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>PETER HITCHENS: Corbyn or Blair? Guess which one's the real Marxist menace 

By Peter Hitchens For The Mail On Sunday 23:14 12 Aug 2017, updated 03:16 14 Aug 2017

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Now, years after it is too late to help us, we learn that Anthony Blair was a student Marxist, an admirer of the bloodthirsty advocate of Red Terror, Leon Trotsky. When did he stop thinking this? We don’t really know.

But isn’t it interesting that all those who faint like shocked maiden ladies at the bearded Leftism of Jeremy Corbyn still fawn over the supposed ‘moderation’ of Blair

Yet Blair was the man who smiled sweetly as he tried to abolish sterling, surrendered to the IRA, wrecked our economy, our constitution, our civil service, our defences and much of our education system, and wounded the monarchy, too.

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Now, years after it is too late to help us, we learn that Anthony Blair was a student Marxist, an admirer of the bloodthirsty advocate of Red Terror, Leon Trotsky

The disclosure reminded me of the recent unwise boast by Blair’s one-time close aide, Peter Hyman, who blurted out that the New Labour ‘project’ was ‘infinitely more revolutionary than anything proposed by Jeremy Corbyn’. The plan, Hyman disclosed, was to lock out the Tories to ensure that ‘the 21st Century was a Labour century’. Not very democratic.

Blair’s revelation about his youthful love for Trotsky was delivered on BBC Radio 4 to the establishment historian Peter Hennessy. In a soft-hitting interview, Baron Hennessy amusingly asked the Bomber of Baghdad: ‘When did you discover the great gifts you have for explanation and performance?’

Don’t laugh. This is obviously the way to get the Blair creature to talk. On the one occasion I interviewed him, I began to wonder if waterboarding might not be justified, after an hour of tedium in which he had given me nothing but the political equivalent of his name, rank and number.

In those days, he still hoped for office. Now that’s all over, so he can start to tell the truth. Let’s have more of it. So, when and how did he stop being a Marxist? We have always known that his great university pal was an Australian called Geoff Gallop. Blair himself has said in his autobiography that Gallop belonged to the International Marxist Group. This was a secretive sect, some of whose members had codenames and used to shout ‘Victory to the IRA!’ on demonstrations.

Blair recalled that his first reading of an admiring biography of ‘this guy Trotsky’ (given to him by Gallop) had been ‘like a light going on’ and had ‘changed his life’. Then, giggling, he said that, yes, for a while he was actually ‘a Trot’. This was for ‘not longer than a year’. Well, maybe. Who’d have any record now?

But when Professor Hennessy asked Blair what happened next, the former Premier began to say ‘When I was in the, in the…’, and suddenly changed course to ‘In the early Seventies’. This was plainly not what he had been about to say. Well what was he in? Why did this previously unpolitical leader of a college rock band go out of his way to join Harold Wilson’s stodgy, middle-aged Labour Party, as soon as he left Oxford? At the time, revolutionary students utterly despised the Labour Party as a sell-out. But some of them swallowed their scorn and joined it, with the express purpose of taking it over from within.

I know all this because I, too, was a Marxist at university and for some years afterwards, a fact I do not conceal and readily discuss, unlike the many members of Mr Blair’s Cabinet who also have Marxist pasts.

There was some guff about how Blair’s mind was moderated by his wife, Cherie, herself a blazingly Left-wing person. Her one failed attempt to become an MP, in 1983, was personally endorsed by Tony Benn at the height of his Leftism. Benn even went to Margate to speak for her.

In the Hennessy interview, Mr Blair says he then disagreed with Mr Benn because he wouldn’t back the expulsion from Labour of the Trotskyist Militant tendency. Yet here was his wife, supposedly the moderate member of the family, campaigning alongside the same Mr Benn. It doesn’t add up.

One day, and I hope it is soon, people will grasp that Mr Blair was not the pseudo-Tory ‘moderate’ we were sold (and some of you bought) in 1997. He was the most radical political leader this country has had since Oliver Cromwell.

Mr Blair was the figurehead of all the many thousands of Sixties and Seventies campus revolutionaries who, by 1997, had quietly clawed their way into positions of influence in politics, the Civil Service, the law, the BBC and schools. And he did his damage all the more effectively because neither his enemies nor his supporters ever fully understood what he was and still, in a way, is – a smiling menace.

 

Dave’s dirty little secret – and a very big mystery 

Isn’t it amazing that, in all his years in office, we never saw a picture of David Cameron smoking? Even though he was smoking, as I understand, quite a bit. The same is true of Barack Obama, another slave of tobacco.

Is this perhaps because most educated people these days regard smoking as unpleasant as well as stupid, and think that anyone under 70 has no excuse for not knowing this?

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Isn’t it amazing that, in all his years in office, we never saw a picture of David Cameron smoking?

Not a good look for a political leader – and not a very good look for a former Prime Minister caught smoking, drinking and embracing a Corbyn supporter at the recent Wilderness festival.

Is it possible that nobody ever snatched a picture of him smoking while in office? Or are certain people granted exemption from embarrassing photographs?

If so, how are we superior to the old USSR, which used to pretend in its official media that Mikhail Gorbachev did not have a huge birthmark on top of his bald head?

 

Kim needs friends, not foolish threats 

I am sorry for North Korea. Not for its leaders, but for its people, some of whom I have met.

When I travelled to that country some years back I was determined to get a bit further than the usual stuff about Kim-worship, mass rallies and the Pyongyang metro.

I found desperation. Accidentally close to a stunted young soldier, I was able to see the marks of hunger on his face, as well as to study his threadbare clothes and ancient weapon, whose wooden stock was split and crumbling and whose metalwork was worn to the point of danger.

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Kim Jong Un will not quit if he thinks he will end up in a prison cell. He would rather take his chances
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I found drunkenness on what seemed to me to be an epic scale. In a short visit, I saw and heard so many examples of this (including a citizen passed out on the street, and then shielded from my sight by others) that I have little doubt it is a huge plague, probably tolerated by the regime as a safety valve.

I found economic collapse. My pseudo-grand hotel in central Pyongyang switched off its electricity as soon as the foreign guests had left for the day. Expensively electrified railway lines had almost no traffic, and the trains were hauled by ancient diesels. Farmland was tilled by the methods of the 19th Century.

And what is to become of them? South Korea will not reunify. It fears bankruptcy and a great wave of millions of half-starved refugees. China only offers colonial domination, which this proud people do not want. Japan is still loathed after a harsh occupation.

Kim Jong Un will not quit if he thinks he will end up in a prison cell. He would rather take his chances.

Given the immense likely cost of the new Korean war we seem to be heading for, I am more than ever sure that a grand gesture from the West, a high-level visit, and offers of real investment, might finally end this foolish, dangerous confrontation.

North Korea is the last trace of the Cold War, stranded without friends by a quirk of history. As long as it thinks it has no way out, it will continue to take terrible risks. Threatening war in return is not going to solve this.

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> > 1 / 3 Now, years after it is too late to help us, we learn that Anthony Blair was a student Marxist, an admirer of the bloodthirsty advocate of Red Terror, Leon Trotsky > 2 / 3 Isn’t it amazing that, in all his years in office, we never saw a picture of David Cameron smoking? > 3 / 3 Kim Jong Un will not quit if he thinks he will end up in a prison cell. He would rather take his chances >
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Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4785616/amp/Corbyn-Blair-Guess-one-s-real-menace.html

PETER HITCHENS: Corbyn or Blair? Guess which one's the real Marxist menace