Bernard Ingham: The False Front of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s Militants

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COULD it possibly be that at last the militant Left in this country has got its ideal leader? Superficially, this seems a daft question. Neither Jeremy Corbyn nor his nastier sidekick, John McDonnell, seem to know their humerus from their posterior.

They look more like storm-tossed landlubbers, trimming their sails to every policy blast from their moderate majority. The result is that the Labour Party has probably never known less about what it stands for or what it will be allowed to espouse in future.

This is just the sort of soil in which assorted militants, anarchists and rabble rousers flourish. Moreover, their titular leader, while clearly as dotty as a speckled egg, also looks harmless, suitably shabby and as manipulable as putty. Indeed, he seems so vulnerable that some people are bound to feel sorry for him.

This would be very unwise. Corbyn is a front for a peculiar breed of political animal – class warriors who revel not in giving the working man, his wife and their family the chance to build a better future but in undermining democratic society and smashing capitalism.

We have seen enough already to know that, like Arthur Scargill, their aim is to bring down the existing government and replace it with a tightly controlled social order that reduces everyone to penury – their concept of equality – except the commissars who take over running the state. Nothing is too good for that “elite”.

As for national security, it is not a figment of anyone’s imagination that Corbyn has shown a certain tender, loving concern for the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah. McDonnell cheerfully said he would have assassinated Margaret Thatcher. And the Kremlin is no doubt dancing with joy over Corbyn’s refusal to press the nuclear trigger, combined with the SNP’s unilateralism.

Nothing would taste sweeter on the militants’ palates than to render David Cameron unable to govern. No word both north and south of the Scottish border is uttered with greater venom than “Tory”. Never forget the riots of the Thatcher years – Brixton, Toxteth, Tottenham’s Broadwater Farm etc – or the set-piece poll tax battle in Trafalgar Square. They were not coincidental.

You may think that the militants’ view of the Tories is irrational. But these people are not rational. They are fanatics who would, if they could, bring to this country the dictatorship of the proletariat, consigning the Queen at best to a prefab and shearing the people of all liberty. The Mother of Parliaments would not permit a dissident voice.

I am not exaggerating for effect. I have seen these people at work – often very closely – for a good 50 years.

First, as a labour and industrial correspondent; then at the Department of Employment through almost continual strikes, causing the loss of 128m working days in the 1970s, with two failed attempts to curb militancy through the Labour White Paper In Place of Strife 
and the Tory Industrial Relations Act; coal strikes at the Department of Energy; and then from No 10 Scargill’s insurrection in the 1980s and that decade’s riots.

After having my ear clipped by a 
free range potato in Liverpool, I witnessed the sneering contempt of the local dictator, Derek Hatton, before Neil Kinnock had the guts to tame these municipal tyrants.

Militancy thrives where there are most chances of causing trouble. Experience shows that it can move effortlessly from unions to local government to demonstrations, and back again.

Moderate Labour resistance is at the mercy of Trotskyist de-selection, thanks to Ed Miliband’s invitation to infiltrate the party with his £3 membership scheme.

Moreover, it isn’t just that Corbyn is the choice of the unions, weak though they are outside the public sector. The economy is relatively weak, too, with a £70bn budget deficit and a trade deficit to boot.

The world economy is perilous. And we have no idea how many Muslim terrorists we are admitting with so-called refugees from Africa and the Middle East

Now, God save us, Lord Rose, the former chairman of Marks & Spencer, tells us it is our patriotic duty to vote to stay in the EU. Like Corbyn and Co, the blighter seems to care nought for our democratic liberties.

Too many people want to fit us into straightjackets. The Tories’ priority must be to defend liberty and democracy. Otherwise, Corbyn the False Front will sink us.