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