Jeremy Corbyn (yes, him again) has intimated that one of his first acts as Labour leader would be to apologise to the people of Iraq - for liberating them from one of the worst tyrants of recent times. Here's Nigel Biggar's response in the Times (£):
Jeremy Corbyn can apologise for the invasion of Iraq if he likes. But not in my name.
Saddam Hussein’s regime was monstrous. In the 15 years before the 2003 invasion it killed up to half a million of its own citizens. After the failed 1991 uprising in the south, its agents poured petrol down the throats of rebels and set them alight. Back in Baghdad the Special Treatment Department was busy dismembering living prisoners with chainsaws, squeezing their skulls in metal vices until brain-matter oozed out, and making parents watch their flailing children disappear under swarms of wasps in confined spaces. We know all this because it’s recorded on video. Such a regime deserved to be toppled; its vile nature was sufficient just cause for invasion.
Of course, we can’t afford to take on every nasty regime. So legitimate national interest must help us to discriminate. Fending off the threat that an atrocious regime like Saddam’s might acquire nuclear weapons as Pakistan had, North Korea has, Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya almost did, and Iran has only just been dissuaded from doing, gave the UK such an interest.
Yes, it turned out that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction and so the threat wasn’t immediate. But since no one doubts that Saddam was intent on getting them, a longer term threat persisted. As Dr David Kelly, the WMD expert sadly famous for his suicide, wrote on the eve of the invasion: “The long-term threat . . . remains Iraq’s development to military maturity of weapons of mass destruction — something only regime change will avert.”
But what about the lies for which Mr Corbyn is so keen to apologise? There weren’t any — at least, not on this side of the Atlantic. The claim that Iraq possessed WMD was a serious mistake, but an honest one. It wasn’t fabricated by Washington and London, but was shared by all other western intelligence services, as well as Russia’s. In 2000 German intelligence reckoned that Iraq would have nuclear weapons capable of hitting Europe by 2005....
Without doubt the coalition’s planning for post-invasion occupation was woefully inadequate, and its consequent inability to secure order was a major failure. For that it deserves blame. But if an apology is fitting here, it’s not for too much intervention, but too little: the problem wasn’t too many boots on the ground, but too few.
What’s more, the vast majority of the 200,000 casualties of the ensuing anarchy were killed, not by American or British soldiers, but by Iraqi insurgents and al-Qaeda terrorists. And unless we subscribe to the racist view that non-westerners can’t be blamed because they aren’t full moral agents and only do bad things as the passive effects of western causes, then the primary responsibility for the carnage must rest with the perpetrators.
Most important, the coalition didn’t walk away from its mistakes. Rather, it strove to correct them by sustaining a costly military commitment for seven years, achieving a dramatic improvement in Iraq’s stability by the end of 2007.
Six years later, the Times’s Anthony Loyd, a journalist with more than twenty years’ experience of covering conflicts, was able to report that “contrary to the perception among western publics . . . the lot of the clear majority of Iraqis today is measurably improved. Many have a better quality of life, greater freedom of expression and more opportunity than during Saddam’s era.”
Since then, of course, things have taken a turn for the worse. For that the responsibility lies mainly with prime minister Nouri al-Maliki’s sectarian government, but also with President Obama’s abandonment. Whether Iraq’s future can be retrieved from its current woes depends partly on how we respond to the new government’s pleas for help.
Five years ago I asked a group of young Iraqi professionals what they thought about the invasion. Their spokesman replied: “It’s good that it happened. It could have been done better. And it isn’t over.”
I cannot disagree. So Mr Corbyn will have to apologise without me.
Biggar, for what it's worth, is Regius Professor of Moral Theology at Oxford University.
Jeremy Corbyn again. This time it's Nick Cohen with the pointed stick:
Jeremy Corbyn encapsulated everything that was deceitful about his campaign to be leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition when he claimed he wanted to prioritise “the needs of the poor and the human rights of us all”. From the point of view of the poor and the oppressed, his words were a grim joke.
Like many from the Left’s dark corners, Corbyn does not believe in the human rights of “us all”. He is concerned only with the rights of those whose oppression is politically useful. If the oppressed’s suffering can be blamed on the West, he will defend them. If not, he is on their enemies’ side.
