Jeremy Corbyn’s dealings with spies must not be laughed off as a joke, says TIM NEWARK

Source: Express / /

THE hard-Left has always had a soft spot for the old Soviet Union and it’s no surprise that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his fellow Marxists should have been consorting with just the sort of people that wanted to do this country down during the Cold War.

Jeremy Corbyn
Deluded Jeremy Corbyn is still in thrall to Marxism

Three times Corbyn met a Czech diplomat in 1987 who was also a Communist spy and gave him the codename COB.

Labour shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry laughed off these accusations over the weekend but the fact is that Corbyn and fellow hard-Left Labour MPs were in thrall to the corrupt, murderous Communist regime.

As the world stood on the edge of nuclear confrontation, hardline Lefties would do anything to stick it to then Prime Minister Thatcher.

That is no laughing matter and reveals a political darkness at the heart of these politicians who seek to run our country.

They should treat the matter with the seriousness it deserves and apologise for their potentially traitorous liaisons with Czech spies in the 1980s.

Or maybe they feel they’ve done nothing wrong as deep down they still hanker for authoritarian Left-wing regimes that trample over freedom.

But let us not forget that while Corbyn, John McDonnell and Ken Livingstone were allegedly chatting to Czech “diplomats”, Vaclav Havel and fellow brave Czech dissidents were either in prison or under surveillance by brutal secret police.

I remember visiting Prague in 1989 and staying with a family that had lived under Communist oppression for years.

Depressed and beaten down by decades of Communist corruption they took little comfort from East Germans using their country to escape to the West.

They believed it would take years for their hell to end but in a matter of months the Berlin Wall had crumbled and Vaclav Havel emerged from house arrest to become their first freely elected president.

The end of the Cold War was no thanks to Corbyn and his Marxist acolytes but down to the steely defiance of Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan who called the bluff of the Soviet Union and their supposed superpower status.

The Russians and their Soviet dominions were bankrupt after years of economic mismanagement and yet Corbyn still thinks socialism is a good model for us.

This is not that long ago. We’re talking less than 30 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union but Thornberry and her Islington mates want to laugh it off as though it is some quaint period of history not worth referring to.

But until the mid-1980s, political opponents were still sent to gulag prison camps in the Soviet Union.

When Soviet ally Fidel Castro died in 2016, Corbyn praised the Cuban dictator as “an internationalist and a champion of social justice”.

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone called Communist Cuba a “beacon of light” in the Caribbean.

And yet hundreds of political opponents of Castro during the 1980s were imprisoned, tortured and executed.

Between 1959 and 1993 some 1.2 million Cubans – a 10th of the population – fled their supposedly wonderful island.

Corbyn and his fellow Marxist Labour politicians are unapologetic Cold War dinosaurs who do not deserve to get anywhere close to power

Corbyn’s acclaim for socialist Venezuela continues despite widespread human rights abuses and economic collapse. Hypersensitive to any supposed crimes of the capitalist West, he always has had a deaf ear to the suffering of those millions of people living under Left-wing dictatorships.

The extent of Left-wing support in the UK for Communist regimes in the 1980s is quite extraordinary.

When historian Anthony Glees was looking through recently opened files of the East German secret police – the Stasi – he found numerous references to British academics and establishment figures all happy to pass on information to a police state that abused its citizens and opposed us across the Iron Curtain.

The National Union of Mineworkers accepted secret cash from Communist agents in East Berlin during their clash with the Thatcher government.

For years Richard Gott was a senior writer and foreign correspondent for The Guardian until he was exposed in 1994 as a long-time KGB agent, accepting “red gold” from Russian spies for 30 years during the height of the Cold War but keen to laugh off the seriousness of his betrayal as “an enjoyable joke”.

The full extent of Soviet Communist crimes has never fully been appreciated in this country.

Even back in 1933, the playwright George Bernard Shaw declared himself an enthusiastic fan of the USSR, saying: “We desire to record that we saw nowhere evidence of such economic slavery, privation, unemployment and cynical despair… Everywhere we saw [a] hopeful and enthusiastic working-class.”

At that time between six and seven million people were dying from starvation in Ukraine thanks to Stalin’s enforced collectivisation.

And so this ignorance continues today, thanks to the reluctance of Left-wing academics and teachers to fully highlight the wrongs of Communist Russia and its allies, preferring to focus on Nazi Germany.

But what this latest revelation serves to underline is that Corbyn and his fellow Marxist Labour politicians are unapologetic Cold War dinosaurs who do not deserve to get anywhere close to power.

Their Momentum henchmen and women have all the ruthless fanaticism of old-style Soviet commissars and ordinary Labour party members should unite to throw them out. This nation cannot afford to relearn the dreadful lessons of the Cold War era.


The Vaclav Havel Center