The crude and thus far failed attempt by the Murdoch press to link Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn directly to the activities of the Provisional IRA, and more specifically to a bombing campaign that included the Warrington town centre attack some 25 years ago, is not being abandoned, far from it. And to prove his willingness to make one more pointless gesture, pundit David Aaronovitch has rejoined the fray overnight.
As Zelo Street regulars will no doubt recall, Aaronovitch had tried to link Jezza to a group called Red Action, which had, by complete coincidence you understand, been the subject of a Sunday Times article by Andrew “transcription error” Gilligan recently - as well as the subject of a deeply suspicious Wikipedia edit which has now been removed.
This claimed “Corbyn spoke at at least three Red Action meetings between 1985 and 1992 and the group sometimes met at his then constituency office, ex-members said … Jeremy Corbyn came to the attention of police after becoming involved with Red Action”, although, as had to be pointed out to The Great Man, if Jezza had had such a dodgy past, he would not have passed the security vetting to become a Privy Counsellor.
Before considering Aaronovitch’s latest alleged evidence, this is what he said when trying to link Corbyn to Red Action. “Incidentally I wonder whether people indignantly defending the idea that Mr Corbyn is a run-of-the-mill Labour social democrat realise how they undermine their case when, in the next tweet, they extol the virtues of revolutionary Marxism?” Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes? But there was more.
“Finally, for a completely different reason, I've been going back over the 1993 Warrington bombing. There's a big possibility that it was carried out by far-left people associated with a group called Red Action. I offer no prizes for which Labour figure was close to Red Action”. That was the one that brought such ridicule upon him. But he wasn’t finished.
“He would not have agreed with what some of its members did, I'm sure. But his comradeship with the group, even when their total support for IRA violence was overt, is well documented and their archive is now online”. Well, now its archive is online, let’s see what Dave the former Communist can serve up.
And serve up he duly did. “For those doubting the Red Action/IRA link (which was many people who came on here to yell at me) get your laughing gear round this”. What “this” was, was Red Action Issue 68, from Summer 1994. But there was a problem.
One name was missing from that issue of Red Action, and the name was Jeremy Corbyn. And it gets worse: “The cover story notes that Patrick Hayes, an English born member of a PIRA active service unit, imprisoned for a short bombing campaign in England in the early 1990s, was a former long standing member of Red Action”. In other words, the bloke who, it was speculated, may have been behind the Warrington town centre bombs was not in fact a member of that group, although he had been at one time.
So no contemporaneous connection between Red Action and the Provisional IRA, and indeed no connection between Red Action and Jezza.
Another reputation sacrificed on the altar of Murdoch expediency? We shall see.
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