Labour’s foreign policy is a debased joke

by Atul Hatwal

Another milestone has been passed. Labour’s Corbynite journey on foreign policy has exited tragedy and entered the realms of farce.

This evening, the BBC’s Ross Hawkins reports that the shadow minister for foreign affairs, Catherine West, addressed the Stop The War coalition meeting in parliament, saying,

“Obviously in the summer before Russia was involved we were thinking the government might bring forward a proposal and we were preparing mentally for that. However since 30 September I think that’s more remote and obviously if that proposal does come forward then we will need to speak to you and talk to you about what your view is on that.”

There it is. in black and white. A commitment that Labour would consult with Stop the War before deciding its Syria policy.

How dare she.

Here’s Stop the War’s John Rees from 2006 indulging in paroxysms of Orwellian doublethink by backing Saddam Hussein as a champion of the oppressed that he was oppressing,

“Socialists should unconditionally stand with the oppressed against the oppressor, even if the people who run the oppressed country are undemocratic and persecute minorities, like Saddam Hussein.”

This is the Stop the War coalition that is allied to the Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine, Stalinist apologists who support Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Putin’s invasion of eastern Ukraine and oppose the democratically elected government in Ukraine.

And it is the same Stop the War coalition that invited the infamous Mother Superior Agnes Mariam de la Croix to speak at one of their rallies. She’s a nun living in Damascus trotted out by the Syrian government to deny that Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons on rebel held areas.

Her explanation of scenes of dead children in Ghouta was that they were “sleeping” while images of men and women dying from inhaling sarin gas were discounted as “stage-managed.”

She even had the temerity to suggest that rebels were responsible for gassing civilians and then claiming it was Assad.

This is the organisation that Labour’s shadow minister says the party “will need [emphasis added] to speak to.”

Labour’s problem is clearly no longer far left entryism.

When the party’s shadow ministers go on bended knee to conspiracy-mad, Stalinist front organisations like Stop the War, it’s evident that the leadership’s representatives are engaged in the reverse journey.

They are the entryists, seeking comfort, approval and acceptance from yesterday’s infiltrators.

Needless to say, if a Conservative minister or politician spoke at a meeting of a comparable group to the right of the Tory party there would be outrage.

But this where Labour is now.

A place where almost any political madness is possible and foreign policy has become a debased joke.

Atul Hatwal is editor of Uncut

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22 Responses to “Labour’s foreign policy is a debased joke”

  1. Mike Homfray says:

    Leave the party, then.

    It’s not for you any more

  2. Atul, would you care to make a prediction on how long Corbyn stays on as leader? I like your guesses. They show me where to place my bets.

  3. Janice says:

    Yes………..nothing else to say, really. I fear cameron and osborne have driven a significant number of those who consider themselves to be of the left mad enough to vote for corbyn without considering the consequences.

    the conspiracy theorists have conspired against themselves.

  4. Dave Roberts. says:

    Nothing to disagree with Atul. It’s as if Labour are intent on committing suicide. This on top of Jon Lansman, Seamus Milne and that Fisher prat, the Tories must be praying for every day and a new catastrophe for Labour. It just goes on and on with no sign of stopping.

  5. Colin Moulder says:

    Tom Harris has said he Labour party has jumped the shark. Exactly. You could actually write a full comedy series on the present Labour Party, it is that funny.

    Dangerous people are now running the Labour Party. The electorate either know this or will know it when the Tories go full on telling everyone at every election.

  6. Colin Moulder says:

    Mike Homfray says:

    November 2, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Leave the party, then.

    It’s not for you any more


    Is this an example of the new inclusive politics of Jeremy Corbyn?

    Your comment, if applied across the whole of the party will mean Labour will have no dialogue, no argument of policy, just a North Korean style of leadership where anyone that disagrees with the dear Leader is thrown under a bus.

    A dangerous comment from a dangerous wing of the party.

  7. Nico says:


    “backing Saddam Hussein as a champion of the oppressed that he was oppressing”

    “Evidence” quoted:

    “Socialists should unconditionally stand with the oppressed against the oppressor, even if *the people who run the oppressed country* are undemocratic and persecute minorities, like Saddam Hussein.”

    Summary: Being undemocratic and persecuting minorities is a sign of being a “champion of the oppressed” according to this article.

    The correct expression for this is either: intellectually dishonest or lazy.

    Is it not?

  8. PL Wakeford says:

    How on earth did this sorry mess happen?

    Unfortunately it was with eyes wide shut. I couldn’t believe it when the £3 “membership” was announced and then this “opening of the door” to the twitter loud mouths by “sane” PLP members who “lent” Corbyn their nomination.

