Remembering the StB

Former Prague correspondent Edward Lucas recounts in The Times his last meeting with an StB officer

I remember the StB clearly. The Státní Bezpecnost, or State Security, was a pervasive part of my life in Communist-era Czechoslovakia. As the lone western newspaperman in Prague, I was a prime target. The secret police followed me around, harassed my friends, bugged my flat, cut off my phone, tried to recruit me, and shoved first girls and then boys into my path in the (fruitless) hope of entrapping me.

What I remember especially well was the evening of November 17, 1989. The riot police had trapped a student demonstration in the centre of Prague. I watched as the defiantly sung national anthem quavered and dissolved into screams and cries. The students’ candles, flags and placards were quickly trampled underfoot. Truncheons slammed into heads and bodies.

Next it was my turn. My notebook and tape recorder were ripped from my hands. Two uniformed policemen twisted back my arms. Then a plain-clothes man (an StB officer, I found out later) administered the most painful beating of my life. I particularly remember seeing his fist, clad in black leather, hurtling towards my face, and eventually my head landing hard on the pavement. My family remembers that evening clearly too, hearing on the BBC that I was missing, last seen being dragged away, unconscious, by the police.

So I do not regard Jeremy Corbyn’s dalliance with the London representatives of the Czechoslovak regime as a trivial Cold War curio. While he and other left-wingers were hobnobbing with the emissaries of the Soviet empire, its victims were experiencing treatment — far worse than mine — that would curdle the blood of any true campaigner for freedom and justice.

Change came to Czechoslovakia in the form of the Velvet Revolution, Corbyn openly laments that change to capitalism and freedom. When he says “change is coming”, remember the fist…

Cabinet Brexiters Happy After Chequers Agreement on Divergence

Cabinet Brexiters are happy following today’s Chequers summit, with one senior Brexiter telling Guido: “Divergence has won”. A Cabinet source says there was an agreement on mutual recognition on good standards. There will be a declaration that the UK is going to maintain standards. The room agreed there will be equal dispute settlement arrangements and, crucially, the right to diverge in that framework. A second Cabinet source says: “Brexiteers have won a crucial argument tonight. It was agreed that we would take back control of our laws. Divergence won the day.” We shall see, but this sounds like good news and Cabinet Brexiters are pleased with the outcome tonight…

Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

Yet another remain-dominated panel…

Corbyn Considering Backing Remaining in Customs Union

Jeremy Corbyn is considering backing remaining in a customs union with the EU that would prevent us from signing comprehensive trade deals with non-EU countries in his big speech coming up on Monday. Some Labour sources say Corbyn will back staying in “the” customs union, though Emily Thornberry has said on LBC tonight that Labour will seek to replicate “a customs union that looks pretty much like the current customs union”. Guido is told that Unite’s influence has been key to the decision-making process – they back staying in the customs union. There is also the possibility that Corbyn could back a referendum on the Brexit deal on Monday. Remainers think that with Corbyn’s support they have the votes to keep the UK in a customs union that essentially prevents us from taking back control of trade. Brexiteers in the government are very concerned about the situation and Number 10 has pushed back votes on the customs union as a result. This is a worrying situation – Tory Remainer rebels are faced with the choice of backing down or siding with Corbyn and potentially bringing down the government… 

Even Remainers Think BBC Is Anti-Brexit

According to a new YouGov poll more remain voters (14%) think the BBC is anti-Brexit than pro-Brexit (13%). Question Time viewers perhaps…

More Than A Million Students Affected by Lecturers Strike

The education of more than a million students is being disrupted today as tens of thousands of university lecturers strike over pensions. The University and College Union has called a series of walk outs which threaten to cancel lectures over the next 14 days. Widespread disruption is being reported on campuses in one of the biggest strikes in recent years. A video from the University of Sussex shows a crowd chanting “join the strike” as students carry on trying to work in a lecture theater…

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell endorsed the strike action. More than 70,000 students have signed a petition demanding the refund of fees paid for lost teaching time. Lefty lecturers disrupting the education of millions of students paying higher than ever tuition fees…

Bolton and Marney in Car Crash Interview

Henry Bolton has said it was worth losing his job as UKIP leader over Jo Marney’s racist texts. During a car crash interview on ITV’s This Morning Philip Schofield said of the racist texter:

“You just don’t sound like a very nice person.”

