What would a Jeremy Corbyn foreign policy mean for Labour?

Labour members should reflect on the legacy of Attlee and our humanitarian interventionist traditions

NATO intervention in Kosovo helped put an end to ethnic cleansing

Jeremy Corbyn and I serve together on the Executive Committee of the British Group of the Inter Parliamentary Union. Although I do not share his one sided view of Middle East policy, his friendship with Hamas and Hezbollah, or his rose tinted attitude to the government of Venezuela, there are issues on which we do agree, including support for women’s rights, LGBT rights and opposition to the death penalty.

We were both Labour candidates in the General Election of 1983. Jeremy was elected to Parliament for the safe inner London constituency of Islington North and began his 32 years as a rebellious left-wing backbencher. I was the defeated candidate in the outer London suburban of Ilford North.

Despite the civil war within the party following our 1979 defeat, the 1981 Special Conference and the SDP split, there was a great deal of enthusiasm in 1983 among the party rank and file.

Although we did limited canvassing, in Ilford North we had enthusiastic crowds around our campaign street stalls, big contingents on the huge CND marches and anti-Cruse missile protests encircling Greenham Common. Thousands came to our Labour rallies during the campaign to hear Michael Foot, deputy leader Denis Healey and others.

My election material was firmly in line with party policy as set out in the campaign document, The New Hope for Britain, which had hurriedly been agreed as the election manifesto by an exhausted NEC. Labour would withdraw from the European Economic Community (without a referendum), unilaterally scrap Trident and remove all US nuclear weapons and bases – whilst staying in NATO.

Although I privately knew I would not win it came as a great disappointment to many activists when we suffered a terrible defeat. Labour’s vote dropped by 8,345. The Conservative majority went up from 7,195 to 11,201. With just 10,841 votes, I only just kept second place over an SDP candidate who had done almost no campaigning. Worse still, marginal neighbouring Ilford South remained firmly in Conservative hands.

Jeremy Corbyn has made clear in numerous speeches and articles over the years that he remains committed to the policies on which he was first elected and on which Labour was resoundingly defeated in 1983. Indeed, he would go further: Labour has always, even in our brief unilateralist period, been pro-NATO, but Jeremy has consistently opposed NATO membership.

He recently said that Poland should not have been allowed to join NATO. He says its expansion to other democratic ex-Warsaw Pact countries was a mistake. He blames the USA and NATO rather than Putin’s imperialistic Russia for the crisis in Ukraine.

Labour has been here before. At the 1935 Party conference the great transport union leader Ernest Bevin denounced the pacifist George Lansbury over his opposition to possible League of Nations military action against Italian imperialism in Abyssinia. Lansbury resigned and eventually the Parliamentary Party elected Major Clement Attlee as interim Leader.

It was under prime minister Attlee and foreign secretary Bevin that the 1945 Labour government, in co-operation with the United States, played a decisive role in creating the institutions of the modern era, including the United Nations and NATO. It also ensured that Britain had its own independent nuclear deterrent. Britain also played a vital role supporting the United Nations forces in the Korean War.

Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters have made much of his opposition to the Iraq War and military action in Syria. But Jeremy also opposed the UN-authorised interventions in Afghanistan and Libya, and action to stop Slobodan Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Labour members should reflect on the legacy of Attlee and our patriotic, internationalist and humanitarian interventionist traditions.

Although Jeremy Corbyn was personally successful in 1983, many other Labour candidates were not. If Jeremy becomes Labour leader next month his anti-nuclear, anti-NATO, anti-American, anti-interventionist and Eurosceptic message will be welcomed by some in this country and by some abroad. But it is unlikely to be welcomed by Kurdish and other anti Da’esh forces in Iraq, by anti-Assad democrats in Syria, by democratic Central European NATO states like Poland, or by Ukrainians.

Above all, though, it will be resoundingly rejected by the British people, and lead Labour in 2020 to an even worse defeat than we collectively suffered in 1983.

