WHEN I heard Prime Minister David Cameron’s reaction to the new leader of the Labour Party, I dismissed it as a scaremongering tactic designed to undermine his rival. “Labour are now a serious risk to our nation’s security, our economy’s security and your family’s security,” he warned.
But after scrutinising this former backbencher’s record and listened to his speeches, I share Cameron’s concerns. Should Jeremy Corbyn ever make it to Number Ten, Britain’s stature will be diminished globally and its relations with the US, the EU, Saudi Arabia, Gulf States and Egypt will be strained to a breaking point.
Great Britain would be reduced to an inconsequential island, a fringe state, without its membership of NATO and its Trident nuclear capability, not to mention powerful allies willing to come to its defence.
At first glance, the idea that this slightly dishevelled-looking died-in-the wool socialist activist, with a knack of coming across as a genuine do-gooder out to set the world to rights, seems preposterous. After all, he has succeeded in charming the party faithful during the recent party conference with self-effacing humour and elicited standing ovations for his championship of the workers and poor families.
Since his election, Labour has garnered over 60,000 new members drawn mostly from the working class, keen on strengthening the unions, increasing welfare payments and upping the minimum wage than foreign policy. The old guard among his party’s establishment are chafing at the bit. They want him gone now. His refusal to sing Britain’s National Anthem “God save the Queen” was an embarrassment; likewise his crony appointments of his former mistress and close friend to high positions in his shadow cabinet.
Worse, Corbyn has alienated the United States with a public announcement that 9/11 was manipulated as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and at one time he said he mourned the death of Osama bin Laden.
Labour’s centrist old guards are so appalled that it is believed they are cooking up a leadership challenge but are forced to bide their time until his popularity wanes. The question is what if it does not?
He is no politician. He is an extreme left-winger with some very unsavoury friends and associates, among them the leaders of Iran as well as those of Hezbollah and Hamas whom he was once “honoured” to invite to Parliament. He is even alleged to have supported the IRA while it was engaged in killing British soldiers and, on one occasion, he handed money to one of his assistants destined for an IRA operatives fleeing justice.
In August this year, he was scheduled to speak at a conference hosted by a Muslim Brotherhood British based mouthpiece Middle East Monitor where he would have shared a stage with Brotherhood propagandist Anasal-Tikriti, Hamas figures and one of the runners-up in Iran’s Holocaust denial cartoon contest.
He only cancelled because of the scandal surrounding an announcement by the publication’s senior editor blessing the practice of stoning to death. Regularly interviewed by another Brotherhood rag Middle East Eye, he told the Egyptian president that he was unwelcome in London because of his country’s imprisoning of its failed Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.
One established daily wrote this before the election: “If Jeremy Corbyn wins, Labour will be in the extraordinary position of having a leader with the most extensive links in Parliament to terrorists.”
The Iranian ayatollahs are jubilant at the success of their best British buddy. This headline in The Telegraph says it all: “Iran hails Jeremy Corbyn for shaking the British ruling class”.
According to the article, an aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Syed Salman Safavi “has lavished praise on Mr Corbyn” for Iran’s ability to “bring peace to the Middle East” and for his drive to pull Britain out of NATO.
Naturally, a toothless western country without diplomatic clout or the nuclear weapons capability that assures its place among the big five UN Security Council members, would serve Iran’s purposes.
And as for Safavi’s statement that Iran — the region’s prime aggressor in Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen – could bring peace to the Middle East, well, that is nothing less than a bad joke when Khamenei has sworn to up his support for “the resistance”.
Corbyn has hosted a political call in chat show in the absence of its regular host George Galloway, on the Iranian English language channel Press TV that continually spews out anti-Saudi and anti-Bahraini propaganda and which has been removed from the UK’s airwaves. Last year, he visited Iran and was pictured sharing a warm handshake with the country’s foreign minister Mohammed Javed Zarif.
He used his speech at the annual Labour Party gathering to attack Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on their human rights record and called upon Cameron to prevent the Kingdom’s authorities implementing a death penalty, as though any British leader has the right to interfere in the affairs of a sovereign country.
Al Bawaba rightly asks while pointing out that GCC countries are heavily invested in the UK, “Should Gulf investors worry about Jeremy Corbyn?” If he ever becomes prime minister, I would answer a resounding yes given his anti-Arab rants as well as his ideological vendetta against the rich, whom he proposes taxing to the hilt.
Jeremy Corbyn looks humble and sounds authentic yet, look carefully and you will see that his belligerence against the Gulf precisely echoes that of Press TV and other Iranian media outlets. His chances of getting the top job may be slim because the British media has his measure, but I would caution investors from this part of the world to be alert for a surprise upset.
I have no message for Corbyn; his views are too entrenched. How can anyone trumpet concern for human rights with any authority when they cuddle a regime like Iran that subjugates its own people, treats its minority populations as second-class citizens whose political and cultural rights are trampled upon?
Why does he ignore the dozens of imprisoned opposition party members, journalists and activists or the children awaiting their end on death row? Instead, he celebrates the Iran deal as a triumph for peace. The man is a hypocrite!
I would ask the British people to see through the facade and moreover, I would stress that his attacks on Saudi and Bahrain have no foundation. Both countries threatened by Iran and its proxies have the right to handle their security and deal with bad apples in the best way they see fit.
The peoples of the Gulf enjoy the highest standards of living anywhere. In July, a premature newborn died because the local authorities in Poole, Dorset, refused temporary shelter to its homeless parents. That is a tragedy that does not happen here.
Our people are looked after; their needs taken care of and those are the most important human rights of all. Corbyn is an extremist, a defender of terrorists and terrorist regimes, in sheep’s clothing. I can only second David Cameron’s warning and urge the British electorate to beware!
By Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor