It took until the last week of 2017’s General Election campaign for our free and fearless press to go after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the subject of nuclear weapons. Not so this time round, as the Murdoch Sun has pressed the panic button with more than three weeks still to go. Worse for the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker, the sources they have used to back up their attack are the most insignificant of political nonentities.
The paper even makes room on the front page, alongside the Duke of York’s continuing woes over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, to tell readers “Corbyn blasted in nuke pull-out”, going on to tell “PACIFIST Jeremy Corbyn was branded a ‘danger to Britain’ after saying he would be prepared to give up Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent if he becomes PM”. But he didn’t, and note how “pacifist” is bandied around as a term of abuse.
But do go on. “He said the country’s crucial defence system would be on the table in international negotiations as he pledged to give ‘realism to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty’ … And he also refused to rule out scrapping Trident unilaterally as a price for securing the SNP’s support in the event of a hung Parliament after the election”.
This is complete baloney, as even the Sun admits. “Pressed on whether he would be willing to ditch Trident, Mr Corbyn told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘Well they would be part - obviously - if you enter into a non-proliferation treaty discussions then clearly every country's nuclear weapons go into that equation.’” This is not, repeat not, repeat NOT, saying the weapons would be scrapped. Note the phrase “Non proliferation”.
Then it just descends into flat-out lying: “Mr Corbyn was also lambasted after casting fresh doubt over Labour’s commitment to NATO - just a month before London hosts the military alliance’s annual summit”. He didn’t cast any doubt, and he isn’t part of that summit. So the comment is irrelevant. Then came those slagging him off.
Gammon's a little overdone
“Ex-Labour MP Mike Gapes warned: ‘Once again Corbyn fails to support Nato. He is not fit to be Prime Minister.’” Mike Gapes. Mike Gapes. Who is fraudulently trying to use the Labour brand to garner votes, despite having left the party. Who is also lying, because Jezza did not “fail to support NATO”. And look who else the Sun is quoting.
“And another former Labour MP John Woodcock … said Mr Corbyn was ‘a danger to Britain’”. John Woodcock. Who has never, but never, done other than slag off Corbyn’s leadership. Not even given him a chance. A bitter has-been who talks about “a danger to Britain” but was more than happy to support every last pointless military adventure of the past 20 years - Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria - despite the blowback for the UK.
Woodcock and Gapes. Two political pygmies with a record of achievement not unadjacent to zero. Eager to go running to the Murdoch press to blubber that the Labour leadership is insufficiently bellicose. Two self-absorbed nobodies willing to put our armed forces in harm’s way, just so they can tell the world that they are strong. And willing to advocate blowing tens of billions on nuclear weapons, when there are millions living in poverty.
As with so many of these attacks, this says so much more about the political bankruptcy of Corbyn’s opponents than it does about him. I’ll just leave that one there.
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