Paul Abbott is Chief Executive of Conservative Way Forward and an Associate Director at Portland Communications.
Most of the time, you can judge a man by the company he keeps.
Consider then the “darkness visible” settling across Corbyn’s Labour Party. The wild cheering from the veritable Who’s Who of James Bond villains, criminals, and assorted Britain-haters, as Jeremy Corbyn romped home to 60 per cent of the Labour Party vote.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld – if he existed – would no doubt have raised an expensive glass of schnapps to Comrade Corbyn, from the avuncular gloom of his volcano base. Professor Moriarty would surely have fired off a coded telegram, pledging his undying loyalty to Labour HQ. To be fair: Corbyn’s crushing win has not yet – so far as we know – been publicly welcomed by Smaug the Dragon, coiled up selfishly on his hoard of nationalised gold. But, surely this is the exception that proves the rule?
The rest of Corbyn’s international fans are depressingly familiar.
Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams was cock-a-hoop:
‘Louth TD Mr Adams has been close to Mr Corbyn for many years and tweeted his “warmest congratulations”, calling him a “good friend of Ireland”. “I have known Jeremy for many years,” said Mr Adams.’
Former IRA boss Martin McGuinness was simply over the moon:
‘Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness offered his “heartiest congratulations to our friend @jeremycorbyn” on Twitter.’
The extremist Dyab Abou Jahjah – the man who said that “Every dead British soldier is victory” – seemed pretty chuffed:
‘I never thought that I will ever sympathize with a leader of the British labor party [sic]. But now I do.’
The dodgy President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner – who has repeatedly threatened the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands – was delighted to hear the news:
‘Jeremy Corbyn is a great friend of Latin America and shares, in solidarity, our demands for equality and political sovereignty.’
The terrorist organisation Hamas, who force Palestinian women and children to be human shields, put out a public statement of support.
Moazzam Begg – the founder of CAGE UK, which has been described as “a front for Taliban enthusiasts and al Qaida devotees” – was quick to celebrate:
‘#jeremycorbyn wins: Media’s most vilified candidate confirmed as leader of Labour Party after taking nearly 60% of vote. #Shakeuptime’
Putin’s henchmen at the Russian Embassy seemed particularly thrilled with the Corbyn victory, especially Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko:
‘Congratulations to @JeremyCorbyn. Hope for positive change in terms of debate, incl on our relations. #corbyncabinet’
And last, but not least, George Galloway. The former Soviet Union groupie, and ex-pal of Saddam Hussein, thought the whole shebang was “inspiring”.
It is worth putting in a caveat here. Most of the Labour people who I have met over the years are patriotic and decent. They care about the future of our country: even though I may disagree with them profoundly on what to do about it. But the difference in the Corbyn case, unfortunately, was best explained recently by Nick Cohen of The Spectator.
His point was simple: Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are wrong ‘uns. They either hate Britain and what it stands for – or they are willing to tolerate those who do. And the British people deserve to know about it, before these people get anywhere near to power.