Corbyn’s position on Syria is the product of a lifetime in the hard left echo chamber

by John Wall

It’ll soon be 35 years since Corbyn became an MP – more than half his life. During that time he’s never experienced a government he agreed with – as his record of voting against New Labour showed – and never had to make a decision.

Although I’m sure Corbynistas will disagree, I – and I’m not alone – see him, and his ilk, as primarily defined by what they’re against as evidenced by his involvement with the Campaign Group, CND, Stop The War, etc.

His position on the bombing of Syria is an inevitable product of a lifetime in this type of politics.

He spent decades in the hard left echo chamber, only associating with those who share his worldview which, as I recently outlined is that they ‘hate markets and competition and despise the private sector. To them America is the “Great Satan,” and Russia – whether Communist or under Putin – is an ally.’

Since he became leader he’s encountered, possibly for the first time, those who disagree, sometimes fundamentally, with his positions and undergone scrutiny from the media; at the risk of mixing metaphors he’s been found out and the chickens are coming home to roost.

His unwillingness, or maybe inability, to condemn the IRA was telling.

A lot can be learned by listening to him and others such as Diane Abbott. Under questioning they develop a slightly exasperated, weary tone as if they find it difficult to comprehend that anybody could possibly disagree with them.

This can also be seen by looking at his responses to the attempt to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal, the response to Assad’s atrocities in Syria and the issues around anti-Semitism in the Labour party.

Pointing the finger at Russia on the Skripal affair easily passes the “beyond reasonable doubt” test and – although Trump is yet to tweet it – even the US expelled 60 spies, sorry, diplomats! However, when you backed the losers in the cold war and have appointed apologists for Stalin and Putin to your inner circle….

It’s a similar story on Syria, where Corbyn’s reflex is to excuse Assad, Russia’s proxy, no matter what the evidence of his war crimes and oppose any action by the West.

Considering how important Lansman was to him becoming leader I’m not convinced that charges of anti-Semitism could be substantiated, but I’m unsure whether Corbyn sees him primarily as a comrade or a Jew.

The Israel-Palestine situation isn’t anything to write home about and neither side particularly smells of roses, the Palestinians fire rockets over the border and Israel is in contravention of various UN resolutions.

Left anti-Semitism has a long history but much can be explained by anti-Americanism and the dictum (adopted by both sides in the cold war) that my enemy’s enemy is my friend.

The US is one of Israel’s major allies and there is a very effective lobby in Washington. It’s not difficult to follow the anti-American -> anti-Israel -> pro-Palestine path, and in the echo chamber one side of the argument is just repeated and reinforced. From that comes Palestinians “good” and Israelis/Jews “bad”.

It’s difficult to believe that someone on five Facebook groups with anti-Semitic content didn’t notice it – I’m waiting for Specsavers to use this! – but never having to discuss or debate means that positions effectively become hard-wired and nothing, and nobody, else matters.

But Corbyn is not alone, his ally Christine Shawcroft apparently “overlooked” holocaust denial by a local government candidate.

Corbyn was probably completely surprised that some 40 Labour MPs would join a demonstration about the lack of action from his leadership or that there would be a protest outside his party’s HQ and it’s also not surprising that some of his supporters want to deselect them.

Draining the swamp is promised – but how many Corbynistas will go down the pan and is there really the will?

John Wall is a former member of the Conservatives


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14 Responses to “Corbyn’s position on Syria is the product of a lifetime in the hard left echo chamber”

  1. John P Reid says:

    Where I agree that corbyn doesn’t understand the Anti semitism problem in the UK, is not th justified criticism of the Israel government, with Jeremy feeling anti semitism in the UK is by the far right, what ever that is these days, (apparently at Tory said to Owen Jones labour is the party for the many not the Jew, then a Tory said ” it’s a joke)” and Owen Jones said that was right wing anti semitism) despite many Jews saying that ‘joke too’ without Jeremy even twigging it’s not just tha far left who are anti Semitic, but many Pakistani Muslims,

    But I have to question the criticism, of ajeremy over his opposition too Theresa May allowing the bombing without a parliam notary vote, there’s no public demand for it as the case hasnt been made,and a parliament debate could have seen that case, rather than the Kate osamor solution

    Chemical weapons in kids is bad
    We shouldn’t bomb
    But we should do something,
    I just doent know what that is

  2. Vern says:

    So you get it John, as do I. Are the others too embarrassed now to admit they made a huge error of judgement in supporting Corbyn.?
    The trouble is, there is way more to come from him and his immediate crowd whilst the party is falling apart.
    Get the locals over and done with and then get a serious center left thinker in who can connect with the party and the people. Tell people like Livingstone, McDonell, Abbot that they are not welcome unless they accept change. Ask Momentum to disband or disassociate itself from a progressive post Brexit party and tell Owen Jones that he is no longer the voice of the party!
    Might have a

  3. Anne says:

    I believe that Teresa May should have taken the decision to bomb Syria to Parliament rather than just her Cabinet, especially when we have Boris Johnson who relies on his evidence from ‘some guy,’ and we have a 16 year old ex fire appliance salesman as defence secretary- hardly reassuring. Yes, it is heartbreaking to see how Assad treats his own people, especially with chemical attacks, but this situation is complicated with involvement from both Russia and Iran. There will be repercussions. Also Macron has no experience of war and Trump, well what can be best said – unreliable. This situation really is one where we do require the involvement of experts, both from the military and people who understand the region. We do not want to make a bad situation worse.

