The failed attempt to smear Jeremy Corbyn


A sign of the growing fear among the British elites about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s increasing popularity are the attempts to smear him. Robert Mackey writes about one such attempt by the right-wing British tabloid press led by Rupert Murdoch to accuse Jeremy Corbyn of having been a spy for the Czechoslovakian secret service during the Cold War. This was taken up by Conservative prime minister Theresa May and some of her cabinet members but the attempt failed miserably.

So the prime minister presumably thought it would be good politics to joke on Wednesday in the House of Commons about a smear campaign launched by the tabloids on Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour party. Referring to a recent barrage of poorly sourced stories in the Sun and the Mail accusing Corbyn of having helped Czechoslovakia spy on Britain during the Cold War, May introduced a tortured pun about the Labour leader wanting her to sign “a blank Czech.”

Corbyn’s response, a theatrical yawn, delighted his supporters.

A more potent sign that the attacks had failed was how quickly other members of May’s party retreated when the allegations about Corbyn were thoroughly debunked by former British spies and records available in the archives of the Czech secret service.

Faced with overwhelming evidence that their effort to tie Corbyn to Czech intelligence had failed, reporters for the far-right tabloids moved on to loudly demanding that the Labour leader permit the release of a supposed file on him compiled by the East German secret service, the Stasi. That effort also fell flat when German officials who oversee the Stasi archive announced that they had found no documents at all on Corbyn.

Unlike the utterly odious warmonger and Bush toady Tony Blair, the former Labour leader who made it a point to suck up to Murdoch, Corbyn has made it clear that he is not going to do that. Here is his Twitter response.

A Tory MP was grilled mercilessly about the slanderous allegations made by his party leaders and tried his best to dodge and weave.

Corbyn has made remarkable progress in a short time, from being surprise winner in the leadership election, battling the neoliberals within his party who tried to undermine and oust him, to becoming a strong spokesperson for a progressive agenda.

Comments

  1. jrkrideau says

    Seems like the Tories are a bit mad and desperate. Pity.

    Still it does remind me of the accusations about the Orange Idiot.

    Those Chezhs , Soviets, Russians deranged Democrat (?), Alex Jones (?) accusations are must be true.

  2. jrkrideau says

    Let me rephrase that. The UK Tories have convincing proof that Jeremy Corbyn, Donald Trump and Xi jing ping are Russian agents.

    The question is still out on Kin Jong-un but the odds favour him as an agent for Mali.

  3. blf says

    I haven’t been following this story too closely, in part because it was so obviously überloony. So thanks for the easily-digestible synopsis!

  4. Dunc says

    Matt G, @ #3: It’s hardly a new tactic. They did the same with Micheal Foot back in the ’70s. He sued them – successfully.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    Blair sucked up to Murdoch because in 1996, Murdoch’s support mattered. In a very real sense, the support of the Sun swung it for Labour in 1997 and subsequently.

    Corbyn has clearly made the calculation that, in the era of Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp and whatever else the young people are using, tabloid newspaper support is not as important as it once definitely was. If you think he’s uber-principled compared to Blair, get back to me when he starts attacking Mark Zuckerberg.

  6. KG says

    Still it does remind me of the accusations about the Orange Idiot. – jrkrideau@1

    Well there would be a faint similarity if:
    1) The UK intelligence establishment had declared that the Czechoslovak secret services had wanted to recruit Corbyn.
    2) A number of Corbyn’s closest aides were known to have lied about or failed to declare financial links and personal contacts with agents of the 1980s Czechoslovak regime.
    3) Corbyn had effusively praised that regime, and blocked the application of sanctions against it.
    4) There were currently investigations of the allegations in the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and by an appointed investigator with the power to subpoena witnesses and lay charges.

    …but only a faint one.

  7. davidc1 says

    Hi ,the tory lowlife has said he is sorry for telling lies ,and has make a contribution to a charity and the local food bank .
    Says a lot of about GB at the moment ,the fact that there are food banks in this day and age in one of the richest Countries in the world .

    Nothing new in tories being found out in a lie.

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