A short and far from comprehensive tour of the regimes Corbyn has supported includes the geriatric Cuban dictatorship, the corrupt and extraordinarily incompetent Chavistas who have come close to bankrupting oil-rich Venezuela, and Russian imperialists who have used force to redraw Europe’s boundaries.
You will not understand how a sickness on the Left has spread from the fringes to the mainstream, unless you pause, take a deep breath, pour a stiff drink and contemplate the strangeness of that list for a moment....
The malaise on the modern Left becomes evident only when you remember what century you are living in. Russia does not pretend to be socialist now. It is a dictatorial kleptocracy, whose oligarchs stash their stolen money in Mayfair, Saint-Tropez and Palm Beach, and whose leader sends his armies over Russia’s borders to grab the territory of neighbouring states. Putin boasts to the world that he wants to be the leader of its reactionary and illiberal forces. He is committed to adventurism and the repression of minorities, particularly homosexuals. Modern Russia is the heir to the Tsarist empire, which 19th-century liberals and socialists feared above all other powers.
Corbyn, like so many on the far Left, does not fear Russia. Nor does he care that UKIP and the French National Front defend Putin because they admire a regime that loathes the European Union as much as they do. The far left has never been comfortable with the EU either. However, it indulges Putin because, as Corbyn explained in the old Communist daily, the Morning Star, “the EU and Nato have now become the tools of US policy in Europe”. From this, it follows that all attempts by the former occupied nations of Europe to protect themselves from their old imperial master are American-backed provocations which goad a justly affronted Russia. Or as Corbyn put it, “The expansion of Nato into Poland and the Czech Republic has particularly increased tensions with Russia.”
We have a politician at the forefront of one of Europe’s great parties telling Poles that their country has no right to defend itself against an expansionist Russia. The man I suppose I now have to call the leader of the British Left is defending a classically reactionary power. Those who have kept their eyes open won’t be shocked. Opposition to the West is the first, last and only foreign policy priority of many on the Left. It accounts for its disorientating alliances with movements any 20th-century socialist would have no trouble in labelling as extreme right-wing.
Not just Corbyn and his supporters but much of the liberal Left announce their political correctness and seize on the smallest sexist or racist “gaffe” of their opponents. Without pausing for breath, they move on to defend radical Islamist movements which believe in the subjugation of women and the murder of homosexuals. They will denounce the anti-Semitism of white neo-Nazis, but justify Islamist anti-Semites who actually murder Jews in Copenhagen and Paris....
After yesterday's Sudanese cleric and his forceful views on evolution - "This Darwin was crazy in the head...He was completely insane" - we have now a Sudanese journalist airing his own particular views on monkeys and their descendants. He starts normally enough, before heading off into the weird:
The black macaque is in danger of extinction due to hunting and due to loss of its natural habitat. These monkeys are found in the islands of Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Indonesia; silver macaques live in the Far East, including in China and Japan. Macaques are friendly and pleasant, and are very similar to humans. Some believe that they are the offspring of their Jewish forefathers whom Allah transformed into monkeys.
It is indisputable that there are monkeys of Jewish origin; none deny this but those who do not believe in the Koran that Allah brought down to Muhammad. Allah said of these monkeys of Jewish descent: "And you had already known about those who transgressed among you concerning the Sabbath, and we said to them 'be apes, despised.' And we made it a deterrent punishment for those who were present and those who succeeded [them] and a lesson for those who fear Allah' (Koran 2: 65-66).
[According] to the [Koranic] story, Allah forbade the Jews to work on the Sabbath. [It tells of] one village of Jews where they fished for a living. The fish would appear in multitudes on the Sabbath, and vanish on Sunday. These Jews felt sorrow and anger, and, against Allah's commandment, devised a scheme whereby they would imprison the fish in netting on the Sabbath without drawing them out of the water, and at dawn on Sunday they would pull them out. Several of their prophets prohibited them from doing this, but they were undeterred, as was their custom. [For this reason,] Allah punished them and transformed them into monkeys.
The rest of the Jews [who did not violate Allah's directive and were not transformed into monkeys] did not want to live near [the Jews who had been transformed into monkeys] and banished them to the mountains. The [Jews who had become monkeys] continued to multiply, and were finally forced to disperse throughout the world. It seems that they chose to settle in the countries of Southeast Asia and the Far East, as can be seen today.
