donations from Russians and the current Labour leader accepted donations from people who made fortunes in Russia and Keir Starmer also continues to surround himself with close advisers mired in Russian links and himself texted congratulations to an oligarch on becoming a peer – Corbyn has stood out as one of the few parliamentarians to point out Vladimir Putin’s many wrongs, as Twitter user @COYSPeter pointed out last week:
The tweets that led to the revelation of Mason’s original support were in response to journalist Owen Jones, with Jones – not exactly known for staunchly defending Corbyn – eventually becoming so exasperated that he asked Mason ‘what have you become?’
Skwawkbox contacted Paul Mason to invite him to comment on the ‘grifter’ accusation and his 2018 support for Corbyn’s position. Mason responded that:
I tried to back him up on the line of questioning but Seumas [Milne’s] briefings were out of order and in the end it was impossible to defend his refusal to apportion blame – I also went on TV and said “he’s asking the right questions” – when May confirmed it was RU we should have accepted that – Murray and Milne are self critical about their refusal to believe it could be RussiaEmphasis added
However, when asked what ‘refusal to apportion blame’ he meant, in view of Corbyn’s status as one of the few UK politicians to call out Putin rather than ‘get into bed’ with him and his allies, Mr Mason did not respond.
SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.
If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.