Analysis comment

Lammy smears Corbyn – but took at least £2k from Russian TV station

On behalf of his boss Keir Starmer ‘centrist’ Labour MP David Lammy this week dangerously smeared Jeremy Corbyn of parroting Russian president Vladimir Putin because Corbyn has not withdrawn his signature from a Stop the War statement that condemns both Russia and Nato for their conduct.

At the same time, the EU and YouTube have banned Russian English-language broadcasters RT and Sputnik, echoing last week’s demand by Keir Starmer for a similar UK ban.

But Lammy has history with RT – and in 2017 was revealed to have taken at least two payments of £1,000 each from the broadcaster for appearing on its programmes.

Of course, RT and Sputnik are no more biased and misleading in favour of the Russian establishment than UK stations are for the UK equivalent – and have often been more accurate, and hidden less, on UK affairs than the BBC, ITV, Sky and the rest – and the UK ‘mainstream’ media have been full of both racism and misleading information about the situation in Ukraine. There is no more reason for MPs to refuse to appear on RT than for them to refuse invitations from any UK channel.

But the Lammy situation is just one of numerous ways in which Keir Starmer is up to his elbows in Russian links – and in hypocrisy for trying now to pretend otherwise. Starmer’s main adviser Peter Mandelson has extensive links with Russian figures close to Putin and with Putin directly.

And Starmer himself took campaign contributions from a figure with a history of large investments in Russian corporations run by figures connected to Putin.

Censorship of media and opposing voices is a bad thing. It does not stop at media – and the Labour regime has already gone far down that road by censoring the rational and evidence-based voice of the party’s official youth wing for daring to point out facts.

That right-wing regime is as steeped in hypocrisy and dishonesty in its comments and positions as Boris Johnson’s Tories and the media that prop them both up – and you don’t have to scratch very far at all below the surface to find examples.

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