Mike Gapes has been Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Ilford South since 1992. He is a member and former chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee

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59 Responses to “What would a Jeremy Corbyn foreign policy mean for Labour?”

  1. Selohesra

    The country can see that the Labour party cannot run a simple leadership election properly – why would they trust them to run important things like foreign policy or the economy?

  2. stevep

    The Labour party have a duty to ensure the leadership election is run properly. They are fulfilling that duty.
    As for foreign policy or the economy, after another 4 or 5 years of shambolic Tory policies, with the UK seriously weakened after the EU in/out vote and the economy on it`s knees, a reasonable person might deduce that anything would be better than more of the same.
    Labour will present a credible alternative.

  3. Ross

    This article tried to outline why Corbyn’s foreign policy beliefs, some still the same from 1983 – a long time ago but with full arguments behind them, are wrong because of what International Relations was like in 1945…which was an even longer time ago. I’d recommend taking any International Relations course to see the possible complexities of the world today that may underline Corbyn’s differing policies, particularly on interventionism in the Middle East.

    There is no debate here on why Corbyn may advocate such policies and a full counter-argument, just a statement that for example his anti-nuclear, anti-NATO, anti-interventionist and Eurosceptic beliefs (this one is complete rubbish as he supports principle of EU) are wrong merely because they will upset pro-nuclear, pro-NATO, pro-interventionist and pro-EU people.

    I’m not fully behind Corbyn’s foreign policy and I still have many questions to ask of it but foreign policy is made from debate on issues and principles that relate to the world today, not a party political broadcast from 1997.

  4. stevep

    It`s quite clear to me, if Labour cannot get elected unless it moves to the right to somehow chase floating voters or “middle England”, then we will end up with a one-party state, in all but name.

    Democracy will mean the electorate gets to choose the colour of the wallpaper every 5 years whilst the house is built around them and run by private capital.

    Yes we have to study history to learn the lessons of the past, but it is 2015 not 1983.
    There is no great lust for right-wing policies or governments in the UK any more, The Conservatives won an entirely unexpected slender majority, whilst UKIP gained one seat.

    They won because they are a brand and when people are not certain about a product, they will plump for the brand name in preference to a generic product.

    Labour 2015 were that generic product, large swathes of the country no longer knew what the brand was or what it stood for and voted for parties with stronger brand images and values, like UKIP, Plaid Cymru, Green Party or famously, the SNP.

    It`s a shit-or-bust moment in time for Labour, it really is. If it elects a leader who will take it forward and presents a radical progressive manifesto in contrast to the Tories, then it stands a chance of winning back core voters and enthusing those who genuinely want a clear alternative.

    I honestly think the country is ready for an alternative to this far-right miasma the UK has slid into, almost by default. I think much of Europe is.

    Time will tell, but if Labour don`t seize the moment they will drift away, fall apart and end up rudderless and soulless, drifting along wherever the political winds and the ambitions of leaders and MP`s take them – A bit like the Lib-Dems.

    Now that`s a lesson from history.

  5. JimmyRushmore

    I’m studying Politics and International Relations at Exeter. Corbyn’s foreign policy is a complete mess, based on his personal, ideologically biased view of the world, rather than any sound understanding of the issues and adversaries Britain faces.

  6. Ross

    Fantastic course to do isn’t it! I recently graduated in History and Politics from Leicester.

    Your sentence sounds like the conclusions of many essays analysing Tony Blair’s justification for the 2003 Iraq war – ‘personal, ideologically based view of the world, rather than any sound understanding of the issues and adversaries Britain faces’.

  7. Paul Frame

    OK. Why does he oppose membership of a collective international security organisation that says an attack on one is an attack on all. Isn’t that an expression of international solidarity of the kind that socialists should want?

    Why does he oppose taking action against Bashar Al Asad, a man who has gassed his own people and regularly barrel bombs his own population?

    We should be involved in the middle east because we are a permanent member of the UN security council. Socialist President Hollande of France does not have a problem with this, or an independent nuclear deterrent.

