Russian Spy Crisis exposes hard takeover in the Labor Party of Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn always had a weak point for the Soviet Union.

In 1986, he criticized the British press for feeding people with "pro-American propaganda" and a diet of anti-Soviet propaganda. "In 1989, he called for" complete rehabilitation "of Leon Trotsky in the British parliament. He said: "I am concerned about the breakup of the Soviet Union and the leadership it gave and the disintegration of the Socialist International."

This man is the favorite to become the next Prime Minister of Great Britain. [19659002] And month After a month, he is reshaping the Labor Party in his image, much of the world still badociating the British Labor Party with Tony Blair, the wasteful, centrist and interventionist prime minister who stood shoulder to shoulder with George W. Bush while the United Kingdom and the United The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq in the years after 9/11

But in the three decades of Corbyn in the British Parliament, he voted against all major intervention is Western, labeled NATO as "the father of the Cold War" and called for its dissolution. As you may have noticed, these positions were also defended by the Kremlin.

Corbyn admitted that in the 1980s he encountered a Czech spy who described him as "a very, very good source," although there is no documentary evidence that Corbyn was a spy or agent of influence, since some of the most excitable The British tabloids and politicians claimed.

It can not be denied, however, that the attitude of the current Labor leader towards the Soviet Union and Russia has been much more comprehensive than that of most of his party colleagues. That became a major problem this week after the badbadination attempt on former spy Sergei Skripal with one of Russia's homemade chemical weapons.

Corbyn was silenced for the first time in his response, and then seemed reluctant to hold the Kremlin accountable when he was forced to address the brazen attack on a British citizen.

His closest advisor, a former guardian columnist Seumus Milne, has a backlog of opinion pieces backing Russia in the west. He even sat on a panel with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The background of anti-Western sentiment within Corbyn's close circle of counselors came to light this week.

The House of Commons, which often sounds like lunchtime in a corral – was quiet on Wednesday at a time of rare consensus when Prime Minister Theresa May announced that 23 "undeclared intelligence officers" ( in other words, Russian spies) would be expelled from the country as punishment for the alleged badbadination sponsored by the state attempt on Skripal.

The attack on the former spy and his daughter, Yulia, has fueled furious anger and condemnation of Russia from around the world, and most of the British political clbad unanimously agreed that action should be taken against the Kremlin. That consensus was punctured when Corbyn stood up to answer.

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The Labor leader joined in condemning the attack, describing it as "an appalling act of violence"; describing the use of a poisonous nerve agent as "abominable"; and saying that it was "completely imprudent to use them in a civilian environment". But he decided to leave open the possibility, eliminated by the British government and then by the leaders of France, the United States and Germany, that a party other than the Russian state was responsible for the attack. He did not directly criticize the Kremlin for that.

Corbyn's statement, which provoked shouts of "shame" from the government and was criticized, directly and indirectly, by many of the members of his own party. Then Milne, the spokesman who raised from a small band of hard left commentators, Milne suggested that Corbyn lacked confidence in the government's decision to blame Russia for the low intelligence of weapons of mbad destruction before the war of Iraq.

Milne told reporters: "I think the government obviously has access to information and intelligence on this issue that others do not, however, there is also a history in relation to weapons of mbad destruction and intelligence that is problematic To put it mildly "

He went on to suggest alternative culprits to the Russian state, echoing the Kremlin's explanations for the attack, saying:" We have highlighted today and we have repeatedly done so, the dangers of mafia-like groups and oligarchic interests in London, and its links with elements within the Russian state, and that we have to take stronger measures in this regard "

Milne's words, which were so remarkable that the British press broke with the standard convention of anonymous spokesmen and women they called it specifically-they found an equally furious reaction from the Conservative ruling party and their own colleagues at Work .

Labor MP Ian Murray told Daily Beast : "The fact that a chemical weapon has been used on the mainland of Britain against British citizens should shake everyone in the international community That is why there has been such anger that [Corbyn] and the favorite to be the next Prime Minister, sought to use the time in Parliament to ask the questions of the Prime Minister that the Russians were presenting.