Bolton today announced his resignation from UKIP, just days after he suggested he could stand again for the leadership after he was ousted in vote of the membership. Bye…

Declassified CIA Files Reveal US Spies Kept Tabs on Corbyn

Declassified CIA files reveal American spies kept tabs on Jeremy Corbyn’s links to a Soviet-backed trade union that supported violent Marxist guerrillas. Guido can also reveal for the first time that in 1986 Corbyn embarked on a tour of Latin American regimes, attended a Soviet-backed conference monitored by the CIA and accepted travel assistance around Cuba from the communist military dictatorship. It is no surprise that he was on the CIA’s radar…

In November 1986, the US Embassy in San Salvador sent this cable to Washington noting Corbyn’s support for the El Salvadorian trade union Fenastras. The trade union was of interest to the US authorities because of “its guerrilla and WFTU connections.” The WFTU (World Federation of Trade Unions) is widely considered to have been a Soviet front. The US government considered Fenastras a front for political party and armed guerrilla rebel organisation the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). The FMLN, armed and supplied by the Soviet Union and Cuba, fought a bloody civil war between 1979 and 1992 against the authoritarian right-wing regime. Guido can reveal that between 8-17 November 1986 Corbyn travelled to the Fenastras Conference, with his trip funded by the El Salvador Solidarity Committee. You can see why Corbyn and his fellow travellers would have been of interest to American intelligence – he had endorsed and visited a Soviet front group with guerrilla connections.

Corbyn’s constituents in Islington didn’t see much of their MP in 1986, if his Register of Interests is anything to go by. When he wasn’t meeting Jan Sarkocy in London, Jezza was jumping on a plane to the Cold War frontline. As well as two trips to El Salvador, in January and November, in August Corbyn travelled to Cuba and Nicaragua. He discloses in his register entry that he accepted “travel assistance from the Cuban government” – in other words he was welcomed and hosted by a ruthless military dictatorship that according to Human Rights Watch punished all forms of dissent, denied entire generations political freedoms and brutally repressed homosexuals. August 1986 was the month Castro celebrated his 60th birthday. Clearly Jezza couldn’t let the date pass without being in the country to wish his comrade many happy returns. 

Elsewhere in the CIA documents Corbyn’s name appears on a global media monitoring list dated 14 March 1984. CIA spies took an interest in an interview with Corbyn where he is “quoted on his visit” to Grenada:

Corbyn was visiting hostile Marxist regimes across Latin America at the height of the Cold War, attending conferences of Soviet front groups and accepting hospitality from the Cuban dictatorship. Wonder how many more “diplomats” he met on his travels…

Labour Raising More Money Than Tories

The Tories invariably raise more money than Labour, not last quarter. Donors are clearly not inspired by May’s leadership, preferring not to cough up to prop her up.

Labour raised a million quid more than the Tories…

Cabinet Sub-Committee Committed to Divergence and Taking Back Control of Laws

Every member of Theresa May’s Brexit Cabinet sub-committee has committed to the UK diverging from the EU and taking back control of its laws, research by Change Britain has found. As they meet at Chequers today to discuss the Brexit end state, ministers will doubtless be under pressure from Remainers, Jeremy Heywood and Olly Robbins to back a convergence plan in which nothing really changes. As these quotes below show, that is simply not compatible with their own stated public positions. There can be no backsliding from this…

Theresa May

‘What we will be able to do is to make our own laws. Parliament will make our laws’ (Sky News, August 2017, link)

Karen Bradley

‘We will, once again, be in total control of our own laws’ (Karen Bradley’s website, link)

Greg Clark

‘One of the freedoms that will come from Brexit will be to enable us to determine our own view of [state aid rules] rather than having to comply with others’ (CityAM, October 2016, link).

David Davis

‘We start at the same position, but we will manage the divergence… Of course we will diverge, we will do things our own way.’ (Politico, September 2017, link)

Liam Fox

‘If you cannot make your own laws, if you cannot control your own borders, you are not an independent, sovereign nation and I want to live in an independent sovereign nation’ (Telegraph, January 2016, link).

Michael Gove

‘Outside the EU we take back control of our laws. At the end of the two-year transition period the UK will be able to pass laws that strengthen our economy and enhance our environment, with full freedom to diverge from EU law on the Single Market and Customs Union.’ (Telegraph, December 2017, link).

Philip Hammond

‘We are going to leave the European Union. To repatriate our laws. To assert the supremacy of our courts.’ (Conservative Party, October 2016, link).