What is interesting is that there are two species of macaque – black and silver. This corresponds to the two types of Jews, of two [skin] colors: the Ashkenazis, of European origin, and the Sephardis, of Asian origin.
It is noteworthy that Darwin ([who was] of Jewish descent) kept the world preoccupied for a long time with his theory that man is descended from apes. Apparently, he arrived at this assumption from his study [of] the history of some of his forefathers amongst the Jewish monkeys.
The problem of the macaque is that the Hindus and Buddhists of Southeast Asia and the Far East hunt them for food, and make folk medicines from them. What is astonishing and amazing is that most of the countries where there are increasing numbers of macaques are Islamic countries...
It is known that Jews always feel comfortable with and prefer to live, reside, and settle amongst the Islamic peoples, because they feel secure among them... The proliferation of the Jews in Spain, and later in the kingdom of Morocco, and currently in Palestine provides good proof of this factual observation.
It should be noted that that the Jews were subjected to isolation and degradation throughout all of Europe, and particularly by the Nazis in Germany under Adolf Hitler's leadership. Today, macaques have received some attention and interest, because people fear that they could become extinct.
On Sulawesi Island in Indonesia, a photographer took several photos of them, and was surprised to learn that these monkeys have a happy family life, just like humans. He was also surprised to see that they behave like humans when asked to stand or sit so that they can be photographed. These monkeys are astoundingly adept at posing for the camera.
It may be superfluous to say that the film industry, and the talent of posing for the camera, are the preserve of the Jews. Most of the groundbreaking film actors and actresses, in [both] Hollywood and Paris, were and still are of Jewish origin.
This article, by one Mus'ab Al-Mosharraf, has been posted at Elaph, which according to the MEMRI introduction is a well-known and popular liberal Arabic website that never normally features this kind of offensive nonsense. They've even, apparently, published articles condemning the custom of calling Jews "the offspring of apes and pigs." Perhaps the other way round - apes as the offspring of Jews rather than Jews as the offspring of apes - doesn't somehow seem so bad.
Paul Berman's latest Tablet piece, on Baathist adaptability, ISIS, and the failure of political theory in the face of savagery:
The Arab Baath Socialist Party in its two branches, Iraqi and Syrian, has turned out to be the worst affliction the Arab people has ever endured and a still worse affliction for the Kurds. It is true that, ever flexible, Baathism’s branches have diverged over the years..., even aside from the plunge into Islamism. But each new adaptation has proved to be expert at slaughter.
Only, why do they slaughter people? The Islamic State in particular, with its Baatho-Islamist cadre—what is its motive? On this point, too, there is no mystery. The Islamic State has been eager to reveal its own thinking. The Islamic State slaughters for religious reasons—which is to say, for reasons that are bound to seem incomprehensible to us. It is piety that requires the efficiently organized jihadis to slaughter the poor unoffending Yazidi minority in Iraq; and to slaughter the Shia, which they have been doing for many years now, one suicide bombing after another; and to slaughter Christians; and would surely require them to slaughter the Jews, if only the Israeli Defense Force would do them the kindness of getting out of the way. Given the opportunity, the Islamic State would slaughter most of the world, if I understand the takfiri doctrine correctly. Slavery, too, is piety, in these people’s eyes. They pray before raping.
And they have prospered! Their successes bear out political theory on a few points, but mostly they are a rebuke to political theory. They are the enemy and conqueror of every doctrine that has ever supposed human behavior to be predictable. This is the bafflement... They have scored a triumph over every theory of human progress that has ever been proposed. They are not the first people to score such a victory. We have needed their reminder, though. In recent decades we have liked to tell ourselves that, after the Nazis, mankind has learned its lesson. But mankind is not a lesson-learning entity. Civilizations can learn lessons. But civilizations come and go. Impassive mankind remains uninstructable and stupid, such that, if once upon a time the barbarities of the 7th century thrilled and inspired a substantial portion of mankind, we can be confident that 7th-century barbarities will remain forevermore a viable possibility.
David Shariatmadari, it will be remembered, is the Guardian editor who recently penned that hatchet job on Maajid Nawaz. Now it turns out, thanks to some research by London-based Iranian blogger Azarmehr, that Shariatmadari may have some undisclosed - and somewhat embarrassing - family connections in Iran:
It can now be said with a high probability of certainty that Dr Ali Shariatmadari, one of Ayatollah Khomeini’s closest political lieutenants and the man entrusted with purging the country’s universities of suspected secular and ‘un-Islamic’ intellectuals, and particularly Leftists, is his mysterious uncle....
