21 August 2015

A semantic ice-pick

Are you reassured?  The Guardian reports:
Tom Watson, the frontrunner to be the next Labour deputy leader, says he is “very relaxed” about the idea of serving under Jeremy Corbyn, who is “not a Trotskyist”.
In an interview with the Guardian, the West Bromwich MP argued the contest had been overdramatised, and said all four leadership candidates had more in common than their portrayal in the heat of debate.
“Liz Kendall is not a Tory and Jeremy Corbyn is not a Trotskyist,” he said. “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.”
Ah yes, "Trotskyist"; or does he mean "Trotskyite"?  I had rather assumed that the somewhat arcane distinctions between Trotskyism, Leninism and other left-wing isms had long been abandoned.  To be described as a Trot was simply an all-purpose insult to the effect that the subject of the insult was more left wing than the speaker.  Thus, the Daily Mail would probably describe all of the contenders for the Labour leadership (and probably some parts of the Conservative Party) as a bunch of Trots.


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