Among the 36 new peers - appointed to a House which is supposed to be seeing a reduction in its numbers, not an increase - are the predictable beneficiaries of buying off, such as Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke. But Bozo’s younger brother Jo has done nothing to merit his elevation, other than be related to the PM.
And giving a peerage to Evgeny Lebedev, son of a KGB officer, in the wake of the Russia Report, is just taking the piss. So is the ennoblement of Frank Field, Gisela Stuart, Kate Hoey, Ian Austin and John Woodcock as a reward for shitting on the party that helped them get their nice little Parliamentary earners. Good company for John Mann, mind.
That much is merely routinely inexcusable, but what is totally out of order is giving a peerage to Claire Fox. On what grounds was the honour granted? What is Bozo rewarding in elevating her to the Lords? Ms Fox was one of those who graduated from the ranks of the so-called Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) to its successor, Living Marxism magazine. She was a supporter of the “armed struggle” in Northern Ireland.
In this, the RCP spawned the Irish Freedom Movement, fronted by Ms Fox and her sister. As Otto English told recently, “The 1993 Warrington bombings are now seen as a turning point in the Irish troubles. The IRA attack killed two children, three-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry, while many others were wounded. The atrocity was met with condemnation from all quarters – but not from Claire Fox’s RCP/IFM. Indeed, instead of denouncing the attack, the group defended it, arguing for ‘the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom’”.
Claire Fox still will not apologise for that stance, merely waffling that “the war” is over. It is, moreover, not the only item of baggage trailing in her wake. As the Guardian noted back in 2000, Living Marxism had published “an article which claimed that ITN deliberately misrepresented that haunting picture of Fikret Alic, an emaciated Bosnian Muslim at Trnopolje camp in 1992”. The magazine sided with the Bosnian Serbs.
The result of that act of genocide denial? “A crushing and expensive libel case which forced the magazine’s closure. Hume and his co-publisher defendant, Helene Guldberg, are being personally pursued for £375,000 in damages”. Has Claire Fox ever explained her part in that? Has she apologised for that? Maybe I blinked and missed it.
Boris Johnson and his pals set great store by painting former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a terrorist sympathiser and someone who cosied up to tyrants. Now he has ennobled someone who really is a terrorist sympathiser - and really has cosied up to tyrants. But she’s on the telly regularly, so maybe that’s all right, then.
Claire Fox says it’s all about the ideas. Well, here’s one for her: give that peerage to someone who actually deserves it. Because you sure as hell don’t.