“Since the days of his childhood, Corbyn has been able to engage in his socialist and New Left fantasies, insulated from the catastrophic consequences when they are put into practice.”
Jeremy Corbyn is apparently a nice man. He is supposedly a man of the people who wants to make life better for the many, not the few. He is the last great hope for those wishing to make a better world out of the ruins of the old and is a man who has the clarity of vision to bring about future heaven from our present hell. He is the one to lead the British Labour Party to victory over the evil, benefits-denying, NHS hating, poor-man crushing Conservatives. And he is the light in our present darkness. Or so his followers believe. In reality, he is a socialist ideologue who has never changed his mind on any political matter since the 70’s. He hates the West, hates what it stands for, and has supported those who wish us harm. He could be Britain’s next prime minister.
Jeremy Corbyn was born in 1949 and grew up at Yew Tree Manor, Shropshire. Like many of his ideological fellows, he was not born to a family of limited means. His family came from an upper-middle class background, as did many of the revolutionary socialists of the 20th century. Growing up in prosperous surroundings, he and his parents were insulated from the consequences of the ideology they supported; not for them the Gulag, the 2am knock on the door, the food lines. Instead, raised in affluence, Corbyn, his family and peers could indulge in socialist fantasies in comfort, able to engage in their delusions because society allowed them to as a result of its own hard-won stability and relative prosperity.
This security blanket allowed him to rebel at school with little consequence and enabled him to travel abroad to Jamaica and Latin America after failing his exams. He was appalled by the inequality and brutality he witnessed on his travels, moving further down the path he stepped onto when he joined the Young Socialists at 16. He always identified with the plight of the downtrodden, whether in South America, Apartheid South Africa or in his own diverse neighborhoods when he moved to north London. His concern for the downtrodden appears genuine, as do his efforts to alleviate them. The issue is not so much the diagnosis but, rather, the treatment offered and the means employed. Like all utopians, Corbyn’s path to heaven has intersected with those who play with hell.
This is displayed in Corbyn’s support for left-wing Third World revolutionary movements. As I’ve written before, Corbyn inhabits the New Left tradition, which moved from an exclusive emphasis on class to include identities like race and ethnicity, and later sexuality and gender. The New Left that evolved out of the turmoil in the 60’s was invested in “Third Worldism.” Those who hold these beliefs see the inhabitants of what we now call the Global South as redemptive, revolutionary avatars.
This theory was given coherence by Franz Fanon in The Wretched of the Earth. The revolution failed in the West, as the native proletariat had bought into the lie of capitalism, so why not ally with those who had explicitly rejected capitalism and Western imperialism, starting the world anew in the ruins of empire? The revolution failed here, but it could work there. While it is likely Corbyn adopted this approach from genuine motivations, the overall effect that results from those Westerners who push this worldview is to reduce the inhabitants of those countries blessed with Western left-wing support to ciphers for an ideology, dehumanising them in a reverse of the old imperialism, subjects of the white man’s revolutionary burden.
It is one of the noticeable facts of left-wing ideology that those who preach tolerance and respect the most loudly, who strive the most for social justice and equality, seem to end up allying with those who embody the exact opposite of these things; compassion is nice, until a mother grizzly compassionately claws your head off for getting too close to her cubs. Left-wing concern for real issues has a predilection for pathological compassion, where the supposedly noble ends justify the ignoble and bloody means. For example, Jeremy Corbyn has supported the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in its campaign for a united Ireland. The aim satisfied Corbyn’s desire for Western imperialism as embodied by his own country to be dealt a bloody nose, as he hoped Ireland would become a socialist country once united. While he was dealing the UK a rhetorical bloody nose, the campaign of terror the IRA carried out during the Troubles left far more than noses bloody; thousands of people died, thousands more were inured during a bombing campaign in Ireland and on the mainland.
As part of his support for a United Ireland, Jeremy Corbyn has been close with Sinn Fein, the separatist Irish nationalist party in Northern Ireland. This closeness extended to hosting Sinn Fein representatives at the height of the Troubles. In 1984 the IRA bombed the Brighton Hotel while the Conservative Party Conference was in full swing. The blast killed five, and could easily have killed then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher. A couple of weeks later, Corbyn hosted Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams for tea at the Houses of Parliament.
Even worse than this, Corbyn sat on the editorial board of the far-left journal Labour Briefing, which argued that the Brighton bombing was a good thing, and wrote the front page for the same issue. This issue also featured a letter calling “four dead Tories… a start”. In 1986, he was arrested for protesting the imprisonment of IRA terrorists, including Patrick Magee, responsible for killing five people in the Brighton bomb blast. 1987 he then observed a minute’s silence for IRA members killed during an ambush. For seven years at the height of the Troubles, Jeremy Corbyn attended and spoke at events to honor dead IRA terrorists, prisoners of war and “active soldiers of the IRA.” The dialogue he engaged in ostensibly to bring about peace, was nothing of the sort.
