On Saturday, the United Kingdom’s Labour Party elected far-left MP Jeremy Corbyn as its new leader, by a landslide 59.5% majority. The vote comes as a shock to the party—only a handful of its MPs backed Corbyn—and to British politics in general. In addition to pushing for the re-nationalization of Britain’s railways and its exit from NATO, Corbyn is known for his anti-American rhetoric and associations with reactionary figures.
Among other exploits, Corbyn has:
• Compared the actions of the U.S. to those of ISIS, saying, “Yes they [ISIS] are brutal, yes some of what they have done is quite appalling. Likewise, what the Americans did in Fallujah and other places is appalling, but there has to be seen to be an acceptance of a much wider view of the world than is apparent at the present time.”
• Donated to the organization of Paul Eisen, a Holocaust denier, and appeared at his events. He later claimed he was unaware of Eisen’s unsavory views, despite 15 years of association.
• Called Bin Laden’s death without trial “a tragedy.”
• Praised preacher Raed Salah and invited him to parliament. Salah claims that Jews make their Passover matzoh with gentile blood, that Jews had foreknowledge of 9/11, and that homosexuality is “a great crime.” He has been banned from the U.K. for anti-Semitic incitement.
• Invited activist Dyab Abou Jahjah to parliament and spoke alongside him. Abou Jahjah had called the 9/11 attacks “sweet revenge,” said Europe made “the cult of the Holocaust and Jew-worshiping its alternative religion,” and called gays “Aids-spreading faggots.” He is now banned in the U.K.
• Campaigned for the release of Jawad Botmeh and Samar Alami, who were convicted in Britain in 1996 for bombing the Israeli Embassy in London and one of the country’s largest Jewish charities.
• Recommended Russia Today, Putin’s propaganda channel, as a more reliable news source than the mainstream media.
• Hosted a show on Press TV, Iran’s propaganda channel.
And, last but not least:
• Blamed Britain’s alliance with America for its defeat in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Already, Corbyn’s election is causing consternation within Labour among its more centrist elements. Members of the party’s shadow cabinet have resigned in protest. Whether Corbyn will manage to preserve Labour as an electoral force, or preside over its splintering into a radical protest party remains to be seen.
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