  4. Tafia says:

    Anne, This wasnt a UK only operation – it involved two other nations that were doing an awful lot more of the work than we were. Remember, our contribution to this was a meagre 4 Tornado fighter-bombers that fired a grand total of 8 missiles between them, destroying three buikdings.

    Do you seriously think that the USA and France would wait while we allowed our (mainly pointless) MPs to pontificate, strut and navel gaze?

    Joint operations require leaders making anbd taking decisions – not deferring it to their relevant legislatures. Remeber, it isn’t Parliament that runs the country – it’s the govenment.

    Apart from which, cast your mind back to December 2015. Parliament authorised the RAF bombing in Syria back then. 66 Labour MPs voted with Camerons government, including 11 of Corbyns Shadow Cabinet.

    In addition, Defence is a reserved perogative. Government decides, not Parliament – and for matters of national importance that is the correct position (it’s also the position of most other countries).

    The bottom line is Assad has been warned repeatedly (he should only have been warned once). All options other than ignoring it (and thus cndoning it), or bombing have been tried, exhausted and failed.

    Corbyn’s position is pathetic. It basically can be summed up as ‘ Gassing children is wrong. Bombing Syria is wrong. Really I have no idea what to do’

  5. Tafia says:

    Anne
    and we have a 16 year old ex fire appliance salesman as defence secretary- hardly reassuring.
    An extraordinarily snobby, arrogant and disgusting remark about somene who has come from an ordinary working class background (father a council worker, mother a clerk in a job centre), who worked his way to be the managing director of an Aga subsidiary and then c-owner of a major staffordshire pottery company. Williamson will progress to being the next leader of the Tory Party and very probably the Prime Minister post 2022.

    In comparison, Labour field as Shadow Nia Griffith from a traditional middle class background, with no private sector experience at all, who only got her seat via the sexist All Women Short List process, has been a member of many ‘right on’ groups, has been bust twice over expenses and is a pacifist (FFS). Griffith will be lucky to hold her seat at the next General Election and even if she does will doubtless sink into back-bench obscurity chairng pointless committees on things such as Venezualan Womens Menstrual Rights and other such ‘wimmin’ garbage.

  6. Dave Roberts says:

    What has happened is that Britain, France and the USA have fronted Putin and he has backed down. He had no choice as economically and militarily he is no position to do anything.

  7. Mike Homfray says:

    Well, no. Its simply reflective of a view held by a considerable section of the population, who are permanantly sceptical about liberal interventionism

    There needs to be a party which holds this view, and for those who disagree, there are already alternatives.

  8. Mike Homfray says:

    As for the myth of the ‘progressive’ post-Brexit party, Vern may not have noticed that the Labour party doesn’t want that option, but if individuals do, then there is the option of the LibDems.

  9. Leslie48 says:

    Ed Miliband and others like Corbyn hid behind Russia’s skirts in 2013 hoping Putin or Iran would stop the gassing of civilians there. Labour dithered and delayed and chose to do nothing. Putin did not stop Assad and we fast forward to the massacre last week of families and small children killed by gas and Sarin nerve agent again despite international illegality since the early 1920s.

    We have masses of intelligence from the UK , America France, and likely Turks, Saudis and Israelis that Syria did it and Russia too are in that area. Fortunately the allies targeted the chemical weapons sites but still Corbyn whinges unpatriotically and with indifference to child killing by gas and chemicals. This not the Labour party we grew up with and is in danger of becoming deeply abhorrent. Corbyn has let the party down and his country and his polling is plummeting ( rightly so)

  10. Vern says:

    The tide has turned Mike Homfray – those that allowed theirselves to be manipulated and cohersed by Momentum now observe the carnage around them that was their Labour party. These local elections will see the full extent of the damage and you will then realise that centrist policies are more appealing than far left Marxism wrapped in Anti-Semitic bile that have been re-heated from the 1970’s. Labour under Corbyn is unrecognisable to me.

  11. Anne says:

    Williamson may have come from quite an ordinary background, and well done to him, but he looks and sounds like a sixteen year old in long trousers. No confidence in this adolescent. There are far more talented people who could fill this post.
    Still think the vote to bomb Syria should have gone to `parliament – otherwise, should the situation arise again, any PM could do the same – a dangerous president

  12. Anne says:

    Bye the way – isn’t Gove setting his stall out to be the next PM – setting up a think tank with policies targeting the young. Ruth Davidson is set to be his running mate. Notice Gove is saying less and less on Brexit – now I wonder why that is.

  13. Tony says:

    “John Wall is a former member of the Conservatives”

    There seems to be a proof-reading error. The word ‘former’ seems to have been inserted by mistake!

  14. John Wall says:

    @Tony – I cancelled my membership over a year ago. However, my political sympathies are on the right.

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