Hardly has this blog covered one story proving the old adage that something looking too good to be true probably is too good to be true, than another one hoves into sight. This time, the desire of our free and fearless press to pin historical Eastern Bloc links on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has got the better of them, or at least the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker who work on the Mail on Sunday.
Nestling within today’s barrage of character assassination is the sub-heading “Corbyn aide’s FOUR meetings with Czech spies”. This references an article which, had it been submitted other than in the run-up to a General Election, and about a politician in any other party, would have been instantly spiked. But let’s see what it claims.
“Top Corbyn aide held four meetings with Czech spy in the 1980s and was viewed as a 'friend of the Soviet Embassy' and an 'enemy' of US … Andrew Murray, 61, was regarded by the Czech security service as a ‘contact' … Mr Murray met Czech agent Josef Konecny at least four times in London in 1980s”. Murray says he didn’t. And he’s probably right.
The MoS goes on to claim “in the mid-1980s, Mr Murray was regarded by the Czech security service - then actively seeking to undermine British interests - as a 'contact' who could help identify politicians susceptible to recruitment … According to intelligence files unearthed by this newspaper”. According to intelligence files. We’ve been here before.
It was in February last year that this trick was pulled by the Murdoch Sun, to disastrous effect. For those of short memory, here’s what the Murdoch goons claimed: under the banner headline “CORBYN AND THE COMMIE SPY”, we were told Jezza had entertained someone at the Commons, and even bought them a cup of tea. Corbyn had passed the Czech who claimed he was a spy … an old copy of the Sunday People.
Gavin “Stupid Boy” Williamson became most excited at the revelations. One Stateside pundit declared that this was proof of treachery. And then it all fell apart as the former Czech diplomat Jan Sarkocy was shown to be a fantasist. He was one of perhaps many Warsaw Pact representatives prepared to be more than a little creative about his contacts in order to keep his superiors happy - and remain in London. On expenses.
Then Sarkocy claimed to have been involved with Live Aid. Or perhaps he meant the 1988 Nelson Mandela concert. He claimed Jezza knew what Mrs T had for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. He implicated John McDonnell and Ken Livingstone. He was used by the Sun, the Mail and the Telegraph as a single source. He conned them all. Mainly because they were so credulous that they wanted his claims to be true. But they weren’t.
Now it’s happening again. Andrew Murray worked at the Morning Star. Therefore, in the minds of the collected idiocy at the MoS, he must have been a Commie and probably a spy. Or at least he knew people who were. Add the contents of a Czech archive and the easily suggestible hacks swallow the bait. Murray was alleged to be helping them “to find out more about the British right-leaning Monday Club”. F*** off. Just f*** right off.
Andrew Murray wouldn’t have known the first thing about the Monday Club. It’s so obviously fake, invented just to suggest the Czech embassy was actually doing something useful. This story is total tosh from beginning to end. So expect to see lots more soon.
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