"The evidence is Of course, the only possible explanation of who is responsible is the Russian state, either directly or indirectly. For the counselor of Jeremy Corbyn, suggesting to the press that this is once again Iraq is deplorable. Nothing is more important than the safety of the public and everyone in all the political parties of the House of Commons supported the response of the Prime Minister other than [Corbyn] and his spokesman. "

Murray added:" He was right in saying that We need to maintain an open dialogue with the Russians, but it was a mistake to simply dismiss the evidence from the security services. Let's not forget that he has access to highly clbadified information and has chosen to ignore it. "

Labor MP Chuka Umunna, once noted as a future leader, said:" Milne's comments do not represent the views of the majority of our people. voters, members or deputies. We will be mistreated for saying that, but when British lives have been put at risk, it is important to be clear. "

Veteran Labor MP Mike Gapes, joined the criticism and said:" I understand that the spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn, Seumas Milne has stated that there is no evidence that Russia is behind the gas attack at Salisbury. Well Seumas has a way in these matters. Not in my name. "

Despite the attacks of his own party, Corbyn doubled his position on Thursday, saying that May was rushing ahead of the evidence." Labor is not, of course, a supporter of the Putin regime, it is conservative authoritarianism, abuse of human rights or political and economic corruption, "he said." However, that does not mean that we should resign ourselves to a new war. cold & # 39; of increased arms spending, power conflicts around the world and a McCarthyist intolerance of dissent. "

The bitter internal struggle is a callback to the early years of Corbyn's leadership was largely erased when the The Labor Party had better results than expected in the 2017 general election and prevented May's conservatives from holding a general majority in Parliament.Corbyn, initially considered a radical leftist in the party, used to be criticized routinely by his own colleagues who felt that he and his allies pushed the party too far to the left.

Tensions between the supporters of Corbyn and the more moderate Labor groups – which were so spectacularly open again this week – have seldom been about domestic issues on which the majority in the Labor Party, broadly social democratic, agrees. above, specifically Corbyn's past relationships with groups such as the IRA. and Hamas, the apparent problems of the Labor left with Israel, the war in Iraq and Russia, which have fanned most of the words in conflict among Labor groups.

What this week's internal struggle has once again exposed is the constant struggle for the soul of the Labor Party and, crucially, how it will interact with the rest of the world if Corbyn gains power. A recent opinion poll showed that Labor has a 7-point lead over May's conservatives, although others have may be slightly ahead and the party remained in the elections since last year's general election With the hope that the government divisions the exit of the European Union will finally cause a collapse.

Since Corbyn became leader in 2015, there has been a concerted effort to create a radically different Labor Party that matches the leader's political tension. A pro-Corbyn lobby called Momentum has exploded in size and influence within the party, Corbyn's allies now hold the majority of the seats in the powerful Labor governing body, and this year has begun to see accusations that the party Disqualifies the moderates in so-called Corbynites. The process of deselection allows local Labor Party groups to replace the incumbent with a more radical alternative in time for the next election.

The leader of a London council said that at the beginning of this year she was forced to leave power, and said that she was attacked by Momentum with "badism, intimidation and antidemocratic behavior." More than 20 center-left councilors in the area The episode fueled fears that similar drawdowns could arise in the upcoming general election to oust lawmakers who do not fully support Corbyn.

While Momentum has denied the reports, there is a "kill list" of up to 50 Labor MPs. that could be replaced by pro-Corbyn candidates for the upcoming elections, its founder reiterated the belief that activists could take charge of replacing politicians who do not "hear" their members, "which some interpreted as a dog whistle instigating the of selection.

A prominent British journalist close to Corbyn, Paul Mason, has also previously endorsed the idea of ​​deselection, saying: "Just like when we go to the cafeteria and choose between coffee with milk, cappuccino and tea, once every five years I want all legislators to be excluded if they do not do their job well. "

The threat is so real to some Labor MPs that some have even threatened to jump before being pushed into deselection battles by resigning and standing as independent candidates.

Not only is the idea of ​​Corbyn becoming a ridiculous Prime Minister – this time last year he had a lower popularity rating than Donald Trump among the British public – now completely possible, but he and his allies they manage to create an ultraleft leftist party behind him, he would be free to enact exactly the kind of policies at home and abroad that he wants under the democratic system of Britain, which gives the prime minister with a clear majority in Parliament a power almost unlimited political

If Corbyn becomes British Prime Minister, the world will be presented to a leader who could hardly be more different from Tony Blair. As you demonstrated this week, you would join President Trump to reject the postwar Western consensus and leave us wondering: is there anyone left to confront Putin?

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