Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday compared Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
Johnson wrote that Corbyn’s attack on a group of billionaires – including retail magnate Mike Ashley and hedge fund manager Crispin Odey – was reminiscent of Stalin’s brutal collectivisation campaign in the 1930s which led to an estimated half a million deaths.
“They pretend that their hatred is directed only at certain billionaires – and they point their fingers at individuals with a relish and a vindictiveness not seen since Stalin persecuted the kulaks,” Johnson wrote in The Telegraph.
“In reality they would end up putting up taxes on everyone: on pensions, on businesses, on inheritance, on homes, on gardens.”
The kulaks were a group of wealthy peasants who were targeted by the Soviet’s during the collectivisation of agricultural land in the 1930s.
The campaign of arrests, deportations and executions led to an estimated 530,000 to 600,000 deaths, although historian Robert Conquest estimated that as many as 5m people may have died during the campaign.
Corbyn last night tweeted the article with the comment: “The nonsense the super-rich will come out with to avoid paying a bit more tax…”
Corbyn launched his election campaign last week with an attack on “the establishment elite”, naming self-made billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, media owner Rupert Murdoch and landowner the Duke of Westminster, in addition to Ashley and Odey as examples of those who Labour would “go after.”
Retail tycoon Mike Ashley, branded a “bad boss” by Corbyn, told City A.M. the Labour leader was “clueless” and accused him of lying.
And hedge fund manager Odey, who was blasted as one of the “greedy bankers… who makes millions betting against our country”, described the ad hominem attack as “ridiculous.”