    I want to help the civilians of Syria. I want a no-fly zone over the country to stop the barrel bomb attacks that disproportionately harm non-combatants. I want safe havens created for civilians that are protected by peacekeepers. Is that such a terrible thing to want?

  8. Asteri

    Mike Gapes: a prominent Liz Kendall supporter.

    This article is just another in a long line of Labour-right, internationalist, propaganda pieces. Firstly, Britain has always used NATO and its nuclear weapons for international ‘dick-swinging’ desperately trying to relive some glory days of empire by tagging along with the US. While Kosovo is the favourite liberal-intervention myth of all interventionists, Afghanistan was a failure that achieved nothing but negotiation with the Taliban, NATO lied about its intentions in Libya then turned it into a failed state. None of these escapades turned out well so why do you assume that the rest of the people mentioned here are waiting for on tenterhooks for the result of the Labour party leadership contest?

    As for NATO, Ireland, Switzerland, Cyprus and Austria are not NATO members, nor are Sweden and Finland who are right next to Russia during the Cold War, there was never any threat to these countries and there wasn’t since the 1990s until NATO began deliberately meddling in them while refusing to admit Russia as a member; so what would you expect?

    For the record the UN did authorise action in Afghanistan (the UN never recognised the Taliban regime in Kabul) but not in Kosovo where NATO just circumvented the UN all together and did the same in Libya, the UN never authorised what NATO did in Libya i.e arm a rebellion and oust the government. So, Corbyn opposed one UN authorised intervention and opposed two that weren’t legal, Hardly that terrible.

  9. DemSoc93

    This is actually one of the better (read: less hysterical articles) on Jeremy’s foreign policy position.

    First of all, should we really be proud of our role in the Korean War?

    Also, it’s a good tip not to post an article that invalidates your attempt to portray him as some kind of Putin fan: “Corbyn has been accused of failing to see the threat posed by the aggression of Russian president Vladimir Putin, but he makes clear that he is highly critical of him. “I am not an admirer or supporter of Putin’s foreign policy, or of Russian or anybody’s else’s expansion. But there has got to be some serious discussions about de-escalating the military crisis in central Europe. Nato expansion and Russian expansion – one leads to the other, and one reflects the other.””

    To me, he seems interested in peace but isn’t prepared to bomb his way to it. This is novel. That’s not always a wise course of action, but you’ve got to question the use of military intervention on a case by case basis. It’s not always right and it’s not always wrong. I think we’ve got to consider intervention, but not always by sticking our military oar in because sometimes this makes things worse. We have all these international bodies for arbitration but when it comes to conflict we don’t bother with them.

    Do I think bombing ISIS, ISIL or whatever we’re calling them will help? No, not in itself. I agree with Jeremy that we’ve got to isolate and starve them of weapons.

    Also, you said UN-authorised intervention in Kosovo: the link to the EDM said “led by NATO and the United States in the Spring of 1999, without any sanction of the United Nations Security Council”.

    And on the Kurds, I wonder if they’re still fans of intervention after Turkey went and intervened by bombing them and ISIS.

    I don’t accept this dichotomy of military intervention = “doing something”, looking for ways to peace that involve less/no collateral damage = “doing nothing”.

  10. Ross

    Okay to take your example on Syria, I completely agree that to save civilians from the horror that is Syria’s brutal regime under Assad is the right thing to do and want. I even believe that Saddam Hussein was a dreadful dictator who needed to be stopped. But I would want to see a wholesale increase of the powers of the United Nations and MULTILATERAL intervention sanctioned by it to deal with grave threats to human life and security such as these in the right way. As said I’m not completely behind Corbyn on this however I don’t see any other candidates, past Labour leaders or even the Tories advocating using more peacekeepers or taking any more tough steps other than to increase economic sanctions or fund rebel groups through the back door to which at that time we did not realise that half of them were al-Nusra later to affiliate to ISIS…so much for competent UK foreign policy eh?

