British tabloid newspapers like to simplify complex stories. In fact, that is the special skill their reporters must develop.
But they also distort stories on a daily basis, and in an election campaign, any candidate aspiring to become prime minister with a radical, left-wing programme is regarded as open season from the Tory–backing press for a battering.
And so it is with today’s most widely read national newspaper, The Sun, which attacks Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for views he expressed on nuclear WMDs – such as the UK’s Trident nuclear submarine and ballistic nuclear missile system- in an interview he did on Sunday morning with Andrew Marr.
The Sun trails its two page spread inside attack, with a front page teaser, headlined “Corbyn blasted in nuke pull-out”, in s which th epaper’s deputy political editor reports Corbyn (perniciously dubbed a ”pacifist”) had indicated he “would be prepared to give up the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent if he becomes PM.”
The inside story- headlined in the print version “Corbyn’s nuclear disaster”- makes copious use of the bilious critical comments by two former Labour MPs, who left the Labour Party because of vociferous opposition to Corbyn’s leadership (“Jeremy Corbyn could DITCH Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent if he wins election,” The Sun, 18 November 2019; www.thesun.co.uk/news/10363366/jeremy-corbyn-could-ditch-britains-trident-nuclear-deterrent-if-he-wins-election/).
Former Labour MP John Woodcock, who used to represent Barrow-in-Furness, the hometown of the BAE Systems shipyard that is building the Trident replacement submarines – and incredibly used to worked for Gordon Brown in No10 when he was Prime Minister a decade ago- said putting Mr Corbyn in No10 would “leave the UK at the mercy of nuclear blackmail from Vladimir Putin”.
He told The Sun: “Labour’s lifelong CND-supporting leader gives the game away on Trident every time he opens his mouth. It is absurd to suggest a Jeremy Corbyn-led government would continue investing in the nuclear deterrent when he’s already rendered it useless by saying there are no circumstances under which he would even threaten to use it to discourage an enemy attack. Whether it is a pact with the SNP, non-proliferation talks or because the month has the letter ‘r’ in it, CND Corbyn and his hard left cabal will fall over themselves to find a way to get round Labour’s fragile defence policy and scrap Trident.”
Ex-Labour MP Mike Gapes, a former international affairs advisor to the Labour Party, and an ex-chairperson of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, warned: “Once again Corbyn fails to support Nato. He is not fit to be Prime Minister.”
The Labour leader’s comments come a week after Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith was unable to say whether he would ever be prepared to push the nuclear button.
Corbyn had told Marr that Trident would be put on the table in international negotiations as he pledged [the UK’s nuclear weapons] would be part - obviously - if you enter into a non-proliferation treaty discussions then clearly every country's nuclear weapons go into that equation.”
The Sun claimed that Corbyn had also refused to rule out scrapping Trident as the price for the support of the anti-Trident Scottish National Party (SNP)
Asked if he would be prepared to scrap the atomic missile system if it was a price he had to pay for SNP support, Mr Corbyn replied: “I think the SNP would actually agreeing with me - and indeed in the past they certainly have - that the priority has to be giving realism to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, giving realism to the six-party talks in Korea, giving realism to the whole question of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, in the Middle East or anywhere else.”
In a forceful, but disingenuous, editorial comment, under its banner ‘The Sun Says, the tabloid concluded that “putting Britain’s security on the negotiating table is an abomination.”
Evidently The Sun leader writer (and indeed nor its editor) cares nothing about what the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - referenced by Corbyn in his Marr interview - actually legally obliges the UK to do. (The UK was a co-author of its text when it was drafted in the late 1960s, and is one of three a depositary states, with the United States and Russia, for the treaty)
ARTICLE VI of the NPT states that:
Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.” (https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/npt/text/)
So far from an “abomination: it is an international legal obligation: to which the objects, and about which it is so dismissive.
This week The Sun has been celebrating fifty years of its existence as a newspaper. The NPT is 51 years old. To date the UK has not negotiated away a single nuclear weapon in a the half century the Sun has existed.
That is the real atomic abomination.
Nuclear fishin’, The Sun Says, 18 November 2019
SO now we know. Jeremy Corbyn is ready to ditch our nukes to persuade the SNP to put him in power.
Make no mistake; this would be a disaster for Britain. Losing our Trident nuclear deterrent would signal to our enemies that we are weak and naive about global threats.
And yet that is the bargaining chip the Labour leader is using to get into No10.
Corbyn’s ratings are now so terrible that he’s had to grovel to Ian Blackford for extra support.
The SNP’s Westminster leader responded by saying he would “come up with a wishlist” of things he would demand as his price for a coalition, as if it were Christmas.
Why would Labour indulge him? So the SNP can take Scotland out of the UK once Corbyn wins an election?
It is an outrageous state of affairs.
More so given that Remainer MPs repeatedly accused Boris Johnson of trying to break up the Union.
Conversely, he did everything to avoid that — painstakingly renegotiating the Irish border deal and ruling out a Scottish independence referendum.
Corbyn, on the other hand, casually bribes the SNP with the possibility of independence and throws in nuclear disarmament for good measure
His Marxist loons know they cannot win through normal methods; they are so economically insane that they have had to resort to these cheap tricks.
But putting Britain’s security on the negotiating table is an abomination.