Cor­byn: Falk­lands War was Tory plot – and job­less men died for Thatcher

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Si­mon Mur­phy and Ian Gal­lagher

JEREMY Cor­byn’s lead­er­ship cre­den­tials are un­der re­newed at­tack af­ter it emerged that he branded the Falk­lands War a ‘Tory plot’ in which ‘un­em­ployed men’ were sent to die.

Mr Cor­byn, the favourite to take over as UK Labour leader, said Bri­tain was wrong to send a task­force to lib­er­ate the over­seas ter­ri­tory af­ter Ar­gentina’s in­va­sion in 1982.

We can re­veal he re­fused to of­fer ‘loyal sup­port’ for Bri­tish troops and claimed the war was con­ceived to keep the Con­ser­va­tive Party’s ‘money-mak­ing friends in busi­ness’.

Last night, his com­ments drew a fu­ri­ous re­sponse from vet­er­ans.

Si­mon We­ston, who suf­fered ter­ri­ble burns when the troop land­ing ship Sir Gala­had was bombed by Ar­gen­tine jets, warned Mr Cor­byn ‘could be a li­a­bil­ity for this coun­try’ and his at­tack on the Thatcher gov­ern­ment and those who fought ‘de­plorable, ig­no­rant and ab­so­lutely of­fen­sive’.

Mr Cor­byn’s out­burst came while he was a key mem­ber of a hard-Left group of Labour coun­cil­lors in Haringey, North Lon­don. Days af­ter the sink­ing of HMS Ar­dent with the loss of 22 lives, a Tory coun­cil­lor tabled a mo­tion urg­ing the coun­cil to ex­press ‘loyal sup­port’ for lo­cal men serv­ing in the South At­lantic.

But Mr Cor­byn re­fused and in­stead pro­voked out­rage by sec­ond­ing an amend­ment, which was passed, ex­press­ing only ‘sym­pa­thy’ for Bri­tish ser­vice­men – and call­ing for an im­me­di­ate with­drawal of troops.

Mr Cor­byn was quoted as say­ing: ‘We re­sent this waste of un­em­ployed men who are be­ing sent to the Falk­lands to die for Thatcher and [Ar­gen­tine Pres­i­dent] Galtieri. It is a nau­se­at­ing waste of money and lives... the whole thing is a Tory plot to keep their money-mak­ing friends in busi­ness.’

In re­cent years Mr Cor­byn’s views on the con­flict have scarcely soft­ened and he still ap­pears to favour re­turn­ing the is­lands to Ar­gentina. In 2013, Mr Cor­byn called the war a ‘grotesque waste of life by a cor­rupt and bank­rupt regime against a cor­rupt and bank­rupt Bri­tish gov­ern­ment’. Yesterday, a spokesman for Mr Cor­byn said: ‘It’s no se­cret Jeremy was a critic of the Falk­lands War and has long urged a long-term ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment.’

But Labour peer Lord West, the com­man­der of HMS Ar­dent which was sunk three days be­fore Mr Cor­byn’s out­burst in May 1982, called his po­si­tion ‘com­plete non­sense’.

He said: ‘I thought he be­lieves in democ­racy but it seems he was happy a fas­cist dic­ta­tor­ship should crush democ­racy in the is­lands.’

Mean­while, Tony Blair last night warned that the Left-winger was an ‘Alice in Won­der­land’ op­tion for the Labour Party.

The for­mer Prime Min­is­ter mocked Mr Cor­byn’s sup­port­ers for em­brac­ing the ‘pol­i­tics of par­al­lel re­al­ity, in which rea­son is an ir­ri­ta­tion, ev­i­dence a dis­trac­tion, emo­tional im­pact is king and the only thing that counts is feel­ing good about it all’.

He added: ‘In the Alice in Won­der­land world this par­al­lel re­al­ity has cre­ated, it is we who are back­ward­look­ing for point­ing out that the Cor­byn pro­gramme is ex­actly what we fought and lost on 30 years ago, not him for hav­ing it.’

The odds on a Cor­byn vic­tory have been cut to 1-4 on with Wil­liam Hill.

We re­sent this waste of un­em­ployed men who are be­ing sent to the Falk­lands to die for Thatcher and Galtieri. The For­eign Of­fice has been do­ing deals with the junta for years. A tide of jin­go­ism is sweep­ing the coun­try. Al­ready £1.5bil­lion has been spent on this in­va­sion. It is a nau­se­at­ing waste of money and lives. We are spend­ing all this at a time when we can’t find money for houses, hos­pi­tals or wages, not for world hunger, not for aid to north-east Africa. Yet they can com­man­deer ships like there’s no to­mor­row and send peo­ple to die in the south At­lantic.

The whole thing is a Tory plot to keep their money-mak­ing friends in busi­ness.

Cor­byn at stormy coun­cil meet­ing, quoted in Hornsey Jour­nal, May 1982

OUT­BURST: The young Jeremy Cor­byn

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.