    What this highlights is that principles though indispensable and primary, are only half of foreign policy. The other half is method and how to deal with a complex post-cold war international and the threats we may face from it. Yes we should be involved in the Middle East because of our seat on UNSC and yes we should do something about Syria – but the complex situations we face today are not solved by a. nuclear weapons as no major IR issue since the Cold War has required them and b. a collective security organisation which would rather just jump in on one side and fuel the conflict rather than work with the UN to bring both sides to the table and engage the issues (so much for international solidarity if NATO can’t work with the bastion of collective effort?)

    Corbyn’s policy is not based around an ignorance of these international issues, what he is proposing is a new method of dealing with these issues:

    “Britain needs to redefine its place in the world. We stand up against injustice wherever we find it, looking to build a more peaceful world through dialogue, cooperation and democracy.”

    Those last three words are crucial. Its still early days in what will be the party’s 2020 defence policy stance, our job at the moment isn’t to provide a comprehensive policy document on everything that is happening and may happen in the world, instead its a redefinition of the values that underpin our strategy and a realistic assessment of how we carry that out. I don’t see Kendall, Burnham or Cooper advocating any sort of refocus on how our party should see the world and our nation’s interests in any way other than the status quo which seems to be something like “just keep arming, hardening rhetoric and tightening our security state until the threat goes away” – threats don’t just go away until they are engaged but there is also the problem of not engaging with them in the right way i.e. unapproved and ill-calculated interventionism etc.

  11. Dee

    “But Jeremy also opposed the UN-authorised interventions in Afghanistan, Libya and action to stop Slobodan Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing in Kosovo”

    This mantra is tiresome and frankly vulgar.

  12. DemSoc93

    Since the editorial line of LFF seems to be anti-Corbyn (there have been countless articles against him), who do you back LFF? Who do you think socialists should vote for?

    Isn’t there a case for lending critical support to Corbyn, i.e. you agree with him on pretty much everything but foreign policy? Indeed, one could argue, as groups like AWL (Alliance for Workers’ Liberty) do, that there’s a socialist case for intervening against some people who are just as anti-workers’ rights, anti-human rights, etc. as the West (if not even rabidly more so). Though they have their own socialist views on foreign policy which oppose Islamism and don’t fall into the trap of supporting everyone who is anti-Western, they still support Corbyn.

    We aren’t electing his foreign policy, we’re electing him as leader. He has pledged to allow greater internal democracy in the party and in policy-making. You aren’t voting to make every single one of Jeremy Corbyn’s personal views policy, you’re voting for the party to become a participatory mass movement. If you oppose Jeremy’s foreign policy views and consider yourself a socialist, vote for him as leader and when the party becomes the more democratic structure he’s promising, put across the case that there are people out there worse than NATO.

    Under the other three candidates, policy (including foreign policy) will continue to be something handed down from above. Only under Jeremy, even if you disagree with his personal views in the area of foreign policy, will members have any say over policy. No one is saying Jeremy is perfect, but he’s a damn sight better than the other three lukewarm, unenthusiastic PPE graduates.

  13. Paul Frame

    The UN doesn’t need an increase in its powers. Have a look at the charter and you’ll see it already has them.

    Article 43

    All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

    Such agreement or agreements shall govern the numbers and types of forces, their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance to be provided.

    The agreement or agreements shall be negotiated as soon as possible on the initiative of the Security Council. They shall be concluded between the Security Council and Members or between the Security Council and groups of Members and shall be subject to ratification by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.

  14. Paul Frame

    and Article 45:

    Article 45

    In order to enable the United Nations to take urgent military measures, Members shall hold immediately available national air-force contingents for combined international enforcement action. The strength and degree of readiness of these contingents and plans for their combined action shall be determined within the limits laid down in the special agreement or agreements referred to in Article 43, by the Security Council with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee.

