Biography

Paul Mason © Paul Mason

Paul Mason is a journalist, writer and film-maker. His latest book How To Stop Fascism: History, Ideology, Resistance describes the rise of the modern far-right, its colonisation of  conservatism and right-wing populism, and the danger it poses amid the wider process of democratic decay. It argues that, faced with the danger of a second fascist era, the centre and left should unite around the defence of democracy and the rule of law, and for tough legislation to limit the activities and funding of fascist groups, and for the creation of a grass-roots anti-fascist ethos in society.

Paul is the author of seven books, including Postcapitalism (2015), Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere (2012), Clear Bright Future (2019) and Rare Earth: A Novel (2011). As economics editor at both BBC Newsnight (2001-13) and Channel 4 News (2013-16) he won numerous awards, including RTS Specialist Reporter of the Year and the Wincott Award. He has been on the front line of covering the global financial crisis from 2007 onwards – but his work as a reporter ranged beyond economics: he reported from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, the Taksim Square uprising in Turkey, the Gaza War of 2014 and from the floor of the Congress of the Communist Party of China when Xi Jin Ping was inaugurated.

His four-part documentary series #ThisIsACoup covered the Greek crisis of 2015 from inside and outside the corridors of power. His documentary series K is for Karl commemorated the ideas of Karl Marx on the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth. His most recent series, R is for Rosa, was commissioned by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation to mark the centenary of the great Polish-German revolutionary.

In 2016 Paul quit public service TV journalism in order to free himself from its impartiality constraints, throwing himself into the Brexit crisis and the emergence of a radical left within the Labour Party.

He writes a weekly column for the New Statesman, and contributes to the Guardian, Freitag and Le Monde Diplomatique. He is a frequent guest on opinion-forming TV and radio shows, including BBC Newsnight, DemocracyNow! BBC Politics Live, Any Questions and BBC Question Time.

Three of Paul’s plays have been performed: Party Animals (JB Shorts 2016, co-written with James Quinn), Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere (Young Vic 2017) and The Divine Chaos of Starry Things (White Bear 2017). He wrote and directed the short film Astoria (2016) commissioned by Young Vic films. He worked as a consultant on Paul Greengrass’ 2017 movie Jason Bourne. In 2018 Paul received the Ellen Meiksens Wood Prize for his work on Postcapitalism; in 202o he was awarded the Erich Fromm Prize, in recognition of his work on the revival of humanist Marxism. 

Current work in development includes a keynote lecture on the ideas of Friedrich Engels, for the Engels bicentenary celebration in Wuppertal, Germany. 

Paul writes:

“I’m an anti-capitalist, an antifascist, a humanist and a radical social democrat. I quit TV news so that I could spend time writing and reporting in pursuit of these ideals. We should be living through an age of optimism – because humanity’s technological power over the natural world is accelerating fast. Instead we’re living through an age of justified gloom, faced with climate chaos, mass irrationalism and the potential return of fascism. The only way to overcome these challenges is to look the facts squarely and unflinchingly in the face. Everything I do, from stage plays to news reports, is done in pursuit of that goal.”