The right-wing press in an apparently coordinated attack just in time for the weekend political programmes, has mounted a smear campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with headlines suggesting he had untoward contacts with a Czechoslovakian agent masquerading as a diplomat.
This line has been pushed in spite of the fact that even the S*n couldn’t help admitting that Czech records state that no useful information could be gained from Corbyn – and the obvious fact that, as an obscure back-bencher considered radical by the Establishment – he was not in a position to have any sensitive information. This would have been perfectly obvious to the Czechoslovakians.
The smears – which look desperate – also ignore the fact that Svetlana Ptáčníková, the head of the Czech intelligence service, has refuted the claims:
Mr. Corbyn was neither registered [by the StB] as a collaborator, nor does this [his alleged collaboration] stem from archive documents
But there’s an additional, obvious reason the right-wing claims are nonsense: Corbyn would not have had any opportunity.
Last year, in an attempt to smear Corbyn during the General Election campaign, the very same right-wing press revealed that MI5 spied on Corbyn over a long period:
In fact, MI5 was not the only agency spying on Corbyn and other left-wingers.
Dan Lomas, Programme Leader, MA Intelligence and Security Studies, University of Salford, told Yahoo News last year that in 2015, Peter Francis, a former officer in the Metropolitan Police’s controversial Special Demonstration Squad revealed that his unit monitored Corbyn, Tony Benn and others for their ‘links with radical causes’.
As a perceived radical from the start, Corbyn would have been watched closely from the very beginning of his parliamentary career – and probably long before that.
So when, exactly, would he have had time, opportunity or freedom to do any alleged spying when he was constantly being spied on?
Finally, Corbyn is a member of the Privy Council. As the book Watching the Watchers, Parliament and the Intelligence Services points out, Privy Councillors are privy (of course) to the most sensitive state intelligence information.
It’s unthinkable that, having watched Corbyn for decades, the intelligence services would not have flagged any concerns before Corbyn’s induction into the Privy Council.
The right-wing smears are laughable nonsense and reflect only the desperation of the Establishment to find some smear – any smear – to undermine Corbyn’s stature and popularity. It’s more likely to increase both in the eyes of most UK voters.
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