  15. Paul Frame

    Here’s the problem of the UN. It’s designed to try and prevent world war three as fought in 1914-1918 and 1937-1945.

    It’s not a great deal of help in civil wars or “small” regional wars. It’s certainly not a great deal of help if any of the permanent five are involved in a conflict, as they will veto any proposed action taken by the UN Security Council.

    So you then get the situation we have in Syria where Russia will veto any action (such as deploying peace-keepers to protect safe havens or a no-fly zone) because they perceive it to threaten Russia’s interests.

    So how do you then try and MULTILATERALLY help Syrian civilians then?

    Would a coalition of France, UK and the US be multilateral for you?

  16. Paul Frame

    Hear hear. Although obviously you should have studied at Aberystwyth innit 😉

  17. Paul Frame

    Achieved nothing? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7a064fb9a94ff95b20cbc2d1f559c8fd0dfa08659e93db597ceec55eac4f7e12.jpg

    It has enfranchised millions, it was also backed by the UN FWIW.

    The UN did back intervention in Libya, there was a UNSC resolution that authorised this: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1973(2011).

  18. Asteri

    Negotiating with the Taliban, putting Taliban members back into high office (the man responsible for destroying the Bamiyan Buddhas was put back into office by NATO), out of control opium production, introducing Islamist legislation into law to pacify hardline Islamists?

    Where in that link does it say NATO has the authorisation to bomb Sirte into rubble, arm a load of rebels we know nothing about and kill the county’s leader? You do know the new gang of hooligans ruling parts of Libya have have killed thousands of, enslaved and ethnically cleansed black Libyans don’t you? NATO just left the country collapse into anarchy.

  19. Ross

    Aye it says it in the charter but the UN’s history has been swamped with problems in putting all this into practice.

    Also, so if the the UN is not cut out for the modern day issues such as intra-state conflict and small scale affairs, is launching a nuclear missile or full on intervention into regions already simmering with disorder and resentment for previous unilateral non UN-backed interventions a calculated move?

    In answer to your question I believe a UN peacekeeping force should be deployed in Syria in order to allow those to deal with its humanitarian consequences for the protection of civilians, this would be backed by air power from a range of UN nations including UK France USA etc if you like, and explicitly ensured its purpose to counter fears from states like Russia and others that the real objective is regime change, which we all know went spectacularly well in previous Middle East interventions.

  20. David Lindsay

    Happy Retirement, Mike.

    Now, to serious business. This week’s Jewish Chronicle has apparently been edited by Walter Mitty.

    Its circulation of 22,460 in June 2013 is almost certainly even lower now. Yet that newspaper presumes to issue a series of “demands” to the political phenomenon of the decade, Jeremy Corbyn. As if he would care. Or even notice.

    Such behaviour is routine in small-circulation Leftist publications such as the one that is about to have to increase its print run very dramatically because one of its columnists is about to become the Leader of the Opposition while its Parliamentary Correspondent is about to become the only member of the Lobby with much access at all to the people running the Labour Party.

    No doubt, papers reaching a few thousand Britain First supporters are very much like that, too. As, no doubt, is the Daily Express.

    Such is the category in which the Jewish Chronicle, the senior Jewish newspaper in the world, has chosen to place itself. This is a very sad day.

    There are of course very high-circulation newspapers that seek to hector and bully elected politicians into obeying the will and serving the interests of foreign powers, especially the United States (and not even the present governing element in the United States) and Saudi Arabia.

    But this is of a different order. It recalls the days of Soviet Weekly, which I suppose might at certain points have had a readership of comparable size to that of the Jewish Chronicle today, and which made no pretence to be anything other than its name declared it to be.

    No politician of any importance ever paid the slightest attention to that. Nor will they to this. An MP who is considerably more recognisable to the electorate than most members of the Cabinet are, is most definitely never going to treat these funny little “demands” with anything even so demanding as his contempt.

