The fall of Afghanistan has provoked much comment and soul-searching on both sides of the Atlantic. Along with the usual talking heads and thumping op-eds, the Taliban’s imminent victory has prompted some truly awful takes from some of the less distinguished figures in public life. Below is Mr Steerpike’s guide to some of the most tone-deaf, stunningly crass and just plain sinister responses to the fall of Afghanistan.
Stop the War Coalition and Richard Burgon
Straight out the blocks with a statement was the hard left Stop the War Coalition, formerly chaired by one Jeremy Corbyn. The group has claimed the withdrawal from Afghanistan as vindication for its cause and called for the British government to give reparations to the Taliban. Talk about living down to expectations. The group wrote on its website that:
The British government should take a lead in offering a refugee programme and reparations to rebuild Afghanistan, an act which would go a great deal further in advancing the rights of the Afghan people, women in particular, than continued military or economic intervention in the fate of the Afghanistan.
Steerpike looks forward to seeing how this new regime does advance ‘the rights of women in particular.’ Former shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon has now added his voice to such calls, weighing in with a typically thoughtful intervention: ‘There is no military solution in Afghanistan. The focus now should be on reparations and supporting refugees.’
In 239 characters, the former Greek minister of finance manages to show what ‘solidarity’ means to him.