This is our truth, tell us yours
Well, I should be in the story about MI5 and the Labour leadership campaign shouldn’t I? Everyone else is, or appears to be. McClusky’s outburst about the role of MI5 in doing down Jeremy Corbyn deserves a supporting cast of ‘Tibetans, Aliens, Americans, Atlanteans and other rare and strange creatures of the Last Days’ to paraphrase Gaiman and Pratchett, with McClusky in the role of A Nutter, making noises from the sideline.
Here’s a clue for Len and his Unite followers. MI5 have intervened in Labour politics in the past. Their role in the miners strike of 1984 was clear and apparent, but secondary to its outcome. MI5 didn’t need to interfere in the progressof the miners strike, because Scargill had so screwed it up that there was no prospect of the miners winning. Talking about the role of MI5 in 1984 is whataboutery of the highest order.
Make your way back through the list of ocasions when MI5 intervened in Labour politics,and what’s apparent is that the spooks were never the prime movers in what happened next. Take the period between 1974 and 1977 when Harold Wilson was busy seeing conspiracies behind every door. Parts of MI5 contained people who were convinced he was a Russian agent, and ran their own conspiracy inside MI5. What did for Wilson, though, was not MI5 but ill-health, paranoia and his secretive team within a team, the bizarre inner office headed up by Marcia Falkender which succeeded only in isolating Wilson from his friends and colleagues.
Even the most obvious incident in which MI5 were involved, the Zinoviev letter, was less about the Labour Party than it was about Russian emigres trying to sabotage Britain’s relationship with Russia. As AJP Taylor pointed out, the real damage to Labour was not in the 1924 election, but in the alibi for failure tht it provided Labour with.
It’s easily argued that on each of these occasions, MI5 was not the key mover in the defeat of Labour or the labour movement.
Occam’s razor demands that we look for the simplest solution to any conundrum. That means, in general, favouring cock-up over conspiracy, because conspiracies are hard to organize.
So, is Jeremy Corbyn the victim of a covert conspiracy, or simply leader of a political team who couldn’t organize a pissup in a brewery? Sadly, because he is leader of my party, I have to conclude that Corbyn is the author of his own misfortunes. He really is this crap.
Want an example?
Radio5 had a lengthy piece this morning featuring the excellent Iain Wright MP, dismantling Sir Phillip Green’s reputation. All week, the news should be about nothing but the unaceptable face of captalism, and the scandal that developed while Theresa May was in the cabinet.
Can you hear that sound? Tumbleweed.
Corbyn, as ever, is more concerned with winning the struggle within Labour than in winning the struggle in the country.
If MI5 were minded to de-stabilize Corbyn, looking at his currrent performance, they’d have to conclude that there’s nothing more that they could do.