  21. Ian Young

    Corbyn was asked about his NATO views at a meeting and argued it was a Cold War relic and what he was hinting at was a system of collective European security that does not have NATO’s external remits that are being invented to justify keeping the organisation in business. Mike may not agree with Jeremy but he should debate him on his actual views rather than assuming he his stuck in a Cold War era monolithic position.

  22. David Lindsay

    Burnham’s degree was in English.

    But the Oxford University Labour Club has nominated Corbyn. Good stuff.

  23. Ian Young

    He was honestly evasive when I heard him talk about NATO claiming its an area that needs debate. What he seem to hint at was a system of European collective security which I assume includes some kind of rapprochement with Russia. I’m no expert on his views but he certainly was not stuck in a Cold War time warp.

  24. Man the Barricades

    Blair was the first truly unelectable person to really come out against
    Corbyn. This was followed by John McTernan making equally strong
    comments against Mr Corbyn, which everyone ignored until they remembered
    that he was chief of Staff to Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy. A man
    who’s performance in Scotland was worse than Edward the First. Then
    yesterday Alistair Campbell, or as he’s better known; Blofeld,
    recommended the Labour party adopted an “Anyone but Corbyn” strategy,
    failing to recognise that Ed Miliband was “anyone but Corbyn” and of
    course his old protege Blair. And now its the turn of Jack Straw that
    well known “sell access for cash specialist”. Jeremy Corbyn’s team are
    naturally thrilled at this. One thing is certain – that the “New Labour”
    politics of Blair and his followers is now making Labour unelectable and is
    closer to Conservatism than it is to Socialism. Its beginning to feel like the corpse of the SDP has appeared again.

  25. Cole

    LFF isn’t a ‘socialist’ blog. It’s broadly progressive, and has had contributions from Greens, LibDens and non aligned progressives.

  26. Ian

    I assume by progressive you mean ‘same old neoliberal shite dressed up as vaguely leftish’.

    There is absolutely nothing genuinely progressive about this place. As its coverage of the Labour leadership campaigns shows, it’s exactly like the Guardian, chock full of corporate/establishment shills desperately trying to limit any democratic choices we still have and narrow the parameters of political discussion.

    If this shower gets its way there will only ever be a choice between slight variances in neoliberal extremism.

    Also like The Guardian, the writers here try and talk the talk but fall desperately short when it comes time to walk the walk. All mouth, no substance.

  27. Faerieson

    “What would a Jeremy Corbyn foreign policy mean for Labour?”

    Well, for starters it would mean that ‘Labour’ meant ‘Labour.’ It’s a jolly good start!

  28. Cole

    I hope you enjoyed your rant. Your lot will soon find out how popular Corbyn is when we get a real election.

  29. Cole

    You really think people like Attlee and Bevin would have supported this Corbyite rubbish? I don’t think you know much about Labour’s history.

  30. Ian

    Maybe, maybe not, that isn’t the point. The point is, why is a supposedly Labour website lining up with the corporate media and desperately trying to reduce democracy to right or further right?

    Also, while I’m here, you seem happy to get behind one of the Blairites in the leadership. If that is the case, what do you thin they’ll bring that is slightly diluted Conservatism?

  31. DemSoc93

    In any case, I would still like to know who they’re backing that it’s prompting this torrent of anti-Corbyn pieces.

  32. andrew bailey

    So NATO intervention in Kosovo put stop to ethnic cleansing did it? Never let the facts get in the way of warmongering propaganda eh? If you would care to look in Hansard you will see the answer to the q posed about the number of deaths in Kosovo pre the illegal bombing. The deaths were mainly Serbian police followed by KLA terrorists. There was no ethnic cleansing before the illegal bombing and most of the people fleeing Kosovo after the bombing were fleeing the NATO bombs! The attack on Serbia ( including the deliberate targeting of civilians – another BLiar war crime) was nothing to do with humanitarian intervention it was about the strategic aims of the US ( Camp Bonsteel). Kosovo is now a mafia run state run by drug lords and murderers; that is what your sponsored warmongering achieved; are you proud of that Gapes?

