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Corbyn and the Russian Threat - A Reflective Approach



No government can allow people to be attacked on its streets. Labour stands for greater security of our population, for the rule of international law and against the use of chemical weapons.


Jeremy Corbyn yesterday utterly condemned the poisoning incident in Salisbury and the use of chemical weapons. He did not demur from the measures Theresa May outlined against the Russian state and offered no criticism of them. Why, then, the furore over his comments, with headlines that are lurid and intemperate in equal measure?

The feigned uproar on the Tory benches began yesterday when Jeremy Corbyn criticised the cuts to the diplomatic service over the last five years, which have harmed our diplomatic capacity. It continued every time he asked probing questions of the Prime Minister about her efforts to establish exactly what happened in Salisbury, who precisely was responsible, and the subsequent response from the government. Jeremy Corbyn asks serious questions about a serious matter and he is met with manufactured outrage.

Contrary to myth, the Prime Minister did not claim she had proof of what exactly happened. She said it was likely that it was the Russian state, or agents who had access to Russian state assets. If we are to persuade any other nation to take significant measures alongside us, they may ask for a higher burden of proof.

The same outlets now condemning the Labour leader recently tried to label him as a Czech spy. They are not seekers after truth. They have an anti-Corbyn agenda.

The incident in Salisbury has dominated the political news - but it is not the sole issue facing us. Labour will continue to set an agenda that promotes peace and prosperity for all our citizens.


We will not be blown off course.


Diane @HackneyAbbott

This article first appeared in Labour List.

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commented 2018-03-16 02:09:48 +0000
It is clear that Jeremys response was initially poor as he failed to focus fully on the barbarity of the attack but wanted to discuss process. In this he was out of step with both Parliament and, from early polls, the country. Seamus Milnes comments clearly inflamed not calmed the situation. As it happens the prompt and forward condemnation by the government appears to have lead to support from all our allies. Not taking a robust response would have lead to the Russian state feeling it had not faced any repercussions. Whether the agent was delivered by a Russian government agent or by a more murky part of their society then it is clear that an illegal and banned nerve agent of Russian government manufacture was deployed and that clearly implicated the state. The article in the Guardian, although well crafted has too many caveats at this stage of the process and raising previous government potential shortfalls is inappropriate. I supported the action in Afghanistan, opposed Iraq and lent towards the intervention in Libya. Jeremy should focus on condemnation at this stage not Ian ever.At the moment Jeremy continues to run third in polls on his suitability for PM, with May first, do not know second and Jeremy third. This clearly has not helped that position.We need leadership at this time and Jeremy should join with his colleagues in the party to provide that at this quite grave time.

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