    This resulted in the implosion – sucking in the the disproportionately activist and noisy far left along with the 80s left-overs that were defeated 80s Labour struggle for sanity.

    The one time mighty Labour Party, an organisation that has done so much for this country and particularly the old working class, now will have small influence for the next decade. Purity of dogma will trump pragmatism and continuing progress for the poor.

    Neil Kinnock fought the cancer of Entryism from the top – now the cancer was invited in and is in charge so how can it be challenged? I fear the worst – such a shame.

  9. Two Syria Solidarity UK members in the audience at last night’s meeting are clear that Catherine West’s remarks were directed at Syrians in the audience, not at Stop the War Coalition, confirming the account given by Labour”s spokesperson in this report:

  10. Stuart says:

    What is the fuss?!

    Shadow minister speaks to lobby group and says she will speak to them again if a possible vote comes up. This happens all the time with numerous groups on numerous issues. Given that this groups response is totally predicable anyway – what difference can it actually make?

  11. Dan says:

    Jesus christ almighty, they really are going to let the nutters in aren’t they?

    FFS; why not just invite the dog-on-a-string, white boy dreads, ‘anarchist’ waste of resources in and be done with it.

  12. John R says:

    Nico, here’s what John Rees himself wrote in 1990 –

    “Socialists want the defeat of imperialism and the victory of the Iraqi working class. We oppose our own imperialist governments, hoping for their defeat. If defeat had come at Saddam’s hands we would still have welcomed it. But we hoped for it at the hands of Iraqi workers who could have both crushed Saddam and proved far better opponents of imperialism.”

    In other words, the defeat of Western Imperialism, no matter by whom, is what matters. It would be nice if it were the working class but, as John Pilger said re Iraq, “we cannot afford to be choosy.” This is standard Trotskyist fare and John Rees stands in that tradition.

    By the way, it is only Western Imperialism that should be defeated. That’s why Putin gets a free pass.

  13. John P Reid says:

    Mike Himfray, there’s only so many votes you can drive away from the party, without ,many of hose who voted for JC, realizing ,that you feel it’s a moral victory to loose lots of votes on a left manifesto,but when it results in the first Tory landslide in 33 years, that hey may gave made a result by putting JC in as leader

  14. Fred says:

    Mike Homfray sounds just like your average racist, you dont agree with us are like us – bugger off.

    He is full of hatred and bile for southerners and anyone he considers a neo liberal / successful.

    An odious man.

  15. septicisle says:

    Ah yes, rather than it being the Tories’ foreign policy which is a joke, the government having failed to make even the beginnings of the case for merely extending air strikes into Syria against Islamic State, the sort of move even those of us opposed think makes something approaching sense even if it will achieve in practical terms precisely nothing, we can always trust Labour Uncut to tell us that black is in fact white. Regardless of what you think about the laughable StWC, the idea West was beginning to suggest Labour would be behold to their opinion is laughable, not least because those in the party like your good selves would raise hell, as you’re err, doing anyway.

  16. Dave Roberts. says:

    Septicisle. I’m sure you have a point in there somewhere, it’s just that for the life of me I can’t make out what it is. Go on. Give us a clue!

  17. Blair says:

    PL Wakeford I couldn’t believe it when the £3 “membership” was announced
    Just remember which wing of the party endorsed it with eager alacrity. It even received a blessing from St Tony of Blair.

    Colin Moulder Is this an example of the new inclusive politics of Jeremy Corbyn?
    It’s not the Corbynistas (or even the soft left now) that are resisting inclusiveness.

  18. Macc says:

    Please, for the love of God, leave the Labour party. Please!!

  19. Michael Worcester says:

    UAF act like the dogs from Animal farm

  20. Chris says:

    Yet again Labour Uncut seems to be spinning for the Tory government. No mention of the Foreign Affairs committee stating that bombing Syria is pointless.

    Don’t bother mentioning that West has stated she was speaking to some Syrians in the room, which the video of the event supports. Nope, just attempt to discredit the Labour leadership by picking up on some disputed occurrence and blow it out of all proportion.

  21. Henrik says:

    So far so textbook. In order to become the vanguard party, it may be necessary to split the party.

    Honestly, comrades, if you only knew just how hilarious we’re all finding this to watch – especially when the new comrades venomously call on the old comrades to leave the exciting, reinvigorated and generally wonderful new, oh, no, wait, not New, the Provisional Labour Party if they haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid.

    Still, early days. You’ve got until 2021 to sort yourselves out and develop an offering for the electorate.

  22. John P Reid says:

    The loony left will destroy labour again

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