Friday, February 23, 2018

Did Jeremy Corbyn Meet with Communist Spies? - Paul Austin Murphy

by Paul Austin Murphy

It seems that the British Labor powerhouse has a few red skeletons in his closet.

Jeremy Corbyn, the British leader of the Opposition, has been embroiled in what's been called a "spy scandal." This scandal involves Corbyn's alleged meetings with Czech "spies" in the 1980s.

In terms of today's news and in response to a tweet from Ben Bradley, a British Conservative member of Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn instructed his solicitors to tell Mr. Bradley to take down his "libelous" tweet; otherwise, he'd be the victim of legal action.

So what exactly did the tweet say? (It has since been deleted.)
"Corbyn sold British secrets to communist spies… get some perspective mate!! Your priorities are a bit awry!"
This tweet was perhaps written in haste by Bradley. It was posted in an exchange with the fantastically named group Far Right Watch. (Are Tory M.P.s also "Far Right" now? Is Far Right Watch itself Far Left?)

A spokesman for Corbyn said: "Jeremy has instructed solicitors to contact Ben Bradley to delete his libelous tweet or face legal action."

As it is, Corbyn's "office" has admitted that he met a "Czech diplomat" in the House of Commons. However, according to that source, the claim that Corbyn was "an agent, asset or informer for any intelligence agency is entirely false and a ridiculous smear."

Okay. So why was a fairly insignificant British M.P. (a known Marxist socialist) meeting a "Czech diplomat" in the 1980s? Corbyn didn't even have a position in the Labor Party's Shadow Cabinet at the time. Indeed, outside "radical socialist" groups and activities (as well as meetings with "anti-imperialist" groups such as the IRA and Sinn Féin), Corbyn had little importance in the British parliamentary system. Thus, surely this meeting was a little odd and must also have been a little...well, unofficial. Unless, of course, small-time M.P.s often met senior diplomats in the House of Commons and elsewhere.

So did Corbyn also meet diplomats from South Africa, Chile, etc. at the same time (i.e., the 1980s)? Or was he choosy about which kind of diplomats he met?

It's hard to know what's going with the Corbyn "spy scandal." There are members of the Corbyn Cult who will defend him no matter what. And there are enemies of Corbyn who will attack him "by any means necessary."

It's also hard to say whether or not all – or indeed any – of the details are true in this latest case against Corbyn.

For example, even if Corbyn did have dealings with communist spies, I doubt that he'd have "sold British secrets to 'Communist spies,'" as Ben Bradley claimed in his tweet. Any positive dealings Corbyn would have had with communists (as with Iran, Hamas, Hezb'allah, the IRA, etc.) would have been for ideological and political reasons, not for financial gain.

In any case, supporters of Corbyn have boiled most of this story down to the shady details of a single former Czech spy (or "intelligence officer"). However, British newspapers have claimed that it is documents contained in the archives of Czech intelligence that show that Corbyn met Czech spies on three occasions in the 1980s.

Now, it's possible that Corbyn didn't know they were spies. And even if he did, he might not have "fed them confidential and important information." What he might have done is simply ideologically and politically sympathized with the Czech communist state, which these spies – or diplomats – worked for.

Nonetheless, it's certainly possible that Corbyn did have dealings with communist spies.
Why? The answer is simple.

Corbyn was (or is) ideologically and politically sympathetic to communism, as well as to the Soviet Union, Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, etc. All of that would have given him good reasons to liaise with communist spies (as well as communists generally), just as it gave him a good reason to liaise with the "anti-imperialist" and largely Marxist IRA in the 1980s. And just as Corbyn didn't plant or make bombs for the IRA, so he probably didn't "sell secrets" to communist spies. Corbyn's relationships with "Britain's enemies" would have been entirely political and ideological in nature.

Let me offer more evidence for my position.

Many people say "a man is known by the company he keeps." That's not always true. However, it becomes truer when the person you're discussing appoints one of his friends the executive director of strategy and communications for the Labor Party and another friend the campaign chief for the same party, as Jeremy Corbyn did in early 2016. Both these friends are self-described "communists" and fans of the Soviet Union.

Corbyn's campaign (election) chief during the last election was Andrew Murray. Murray was a member of the Communist Party of Britain until he joined the Labor Party under Corbyn's leadership. (He's also became chair of the Stop the War Coalition after Corbyn himself stepped down.) From 1986 to 1987, Murray also worked for the Soviet Novosti news agency. He has also expressed "solidarity" with North Korea.

Murray joined the British Labor Party only at the end of 2016. Three months after leaving the Communist Party of Britain, Murray became the Labor Party's campaign chief.

What about Seumas Milne?

Mr. Milne was and is now executive director of strategy and communications for Corbyn and the Labor Party. His "communist tendencies" are well known in the United Kingdom.

In terms of politics, Milne has been a systematic fan of Stalin and the Soviet Union. Milne once claimed that "history has been unkind to" Josef Stalin. He also gave the lowest number I've ever seen for the number of people murdered by the Soviet socialist regime.

So what about Jeremy Corbyn himself?

Take Corbyn's own words, as expressed in the House of Commons in the 1980s:
I had an interesting meeting with an environmental campaigning group from the Soviet Union... those people felt that they had the power to change the policies to stop the destruction of their own environment. The policies of free-market economies... have led to the pollution of the North sea and the Irish sea[.]
So Corbyn believed that environmental activists had more political power in the Soviet Union than their equivalents did in the Western democracies. What's more, Corbyn seems to have thought this simply because of what was said to him during a single meeting.

In retrospect, it's ironic that Corbyn said the above just two years before the fall of the Soviet Union. This isn't a surprise, however. Corbyn, at that time, had a more favorable opinion of the Soviet Union than he had of the United Kingdom – at least under Margaret Thatcher.

In 1988, Corbyn also took his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. It was then that Corbyn decided to call for a "complete rehabilitation" of Leon Trotsky.

A Labor Party source, in response, said:
Jeremy Corbyn has clearly been fixated by the political ideology and tactics of Leon Trotsky for some time, but perhaps he could now focus on the rehabilitation of the Labour Party, which has been performing very poorly in the polls since he became leader. Trotsky didn't have to worry about the troublesome business of winning elections, but the Labour Party does.
So, to sum up.

If Joe Bloggs (or John Doe) had met communist spies (or "Czech diplomats") in the 1980s, then none of this would matter that much. However, it's possible that the "radical socialist" leader of the British Labor Party (i.e., Jeremy Corbyn) did so. Now, that's an entirely different story...

Paul Austin Murphy is a writer on politics and philosophy. He's had articles published in The Conservative Online, Philosophy Now, New English Review, Human Events, Intellectual Conservative, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), etc. Murphy has two blogs. One: Paul Austin Murphy on Politics. Two: Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy. His Twitter account can be found here.


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