Much sound and fury in Korea over the past week as the two sides traded insults, with a great deal of concern over threats of escalation from the North. Nothing happened, of course, and now an agreement of sorts has been reached:
South Korea has halted its propaganda broadcasts into North Korea as part of a deal to defuse tension.
Seoul had begun the loudspeaker broadcasts, which infuriate Pyongyang, after a landmine at the border injured two of its soldiers earlier this month.
The tensions bubbled over in a brief exchange of fire at the heavily guarded border last Thursday.
The deal was reached after the North, which initially denied planting the mine, agreed to express "regret".
South Korea's President Park Geun-hye said the deal "could serve as an occasion to resolve all inter-Korean issues through trust".
Well yes, it could serve "as an occasion to resolve all inter-Korean issues through trust", but it won't. There is no trust - as President Park well knows.
As usual in these matters it's the North which has more reason to be pleased with the outcome. It all started when a couple of South Korean soldiers patrolling in the South Korean section of the DMZ were seriously injured by land mines. There's little doubt that these were placed there by the North Koreans - who then proceeded to fire artillery shells across the border. Unsurprisingly President Park was furious, and demanded an apology.
She hasn't got one though. In #2 of the six items which form the agreed deal (as presented by the KCNA), the North merely express their regret over the DMZ explosions - no culpability admitted. In return the South have ceased their propaganda broadcasts (see here for details of what was in the broadcasts, and why they angered the North so much).
So as usual the North has paid no price for its aggression - as was the case with the May 2010 sinking of the Cheonan, or the bombardment of Yeonpyeong later that same year - and the whole episode can be portrayed internally as another triumph for the Great Marshal Kim Jong-un. The South, meanwhile, has shown how readily it will settle for any deal in the face of an unpredictable adversary which delights in military brinkmanship. Joshua Stanton - whose analysis is worth reading in full - takes item #1 of the agreement as an implicit promise of a payoff to the North. It all looks very much like appeasement.
Cleric Muzammil Faqiri, in an address at a Sudanese university:
Some students have addressed questions to me. The first question: "I am a Muslim, but I read books by Darwin. A friend of mine brings me these books. What's your advice?"
First of all you must stay away from this friend. What would you do if you had a friend who uses drugs? Your friend is a Communist who brings you Communist books. This Darwin was crazy in the head. He was completely insane. The flies buzzing around here are better than Darwin. By God they are, because they praise Allah. Darwin, on the other hand, was a polytheist, an infidel, and an atheist. He denied the existence of Allah, just like the Communists here....
A Communist would not tell you straightforwardly to become a heretic. He would say to you: "Come to a lecture. There will be 17 girls and two boys there." This is their trap. This is the bait they use to catch you. 17 girls and two boys! These girls are all foundlings, and nobody knows where they came from. They are all trash. Perhaps they fell off a garbage truck. A week later he says to you: "We have a red night". "What is a red night?" you ask. He says: we have this and that. He deceives you. Gradually he lures you with songs, girls and immorality. Eventually you deny the existence of Allah and say that your father was an ape.
Yep, that's how it goes.
An excellent piece on the Corbyn phenomenon from Stephen Daisley:
Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. How I wish that he were. How much easier it would make things. We could chalk all this up to the prejudices of one man and we could avoid the raw, awkward conversation we’re about to have. Because this isn’t about Jeremy Corbyn; he’s just a symptom and a symbol. The Left, and not just the fringes, has an anti-Semitism problem.
Contrary to left-wing mythology, anti-Jewish prejudice has never been the exclusive preserve of aristocratic snobs or skinhead fantasists. "The Jew is the enemy of the human race," declared Proudhon. "One must send this race back to Asia or exterminate it." Bakunin labelled Jews "bloodsucking people" while Orwell, self-consciously anti-Semitic, even obsessed over the excessive number of Jews sheltering in London's Underground during World War II. (No matter what the Jews do to protect themselves, it's always disproportionate.) Marx, the grandson of a rabbi, essayed: ”Once society has succeeded in abolishing the empirical essence of Judaism – huckstering and its preconditions – the Jew will have become impossible”.
