Tag Archives: assassination

Attack on Corbyn over Bin Laden assassination is hysterical

bin laden ap

For clarity, this is Osama Bin Laden, not Jeremy Corbyn. Some right-wing commentators may not be able to tell the difference.

… In both senses of the word.

It seems that people who should know better have dredged up a comment made by Jeremy Corbyn in 2011 about the death of Osama Bin Laden – that it would have been better if the Al-Qaeda leader had been arrested and put on trial, rather than killed.

Tory Nadhim Zahawi told the BBC: “Osama bin Laden was a terrorist who any sensible human being in the world would want either killed or arrested.” So he agrees with Mr Corbyn that arrest should have been an option.

And Labour’s – Labour’s! – defence spokesman, Kevan Jones, said: “This just shows you how out of touch he is with what most people’s views are.”

Oh, really?

This Writer would have preferred to see Osama Bin Laden arrested and put on trial, and so would Mrs Mike. We may not be representative of the whole of the UK but that’s two-thirds of this household agreeing with Mr Corbyn (the other third is not available for comment) – enough for one to question whether Mr Jones is more out of touch than Mr Corbyn.

Why wasn’t Bin Laden arrested? The US troops who took part in the operation neutralised everybody in the compound, didn’t they? So there was no reason not to take Bin Laden into custody. The fact that he was shot raises questions about whether he might have revealed information that compromised the USA’s – and possibly even the UK’s – standing in the international community. Those questions must go unanswered, leaving suspicion behind.

And isn’t it interesting that Mr Corbyn’s opponents are reduced to digging around for long-buried comments he made, in order to besmirch his reputation.

Would these people like it if we all did that?

Here’s George Osborne, writing in Tory propaganda sheet The Sun: “The new unilateralists of British politics [meaning Corbyn and his supporters] are a threat to our future national security and to our economic security.”

Those are bold words, coming from a man whose policies before the economic crisis threatened our economic security to a much greater extent, by supporting calls for banking to be deregulated further than they already had. The banks later became part of – and fuelled – a massive debt crisis that threatened the global economy. If Osborne had had his way, it would have been much worse.

Perhaps this is why he has persistently claimed – falsely – that the UK’s debt problems were due to overspending by the previous Labour government.

And perhaps that is why he has been a strong supporter of austerity policies that take money from the poor and hand it to the rich – despite the discrediting of the academic studies on which these policies are based, early in the Coalition Parliament.

With that kind of record, why should anyone listen to George Osborne?

Still, this episode offers an opportunity for the rest of us. If Corbyn’s opponents are willing to dig up anything he once said, just to keep a good man from an opportunity to change matters for the better, they won’t mind if the rest of us do the same.

Pick your targets, folks, and start digging up the dirt.

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Tories are in terror over Labour’s left-wing leader candidate

Looking askance: A former colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, who split from Labour when the Blairists took over, has written a smear piece for the Torygraph that does Corbyn far more benefit than harm.

Looking askance: A former colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, who split from Labour when the Blairists took over, has written a smear piece for the Torygraph that does Corbyn far more benefit than harm.

You can always tell when Tories are afraid of someone – they produce newspaper articles saying that he’s rubbish.

Today (Tuesday, June 16), the Torygraph has published a character assassination of Jeremy Corbyn by former Labour supporter Leo McKinstry, who now writes for the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, alongside the paper in which this piece appears. It seems clear from his CV that he turned Right after leaving Labour.

Mr McKinstry would have us believe that Corbyn is “not a serious politician” but a “permanent rebellious adolescent”. Can he substantiate this abuse?

No. In fact, if the piece is intended to put people off Corbyn, then it backfires badly.

McKinstry writes: “He was certainly a hard-working, energetic MP, as well as a powerful, if sometimes histrionic, speaker – like his hero Tony Benn.”

Corbyn’s hero is Tony Benn? Terrific! Tony Benn was one of the greatest Labour politicians of the modern age and anyone following in his footsteps is to be applauded and supported.

“A Blairite member of the last Labour Government once told me that she trusted Corbyn more than the moderate Chris Smith, Islington South’s long serving MP, because the former was less slippery and opportunistic.” Again – terrific! McKinstry is saying that Blairites like Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper and even Andy Burnham are “slippery and opportunistic”, making Corbyn clearly a much better choice.

“Yet in part, Corbyn’s supposed decency comprised unthinking subservience to a bewildering array of causes, such as the internal Labour factions like Socialist Organiser or foreign movements like Palestine Solidarity.” Socialist Organiser was a Leftie newspaper that closed down in 1995 – 20 years ago. McKinstry split from Labour in the same year. McKinstry changed his mind. Whatever he thought of Socialist Organiser, who is he to say Corbyn can’t have also modified his views in the two decades since that paper folded? From his point of view, he might as well criticise Twenty-something journalists (who enjoyed such reading matter) for the comics they read in the 1990s.

It is interesting that he marks Palestine Solidarity as a socialist organisation, and we can read between the lines to work out what he thinks the right-wing view must be. Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s website clarifies that it is “an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation” that “campaigns for peace & justice for Palestinians, in support of international law and human rights & against all racism”. That seems a worthy cause to support – especially when one considers the brutal attack on Palestinians by Israel around one year ago.

“Nor was he always the epitome of chivalric tolerance that his supporters now proclaim. In 1981, for instance, he demanded a purge of soft-left MPs – such as Neil Kinnock – who had failed to back Tony Benn for the Deputy Leadership.” Soft-left? Some would call them right-wingers who paved the way for Tony Blair and the neoliberalism that is causing Labour such pain today. Some would say Corbyn was right to call for such a purge. Some of us would like to see such a purge today.

McKinstry’s claim that Corbyn supported the IRA is another matter: “This is the man who sympathised with violent Irish Republicanism in the 1980s, invited IRA representatives to the Commons a fortnight after the Brighton bombing in 1984 and, at a Troops Out meeting in 1987, stood for a minute’s silence to “honour” eight IRA terrorists killed in an SAS ambush.”

“Sympathised with violent Irish Republicanism in the 1980s”? How do we reconcile that with the fact that Jeremy Corbyn won the Gandhi International Peace Award in 2013 for his “consistent efforts over a 30 year Parliamentary career to uphold the Gandhian values of social justice and non‐violence”? We can’t.

This Writer tends to believe the Gandhi Foundation’s point of view. After all, peace in Northern Ireland was won by talking out the problems between all parties – not by meeting violence with violence. And it is a fragile peace. Why risk stirring up ill-feeling by raking over coals that have long since become cold?

In the end, all this article can bring is personal insult. McKinstry says Corbyn’s stand against a Grammar School education for his children led to the end of his marriage. As a Grammar School boy himself, perhaps he was well-positioned to understand their drawbacks, and in any case his domestic arrangements are not a subject to be discussed in his leadership campaign and it is low of McKinstry to mention them.

“From his black Leninist cap to his ever-present beard, there is something of the stage proletarian about him. His keen lack of vanity is its own kind of pretension” … in McKinstry’s opinion, which is intentionally insulting.

“The greatest irony of all is that this self-serving iconoclast…” Self-serving? Tell that to the Palestine campaigners or the Gandhi Foundation. “Who has spent his Parliament career defying authority and sneering at careerists…” Justifiably. “Is now seeking the leadership himself.” Because he believes Labour deserves better than the pale Blue “careerists” it has at the moment.

“Labour will truly be doomed if he comes close to winning.” What a load of right-wing politically-motivated tosh.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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