Paul Mason

This is what a ‘multipolar’ world looks like. It’s chaos

The Hamas terror attack has triggered war in Gaza, a geopolitical crisis and now – from Sydney to New York City – outbursts of street-level anti-Semitism in the West. Unless it de-escalates quickly, it looks like a strategic turning point both for Palestinian nationalism and Israel. I covered the 2014 war both from inside Gaza and on

Bankrolled: Labour’s new paymasters

36 min listen

In this week’s cover story, The Spectator’s political editor Katy Balls writes about Labour’s new paymasters – Keir Starmer’s party now receives more money from private donors than it does from trade unions. What do the new donors want, and what does Starmer want from them? Katy joins Will and Lara alongside the writer and Labour

Who’s afraid of Keir Starmer?

41 min listen

This week: Who’s afraid of Keir Starmer? In his cover piece for the magazine, The Spectator’s Editor Fraser Nelson says that without a Labour demon to point at the Tories stand little chance in the next election. He joins the podcast alongside journalist Paul Mason, to discuss why Keir Starmer is so hard to vilify (01:10).  Also

Can Keir escape?

43 min listen

This week Lara Prendergast and William Moore talk to Katy Balls and the journalist Paul Mason about the future of Labour (00:40). Followed by historian David Abulafia and the Sunday Times education editor Sian Griffiths on the announcement of Cambridge University’s plans to limit the number of their private school students (15:20). Finally, a debate

What does victory for Ukraine look like?

24 min listen

This week it looks like the war in Ukraine is turning. The Ukrainian resistance has moved from the defensive to the offensive against their invaders and American intelligence has reported that the Russian forces are struggling by almost every metric. Though for the Western world this is a very encouraging sign what does a true

Can Labour win the Blue Fen?

The Labour Together election review makes grim reading. Unless Labour can take back a large part of Scotland, it needs a swing in England so large that it takes Jacob Rees-Mogg’s seat in Somerset. We’ll have to take back not only the Red Wall but the Blue Fen.  Realistically, the report says, there are three

Why Rebecca Long-Bailey had to go

Do you remember where you were when the BBC showed a rerun of Bowie’s Glastonbury set? When we ask each other that in future, the answer is always going to be: ‘At home, recovering from a day of Zoom calls.’ It’s 100 days since lockdown and as we slowly emerge it’s hard to keep a

Diary – 9 May 2019

Multiple copies of a Labour leaflet for the European elections are being shared on messaging apps by horrified activists. Not only does the draft leaflet omit mention of a second referendum, it seems to suggest Labour’s MEP candidates will ‘do a Brexit deal with Europe’ while actually being members of the European Parliament. The leaflet

Diary – 17 January 2019

A few of us on the Labour left decide to see if it is possible to conjure, from nowhere, a #FinalSay campaign for a second referendum. The Labour front bench does not sound ecstatic about a second referendum, and Chuka Umunna’s lot are bound to screw it up if they’re in charge. So we schedule

Why won’t Remainers get behind Corbyn’s Brexit plan?

At the BBC early doors for the Today programme, to preview Corbyn’s speech advocating membership of a customs union. I suggest that ‘this is something Remainers can get behind’, but come off air to a torrent of denialism and abuse on Twitter. In a parallel universe, the people who feel existentially destroyed by being halfway out of

Diary – 8 March 2018

At the BBC early doors for the Today programme, to preview Corbyn’s speech advocating membership of a customs union. I suggest that ‘this is something Remainers can get behind’, but come off air to a torrent of denialism and abuse on Twitter. In a parallel universe, the people who feel existentially destroyed by being halfway

Paul Mason’s diary: My Greek TV drama

It’ll be a Skype interview, says the producer from Greek television, and not live. In TV-speak that usually means not urgent and not important, but I’ve become vaguely interesting to Greeks because of the ‘Moscovici draft’ — a doomed attempt to resolve the crisis, leaked to me amid denials of its existence. The interview goes

Where it’s all kicking off in Athens nightlife

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Paul Mason on why Athens is the place to go” startat=1192] Listen [/audioplayer]Where in the developed world can you ride a moped, minus helmet, at 2 a.m. under the noses of weary riot cops, when your night out has only just begun? Athens of course. Greece is in its sixth year of recession

What’s kicking off in Cyprus

Downtown Nicosia has been closed, on and off, for more than a week. On the terraces of the upmarket coffee shops, the torches flicker and the disco music babbles. When the Cypriot government shut the banks, many retailers decided to close as well, so the mannequins stare each other out across semi-deserted streets. As the

From bailout to bailout

After covering the Spanish bailout, I fly from Madrid to Athens. In the taxi rank at Athens airport, iPhone wedged between ear and shoulder, I realise I have crossed both borders without showing my passport. Welcome to Schengenland — how long will it last? Reuters has just published a leak of EU contingency plans for

Greek Notebook

At Athens airport, the digital noticeboard reads like the script of an agitprop play. ‘Strike, strike, strike, strike, strike,’ it announces, next to the destinations. ‘Due to the turmoil,’ says the PR person we’re talking to, ‘all the politicians you’ve flown in to interview have pulled out.’ My cameraman, driving the Audi, seems determined to