“What made you appoint fascism-apologist Seumas Milne?”

October 21, 2015 at 5:29 pm (apologists and collaborators, Guardian, internationalism, labour party, reactionay "anti-imperialism", stalinism)

Above: Seumas

Shiraz doesn’t know very much about Kate Godfrey (KateVotesLabour) but she’s absolutely right about this appalling appointment:

So Mr Corbyn, what made you appoint fascism-apologist Seumas Milne?

I’m told the new politics is based on honesty.

So fine, here’s an honest question for Jeremy Corbyn.

How could you?

How bloody could you? How could you appoint Seumas Milne to be your voice, your eyes, your hands?

How could you think that not enough, and by appointing him Labour’s Director of Strategy, outsource your thinking to him too?

Mr Corbyn, you say that you want to listen to us, the people; and then you pick Seumas Milne – the one journalist who always knows better than the people who were there.

You pick a man who never heard an opinion that he didn’t filter; a truth that he didn’t dismiss as an orthodoxy, or a story of pain on which he didn’t have superior information.

As a columnist, Seumus Milne likes to write about foreign affairs.

Mr Corbyn, over the last months and in truth, years, I have tried to meet with you, or with your advisors time and time again.

Because I too like to write about foreign affairs.

As you take up your heavy responsibilities, I wanted to tell you what I know.

Mr Corbyn, I have spent my life in conflict zones. Prior to becoming a Labour PPC I worked in Somalia, in Sudan, in Libya, in Algeria, in Lebanon when the Israelis were shelling the passes, in Yemen, in Iraq, in Georgia, in Azerbaijan and in the DRC.

I worked in Syria, only there really is no Syria now, only the wreckage, and the hungry, and when the winter cold bites, the dead. Oh, and the barrel bombs. I would say the sarin — but your new advisor knows better.

I worked as part of international investigations, collecting evidence while the people around me collapsed from hunger.

I have seen a two year old dying, because all the frantic love and desperation of his mother, two aunts and grandmother could not make the medicines affordable.

I have seen clinics in refugee camps where patients cry with pain, and there is no-one to bring pain medication, and no-one to pay for it, and anyway, no pain medication to bring.

I’ve seen a bit bloody more than Mr Winchester-and-Balliol Milne.

And yet, it is Seumas Milne who is the expert on foreign affairs. And although, somehow, his is always the foreign affairs of dictators misjudged, and chemical weapons unused — until the bodies fell; of pure ideology and never of people — it is on the basis of that knowledge that you have promoted him.

It is Mr Milne’s knowledge of the world that befits him to be the voice of all those good, decent, careful Labour folk I love.

So let’s look at some of the things that Seumas Milne knows.

He knows that the West shouldn’t ‘demonise’ Putin — while Russian jets are scrambled by Assad, and responsibility for six of every seven deaths in Syria lies with the Russian-backed regime.

He knows that Assad had ‘no rational motivation’ for the worst chemical attacks since the Iran-Iraq war, and so that they probably didn’t take place.

He knows that the Iraqis who worked with the US in Iraq were ‘quislings,’ and that the right of it was with the ‘armed resistance.’

He knows that Lee Rigby fought in Afghanistan, and so that his murder ‘wasn’t terrorism in the normal sense.’

These are the truths that only Seumas Milne upholds.

Mr Corbyn, these are the truths that you have bought into.

These are the stocks that the leader of the Labour Party has seen, and shouted, ‘buy!’

We are ashamed in front of the world.

The decision to appoint Seumas Milne devalues everything that Labour stands for, and everything that Labour is. It is morally and ethically wrong.

Seumas Milne might act for you, Mr Corbyn. He might speak for you.

He does not speak for me.

  • Go to the profile of Kate Godfrey

    Kate Godfrey

    Three years as a Labour Party candidate. Ten years in the Middle East. Never noticeably successful.



    1. Mike Homfray said,

      Ah yes. You’ve already whined about the left being nasty to you once. Still stirring, I see. Glad Jeremy has more sense than to listen to you

    2. Robert R. Calder said,

      It’s an old ecclesiastical tale

      people think they’re going for J.C.
      and wind up with an imposition of SM ….

      are both these geezers so fixated on what they see as the Great Evil they have to project some putative mitigation of anything any of its enemies does or comes into being to do?

      Or are they saying “nothing is as bad as [the causes they try to defend]!” and embracing, therefore, NOTHING….. Pissmiddenism

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Nah, you vote for JC and you get capitalism. End of.

    3. John R said,

      “So Mr Corbyn, what made you appoint fascism-apologist Seumas Milne?” – Kate Godfrey.

      Maybe it’s because Jeremy Corbyn agrees with many of the views of Seumas Milne.

      After all, it was this blog that stated the following view in 2011 –

      “Corbyn is now beyond the pale and part of a de facto anti-democratic, pro-fascist and anti-semitic current that claims to be “left-wing” but is in fact, profoundly reactionary and anti-working class.”


      • Steven Johnston said,

        As I said earlier, you vote for Corbyn, you get capitalism. He supports a system that is anti-working class. If he was pro-democracy, anti-fascist and anti-racist he would still be anti-working class!

    4. Jim Denham said,

    5. puss wallgreen said,

      • Political tourist said,

        Said the man from the Daily Mail

        • Glasgow Working Class said,

          Pt, man of few words you are. Eat your porridge and declare yourself.

    6. Jim Denham said,

      Coatesy notes the welcome given to Milne’s appointment by this unpleasant reactionary: https://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/seumas-milnes-new-best-friend-neil-belarus-clark/#comment-28279

    7. jschulman said,

      Milne is awful but I’d argue that socialists should still be members of the Labour Party and fight for a consistently democratic, internationalist, class-struggle politics within it. Critical support for Corbyn means there will be *criticism*, after all.

    8. puss wallgreen said,

      But characterising somebody as “anti-democratic, pro-fascist and anti-semitic” amounts to a bit more than “criticism”, doesn’t it? And assuming you attach any genuine meaning to any of those terms, it’s hard to see why you would want to be a member of a party led by such a figure, unless you were fighting to overthrow him.

      • jschulman said,

        Jim said those words, not me. I don’t think that Corbyn is any of those things. I think he’s just a bad judge of certain people’s character.

    9. Rilke said,

      More than any indication of a worrying overlap of political perspectives, the appointment of Milne is something worse – a blunder. It shows a real lack of critical judgement, this is worrying. I will vote for Labour under Corbyn, but I have never respected Corbyn’s critical judgment and this proves the point. Never mind the ideological lapses, Corbyn makes too many errors at crucial moments. It is pointless being a determined fighter if you don’t land the right punch at the right time. He was always a nearly player any way, he drops the ball too often.

    10. Jim Denham said,

      yet another highly ill-advised appointment to Corbyn’s Westminster team: the loathsome sub-political hooligan Ger Francis, expelled from the SWP for bringing them into disrepute with his bullying nand then a paid creature of Salma Yaqoob (leader of Respect) and, later, the corrupt Rahman regime in Tower Hamlets.

    11. Jim Denham said,

      Dmitri MacMillan’s letter to Milne, on Ukraine:


    12. Jim Denham said,

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