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Jeremy Corbyn sides with Russia (again)

Jeremy Corbyn sides with Russia (again)
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Jeremy Corbyn may no longer be Labour leader but he's still parroting the Kremlin's lines. It seems like just yesterday the former Leader of the Opposition was accused of siding with Moscow over the Skripal poisonings, having suggested that Novichok samples from the Salisbury attack should be handed over to Russia. Undeterred by the opprobrium he received in 2018, the Islington North MP is one of the usual suspects arguing that the current crisis in Ukraine is the result of – shock, horror! – those dastardly democracies in the West.

For Corbyn is part of the gang of hard-left MPs who have signed up to a ludicrously one-sided 'open letter' by the ironically-named Stop the War coalition. All the old favourites are there: John McDonnell, Richard Burgon, Diane Abbott, Claudia Webbe. The group's letter argues that that it is 'the policies of the British government which have poured oil on the fire throughout this episode' – quite a claim when one side has 190,000 troops on the Ukrainian border and has occupied part of the other country for the last eight years.

Stop the War also argues that 'the British government has talked up the threat of war continually, to the point where the Ukraine government has asked it to stop' (not true) that 'unlike the French and German governments' the UK has 'advanced no proposals for a diplomatic solution to the crisis' (not true) and 'has contributed only sabre-rattling' (not true) with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace accusing those 'seeking a peaceful settlement of preparing “another Munich"' (again, not true).'

Ironically, the most mealy-mouthed line in the group's statement is about the, er, Putin government, when it claims that 'in taking this position we do not endorse the nature or conduct of either the Russian or Ukrainian regimes.' Talk about apportioning blame. If only Stop the War would occasionally save some of the vitriol it reserves for London and Washington to unleash on Moscow instead.

A dozen Labour MPs – as well as Corbyn – signed up to the statement, despite the protestations of the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer. Not so much useful idiots as just, simply, idiots.