Corbyn’s leadership means Labour has become a very real risk to security and Britain’s international relations.
The break from Labour’s historic stance on NATO treaties, nuclear weaponry and European cooperation mark out Corbyn as an isolationist with no interest in the security of liberal democracy.
Jeremy Corbyn wants the British electorate to believe that installing himself as Prime Minister leading a left-wing Labour government will be able to fulfill Britain’s local and global security needs. Unfortunately, the current Labour leader appears to send mixed messages on the issues surrounding security.
Having already questioned the right of armed police officers operating on anti-terrorism operations to operate under the capacity of ‘shoot to kill’, and his now infamous meetings with the IRA, Hamas of Palestine and Hezbollah of Lebanon being common knowledge among the electorate, Corbyn had a long way to go to show that he was serious on issues of security. His latest revelation – the refusal in a Labour leadership debate to confirm he would uphold Treaty Five of NATO and defend any NATO ally facing aggression from any threat, specifically posed in the question of Russian aggression against NATO members in Eastern Europe.
Corbyn’s stance highlights a major change of thought in the Labour leader’s office. Since the days of Clement Attlee’s post-war Labour government, the party has supported the principles of NATO defence, that any ally state should be able to rely on the defence of the others as to deter aggression from enemy states. The principle hasn’t changed with NATO expansion into the east of Europe, and indeed these states are at the most risk from further Russian aggression, as we have seen in Ukraine.
The British public and our NATO allies will not accept any wavering around the treaties – if Corbyn wants to be Prime Minister, he must accept NATO or risk being electorally disqualified from becoming Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, despite a campaign to remain in the European Union which was endorsed by multiple security experts including the Welsh-born head of Europol, the European Police Service, Jeremy Corbyn woke up on June 24th to state his view that Article 50 should be triggered as soon as possible and Britain should leave the European Union as soon as possible. The only other politician to do this was Nigel Farage. Corbyn was more convinced by his own ideological distaste of the EU than he was by the case to ensure Britain remained a European political player and to ensure Britain remained at the heart of European security, solidifying shakey relationships with continental partners.
What message does it send to Germany when the Prime Minister resigns and the leader of the opposition in Britain is calling for Britain to close relationships so quickly after a Brexit vote? Suspicion is that the message is a negative one, sent to one of Britain’s most crucial partners.
Moreover, the recent vote to renew the Trident nuclear weapons programme further highlights how a Labour government would be a security risk. The majority of MPs voted for the renewal, in line with Labour policy, union support, and the historical Labour stance in line with Clement Attlee who pioneered the acquisition of an independent British Nuclear Deterrent. Other MPs abstained in protest at the political trickery the Conservatives were playing at, while Jeremy Corbyn voted against his own party’s policy and voted against the renewal of trident.
Not only is this an MP that supposedly values democracy voting against the democratically decided policy of the party he leads, it is the leader of the UK’s opposition sending a message to Britain’s allies that the opposition and possible Prime Minister-in-waiting does not care for security and the defence of his own or ally states. I personally am against the renewal and possession of trident and nuclear weapons, but accept that it is necessary as part of our military arsenal at this point in changing our relationship with the rest of the world as a sign of military power, and continued alliance with the USA.
Jeremy Corbyn instead is guided by a suspicion of the United States and an ideological path to unilateral disarmament whatever the cost, again disqualifying him on grounds of security from ever becoming Prime Minister. The British electorate will not accept a candidate for Prime Minister and a party’s candidacy for government that does not believe in strong defence policy. Rightly or wrongly, the possession of Trident is a centre-piece to that very central view.
I’ve written extensively throughout the Labour Leadership contest about how neither candidate, Owen Smith nor Jeremy Corbyn, can provide the strong leadership Labour requires to return to power. However, with Corbyn sinking to such low levels when it comes to the debate around British security, its clear Corbyn’s leadership does much more to confine Labour to electoral doom, and it is clear his leadership, combined with his personal ideological ambitions, make Labour a danger to the stability of British International Relations and to both Britain’s and Global security, regardless, in such politically unstable times, whether Labour is in government or not.
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