Putin's Puppet! Outrage at Red Jezza! It could only be the front page of The Sun newspaper. Corbyn is a commie! He supported the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah, he's not fit to defend a country. Yes it's open season on old Jeremy today. Taking to the dispatch box during Prime Ministers Questions, after yet another Theresa May speech long on hyperbole and short on any evidence that Russia did indeed sanction a hit on double agent Sergei Skripal, Corbyn first asked the PM had she arranged for a sample of the nerve agent to be sent to Russia (The Russians requested it) so that they could analyse it? This was greeted by moans and groans and cries of "shame". How strange. There's nothing unreasonable or unusual about sending a sample of the alleged nerve agent to Moscow. It's the least Russia deserves right? Corbyn asked May had initial analysis of the agent given any clue as to where it was deployed and who deployed it and he also asked her if she was going to try and maintain dialogue with the Russian government, however robust. Good questions yes, but they didn't go down well, he was jeered from the benches opposite and from the benches behind him too.
Then all hell broke loose. After PMQ's had finished, Corbyn's spokesman Seumas Milne said;
“Obviously the Government has access to information and intelligence on this matter which others don’t. However, also, there’s a history in relation to weapons of mass destruction and intelligence which is problematic to put it mildly......There is a history of problems in relation to interpreting evidence, but in this case obviously the Government may well have other evidence that we are not aware of”
All very reasonable from Corbyn and Milne you would think, but Jezza's most senior colleagues rushed to condemn him and align themselves with Theresa May. Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith broke ranks and said that Russia is definitely responsible for the poisoning and urged the strongest possible response from the government. Labour stalwarts Yvette Cooper, Chris Bryant, Chuka Umunna, Anna Turley and Mike Gapes all piled in too. The message was simple, Russia has attacked the UK and UK citizens, therefore we must trust the intelligence agencies and stand with the government. Sound familiar? That's because it is. We were here sixteen years ago. Mass murderer Tony Blair was spinning the wildest fiction about the military capabilities of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Remember the dodgy dossier and the claim that Saddam could hit the UK in 45 minutes? Remember the ludicrous claims that Saddam was harbouring The Taliban? Remember the murder of David Kelly and Robin Cook, the vilification of Clare Short? Déjá Vu all over again right?
These are tyrannical times. Psychotic murderous traitors stride the halls of Westminster. Those who make the most sensational claims or accusations and scream for war are rewarded, while the minority who advocate for the adoption of a calm and measured evidence based approach are vilified and accused of communism or being unfit to defend a country, a country that is not under any measure of attack by Russia. And as for The Sun, do you remember Katy Weitz? I bet you don't. Katy was a senior and very respected feature writer with The Sun, until she resigned her position in March 2003 almost 15 years ago to the day. Katy was sickened by the newspapers gung-ho stance on the Iraq war. She quit on March 20th 2003, the first day of the invasion. The Sun's jingoistic coverage of the build up to the conflict, devoid of any criticism or questioning of Blair's government, left her utterly disillusioned, so she walked away. What a heroine. What a woman. We need a few more like her eh?