2007 - 2022

Botched Smear

Tory Press smears this week that Corbyn once met a Czechoslovakian, have backfired badly after old Brillo Pad himself took them to task. Then on Question Time Ash Sarkar [@AyoCeasar] ripped them to shreds again…

As Paul Mason noted: “The Corbyn spy smear is the moment the UK press crossed line from right wing propaganda to Breitbart style fake news.”

But they seem to be not just keen on smears and propaganda but also suffering from some kind of political amnesia.

Just who was meeting extreme regimes in the 1980s?

When Margaret Thatcher met PW Botha met at Chequers the height of the apartheid government in 1984 – which was itself a crucial breach in South Africa’s international isolation – she have him shelter and credibility. British banks like Barclays were resisting the mass boycott that was at work.

Botha and his regime were international pariah’s supported by only a handful of countries, including Britain. Botha, who had been Prime Minister since 1978, had “only just avoided being detained as a Nazi sympathiser” during the Second World War and was a man with “a reputation for a quick temper, and intolerance of criticism”.

Similarly if Corbyn having cup of tea with a Czech makes him a ‘traitor’ what does Thatcher’s warm welcome for the most brutal Eastern European Communist Dictator of all, Nicolae Ceaușescu of Romania make her?

Helpfully the Thatcher Foundation cites her warm speech at a dinner in his honour in 1981where she raises a glass to him saying:

“Our commercial relations are healthy. Britain is proud of its contribution to the development of the Romanian aircraft industry, a particularly good example of co-operation to joint advantage. But the scope for trade and co-operation between our two countries is far from exhausted. [end p3] It is important that we should do more. I know, Mr. Prime Minister, that your own responsibilities in Romania lie predominantly in the economic field, and am confident that your visit will give new impetus to the development of our commercial and economic relations. We have tried to arrange for you a programme in this country which takes full account of your interests….I would like to raise my glass to you, Mr. Prime Minister, to the happiness and prosperity of the Romanian people and to the further co-operation between Romania and Britain….”


On Christmas Day in 1989 – just eight years later Ceaușescu and his wife were tried and shot.

As the Independent reports, Thatcher also had direct ties with General Pinochet: “Tories have forgotten that Thatcher wasn’t just a terrorist sympathiser, but close friends with one”.

“Thatcher’s support for Chile’s former torturer-in-chief General Pinochet is no secret; it was something she was proud of. Despite her assertion that “The United States and Britain have together been the greatest alliance in defence of liberty and justice,” Thatcher refused to back down in her support of a man who overthrew a democratically elected government. This was a man who initiated the notorious Caravan of Death, the army unit that travelled the country by helicopter, murdering and torturing the General’s opponents.”

It’s all worth remembering as the Tory party’s disgraceful smear unit goes into play with the backing of their friends in the media.

Comments (6)

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  1. Willie says:

    Illustrates how the right wing establishment could move from absolute lies to political assassination if required.

    Willie McCrae was by many accounts no accident, no suicide but rather the ultimate method by which the establishment secures silence.

  2. Darby O'Gill says:

    I’m a conspiracy theorist myself. I’m convinced there are at least two Tories out there conspiring to become human beings.

  3. MBC says:

    Only two years after Macrae’s death in 1985 it was revealed that MI5 had approached the Ulster Volunteer Force to assassinate the Irish premier Charles Haughey.


  4. Charles Gallagher says:

    What’s new?

  5. J Galt says:

    It’s so lame it’s almost as if the smear was meant to backfire.

  6. KundaliniArt says:

    May’s attempt at humor was referencing recent accusations that Corbyn had provided intel to a Czechoslovakian spy in the 80s, on the day-to-day activities of Margaret Thatcher among other things. The PM’s comments come as the news broke that Corbyn’s lawyers are demanding a donation to charity and an apology from Tory party vice-chairman Ben Bradley, relating to claims he tweeted that the Labour leader “sold British secrets to communist spies. ” The tweet has since been deleted after pressure from Corbyn’s legal team. Czech out the rest of the PMQs below: The Sun published claims by a former Czech agent — Jan Sarkocy — that Corbyn was an asset named ‘Agent Cobb’ during the Cold War. Sarkocy told the paper that he met Corbyn on several occasions, including in the House of Commons. Sarkocy’s allegations came under increased scrutiny after he alleged Corbyn would keep him posted on Margaret Thatcher while he was a backbencher in the ‘80s. Svetlana Ptacnikova, director of the Czech security service archive, denied that Corbyn was or had been a paid agent. Ptacnikova told the BBC that their files indicated that Corbyn was seen as a potential contact, but he was not catalogued as an informant.

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