The contemporary Left, in most cases, would recognise these statements as irrational prejudice. But what if we substituted "Zionist" for "Jew", what would happen then? How many would object to "Zionists" being termed enemies of the human race? How many would be glad to see the "Zionist" become impossible? Anti-Zionism has removed much of the need for classical anti-Semitism by recycling the old superstitions as a political critique of the State of Israel. Why risk the ridicule that comes with quoting The Protocols of the Elders of Zion when you can cite The Israel Lobby and win eager nods from academics and commentators? Why deny the Holocaust when you can throw it back in the Jews' faces by fictionalising Gaza as a concentration camp? Why hurl rocks at a Jew in the street when you can hurl endless vexatious UN resolutions at Israel?
Every pathology of the anti-Semite can be visited upon the Jewish state in the flimsy guise of "anti-imperialism" or "human rights". It's all okay because it's "Zionism" you're against and that's not the same thing as Jews and what about Jews who are anti-Zionist. The hallmark of a bigot is seizing on dissonant voices within a minority community and using them to delegitimise the mainstream of that community. The exception becomes the rule and those whose only connection to Jewish communal life is signing onto letters to the Guardian denouncing Israel become more Jewish than everyone else.
It shouldn't have to be said but since stupidity is nearing pandemic levels these days I'll say it all the same. There is nothing anti-Semitic about criticising Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud-led government, or the policies of the State of Israel. There is nothing anti-Semitic about sympathising with the plight of the Palestinians (though it might be nice to recognise their culpability in the conflict too). There is nothing anti-Semitic about lacerating Israel for walls and checkpoints and bombs (though do address your alternative strategies to Beit Aghion, 9 Smolenskin Street, Jerusalem, Israel.)
The Left’s unhinged antipathy towards the State of Israel has let loose ugly sentiments wholly unmoored from such legitimate criticisms. Israel is execrated as uniquely malignant and its enemies held up as plucky freedom-fighters or victim-idols. Corbyn and his like sup with Hamas and Hezbollah, they say, because we must talk to all sides to resolve the conflict, even the extreme and unpleasant. It would never occur to them to invite representatives of the Jewish Defence League to Parliament or to count Baruch Marzel or Michael Ben-Ari as “friends”.
Why don’t the policies of the Chinese government in Tibet or against the Uighurs in Xinjiang inspire comparable protests and boycotts? Why do none of our cultural warriors demand the Edinburgh Festival kick out Russian-sponsored acts over Chechnya or Crimea? Why is produce from Iran or Pakistan never flung upon the floors of the nation’s supermarkets in solidarity with Muslim gays and women? Why is Deir Yassin remembered but not Safed or Hebron or the Hadassah convoy?
The problem goes deeper than asymmetry. For too many on the Left, Jewish suffering does not touch them the way Muslim suffering or gay suffering or black suffering touches them. Scrutiny of Corbyn's associations elicits cries of "smear" or just a collective shrug of the shoulders. It was always going to. We lack a language to talk about anti-Semitism because too many on the Left don't consider it a serious problem and couldn't recognise it as readily as racism, misogyny or homophobia anyway....
The Left gets racism; it doesn't get anti-Semitism. It's forever on Cable Street battling a long-gone menace while around the corner thousands march and chant "from the river to the sea"...
Israel has become the Jew of world affairs, affluent, successful, provocatively different. A rooted cosmopolitan that is to blame for being the only country in that region that is free and open and truly democratic. Why must it taunt its neighbours so?
If only Israel allowed Hamas to build up its terror statelet in Gaza unimpeded, angry Muslim youths wouldn’t riot in the French banlieues. If only Jews were driven once again from Kfar Etzion and Giv'on HaHadasha — this time not in blood but in cushioned, air-conditioned UN buses — there would be no more 9/11s. If only Jews had no national homeland, returned to rootlessness and the kindness of Christian and Islamic hosts, synagogues would no longer be daubed in swastikas and Free Gazas.
As the left-wing Israeli novelist Amos Oz wrote: "When my father was a little boy in Poland, the streets of Europe were covered with graffiti, 'Jews, go back to Palestine', or sometimes worse: 'Dirty Yids, piss off to Palestine'. When my father revisited Europe fifty years later, the walls were covered with new graffiti, 'Jews, get out of Palestine’.”
