This election campaign should have been a non-stop humiliation for the Labour party.
There is so much mud to throw at him that he should have drowned in it long ago. Why has a supposedly “peaceful” man associated himself with so many extremists? Were his engagements in Iran and Gaza compatible with his apparent quest for world peace? It’s remarkable that a friend of Hamas, who took money to appear on the propagandistic TV channels of the Iranian regime and sympathises with every anti-Western cause, should not have been politically destroyed.
His support for the IRA alone should have sunk Labour. In the 1980s, as the this ruthless mob murdered, kidnapped, assaulted and tortured people, Corbyn and his allies – including Diane Abbott and John McDonnell – supported the cause and befriended terrorists. The possibility that we might have a chancellor who once said: “it was the bombs and bullets… that brought Britain to the negotiating table”, or a home secretary who said that “every defeat of the British state is a victory for all of us”, is madness; a sign of these unstable political times.
Corbyn has proven capable of quite remarkable levels of cynicism and dishonesty, best exemplified by how he explains away his longstanding support of the IRA.
This is so important because among so many unpleasant truths about the man, this sickening display skewers the Corbyn myth.
When he lies about every single allegation regarding his IRA affiliations and sympathies, he is relying on public ignorance of the details.
When he says “what I want everywhere is a peace process”, he knows he has an army of dogmatic devotees enraptured by his personality cult who will propagate the lies on social media. To the young he comes across as sincere and feeds their anti-establishment sentiment.
His allies portray him as a “straight talking” decent man who is heralding an age of “honest, straightforward politics”. It’s a barefaced lie. He cannot be allowed to get away with this.
A week after the Brighton bombing, Corbyn invited Gerry Adams to the Commons.
Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that, according to the evidence he has seen, Adams was not only an IRA member, but sat on its army council.
Corbyn was later arrested while on a pro-IRA protest at the trial of the bomber who had killed five people and injured a further 31. He also wrote for and supported a socialist magazine which gloated about the bombing and threatened Margaret Thatcher with further attacks. Corbyn clearly supported the means as well as the end.
The Labour leader was “happy to commemorate all those who died fighting for an independent Ireland” at an event organised by Republican leaders in London’s Conway Hall during the 1987 general election. Corbyn has shamelessly lied that it was a meeting intended to honour victims on both sides. It wasn’t – it was to commemorate the Provos who had attempted to blow up a police station before being killed by the British Army. This meeting was held just months before an IRA bomb killed 11 people as they gathered around the cenotaph on Remembrance Day in Enniskillen. Still, he did not renounce his support.
Even Labour sympathisers found it hard to stomach Corbyn’s infatuation with the IRA. A 1996 editorial in the left-leaning Guardian, of all places, denounces his “romantic support for Irish Republicans” and states unequivocally: “Mr Corbyn's actions do not advance the cause of peace in Northern Ireland and are not seriously intended to do so”. People weren’t fooled at the time, in the same year that the provisional IRA – for which Corbyn was still making excuses – set off a bomb in Canary Wharf that killed two people, injured over 100, and caused £150m worth of damage.
Corbyn is now attempting to rewrite history and portray himself as an integral part of the peace process, saying that his role was “supporting a process which would bring about a dialogue”.
How strange then, that Corbyn opposed the Anglo-Irish agreement and lobbied the government on behalf of IRA prisoners. Stranger still, why did neither Corbyn nor McDonnell ever engage with the opposing side to their ideological kindred spirits in the IRA?
For the truth, we need to listen to the real architects of the peace process who insist that these men had nothing at all to do with it.
Former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, Seamus Mallon, said “I never heard anyone mention Corbyn at all. He very clearly took the side of the IRA and that was incompatible, in my opinion, with working for peace.” Sean O’Callaghan, an ex-IRA terrorist, said Corbyn “played no part ever, at any time, in promoting peace in Northern Ireland”, and any suggestion otherwise is “a cowardly, self-serving lie”.
Cowardly and self-serving: fitting words for Jeremy Corbyn, who has exposed himself as an unscrupulous liar with a warped moral compass.
Ben Kelly is the director of online communications for Conservatives for Liberty. He tweets at @thescepticisle.