A well of poison 3

A diary has been found in the US National Security Archive which reveals details of the relationship between the British Labour Party and the Soviet Union. It was kept by one Anatoly Chernyaev, the man who pandered between the Kremlin and the Labour leaders (particularly Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock). If anyone should know, he should. And it’s quite likely he’s telling the truth, though with such people there can be no certainty, of course.

The diary is making some headlines in Britain, notably in The Spectator, which has made it this week’s cover story, and the Daily Mail.

Among its ‘revelations’ is a story that the Labour leaders tried to get the Soviets to help them beat the ‘common enemy Margaret Thatcher’. The Soviets apparently agreed to help these treacherous men, and maybe they did something or other, but whether they did or not, Mrs Thatcher remained triumphantly in Downing Street throughout the 1980s, to be replaced by another Conservative leader, John Major, in 1990.

The Mail, realizing perhaps that this isn’t much of a revelation, and that as news it is rather stale, does its best to work up something juicier:

More worrying, perhaps, is the fact that the document shows in stark detail how the political ideology of so many of those who govern today was shaped by the unspeakable communist creed of the Soviet Union. The unpalatable truth is that many ministers in Government today rose through the ranks of a British socialist movement that was heavily influenced – and even controlled – by the Kremlin in Moscow. … In Britain, those on the Left who know about the depth of the Soviet influence over this country in the latter half of the 20th century, have maintained an embarrassed silence about this shameful episode in British political history. Above all, the intimate co-operation between Moscow and the trades unions which nearly brought the country to its knees in the Sixties and Seventies has been an utterly taboo subject. … This diary reveals that the cosy relationship between the Kremlin and Labour was far more widespread than previously thought – and had been going on for years. …’

Actually, it was pretty well known that the particular trade union leaders mentioned by the Mail were sponsored by the Soviets. The subject, far from being ‘utterly taboo’ was discussed at length and often in Conservative circles, especially when Prime Minister Thatcher tamed the trade unions good and proper. As for the ‘intimacy’ between the Labour Party rats and the Soviet top brass, such details as the diary records – and only the details are news really, the general picture being well known to anyone who took an interest in such things back then – show the rats in a rather pathetic light. It seems that they had to beg for a few minutes with Brezhnev, and later with ‘the senile’ Chernenko, so they could tell the newspapers back home that they were received by the Man. Hardly a ‘cosy’ relationship!

The Mail tries harder yet:

It is not just the Left’s close connection with the Soviet Union, but the lasting influence of that connection that should concern us all.

By which it means that Gordon Brown, who is still in power though not for much longer, was originally given his safe seat by the decision of two senior trade union officials who were themselves sponsored by the USSR. Thus, urges the Mail, ‘the control the Soviets had over Labour, its leadership and aspiring politicians, is still having a profound impact on Britain.’

Even this, we surmise, will not greatly scandalize or even startle most British readers.

We find one comment interesting. It’s made by Peter Oborne in his Spectator column on the subject. He says that ‘these communist influences’ account for many of the ‘characteristics’ of Tony Blair’s New Labour. The characteristics he notes are:

‘Its deep suspicion of outsiders, its structural hostility to democratic debate, its secrecy, its faith in bureaucracy, embedded preference for striking deals away from the public eye, its ruthless reliance on a small group of trusted activists .’

Why this list strikes us as worth noting is that it applies equally to Obama’s Democratic Party. And the influences are of the same sort, and from the same poison well: not the Kremlin, which was only a conduit, but the Communist creed itself.

Surprise, surprise! 0

When will they ever learn? A Jewish member of the British Labour Party is turned down for a candidacy in the Birmingham local elections.

The left is not your political side, ma’am! Will it take more than this to convince you? What world have you been living in? Have you been asleep? Wake up and smell the jihad!   

From the MailOnline:

The Labour Party has become embroiled in a race row after a prospective female councillor was allegedly told she was ‘too white and Jewish’ to be selected. 

Elaina Cohen claims that Labour councillor Mahmood Hussain said he would not support her application for an inner-city ward because ‘my Muslim members don’t want you because you are Jewish’. 

Mrs Cohen, 50, has made an official complaint about the alleged remarks made by Mr Hussain, a Muslim and former lord mayor of Birmingham. 

She said: ‘I am shocked and upset that a member of the Labour Party in this day and age could even think something like that, let alone say it. 

‘People should not be allowed to make racist comments like that. If someone in the party feels I cannot represent them because of my colour or religion, that’s ridiculous. 

‘I felt particularly aggrieved because I have worked across all sections of the community, particularly with the Muslim section, and have been on official visits to Pakistan.’ 

Mrs Cohen had applied to stand as a Labour councillor for the Birmingham ward of East Handsworth and Lozells, which has a high Asian and Afro-Caribbean population

As one of Labour’s safest seats on Tory-led Birmingham city council, the final candidate would be almost certain of victory at the June 4 by-election. 

But when Mrs Cohen telephoned 57-year-old Mr Hussain for his support, she was astonished to be told that she was too ‘white and Jewish’ to be considered. 

Lorraine Briscoe, who runs a local community association, was sitting next to Mrs Cohen when the conversation took place on speakerphone last Tuesday. 

‘I was disgusted that a councillor could make comments like that in 2009,’ she said. 

‘He told her, "They will not vote for someone who is white and Jewish. My Muslim members don’t want you because you are Jewish". 

‘Elaina then asked him if he had talked to his Muslim members about it and he said, "I don’t want to talk about it with you" and hung up. 

‘Elaina does a lot of good work in this community and she does not see race or religion, she just sees people.’ 

Two days after the alleged conversation, Mrs Cohen and another candidate were rejected by a pre-selection panel after failing to gain the support of the local party. 

Instead, members were presented with one candidate, black South African Hendrina Quinnen, who was selected by an almost unanimous vote. 

Mrs Cohen has now sent an official complaint to Labour Party general secretary Ray Collins and Birmingham city council accusing Mr Hussain of improper conduct. 

Mr Hussain said yesterday: ‘I would not make those sort of comments. The allegations are not true.’

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

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