And then there is the matter of the Northern Ireland peace process, which was the avenue taken to avoid more streets filled with blood and bodies torn apart by IRA bombs. Jeremy Corbyn opposed the peace process when it got underway in 1988. In that year Jeremy Corbyn attended a commemorative event to honor dead IRA terrorists (“freedom fighters”), an event held a week after three British servicemen were killed by the IRA in the Netherlands. The official programme for the event stated that “force of arms is the only method capable of bringing about a free and united Socialist Ireland.” Corbyn attacked the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the precursor to the peace process of the 1990’s, arguing that it provided no benefit to the people. More importantly for him, it strengthened the border and prevented a united socialist Ireland.
Corbyn was also involved with the Labour Committee on Ireland and the Wolfe Tone Society, both groups dedicated to resisting the British presence in Northern Ireland. Both Jeremy Corbyn and his deputy, John McDonnell, have consistently opposed moves towards peace. Instead of promoting peace, Corbyn promoted those committed to blowing people to pieces. Back in December, Theresa May recorded a Christmas message for the Armed Forces. Jeremy Corbyn couldn’t do this; he’s supported every opponent of the British Armed Forces for the last 40 years.
This sympathy for terror extends to the Middle East. Jeremy Corbyn, like many in his section of the Left, sees the Middle East as a battleground between Western oppression and imperialism, and freedom and equality. Again, it is noticeable how those whom Corbyn allies himself with are committed to the exact opposite. It is well known by now that Corbyn has allied himself with Hamas and Hezbollah; indeed, he called them his
“friends.” Both Hamas and Hezbollah are terror groups that have killed innocent Israeli civilians, and both desire the destruction of the state of Israel. Hamas’ Charter explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel. According to Corbyn however, they are simply working for social justice in the Middle East. Again, using the same mendacious language employed for the IRA, Corbyn poses as the peacemaker, arguing that you need to talk to militant groups in order to move the dialogue forward. One wonders why he hasn’t engaged with Hamas on their genocidal aims? Does he not think that the unwillingness on their part to accept the state of Israel within any border might constitute a slight barrier to peace?
This willingness to ‘engage’—or excuse—anti-Western regimes and groups extends to Iran, which is one of the most oppressive regimes going. Corbyn has appeared on Iran’s state broadcaster Press TV five times, even after Ofcom revoked its license to broadcast in Britain because of the torture of a journalist broadcast live on air. One of these interviews saw Corbyn engaging in conspiracy theories when he suggested that the 2012 Egyptian police station bombing might have been carried out by Israel because Egypt and Palestine were getting too close.
This behavior again displays the dark alleys those on the Left end up in when they believe in the Western oppression and non-Western liberation narrative. Repressive regimes like Iran are fine because they’re ‘untainted’ by bankrupt Western beliefs and ideologies. Corbyn and his supporters keep protesting that it’s all part of the effort to have a dialogue and to give peace a chance. The fact that Corbyn has consistently ended up appearing alongside Irish terrorists, Islamist terrorists, Islamist theocrats means Jeremy Corbyn is either an idiot or deeply sinister, and in relation to the continuing anti-Semitism scandal, he’s obviously just extremely unlucky to repeatedly attend events that also feature serious Holocaust deniers and blood libellers.
The propensity to favor these groups and regimes also explains Jeremy Corbyn’s love affair with Venezuela. Back in the mid-2000’s, Corbyn, Naomi Klein, and others were praising then-president Hugo Chavez to the skies for providing a beacon of resistance to the ‘shock doctrine’ of global capitalism. Socialism seemed like it was being done right, providing a real alternative to free markets. Of course, as we know, the Venezuelan economy became increasingly worse under the weight of socialist policies, and now is in a death spiral. The inflation rate is now 12,615%, GDP growth in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively was -17%, -15% and -16%. Since 2011 the economy has shrunk by 70%. This has left 87% of the population in poverty, with an average weight loss per capita of 8 kg in 2016 and 11 kg in 2017.
Economic measures taken by current president Nicolas Maduro will only make the situation worse. This situation came about because of policies supported by Jeremy Corbyn and his ideological fellows. As usual, those who boost the policies never have to suffer the consequences. Instead they move on, discarding the collateral damage of their ideologies like trash, as do all utopians. But there’s always next time, next time will be the charm. No matter how many people have to suffer or die for them to achieve the aims which they have convinced themselves are noble and altruistic but which are really exercises in self-righteous vanity.
Since the days of his childhood, Corbyn has been able to engage in his socialist and New Left fantasies, insulated from the catastrophic consequences when they are put into practice. Like nearly all revolutionaries before him, Corbyn is able to parade his concern for the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed as evidence of his good character. The evidence of his deeds shows otherwise. Jeremy Corbyn’s success stems from his ability to speak in plain English and connect with people to a depth beyond what most politicians can; he has used this ability for malicious ends. If the Conservatives don’t wish to see him in power, they need to speak to the same depth and put forward their case in a way that is persuasive rather than canned propaganda buzzwords. Otherwise, Corbyn could win.
Henry George is a freelance writer living in the UK. He holds an MA in War Studies from King’s College London.