  33. Cole

    Don’t you understand: it’s not and never has been a Labour blog.

  34. Cole

    Why can’t they oppose Corbyn? You can be if the left and think he’d be a disaster. I’m fed up with intolerant Corbynites denouncing everyone who opposes them as Tories or Blairites. It’s a throwback to the intolerance of the hard left in the 1980s.

  35. Ian

    It’s a Labour supporting blog, then. Pedant.

    And you didn’t/couldn’t answer me 🙂

  36. DemSoc93

    Calm down dear. There’s nothing wrong with opposing Corbyn at all. But my problem is that a level of venom has been directed at Corbyn that has not been directed at any other candidate. Now, this was to be expected of the right-wing newspapers and magazines but when it’s coming from the likes of the Guardian, New Statesman and LFF, it’s disappointing.

  37. Cole

    The venom from the Corbynites has been strong and pretty nasty, renascent of the far left in the 1980s. One Burnham supporter I know of was told to ‘f*** off and join the Tories’.

  38. Cole

    It’s not. It has contributions from Greens, LibDems and others, as well as Labour folks. Look it up.

  39. Ian

    I don’t care who contributes it’s a Labour supporting blog.

    No answer on my other point? 🙂

  40. DemSoc93

    The venom generally has been unpleasant. Corbyn supporters have been called all sorts but usually by professional politicians rather than just idiots on Twitter.

    My advice to you would be if any Corbyn supporter stoops to the level of personal insult or rudeness, tell them to follow the example of the candidate they support. That’s what I do if I don’t
    don’t see people on my side being arseholes.

  41. Jiesheng Li

    right disarm the UK it should be Switzerland number 2! Live with a Daesh neighbour!

  42. Suada

    False on almost every count.

  43. Cole

    You really don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not Labour, and never has been

  44. andrew bailey

    Just by saying something isn’t so doesn’t mean you are right! You offer no evidence to back up your arguments. So NATO didn’t bomb the Serbian State TV and kill innocent civilians? I am afraid you are being economical with the truth. Camp Bondsteel is the biggest US camp in Europe!

  45. Ian

    Answer my point or be quiet, pedant.

  46. Suada

    “So NATO didn’t bomb the Serbian State TV and kill innocent civilians?”

    The RTS building formed an important part of the VJ’s military and control communications network. The director received plenty of advanced warning of the attack from NATO but failed to evacuate it, intentding to make a political show of their deaths.

    “Camp Bondsteel is the biggest US camp in Europe!”

    Camp Bondsteel isn’t even a US military base. It’s a base of the US troops under the auspices of KFOR.

  47. andrew bailey

    FACT: Camp Bondsteel is A US army base which is being used as the HQ for KFOR … Please get your facts straight.
    The Serbs could have said the same about the BBC; but I would not have condoned an attack on civilians.
    No amount of facts or logic will change your mind because you obviously have an axe to grind. I am merely a dispassionate observer who prefers facts to jaundiced polemic.

  48. Suada

    “FACT: Camp Bondsteel is A US army base which is being used as the HQ for KFOR … Please get your facts straight. ”

    It’s under the auspices of K-FOR, not the US army.

    “The Serbs could have said the same about the BBC; but I would not have condoned an attack on civilians.”

    When the BBC is used as a command and control centre for the British Army, perhaps you will have something resembling a point. But since it isn’t, you don’t.

    ” I am merely a dispassionate observer who prefers facts to jaundiced polemic.”

    You’re funny 🙂

  49. mightymark

    Many of the people you accuse of being SDP could (like me) have joined it – not least Blair. I am almost exactly Blair’s age and (wrongly) found it attractive, The fact that they didn’t says a lot both for their loyalty to Labour and political prescience.

  50. mightymark

    Hmmm – I wonder why you chose to make this point under an article by Mike Gapes on foreign policy yet, from what I can see, have absolutely nothing whatsoever to say about foreign policy yourself.

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