Boris Johnson

‘Over time we will be able to diverge from the great accumulated conglomerate, to act with regulatory freedom’ (Telegraph, September 2017, link)

David Lidington

‘Of course we will have the power to choose for ourselves whether or not to diverge once we have left the supranational legal structures of the EU.’ (BBC News, January 2018, link)

Amber Rudd

‘We will not have truly left the European Union if we are not in control of our own laws’ (Amber Rudd’s website, link)

Gavin Williamson

At Cabinet backed ‘Britain to retain the right to diverge from EU rules and regulations to make it easier to strike trade deals with third party countries and free the UK from EU red tape’ (Telegraph, December 2017, link).

Tories Face London Wipe-Out

Labour have almost double the support of the Tories in London….

READ: Stasi File on British Labour Party

The Stasi Records Agency say that in their “most recent researches” they have not been able to find a specific file on Jeremy Corbyn or Diane Abbott. Guido can however publish the Stasi files on the Labour Party and the British peace movement collated by East German secret police throughout the 1980s. Under German law the authorities will only release documents naming people who are now deceased, anyone mentioned in their records who is still alive has to consent. It is in these files that the East German infiltration of Corbyn’s Labour Action for Peace group is revealed. Marked “streng geheim” – “top secret” – the documents contain evidence of widespread collusion between British Labour MPs and peaceniks with the totalitarian regime at the height of the Cold War. They were the Stasi’s useful idiots…

See also: Stasi File Reveals Corbyn’s Peace Group Was Infiltrated By East German Spies

Get Corbyn to Sign the Stasi Archive’s Consent Form & Win a Piece of Berlin Wall!

After PMQs Corbyn’s spokesman declined to pass on a Stasi archives consent form which, if signed, would disclose any and all information held by the East German secret police about the Labour leader. At the briefing for journalists after PMQs Guido handed the completed form to Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesman:

Guido: “You’ll be aware there is some confusion over the level of information that’s held in the files of the Stasi about Jeremy Corbyn… Considering your commitment to transparency on this would you possibly offer Jeremy Corbyn this consent form which we have filled in for him so that he can put the issue completely to bed about the Stasi… hand it to him and just sign it for us so we can get everything that’s there?

Seumas: “It’s very touching that you’re helping us out with our busy day but we’re not aware of any Stasi file held on Jeremy Corbyn and I understand that officials at the Berlin Stasi Archive Center have put in writing that there’s no such file. Of course we’re happy to…

Daily Mail: “Sign the form then if there’s no file?

Seumas: “It’s for people who think there is such a file or who are interested in looking at more Eastern bloc intelligence material collected during the Cold War about Jeremy and other people if they want to pursue that then it’s up to them. As far as I’m concerned and as far was we know there is no such file if you find out otherwise please do get in touch.

Journalist: “There is now a suggestion that Labour Action for Peace was infiltrated by German spies, Jeremy Corbyn was obviously involved in that organisation, was he aware of that at all?

Seumas “No.”

So we’re asking co-conspirators if they can help. When Jeremy Corbyn comes to your town why not ask him to autograph the consent form? You can download and print out the form hereIf he has nothing to hide, he will, right?

If a reader succeeds we will send him or her a certified piece of the Berlin Wall! 

UPDATE: Following pressure from the British presss the Stasi archives have released an unprecedented statement saying they have not found any records for Corbyn.

Boris on Corbyn’s “B*llocks”

Doesn’t take a lip reader to work out what BoJo thought of that Corbyn question…

Stasi File Reveals Corbyn’s Peace Group Was Infiltrated By East German Spies

Stasi files obtained by Guido reveal that a peace group run by Jeremy Corbyn was infiltrated by East German spies and was encouraged by East German officials into promoting GDR policies at Labour conference and in the House of Commons. The group was also infiltrated by a spy from the Czech security service who stood as a Labour candidate.

Files in the Stasi records archive marked “Streng geheim”“Top secret” – show that German spies and officials closely monitored and influenced “Labour Action for Peace” (LAP) during the 1980s. Corbyn was an officer of the group in the ’80s, attended their meetings, authored pamphlets, was its vice chairman at the height of the Stasi’s interest, going on to become the group’s president. The Stasi concluded: “The position of leading representatives of the LAP coincides with that of the socialist countries: The blame for the escalation of the nuclear arms race is borne by the US and its NATO allies.”