To be an anti-Zionist is to say the Jews alone have no national rights. The Left are committed internationalists; they just make an exception for every country in the world besides Israel. Today a European leftist is someone who sees "Jews, get out of Palestine" on a wall and tuts, before scoring out "Jews" and writing "Zionists" above it.
Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite and nor are most people on the Left. He is a petition-signer who never reads the small-print, a sincere man blinded as so many radicals are by hatred of the United States and Western power. But his ascendancy comes at a time of great upheaval and populist torrents battering the centre-left and centre-right. It is a storm in which the organisation of politics against the Jews could once again prove an anchoring force in Europe.
With Jeremy Corbyn on course to become the next Labour leader, comparisons are being made with the last left-wing Labour leader, Michael Foot. Electorally the result will very likely be the same, if not considerably worse, but in terms of personality the comparison doesn't hold at all. Foot was an intellectual and a man of integrity, universally respected not only in the Labour movement but across the whole political spectrum. He just wasn't the man to lead a political party aiming for power. Corbyn, as I've argued before, is basically a student politician who's never matured: a position he's been able to maintain because he's always had the luxury, in a safe Labour seat, of never having to sully his "progressive" ideals with any connection to reality.
But, as Dominic Lawson points out in today's Sunday Times (£), it's worse than that. No, he'll never be elected as Prime Minister, but even the Leader of the Opposition has responsibilities - for which Corbyn is singularly unfitted:
In a recent issue of the Catholic Herald magazine, the veteran Irish journalist Mary Kenny recalls: “I was once present at a private film showing in Hampstead when the radical Welsh documentary film maker Kenneth Griffith aired his support for the Provisional IRA’s bombing campaigns and Michael Foot walked out.” By contrast Corbyn chose to invite two convicted members of the IRA to the House of Commons, only weeks after that terrorist organisation had almost succeeded in blowing up the entire British government in Brighton. Nor has he since found it possible to condemn the IRA’s campaign of bombing — in part because (unlike the British politicians who later negotiated with Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness) he identified with them as anti-colonialist revolutionaries.
In truth, almost any organisation that opposes the West seems to have a hold on Corbyn’s affections. Even if, like those he describes as “our friends” from Hamas and Hezbollah, their counteroffer is the most extreme sort of theocratic thuggery — for example, in Hamas’s case, throwing from buildings the trussed-up bodies of members of its secular Palestinian rival, Fatah.
As James Bloodworth, the editor of Left Foot Forward, a Labour-supporting blog, noted — after listing Corbyn’s championing of, or excuses for, autocrats such as the late Colonel Gadaffi and Slobodan Milosevic, Vladimir Putin and Fidel Castro — the would-be Labour leader’s “indulgence of tyranny is invariably where politics takes you if you . . . accept the view that the US is the world’s most malevolent power . . . Any movement that points a gun in its direction must invariably have something going for it.”
But it’s not just America’s enemies that Corbyn finds irresistibly alluring. On the matter of the Falkland Islands, he demands that what he calls “the Malvinas” should be handed over to Argentina, notwithstanding the expressed view of its inhabitants in 2013 — by 1,513 votes to three — that they want to remain a British overseas territory.
Apparently he is quite a frequent visitor to the Argentine embassy. Nothing wrong with that, if he wants to get more briefings, though we might note in passing that Michael Foot supported Margaret Thatcher’s decision to send a taskforce to seize back the Falklands from the Argentine junta, which had invaded British sovereign territory.
This pattern of behaviour raises an unusual problem, should Corbyn — as bookmakers predict — be elected Labour leader next month. He would become leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition. Leave aside Corbyn’s republicanism — which is a perfectly respectable position — just how much could his loyalty be depended on?
It is one of the conventions of the British parliamentary system that when the government of the day is considering any form of military action, it gives the leader of the opposition access to the highest-level security briefings, so he (or she) understands exactly what is at stake and cannot complain about being kept in the dark. Thus, for example, last month David Cameron invited Labour’s acting leader, Harriet Harman, to a high-level security meeting about the threat posed by Isis extremists, against whom an RAF campaign was being considered.
Given Corbyn’s recent difficulty in establishing clarity as to whether he prefers Isis to the American military, would Cameron be able to trust him as a secure recipient of security briefings? The same would go for anything involving Nato action, since Corbyn is much more antipathetic to that western defence alliance than he is to Putin.