POLITICS

Why Karl Marx, Bob Dylan And Jeremy Corbyn Are 'Red Tories' And They Didn't Even Know It

19/08/2015 18:23 BST | Updated 19/08/2015 18:59 BST
Mark and Colleen Hayward via Getty Images
UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 17: FREE TRADE HALL Photo of Bob DYLAN, backstage at his famous Free Trade Hall Concert, smoking (Photo by Mark and Colleen Hayward/Redferns)

Labour's acrimonious leadership election, bordering on civil war, is being played out in gory detail on social media. Left v right. Corbynistas v Blairites.

Many have noted how supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have been particularly aggressive: levelling "abuse" against anyone in the party backing policies at odds with the left-wing frontrunner's anti-austerity, pro-nationalisation programme. Leadership rivals Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham have to various degrees been victims.

Recurring, seemingly inter-changeable insults include "Tory", "Tory-lite" and "neo-liberal". The favoured pejorative, though, appears to be "Red Tory".

Beginning life as a phrase coined to describe left-leaning Conservatives, "Red Tory" was hurled at Labour MPs by nationalists during the Scottish independence referendum for sharing a platform with the Conservatives.

But now Twitter has moved to diffuse the situation, joking that by the high standards of the purists you're probably a Red Tory and you don't even know it.

Do I look Red Tory in this?

Karl Marx. He's a Red Tory.

Jeremy Corbyn? Red Tory?

SNP MP Angus MacNeil seems to think so.

Post-war Labour Prime Minister Clem Attlee, who oversaw the creation of the welfare state?

The HuffPost's own Owen Bennett confirms.

The year? 1966. The place? Manchester Free Trade Hall

The newspaper that is short-hand for all things right-on?

redtory

Most of the free press, in fact, is Red Tory.