The Stasi records released to Guido show East German officials met with Labour MP members of LAP, encouraged them to support GDR policies and were delighted with the results of their lobbying efforts. Stasi officers infiltrated LAP meetings and reported that East German officials were sent on a “mission” to convince Labour MPs to back their policies. In a Stasi report about an LAP delegation’s visit to East Germany dated 21 February 1987, a Stasi officer writes:

“The main objective of the mission is to further consolidate the traditionally good relations with the LAP and to continue the exchange of views and information”

Following the meetings, the Stasi officer concluded that “representatives of the LAP take up positions on fundamental issues that are largely in line with those of the socialist states”. This was at time of great tension between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries. The Stasi reports claim that following their lobbying attempts a Labour MP on the delegation proposed a Commons motion in support of East German policies:

“The proposal for a framework program for the creation of chemical free zones in Europe prepared by the SED and the SPD received considerable attention among UK Labour MPs. William McCelvey MP, who is also chairman of the LAP, initiated a signature campaign in the House of Commons in support of the SED and SPD initiative.”

The files show the Stasi took a keen interest in resolutions at Labour Party conference, believing they could influence the policies of the next UK government. The Stasi said this meant Corbyn’s LAP group was of “special importance” to East German spies:

“Under the present conditions, with resolutions at the Labour Party’s annual conference from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3 preparing for the upcoming election campaign and focusing on the party’s security policy and a future Labour government, the Activity of the LAP of special importance.”

The Secretary of LAP, Cynthia Roberts, who stood as a Labour parliamentary candidate, was outed as a spy for the Czechoslovakian secret service Statni Bezpecnost (StB). After the KGB’s London head of station Oleg Gordievsky defected in 1985, Roberts fled to Prague, presumably because she feared she was about to be exposed.

It is well known that spies for Warsaw Pact regimes targeted the British peace movement in the ’80s, Ján Sarkocy’s key role was to infiltrate and directly influence the peace movement in order to weaken NATO. It was a sensible strategy – Corbyn and his LAP fellow travelers would not have taken much convincing of the merits of the East German and Czech positions on unilateral disarmament. There are several questions for Corbyn to answer;

  • Was he aware that a group which he helped run had been targeted and infiltrated by the Stasi and the StB?
  • What information did LAP representatives “exchange” with East German officials?
  • Why did Labour MPs in Corbyn’s group push the policies of the GDR in the House of Commons and at Labour conference?

Most of all, why was a group with which Corbyn had considerable involvement so close to spies for two hostile totalitarian regimes at the height of the Cold War?

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Ruth Cadbury (Brentford and Isleworth) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 21 February.

Q2 Eddie Hughes (Walsall North)

Q3 Kevin Foster (Torbay)

Q4 Angela Smith (Penistone and Stocksbridge)

Q5 Anna Turley (Redcar)

Q6 Chris Bryant (Rhondda)

Q7 Chris Green (Bolton West)

Q8 Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun)

Q9 Andrea Jenkyns (Morley and Outwood)

Q10 Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

Q11 Mr Steve Reed (Croydon North)

Q12 David Linden (Glasgow East)

Q13 Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central)

Q14 Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

Q15 Paul Scully (Sutton and Cheam)

Comments in the comments…

BBC’s John Simpson Defends Oxfam

BBC News World Affairs Editor John Simpson publicly defended Oxfam on the day its executives appeared before a parliamentary select committee – which was a major news item on the Beeb. Simpson, who is paid up to £200,000-a-year by the taxpayer and is bound by the same impartiality rules as any BBC journalist, said of the charity: “I for one am not abandoning it now”. What is going on at the BBC at the moment?

Gardiner: Labour MPs Knowingly Meet Foreign Spies Every Day

In an apparent attempt to help Jeremy Corbyn, Barry Gardiner has admitted that senior Labour politicians knowingly meet foreign spies every day. The Constant Gardener digging again…

BBC Website Finally Reports Corbyn Spy Story… And Attacks “Press Barons”

The BBC website finally reported on the Corbyn spy scandal last night, after ignoring the main story in Westminster for days. Yet for some reason the Beeb’s coverage focused on attacking the press rather than holding the Labour leader to account. The headline of the first story was “Press still writing about Corbyn spy claims”, as if Auntie feels they shouldn’t be. The second story gave the game away by going after “press barons” – not sure how that pejorative term meets BBC impartiality guidelines. The story did at least reference a BBC reporter’s stupid question to Corbyn mocking the story by asking him “are you a Czech spy”. Just imagine the Beeb’s coverage if the leader of the Tory party had met a spy from a far right totalitarian regime…

Tory ERG MPs Remind May of Her Commitment to Take Back Control of Laws and Trade

Good letter from the ERG Tory MPs reminding Theresa May of her Lancaster House commitment to take back control of laws and trade. Brexit means full regulatory autonomy and the freedom to start talks on trade deals with other countries immediately…

Letter via @faisalislam
[…] Read the rest


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Quote of the Day

John McDonnell does a funny:

“I’m told there are a group of KGB colonels who are suing The Sun for associating themselves with us.”


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