Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Corbyn's internationalist knowledge is matched by few, despite fake news from TheTimes

Letter submitted to The Times:

Your triple by-lined Times Investigation  published on Saturday ("Jeremy Corbyn too frail to be PM, fears civil service," 29 June  2019; does not cite a single civil service source by name, and only cites disaffected Labour politicians in their attacks on the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, for his  alleged lack of fitness to be prime minister.
You followed this by another story by your new deputy  political editor ("Corbyn comrade mocked for 'fake news' claim over leader's health," 1st July; that again reports anonymous civil servants allegedly concluding they are worried  about the prospect of Mr Corbyn becoming prime minister  because, inter alia, he lacks a firm grasp of foreign affairs.
I worked as a researcher with Labour MPs at Westminster for over twenty five years, and in all that time, Mr Corbyn was the back bencher who showed the greatest active interest in, and demonstrated serious knowledge of, foreign affairs.
He has travelled widely in South America and parts of the middle east, as part of his particular political  interests in those two  global regions.
Part of the trouble he has encountered with alleged anti-Semitism is routed in his determination to support the cause of self-determination for the Palestinian people, and has rightly blamed successive Israeli government intransigence as the true cause of the unresolved problem.
Many of his political enemies with in the Labour Party deliberately  conflate his backing for  Palestinians as being anti Jewish people. It is most certainly not.
Before becoming Labour leader, Mr Corbyn chaired Parliamentary CND for a decade, and in this role initiated many  debates and asked many questions in Parliament on security and defence issues; and he also represented Parliamentary CND at disarmament and non proliferation conferences in at the UN in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
At the most recent prime minister's questions, on June 26, he asked several detailed forensic questions on the implications for destabilisation in the middle east of the Conservative Government's backing of Saudi Arabia in the bombing of Yemen, and the dangers of continued arms sales to, and military training for the armed forces of, Saudi Arabia. ("
My strong suspicion is some of the faceless and nameless civil servants to whom your reporters spoke  were not concerned over Mr Corbyn's alleged  "lack of firm grasp" of foreign affairs, but concerned he has a very firm grasp.
But he has a very different interpretation on human rights, and where  the United Kingdom's best interests abroad lie.

1 comment: