Sunday, 27 November 2016

Prisons and prisons

As we all know Jeremy Corbyn has triggered a controversy over his comments on the death of Fidel Castro. Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry found it necessary to defend him.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has said it is "quite difficult" to get past allegations of brutality made against Fidel Castro after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised the revolutionary leader for his "heroism".

Nine days of national mourning have been declared in Cuba after Castro's death at the age of 90.

Mr Corbyn said that "for all his flaws" Castro would be remembered as a "champion of social justice".

Human Rights Watch gives us an outline summary of Castro's "flaws". We are spared the details.

During his nearly five decades of rule in Cuba, Fidel Castro built a repressive system that punished virtually all forms of dissent, a dark legacy that lives on even after his death.

During Castro’s rule, thousands of Cubans were incarcerated in abysmal prisons, thousands more were harassed and intimidated, and entire generations were denied basic political freedoms. Cuba made improvements in health and education, though many of these gains were undermined by extended periods of economic hardship and by repressive policies.

Whatever one thinks of Jeremy Corbyn, his response to Castro's death is remarkably naive for such a senior politician. Naive to the point of weird because it is not far removed from the kind of response a callow sixth former might make.  

One could simply pour scorn on his hopeless inability to react in a way which acknowledges the lessons of recent history but there is something deeper. Corbyn has his flaws too and cannot escape them. We have learned about dictators but apparently he hasn't and it isn't rocket science - it is not difficult to see why Castro was a monster.

Yet Corbyn cannot quite escape the silliness of his radical past, his decades-old political raison d'ĂȘtre. The world has moved on, the old time Stalinist dictators are almost all gone and their appalling crimes are part of our history, but Corbyn doesn't appear to see it like that. He seems to be imprisoned by his own past to a weird degree. He can't adapt and doesn't even see the need to. What the Labour party will do with him I don't know, but it needs to do something.


Sam Vega said...

Yes, the latest offering is motivated by the same type of maladroitness and personality disorder which led to John McDonnell's "Little Red Book" performance in the commons. To think of the Labour leadership is to conjure up the 1970s: middle-class kids gone a bit loopy, while Mum and Dad cursed British Leyland and British Rail. Just a busted toxic brand.

I think it comes from never having to test his theories against reality; always surrounded by a cadre of like-minded people, and never having (until now) to convince anyone.

I don't think the Labour Party will need to do anything about him. His approach will simply accelerate its decline. A coup would be fun to watch, though, if anyone is charitable enough to organise one for our delectation.

wiggiatlarge said...

Corbyn has spent his entire life in thrall at communist regimes, his comments about holidays spent cycling round Cuba, motor cycling , with the Abbopotamus around East Germany at a time when everyone living there was attempting to travel in the opposite direction, he can't help himself.
Here in this clip.....

he talks with a wry smile about Castro seeing off eight US presidents, whilst failing to mention that Castro was a dictator and was never going to be removed from power, with Chavez, a model for the world to copy said Corbyn ? gone, now Castro, who is left for Corbyn to fawn over Kim Jong-un !

Demetrius said...

When I check out the results from my old team, now National League Division Two North, it is an old man being sentimental for days gone past when you got the retaliation in first. But if I ventured out onto the pitch these days it would be unwise to say the least. Things have changed more than a bit and referees have red cards these days. Perhaps Corbyn should be red carded.

A K Haart said...

Sam - I hope the party is charitable enough to organise a coup for us. The present situation is fascinating but as you say, a coup would be fun.

Wiggia - from your video link - "the one who brought a different language and a different set of values". The guy should never have been a Labour MP, he doesn't share their values.

Demetrius - he may be red carded by the electorate in 2020 but nothing is certain and that is a cause for concern.