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Jeremy Corbyn and the New World Order

Corbyn on redI pity the poor sod the Conservatives have tasked with trawling through vast back files of the Morning Star, Labour Briefing and Campaign Group News in the hope of digging up incriminating quotes from Jeremy Corbyn.

You see, back in the 1980s and 1990s I not only used to stand outside tube stations and factory gates unsuccessfully attempting to sell publications generally fomenting the overthrow of capitalism to the perennially unheeding proletariat, but helped to write them as well.

And so I can confirm that a lively and sparkling prose style, laced with risque witticisms and agile word play, was not among the major plus points of the radical press in the decades gone by.

I can just picture some hapless spotty Tory Boy sitting in Central Office right now, presumably comprehendingly little of the mind-numbingly dull analyses of the latest machinations of the bourgeoisie that were then the standard fare in such journals. The initiation ritual for his Oxford secret society will have been a doddle by comparison.

But, hey, the first fruits of such efforts have already emerged, in the shape of the Daily Telegraph’s bid to paint Jeremy Corbyn as unfit to lead the Labour Party, by dint of alleged adherence to rightwing whackjob conspiracy theory. The Mail has lifted the material, too.

Corbyn, it is hinted, is a 9/11 Truther who buys into the New World Order conspiracy theory. OK, the Telegraph sticks in sufficient caveats to stay the right side of defamation law, but let’s cut to the chase here. That’s what it means.

Without seeing the original articles from which the remarks are extracted, it is impossible to ascertain context and decided whether or not the quotes are being used fairly.

But accurate or not, I suspect that they are being given a very different meaning from the one intended. Take it from a guy who was there at the time, the only connection in which the term New World Order was used in far left circles was in reference to a speech by George Bush Sr to a joint session of Congress on the Persian Gulf crisis.  

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the expression achieved widespread use as a synonym for – to use more period jargon – a unipolar world.

Nor was it the exclusive property of leftist thinkers, either. It was freely deployed by intellectuals across the spectrum, including conservatives such as Samuel Huntingdon in his widely-read book The Clash of Civilisations.

As for the Corbyn’s contention that 9/11 was ‘manipulated’ to provide casus belli in Afghanistan, well, it was, wasn’t it?

The wording Corbyn choses is admittedly clumsy, but on the standard methodological presumption that an opponent’s viewpoint should be evaluated in its strongest form, there can be little dispute that the US – and Britain under Blair – used those events as justification for an invasion for which they had other reasons.

As critics of the decision to attack argued at the time, little effort was made to explore alternative policies, most importantly the extradition of Bin Laden.

In retrospect, it is clear the war achieved little. Al Qa’eda’s operations were temporarily disrupted, but were rapidly able to regroup elsewhere, while Afghanistan was plunged into 14 years of bloody conflict, and counting.

So if the researcher at CCO is reading this, the message is, nice try. But you really do need to raise your game next time.


  1. john P Reid says:

    the bad news stories the Tories dig up won’t only be about Corbyntehy’ll find stuff from prospectitve PCC or form union bosses like PAul Kenny and Len Mcklusky, recall the 1987 election tory boradcasts,when the tories went from being 1% ahead to 12% ahead,

  2. Robert says:

    They do not need to hire any one Mandy and Blair will do it for free.

  3. Paul Davies says:

    “Without seeing the original articles from which the remarks are extracted, it is impossible to ascertain context and decided whether or not the quotes are being used fairly.”

    Why didn’t you see them? Did you not look for them? Are you not a journalist?

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