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Portrait of a Parasite

JAMES HALL

CORBYN, Jeremy Bernard.

MP for North Islington since 1983 and founder of "Anti Fascist Action".

Born: 26 May 1949, Chippenham in Wiltshire.

Education; Adams Grammar School, Shropshire, North London Poly (failed).

Family Background; mother was a school teacher; father an electrical engineer.

Has a brother Piers Corbyn, who was a "professional student" at same university as Vanguard Assistant Editor Steve Brady, and who liked to be known as the "squatters leader".

Married a Ms Chapman, a fellow left wing Haringey councillor, in 1983.

Pay; At least £22,000pa as an MP, plus other perks.

A TYPICAL specimen of the white, middle class, trendy, trotskyist, hard left that is hated by the Labour party's old guard, Corbyn comes from the same mould as Ken Livingstone.

Small, scruffy and bearded, this man is a manipulative intriguer. He likes to appear indispensible to his constituency workers by combining the roles of social worker and magisterial overlord. He maintains his constituency and parliamentary positions by a mixture of empty promises, deliberately outrageous statements, endless plots and shameless toadying in private.

He still tends to hang around with the trotskyist London Labour Briefing mob, (he used to be on their fortnightly paper's editorial board) but also writes for Socialist Action.

NO WORK

He does no real parliamentary work but can often be heard shouting about Nicaragua, El Salvador, Grenada, South Africa, Ireland, Turkey, Cyprus and sometimes even domestic politics! The Labour party whips have given him a flogging in the past for missing his stints on various standing committees, (mostly boring old transport). He is really using parliament (and the various ethnic minorities he claims to support) as a platform for urging the 'proletarian revolution' onward.

Corbyn likes climbing on these platforms; they give him a chance to make noises without working up a sweat doing all the usual background spadework.

This was the MP that invited convicted IRA terrorists to speak at the House of Commons 13 days after the 1984 Brighton bombing of the Tory Party conference; as he explained in Socialist Action: "defeat of the Tory government will be brought about by a series of disputes, of which parliament is only a part", (Feb. 1st 1985).

His pro-IRA stance owes more to the fact that Islington North is London's second largest Irish constituency than any desire on his part to take up arms on their behalf. It also ingratiates him with the mostly Irish working class "Red Action" crowd that are active(ish) round that way.

He is also a keen supporter of Turkish sectional interests, acting as the sometime chairman of the Turkish Solidarity Group, (Islington North also being full of Turkish Cypriots as chance would have it). He is well known for his love of "freebie" trips abroad and his support for CND.

LOCAL FAME

He joined the Labour Party in 1966 when he was 17, and rose to local fame during the 70's as a Hackney borough councillor and as an organiser of Homsey Labour Party whilst at the same time working as a full time official of the dustman's union NUPE, (he has never pushed a broom or lifted a bin in his life needless to say).

He got into hot water because he failed to declare his union interests to other Hackney councillors whilst sitting on its Public Works Committee. It was also noticed that he was nicking the council's stationary to write his union letters.

Other unions he has worked for include the Tailors Union, (he was once voted the scruffiest MP in parliament, funnily enough), the AUEW (engineering) and APEX (white collar clerks).

As a councillor he also sat on committees for Community Development, (of which he was the chairman) 1975-78, and Planning, 1980-81.

Most of his working day was spent on the Hornsey party's problems though, and not NUPE's or Hackney's. When he ended up as its chairman in 1982 he set about defying the Labour Party's National Executive by letting Tariq Ali join it against their express directive and the party's own constitution, (Tariq Ali, although a faded star now was a notoriously mouthy Trotskyist from a rich, land-owning family in Pakistan). It is worth re-reading, in issue no. 4 of New Nation, how the doors of the Labour Party's headquarters were damaged by a small bomb on the very day of his admission and how it was the work of unknown "fascists" according to Corbyn and co.

It was not the work of nationalists of course, as the police later made clear but an inside job designed to draw attention away from Ali's controversial admission to the local Labour Party.

In 1978 Corbyn was one of the sponsors of the 'Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory' the manifesto of which grandiosely demanded; "Not a penny for defence; the scrapping of all immigration controls; the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act; support for all demands to weaken the police for being enemies of the working class and the razing of the Capitalist system".

Bemie Grant was also a member of this campaign's steering committee incidentally, as was Ken Livingstone. Three years later he had left Hackney council and had got himself elected onto neighbouring Haringey, perhaps to be closer to his chum Bernie.

In 1979 he was "Red" Ted Knight's election agent and ended up in court over undeclared election expenses, i.e. spending more than the law allowed in order to help the chances of a socialist victory. He achieved his own parliamentary ambitions when he defeated John Grant, a defector to the SDP, during the June 1983 general election. By the end of the next month, July, he had;

  1. organised Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams' visit to Parliament

  2. complained that the USA was threatening Nicaraguan independence, (only Nicaragua's?)

  3. said that South Africa was a threat to Lesotho

  4. voted against the Defence Estimates, (not a penny remember).

All that must have tired him out because the next month he had a little holiday abroad attending some Turkish "show trial".

During the election for the leadership of the Labour Party that year, caused by Michael Foot's resignation, he supported Eric Heffer's nomination, attacking Kinnock as a "preaching careerist". Heffer is well known as a hard left nuclear disarmer.

It upset him to think of the outlawed Militant Tendency getting their marching orders from the Labour Party proper, so he formed "Labour against the Witch Hunt" and used parliament to speak out against their expulsion, something that was an internal party affair. Chum Heffer, as well as Livingstone and Benn are all extremely pro-Militant also.

Corbyn belongs to the "Campaign" group of MP's, an unsavoury bunch that broke away from the hard left Tribune section to become even more left-wing. They are led by Tony Benn and have their own rag called, (imaginatively), Campaign Group News. They are widely regarded as Benn's private army.

He is also active in a different campaign; the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy which stands for the one man one vote way of deciding the party's affairs; all very kosher except that it's trade unionists and not Labour Party members that keep paying for it and the party was set up for the advancement of trade unionists and not the Marxist revolution. It's this difference that underlies the split between hard and soft left.

In the struggle for a people's socialist state he doesn't mind a bit of bullying it seems. Apart for leading his 'Anti-Fascist' goons, (from the rear and only when he's got time of course), he shielded the protestors of the Archway road widening scheme, consistently refusing to criticise them publicly or privately, even though they deliberately harassed its Public Inquiry Inspector into resignation and his wife into a near breakdown with a succession of dirty tricks, something which is indefensible regardless of the pros and cons of the road-widening scheme.

Perhaps someone should tell him that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but then again maybe he will find out the hard way one day.